Wellington Hotel

Posted: November 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

This is a very early postcard view of the Wellington Hotel. It later had a very large conservatory like extension built to the left which was used for dances and wedding receptions. In the years after the Second World War, it fell upon hard times and it was demolished in 1969.$_57-6

This Gale & Polden postcard is one of series depicted an OTC (Officer Training Corps) Camp at Farnborough. Here, the Wellington College contingent is marching past tents. I wonder how many became generals and how many of those pictured were destined to die in the First World War?


Auction of The Red House.

Posted: October 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

In July 8, 1954, at the Great Western Hotel, Reading, a country property known as The Red House came up for auction. It was situated off the Devil’s Highway opposite the East Berkshire Golf Course. It was being sold by the Executors of the Will of the late William Rowland Matthew. His widow allowed viewing if they phoned her on Crowthorn 2695 [My parents telephone number at that time was Crowthorne 2624 – a number our Budgerigar managed to learn to speak!].

The vendors, I note, reserved the right to hold an auction of furniture at the property before completion. An inventory of fixtures and fittings would be made available at the auction wich the Purchaser shall pay for at a price to be fixed by valutation. A scribbled note on the back of the auction catalogue recorded that among those interested in bidding were Mrs Richard Temple and Lady Dorothy, Viscountess Cunliffe. Sadly, there was no record of what it cost. I shudder to think what it would cost now. I wonder if it exists, today? [Update – Red House was last sold in 2005 for £695,000. A well-known property website estimates its value, today (Nov 2015) as £989,000!]

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Here’s an interesting Edwardian postcard. It shows people taking part in a decorated hat competition.  I think it must be a Parents’ Day. The two judges stand behind them to ensure the rules are being adhered to. I recognise them from two other postcards in my collection which show show the finish of two running races at Wellington College.. The card was posted on August 3, 1907. Addressed to Mrs A Dowse of Ormond Road, Wantage, Berks, it says:

Dear Mother,

We are here and enjoying ourselves. Father told me to tell you he feels a lot better. They are going to the college now.



Ravenswood School

Posted: October 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Here are three images from a large album of photographs of the Ravenswood School and its staff and children. They date from the 1930s. An advert for the school says it is located near Wellington College Station. On a site of ten acres, it was described as a School for Girls and Little Boys. The first image, from a collection of images of the School Fete, shows pupils dressed as, heaven knows what – but presumably Pixies, the second features a tableux  on the lawn and the ship is named HMS Ravenswood, While the final picture is of pround parents and relatives attending the annual fete. I wish I knew more about the Ravenswood of that period . . .

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Wellington College Bridge

Posted: October 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

This vintage postcard of the bridge across the Wellington College lake brought back a host of memories. I spent hours standing on it after school and at the weekends during the 1950s and 60s. The rhododendron bush to the left must have grown and grown for it covered all the ground to the left when I visited. I fished from the bridge, watched water voles swimming for cover and fed the swans. Oh that I had thought to take photographs at the time!


Broadmoor Hill

Posted: October 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

Crowthorne from Broadmoor Hill. Postmark 1910.  I have long pondered where exactly this might be? I wonder if it was up on the hillside above furzehill crescent. The trees in the photograph look relatively immature. According to the late Crowthorne historian, Martin Prescott, the hill was later renamed Lovick’s Hill and backs on to Napier Close.