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The growth of general dental practice in a developing Sussex seaside resort 1885-1916 - Part 1: the early settlers


During the late Victorian and Edwardian period, the local landowner, the 7th Earl De La Warr, instigated the development of the rural Sussex village of Bexhill into the fashionable seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea. Famous at the time for the introduction of mixed bathing and the first motor races to be held in the United Kingdom, the resort had a population of around 15,000 people by the outbreak of the Great War. This 30-year period also coincides with the development of dentistry from an apprenticed trade to the beginnings of a regulated profession. There has been little previous research into the lives of those who entered the profession in the early stages of its development. Using primary sources, such as census records, local directories and newspapers, as well as the dental register and journals, the ebb and flow of general dental practitioners into the rapidly growing coastal resort from 1880 is described. The family origins, qualifications and entrepreneurial nature of these dentists are discussed.

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The author acknowledges with thanks, the help and advice of the staff at Bexhill Library, the BDA Library and the BDA Museum, and extends appreciation and thanks to Barbara Christmas for the photographs, as well as to David Radford and Alison Stockford for comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper.

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Correspondence to Paul Hellyer.

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Hellyer, P. The growth of general dental practice in a developing Sussex seaside resort 1885-1916 - Part 1: the early settlers. Br Dent J 227, 419–425 (2019).

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