Wednesday, 26 May 2021

A Plaque to Elizabeth Robins and Octavia Wilberforce

This plaque has now been installed at 24 Montpelier Crescent. Due to infection control measures it was deemed unadvisable to hold an unveiling ceremony. 

Elizabeth Robbins was born in America and moved to London in September 1888. She had a very active and eventful life, great success as an actor and wrote as C.E. Raimond. She met Octavia Wilberforce in 1909. 

Partly supported by Elizabeth and against strong parental oppositions Octavia entered the London School of Medicine for Women in 1913, qualifying in 1920. She entered general practice in Brighton  and ran a women's shelter near Henfield. Octavia was friendly with members of the Bloomsbury Group and treated Virginia Woolf's mental illness towards the end of Woolf's life. She retired in 1954.

Friday, 21 May 2021

Smuggler's Cottage, Rottingdean

The semi-detached cottage shown on the left in the above postcard (see also: Rottingdean) was at one time known as '"Smuggler's Cottage".

The photo on the right shows it in 1957 with a curious object above the downstairs window. It has been suggested that this was an air-raid siren left in place after the war but it seems to be the wrong shape for that.  Closer inspection reveals what might be decorative features and a hint that it is barrel-shaped. Was it in fact an ornamental brandy-barrel displayed as a nod to the smuggler's trade and in lieu of a conventional house nameplate?