Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sepia Saturday 98

Coach or Bus Transport, something that most of us will of experienced at sometime or other during our lives.  Modern coaches come in, in excess of £100,000.00, have all manner of luxuries and, so I'm told, are a joy to ride in.  Older coaches were a beast of a different kind.  I can recall, on outings to the seaside in the forties and fifties, having to get off the coach and follow it up the hill into Hindhead because it couldn't carry the weight of the passengers.  The coaches, probably relics of the thirties, needed frequent rests.  A journey starting in my home town of Walton-on-Thames, would have its first stop at the Green Man Public House (now gone) in Burpham.  This is now a journey of less than 1/2 hour.  The next was at the top of the hill into Hindhead, again less than half an hour.  The whole journey to Havant or Hayling Island can now be done in less than an hour.  Then, with breaks, three or four.

There is much more to coaches than just the travel, some are quite beautiful works of art in themselves, but I suppose that it is their purpose and their use that is of real interest.

This shows a coach on the Bath Road, outside the Ostrich Inn at Colnbrook - the Ostrich is still there but looking old and tired, but alas the coach no longer runs and the road runs closer to the building.  This image is from a repro postcard.

The next two images are from Flickr, the first shows a coach being put to a quite unexpected use.

Troops being loaded on coaches at Monchy at the end of  the Battle

And, the second, for a far more mundane purpose

The London Transport Omnibus,. carrying out it's duties in the rush hour sometime, I'd guess, in the fifties or sixties.

Blogs Unite

Comments on Sepia Saturday Posts, over the past two weeks, set me rummaging through old family photos.
SS96 featured a group of Soldiers in India sometime in the 1920s,  and included my Grandfather, whilst  SS97 referred to my old, and now demolished, Infant School.
Amongst the old images I found this old school photo of my Father and his class-mates at the army school India.

My father is the second from the left in the back row.  I think that all these children must be the sons and daughters of the Sergeants appearing in SS96, because, at that time, I do not think that other ranks were allowed to bring their wives with them when posted abroad, and Officers would send the offspring to Boarding school or have private tutors.  Next time I have the two photos together I must try and match them to their Fathers.  Some look quite obvious, others not so.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Sepia Saturday 97

Raggedy little kids, I was one of those.  My first school was built in 1908 to accommodate the kids from East Walton, that were considered outside the "Pale" of the Church School in the Town.   It was situated about 3/4 of a mile from the Church in what is now know as Terrace Road, but then may have still been known as Hampton Court Lane.  Next to the Church Cemetery and into Terrace Road was Miskin's Timber Yard, and it was, according to a "local Lady" where "Civilisation ceased (with Miskin's)".  The School was over half a mile beyond this point and was, for a while, known as the Gypsy School, because many of it's pupil came from Apps Court Farm..

By the time I attended, in 1948, it was 40 years old and known as the Tin School or the "Tin Rattler".  This picture shows it in the 1050s shortly before its demolition.  It was made of corrugated iron, it leaked, bird's nested in the roof spaces, in hail it rattled.  In summer it was hot and in winter cold, the only heating was a coke boiler at the back of each classroom.

I have one or two memories that are actual and real and some others which maybe amalgams of several events merged to form the single memory.  And, if for no other reason than I feel that I want to and it will add to you overall understanding of post war Southern England (and perhaps too, me), I intend to relate them.

This is my very first memory of actually being at school, and it has stuck in my mind for the ensuing 63 years.  Even with this I am prepared to accept that there maybe some amalgamation of the first two or three days.  Around the school were iron railings, they were about 3 foot 6 tall and resembled 1/2 inch thick paper clips stood in a row.  The mothers' would let their little darlings go at the gate - anyone older than 6 would have been struck by a thunderbolt from God had they crossed the line.  On that very first day - as happened every day - at 5 minutes to nine precisely, the whistle went and we all lined up outside the three doors in the picture.  The older kids to the the two on the right and the new intake to the one on the left.  As you would imagine us little 'uns were a bit confused but quickly marshelled into position. That was everyone apart from some little "Herbert", (cannot recall name or what happened to him after this day) who clung to these railings as if his life depended upon it.   Him in tears on this side, Mummy in tears on the other. He hung on with white knuckles, bravely resisting the efforts of two or three teachers to prise his fingers from those railings. As one was lifted, it immediately snapped back in as they moved to the next.  Many new Mothers stood in tears, and so too new kids, but they stood away from the fence to let their youngster go into class.  I think this was only resolved when some "older" mothers dragged her away.

The other involves an old wooden house that stood on the opposite corner just across a Lane to the left of the picture.  It was a detached ship-lap building covered in creosote and pitch.  Dark, black and according to playground speculation - haunted.  

One day an awareness that something was happening spread throughout the school, and then sounds of cracking, ringing bells, shouting and smoke.  The old house had gone up in flames.  The kids rushed out into the playground to line up by the railings to watch the flames pouring from the roof, the smoke, so black and acrid darkening the skies, the fire-engines and firemen rushing about with hoses aimed on the building.  What I do not recall is any great concern about Health & Safety.

 The Tin School 1923 - no I'm not in there - this was taken from a Pictorial History of the town.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sepia Saturday 96

When Alan first posted this week's image, my initial thought was; no problem, themes by the barrow-load, Soldiers, war-time, cooking, eggs & bacon, outdoor dining, quartets, destruction and probably much much more.  Whilst, it has been a rather manic week with one thing and another there should have been no problem to find something that would be of interest, but no, the brain would not work.  So all I could come up with was a group of soldiers - this picture of the Royal Field Artillery Sergeant's Mess photograph taken in 1925 when my Grandfather was in India.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Several contributors to Sepia Saturday  have linked Temperance with Women's Suffrage and, especially those with Methodism in their backgrounds, have Temperance Activists amongst their Kinsmen.  This struck a chord and I recalled that in my family history studies I'd gathered a lot of information on a particular (or perhaps, peculiar) Kinsman who was quite a voice in the movement. This is posted below in full and consists mainly of extracts from Newspaper and Journals and provides some very interesting examples of the language of the religious in the Victorian period.
He is someone I'm not altogether sure of.  According to legend (self-promoted??) he was brought back from the abyss by Sarah MG and went on to marry her.  Was for love, out of gratitude, or was he one for taking the main chance?  She was a little older than him, given to religious fervour and self denial, and as there were no children forthcoming one can be forgiven from asking the question, was it a marriage in the real sense or just of convenience.  Even though she was obviously frail, he thought nothing of dragging her half way round the world and leaving her, more or less permanently, in a hotel room while he was off out having a wonderful time building his ego by hobnobbing with the Australian good and worthy and haranguing the working man for taking a glass or two.

For those interested we are second cousins 4 times removed, and numbered  Brewers, Maltsters and Ale-house keepers amongst our ancestry

Illustration of the revivalist preacher and temperance advocate, Matthew Burnett.

Matthew BURNETT was born 1 in 1839 in Cloughton, Yorkshire. He died in 1896 in Scarborough, Yorkshire. He was buried 2 on 22 Jan 1896 in Scarborough, Yorkshire. Matthew was baptized 3 on 23 Aug 1840 in Cloughton, Yorkshire. He became a world renown Evangelist & temperance advocate.   Matthew married 1 Sarah Middleton GIBSON in 1863 in Hull District, Yorkshire. Sarah was born on 6 Feb 1834 in Scarborough, Yorkshire. She died on 25 Oct 1870 in Prahran, Melbourne, Australia. Sarah was baptized on 5 Mar 1834 in Scarborough, Yorkshire. 
Source : Frearson's monthly illustrated Adelaide news, March 1883, supplement
Date of creation : 1883
Format : Newspaper

Yorkshire born Matthew Burnett settled in Victoria in 1863. He was perhaps the most colourful of the early revivalist preachers.

Burnett visited Adelaide in 1880, and subsequently spent almost three years visiting almost every town in the colony. Initially he held weekly meetings in the Adelaide Town Hall and open air meetings in Light Square - the latter included brass bands, singers and banners, and culminated in torch-lit processions to Pirie Street Wesleyan Church.

Combining a message of moral reform with abstinence from alcohol, Burnett induced many to sign a pledge promising teetotalism, including 1,000 at Port Adelaide, and 2,000 at Moonta Mines. He claimed to have induced six million Australians to sign the pledge. Burnett's mission also galvanized opponents to the opening of hotels on Sunday, and the South Australian Parliament was successfully lobbied against this move.

Burnett was reportedly theatrical and flamboyant in his presentations. Critics referred to his 'screech-owl style of oratory' (Lantern, 8 May 1880, p. 9).

John Gore and Edward Saunders, who had previously joined the Salvation Army in England, met through Burnett's Light Square meetings and subsequently organised the first Salvation Army meetings in Adelaide - using a similar format to Burnett's assemblies.

The "In Memoriam" that was published in the "Wesleyan Chronicle" about the life and death of Mrs. Burnett is very long, and abounds in spiritual jargon which most people of today would find very strange, and hard to understand.  Parts only are reproduced here.

"Sarah Middleton Gibson was born on February 6th, 1834, and born again on January 9th, 1855.  Little is known of her conversion except from her own recorded words.  'After many vain and fruitless attempts to work out my own salvation by the deeds of the law, I was enabled to cast myself on Christ, and felt that He had paid my debt.  I am a sinner saved by grace.  Nothing that is good I call my own.  Let Christ be magnified in saving the very chief of sinners.'
'The unfeigned faith' which was in her 'dwelt first in' her beloved mother, and in her grandparents who were Methodists of John Wesley's days, and this grace of pious ancestry bestowed upon her was not in vain.'  She possessed a good natural understanding, and enjoyed many social and spiritual advantages.
Her early days were spent in Scarborough, Yorkshire\; and her ardent and intelligent piety was the more developed under the ministrations of a succession of eminent servants of God, and expositors of His Word, one spiritual charm and glory of that queen of watering places.  In those days she was noted for 'works of faith and labours of love' among the poor and the fallen, and for the gift of earnest and impassioned prayer.  Many illustrations of this last grace might be given.
A reckless youth, hastening to early ruin, engaged her compassionate concern.  She sought to save him, with fear pulling him out of the fire.  For twelve months she pleaded without ceasing for this, until, being in an agony, she prayed more earnestly, and in the climax of her mighty supplication, cried, 'Lord, let me die rather than his soul be lost!'  And she was heard in that she feared.  He who said, 'I have pardoned according to they word,' gave her a distinct assurance that he had heard her concerning this thing also, and that this soul too should be the crown of her 'rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus.' 
Simultaneously the sin-convicting Spirit arrested the youthful profligate, and wrought strangely upon his heart, and that evening 'stricken and penitent' he sought mercy, 'with strong crying and tears,' at the altar of prayer.  That young man became, in the courses of time, the husband of Miss Gibson, and the honoured instrument in the hand of God of turning many to righteousness."
A long section of the notice is then given to describing something of her inner spiritual experiences of appreciating the holiness of God, and the presence of God, and the humbling effect that this had upon her whole spiritual life and outlook.  Several sections from her diary are used to illustrate these aspects of her prayer life.  Basically, it was part of her experience of what the Methodist's called "perfect love," or "entire sanctification."  
For example:-  "My soul goes out with strong desire, Thy perfect bliss to prove.  I wait on the Lord for a clean heart.  I want to be all beautiful within, but in every part I am deformed and defiled.  O for faith - more simple child-like faith.  I want the baptism of power, of fire, of love.  Give me no rest till all I have is lost in Thine.  I am very ignorant, even as a beast before Thee....  The sight of God's preserving love filled me with astonishment....."
"Since Mrs. Burnett's arrival in Victoria she led, for the most part, a secluded and suffering life.  Though still burning with zeal for the glory of God, and crying 'Lord! what wouldst thou have me to do?'  yet it pleased Him to show her rather how great things she must suffer for His sake.'
While she had health and strength she discharged the duties of class-leader with great acceptance.  She rejoiced to forego the society of her dear husband, and to assist him by her counsel, and sympathy, and prayers, that he might the better 'do the work of an evangelist.'
The final, long section of the article is a blow-by-blow description of the "death by which she glorified God."  After concern about the family, and others, whom she would leave behind, she felt no fear at all in the valley of the shadow of death, but rejoiced in the prospects of eternity through Christ.
As was often practiced at such times, especially in those days, children, and various friends were urged to meet her in heaven, and to live for eternity. 
"At times she would quote with great feeling some striking and favourite passage of Scripture and verses of hymns, or would ask that such might be quoted to her to nourish her faith and refresh her 'failing flesh and heart.'  
At another time, lost in reverie, she seemed to lie within the vestibule of death, in deep communion with the unseen world.  Her soul dwelt within the inspirations of eternity, steadfastly set towards the new Jerusalem, and she spoke of the happiness of heaven as one who was safe at home, or viewing the Canaan that she loved with unbeclouded eyes.  '
They say,' she remarked, 'the valley is dark.  What a mistake\; it is all light.  I have crossed it\; thank God, I am safe.  That lamp will go out, but there is no night there.'"
Her death occurred at Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne, on 25th October, 1870.  (6.)

The now widowed Matthew BURNETT continued his work in Australia for another twelve years finally leaving for New Zealand in 1882 - confirmed in this extract from the "Hawera & Normanby Star", Volume VIII, Issue 1503, 15 December 1886, Page 2 :
"In the course of his valedictory address, Matthew Burnett, the temperance advocate, remarked that since landing at the Bluff four years ago, he had held no fewer than 1250 services, 1000 being as an advocate of temperance principles, and the remainder on purely religious matters."

Matthew appears to have been back in England by June 1890 and is known to have been in the Pickering area in November 1891** - see note below - but has not been found in 1891 census returns.

"Memoir of Joseph Smith of South Holme, late of Huggate and Riseborough, Wesleyan Local Preacher, with records from his diary,  together with speeches and sermons from 1823-1898", contains the following references -
June 9th 1890
"At Hovingham in the afternoon. Brought back with me Mr. Matthew Burnett, who had recently returned to England, after twenty-seven years' temperance work amongst the Maori tribes in Australia"
October 27th 1890
"I went to Scarborough. Attended meeting at night, in Town Hall, to welcome Mr. Matthew Burnett, after twenty-seven years' absence in Australia ..."
November 2nd 1891
"Went to Pickering to preside over a meeting addressed by Mr. M. Burnett" **
April 12th 1892
"At Major Scoby's to tea and presided at Normanby at a lecture by Mr. Matthew Burnett"

Extract from "Temperance and Prohibition in New Zealand", by J. Malton Murray & Rev. J. Cocker, 1930:
"Valuable service has been rendered from time to time by the visits of temperance advocates. In those earlier years these were pledge-signing campaigns — a feature that, unfortunately, has become less conspicuous since the emergence of the demand to get rid of the liquor traffic by voting it out of existence. The permanence of any gain secured by legislation would be made all the more certain by the extent to which people were won to the practice of total abstinence. Much good work had been done on these lines by such organizations as Good Templars, Rechabites, and the Band of Hope movement, but there was both scope for, and need of, a popular appeal on a wide scale. Hence the advent in 1885 of a temperance advocate who had gained considerable popularity in Australia— Mr. Matthew Burnett— was hailed with great expectations. If those expectations were not all realized it was not because Mr. Burnett was lacking either in zeal, sincerity or ability. He was a Yorkshireman, charged with emotion, and having to his credit the rescue and rehabilitation of not a few sad wrecks of humanity. The story of some of these rescues, relieved by touches of pathos and humour, made up the ground-work of impassioned appeals for total abstinence that led to pledge-signing on a large scale at all his meetings. Mr. Burnett's unselfishness and geniality commended him to all associated with him in the various missions he held."

According to an obituary written shortly after his death in 1896, Matthew was born at White Horse Farm near Cloughton in 1839. He spent the early years of his working life in business, with Messrs. W. Rowntree of Scarborough. After his "conversion" in 1857 he became an ardent evangelist and temperance advocate. In 1863 he went to Australia where he became widely know as "the Yorkshire Gough" and was said to have been responsible for the conversion of tens of thousands of people in Australia and New Zealand. He was buried in Scarborough on 22 Jan 1896 and it has been assumed that he died at Scarborough, though the obituary does not state where he died. The obituary does not indicate that Matthew had been married.

GRO Index of Deaths: BURNETT, Matthew, Mar 1896, Scarborough, 9d 228 [age 57]

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Sepia Saturday 95

I'm sticking to the obvious this week because I like the clothing styles and I was once an activist - it also saves brain power. Alan's image has rather well-dressed dour (or is it sour) faced women demonstrating for social rights, which presumably included suffrage.

It appears to have been an international phenomenon from the late 19th. century through the first two or three decades of the 20th.  Alan started with Continental Women and so shall we.

With French Style

British Stiff Upper
(...the Valley of Never ??? - anyone know?)                         

Where Europe Marched; America Rode for the most part

 White Women March

 Segregated Suffragettes
And the men!!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Third Cathedral and No Gypsies

I always thought, or that's what I was told by the Scousers I've met, that the Lewis Building rivalled the Anglican Cathedral and Paddy's Wigwam for their presence.  I now find that it closed.  I knew religion was on the wain but so too shopping???

What is Dickie guarding now???

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

From Where I Came

Growing up somewhere, especially in the dormitory towns around London, you don't seem to realise just how attractive certain parts are.  My home town - Walton-on-Thames - saw a great expansion in the inter war years which accelerated in the post war period.

Up until the 20th. Century the town was largely made up of for four streets; Church Street, Bridge Street, Thames Street and  Back Lane.  Thames Street and Back Lane both lead (in opposite directions) from the Anglers Wharf and up to either end of Church Street.  Apart from  a few cottages dotted about the rest of the area consisted of large Houses and a few Farms.

I've been fortunate and have found one or two images of the Anglers Wharf.  Both my Brother and my Sister have little limited edition prints of watercolour paintings of the wharf, so I was rather pleased to find a little Postcard of the Angler's Hotel and the Wharf.

This image is about the turn of the century, the stamp bears Victoria, but the franking is dated a few years later. There are two things that I noticed immediately about the picture, one it is too quiet and must have been staged and, secondly, it is much the same as when I was a kid.  As teenagers we used to leave our clothes in the veranda while we swam off the wharf.  We'd go into the Public Bar dripping wet to but a Pint.  The Landlord ( I think his name was Cooke ) used to moan about the wet but was always anxious to take our money.

This image is more typical of what the wharf was like I think.  This picture I'd guess is about 1910 or later

The Barges were like that until the 1950s and disappeared altogether in the 60s.  The Skiffs and Punts remained there throughout the 60s and probably into the 70s..  They were hired out by Old Jacko, and I think he continued until his end of terrace cottage was condemned.  At the end of the season, he would drag the boats up to his cottage and they were taken through the house and into the back garden.  They would be repaired, varnished and stored until the new season.  I remember Jacko had a Lodger, cannot recall what he was called, may not have ever known - that could be another story, but lets say he was hardly recognisable when dressed up for a night out - just the 5 O' Clock shadow to give an indication.

I do not live far away and must go a take some pictures of how it looks now - look out for future postings.  I was born about half-a-mile downstream and about 200 yards, or so, from the Thames, and as a teenager and young man spent many a happy hour in the Anglers and the Swan (next door - up through the Arch).  I think this may be the start of several, as yet unplanned visits to the Town.