Convalescent Home in 1881

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Richard
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Re: Convalescent Home in 1881

Postby Richard » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:24 pm

So, Nelson Building at 79 and 80 High Street, Hastings.

Does anyone have an older picture?

Nelson House is no. 80 High Street, currently an Antiques business.

https://www.nelsonhouseantiques.com/

cbe
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Re: Convalescent Home in 1881

Postby cbe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:40 am

Yes that shop is part of the same building
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Richard
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Re: Convalescent Home in 1881

Postby Richard » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:41 pm

If 79/80 All Saints street (Nelson Buildings) was once used as a hospital for soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars (1793 - 1815) then it must have been a fairly old building.
Do we know when it was built?

To put things in context, the Battle of Waterloo ended the Napoleonic wars in 1815 and Hastings shortly thereafter experienced an influx of wealthy visitors from London.
Perhaps they were then first labelled by the rather derogatory name of DFL's.
Work began on building Wellinton Square a couple of years later, the land was purchased by the Hastings Bank, itself owned by members of the 'Breeds' family, merchants who ran a lot of business locally, they also owned lime-kilns, formerly occupying the site of the Square and used them to supply lime-mortar for many of the buildings where wealthy socialites entertained and played host to their equally wealthy friends.
According to local historian, Ion Castro, Wellington Square symbolised the birth of well-to-do Hastings. Initially only two sides of 'The Square' were built, the east and north sides with fine views of the sea and surrounding countryside.

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ColinL
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Re: Convalescent Home in 1881

Postby ColinL » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:08 pm

A true member of the Winkle Club must when asked show his winkle (titter ye not) and if he fails to do so must pay a penalty that goes towards the welfare fund. I seem to remember it was either a sixpence or a shilling. For the benefit of younger readers that is 2 and a half or 5 pence

jimbreeds
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Re: Convalescent Home in 1881

Postby jimbreeds » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:03 pm

I think it's a pound now. I'm a member, but haven't been caught out without my winkle on me!

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Richard
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Re: Convalescent Home in 1881

Postby Richard » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:27 pm

I chatted with Dennis at the 'Hastings History House' today.
Dennis is a mine of information on matters to do with Hastings History and like many shares a dislike of the ways in which the Council operate.

Apparently John (Yorky) Smith was a prominent local builder who worked on the erection of the Martello Towers (1805- 7), between Eastbourne and Bexhill, before he came to Hastings he was a foreman at Rye.
Smith next built 'Nelson Building', a very good quality house, from 1816 to 1817, possibly for Mark Breeds who laid the foundation stone.
(The Breeds family were prominent merchants who owned ships, Banks and many local businesses besides).
'Nelson Building' was Smith's first venture into the building of private dwellings, his earlier work was from government contracts, ( example, Martello Towers) he later builtJames Burton's 'Crown House' in St. Leonards, around 1828.
The timber frame for Burton's residence was shipped into Hastings and then taken by cart to St. Leonards.

Smith put the bust of Nelson into the house in question and 45 builders drank to Nelson's health, it looks like labour was cheap and plentiful in those days and work could be done quickly.
The importance of 'Nelson Building' was shown by the attendance of the town mayor at the opening ceremony.

Whether Mark Breed would then have allowed his house to be used as a place of convalescence for former officers of the 'Waterloo' battle, injured in service, is not certain but I was only trying to outline the origins of 'Nelson Building' and its builder and early occupant.

For further information Street directories would have to be consulted and 'Hastings History House' will soon open a section containing nearly all the directories for public viewing.
Last edited by Richard on Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Richard
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Re: Convalescent Home in 1881

Postby Richard » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:33 pm

'Yorky' Smith died in 1856 and was the first person to be buried in Hastings Municipal Cemetry, at the top of Elphinstone Road. Ironically, he had strongly opposed the cemetery being on this site. His funeral was followed to grave by mayor and corporation. He was held in very high regard locally.


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