All Saints Memorial Plaque

All Saints Street
Memorial Plaque

Published in November 1917 in the Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser, the caption with the original photo read ‘The parents of the late Lance Sergeant R F Canning commemorated the anniversary of his death in France by hanging a beautiful wreath to the roll of honour in All Saint’s Street on the 14th November.’

A photograph and further information about Walter Robert Frank Canning can be seen here.

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.

Memorial PlaqueAll Saints Street

All Saints Street

Ancient and Modern

Queens Parade
Ancient and Modern

The original photo used for this Then and Now image of Ancient and Modern was taken from the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser dated 11th October 1917. It was captioned; ‘Visitors who are averse to using petrol for their journeys to local beauty spots are carefully catered for. A well-equipped four horse drag and a luxurious motor coach, propelled with up-to-date fuel-gas are seen standing side by side.’

Gas powered vehicles developed as a response to the petrol shortage during the First World War. These collapsible gas bags were installed on a variety of motor vehicles. As gas compression techniques were still being developed, the solution was to install large gas bags onto vehicles. Functionally this worked well, though smoking near to the vehicles was not advised, and travelling above 30 mph could cause damage to the bag. More information about these vehicles can be read here.

The photo was taken on Grand Parade, Hastings. I should have got a modern bus in the image, but one didn’t appear in the time it took to take the photo.

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.

Ancient and ModernQueens ParadeQueens Parade

Boy Scouts Deliver Coal

St Georges Road
Boy Scouts

During the winter months the 2nd Hastings (Calvert) Troop of Scouts have devoted their Saturday afternoons to delivering coal to old age pensioners and others. This work has been much appreciated by the old people, particularly during the severe weather.

The photo was taken in St Georges Road, Hastings and published in the Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser in April 1917.

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.Boy Scouts

St Georges Road

St Georges Road

Hastings Pier Fire 1917

Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917
Hastings Pier Fire 1917

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fire on Hastings Pier in 1917, I was asked to create some now and then images by the team working on the East Sussex WW1 website. Unlike the 2012 fire which took place at night, the one in 1917 happened during the afternoon and was witnessed by many hundreds of people.

Very much like the 2012 fire though, this fire provided the opportunity for the owners to redevelop and modernise the pier. Far from being a disaster, it probably helped to ensure that the structure was repaired and strengthened, ensuring its lasting presence on the seafront.

A more detailed and interesting article about the fire can be read here.

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.

Seaforth Highlanders in Alexandra Park

Seaforth Highlanders

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.Seaforth Highlanders

Seaforth Highlanders

A Rush for Potatoes

Courthouse Street
Rush for Potatoes

Whilst the availability of food during WW1 was never as high as during peacetime, the ramping up of German submarine activity in 1917 started to make a real impact. Shipping losses in April 1917 reached 500,000 tonnes, most of which were food and other supplies coming to Britain. We coped pretty well however and even achieved a record wheat harvest in 1917. Potatoes though were one of the food items in very short supply. Deliveries of spuds back then created considerable excitement.

From the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser: “The Announcement “Potatoes at 11 O’Clock” made by Mr Pollard, Courthouse Street, Hastings, on Saturday Morning, caused some hundreds of buyers to assemble. At 10 O’Clock the shop was besieged by an eager crowd, only to learn that the delivery had not been made. A great shout went up when the trolley bearing the much sought after vegetable made its appearance. It was, however, a good natured crowd and the police officers regulating the crowd had little difficulty. No one was served with more than two pounds, and the purchasers, young and old alike, had to be satisfied with this amount. Mr Pollard’s aim was to see that the poor were supplied rather than the fried fish shops and restaurants at a larger price.”

The photo is of the junction of Courthouse Street and The Bourne, Hastings Old Town. The Original Image is from Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser on 26th April 1917.

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.

Rush for Potatoes

Courthouse Street

Courthouse Street

A Rest on Trinity Street

Trinity Street
Trinity Street

A number of men in khaki taking a rest in a quiet corner of Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Hastings. It is unclear what regiment they serve in.

The original image is from the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser date 12th April 1917.

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.

Trinity Street

Trinity Street

Trinity Street

The View from the West Hill

View from the West HillThe West Hill in Hastings is an open space that separates the Old Town with the town centre. As well as the castle and smugglers caves, the hill was once the site of a windmill and used for farming.View from the West Hill

Now it is a pleasant green space that offers, as it always has, the best views of Hastings. Here a some photos of those views taken as morning showers left the town and headed over the channel.View from the West HillThese photographs can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.

Bottle Alley

Bottle AlleyBottle Alley is the 480 meter long lower deck of Hastings Promenade that runs between the Pier and Warrior Square. It was built in the 1930’s by Sidney Little the ‘Concrete King’ of the South Coast. He loved concrete and also designed the baths at White Rock and West Marina, as well as the sea defences. His expertise was used by the Admiralty to assist in the design of the Mulberry Harbours used at Normandy after the D Day landings.Bottle Alley

It’s called Bottle Alley because embedded into the concrete wall are countless multicoloured pieces of broken glass bottles. It was for a long time a haunt for the local drunks. Your nose would be assaulted by the fragrant mix of the sea, spilt alcohol and urine as you walked down it. It was place to be avoided, especially at night. Recently though, it has been renovated and repainted. A kayak hire business now operates from a unit halfway along it, so now it’s a much more pleasant walk. I’d still avoid walking down it on my own at night though.

These photographs can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.

Between Rain Showers

Between Rain ShowersQuite often I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time when it comes to rain. On this day however I was lucky enough to have picked the part of Bexhill beach that lay between rain showers.

So, at low tide, on a typical summer’s day I was able to get these photographs of the rain showers as they passed over Hastings and Bexhill. I stayed dry for a change.

These photographs can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.Between Rain Showers