Thursday, February 14, 2019

Three centuries of one Family in a Sussex Village

When the second world war came, thousands of London school children were evacuated and we went with our school from Wapping to Brighton. 

The Baker family that we were billeted with had an allotment out at Moulscombe and we went there many times.

We didn't know then and not for many years that the small village of Falmer which was just a couple of miles up the road from the allotment was the birthplace of our gg-grandmother Rebecca Baldy.
Rebecca had been christened in the parish church in 1797 and was a direct descendant of William Baldie who had been christened there in 1676.

Whilst we were learning to "dig for victory" on the allotment, still living in Falmer in 1940 was Harriett Wilson whose maiden name was Baldey. She also was a direct descendant of William Baldie. She had two sons George and Henry who was also still living in Falmer so they were our cousins that we had no knowledge of. George married and had a daughter who did not marry and Henry did not marry.  So sixteen years short of three hundred years, with the death of Harriett in Falmer in 1960 there came the end of the Baldy family in Falmer. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Wapping and Dartmoor

Of all the places in London's  East end which have been gentrified over the years,   Wapping is one that stands out.
I'm wondering if any of the Porsche and Land rover owners who occupy apartments in the former warehouses are aware of the connection with Dartmoor, the prison, that is.

The former warehouses which line the river front abutting onto Wapping High Street or Wapping Street as it wass then, were designed in the nineteenth century by Daniel Asher Alexander the Surveyor to the London Docks company.  

It is said that his work was heavily influenced by the Florentine artist Giovanni Piranesi and in particular his macabre drawings of imaginary prisons.

  Not difficult to see that this  influence is evident in the warehouses in Wapping.  Later Alexander had the opportunity to put this enflunece into greater effect  when he was commission in the early 1800s to design the new prison on Dartmoor.