In the Pink

West Marina GardensWest Marina Gardens
West Marina GardensWest Marina Gardens

West Marina Gardens was a place where soldiers billeted in the town came to do their exercises. Today the area is still used for the same purpose, although the participants are not training for war. In this now and then image a group of soldiers are pictured doing just that.

The caption accompanying the photograph in the newspaper said ‘By the various exercises included in the physical drill course adopted in the service every muscle of the body is trained and strengthened. Each movement has its particular value, and when the course is completed every member of the squad is absolutely fit.’

The photo is taken at West Marina Gardens, St Leonards-on-Sea and the original image came from the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser dated 11th October 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.West Marina Gardens

West Marina Gardens

West Marina Gardens

Canadian Presentation (Part 2)

Warrior Square
Canadian Medal Presentation

Following on from the last post, Canadian Presentation 2 shows the winners of two Distinguished Conduct Medals and six Military Medals with BSM Brett, possibly Henry Charles Brett, on the extreme left. These soldiers served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

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.

Canadian Medal Presentation

Canadian Medal Presentation

Warrior Square

Canadian Presentation (Part 1)

Warrior Square
Canadian Presentation

This then and now image shows Canadian soldiers during a medal presentation in Warrior Square, St Leonards. The original photograph was published in the Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser on 3rd May 1917. The notes accompanying the photograph say:

‘On Sunday morning, two DCMs and six Military Medals were presented to Canadian soldiers by Sir Robert Borden, Canadian Prime Minister, who was accompanied by Major-General Turner VC, DSO’. The photograph shows Sir Robert Borden with Colonel Matthews to his left.

Part 2 will follow next week.

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.

Canadian Presentation

Warrior Square

Warrior Square

Workout near the Royal Victoria Hotel

Royal Victoria Hotel
Royal Victoria Hotel

The image shows a group of soldiers who are convalescing in Hastings being trained by instructors opposite the Royal Victoria Hotel, St Leonards. According to the article in the paper “Their smart action drew many favourable comments from onlookers”. Hastings and St Leonards had several auxiliary hospitals during WW1. These were; Old Hastings House in the Old Town, St John’s on Holmesdale Road, West Dene on Hollington Park, Bannow on Quarry Hill, St Leonards and Filsham Park in Dane Road. These housed soldiers who were recovering from their wounds, either for preparation of life carrying their injuries or for return to the Front.

The way that the seafront looked in 1916 changed considerably when Sidney Little started his refurbishment, but I found it interesting that the building that was previously there lines up precisely with the raised promenade.

The Original Image from the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser dated 30th November, 1916.

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.

Royal Victoria Hotel

Royal Victoria Hotel

Royal Victoria Hotel

Storm Imogen

Storm Imogen

I didn’t have time to get down to the harbour arm to witness Storm Imogen smashing against it. Instead I briefly stopped down by Azure and took some photos down there. The tide was going out, which was fortunate as it was clear that the sea had been throwing shingle and other debris up onto the promenade at high tide.

The seagulls were on the shingle, keeping low to avoid the worst of the wind. They were reluctant to fly, but some noisy walking encouraged them to take off. I could only manage to take one photo at a time before the spray from the sea started to collect on my lens. So I had to bother the gulls several times before I had a shot I was happy with.

Storm Imogen

I’ve always like the contrast between the rigid and unyielding lines of Sidney Little’s concrete promenade and the sea. The straight lines and uniformity are at odds with the waves and the spray. Storm Imogen brought the two elements much closer together than usual.

Storm Imogen 3

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

Storm Imogen

 

New Zealand Flag Winners

Christ Church
New Zealand Flag Winners

On 1st October 1914 at the Christ Church Girls School, St Leonards, the New Zealand Flag was unfurled by the Rector, the Reverend G W Douglas. It was originally presented by children of Hastings, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The girls won the prize for achieving a school attendance of 93.5, the highest in town during the previous quarter. It was the first time a girls school had won the honour. The original image is from the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser dated 8th October, 1914.

Hastings in New Zealand was founded in 1873 and was named after Warren Hastings, an English statesman, rather than by an ex resident with misty eyed memories of their old home town.

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’sWorld War 1 commemoration website. The website is focussed on the contribution that the men and women of East Sussex made towards the war effort.

New Zealand Flag Winners

New Zealand Flag Winners

Christ Church

 

Reflections

Reflections

Here are a couple of photos showing reflections of the clouds over St Leonard beach one calm evening. These were taken on the same day as the lugworming photos but have a different feel about them.

Both of these photos can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.Reflections

A Walk on the Beach

West MarinaA walk on the beach is always nice but on certain days it can be magical. When this photo was taken the tide was at its lowest and there wasn’t a breath of wind. Usually there is the constant noise of the waves breaking on the shingle. The noise of the waves and shingle is one of dominant sensory inputs when you are on the beaches of Hastings and St Leonards. It is only because the sound is constant that no one that lives by the sea particularly notices it.

It was quiet on this day though. It’s strange how the absence of noise can make a familiar place seem different. You could hear the distant sound of traffic on the road and the occasional cry of a seagull. These sounds seemed muted though. The quiet emphasised the beauty of the scene with the clear reflections in the wet sand and still rock pools. The feeling of space. That’s why living by the sea is great.

The photo can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on it.

Hunting the Lugworm

LugwormWhen the tide is out and the sand along the beach exposed, it is usual to see men on the beach carrying a shovel with them. These men are on the hunt for the lugworm. The lugworm is a marine creature that lives in a U shaped burrow in the sand. They are the type of creature that don’t really seem to have much of a purpose, other than being excellent bait for fishermen.

And that is why men go out on the beach to dig them up. You can buy lugworms from certain specialist shops, but they are not cheap. Lots of money can be saved by getting them yourself. In a way you are fishing for the bait you intend to fish with. It is not easy either.

This website spells out the techniques used to catch lugworms. Even armed with that knowledge I think I would need to accompany an experienced lugwormer before I knew what I was doing.

That would not be an unpleasant way to spend some time on the beach. Particularly on a day like the day when these two photographs were taken. I wasn’t on the beach to hunt lugworms myself, but this chap was. He acted as an unknowing focal point for my pictures.

Both images can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.Lugworm

St Pauls Parish Hall

St Paul's Parish Hall

A group of children outside St Pauls Parish Hall as they appeared in the patriotic tableau “Britannia’s Flag” which scored a success in the hall on Empire Day and resulted in the sum of £4,5s (at least £257 in today’s money) being sent to the local fund for British Prisoners. They carry the Challenge Banner which was won by the group. The original image is from the Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser dated 1st June, 1916.

Empire Day started to be celebrated for the first time on 24th May 1902. Although not officially recognised until 1916, the event was regularly held across the UK and abroad on the same day every year. The idea behind the day was to “remind children that they formed part of the British Empire, and that they might think with others in lands across the sea, what it meant to be sons and daughters of such a glorious Empire.”, and that “The strength of the Empire depended upon them, and they must never forget it.”  This message grew in importance during WW1 when patriotism was required to drive the war effort.

Empire Day naturally needed to change as the Empire changed and the celebration day changed to Commonwealth Day in 1958, and the day of celebration itself changed twice and is now the second Monday in March. For more information this site is a good read.

St Pauls Parish Hall is next to St Peters Church on Cornfield Road, Hastings and is named after the the old church that used to be nearby, replaced by St Peters Church in 1883.

he two photographs used to create the 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’sWorld War 1 commemoration website. The website is focussed on the contribution that the men and women of East Sussex made towards the war effort.St Pauls Parish Hall Then

St Pauls Parish Hall Now