The History House website has the story about the remarkable Brightlingsea Tiles. (Images reused under the Creative Commons Licence.)
Malcolm Woods has alerted me to these memorials to local fishermen and sailors who died at sea in All Saints Church, Brightlingsea. They include 213 memorial tiles placed in frieze that runs around the nave.
The local custom of placing the tiles on the church wall was begun by All Saints vicar Reverend Pertwee following a big storm in March 1883 in which 200 mariners from the counties bordering North Sea were lost, including 19 from Brightingsea.
Pertwee decided that a memorial tile should be made for each of his lost parishioners going back to 1872, when he first became vicar at the church. The first tile is dedicated to William Day and his son, David, who were drowned off Hartlepool.
The tiles were continued in later decades, and later tile memorials are to sailors killed in various storms, the loss of the Titanic and the World Wars.
I’ll make a point of taking a look when I get the chance – last time I was in the area the church was locked, as usual in a town.
Here’s some stunning footage of fishing cobles around Flamborough Head, including fishermen bringing in their daily catch, and climmers collecting birds eggs from the Bempton cliffs.
The George Woods Collection of photographs held by East Sussex Libraries is a fantastic thing – and you can see it for yourself on Flickr.
Many of the photos are very posed – with men dressed in oilies on what are clearly dry, fair-weather days and girls in summer frocks – but they do present an interesting perspective on the gear that was in use. And some of the photos are clearly not posed at all…
George Woods was born the son of a draper in St. Albans, Hertfordshire in 1852, but after his father died became a successful stock market investor – which provided him with time to work on his photography.
During the late 1880s and early 1890s photographed Hastings beach and in the local countryside. He left the photos to his daughter Ethel, who donated most of his prints to Hastings Museum in the early 1960s shortly before she passed away. Woods’ glass plate negatives were acquired by local solicitor and historian, John E Ray, and were acquired by Hastings Library following Mr Ray’s death.