This week, in his continuing series, Ion Castro takes a look at more pictures from William Porter’s Photograph Album.
He writes: We have seen part of a family collection housed in a photograph album belonging to William Porter with the contents dating from 1899 to the 1920’s and these are a few more examples from that album and dating from around 1900.
Many of the rest of the photographs in the album are captioned featuring the Porter and Meaden families but these are local views.
We don’t know that the family lived in Hastings it is more likely that they rented a house here for the 1900 ‘season’ and these are probably ‘holiday snaps’.
The Kodak Box Brownie and its ‘photography for the masses’ had only been introduced that same year, in February 1900 and it’s therefore unlikely to have been widely available when these photographs were taken and suggesting that William Porter’s family were quite well-to-do. This view is reinforced by the family clothing.
Several of the photos have been taken as different aspects from the same vantage point suggesting that the camera and its tripod were quite heavy.
All illustrations throughout this series are from Ion Castro’s own collection and he can make available copies of many of the historic images used in this series. There’s more local history on Ion’s website, www.historichastings.co.uk
From a standpoint in Breeds Place with the bathing machines on the left and a large proportion of Hastings’ fishing fleet at sea, notice too the number of rowing boats drawn up on the beach.
Another view of former Hastings focal point, the Albert Memorial, or ‘Memorial’ as it was better know. Built in 1863 to commemorate the death of Queen Victoria’s consort ‘Albert the Good’ who gazes out to sea from his niche half way up the structure. The memorial was removed after a small fire in 1973 but fortunately Albert was saved and is due to be re-sited next to the Town Hall soon. Notice the ladder on the right (health and safety? )and the magnificent streetlight on the left.
The photographer hadn’t moved his camera and tripod very far between taking this picture, the other picture of Beach Terrace and the fishing boats at sea. Beach Terrace later sported a huge advertisement for ‘OXO’ and was a popular meeting place. The whole terrace was demolished in the early 1930’s as part of Sidney Little’s promenade improvements. The regency terrace on the left was redeveloped as offices in the 1970’s and now occupied by Hastings Boro’ Council.
Another view of the western end of Beach Terrace showing how close it was to the water’s edge. Rough seas would flood the basements and fill them with shingle, the area is now covered by the A259 coast road and the Pelham car park on the build-up of shingle against the harbour arm which has moved the shoreline southwards.
This area is now occupied by Sidney Little’s promenade and underground car park. The buildings on the left suffered severely during the last war and have been replaced.
St Marys Terrace 1.
Looking down St.Mary’s Terrace on the West Hill. 116 years later the scene is instantly identifiable.
St Marys Terrace 2.
Looking up St.Mary’s Terrace and is a rear view of William Porter and Miss Meaden. And the location is once again little changed today.
West Hill Lift.
It would be interesting to have a clearer view of the advertisements adorning the sides of the cutting. This is the older of Hastings’ two cliff railways and was opened in 1891 and is now electrically wound.
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