worthing history
 

© FREDDIE FEEST 2012

 
Every picture tells a story-I
 
       
 
Worthing prom 1961
PACKED PROM: Never has Worthing prom been so crowded as it was on August bank holiday in 1961. The annual bank holiday procession was a highlight of the year and nearly a mile long. It had just passed by when this photo was taken from the roof of the Pier Pavilion, making the perfect subject for a postcard.
Parade of Sussex Artillery Volunteers 1896
ON PARADE: Parade of Sussex Artillery Volunteers at Shoreham Fort in 1896. Built to stem a potential French invasion, the fort –  officially named Kingston Redoubt – was never used in anger. But with the troops in full dress uniform, it made a good postcard.
aeroplane flew low over Worthing beach to delight the summer crowds in 1913
PLANE SAILING: Health and safety had not been invented when this early aeroplane flew low over Worthing beach to delight the summer crowds in 1913. The biplane graphically contrasts with the Victorian-style bathing machines, still being used only a year before the Great War changed the world. 
Elephant on the beach 1932
TRUNK CALL: Unexpected stroller on Worthing beach, summer 1932. The elephant belonged to a visiting circus. 
Cars were “dressed” in flowers for this Edwardian motor parade at Worthing in the early 1900s
MOTOR MAGIC: Cars were “dressed” in flowers for this Edwardian motor parade at Worthing in the early 1900s. Many postcards were printed of the event and this was probably the best. 
train that jumped the railway line at Littlehampton on August 4,1920.
OFF TRACK: Disaster postcards had a short selling life but a profitable one, like this picture of a train that jumped the railway line at Littlehampton on August 4,1920. It ploughed through a wall but          fortunately nobody was hurt. 
Arundel High Street, 1870
OH WELL: Arundel High Street, 1870, when the cobbles gave  visitors a rough ride. In the    centre is the town water pump that drew water from Hamper’s well. It was replaced by the war memorial in 1921. 
Donkeys and goats on the beach1900
ANIMAL MAGIC: Donkeys and goats were among the most popular seaside attractions for youngsters in the early 1900s. This postcard – the picture taken locally – was sold at Littlehampton around 1908 and those looking after the animals were little older than the youngsters who paid for a ride. 

GREAT BRITAIN was slower than its continental neighbours to appreciate the potential of picture postcards. It was not until 1894 that the monopolistic British Post Office was finally persuaded to relax its regulations and officially allow private printers to produce and sell picture postcards that could be sent through the mail using an adhesive stamp. Even so, their popularity was initially limited.

     We can thank the Edwardians for the eventual popularity explosion that turned the picture postcard into one of history’s most successful – and cheapest – forms of mass communication. Before 1902, picture postcards showed mainly seaside and city views. From that year on they depicted every conceivable subject, from homecoming Boer War heroes and royal visits to idyllic scenes of the countryside and spectacular disasters.
     Millions of postcards passed through the postal system and became the standard medium for transmitting brief messages on a daily basis. Millions more were kept by purchasers as inexpensive reminders of holidays.
     Here are more examples.