The site that grows

Anything relevant

The site that grows

Postby CvdC » 10 Oct 2012, 22:50

The Pitches from the Past web site has grown since its origins as a contribution to this board. There are now thirty images from around the UK and I will keep updating it as I find old photos that I can locate with Google maps.
This site is a contribution to this year's 350th celebrations, hopefully it provides a sense of Punch and Judy's place in the historic record by juxtaposing the contemporary with the old.

http://www.speckinspace.com/historicpitches/index.html
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
User avatar
CvdC
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 12 Aug 2006, 01:02
Location: Antipodes

Re: The site that grows

Postby ProfSoAndSo » 11 Oct 2012, 02:22

Very nice, although I typically associate a pitch with open outdoor areas (cricket, rugby, and the like).
User avatar
ProfSoAndSo
Chipolata
Chipolata
 
Posts: 22
Joined: 31 Aug 2012, 14:39

Re: The site that grows

Postby Chris » 11 Oct 2012, 10:42

I imagine our use of the word pitch long precedes the use in sport. Since Punch's birth was on the fairgrounds and market places of England the term obviously shares origins with the showman's or trader's pitch. Even earlier in military parlance we have the place where an army chose to pitch tents. So whether it be a designated place to display one's wares, or a place to erect a tent, pitch is obviously a perfectly appropriate word for CvdC to use regardless of the fact that it is the word that Punch Profs do themselves use.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: The site that grows

Postby ProfSoAndSo » 11 Oct 2012, 15:18

I don't see a contradiction, and suspect you hit the nail on the head when you point to "pitching a tent". Punchmen could have coined the term, but typically we use what's ready at hand. It was probably just an extension from like thing to like thing, preceding the P&J usage too.

Great stuff, CvdC. I've seen the technique at historical markers, but having a running theme throughout -- Punch & Judy -- adds a whole new dimension. When can we expect the coffee table book?
User avatar
ProfSoAndSo
Chipolata
Chipolata
 
Posts: 22
Joined: 31 Aug 2012, 14:39

Re: The site that grows

Postby Chris » 11 Oct 2012, 15:50

I didn't suggest there was a contradiction? And I certainly didn't suggest that Punchmen coined the term. It is far older than Punch. I was just pointing out that while you suggested you associated the term with a sporting arena I maintain that the majority of people on a Punch and Judy Forum would instantly associate it with a performing area.
We probably got it from the gypsy traders at the fairs, who pitched their stalls near their caravan pitch. Market and street traders who perform or demonstrate their wares are still called Pitchmen, and as well as identifying their area of work as a pitch they also call their performance a pitch. From this of course comes the idea of making a sales pitch. Market traders still pay a rental for their pitch, just as do the few Punch men still working at the seaside and many grumble at the price they have to pay for their pitch.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: The site that grows

Postby CvdC » 12 Oct 2012, 23:36

I would like to include this popular image as part of the collection. However it is said to be an illustration of LLandudno. In which case it would be the Codman show. But if I look at the view from his usual pitch I do not see the hotel shown in the illustration. So either the illustration is made up, which I doubt as it looks too specific, or it is in fact another place. Llandudno is pretty much as it was in the 1880's so I doubt if this Hotel would have been demolished. It has a sign that says something "Croydon" something on it.
The puppet booth looks accurately drawn but the puppets themselves have been made up. It is a nice illustration of how people congregated before a booth. My guess is that it has been compiled from a photographic reference - a common practice at the time.
Any suggestions as to where it could be?

Image
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
User avatar
CvdC
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 12 Aug 2006, 01:02
Location: Antipodes

Re: The site that grows

Postby Chris » 13 Oct 2012, 11:21

Two mistakes "from his usual pitch" (He didn't have a usual pitch) and "Llandudno is pretty much as it was in the 1880's" (Alas no.)
Yes this is Llandudno and the hotel is the Craig-y-don Hotel.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: The site that grows

Postby Trevek » 13 Oct 2012, 13:38

Apparently the word verb "pitch" comes from the Old English, meaning "to thrust in", "fasten" or "settle". The noun is first recorded in mid-18th Century, and the term for a "sales pitch"19th.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pitch
Trevek
Big Banger
Big Banger
 
Posts: 210
Joined: 06 Oct 2010, 09:41

Re: The site that grows

Postby CvdC » 13 Oct 2012, 13:52

Couldn't find that Craig y don hotel. Strolled up and down the parade looking for it. All looks 19th century along there.
Then I thought I'd take a nostalgic look at somewhere I had visited before:

Image
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
User avatar
CvdC
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 12 Aug 2006, 01:02
Location: Antipodes

Re: The site that grows

Postby Chris » 13 Oct 2012, 18:16

Were you looking in Craig y Don? I ask because you say most of it 19th Century when actually much of the Seafront buildings are 20th or 21st.
But you really mustn't believe all you Google Chris. The car park on the right of the puppet theatre is now a building site. That picture must be three or more years old I guess.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: The site that grows

Postby Chris » 13 Oct 2012, 20:23

Trevek, Merriam and Webster agree with your source, but not your date. They say C13th rather than mid-18th, which seems rather more sensible to me. I'm sure Old English predates the C18th.

Pitch: transitive verb
1
: to erect and fix firmly in place <pitch a tent>

Origin of PITCH
Middle English pichen to thrust, drive, fix firmly, probably from Old English *piccan, from Vulgar Latin *piccare
First Known Use: 13th century


PS. I've just looked at your reference. Actually they say "pitch a tent" C13th. and thats seems to me the obvious forerunner of erecting a punch booth.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: The site that grows

Postby Trevek » 14 Oct 2012, 17:45

I'd agree with that, Chris.

However, my later dates, according to the source, are when the nouns, as opposed to the verb, were first noted. The 19thC one refers to "a sales pitch".

I wonder if the verb "to pitch", meaning to throw, is just an evolution of "thrust in to" (as in, to make something go in a particular direction), or whether it is linked to fairgrounds and throwing things? (unlikely, but I like the idea).
Trevek
Big Banger
Big Banger
 
Posts: 210
Joined: 06 Oct 2010, 09:41

Re: The site that grows

Postby CvdC » 15 Oct 2012, 02:45

Thanks to the local Punch and Judy man I can now say the image is in fact Weymouth. So somehow the Victoria and Albert Museum have it wrong in their description.
Then view in the background is exactly correct, which makes me think the image was originally taken from a photograph.
What precipitated this was the ebay listing here:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1887-Punch-And-Judy-Puppet-Show-At-Seaside-Children-/360493253291?pt=UK_art_prints_GL&hash=item53ef1282ab
Which conveniently supplies a good scan of the illustration.

Image
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
User avatar
CvdC
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: 12 Aug 2006, 01:02
Location: Antipodes

Re: The site that grows

Postby Chris » 16 Oct 2012, 11:31

Can't argue with that. I was at first still puzzled by the Craig-y-don hotel. Craig-y-don is a major area of Llandudno. It is Welsh and means Rock in the Waves. It refers to the Little Orme. Llandudno has two mini mountains, one at each end of Llandudno Bay. The smaller is known in English as the Little Orme. I couldn't understand why Weymouth, an English resort, should have a hotel with a Welsh name, and a name specific to Llandudno, and also a similar building. I wondered if your original idea of the picture being an artistic amalgum might be right.
However I now discover that there is a Craig-y-Don hotel in at least one other English resort - Blackpool.
So I am now wondering whether there was a chain of Craig-y-don hotels? Llandudno was very influential in the early growth of British seaside resorts. Could it be that the the owners of the Llandudno Craig-y-don branched out and, employing the same architect perhaps, built upon the success in Wales and moved to England?
Alas, along with other hotels at the Craig-y-don end of Llandudno, the Craig-y-Don itself has been pulled down to make way for rabbit hutch appartments for the elderly.

By the way Chris - here is the update picture to your Googled Harlequin. Curious that the poster is showing the same production.

Image
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3260
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: The site that grows

Postby lesclarke » 16 Oct 2012, 15:22

Yes, on the big jpg it is clear that it does say CROYDON, the name of the business, and looking at an actual print it says, AGENT, AUCTIONEER and HOUSE AGENT surrounding it.
As if I haven't got enough to do today, with all I've got to do today.
User avatar
lesclarke
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 758
Joined: 14 Sep 2006, 17:12
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Next

Return to Punch Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron