When I first saw this postcard I thought it was a race course and that the cars were parked next to the track where the horses ran. However, as is probably obvious to you, it is a seafront promenade. This one is at Worthing on the south coast of England. The cars are parked on the road, then we have a pedestrianized promenade with people sitting on both sides facing inwards watching the promenaders and listening to the band on the sea side. The bandstand area is packed and I guess those outside are listening for free whereas those on the inside have had to pay.
I wondered what it looked like today and discovered that the D-shaped bandstand was built in 1925 but in 1957 (the year of Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls of Fire and Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock) it was flooded to become the Worthing Lido. Then in 1990 when all the sun worshipers had deserted Worthing for the Spanish Costas, it was filled in and renamed again, this time as the Family Entertainment Centre, which is what it is officially called today, despite Google Maps having it as the Worthing Lido (see below). Today it looks slightly different from the postcard because the sloping roof over the actual bandstand was replaced with a domed roof in 1929. If you want to know more see The History of Worthing Lido.
Anyway, this is supposed to be a blog about cars! What caught my eye and why I bought the postcard was that amazing great sports car, second from the left. We know the photograph was taken after 1925 because of the bandstand and before August 1930, which is when my particular card was post marked, but the car is clearly pre war, probably about 1915 I would say. Actually, before 1929 because of the sloping roof.
(There is the same photograph (though used on a different postcard – the wording is on the top) on the The History of Worthing Lido website, which they date as 1932 but this is a mistake as proven by my postmark).
But what is that car? It’s always difficult identifying pre-war cars because they often had unique coachwork. This is very long with a long bonnet and a large covered rear seating area (presumably) separated from the front seats by a wide piece of bodywork, a very long toolbox and and a pointed radiator which somehow reminds me of Riley. But really I don’t have a clue. Any ideas anyone?
As I’ve failed to say anything interesting about the car (it’s not really my era – I’m much more at home 1950 to present), let me tell you about the message on the back of the postcard. It was to a Miss L Massam, who I guess was quite important as her address was Massam’s Lane in Freshfield, Liverpool. The message was… “Having a nice time but weather not all nice – got wet thro’ this morning. The Band is lovely here; they change every three weeks. The Scotch Guards are here now. Love Ann.”
For other postcards featuring Worthing, type Worthing into the search box. For other unidentified cars, click here – Mystery.