Friday, 21 June 2013

Rare old Temple Street photograph comes to light

The Warren Farm School prepare in Temple Street to lead a troop of Brighton Cadets c1910-13

Most of us have only ever seen one vintage Temple Street photograph – the one taken from the Western Road looking up the road on a very sunny day sometime in the 1920s. See below. But another one has just surfaced, recently bought on Ebay, and showing the street in a slightly earlier era.

The guess at this stage is that the photograph was taken around 1910. The boys in front of the parade are from the Warren Farm School.

This was an industrial school located in Rottingdean, its aim to give pauper children a basic education and a grounding in industry so that they could go out and earn a living. It opened in 1862, at the time when people began to feel that children should not be brought up in the workhouse.

Boys were taught trades such as gardening, tailoring and shoemaking whilst girls were trained in domestic service.  Many of the boys were also taught to play an instrument, often leading to a career in an army band.

By the by, the school was notable for its well: it was the deepest hand-dug well in the world, which took 4 years to reach water in March 1862, at a depth of 1285 feet.

There is a caption on the photograph: some words are difficult to make out, but most are decipherable: 'Imperial Service Cadets inspected by Col. Sefly (?)   Leaving headquayers (sic) headed by Warren Farm School Band.'

As for the houses in the background, the photo shows the west side of the street from Number 12 upwards. Number 11, just out of sight on the far left, seems to be a cycle shop. 

Number 12, which now has a boxed bay window, was sporting a balcony in those days, and was fronted by a bow window, on the ground floor at least. The Fire Point sign from that time is still there. 

Any further information or thoughts on the photo would be most welcome!

The fascinating Temple Street photograph taken in the 1920s

Monday, 10 June 2013

Proud young man outside Number 2

Taken in 1925, a young chap poses outside Number 2, which looks as it does today, apart from still having its centre cornice (only one of the centre cornices on the narrow bow-fronted houses in the street now remains – Number 29). Unfortunately nothing is known about the fellow according to the James Gray Collection. Anybody able to help?