Sunday, 27 May 2012

Penstone House

Penstone House stood on the site that is now Lancing Library and the Health Centre.
It is famous for the fact the Harry Ricardo the motor engineer bought it and lived there.

Previously it had been the home of  William and Elizabeth Hall. I became aware of this upon finding the image below on a website with the text beneath it.
Ted White has kindly given me permission to use a copy of the image which shows:

" My grandparents were Edward and Lucy (Chandler) Merriott; the two children standing in the picture were my Aunt Helena and Uncle James. Sitting is my Uncle Albert and my Mum, Emma May, who was about 4 when the picture was taken (which makes it about 1900 ish). They lived next to the Alms Houses at 34 North Road in a thatched cottage which was knocked down in 1935."

Merriott family portrait
courtesy Ted White

 A group portrait of the Merriott family of Lancing (c1900). A cabinet format photograph produced by The Worthing Portrait Company of 4 Railway Approach, Worthing ( Miss Jennie Rewman : Principal ). The Merriott family lived at 34 North Road, Lancing.  Edward Merriott, a farm labourer engaged in market gardening, married Lucy Chandler in 1883. 
 Before her marriage to Edward Merriott, Lucy Chandler worked as a domestic servant for William and Elizabeth Hall at Penstone House in Lancing.  
Lucy was employed as a nurse, caring for the two youngest Hall children - Madeleine Ennis Hall (born 1875, Lancing) and Helena Invicta Hall (born 1873, Shoreham). This cabinet card was probably sent to the then grown up Helena Invicta Hall as a kind of Christmas Greetings card. Inscribed in ink on the reverse of the Merriott Family photograph is the message " With best wishes for a happy Xmas, from Old Nursie.

I have learned that the Hall family moved to live at Lindfield when the house was bought by Harry Ricardo as he had set up his engineering base at Shoreham
This is a quote from his memoires
"We bought a large, ugly, but very well built and comfortable country house called Penstone at Lancing, about three-quarters of a mile from the sea. The house had originally been built by a South African millionaire who had evidently spared no expense on its construction; its thick stone walls kept us warm in winter and cool in summer. It was equipped with central heating and electric light from its own power plant. In short, it had all the amenities, and during the years we lived there cost us almost nothing in repairs or maintenance. My father was shocked at its ugliness but thoroughly approved of its internal design and excellent workmanship."
Ricardo, Harry (1968) “Memories and Machines”

Subsequently Penstone House became the Basque Childrens Hostel in about 1937 for refugees of the Spanish civil war, meanwhile Harry Ricardo had transferred to Oxford.

This link describes the historical circumstances of how refugee children from the Spanish Civil war fled to England and at first lived in makeshift camps and then were found homes around the country including Penstone House

An article from the Argus: it tells the story of a refugee who returns to visit Beach House Worthing where she first stayed and talks about moving to Penstone House at Lancing

In this link 'bbc domesday reloaded ' Mrs Bonetti recalls Lancing from 1934 when she moved here and mentions Penstone House

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Lancing FC

As it's Saturday lets take a look at the football ground in Culver Road. Until fairly recent times the Stand at Lancing resembled something from an old Hammer Movie

It was well overdue for replacement and it has now been demolished and a modern building stands in its place.
Before it all went I wandered in and got permission to look around.
Through the gate and pay kiosk
For a view of the stand from the inside
The terrace and newer changing rooms

For members of the Sussex County FA a cosy bar

Its all been cleared and smart new building is on the same spot
Please write to me if you can add any information

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Luxor Cinema

Every town once had its own cinema, larger towns may have had several cinemas under different ownership companies.
courtesy Geoff Caulton

Before television it was an important way for a community to be able to learn about national and world events through the Pathe Newsreels.
Cinema was a major source of entertainment, British and American movies drew large crowds keen to sit in the darkened auditorium for an evening and escape the troubles of daily life.
When cinema lost its mass appeal many of the venues closed, were demolished or found other uses such as happened to this one by becoming a Bingo Hall. More recently it was used by Walter Wall carpets. Since then it has been a spacious home to a cycle shop and most recently The Mobility Centre, suppliers of electric powered vehicles.

Do you have photos or memories of this venue ?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Railway Crossing

Staying close to the centre of the village I can show this picture taken in the mid 1960's by my father-in-law

Compare it with this taken in 2011. 
The public house formerly known as the Railway Hotel and now the Merry Monk was undergoing some renovation work

This is a view apparently from the footbridge of the North road side of the crossing.
A train just entering the station. Boots the Chemist can be seen as occupying a double shop front, they later relocated to a larger property further up the road on the other side where they remain to the present day.
The small unit with the green roller blind is probably Mitchell's greengrocers.

Hark the Age of Steam

Turning southwards from our starting point that was the railway, and harking back to the 1960's.
This picture shows what appears to be an event that drew some crowds. Perhaps a carnival day
Doubly interesting because of the curious little shop in the background that began life as a Brickwoods off-licence at the side of the Farmers Hotel. I will show how it has been adapted over the years to a variety of uses.
After a long period of vacancy in 2004 the little shop was taken on by a Fishing Tackle supplier with a sideline in Dolls House kits

 A year later in 2005 it was the turn of a Locksmith 'Rhino Locks'. It must of provided a useful base to an otherwise mobile service.

Four years later in 2009 Neville Scott had decided to go solo in the Estate agency business and set up shop in the little building.
In this wide angle view the scene recalls the original photo with the steam engine in the position of where the white car is now parked.

Lastly for now at least, The Farmers with the strange little shop tacked on the side.
Since this photo was taken the Estate Agent has vacated. The most recent occupant was Carewise Ltd, a privately owned Homecare agency

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

North Road Almshouse

These Almshouses were provided by Jane and Clara Penfold. A plaque describes their charitable deed

"To benefit the poor, and in the memory of The Penfold Family who occupied farms in Lancing from the year 1790 and are buried at Goring in the county of Sussex. These cottages are erected by the last survivors Jane and Clara Penfold of Cokeham in the Parish of Sompting 1882"

The 'Doll's House'

Henry William Doll bought a house that stood on this site in 1896. It's name was Faust Haus but known to locals as the 'Doll's House'.

The house itself was quite grand as this extract from an article by Ann Powell of the Lancing and Sompting Pastfinders describes..

".. was built about 1878 on the
corner of North Road and Penstone Park.
It had several owners before the Doll family, including a ship owner from Tipperary, Ireland.
The 1910 Land Tax register describes the house as a 'Handsome detached residence, flint, red brick & tile hung front elevation, is of superior style with towers and turrets'.
Ground floor – 3 good receptions and small study, kitchen and scullery
1st Floor – 5 bed, bath, WP 2nd Floor – 2 attics
Conservatory & glass veranda, Stabling for 2 & coach house"
The article was reproduced with permission on the Tithingtimes website
The house was demolished in 1939, the shops and flats were built in 1956. 
Among the first occupants was F.W.Woolworth

Lancing Travel & Garretts Newsagents

Coming back to ground level and proceeding up North Road, on the left are a group of flint faced buildings.
Lancing travel & Garretts
Pictured in 2011. Lancing Travel and Garretts Newsagents currently occupy the shops while digital broadcaster Evoke Radio,  in 2012 was renamed Adur FM, has the 1st floor space above Lancing Travel.
I'm not certain when these were built but an early Arthur Colbourne Postcard shows a view of the same properties that must be around the turn of 19/20th century.

This picture of the adjacent building again pictured in 2011 says a lot about the economic climate, currently in a bit of depression. 

Monday, 14 May 2012

North Road & 'Queen Mary'

I have chosen this as the first image of the blog, from Andy Brooks collection.
The bus is a Leyland  PD3 'Queen Mary' which the Southdown company ran during the 1950's and 1960's.
The view taken from the parapet of the Luxor cinema shows North Road and the junction of Sompting Road.
In the far distance is 'The Clump' as Lancing Ring was known. Now a Local Nature Reserve.
The Public House was then known as the Railway Inn.
From almost the same position on the roof of the Luxor, this was taken in 2006. The traffic has increased somewhat.
If we remain on the roof and swing round we see the Station entrance and then part of the Co-op Supermarket and now operated by Asda stores Ltd