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Looking Back
Historic Hastings
This article first appeared in the Hastings & St Leonards Observer   1st May 2015  Hastings & St Leonards Observer

Kershaw and Son

Kershaw and Son, London
In the second half of the 19th century the souvenir scene is dominated by the small-size steel line-engraved vignette. These were produced in large numbers and catered for the cheaper end of the ever expanding tourist market and Kershaw and Sons were active and prolific publishers of such vignettes in this period printing thousands of numbered views for about 30 years from around 1845, they also produced fancy notepaper illustrated with the same engraved vignettes with views from all over the country and sold volumes of as many as 30 prints for a shilling (5p) as well as providing illustrations for guide book publishers such as Parsons who did not have the technology to print their own so the same numbered print might be duplicated in other productions. Very little is known about Kershaw and his son but even less is known about the relationship between them and the even more shadowy "J. S. & Co." whose label appears on some the prints included in the Kershaw volumes. Kershaw’s prints were numbered but undated and were in the style of Rock & Co and other contemporary engravers.

Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide
Interior of Pavilion Hastings and St Leonards pier. This picture dates from around 1872 when the pier was opened on the post office boundary between Hastings and St Leonards (and was sometimes even called it St Leonards pier until St Leonards actually had its own pier some 20 years later). When built Hastings Pier was a promenade pier with no constructions on its deck until the pavilion at the end was reached. The 1917 Pier fire saw the end of this elaborate moorish-style construction

Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide

Hastings from the pier. An interesting perspective probably dating from around 1872. Hastings station can be seen centre right but there is very little building beyond the front line.


Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide

St Leonards from the sea. Once again very little building beyond the front line

Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide

Hastings from the sea. St Mary in the Castle can be seen in the centre of the picture as can the West Hill windmills.

Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide

Grand Parade, St Leonards on Sea London road on the left warrior square on the right. Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV lived in the bow fronted house in the centre of the picture in the 1830s.

Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide
White Rock Place Hastings. The White Rock Hotel was formed the buildings on the left and on the extreme right The White Rock Brewery was later replaced in 1886 by the Palace Hotel

Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide

Verulam Place, St Leonards on sea. This terrace of houses became The Grand Hotel, and beyond it the Infirmary, opened in 1841 which made way for the East Sussex Hospital in 1887 which in turn was replaced in 1927 by The White Rock Theatre. This picture predates the pier. The reason for the place name is a local mystery.

Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide
St Leonards on Sea (East boundary) this was the Eastern boundary of Burtons St Leonards, the post office boundary was further east at the pier. The buildings to the right are still there but the arch was demolished in the course of one dark night on January 23, 1895 by Hastings Council, despite major public opposition. because it constricted the roadway. Its site is marked today by a squat red granite obelisk on the seafront


Looking Back - Kershaw's Guide

Hastings from East Hill. Note the collier (coastal coal ship) unloading on the beach and the Old Town Valley full of houses. This must be before 1870 because there is still no pier.



High quality prints of these images can be obtained from Ion - use email address below


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