Sunday, January 10, 2016

A postcard from Ham and Egg Parade in New Brighton

While on a recent day out in London we popped into one of the antique and collectibles shops on Cecil Court to shelter from the rain. Luckily there were a few old postcards to have a look through and the first one we found is a perfect addition to our collection.

The very prominent New Brighton Tower isn't there any more. After neglect during the First World War dismantling of the tower began in 1919.

The card was posted from a 'Harry' to a 'Nurse Drower' at the Woolwich Infirmary on July 19th 1906.

The message is still clear with Harry telling the Nurse that the area is "One of the most notorious places in the kingdom."

Consulting the excellent Postcardese book by Guy Atkins the stamp has been affixed with a secret message - the angle suggest the message is 'Forget me not'. The trend of secret messages via stamps reached its height in the Edwardian era

New Brighton's Ham and Egg Parade was 'famed' for serving Ham and Eggs to customers in its Tea Rooms. However, the area gained a very bad reputation for immoral 'goings-on' in these "Tea Rooms", and the situation got so bad that in 1907 the area was demolished and replaced by Victoria Gardens!

A ham and egger on Ham and Egg Parade

We visited New Brighton in March 2011. There weren't any immoral goings-on that we could see. There was an abandoned Crazy Golf course there though.

The old Crazy Golf course on King's Parade. Much like Ham and Egg Parade it no longer exists, having been replaced by a more salubrious new minigolf layout

We're looking forward to a return trip to New Brighton later this year. There's a pair of new Miniature Golf courses there that we're yet to play on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

It's brilliant how much social history and amusement you can get from an old postcard. You can find out more about Postcard Collecting in Picture Postcard Monthly magazine and the Picture Postcard Annual. Two publications which I contribute to and write for.

Related blog posts:
- Ham & Egg Parade in New Brighton!
- New Brighton
- Postcards
- The Ham & Egger Files – An Introduction

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Toria said...

thanks for sharing the info on the secret code, will need to investigate this practise.
Btw, there are wonderful mini golf courses in Austria if you ever have plans to widen your tour of them. My sister has a B&B in Carinthia and i'm sure she could point you in the direction of quite a few. My cousin over there actually had her own course, but that's gone now, to a parking lot.

Richard Gottfried said...

Hi Toria,

Many thanks for your comment on my blog post.

Yes, Guy's book Come Home at Once has a nice image showing the practice of tilts and angles of stamps. The book is full of great Edwardian cards and their messages.

Thank you for the tips about Austria. Much appreciated. I've visited Vienna, on a short minigolf trip - I managed to play one course. It's also where I first saw the game of Pit-Pat (Hindernis Billard)!

Always a shame to hear about courses closing down. We've seen a few that have been paved over.

All the very best,