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Result number 1 - Please quote Reference: DE0402_Couchman_ephemera_and_MSS_/DE0402_08 on request slip.

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E.H. Couchman collection of postcards, photographs, ephemera and manuscripts pertaining to the history of the Medway Towns (Rochester, Strood, Chatham and Brompton (later Gillingham)) and Gillingham, Rainham, Gravesend, Dickens’ Country, the Lower Medway Valley and the Hoo Peninsula 1680-1993 [1994].

[To view the full list of the collection, please click here;

to view the contents page and imagebase referral page for the Couchman collection, please click here;

to view the Couchman collection bibliography page, please click here]

Rochester volume 8: Rochester Castle Part II (chiefly Rochester Civic Week and Historical Pageant 22-27 June 1931).

[NB further records of Rochester Civic Week and Historical Pageant can be found at:

DE124
OA/LIB/146
RCA temporary box 36
DE53/1/129, 131
U2555/Z02
and in the Rochester City Council minutes.]

Rochester Historic Pageant and Civic Week

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of Rochester Castle keep, gardens and curtain walls looking south-west across gardens or outer bailey from path alongside Castle Hill, showing in background left to right, eastern curtain wall and southern mural tower, parked bicycle, keep with City of Rochester banner from north-east angle tower and western curtain wall, in middle ground left to right walkways, benches and visitors, last comprising three Royal Navy ratings (two junior ratings in square rig and one senior rating in fore-and-aft rig), children and adult sitting or standing in western walkway and in foreground feral pigeons, please keep of the grass sign and scaffolding bars. Believed exposed prior to erection of Rochester Historical Pageant grand-stands. 8” x 6” (205mm x 155mm) 1931 p.1

Rochester Historical Pageant. Promotional envelope advertising Rochester Historical Pageant and Civic Week as supplied to Short Brothers (Rochester and Bedford) Ltd., Seaplane Works, Rochester, aeronautical engineers, front design comprising classical Roman soldier on which superimposed monochrome view of Castle Hill, Rochester Cathedral Castle, River Medway (Bridge Reach) and moored seaplane (registration G-EBVG), as seen from Strood Esplanade, and City of Rochester coat of arms. Couchman’s accompanying notes pertain to activity of Publicity Committee as reported in local press. 5 ¾” x 4 ¾” (147mm x 120mm) 1931 p.2

Rochester Historical Pageant. Promotional label for trades exhibition, Rochester Historical Pageant, design comprising City of Rochester coat of arms superimposed on red rays radiating from silhouette of Rochester Cathedral and Castle. 1931 p.3 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of HRH Prince George inspecting guard of honour of ratings and senior rating of the Royal Navy, former in square rig, 1907 pattern waist belts and knee-length gaiters and latter in fore-and-aft rig, 1907 pattern waist belt and knee-length gaiters, all equipped with Lee-Enfield rifles, taking place in north-west portion of Rochester Castle gardens or outer bailey on occasion of Rochester Historical Pageant, showing Rochester Cathedral, northern mural tower or keeper’s lodge and eastern castle curtain wall in background. Royal Day, Monday 22 June 1931. 4 ½” x 2 ½” (110mm x 65mm) p.3 (L) left

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of HRH Prince George being welcomed to opening ceremony of Rochester Historical Pageant in grounds of Rochester Castle, accompanied by councillor Mr. George Jenner JP, mayor of Rochester, wearing chain of office and J.L. Percival, town clerk (at rear), woman in early nineteenth century dress and bonnet in right foreground and spectators and grand-stand at rear. Royal Day, Monday 22 June 1931. 4 ½” x 2 ½” (110mm x 65mm) p.3 (L) right

Rochester Historical Pageant. News articles cut from Daily Mail entitled Rochester through the ages: next week’s great pageant 19 June 1931 and 5000 citizens in pageant; from Roman times to Dickens; Prince George a spectator 23 June 1931. p.4

Rochester Historical Pageant. Cuttings from Daily Mail comprising article entitled 40 mayors at Rochester; Mr. Frank Lascelles’ triumph; pageant success (24 June 1931) and photograph of fireworks display over Rochester Castle, exposed by M.T. Harrison of 13 Malvern Road, Gillingham (4 July 1931). p.5

Rochester Historical Pageant. Three-quarter length photograph of Frank Lascelles, lord of the manor of Sibson Gower, Oxfordshire and Master of the Rochester Historical Pageant in 1931. wearing embroidered smock, looking to left of camera and holding pointed instrument or other object in left hand, manor house courtyard in background. Inscribed and signed by Lascelles on rear. 1932. p.6 (U) left.

Rochester Historical Pageant. Cutting from local newspaper reporting death of Frank Lascelles, lord of the manor of Sibson Gower, Oxfordshire and Master of the Rochester Historical Pageant in 1931. p.6 (U) right

Rochester Historical Pageant. Letter from R.E. Rigg B.A., 27 City Way, Rochester, English master at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, High Street, Rochester, to W. Glanvill Mason, Rochester City Guide, explaining referral of enquiry. Couchman’s accompanying notes explain Rigg was author of the episodes in the Rochester Historical Pageant, 1931. 20 October 1949 p.6 (L)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Printed leaflet issued by Edward Baring, organising director, pageant offices, Guildhall, High Street, Rochester, comprising seating plan, ticket booking form and programme. Printed by Mackays Ltd., Rochester. 1931 p.7

Rochester Historical Pageant. Printed flyer advertising extra performance of pageant on Monday evening 29 June 1931, anticipating contribution by Dame Sybil Thorndike. Printed by Mackays Ltd., Rochester. 1931 p.8

Rochester Historical Pageant. Printed circular letter from George Jenner, mayor of Rochester, asking performers to rally round to stage a final extra performance of the pageant on Monday evening 29 June 1931. 26 June 1931 p.9

Rochester Historical Pageant. Printed address by the Esme Ivo Bligh, 9th. Earl of Darnley in part of Robert Devereux, Lord Leicester to Frank Lascelles, master of the pageant, expressing thanks on behalf of the citizens of Rochester. 27 June 1931 p.10

Rochester Historical Pageant. Printed instructions to performers in relation to orchestration of movements on occasion of Esme Ivo Bligh, 9th. Earl of Darnley (in character of Robert Devereux, Lord Leicester)’s address to Frank Lascelles on 27 June 1931. 1931 p.11

Rochester Historical Pageant. Stencil circular letter from W. Law, master of grand-stand and city surveyor, urgently requesting volunteers for duty as grand-stand and grounds stewards, with printed marginalia comprising names of pageant office holders. 1931 p.12

Rochester Historical Pageant. Printed instructions to stewards of Rochester Historical Pageant issued by Edward Baring, organising director. 1931 p.13

Rochester Historical Pageant. Stencil circular letter from G.L. Carpenter, hon. secretary, grand-stand and grounds committee, Rochester Historical Pageant, to E.H. Couchman, 53 High Street, Strood, thanking him for his services as honorary steward. 3 July 1931 p.14

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of Dame Sybil Thorndike in costume and role as the spirit of Rochester with two page boys in train, for the prologue, Rochester Historical Pageant, viewed in northern part of Rochester Castle gardens or outer bailey, against background of western curtain wall, northern mural tower or keeper’s lodge, southern mural tower, trees and in distance Rochester Cathedral. Other minor performers and northern walkway in middle and foregrounds. Detail indistinct. 4 ¼” x 2 ½” (110mm x 65mm) 22 June 1931 p.15 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of scene in episode 6, depicting visit of Queen Elizabeth I and her retinue to Richard Watts of Satis House, Boley Hill, Rochester in 1573, set in southern part of Rochester Castle gardens or inner bailey, showing performers and cast in period costume against background of eastern curtain wall, southern mural tower, Rochester Cathedral and forebuilding of keep, with makebelieve rowing boat and section of long walk in foreground. 4 ¼” x 2 ½” (110mm x 65mm) 22 June 1931 p.15 (M)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Group photograph of performers, cast and extras from episode 7, the departure from Rochester of King Charles II, lately restored to the throne in 1660, pictured in The Vines, Rochester, showing women, girls and boy in two rows wearing period costume and looking at camera. 3 ¼” x 2 ¼” (85mm x 60mm) June 1931 p.15 (L)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph of Esme Ivo Bligh, 9th. Earl of Darnley in part of Robert Devereux, Lord Leicester and his wife Lady Nancy Darnley in part of Queen Elizabeth I, both in period costume and looking to right of camera, character of Neptune to rear, set in Rochester Castle gardens or inner bailey, showing in background cast of extras and southern mural tower and eastern curtain wall of Rochester Castle. From scene in episode 6, the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Richard Watts of Satis House, Boley Hill, Rochester in 1573. June 1931 p.16 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph of in-situ reconstruction of Earl Simon de Montfort’s last unsuccessful attack on Rochester Castle and keep of 19-26 April 1264, comprising scene in episode 4 of Rochester Historical Pageant, looking south-south-west across southern part Rochester Castle gardens or inner bailey showing melee of men-at-arms in surcoats and chapeaux-de-fer with keep and curtain wall in background. Several defenders are visible on the parapet of the northern wall of the keep and external stone staircase. June 1931 p.16 (L)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of Captain C.W.R. Knight in part of medieval nobleman in episode 4 of Rochester Historical Pageant, dressed in mail, undercoat and jerkin with American bald eagle (probably Miss America) perched on left arm, wings outstretched, viewed in The Vines, Rochester, against background of trees, resting spectators and minor members of cast. 4 1/4" x 2" (107mm x 64mm) June 1931 p.17 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of two female members of the cast of the Rochester Historical Pageant from episode 6, the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Richard Watts of Satis House, Boley Hill, Rochester, in the parts of ladies-in-waiting, in period costume. 2 3/8" x 1 1/2" (60mm x 38mm) JUne 1931 p.17 (L) (left)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of of Esme Ivo Bligh, 9th. Earl of Darnley in part of Robert Devereux, Lord Leicester and his wife Lady Nancy Darnley in part of Queen Elizabeth I, both in period costume and looking at camera. Associated with episode 6 of Rochester Historical Pageant from episode 6, the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Richard Watts of Satis House, Boley Hill, Rochester. The couple are standing on steps and between iron railings. June 1931 2 1/2" x 1 3/4" (65mm x 45mm) p.17 (L) Middle

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of two members of the cast of Rochester Historical Pageant from episode 6, the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Richard Watts of Satis House, Boley Hill, Rochester, in the parts of two ladies-in-waiting, in period dress and facing camera, shown in The Vines, Rochester. 2 1/2" x 1 5/8" (64mm x 42mm) June 1931 p.17 (L) right

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph of scene from epilogue of Rochester Historical Pageant taken on day part of the spirit of Rochester was played by Dame Sybil Thorndike, set in Rochester Castle gardens or inner bailey on or adjacent to long walk, showing from left to right in foreground, the figure of Fame played by A.T. Goodborn dressed in classical Roman attire, page boy, the spirit of Rochester played by Dame Sybil Thorndike, Clio the Muse of History played by Miss Gladys Hepworth also in classical attire and Charles Dickens played by J.T. Hawes, who together with other members of cast in background are saluting Fame. In distance are part of eastern curtain wall, southern mural tower and forebuilding of keep. Behind figure of Dickens stands W.J. Joshua dressed as an aviator in flying suit, leather helmet and goggles. 22 June 1931 p.18 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph of scene from epilogue of Rochester Historical Pageant taken on day part of the spirit of Rochester was played by Dame Sybil Thorndike, set in Rochester Castle gardens or inner bailey on or adjacent to long walk, showing from left to right in foreground, the figure of Fame played by A.T. Goodborn dressed in classical Roman attire, page boy, the spirit of Rochester played by Dame Sybil Thorndike, second page boy, Charles Dickens played by J.T. Hawes and Clio the Muse of History played by Miss Gladys Hepworth also in classical attire, all facing camera. In distance are part of eastern curtain wall, southern mural tower and forebuilding of keep. 22 June 1931 p.18 (L)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of scene from episode 4 or Earl Simon de Montfort's third and last unsuccessful attack on Rochester Castle and keep, 19-26 April 1264, comprising view of Rochester Castle gardens and keep looking south along long walk towards south-eastern angle tower and staircase of keep, showing at foot of staircase group of knights or men-at-arms and in foreground group of seated spectators with backs to camera. Several banners are flying from keep. 4 3/8" x 2 1/2" (110mm x 65mm) 22 June 1931. p.19 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of cast and extras from scene epilogue of Rochester Historical Pageant assembled in Rochester Castle gardens or inner bailey, looking south-east across long walk, showing in foreground aircraft components, W.J. Joshua dressed as an aviator in flying suit, leather helmet and goggles, workmen possibly from Short Brothers' seaplane factory, in middle ground members of cast in period costume and in distance left to right, Rochester Cathedral, southern mural tower, curtain wall and keep, participants dressed as medieval knights and men-at-arms positioned on staircase. 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" (113mm x 65mm) 22 June 1931 p.19 (L)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Newscutting from Daily Herald comprising photograph of members of caste from episode 1 of Rochester Historical Pageant, the foundation of the Roman military town of Durobrivis [cf. Durobrivae],showing group of eight men dressed in theatrical Roman or British military costume including left to right, the Emperor Claudius played by Major I. Granville Winch (first on left), Penwallon, a British chieftain, played by W.J. Joshua (second from left) and a Roman officer played by W.T. Patterson, manager of Strood Waterworks (eighth from left). Scene photographed during rehearsals possibly in The Vines, Rochester and in humorous vein as Winch is anachronistically holding a telephone receiver to his right ear and smiling. 18 June 1931; published 19 June 1931. p.20

Rochester Historical Pageant. Tinted photograph of E. Couchman * of 53 High Street, Strood dressed as Mellitus, bishop of London and third archbishop of Canterbury, which part he played in Rochester Historical Pageant, episode 2: the arrival of the first bishop of Rochester with King Ethelbert of Kent and Saint Augustine. Subject is wearing mitre cap, surplice over a cassock or frock and holding a bishop's staff. Location is garden at 53 High Street, Strood, showing range of wooden outhouses, plants and tree. 6 1/4" x 4" (160mm x 100mm) June 1931 p.21

[* E. Couchman was the father of E.H. Couchman, compiler of this collection]

Rochester Historical Pageant. Photograph of schoolchildren undergoing physical training in Rochester Castle gardens during an evening display as part of Rochester Historical Pageant, viewed from grand-stand in northern part of gardens or bailey, also showing in distance left to right, northern mural tower or keeper's lodge, eastern curtain wall, Rochester Cathedral, southern mural tower and forebuilding of keep and in foreground long walk. Male subjects dressed in short trousers and tee-shirts, female subjects dressed in gymslips, blouses and stockings. Couchman's notes state that the training was directed by A.J. Simmons, headmaster of Troy Town School, Rochester. 4 1/4" x 2 1/2" (107mm x 65mm) June 1931 p.22

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph of Rochester Castle illuminated by flood lights at night-time, looking across River Medway (Bridge Reach) from Strood Esplanade, showing in foreground river semi-illuminated, in middle-ground Rochester Esplanade, Bridge Chamber, entrance to Castle Hill, entrance staircase in north-west bastion, eastern curtain wall, bandstand (silhouetted), trees and keep. Medway Studios Ltd., High Street, Chatham and Gillingham. Time exposure. June 1931 p.23 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph of Rochester Castle keep illuminated by flood lights at night-time, looking across northern part of castle gardens or outer bailey from north-west bastion, showing trees silhouetted in middle ground. [Medway Studios Ltd., High Street, Chatham and Gillingham.] June 1931 p.23 (L)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph entitled Rochester Castle by floodlight comprising view of Rochester Castle illuminated by flood lights at night-time, looking across River Medway (Bridge Reach) from Strood Esplanade, showing in foreground river semi-illuminated, in middle-ground Rochester Esplanade, entrance to Castle Hill, castle gardens entrance staircase in north-west bastion, eastern curtain wall, bandstand (silhouetted), trees and keep. Medway Studios Ltd., High Street, Chatham and Gillingham. Time exposure. June 1931 p.24 (U)

Rochester Historical Pageant. Postcard photograph of Rochester Castle illuminated by flood lights at night-time, looking across River Medway (Bridge Reach) from Strood Esplanade, showing in foreground river semi-illuminated, in middle-ground Rochester Esplanade, Bridge Chamber, entrance to Castle Hill, entrance staircase in north-west bastion, eastern curtain wall, bandstand (silhouetted), trees and keep. Medway Studios Ltd., High Street, Chatham and Gillingham. Time exposure. View similar to p.23 (U) or possibly from same negative and subject to lengthier developing. June 1931 p.24 (L)

General

Printed programme for Rochester Week 7-12 August 1933, advertising National Motor Boat Rally, country flower show, trades and historical exhibitions, fireworks, poultry show, dog show, floral pageant and battle of the flowers. 1933 p.25 (U)

Photocopy of reverse of p.25 (U) above. c.1985 Not scanned. p.25 (L)

Cutting from Chatham News comprising two photographs of Medway Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) and Home Guard, former drilling in plain clothes with rifles on railway station platform, latter parading in uniform in Rochester Castle gardens on occasion of stand-down of 13th. Battalion, Kent Home Guard on 3 December 1944. Published 12 January 1979. p.26

Postcard photograph entitled Rochester Castle and gardens comprising view of keep and gardens viewed from northern part of gardens or outer bailey, showing keep in distance, visitors resting on grass in left middle and foregrounds, long walk and Crimean War cannon in middle ground and bandstand in right middle ground. Published by C. Richter (Publishers) Ltd., London NW6. Before 1939. p.27 (U)

Colour postcard photograph entitled Rochester Castle comprising view of keep and castle gardens from north-west, showing in distance left to right, northern mural tower, section of eastern curtain wall, Rochester Cathedral, southern mural tower and keep and in middle and foregrounds lawns, walkways, trees and resting visitors and strollers. Published by J. Salmon Ltd., Sevenoaks. c.1964 p.27 (L)

File updated by Borough Archivist 15 April 2008.


Date: 1931-c.1964
Quantity: 1 binder/27pp.
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