The Carlisle Parade, West
Photographer: Frith, Francis (1822-1898)
Medium: Photographic print
“First-class carriages, second-class carriages, third-class carriages, donkey-carriages, goat-carriages. You and I, gentle reader, are interested in the second on the list. A sort of 'golden mean' –a huge inverted 'crow’s foot' of 'golden' basketwork, and 'mean' enough to proclaim to the public that it costs you and I and our respective wives 2s. 6d. per hour to ride. I have excellent reasons for always starting from the sea end of Robertson Street – the best possible situation. Here is the beginning (or end, as you view the question) of the two miles of Marine Parade and lodging-houses, with nothing behind them but Great Britain, and nothing in front of them but the sea. Here, if you wish for more 'parade,' what can be finer than the 'Carlisle?' –a worthy tassel at the eastern end of the two miles’ string: and yet, in a moment, if you are sea-sick, you may pop round the corner, and steady your nerves by the sight of a real, safe, two-sided street."
Descriptive letterpress by Francis Frith from his book 'The Gossiping Photographer at Hastings'.
This view by Francis Frith (1822-1898) of the Carlisle Parade in Hastings, East Sussex, is one of sixteen photographs illustrating his book ‘The Gossiping Photographer at Hastings’ published in 1864. Frith was a pioneer in the field of travel photography, beginning his career with three trips to Egypt and the Holy Land between 1856 and 1860. In 1859 he founded his own publishing firm in Reigate, Surrey, which issued albums and postcards of views throughout Britain. The firm was very successful and became the largest of its kind in the 19th century, continuing to be run as a family business until 1971. In Frith’s first album, ‘Egypt and Palestine Photographed and Described’, he also wrote the text that accompanied his photographs and this form of dual authorship is continued in ‘The Gossiping Photographer at Hastings’. Its text is notable for the gently satirical attitude which he displays towards the 19th-century English seaside resort and the habits of its visitors.