Tolcarne Beach, Newquay, Cornwall


Newquay. Tolcarne Beach
Postmarked 1930
Publisher: Photochrom Co. Ltd

Google Street View (approximate).

Tolcarne is the largest of four beaches that join up at low tide to create the mile of golden sand that Newquay is famous for. Sandwiched between Great Western and Lusty Glaze, Tolcarne is sheltered on three sides by tall cliffs. At low tide it’s possible to walk across from Great Western beach. At high, access is via a steep flight of steps cut into the cliff.
The Beach Guide

Newquay is a town on the north coast in Cornwall, in the south west of England. It is a civil parish, seaside resort, regional centre for aerospace industries, future spaceport and a fishing port on the North Atlantic coast of Cornwall, approximately 12 miles (19 km) north of Truro and 20 miles (32 km) west of Bodmin. The town is bounded to the south by the River Gannel and its associated salt marsh, and to the north-east by the Porth Valley. The western edge of the town meets the Atlantic at Fistral Bay. The town has been expanding inland (south) since the former fishing village of New Quay began to grow in the second half of the nineteenth century.
. . .
After the arrival of passenger trains in 1876, the village around the port of Newquay started to grow quickly. Several major hotels were built around the end of the 19th century, the first being the Great Western Hotel which opened in 1879 in Station Road, now Cliff Road. Other early hotels included the Victoria in East Street, the Atlantic and the Headland, while many smaller hotels were created around this period by converting large houses, originally built by wealthy visitors as holiday homes, particularly along Narrowcliff. Three churches were built early in the twentieth century, including the present day parish church of St Michael the Archangel, which was consecrated in 1911. Growth of the town eastwards soon reached the area around the railway station: Station Road became Cliff Road around 1930, and the houses beyond, along Narrowcliff, were also converted into hotels. Narrowcliff was known for a while as Narrowcliff Promenade, and then Narrowcliff Road. On some pre-war maps, it is spelt Narrowcliffe. At the time of the First World War the last buildings at the edge of the town were a little further along present-day Narrowcliff, including the Hotel Edgcumbe. Post-war development saw new houses and streets built in the Chester Road area, accompanied by ribbon development along the country lane which led to St Columb Minor, some 2 miles (3 km) away. This thoroughfare was modernised and named Henver Road, also some time in the 1930s. Development continued in this direction until the Second World War, by which time much of Henver Road had houses on both sides, with considerable infilling also taking place between there and the sea.
Wikipedia.

 

Gurnard’s Head, Cornwall


Gurnard’s Head
Postmarked 1907
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co

Google Street View.

Gurnard’s Head is a prominent headland on the north coast of the Penwith peninsula in Cornwall, England, UK. The name is supposed to reflect that the rocky peninsula resembles the head of the gurnard fish.
Wikipedia.

Gurnard’s Head is a long, narrow, headland near the hamlet of Treen, in the parish of Zennor, on the north side of the Penwith peninsula. The name derives from the fact that the shape of the headland is supposed to resemble the head of the Gurnard fish. The Cornish name for the headland is ‘Ynyal’, which means ‘desolate’. Two crumbling stone ramparts, each around sixty meters long, cross the narrowest part of the headland forming an Iron Age promontory fort (cliff castle) known as Trereen Dinas (not to be confused with Treryn Dinas, near another hamlet called Treen in the parish of St Levan, the other side of Land’s End). The ramparts enclose an area of roughly three hectares within which the remains of sixteen roundhouses have been found, averaging six meters in diameter. An excavation in 1939 revealed that the back of the inner rampart had been constructed in three steps, providing a place for slingers to stand. This type of construction has also been found in some Iron Age cliff castles in Brittany. The promontory defences are generally fairly hard to make out, although it is possible to discern the remains of the walls and at least one entrance.
The Cornwall Guide

St. Mawes, Cornwall


St Mawes
c.1940

Google Street View.

St Mawes is very picturesque, situated on a little bay between the main estuary of the River Fal and its tributary Percuil River. It owes its origin and name to a Celtic preacher who arrived around AD 550 to live as a hermit in what was then a very remote place. It had grown to a small town by the 13th century and in 1562 was granted borough status by Elizabeth I. It received the right to elect two MPs and was a notorious “rotten borough”. Its historic pilchard fishing trade has now been replaced by its role as a top-end resort.
South West Coast Path

St Mawes is a small village opposite Falmouth, on the Roseland Peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. It lies on the east bank of the Carrick Roads, a large waterway created after the Ice Age from an ancient valley which flooded as the melt waters caused the sea level to rise dramatically. The immense natural harbour created is often claimed to be the third largest in the world. It was once a busy fishing port, but the trade declined during the 20th century and it now serves as a popular tourist location, with many properties in the village functioning as holiday accommodation
Wikipedia.


St Mawes
c.1910 (postmarked 1949)

Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush, Co. Antrim


Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush
1930s, postmarked 1943
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

The Victorians discovered and extolled the health advantages of sea air and sea-water bathing during the later years of the 19thCentury. Even much later, in 1929, the Portrush Urban District Council was extolling the virtues of the summer Atlantic breezes – “provide a pure and bracing atmosphere which is wonderfully invigorating and far-famed as the best of tonics”. A small sheltered beach on the East side of the Portrush Peninsula became popular with ladies and children and in time became known as “The Ladies Bathing Place”. Victorian sensibilities precluded mixed bathing so gentlemen had to find other locations such as the Blue Pool for their own bathing.
. . .
By the turn of the century the popularity of the Ladies Bathing Place necessitated the provision of better facilities which were provided in due course by Messrs Robert Chalmers, a local businessman, Town Councillor and Mr Campbell joint proprietors of “Campbell & Chalmers, The Corner Shop” Grocers and Provision Merchants on Main Street, Portrush. Their new shop replaced the early wooden kiosks and provided confectionery, refreshments, souvenirs and other beach side requisites. The sign on the shop invited us to purchase genuine Cailler’s Swiss Chocolate which, they claimed, was the best-selling chocolate in the world.

By 1912 the upsurge in business required larger premises and again Messrs Chalmers & Campbell were there to provide for the needs of holidaymakers. A new two storey shop with single storey side extension was provided in which there was a fine café. In good weather customers could partake of their repast on the roof balcony. This was also used for evening tea dances which might feature entertainment such as Madame Levantes’ Ladies Orchestra. A concrete breakwater and sun-deck were also constructed at this time. By 1926 the name “Arcadia” had appeared on the café and shop and the café had acquired a roofed upper storey with the lower storey being remodelled to match. This upper storey contained a small ballroom with a stage at the seaward end and was used for tea dances and other functions for many years. Several kiosks were still provided beside the Arcadia probably providing deckchairs and other beach goods and bathing boxes were still available to the rear with direct access to the beach and the sea.
Discover Portrush

Harbour, Boscastle, Cornwall


Boscastle Harbour
Postmarked 1906
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Boscastle is a village and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, England, UK, in the civil parish of Forrabury and Minster (where the 2011 Census population was included) . It is 14 miles (23 km) south of Bude and 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Tintagel.The harbour is a natural inlet protected by two stone harbour walls built in 1584 by Sir Richard Grenville and is the only significant harbour for 20 miles (32 km) along the coast.
Wikipedia.

Over a century ago Boscastle was a busy, bustling place. It was a commercial port throughout most of the 19th century, for the railway did not reach north Cornwall until 1893. Before that date all heavy goods to and from an area stretching many miles inland had to be carried by sea. More than a dozen ketches and schooners of 30 to 200 tons traded regularly through the little port. In one year alone 200 ships called. Many vessels brought supplies in from South Wales and Bristol but even cargoes of timber direct from Canada came into Boscastle. The tortuous harbour entrance, with the island of Meachard as an extra hazard, meant it was never safe for sailing vessels to enter Boscastle un-assisted. They were therefore towed or ‘hobbled’ in by ‘hobbler’ boats manned by eight oarsmen. Gangs of men on shore took other ropes to keep the ships in the middle of the channel.
National Trust

Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire


Rough Sea, Hornsea
Postmarked 1913
Pubisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

By the late 18th century it had become fashionable for wealthy people to visit the seaside, mainly for health reasons, and sea bathing became popular. Hornsea benefited from this and, in addition, possessed the added attraction of a mineral spring, whose water was believed to be medicinal. During the summer months Hornsea played a host to visitors who came to ‘take the waters’. . . . Hornsea was transformed in the latter half of the 19th century. The paramount reason for this was the opening of the railway from Hull in 1864. It was now possible for middle class tradesmen, industrialists and even clerical workers to carry out their business in Hull but live in Hornsea. This led to a building boom which saw the erection of houses in Railway Street, Wilton Terrace, New Road, Eastbourne Road and elsewhere.
Visit Hornsea

Teignmouth, England


A Rough Sea | Teignmouth
c.1910
Pubishers: J. Welch & Sons, Portsmouth

Google Street View.

Teignmouth is a large seaside town, fishing port and civil parish in the English county of Devon, situated on the north bank of the estuary mouth of the River Teign about 12 miles south of Exeter. It had a population of 14,749 in 2019 at the last census. From the 1800s onwards, the town rapidly grew in size from a fishing port associated with the Newfoundland cod industry to a fashionable resort of some note in Georgian times, with further expansion after the opening of the South Devon Railway in 1846. Today, its port still operates and the town remains a popular seaside and day trip holiday location.
. . .
By 1803 Teignmouth was called a “fashionable watering place”, and the resort continued to develop during the 19th century. Its two churches were rebuilt soon after 1815 and in the 1820s the first bridge across the estuary to Shaldon was built; George Templer’s New Quay opened at the port; and the esplanade, Den Crescent and the central Assembly Rooms (later the cinema) were laid out. The railway arrived in 1846 and the pier was built 1865–7. . . . The First World War had a disruptive effect on Teignmouth: over 175 men from the town lost their lives and many businesses did not survive. In the 1920s as the economy started to recover, a golf course opened on Little Haldon; the Morgan Giles shipbuilding business was established, and charabancs took employees and their families for annual outings to Dartmoor and elsewhere. By the 1930s the town was again thriving, and with the Haldon Aerodrome and School of Flying nearby, Teignmouth was advertised as the only south coast resort offering complete aviation facilities. During the Second World War Teignmouth suffered badly from “tip and run” air raids. It was bombed 21 times between July 1940 and February 1944 and 79 people were killed, 151 wounded, 228 houses were destroyed and over 2,000 damaged in the raids.
Wikipedia.


The Harbour, Teignmouth
1940s
D. Constance Ltd, London

Google Street View (approximate).

Oban, Scotland


On the back:
Oban is picturesquely situated on the eastern shore of Oban Bay and, being protected from the full force of the sea by the sheltering Island of Kerrera, is a safe and comfortable harbour. Boats for the western parts of Scotland call here regularly, and it one of the best centres for the exploration of the Western Highlands.
Postmarked 1920
Publisher: Raphael Tuck & Sons

Google Street View.

Oban is a resort town within the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland. Despite its small size, it is the largest town between Helensburgh and Fort William. During the tourist season, the town can have a temporary population of up to over 24,000 people. Oban occupies a setting in the Firth of Lorn. The bay forms a near perfect horseshoe, protected by the island of Kerrera; and beyond Kerrera, the Isle of Mull. To the north, is the long low island of Lismore and the mountains of Morvern and Ardgour.
. . .
The modern town of Oban grew up around the distillery, which was founded there in 1794. A royal charter raised the town to a burgh of barony in 1811. Sir Walter Scott visited the area in 1814, the year in which he published his poem The Lord of the Isles; interest in the poem brought many new visitors to the town. The town was made a Parliamentary Burgh in 1833. A rail link – the Callander and Oban Railway – was authorised in 1864 but took years to reach the town. The final stretch of track to Oban opened on 30 June 1880. This brought further prosperity, revitalising local industry and giving new energy to tourism. Also at this time work on the ill-fated Oban Hydro commenced; the enterprise was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair after 1882 when Dr Orr, the scheme’s originator, realised he had grossly underestimated its cost. Work on McCaig’s Tower, a prominent local landmark, started in 1895. Paid for by John Stewart McCaig (1824-1902) the construction aimed, in hard times, to give work for local stonemasons. However, its construction ceased in 1902 on the death of its benefactor.
Wikipedia.

Imperial Hotel, Tenby, Wales


The Sands & Imperial Hotel | Tenby
1930s
Publisher: J. Salmon Ltd

Google Street View.

Originally a terrace of houses of circa 1835, built by Andrew Reed, known as Belmont Houses, with a two-storey range to the E apparently extended and remodelled in earlier C20. An engraving of 1832 by Reinagle shows the roof being put on Belmont Houses. Later they seem to have been known as Belmont Terrace, one being owned by the Earl of Limerick who had the Belmont Arch cut through the town walls for carriage access. No 2 was burnt in 1869. No 1 was known as Belmont Towers in 1904 when offered to let, and this included rooms built into a round tower of the medieval walls. It had 13 bedrooms and an alcoved drawing room. It was sold with Nos 2 and 3 to become the Imperial Hotel in 1905, lavishly renovated by Maples of London for the proprietor, M. Thierry-Mougnard. Further alterations by Maples are recorded in 1907, including a smoking-room in the style of Henri II of France. In 1912 a fire destroyed the roof and upper floors. A lounge over the clifftop was added in 1923.
British Listed Buildings

The Imperial Hotel was originally a terrace of houses, built circa 1835 and were known as Belmont Houses and later Belmont Terrace. An 1832 engraving by Reinagle shows the roof being put on Belmont Houses. In the 1860s the Earl of Limerick had the Belmont Arch cut through the town walls for carriage access. Belmont Arch is also known as Limerick Arch or Imperial Arch.
No 2 was burnt in 1869. No 1 was known as Belmont Towers. All three houses were sold to become the Imperial Hotel in 1905. It was heavily renovated in 1907 by Maples for its proprietor M. Thierry-Mougnard, designed to suit the demand for the highest standards and it was known for a time as Thierry’s Imperial Hotel.11 He had previously been assistant manager of London’s Hotel Cecil. The hotel was later taken over by his son, Mario, as mentioned in the illustrated brochure. A fire in 1912 destroyed the roof and upper floors. A lounge over the cliff top was added in 1923 and the building was heavily altered in the 20th century.

Facebook: Tenby Museum & Art Gallery

St Abbs & Berwickshire coast, Scotland


St. Abbs and the Berwickshire coast
1920s
Publisher: Valentine

St Abbs is a small fishing village on the southeastern coast of Scotland, United Kingdom within the Coldingham parish of Berwickshire. The village was originally known as Coldingham Shore, the name St Abbs being adopted in the 1890s. The new name was derived from St Abb’s Head, a rocky promontory located to the north of the village, itself named after the 7th century saint Æbbe of Coldingham.
Wikipedia