Thursday, 18 March 2021

Doorstep Delights

Shots from my last two Friday doorstep wanders around different parts of my local town of Horsham. As ever many are just the random extra details that make my explorations just that bit more special and give me a greater appreciation of what's on my home turf. Much as I am looking forwards to go further afield these trips have been enriching and enlightening.

This is one of several pargetting panels on the outside of an Indian restaurant. The seahorses are rather glorious. One day I'll ask Mr GBT to take some better close-ups so that I can really take in the detail.

These tufted ducks are some of the regulars to be found on the nearest pond to us. There is so much pressure round here due to excessive building [we are in very real danger of losing 30% of our green space imminently] I was thrilled to read that the local residents who live round this pond and the common took matters into their own hands. The land came up for sale and they clubbed together and bought it at auction to stop it falling into the hands of the developers last December.

Some of those things that put our individual marks onto our houses and make them our homes. In the photo with the two front doors I was actually looking at all that detail on the porch. It was only when I looked later on that I spotted the gnomes on the left hand one😆

For a long time Sun Alliance [as it was back then] had its main office here and most of us at some point worked for them. Although there has many been mergers and takeovers in the last few years the buildings remain. The logos are the Sun Insurance from 1710, Alliance 1824, London Asssurance 1964 and Phoenix Insurance in 1984. The hexagon in the centre formed part of the company's logo and was actually inspired by a local glazing pattern used in some cottages further up the same road.  

Horsham does do a good line in repurposing old premises and breathing new life into them. Various stable blocks [often the accompanying houses have been demolished and the land sold] and Victorian warehouses now house a multitude of businesses. The Old Grain Store has been particularly well done with these marvellous metal roses adorning the windows and gates.

By contrast this one is from the 1970s. It's an interesting design and I'm told it's won awards, but it doesn't really do it for me....the description someone gave it of looking like a load of portacabins stacked one upon another isn't that far from the truth. It makes a distinctive landmark when giving directions I will say though.

Now this did excite me and I thought I had stumbled across an undiscovered ghost sign hidden away up an alley on the back of a house. Naturally, by the time I got home my bubble had been well and truly burst as many others already knew of it. Who G Dean Nurseryman was or when they traded I have been unable to find out.

How fantastic it was to find that both these old signs have had a makeover. The top one is on a building that has recently returned to being a pub [it was a Japanese eatery for several years] and appropriately it runs its own micro brewery onsite .

The Rock Brewery from Brighton seems to have had a lot of customers up this way and one of my books relates how the then owner, Mr George Griffith, would regularly travel up to Horsham to deliver orders and collect monies. Sadly he came to an untimely end in February 1849 when he was shot with a loaded pistol he'd been carrying for his personal safety following a written warning he'd received a few days prior about a robbery that was being planned. His killer was never traced . The sign below has just been restored to its former glory by the home owner, but back in 1917 it was owned by the brewery and traded as The Nile off license. The company wound up in 1928.

Until next time.....



  1. I love that she for detail. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I'm pleased you enjoyed the things I found. Arilx

  2. That modern building might be an architect's solution to a demand for "lots of corner offices"? Repurposing hereabouts has depends more on a building's location than its history. Hence, our variety of businesses sprouting in former garages on corners.

    1. It was originally built for a optician's business, but they were taken over. It has several businesses operating out of it, but I gather it's rather cold.I might not particularly like it, but it's certainly not dull. Arilx

  3. Poor George Griffiths. To think people think it is less safe now! I really enjoy looking around Horsham and how wonderful the local residents bought that land. There is so much building going on in the South East.

    1. I guess it's because we hear more these days. Arilx


A bit betwixt and between

 Another visit to one of my favourite haunts....Nymans Gardens [NT] which is near here and perfect if you've only got a couple of hours ...