Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Followup post: The Old Half House

Crop of a photo provided by @nigeldraper on Twitter

I kept digging for information after Saturday's post about The Old Half House postcard, which featured a dwelling in St Leonards-on-Sea, Borough of Hastings, County of East Sussex, England.

Thanks to Twitter amplification from @AnnieBrassey, @bexhillmuseum and others, the image of the postcard traveled far and wide. Then Twitter's @GentTracy directed me to a relevant post on 1066 Online, which is named after the year of the Battle of Hastings and is a forum for news and history about St Leonards-on-Sea and Hastings. The post features another view of the Old Half House, calling it Half Way House. The photo is from the Geoff Wolfe collection and is said to be circa 1910. The comments provided some major leads:

Cliff Mewett in August 2018: "I think this house stood at the bottom of Wishing Tree Road at the junction with Crowhurst Road, hence the signpost."

Lynda in July 2019: "I pass this house everyday whilst walking my dogs. It’s very intriguing as most of it is hidden from view. I once chatted to the lovely lady that now lives there. She was clearing and weeding the road approaching the house. Very public spirited!"

WHOA! So the house is still around in 2019. That's a bit of an upset, right?

Twitter provided a little more information. A second confirmation came from @SandraJDaniels, who wrote: "It appears it's still exists, now surrounded by housing development from over the years." And then @nigeldraper provided the satellite image of Old Half House that appears at the top of this post. It's clearly there, embedded within its own little timeslip of a tiny forest at the corner of those two aforementioned roads. And it is indeed surrounded by modern homes.

For the next steps, it would be great to get some more information about the history of the house. And also to see some ground-level photographs of how it looks now.

I agree with @gotpenmustwrite, who tweets: "I’m already planning a dark, gothic mystery based there in Angela Carter style."

I also had another idea pop into my head: I bet a could easily send a letter to the "the lovely lady that now lives there."

Stay tuned.

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