Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sepia Saturday 285 : 27 June 2015

The Floral Clock, Hove PT3194

Alan from Sepia Saturday says:

The hotel in our theme image is never around the corner (or always around the corner) depending on how you look at things. It is an old postcard of the Chittenden Hotel in Columbus Ohio and put me in mind of postcards, hotels, buildings and - of course - corners. 

Today's image was the only postcard that I could find that vaguely fitted the theme.  The postcard was sent on Tuesday 28 September 1971 to my maternal grandfather when we were overseas.  Transcription is as follows:

Dear Dad
This is a rare commodity!  Masses of cards on Brighton but not on Hove.  Took two photos of the shop & bought some of their cakes for afternoon tea.  Leaving Hastings, where we're staying, on Sat., for two weeks in London.
Love Barb, Jim & Alex xxx
First of all I googled Floral clock Hove PT3194 and found a slightly different postcards to mine here.  Isn't it interesting how just a tiny shift in position makes a difference to understanding where things are. Or not as the case maybe.  I'm trying to work out whether this is facing south to the sea or north.

I've decided it's facing south and that we are looking at the east side of the square.  Here's a map.  I've marked the location of the square and 132 Church Road which is where George Forfar had his bakery and 75 Church Road where E Pannell had his photographic studio which I talk about in this post here.

Basically come down Church Road to the east and look for Palmeira Square - the clock is between Church Road and Western Road and is double sided or double faced.  My mother was trying to get a grip on her maternal ancestors the Forfars who were bakers in Hove.  I have blogged about them several times.  This postcard was great because it made me read about the area and find some more organisations that might be able to help me in my research e.g. The Keep which is Archives or Records Office for East Sussex.  I haven't explored the half of the site yet but it's well worth checking out if you have relatives living in this area.  Also this nice little site.

Anyway, back to the floral clock and Palmeira Square.  So, the floral clock, according to good old Wikipedia was installed in honour of the Queen's coronation in 1953.  I've been trying to read what the flowers say on the postcard.  Can you read it?  I think it says the ....Brigade.  What do you think?  There aren't terribly many floral clocks in the world apparently. The mechanism for the clock was installed by clockmakers James Richie and Son and the landscaping of it was designed by GA Hyland, the Hoave Council's Director of Parks and Cemeteries.  

Palmeira Square is famous for a few things too. Sir Isaac Goldsmid agreed to fund the infamous Anthaeum proposed by horticulturalist Henry Phillips and designed by architect Amon Henry Wilds.  It collapsed the day before it was to be opened in 1834.  The wreckage was not cleared until the 1850s when work on the Palmeira residential development began. You can get a sense of what it was meant to look like by looking at these panormas here.  Here's an article describing its collapse which appeared in the Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 1 February 1834.

A barrow was found near here in 1857 and in it was a coffin with the famous Amber Cup (amongst other things). 

From searching the Keep website, I discovered the following:

  1. There was an inquest into Emily Forfar's death (suicide?) and that she died at her father's house at 68 Ceylon Place Eastbourne.  I renewed my subscription to British Newspapers for another month but could not for the life of me find the article referred to here. Very annoying.  Were there different editions of the paper I wonder.
  2. I would love to see the Brighton Herald digitised so that I could see this article as described here.
  3. A search of the catalogue under the name HOLLINGHAM (Emily's maiden name) produced 67 items which is very frustrating as I live on the other side of the world.  But, having said that, the administrative history of the archive alone makes for fascinating record as per here.
  4. I also found this reference on the National Archives to The Old Ballroom House in Eastbourne also known as Livingstone House.  I then found a photo of it here on Flickr.  I don't know if it still exists...I had no luck finding it on Google Maps.  I referred to it unwittingly in a blog post a couple of years ago here.  It seems to have been done up since this photo and is now called the Busy Bee Restaurant but I can't find it.
Last but not least in a serendipitous moment of synchronicity, a friend of mine posted a photo of me with a typewriter on Facebook earlier this week - can you believe it?  Just a bit too late for last week's theme but I'm still going to post it.

Alex at typewriter - photo courtesy of Bruce Redman

Anyway, that's enough from me.  Do you have any sites or resources you want to recommend that would help a Sussex researcher in Australia?  What buildings have been intriguing you lately?  For more stories of buildings or postcards or hotels, check out of here and into here.


Kristin said...

Great photo of you and the typewriter. Better late than never, right?

I found a photograph of a flower clock in Detroit among my grandfather Cleage's correspondence last year when I was doing A-Z. I posted it as F is for Flower Clock :)

La Nightingail said...

How fortunate that Anthaeum collapsed BEFORE opening day rather than during its opening when all sorts of people could have been badly injured or killed. I wonder who was ultimately responsible for its collapse? The architect? The builder? How awful. As for the snap of you by your typewriter - better late than never has always been my theme! Love the red phone. :)

Brett Payne said...

What a shame the typewriter photo didn't arrive in time for the prompt.

Barbara Fisher said...

Love the photo of you with the typewriter.
Thanks for all the links, I’m going to explore them all later – I have a Tai chi class shortly so have to go and get that done first. It will be a pleasure to get home, make a cup of tea and spend time looking at the links.

Barbara Fisher said...

PS I've just followed your blog in the hope it will remind me to come back later - I've also left a note on my desk so one way or the other I should remember. I don't like this getting old lark!

Wendy said...

Interesting that the card was sent during a research trip, and now looking at it again has sent you on an online research trip. It must be a sign!

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Kristin. I check out your flower clock post. Now that's a flower clock. The one in Hove seems hard to maintain and protect from vandalism. I don't know if it still exists.

Alex Daw said...

Yes, very true. I got the impression from the article that there was a dispute between the major parties responsible for building it. I forgot to mention that the poor horticulturalist whose idea it was in the first place went blind from the shock of the building collapsing. Poor man.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Brett - I know, right? I couldn't believe it!

Alex Daw said...

Dear Barbara...ooh Tai chi - we were just talking about that at work today. Apparently there is something new in Tai chi called Dare a touch the belly or some such. Do you know about it?

Alex Daw said...

Dear Barbara - Thanks for the follow! I'm so excited to have cracked the 60 now :) I hear you re getting old. Where does the time go? Where do my brains go more to the point?

Alex Daw said...

Ah yes Wendy - if only I could find that newspaper article.


I do love that hotel you introduce first. Reading about that Antheum, it is a "good thing" that it collapsed before its official opening. Imagine the loss of lives.... I wish you good luck on your quest. Looks like you've got a lot to contend with here. These web sites you consult, don't they have a "support" function. Maybe someone over there could help you?

Joan said...

So many things to like in this post -- the feeling of texture in the postcard of the Floral Clock --- the research plan you laid out (when I see the plans others make, reminds me to PLAN) -- and lastly, the delightful photo of you and the typewriter. Good post!