Author Topic: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years  (Read 1273 times)

Nelson

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Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« on: October 31, 2018, 06:07:27 pm »
East Sussex Record Office have kindly given us permission to display the historic drawings of the Gardens shortly after they opened in 1838 http://www.shorehambysea.com/swiss-gardens-the-early-years/ 

johnjohn

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2018, 07:35:45 pm »
Interesting....I am suprised about the amount of buildings on the site As a youngster when sneaking into the wooded areas  ( via a couple of loose planks ) I recollect seeing the remains of a large stone building midway between the lakes bridge and Swiss Gardens. This wooded area was a good source of Beech Nuts !
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Nelson

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 07:01:37 am »
I wonder what that building was johnjohn perhaps you could identify its location from this map? Another image shows the sad felling of most of those lovely beech trees although from what you say they did leave some (for a while).
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 07:18:10 am by Nelson »

johnjohn

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 08:22:38 am »
'Wot no chain saws'! that felling operation looks like very hard work !
I had not realised that the Swiss Cottage grounds were so large thinking that they ended at the current Swiss Gardens Road....will look again at the map to see if I con locate the building.
Johnjohn

johnjohn

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 08:30:26 am »
As far as I can remember it was in the area of the Oracle.....I also remember jumping down onto a broken beer bottle and leaving a trail of blood all the way up Connaught Avenue !
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Spinalman

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 09:24:06 am »
As far as I can remember it was in the area of the Oracle....
Aren't there still some old walls / ruins left in the gardens of the flats? Around here on the plan.
IIRC there was an alleyway that ran from the South edge of the Victoria Road entrance towers all the way to Freehold Street. It was tall rough flint wall both sides (same style as wall in the Meads) It was narrow and dark - did they call it the catacombs or something similar?   I always assumed that this was a novel way of preserving a right of way to travel from New Shoreham to Old Shoreham without giving access into the Swiss pleasure grounds.  Obviously it split the grounds in two... the maps show (and Nelson's diagram above) a dog legged structure that could be a footbridge to all patrons to cross over the alleyway.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 09:29:27 am by Spinalman »
Spinalman

Nelson

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 07:22:23 pm »
I think the surviving wall (apart from those backing on to the Meads) that you are referring to Spinalman is the flint wall that separates Homehaven from the 1920s houses next to it. The access way you mention was known as the Dungeons and was a right of way from Connaught Avenue to Victoria Road without enabling pedestrians to see the Gardens as you say very tall flint walls and low ground level that once even went under one of the Swiss Gardens buildings so must have been a bit spooky and wet. I didnt realise it still existed (even in part) until recent years we have an old grainy photo of it somewhere.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 07:24:08 pm by Nelson »

Spinalman

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 08:23:23 pm »
I think the surviving wall (apart from those backing on to the Meads) that you are referring to Spinalman is the flint wall that separates Homehaven from the 1920s houses next to it.

Ah Dungeons!  I knew it had a quirky name for it.

Theatre wall: I am sure the Homehaven wall was not the boundary wall. It was quite thick and about 3 to 4 foot tall and probably only 8-12 feet long and a couple of yards from the boundary wall, and hidden in undergrowth.  I think Gerry had a photo of it.  Anyhoo, I remember seeing it the 60s or 70s.  So I drove down just now, went up to the top flats of Homehaven and took this photo!  The wall may be under the banks with the trees now growing out of the mound.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 08:31:13 am by Spinalman »
Spinalman

johnjohn

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2018, 07:36:39 pm »
Another early memory was the hire boats on the lake, about six small two seater, flat botomed made of canvas.....a real treat would be a row around the lake and under the bridge.
To add to this delight if one was lucky there was the possibility of getting  a bag of Smiths Crisps with the small blue bag of salt inside !
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Nelson

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2018, 07:42:14 am »
I wonder if those canvas boats were Goatley boats like the one in the Canadian tragedy johnjohn - I remember after the war army surplus stores were common selling off wartime equipment.  I remember flimsy perspex protective goggles and sausage-like water wings that went under the arms with straps over the shoulders and learned to swim with it. I always lusted after one of those parachutist's little corgi motor bikes - they were all over the place once. Does anyone remember anything else they sold?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 08:40:01 am by Nelson »

johnjohn

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2018, 08:43:07 am »
Yes I remember those little scooters I did not lust after them as I had the use of a little BSA 'Bantam'

Those days I was very interested in radio communication and had aquired an ex Naval B40 receiver...this was a beautiful receiver but seemed to be armour plated and one risked a hernia every time it was moved ! also later I aquired an R1155 Transmitter/receiver which had been designed to fit into a Russian Tank....as it was very naughty to use the tansmitter and to avoid displaying a transmitting aerial  I fitted up a TWL rig ( Tuned washing line ) which comprised of an ex service variometer feeding a long steel cored washing line in the garden...it worked a treat and after dark when the skip was right I would have a few chats with fellow enthuiasts also using naughty transmitters. In the half light of the shed it showed up the control labels written in Russian luminous paint.
Unfortunatly in these days of Skpe and Whatsap there is little fun trying to communicate long distances.
Johnjohn

Lofty

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2018, 11:10:48 am »
I didn't realise until I read johnjohn's post above that some of the boats were of flat-bottomed canvas construction.

The image below shows two of these boats and was taken from a postcard which was originally purchased in May 1935.

 
Lofty

Lihpsir

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2018, 01:27:01 pm »
Dragging out the memories.
The boats on the lake early post war were canvas fold boats ex WD,
Mostly with oars, but one has a single skull arrangement with a flexible blade which moved a little faster than the others.

Gerry White

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Re: Swiss Gardens - the Early Years
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2018, 07:24:47 pm »
The tales of Dungeons,, had me thinking about several pieces of flint and cement buildings , in the area of the Oracle, they were ivy covered. The boats on the lake were canvas and wood. Come in number six your time is up, was the call at weekends, when the Swiss was busy. The wild ducks laid eggs all around the edges of the smaller lake, and fun was had by throwing the eggs, at trees, the eggs , were just abandoned
 and not in nests. During out of open hours Mr Bond, the manager patrolled the grounds with a German Shepherd Dog...so not many ventured into the grounds. Many loved the open space with a bar, and tables outside, which in the years after  WW2 attracted weekend visitors from Brighton and Worthing.