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Samuel Hansford`s Photographs of Charmouth over a century ago compared with today.

I have created below an imaginary walk around Charmouth a century ago using Samuel Hansfords remarkable photographs and compared them with the same views today where possible. It is astonishing how much we have given up for the sake of the car!

Samuel Hansford took a number of photographs of Charmouth during the celebration of the Coronation of King George V on June 22nd 1911. They were produced as postcards which proved to be very popular at the time and come on to the collector’s market at times. The elaborate draped Arch was one of a series that you will see as the procession marches along The Street. In this wonderful photograph can be seen a group standing in the entrance to what is now called "Nutwood Cottage" at number 2 Axminster Road. The Wall opposite has survived but the cottage was demolished.

The same view today
This view is taken up the Street towards the Axminster Road. The cottage on the left was demolished to make way for a car park for the New Inn opposite, but was later incorporated into the widening of the Street and is now by the bus stop there.
The same view today

Adrian Spottiswoode who lived at Luttrell House opposite The Royal Oak is shown here facing on to us by the junction of Old Lyme Hill and The Street. Dr Alfred Barrett Hine is the gentleman holding the straw boater who lived at Askew House opposite. The thatched cottage that was destroyed can be seen in the background.

The same view today

The Procession stops at the junction of Old Lyme Road and The Street with ivy clad The New Inn on the right. Andrew Dunn who had been a sailor on a number of ships from 1881, is holding the Flag.The chap with the long beard is John Hodder who appears in many of the photographs. At that time, you could still use the coastal road to Lyme Regis. But after a Landslip in 1926 it was closed for evermore.

The same view today

The New Inn in 1911 with its Landlord, Henry Wild, standing in the doorway.

The former picture has this marvellous companion showing more of the New Inn with its regulars posing for the camera outside its ivy clad front. The young chap on the left is standing by an advert for Stones Axe Vale Cider on the junction of Old Lyme Road.

The same view today with the previous Inn now subdivided into three houses.

Another view of the New Inn which was to close in the 1980s. The building shown here replaced a former premises lost in a fire in 1885.

The same view today

The procession passes Askew House on the right where Dr Alfred Bassett Hine ran his Surgery at that time. Later Dr. Chamberlain would have his Practice here.

The same view today

This fine view is of Childs Hardware and Blacksmiths shop with the family lined up outside. This is where Waterloo House and the Fossil Shop are today.

The same view today
A View from the window of Claremont looking down The Street in 1911.

The shop known is Portland House, where the Sailors are standing outside  was a Stationers run by Miss Tarr for many years. Mr Smith and his wife stand in the doorways of Bayville House. The two sailors are Ted Hunter and Charles Larcombe. Captain and Mrs Dixon who lived in the Elms are seen in the Wagonette on the right.

The same view today

The mail van is one of the first motor vans to run between Dorchester and Charmouth. The driver was allowed to carry one passenger. The house was enlarged when the entrance to the stables was no longer required and premises were let to the Wilts and Dorset Bank (afterwards Lloyds).Mr William Holly, the postmaster is seen here standing behind the van. The shop is "Herringbone" today

The same view today

William Holly is seen here with the long Beard in the centre of this family Photograph in the Garden of Wistaria where he lived, behind his Post Office.

A resplendent number 1 Hillside festooned with bunting commemorating King George V Coronation in 1911. The Templer Family lived here for many years.
The same view today

Captain and Mrs. Dixon and their four daughters lived at the Elms at this time. They considerably enlarged the house and garden by purchasing and demolishing the neighbouring property known as Miss Hyde`s Cottage. 

The same view todaywhich has changed dramatically with a completely different frontage after The Dixons added an extension and entrance to the side of it.

Captain and Mrs. Dixon and their four daughters in the garden of The Elms, which is now the Parish Council Offices. Their daughter Georgia married Dr. W.D. Lang in 1908, who was a relative of Miss Templer of No.l Hillside, with whom he used to stay.  He was famous as a Geologist and came to live in "Lias Lea" Lower Sea Lane in the 1930s.

The Cotley Harriers are seen here outside the Coach and Horses where they used to meet before moving to the New Inn further up the hill. They are still active today. The tall building in the centre was Backlands Dairy House and now called Hardings.

The same Hunt captured by Samuel Hansford.
The same view today

It is interesting seeing the large number of people standing in the middle of The Street at that time before the age of Automobiles put a stop to it. The village Policeman is shown coming towards us. The gentleman in the boaters are standing behind the iron railings of The Manor, opposite the Church.

The same view today

After 1858 a Lyme -Bridport bus was started which stopped at Coach and Horses. The Bus had room for 6 passengers outside and 6 inside, it remained in service until 1922.The driver shown here with a full coach was Mr W. J. Hounsell.The Inn is seen on the right which was rebuilt in brick after a disastrous fire destroyed the earlier thatched building in 1895. It finally closed down in 1996 after many centuries on the site and is now divided into appartments.

The same view today

Stanley House which was built in 1865 by Giles Pryer, whose son Harry was living there at the time of this photo. There were two doors one of which was used as an undertakers office by him. Next door is Rupert House which formed part of a terrace known as "Prospect Place".

The same view today

Another view of the procession moving down the Street. They are now opposite Charmouth Stores which was run by Robert Morgan, who had married the widow of the Landlord of the Coach and Horses opposite and neglected the business until it was bought by William Dampier in 1919, whose family were to run it successfully for over 80 years. .

The same view today

Mr and Mrs Thomas Larcombe and their family with Tom Long the Postman from Lyme Regis sitting in the garden of Beech House. The lady on the left is Mrs F. Marsh whose husband ran the butchers in the adjoining property. Carium House is seen on the right of the picture.

An unusual photograph of The Limes, now called Charmouth Lodge. Mrs Julia Whittington, the widow of Canon Whittington was living there with her five daughters in 1911. They were to make their mark on the village with their involvement with the school they ran next door at Little Lodge and the Tennis Club that they controlled.

The same view today
John Hodder is seen on the left by the flag and The Charmouth Volunteers Band are at the front of the procession . On the right is the entrance to Pryers Yard at the junction of Lower Sea Lane.
The same view today
Harry Pryer is seen here in the centre with his team of skilled Masons who carved Memorials, many of which can still be seen at St. Andrews Church. Astonishningly The Office building on the right has survived as The Pharmacy. The other buildings have long gone and are where the shops are today.
The same view today
Harry Pryer with his wife and grandchildren in their garden at Stanley House where they lived.
Harry Pryer and his daughter.

Jim Hawker worked in Lower Sea Lane as a Wheelwright on a site where the Hensleigh Hotel is today.

An early production of "The Snow Queen" performed soon after The Church Hall was opened in 1909. This is now The Community Centre.

Frank Clarke who lived at The Retreat is seen here walking down Lower Sea Lane. He was Gardener at The Court. There was a long line of tall trees both sides of the Lane most of which have since gone.

The same view today
A group of villagers pose for the camera in this photgraph taken by Samuel. The offices of Harry Pryer, the Stone Mason can be seen on the left and the garden on the right was owned by him and stood there until his death in 1931 when the Arcade of Shops was built on it. The next garden along is that of Charmouth Lodge, which was then called The Limes after the row of trees along the front.
The same view today
The tall building on the right that towers over the Street , now called Devon edge, was originally Sunny Side. It was built by Frank Cole in 1895, after a disastrous fire destroyed the former building and its neighbours in that year. He ran his Bakery from the ground floor and his wife ran a Boarding House on the upper floors.
The same view today
Frank Cole and his son, Francis are seen here in their horse drawn cart delivering their loaves of bread. The photograph is taken in front of Devonedge Lane. The building on the left is Swiss Cottage which replaced an earlier Inn that stood there until 2003. The cottage on the right is now called Alicia.
The same view today
Francis and William , sons of Frank Coles the Bakers are seen here.
The Procession is passing The Queens Armes" on the right, where King Charles II stayed for one night in 1651 during his unsuccessful attempt to flee the country for France.
The same view today
Primrose Cottage can be seen here on the left with the white-washed fascade of The Grange on the right of the photo
The same view today

John Hodder with the beard and Mary and Fred Penny standing on the right of him outside the George Inn in 1911."The Lilacs"  on the opposite side of the road was a house with an extensive garden and was the home for many years of Fred Penny, his wife and four children. The House – “Mintaka” where Samuel Hansford lived from 1916 until 1920 was built by Penny in part of his grounds.

The same view today
Four Edwardian cyclists setting out from The George in 1911.
The same view today

Picnicers at Lamberts Castle where they were waiting for the planes to fly over in The Daily Mail Race of 1911. But they did not come. John Toms by his dog and his wife, Rose  Toms with an umbrella lived at Firlands. Wilfred and Edith Smith sat in front lived next door at 2 Firlands. Frank Coles Junior is seen here in a cap with his sister, who both lived at Sunnyside (now Devonedge). Miss Nicholls, daughter of the Rector is on the far right.

Fred Penny is seen here is shown here leaning against a window of The Lilacs where he lived in 1911.

Barney Hansford and his brother, David in their Workshops which were in part of the extensive yard and Gardens behind Fred Penny`s "Lilacs" and near the Old Fire Station. . They lived with their father, Samuel at Mintaka next door. They can be seen repairing a carriage and early automobile. The gabled building in the background was later bought by Samuel`s son, Barnie and was in time demolished to widen the entrance to Barney`s Close.

The same view today

John and Rose Toms with Madge Smith are shown outside Firland's House in the left picture. He was a Farmer and Corn Dealer at the neighbouring Mill which he rented off the Bullens.  Barney Hansford bought Firlands House and the yard behind which he converted the premises for his fossil exhibition. It had originally been the Drill Hall and later the Telephone Exchange.

John Gillingham, Farm Bailiff to the Bullens at Catherston stands outside Mill Cottage.

The same view today. Almost unrecognisable with the road height raised and a Bus Shelter now obscuring the doorway.

John Toms with his workers by his cart laden with sacks of corn. The Mill went into decline and vestiges of it can still be seen by the County Bridge.

The same view today

Mrs. Toms feeding Geese on the Mill Pond.

The same view today
A group of smartly dressed villagers line up under one of the decorated Arches celebrating the Coronation of King George V.
The same view today
The procession finished at the Second Wootton Field which was the Cricket Matches were played. It was not until 1930 that the Playing Field we have today was opened which replaced it.

Samuel Hansford`s Studio Stand with some of his many portraits which included his daughters. This is no doubt this is where he developed the Photographs he had taken of the days events and produced postcards and enlargements from the glass plates.

The presentation of Coronation Mugs to young children from the villages is seen here
Children enjoying a Race on the Playing Field
Ladies ready to Race in their long dresses.
The Cricket Pavillion which was erected in 1904 is seen here with villagers watching a Match. A highlight of the year was the men verses the women match.

Thomas and Mary  Genge lived in no.2 Rose Cottage and are seen here with some of their 8 children. He was a Wagoner and worked with John Hodder who lived next door at no. 1 at this time.

The same view today

John Hodder standing proudly outside the entrance to Rose Cottage at the junction of Bridge Road and the Street where he lived.. He owned a Wagon and Wagonette and was the general Haulier for the area. He also manufactured aereated drinks such as Ginger Beer which he sold from his premsies.

John Hodder who lived at Rose Cottage in Bridge Street is shown here between two of his working horses. The 1911 Census shows him aged 65 and wife, Elizabeth, aged 64.

This postcard was used as an advertisement by John Hodder for his Carriage Rides. He is shown outside The Hunter Lodge Inn near Axminster in 1911. Samuel Hansford has inscribed on the plate "For pleasant and picturesque Drives - Go to Hodder, Charmouth who will give a graphic description en route". Samuel has posed his family including his mother, wife and children as well as nurse Rose and Miss Forrest in the carriage, with John Hodder holding the reins of the horses.

The same view today with the usually busy road passing alongside it.

John Hodder is seen on the left with his horse and cart assisting with building the new road to Catherston Manor.

John Hodder is here riding one of the first grass cutting machines on Lilly Farm in Charmouth.

A close up of the same grass cutting machine.

John Hodder on the right with his wife milking at Lilly Farm in Charmouth. The Chap on the left with the Milk buckets must be his brother judging from the likeness.

The same view of Lilly Farm showing more of the cattle.
John Hodder is sitting proudly with his dog in the entrance to The Royal Oak on Armistice Day in 1926.

John Hodder is shown here on the left cutting though the banks of the river Char to forshorten its Ox bow meander in 1904. It was renamed "Hodders Gap" after him.

A group of well dressed Ladies look over the old bridge which went over the river by the Heritage Centre whose path was altered to its present position in 1904.On the far side is "The Jubilee Shelter" that was built round the former solid brick "Battery" which existed from 1895 to 1904.

The rickety Old Bridge that formerly croosed the River. The white outline of Sea View Cottage where the Hunters lived can be seen in the distance.
The same view today
The other side of the bridge which linkned it to east Cliff.
The same view today
Another view of the former bridge.
A close up of The Jubille Shlter which was created by constructing covered seating around the former Battery where ammunition was kept by the local Reserves whose cannons were on the beach where the Car Park is today.
A Close up of the original meander of the River Char to the beach.
a simlliar photo.
Fully dressed holidaymakers on the West Beach with the Cement Works in the distance.

A line of horses wait outside the former Cement Works which was in a dilapidated state in 1911. The house on the right is Sanctuary Cottage and the former Battery used by The Coastguards stands in between. The former Oxbow in the River Char taking it close to Lower Sea Lane is clearly shown here.

The same view today
The former Cement factory was used by the Hunters for storage of their fishing nets and Bathing Machines. Two ladies are standing by one of the Horse and Carts that were filled with sand, stone and seaweed which was used by The Pass family who owned the buildings and 65 acres around them.
The same view today

The Cement Factory was built in 1854 for George Morcombe for grinding the lime stones found on the beach for the manufacture of cement. It consisted of a large room facing east with double doors and a small office just inside on the left. Opposite the entrance was a doorway leading into the engine room and to the "boiler room". The engine was a small beam engine with a large fly wheel.This photo was taken by Samuel Hanford who organised the dismantling of the machinery when it was no longer in use for Douglas Pass, the owner.

A Coastguard with his telescope stands by the Old Look Out. In the distance is George Bugler`s Traction Engine and a heavy wagon which was used to transport the stones from the shore.

George Bugler lived at Grange House at the bottom of the Street with his six children, and is here shown with his workmen and friends with his traction engine at work in the neighbouring fields of Charmouth. He kept the engine behind The Grange where the old Fire Station is now. The engine would have been a familiar sight with a man in front carrying a red flag. If you look carefully you will see Samuel Hansford`s wife and three of their children on the left. Reg. Pavey supplied a key to who is shown from left to right as follows:Joan Hansford, Mrs. Hansford, Mabel Hansford, Barnard Hansford, Nurse Rose, W.Parsons, David Hansford, George Bugler, Simeon Powell, Simeon Rowe.

A superb study of an encampment of Scouts where the car park is today. In the distance is Sanctuary Cottage and other houses in Higher Sea Lane. They were there for the investiture of the Charmouth Patrols by the County Commissioner, Colonel Colfox on 30th July 1914.

The same view today

The Charmouth and Wootton Scouts troop on the beach at Charmouth in 1914. On the right of the back Row is the distinctive face of Barnie, son of Samuel Hansford.

The collection of Stone, Sand and Seaweed by horse and carts for use on The Pass Estate would have been a familiar sight in Edwardian times.

Nurse Rose enjoys a break on Charmouth Beach in front of the Old Cement Works.
A family of Holiday makers smile for the camera in 1908.
The two ended boats, bathing Machines and Bathing Tents operated by the Hunter family are seen on the West Beach.
There folows some candid photos of a group of villagers taken by Samuel Hansford in 1908
Any one for a Paddle!
A close up of the same Bathers.
Grannie with her daughter and children relax on Chjarmouth Beach in 1910
The massive Bathing Machines which allowedd privacy are seen here behind s group of ypoung children.
Young children looking for shellfish.
Charmouth Beach
A close up of Bathers with Golden Cap in the diatnce in 1910
The same view today
The Curtis fanily were fishermen who lived and worked on Back Beach in Lyme Regis. They are inspecting their catch with a crowd watching on
The same day with young Barnie and David Hansford with the stick on the left of the Mackeral Catch.
Another photo in the same series with the Curtis family taking off the Mackeral from their nets.