A Trip Through The Stratosphere To Southend (Sepia Saturday 452)

My photograph features the unmistakable features of Frank Fieldhouse (“Uncle Frank”), and thanks to his obsessive caption-writing, I can tell you that he is pictured in front of the Stratosphere Rocket ride at the Kursaal Amusement Park in Southend in August 1938. The Kursaal (a German word meaning “place of healthy amusement”) is famous for being the first purpose-built amusement park in the world, and from the late nineteenth century until the 1980s it provided a series of attractions for visitors: from ghost trains to motorcycle riders, from roller coasters to rock concerts.

Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week features a 1959 photograph from the National Library of Ireland, which shows a group of railway workers repairing a line after an accident. Although it is a relatively late photograph (in Sepia Saturday terms), there is something slightly old-fashioned about it. By contrast, my 1938 photograph looks forward to an age when you could flag down a rocket ship and whizz through the stratosphere to Southend.

To see more Sepia Saturday posts, go to the Sepia Saturday Blog and follow the link.

7 thoughts on “A Trip Through The Stratosphere To Southend (Sepia Saturday 452)

  1. I remember some rock band from the 70’s that had “Kursaal” in their title.I always wondered on the word…..
    Although you wouldnt catch me dead in a modern amusement place, I would love to go back in time to experience Miriam & Frank’s adventures that day!


  2. I’ll have to Google that Stratosphere Rocket to find out more about it. I think there was something very similar in one of California’s amusement parks in the past which I researched a while back for another Sepia Saturday prompt. And as Wendy said, a clever take on this Saturday’s prompt! 🙂


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