Then And Now

This morning Jackie drove me down to Milford on Sea to check out The Cave. We had intended to begin the evening there with Danni. Andy, and Elizabeth, before going on to Lal Quilla in Lymington. The wine bar was not taking bookings because they had a quick turnover and expected to be very full this evening because of a fete on the green opposite. What we decided about this will be revealed later.

I walked back by my usual route. Family on beachBoys on beach The beach was filling up with young families. Boys enjoyed what all boys do, throwing stones into the advancing waves. Down to the beachFrom the cliff topBeach scene with kayaksKayakers Others descended the steps, or, like me, stood on the clifftop watching those down below, including the two kayakers whose craft and blades glistening in the occasional rays of the sun. A number of readers of https://derrickjknight.com/2015/07/23/an-historic-view/ have requested an up to date picture of the house. I have taken one that replicates the original shot, and another which shows a later extension. Downton Post Office 1938

For ease of reference, here is the earlier postcard image.

Old Post House

The Post Office shop window now lights our entrance hall, wide enough to double as my study, in which I am sitting now. It is obscured by the crab apple tree in the left foreground. Also hidden is the alteration to the arched front entrance now forming, in part, a second window to our sitting room. The lower half is now an internal wall. What was then a gentle country lane is now the main thoroughfare between Christchurch and Lymington. Naturally the horse and cart has been replaced by a motor car. It would have been more difficult to take this photograph without a vehicle passing through than with several. Only one was not easy. Despite being a Post Office, the building didn’t have a telegraph pole outside in the early 1930s. The first of the two 1950s bungalows can just be glimpsed through the trees

Old Post House extension

The short pavement outside extends from our house to the corner of Downton Lane. There is nothing but a deep ditch on the other side, where I took my life in my hands to take these pictures. The earlier photographer could have set up his or her tripod in the middle of the dusty track. I wasn’t about to try that.

downton-the-cross-road-c1960_d197005_indexIn those early days there was a pronounced bend almost opposite the pub. On our side of the land once existed an old cottage which would have stood in the middle of what is the now straightened road.  The building must have been demolished, with its garden now lying under the tarmac. This tiny 1960 image is the best I can obtain from Frith’s Postcards site. The cottage is in the centre of the picture. Our house, in line with The Royal Oak, is the white speck to the right of it.

First Elizabeth, then Danni and Andy arrived on time for our evening out.. We decided that we would go to The Cave and have a look at the fete. Well, The Cave was filled to bursting and spilling out on the street, with hardly a yard for cars to drive between there and the green, on which it was standing room only, and not much of that. The fete turned out to be  a deafening music festival.Ship Inn

Lymington QuayWe fled to Lymington and began with a drink at Ship Inn opposite the quay. We then dined at Lal Quilla where we enjoyed the usual excellent meals, good service, and usual beverages.

Quay Street

As the night sky darkened to a deeper blue, shop windows glowed, and the street lamps replaced the sun, we walked back down the cobbled Quay Street and returned to our respective homes. Danni and Andy make this picture.

An Historic View

stone wall in shrubbery It may come as a surprise that there are still areas of the garden that need exposing to light and air. One of these lies half way along the east side of the pergola path. Today’s major job for me was to cut down a lilac planted right on the edge of the path and obscuring such as the fine pink peonies whose leaves can be seen beyond a low unearthed stone wall. Footpath With this task under my belt, I took  the recently mown footpath to the woods beyond the kissing gate, on which someone had hung a dog collar. Kissing gateDog collar The barley in the eastern field is now stiff standing stubble. Barley stubble My intention had been to go in search of different butterflies, and to attempt to capture a damselfly in sharper focus. There wasn’t much sun about today and no-one was flitting about in the dark and dingy woodland. Gatekeeper

I was not fooled by the camouflage of a gatekeeper in the hedgerow.

There was, however, plenty, of opportunity, to photograph, commas, in the garden, but, it is, probably, since I have a few, time to stop, this, period. (You must have known I would do that sometime).

This afternoon we heard a ring on our doorbell. Standing at the door was Gordon, who, in his eighties, still delivers the monthly community publication, Village Voice. Clutched with his pile of magazines was the reason he had not just popped ours through the letterbox.

Postcard message 1938

He presented us with a postcard written in pencil, with an additional note from Pauline, and sent by his mother-in-law to his father-in-law from Lymington to New Malden at 10.30 a.m. on 30th August 1938. I’ll bet the card reached its recipient on the same day. The stamp, of course, bears the head of King George VI.

Downton Post Office 1938

Gordon knew that he was giving us a treasure he had found in his postcard collection. It was an historic view of our house. Jars of sweets can be seen through the shop window. A horse and cart stands in the road outside. The two 1950s bungalows between us and Downton Lane have still to be built. The Royal Oak pub is our only neighbour.

I scanned this image and made several prints.

What is the advertising sign attached to the fence? We deciphered Blue Bell lettering and an image of a bell. Research gave us three options. One was ice cream. That was tempting, but the firm was American and had no such logo. Next, from Jackie’s memory bank, came Blue Bell polish which she remembers using. Again, no such logo.

It was tobacco manufacturers who deviated from featuring sweet-scented flowers. This we discovered when finding, advertised for sale on the site of Dejavu antiques dealers, this:

bluebellenamel

The designers obviously liked a pun.

What did I do next? You’ve guessed it. Left messages for the dealer. It had to be done, didn’t it?

I received a response from the wife of David George, the proprietor. This unfortunate gentleman was in hospital and couldn’t remember whether he still had the sign. The woman said she would search for it. I told her not to rush on my account, because she had far more important things to think about. I expect I will gain admission to Heaven on account of that.

We dined this evening on Jackie’s Downton hotpot, carrots and cauliflower, followed by fruitcake, Victoria sponge, or Battenberg, depending on choice. I omitted the Viictoria sponge. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Louis de Camponac cabernet sauvignon 2014