Friday, 30 May 2008

Postcards of the Day No. 16 and 17

Two cards from seaside resorts at opposite ends of the country each showing examples of landmark Victorian hotels. Cuthbert Broderick, idiosyncratic Francophile Victorian architect, designed the Grand Hotel at Scarborough in 1867, having previously been responsible for a series of public buildings in Leeds, including the Town Hall. The parents of the great actor Charles Laughton ran, first, the Victoria and later, the Pavilion Hotels in the town and there is something of Laughton in the way that the Grand Hotel effortlessly dominates its surroundings. The Metropole at Bexhill was a casualty of the Second World War and never reopened after sustaining bomb damage in 1941. Since its demolition in 1955 it has been the site of a putting green by the De La Warr Pavilion. It is the latter building that has risen in public esteem in recent decades to the status of Modernist icon and brought distinction to Bexhill. Both cards possess foreground interest. In Bexhill a young man launches a model sailboat and in Scarborough a beach photographer plies his trade.

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