This week, in his ongoing series, Ion Castro explores the remaining part of what is now Queens Road, taking in the east side of St Andrews Road, between Portland Place and Elford Street.
He writes: “In 1876 the lower end of Queens Road came into existence when Hastings Council amalgamated and renamed the roads until then called Queens Buildings, Meadow Road and Bedford Place but beyond Russell Street and Portland Place what we know now as Queens Road was still known as St. Andrews Terrace, then later as St Andrews Road. The Bedford Public House stood on the corner of Portland Place and was No 1 St Andrews Road. In June 1882 the Prince and Princess of Wales dedicated and renamed St. Andrews Gardens (that had opened in 1864) as Alexandra Park and the road leading to it was renamed too, as Queens Road; the pub would then become No 37 with the numbering running up the east side of the road to the railway bridge and back down the western side.
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.
The Bedford Hotel traded from the 1870’s until its existence came to an abrupt end at midday on Saturday, October 5 1940, when a lone Luftwaffe raider scored a direct hit on the premises, burying several people including the licensee and his wife and rescue work went on for hours in the ruins until they were safely extricated from the debris.
In 1885 W J Bourn the watchmaker, jeweller and optician was at No 30 Queens Road.
A contemporary account from 1897 says of Mr. Farroll, poulterer and fishmonger of 50 Queens Road, “although only established here five years, can yet claim to stand among the leading representatives of his trade in Hastings. His premises occupy a good position, a few doors from the Bedford Hotel in Queen’s Road, and they consist of a convenient and well fitted shop, which is always noticeable for the extent and quality of its stock. As an instance of this we may mention that Mr. Farroll certainly had one of the finest shows of game and poultry in Hastings at the recent Christmas season. He is in regular and quick communication with all the principal fishing grounds, and has a fresh supply of fish daily, according to the time of the year. As regards poultry and game he is always well stocked with goods suitable for the season, and draws his supplies from some of the best preserves and poultry farms in the surrounding country. Mr. Farroll is carefully attentive to orders received, and delivers goods punctually in his own carts, all over Hastings and St. Leonards.”
Farroll 50 ad.
A late 19th century ad for Farroll’s shop at 50 Queens Road.
The bombed site of the Bedford Hotel was not replaced with licenced premises and became a carpet shop before becoming a branch of the Abbey National (now Santander) when it moved following the demolition of Queens Avenue to build Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.
At the end of the 19th Century Mrs Harman’s Drapery / Furriers were at 42 Queens Road.
Harman 42 ad.
Hocking & Savage 40-2.
By the first decade of the 20th Century Hocking & Savage occupied 40, 41 and 42 Queens Road, absorbing Mrs Harman’s in the process as this elaborate bill from 1909 shows.
In 1885 T. Humphreys, tailors and outfitters occupied No 54 Queens Road, he also ran an insurance agency from the same address.
An early photograph, probably early 1870’s, was taken from the open fields above the Cricket Ground shows the roads that would become Queens Road, with the backs of the houses in Wellington Square. The Bedford Hotel is in the centre of the picture and notice that many of the houses haven’t yet been turned into shops by building in their front gardens but the upper stories are still recognisable.
Pike’s well known for their blue street directories were published from around 1880 to the second war. Many of the advertisements in this article originally appeared in the 1885 edition.
Mr Humphries also used his tailoring premises at No 54 to run an insurance agency.
The premises now known as 27 Queens Road were formerly No 1 Bedford Place, and incorporate No 35 Russell Street at the rear as can be seen from this extract from the Title deeds of 1928 when Singer Sewing Machines took over the shop. Over time Russell Street became less and less popular as a shopping area and traders no longer maintained a shopfront onto it.
In 1905 the main roads of Hastings and St Leonards were dug up to lay tram tracks, much of it single-track and this picture, taken outside the Bedford Hotel shows the single track section merging into double track. The Trams started running in July. Photographic exposures took longer in those days so people had to stand still otherwise their image would appear blurred but gave the appearance of them ‘just standing around’.
At No 29 Queens Road Thomas Wilson traded as a Boot Manufacturer with his ‘Hastings Boot’ and ‘Bective Boot’ In 1885 when this advert appeared footwear was mostly hand made.
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