Guess what? Battleaxe got the location of that wretched Temperance Tea Garden wrong – thanks to local historian Brian Lawes for going to so much trouble to find the information for me. This is all the worse because for some reason, my previous post about it went wild – one of the most viewed Hastings Battleaxe posts ever…. Meanwhile, I’ve been crazily busy – with the WI Crazy Golf, the monthly big meeting, walk, craft club and the St Michael’s Hospice Vintage Fair – all followed by a visit from my sister.
|The steps leading up to the old Harold Hotel – date of photo unknown.|
Clearly, the location of the tea garden was at the Harold Hotel, at the top of the steps leading up from the unmade bit of Harold Road, and not at the bottom, on the road, as I thought. The bottom site was always a market garden. The photo above, supplied by Anne Scott from the History House, shows the old house which was once the hotel, at the right of the path at the top. The date of this photo is unknown, but clearly no housing was built near it.
The old house was not finally demolished until the 1970s. When my previous post appeared on one of the Hastings history sites on Facebook, people commented that they had played in the derelict house as children. Still, there must have been other bits of the building that disappeared earlier – one of the articles below mentions a saloon capable of holding at least a hundred people. The site is now covered in new housing
Here are Brian’s notes about the Tea Garden. I promise, this is the last. Sorry that some of the print in the pictures is so small. You will need to view the clips on a computer screen.
‘There are various clues about the Harold Hotel
to be found in various sources. We know in the 1881 census that the owner, Mr W
R Rogers, was already living with his family at the Harold Hotel at Pinders
Pinders House was locatedin Pinders
Shaw and is shown on the OS map Sussex LVIII.15 which was surveyed in 1872 and
Revised in 1897. It has to be one of the two
properties shown at the top of the footpath, the cross hatched building further down the path is
It had to be a fairly large building
because in January 1881 William Rogers hosted an event for nearly 100 people,
and given the month this must have been held inside.
The Pinders Shaw address was also mentioned in the paper earlier that year:
An advertisement from the paper for the same event confirms the
location as a quarter of a mile from the Hare and Hounds in Ore, and the fish ponds. The NLS 25” map confirms
this to be quite accurate.
In 1892 a clip about a cross country run mentions the Harold Hotel’s
location as behind the fields by Barley Lane.
also seems that from Mr Rogers’ request for a licence the problem was that they did not
consider it a hotel because of lack of accommodation for visitors, as reported
in the Hastings Observer below.
William Rogers had an obituary in the local paper on 16 August 1902. It commented
“The building of the Harold Hotel was unfortunate speculation. He spent several thousands of pounds with
the object of establishing a family hotel, with tea gardens, upon a picturesque
site near Pindar’s Wood. The completion was signalised by a series of parties and
a monster fete, in which the writer took a prominent part. The religious public
and Mr. Rogers’ teetotal friends (for he was still in the temperance party)
were in arms against the establishment of what (they chose, very unkindly, to
designate as Hastings ‘Cremonie’). When he applied for the necessary
license the opposition was very strong.
For many years Mr. Rogers” application was a hardy annual at the Hastings
Final note from Battleaxe:
Blimey, I’ve commented before how intrepid those Victorians were. The climb up from Harold Road is very steep, even on Mr Rogers’ improved path – and the women were in long skirts and tight corsets. The reference to ‘Cremonie’ above refers to the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens in Chelsea, London. By the time these gardens closed in 1880 they were notorious for rowdiness, drunken behaviour and prostitution. Here’s a painting of the nightlife in the Cremorne Gardens, c 1870, by Rex Whistler:
Phew, let’s hope that wraps that up!
So, what of Crazy Golf? Twelve WI women rolled up for an excellent, if hot, day. We even got a nice write-up in Hastings On-Line Times. Hastings Battleaxe was also supposed to cover the White Rock panto launch mentioned in the article, but as you can see, the luvvies didn’t show up in time.
I was surprised that so many of us had never played Crazy Golf before, even though the three Hastings courses are world-class – literally – Hastings hosts the World Crazy Golf Championships each year.
However, at lunchtime it was my turn to be surprised. We went to the Seagull Restaurant just across the road. I’d never been before, and it was excellent. They have an airy upstairs room with big windows overlooking the boatng lake and the sea, and the fish and chips were great. It is a tiny bit more expensive than the standard chippies, but well worth it. Battleaxe recommmends!
|Lunch at the Seagull Restaurant.|
My sister and her husband came down at the weekend – after sitting in the car for hours they wanted a walk, so we went up to the Country Park. What fabulous light….