Early in March 2010 I was contacted by a postcard collector called Mark Pearce. Mark had come across an historical postcard picturing four young elephants stood with a group of people outside a possible Music Hall venue. According to Mark the street is one in
Hastings, East Essex. He reports that the message on the card’s reverse has been partially erased, but “Lockhart’s Elephants” is clearly visible. The stamp was dated 1906, but Mark was aware that didn’t necessarily indicate the year the photograph was taken.
The venue looks like it might have been the Empire of Varieties, built in 1899 by Ernest Runtz. According to “theatre buff” Alan Chudey it became known as the
“Hippodrome” in around 1907. The turn of the century was a very common time for circus and Music Hall buildings to be constructed, and we can see this happening all over the Hastings . It was later used as a cinema and then gutted in 1978 to be used as an amusement arcade. UK