Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A mystery cottage two lost brothers and a joint adventure, Chislehurst in Kent circa 1905

Now I know there is a story behind this postcard of a cottage in Sidcup, just south of Eltham.

The trouble is I am not yet sure what the story is.

It is a picturesque enough cottage on Perry Street which runs into Chislehurst, and is the sort of house which you reckon just must have been there forever.

But not so.  Looking at maps from the 1870s and before the place is not shown, so the story should properly be about the search to date it and then those who lived there.

And yet there is another nagging little quest and that concerns the Daniel Brothers who marketed the postcard.  So far I have not turned up much on them other than a similar rural scene in Belvedere which was recently posted for sale on eBay.

And a link to the history of Raphael Tuck and Sons Ltd who also sold postcards*

Theirs was a very big concern with offices across Europe and America and in 1883, were granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment by Queen Victoria and thereafter Tuck cards bore the message, "Art Publishers to Her Majesty the Queen".

Tuck’s had an almost identical image of our cottage, which they sold from 1905 and like all enterprising companies they were quick to seize on seasonal opportunities and reissued the card for Christmas with the words “With best Christmas wishes"  in red on what was an image of the cottage in high summer.

And it was one of these that in 1915 Alice sent to Mrs Boushead in Hertfordshire, wishing her “a happy Christmas and hoping you are well.”

The card was sent on December 23rd and was postmarked Chislehurst, and given that we have the name Mrs Boushead there are yet more possible lines of enquiry.

But  I am rather out of my comfort zone in Chislehurst and so my new friend Jean has consented to help.

Like me she enjoys “researching historical puzzles - anyone's puzzles, it doesn't matter - just the thrill of finding an answer is enough...” and because Jean knows the area well I have every confidence that in the fullness of time the story of the cottage, and its occupants will be revealed.

And along the way something of the Daniel Brothers as well as Mrs Bousehead and Alice will emerge which I rather think will be a real historical puzzle revealed.

Pictures; the cottage on Perry Street, from a postcard owned by MARK FLYNN POSTCARDS http://www.markfynn.com/index.html and the R Tuck & Sons similar postcard courtesy of TuckDB, http://tuckdb.org/about

*TuckDB aims to be the go-to reference for Tuck postcard collectors, historians or anybody who enjoys artistic paintings and photographs. TuckDB is non-profit and does not sell postcards, everything is free.  http://tuckdb.org/history

No comments:

Post a Comment