The then and now image above shows the 9th Hampshire Cyclists Regiment preparing for parade on Sea Road next to West Marina Gardens. The original photograph appeared in the Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser in May 1915. The Cyclists Brigade were posted to India in 1916, then transferred to Russia, spending time in Vladivostok and Siberia. A more complete history can be read here.
The 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 ofÂ a continuing series of Then and Now images Iâ€™ve created for East Sussex Councilâ€™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.
The image above shows King George V at West Marina Gardens when he visited on 30th August 1918. He was reviewingÂ Royal Air Force Cadets who were stationed at Bexhill, St Leonards and Hastings. After arriving by train at the West Marina station, the King was treated to a full parade in Filsham Valley, before moving to West Marina Gardens for a march past with general salute. The event features in this 18 minute filmÂ via the Imperial War Museum. The picture is a bit muddy, but worth a watch. If you don’t have 18 minutes to spare there are shorter Pathe news videos here and here.
King George V is the short, bearded man in the centre. I tried to find out who the men with him are, but struggled. The chap on the King’s right is possibly Sir John Maitland Salmond who was Officer Commanding the RAF at the time.
Whatever they wereÂ looking at seems to have caused some amusement. I initially thought thatÂ the King and his entourage could only be lookingÂ at the sculpture of Edith finding Harold on the battlefield of Hastings by C.A.W. Wilke. I imagined themÂ saying, like most people that see it, “it looks like Edith is strangling Harold”. It seemsÂ howeverÂ that the sculpture was moved to its current location in 1953 from the Brassey Institute, so it can’t be that!
The original photo was found on Flickr here. The image of the same scene today is below that. The composite image at the top can be viewed full size by clicking on it.
These beach huts can be rented from Hastings Borough Council for about Â£476 per year. I’ve never really got the point of beach huts. What do you keep in them that can’t be brought in the car? Are they a relic from a different era? And these are just brightly coloured sheds anyway!