Sunday 25 December 2011

Teddington, Middlesex, Christmas 1906

Merry Christmas from the postcards then and now blog. Here is a wintry scene showing Teddington Bridge in a photograph taken by Richard Charles Young in late 1906. For more old views why not visit the Sepia Saturday blog. As always, click the postcard to enlarge.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Richmond, Surrey, Peldon Avenue c1915

Richmond, Surrey, Peldon Avenue circa 1915. The pleasant tree lined avenue that we see in the old postcard looks like so many other late Victorian suburban streets in West London. The postcard publisher, who identifies himself as 'GWH', has got the street name wrong on the postcard caption - there never was a Peldon Road in Richmond, it was Peldon Avenue. On the modern Google Street View we can see what has replaced Peldon Avenue - a group of large blocks of flats called Peldon Court. When the flats were built its name changed from Peldon Avenue to Peldon Court. Below the postcard you can see a part of the Bacon's map of 1904 showing Peldon Avenue as it was. The son of the artist Camille Pissarro, Ludovic Rodo Pissarro, himself an artist, lived in Peldon Avenue from 1919 to 1921.

However, it was in the early part of The Blitz in 1940 that Peldon Avenue became infamous. It was hit by a land-mine - a huge bomb dropped on a parachute - on 20 September 1940. The bomb destroyed almost all of the street causing the greatest loss of life in the borough of Richmond during the whole war. All of the female members of the Danby family were killed along with many other people. A good account of the bombing of Peldon Avenue can be found at this BBC web page. The present flats were built in the late 1950s. This is the only picture I've ever seen of Peldon Avenue, it may be the only one there is. Click the pictures to enlarge.

For more old photographs visit the Sepia Saturday blog.

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Thursday 15 December 2011

Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, c1920

Sulgrave, Northamptonshire, circa 1920. Sulgrave is a village in South Northamptonshire, near Banbury. This view hasn't changed too much in the intervening years. The road now has a proper surface. The thatched cottage on the left has gone and the post office is now a private house. Postcard by Blinkhorns of Banbury.

Friday 9 December 2011

Cleveleys, Lancashire, The Palace, Victoria Road, c1910

Cleveleys, Lancashire, The Palace, Victoria Road, circa 1910. Cleveleys is a pleasant seaside town just north of Blackpool. It is not entirely clear what 'The Palace' actually was. On first inspection it appears to be an early cinema. However, any self-respecting cinema would have posters prominently displayed advertising the latest films and film stars. This one does not. I suspect that it was a very low-budget concern, showing a limited amount of novelty films over and over again to attract the day-trippers. They would have depended on rainy days to keep their business alive. The  frontage shows that they have tickets at 3d, 6d and 9d, so perhaps I'm wrong and they were a real cinema? It would appear from the shop windows that they may have also been a retail premises too, probably selling the usual seaside goodies, sticks of rock, silly hats, postcards etc. In the main entrance there is a sign saying 'Palace Theatre' - perhaps they had live acts too? A charming mystery, I'm sure Cleveleys experts will know the full story.
The building on the left has survived, but 'The Palace' has gone. I will not comment on the relative merits of its current replacement.
For more old pictures you might care to try Sepia Saturday. Click the postcard to enlarge.

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Sunday 4 December 2011

Gurney Slade, Somerset, c1910

Gurney Slade, Somerset, circa 1910. In this postcard by Young and Co of Teddington we can see The George Inn. Gurney Slade was also famous as a 1960 television series by Anthony Newley, 'The Strange World of Gurney Slade'. Click the postcard to enlarge.

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