The photographs that make up this Then and Now image were taken at the Bandstand, Alexandra Park, Hastings. The original photograph appeared in the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser on 17th May 1917. The article accompanying the photograph reads:
‘This splendid band of the 17th Seaforth Highlanders of Canada is composed of skilled musicians drawn from all parts of the Dominion. Prior to the outbreak of war they were all engaged in civilian occupations, embracing all callings, but did not hesitate to join up without personal consideration. Many of them were engaged with orchestras when in Canada but the band was not formed until they arrived in this country. Most of it’s members are all qualified as soloists and the Bandmaster, Mr A Williams WO, has gained many awards as a trombone player. When at Brighton recently they created a record for the season at their entertainments and Brighton is hoping to get them to repeat their visit at an early date. Although a heavy call from time to time is made upon their numbers from other branches of the service, it apparently has little effect on their efficiency, and the 28 members have in their short stay in this town earned great popularity. It is computed that another 1,000 chairs would have been occupied in the Park on Sunday if they had been available, but it seems that the attractiveness of this band of skilled musicians was not fully appreciated.’
The two photographs used to create the image, and the final combined image are below. You can view the top image full size on my Flickr page by clicking on it.
This image is part of a continuing series of Then and Now images I’ve created for East Sussex Council’s World War 1 commemoration website. The website is focused on the contribution that the men and women of East Sussex made towards the war effort.
Alexandra Park is a great place to take a walk and one of the highlights of living in Hastings. I visit the park many times in a year, and enjoy the changing colours across the seasons. In the late summer warmth there were plenty of small creatures to be seen among the flower beds and ponds.
It is easy to miss them when taking in the wider view, but I have started to take more of an interest in photographing the small things. After all, there are only so many general photographs of the park you can take before they all start looking the same.There is much beauty to be found when looking closely at the smaller world, as I hope these photographs show.
These photographs can be viewed full size on my Flickr account by clicking on them.
Alexandra Park War Memorial was commissioned by the Mayor of Hastings upon the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28th June 1919. The Mayor, Mr A Blackman, announced “The Peace was signed today. On this day of rejoicing let us show our gratitude to the men who won this peace through Victory, made the freedom of the world secure and prevented the confiscation of possessions.” The memorial was designed by Margaret Winser, a Kent based sculptress who studied under Rodin. Information about her is scant (on Google at least) but she did also do this.
The names of the men and women of the armed forces who died in World War 2 and subsequent campaigns were added in 1993. The Alexander Park War memorial underwent a complete restoration in 2009. It is now a Grade II listed building. The listing details describes the memorial:Â “Comprises a triangular section chamfered limestone column (now painted) decorated with swags and shields of Hastings Borough, surmounted by a winged figure with spear and wreath by Margaret Winser. Three bronze reliefs are set into the base of the column depicting all three of the Armed Services, the Army represented by foot soldiers with rifles, the Royal Navy by ratings in a warship moving a buoy and the Royal Air Force by an aviator in an aeroplane. Three steps are inscribed with names of battles and theatres of war. A large polygonal plinth is inscribed with the names of the Fallen and originally contained flowerbeds but these have been cemented over.”