Saturday, 26 January 2013
The High Street, then and now
The first of two postcards I picked up showing the High Street, Deal, has an easily recognisable building, helpfully labelled "Bank" over the door. This card dated from the early 1900s. It has room for a message on the back but warns that it should be used only within the United Kingdom.
Out of interest, I went to see if I could take a photo of the same place today. The building marked "Bank" is still a bank but the doorway is obscured by road signs and traffic lights. The lovely William Darracott's building on the left appears to have been demolished or possibly it was damaged by the bombing that the town suffered during WWII. The "To Let" sign on the present building is a sad reflection of many High Streets today.
A more recent card but I was able to find out that the car registration nearest the camera, EMJ 717, was issued in 1946.
At first I was struggling to identify this part of the High Street but then I spotted Marks & Spencer. What would we do without Marks & Spencer? They are still in the same place but again the building on the left has been demolished and replaced by a modern, dare I say, monstrosity. This time it wasn't bombing that caused the demolition. The Ricemans shop was burnt down in 1964 but rather than rebuilding, the proprietor, Fred Riceman, decided to move to the nearby but much larger city of Canterbury.
The white building on the right (behind the scaffolding) was once a hotel but is now an amusement arcade. And it's not as though Deal has a super-abundance of decent hotels.
A post for Sepia Saturday. A click on the button will take you to the Sepia Saturday blog where you can find links to all the other people taking part.