Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Promenade in 1850 along the Eastbourne seafront …

No development yet … settlement, with grand estates, yes, but no seaside town … however the railways had arrived in 1849 … life was moving on … a new seaside town had been promulgated.

Cavendish Arms
(the grandson of the Duke holds the title
Earl of Burlington as a courtesy title)
The Earl of Burlington, before he became the 7th Duke of Devonshire in 1858, had had plans produced in 1836, but it was not until 1859 and 1872, after new plans were adopted, that the formation of the town as we know it today commenced.

Burlington Hotel, just west of the Claremont -
burnt down in 2019
The promenade is a wonderful straight … with three levels … class came into play in the 1800s … us, them, and me!  Well no – you know what I mean … them up there, the middle lot and the rest: e.g. the servants …

Eastbourne - the straight promenade;
the pier to the east, beyond which would be the servants'
quarters, the kitchen gardens, orchards, etc
while to the west along the front were the
high-class hotels, the theatres, Devonshire Park tennis
courts (part of the Devonshire estate)  and other

At the easterly end the pier was built – a defining point along the seafront … it interrupts what would otherwise have been a ribbon development of buildings: to the west, high class hotels, with modest family hotels and boarding houses to the east.

The Claremont in full conflagration, the Burlington Hotel
abuts the Claremont.  The entrance to the pier is
nearly opposite, at the easterly end of the Promenade
The pier is opposite the end of the Claremont, as it was, to the west stretches the Grand Parade towards the Downs and Beachy Head, while eastwards were the kitchen gardens, laundries, coal stores, lodgings for the servants, gardeners etc …

Sorry - one of my blue mobile phone pics ...
it is a drawing done in 1850 - looking west towards
Beachy Head; the Roman Villa remains are shown in
the lower left of the image - where the pier has been built.
… it was at this point 2,000 years ago that a Roman Villa stood – so one advantage to come out of Claremont’s conflagration is that 21st century archaeological techniques can be used to perhaps uncover hidden treasures …

The Claremont as it was in the 21st century
… there was a Foundation Stone ‘the foundation of the new town laid in the spring of 1851’, which was still there in 1898 – its whereabouts unknown today – so who knows what might be found.

Not much as changed really from about 1900 - the end of the
terrace before conversion to the hotels
The fire that destroyed the Claremont claimed about one third of the Grade II* Listed building … 

You can see the end of the burnt hotel -
similar in appearance to the one taken about 120 years before
... originally designed as a terrace of 19 four storey high houses – before being converted into the hotels we see today … the Burlington occupying the other two-thirds of the Victorian Terrace.

I won’t be doing the A – Z … tempted though I might be – I will try and do a few fun posts and will do the WEP prompt during April and then get to the more interesting posts about my escapades to various museums and exhibitions as the year moves on.

Tempted I am – but I must put priorities first – and home needs some major sorting … which confinement will help … just hope it doesn’t last the gestatory nine months!  That would surprise a few …

Take care – there’s much to worry us at the moment … I’m trying to keep away from posting about it – too much other information around … my cherubic, non-opinionated jottings will have to do  … to keep us connected.  Enjoy the A - Z anyone who is participating …

Youtube: “Class System” skit 1966 with John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett … this clarifies our classes!!  Absolutely classic ... makes me laugh and remember back to watching with my parents ... just brilliant ... enjoy.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 27 March 2020

We are the World Blogfest # 35: For all the caring people at this time … and Ralph McTell …

Life is challenging … yet so many are caring, compassionate … with people coming to the fore helping others …

I applaud particularly the medics, supporting organisations, facilitators …

Ralph McTell and Tom Paxon 2007

Ralph McTell having resisted changing his song ‘Streets of London’ … he has come up with another verse pertinent to this extraordinary moment in history …

Here's the moving result:

In shop doorways, under bridges, in all our towns and cities 
You can glimpse the makeshift bedding from the corner of your eye 
Remember what you're seeing barely hides a human being
 We're all in this together, brother, sister, you and I.

A short #WATWB – help; listen; understand … :

“We’re all in this together, brother, sister, you and I.”

We are the World Blogfest
In Darkness, Be Light

Portobello Road

Ralph McTell's interview here ... it is well worth reading ...

Streets of Londonfull lyrics …

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Mothering Sunday and removing the ‘social media noise’ from your life …

Life altered suddenly, with us all needing time to adjust, I could have done with another week before the curtain came down …

I'm sure many of you know -
my mother's favourite flowers

… but I’m lucky I am self-sufficient and have plenty of self-plans … friends to talk to, and I believe some blog posts to write about … exhibitions and places I’ve visited …

South Downs to the west of
Eastbourne, East Sussex

Mothering Sunday – I see I wrote what I think is rather a good post 8 years ago – the last year my mother was alive … which I’ll link at the end of this one … (nothing like blowing my own trumpet!) …

Down here at the coast in Eastbourne we have woken up to at least some sun – but boy is it cold – an easterly wind. 

Anticyclone Hartmut - satellite view of Europe, incl
Great Britain and Ireland, under the lines of the strong
cold wave - 27 Feb 2018
When I was in Canada for that year (late 2017 – late 2018) … two ‘Beasts from the East’ occurred … so glad I wasn’t here – the Canadian winter was relatively mild that year!

A couple of things came to mind today … one was time – most of us self-isolating are going to have more time on our hands – so take longer to do things and adjust your daily routine … the day will pass more easily …

Beautiful crocii (c/o Thompson and
Morgan - plant merchants)
 Second was ‘noise’ … ie social media … I’m lucky I don’t get distracted by it – and won’t look most of the time … unless I’m in quizzy mode. 

Social Media Noise
 - c/o RxView Blog
But if you can stay away from it and not listen to others – thus not getting involved or making yourself anxious, unless it’s a government directive, or more importantly a scientific expert, then so much the better …

I do hope everyone is as safe and as well as they can be … while as my blog says … stay positive – so many others are much worse off than we are.

With thoughts and peace for this Mothering Sunday …

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday, 16 March 2020

Suffragette Colours, and Roundels …

Well you get asked a question, and off on another rabbit run you go …

The first was ‘the roundel’ – to my surprise is of heraldic ancestry … dating, at least, from the 12th century … more here …

English Heritage's 'blue plaque' -
commemorating a link between that
location and a famous person ...
serving as an historical marker
in the form of a roundel

… too complicated for me to start … but something I’d like to study at some stage … ie understand the symbols, charges, insignias etc …

Seven Kings underground roundel -
the new Elizabeth line colour

The use of roundels predates history, for both personal and group use … which today we’ve seen adopted: for example by our armed forces, civic organisations, and on flags …  in this country the classic to my mind is the London Underground = the tube!

The Maida Vale station
roundel put up to remember
International Women's Day 2020 -
in the Suffragette colours

The Suffragette Movement … another subject I know about insufficiently … the members in 1906 were derided by the press, but embraced the term they were given “suffraGETtes” … implying they not only wanted the vote, but intended to ‘get it’.

Over one hundred years ago women campaigned to win the right to vote. Fundraising became a vital part and success of the suffragette movement … the brand remembered to this day …

Emmeline Pethwick-Lawrence c 1910
Two ‘Emmelines’ were charismatic leaders in the campaign – Emmeline Pankhurst as the main instigator/organiser of the movement, and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence as the Women’s Social and Political Union’s treasurer: she ended up in Government …

Fundraising was an essential for the movement and our second Emmeline (Pethick-Lawrence) was incredibly successful in this enterprise.  She set up the brand colours … distinctive ones, while also ascribing values to them ...

Purple – the royal colour; and for freedom and dignity
White – for purity in private and public life
Green – the colour of hope, new beginnings and the emblem of Spring.

Beautiful earrings in the
suffragette colours
This enabled women from all walks of life to promote their support for the Suffragette movement while wearing the colours – which cultivated a strong emotional connection throughout the membership.

The merchandise ranged from hats, dresses, sashes, jewellery, badges, ribbons, rosettes, postcards, posters  … the whole gambit – whatever would suit the purse …

There were suffragette shops – while producers and merchants also jumped on the band wagon offering innumerable items in purple, white and green … Selfridges, Lilley and Skinner, Derry and Toms … even tricolour underwear?!

There was a weekly newspaper ‘Votes for Women’ – selling advertising space for these suffragette items … their readership was 40,000.

The link below is fascinating … reminding me of so much that we see today … the suffragettes were ahead of their time … it took over 20 years … but in 1928 we won the right to vote … as long as we were 21 – now universal suffrage is 18 years of age – promulgated in 1969.

The Holloway Prison brooch
for those ladies who had
been imprisoned

Thus we have a brief post on the clever fund-raising and brand style of the Suffragette Movement … remembering the courageousness of those early members – who had to endure so much to bring attention to their cause.

This book is available

World War One intervened … but the genie was out of the bottle … women eventually got the vote.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Sunday, 8 March 2020

International Women’s Day … Tube Roundels …

Many of us are noting International Women’s Day … to state an obvious fact … without women, there’d be no men …

Emmeline Pankhursts's
Portrait Badge c 1909

In simple terms – we can’t do without each other – then there are all the other properties of life: absolutely critical to our ability to be here in this wonderful world.

Transport for London has a new roundel – which has been re-imagined based on the suffragette movement’s colours of green, purple and white … representing the coming together of women in solidarity, friendship and support.

Maida Vale was the first Underground
station to be run by women during WW1

Last week I missed the appearance of the new roundel at Victoria Station – and am not sure when I’m going up to London again – so I hope they keep it for a while. 

The link at the end of my post gives a few more details … there are only 5 roundels at stations where women first made their mark in the transport industry; but there's also a photographic exhibition at Victoria Station.

First published 1974
is a book consisting of 16 papers
contributed by female authors.
Stanford University Press c/o Wiki

The world needs all the help we can give it … women and men coming together … but let’s remember to think about others’ points of views … as well as evaluate our own opinions …

I know this group of blogging friends will always do what they can for others … and won’t judge …

On International Women’s Day why not explore the far-ranging impact women have had throughout history and will have in the future …

All of us make a difference to each other in life … let’s just make sure it is positive …

I noticed that Google has an Arts and Culture Project ... concentrating on Women in Culture - which looked very interesting and informative.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 28 February 2020

We are the World Blogfest # 34: Preservation societies …

Anxious times … so many devastating happenings yet we have wonderful volunteers, helpers, people who go over and beyond … that I was swamped with ideas – yet … which were most relevant in today’s ‘erratic’ world of fires, floods, disputes, horrors …

I was going to write about rural communities reviving their villages – bringing hope to their dwellers … but with the extremes that are happening now … peoples will always pull together – thankfully …

But out of this … a song came to the fore … for someone as unmusical as I am – it always surprises me what the brain manages to remember … which brought a smile – a pertinent smile with relevant thoughts for us in Britain …

… while also translatable / adaptable to places around the world …  each country has communities …  where people help and support others …

Comberton, Cambridgeshire

Very  British lyrics … the Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society words seem to be worth remembering and thinking about - for all their apparent irrelevance …

The lyrics can be found by looking - mine came up via LyricFind, but no link per se … and the Youtube link … for the song ... 

The Kinks - studio album

We need to laugh, to keep our values … yes to think forward, but help others who do not have that capacity …

I read a note from the Migration Museum reminding us that wherever we live and work … we are alongside others and are always forming relationships – every country does the same …

… we integrate, we absorb … we are only one generation: our history must show we care -  we should leave a world ready for generations to come …

We are the World Blogfest
“In Darkness, Be Light”

... and stay safe, think kindly ... 

Where else in the world would you find a line in a song ... "We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium" ... but here in the UK?

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 21 February 2020

Write … Edit … Publish … Bloghop/IWSG hop: Café Terrace …

Cecile had dropped her off at their favourite cafe, since her husband had died she was adjusting … 

... but a visit, perhaps her last, to this their secret hideout … where the world was put to rights …

Edouard Manet at the cafe (1925)

Her Pierre … so dapper, so kind … always well-dressed – a white scarf around his neck, his fancy hat – ready to be doffed to the ladies … they were of a previous era …

Lobster Bisque
Cafe Terrace was where they so often ate – now if Madame remembered her – she would have their usual meal … a bowl of lobster bisque, some French bread, ...

Spring vegetable stew
... fresh Spring vegetable stew, followed by a crème caramel with their speciality: shortbread flavoured with geranium … all so French, and d’accord’ home made.

Creme Brulee
The table was empty, her seat awaited – she spread her sea-jewelled coloured scarf (a gift from Pierre) over the back of the chair, for now in the shadow … but, as she knew, the sun would come round to warm her. 

Scented geraniums
Madame’s beautiful café had been in the same family for years … they had always delighted in it –the trailing plants, masses of geraniums from which the perfume from a crushed leaf would linger …

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner -
Davos cafe (1928)

… the memories flooded back – their times together – their love of art … their visits to Davos – which she could no longer make. 

Summer in Davos, by Kirchner 1925

For now her memory recorded odd snippets over their lifetimes … she would bask in the sunshine, eat slowly as the glimpses of time passed her by …

She'd always loved the
colours the sun scattered as
its rays came through the glass
… followed by a short walk around the square, into the church for some solitude … perhaps the organ was being played, a look at the magnificent stained glass windows letting in the rainbow lights …

Women on the terrace in the evening
Degas 1877
… then Cecile would appear – ready to collect and drive her home.  A perfect day out … in her own space, with so many memories … she had fulfilled one last wish to visit the Café on the Terrace.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories