Saturday, 12 July 2014

Aldgate Pump, City of London c1912

Aldgate Pump, City of London circa 1912. This old postcard by an uncredited publisher shows the famous Aldgate Pump at the corner of Fenchurch Street (on the left) and Leadenhall Street (on the right). The postcard view shows St. Katherine Cree church, built c1638, one of the few City churches to survive the Great Fire in 1666. The church is still there but is difficult to see in the Street View image. If you move the Google Street View one step to the left you get a better likeness to the postcard, but the pump is completely obscured by a street sign. Leadenhall Street also contains the London Metal Exchange, Europe's last remaining open outcry financial exchange. Click the postcard to enlarge.



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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Hampton Hill, Middlesex, The High Street 1907

Hampton Hill, Middlesex, The High Street 1907. The Crown and Anchor pub on the left is now a restaurant called La Familia. The building to the left of that has been demolished. The buildings on the right remain largely intact though. This card was published by Young & Co of Teddington and was posted in April 1907. Judging by the lack of leaves on the tree in the distance the photograph would have been taken a month or two before. Young has incorrectly captioned the postcard as Hampton High Street, but that street is half a mile away, this is clearly Hampton Hill High Street. Young should have known that as he lived nearby. Click the postcard to enlarge.



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Monday, 12 May 2014

Norton, Gloucestershire, Norton Cash Stores in 1911

Norton, Gloucestershire, Norton Cash Stores in 1911. Norton is a hamlet north of the city of Gloucester. The village shop was run by Esther Hughes. That is probably her on the right, holding the baby. To the left of her may be her assistant in the shop, Elizabeth Whiting. According to the 1911 census the pair lived in the building, with the baby, Norah Mary Perry. I don't know why they lived with a baby with a different surname, perhaps an orphaned niece? A notice in the shop advertises a 'rummage sale' on Wednesday the 7th of June which helps me date the photograph accurately to 1911.
I am indebted to Mike Dill, Steve Maidment and the Village of Norton Website for the following information about the shop and 'The Elms' shown below. The building - Tess Hughes's shop, "was a cottage at right angles to the road opposite the top of Wainlodes Lane".  It was destroyed by fire early in the morning of November 2nd 1935.  "Tess herself was not much harmed.  She had a distrust of banks and kept most of her money in buckets that hung from the beams.  The place after the fire was littered with coins."  ('How it All happened' by Canon Evans-Prosser, Vicar of Norton).
The modern bungalow you can see in the modern Google Street View now stands just behind the approximate site of the shop.
Also notable is the horse bus operated by George Symonds of Gloucester. It appears to be a very primitive bus, even by the standards of 1911. It had a very short run between the nearby villages of Lonford, Twigworth and Norton. One has to wonder how often the bus ran and how successful the service was. I think the young man standing to the right of the horses was the bus conductor. This postcard was published by Young & Co of Teddington. Click the postcard and blow-ups to enlarge.



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This is another postcard by Young & Co of Teddington showing a large farmhouse in Norton, called 'The Elms'. Prior to 1897 it was called 'Norton Farm' and reverted back to that name in 1923 (source: Steve Maidment - 'Norton Farm'). The farmhouse has not changed much in the last century, but one of the chimneys appears to have slid down the roof. Click the postcard to enlarge.



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