See Arundel's past in pictures - Welcome Home celebrations, King George VI coronation, old shops and more

These pictures take us back to Arundel's past, a variety of scenes that remind us of times gone by. They are part of a collection loaned many years ago to our Yesterday team by former Arundel resident Len Mates.

By Elaine Hammond
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 10:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 10:40 am

Witness the Welcome Home celebrations in February 1937 for the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk as they returned to Arundel Castle after their honeymoon. Through flower-decked streets, in a carriage drawn by the fire brigade, Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, and his bride, the Hon Lavinia Mary Strutt, travelled down Queen Street and over the bridge to Market Square for the official welcome, cheered all the way by thousands lining the street.

Celebrations for the coronation of King George VI just three months later were equally well supported. There was a procession and fancy dress competition, where the Scouts entered Stephenson’s Rocket, an astonishing contraption built on two trek carts. Len could name all the central figures. The engine driver was Dennis Bennet, who was killed while serving in the RAF during the Second World War. Rover Scout Fred Campbell is on the left with his oil can and the boys are Jack, Fred and Ray Swaffield, Tony Cowd, Dick Haggett, Bert Mills, Wilf Burns and Ray Burch.

Some years before, snow added a touch of magic to Christmas 1908 and the picture taken on December 30 shows a horse-drawn carriage passing down Queen Street as a group of men outside the Bridge Hotel shovel snow from the pavement. On the right in this picture is the wattle hut, where the hurdles used in the weekly stock market in the Square were kept.

In the photo of the River Arun in the early 1920s, the elegant cruising yacht makes a refreshing change from the sailing colliers which used to berth near Arundel gasworks. Upriver cruising for such large vessels came to an end in 1932, when the swing bridge at Ford junction was closed during electrification of the Southern Railway. The spot where this photo is taken is near where Arundel bypass now bridges the river.

There is International Stores, in Tarrant Street, which is still remembered as a grand, old-fashioned grocery store where quality was paramount and food was cut, weighed and wrapped individually. And Hammond Cycle Agent, in The Square – a hive of activity in the early 1900s. You could get your mail cart, perambulator or bath chair there, a full service, hire and storage.

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