The pictures on this page are arranged in order from the bottom of Mount Pleasant to the top.
This first few images shows Mount Pleasant and the SE&C Railway station, latterly Tunbridge Wells Central, now plain Tunbridge Wells again following the demise of Tunbridge Wells West (Brighton) Station.
The first card is a nice view up Mount Pleasant Road, with the railway station on the right. It was taken by Lankester of Tunbridge Wells. The building on the right (with the lamp containing the legend "Billiard Room") was the Railway Bell Hotel, which was later acquired by Weekes and demolished in 1912 to make room for an extension to their store.
A very similar view, this time coloured, from a card posted in 1904.
The next card is number 41366 in the Celesque series, published by The Photochrom Co Ltd, London & Detroit USA, the date being similar to the image above. I love the period feel with the carriages, veteran cars etc. It shows the railway station as originally constructed, before the clock tower was replaced in 1911-12. The building behind the station (on the left) was Lonsdale Mansions, a private hotel.
This card is of similar date again, and is in the Dainty Series and was posted in 1906. The canopies of the Weeks Draper's store are very clear on the right. Everyone seems to have turned to watch the photographer. The sky has been hand coloured blue.
A less common view is of the station from the north. Here is an image drawn by F W Burton, published by J. Salmon of Sevenoaks. Christ Church and the High Street are in the background. You definitely wouldn't want to leave your luggage on a trolley in the road today!
The next card is in the Valentines Series and shows the same location some years later after the alteration of the station and with motorised transport beginning to take over. This view is interesting as it shows a couple of sidings behind the platforms on the western side of the station; the footbridge has been enclosed too. Holy Trinity Church is on the horizon.
The view below is a little later judging by the cars and costumes; the publisher is unknown.
Here is a Photochrom postard of 1945 with a quote from the Prime Minister on the back, "Let us all strive without failing in faith or in duty." Obviously taken at 12 noon exactly!
There are more views of Central Station, however now is time to move on up the hill.
This next picture is of J Newns Fine Art and Antique Dealer's premises at 18 Mount Pleasant. It is from a Pelton's Guide to the town c.1910.
Here is a view looking back down Mount Pleasant from the intersection with Church Road towards the Central Station. The card is identified as ES336 and was posted in 1907. The distinctive roof of the the Clarendon Hotel is clearly visible at the bottom of the hill.
And a similar view from the other side of the road from Pelton's Guide c.1910. The tower of Christ Church is just visible above the trees right of centre.
The next image shows the crest of Mount Pleasant (the station is down the hill to the left and the Opera House to the right). This is now a busy road junction, and the old cinema (sadly to be redeveloped into housing soon) occupies the area across the road to the left (where the trees are). There is a modern picture from a similar location in my Photograph Album. No cars in this view, just a few bicycles, horses and dogs! The road opposite is Church Road, with Trinity Church, now an Arts Centre dominating the view. The building to the right with the three gables is still there.
The postcard is from the Wells Series, No. 26, Published by H Camburn, Tunbridge Wells.
The next image is an artist drawn card, posted much later in 1935, from a water colour by A R Quinton. It shows Mount Pleasant at the top of the hill in the above picture. The relatively new war memorial stands among the flower beds and opposite the Congregational Church (with the pillars, and now a Habitat store), with the Opera House in the background (now a wine bar). What does this say about the decline of culture and religion?!
The fine houses by Decimus Burton, behind the flower beds (on the right), were demolished to make room for a new (and very dull) Civic Centre in 1938/39 to the shame of the town's leadership of the day.
Here is a close up picture of the war memorial, number 2002 from the "SOLOGLAZE" series published by E A Sweetman & Son, Tunbridge Wells. The buildings in the background suggest a date between the wars.
Here is a second view of the memorial during a ceremony. It was posted in 1923 and published by H Camburn of Tunbridge Wells.
Here is a view of the Congregational Church; the fine facade is also visible in the A R Quinton postcard above. There is a fuller description of this building in my Churches Album together with a picture of the building under its new ownership.
This busy view of Mount Pleasant is from a Multi-view card posted in 1945, published by the Photochrom Co. Ltd., Graphic Studios, Tunbridge Wells. It shows the view looking back from the Opera House towards the cinema and the junction with Church Road. The war memorial can be seen on the left.
Scanned antique postcards
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