During the 1950’s when roads were much quieter we would occasionally cycle up to West Grinstead railway station where one of my predecessors served as stationmaster there in the 1880’s. Rather than returning on the busier road we would drop down to pick up the B2135 to Partridge Green and on to Shoreham.
The first part of the route took us past the catholic church ‘Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation’ at West Grinstead, resting place of the much loved Sussex writer and historian Hilaire Belloc and his wife, then continued along a pretty, meandering switchback of a road with occasional views in the distance to the South Downs.
For centuries Shoreham folk have earned a living from the sea and one hundred years or so ago the fishing families of Ratcliffe, Page, Laker and Maple were prominent. Perhaps the best known of them were the Maples who sold their fish and oysters from their shop at the west end of the High Street in one of the ancient cottages that once stood alongside the King’s Head pub. Continue reading “A Fisherman’s Tale – the Maple Family”
The West Nova Scotia Regiment had been carrying out defensive and security duties at various places in the southeast of England before arriving at Worthing on the 22ndNovember 1941 from their previous posting at Newhaven. Here they took over responsibility for the area including Shoreham Airport from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The official strength of the Regiment at the time was 36 officers and 840 other ranks.
In the Shoreham area some billeting was arranged for the Canadians in local residents homes but others were also thought to have been housed at the Grammar School in Pond Road (the pupils had been evacuated) and more under canvas in the school’s playing fields, now the Greenacres housing estate, where a searchlight, anti aircraft gun and heavy machine gun emplacements were installed
A chance swop of postcards between collectors Neil De Ville and Alan Humphries revealed previously unnoticed buildings on Shoreham Beach. The image is of the old Norfolk Suspension Bridge and across the river below the bridge span two large shed-like structures can be made out.
The image has been postitively dated as 1921 by local historians at the time when the Bridge was being prepared for demolition so what were the mysterious buildings for? Their location looked to be near Ferry Road and at first sight 1927 aerial photographs seemed to confirm this by showing their likely footprints on the beach, not just of the structures but also a concrete raft or apron on their seaward side. Continue reading “Shoreham’s Mystery Seaplane Base”
One of the regiments that carried out their training at Shoreham during WW1 was the Northamptonshire Regiment. Unusually despite wartime restrictions their stay there and at Southwick is comprehensively recorded in numerous photographs that were taken at the time.
One soldier who served with the Northamptonshires and trained at Shoreham was Albert Warren of whom we are lucky enough to know a little more through a magazine article in Albert’s home town and letters that he wrote home whilst serving his country.
Before the war Albert, or Bert to his friends and family, worked with his father at the local brickworks and at the outbreak of hostilities at the age of 21 enlisted with the 7thBattalion of the Northamptonshires.
Freeholders that lived in or held land in Old or New Shoreham, Southwick or Kingston who voted in the 1784 Poll
1622 Shoreham to Lancing Marshes Map – Although lacking in some detail and is incomplete (the original has the extreme west part missing) this is probably one of the earliest large scale maps of the area. Surveyed and drawn by George Randoll , presumably for the then owners of the land, it came into the hands of the Petworth Estate in 1784 when they purchased Pad Farm and some of the marshes. It shows the main course of the river around Old and New Shoreham. Unusually orientated north to south it covers the area from Well Dyke (near today’s Sussex Pad site) to the ‘Stoane Beatche’ (which shows the build up of the Shoreham Beach spit or peninsula – this is thought to have been long established and even by the 17th century the river is believed to have entered the sea as far west as Southwick). From east to west the map originally covered from Shoreham to Worthing Gate (map piece missing – now known as Teville Gate). Text in the top left corner refers to the submerged village of Pende reads ‘In this place being distant from the shore in the sea (axer?) could wales (rocks) to be (seen?) at low water which are commonly called axaparte – the old name for Pende. A ferry is shown at Old Shoreham where the toll bridge is now – the Lancing and Well Dyke ‘shoppes’ were, of course , workshops. Were these offshoots of the river man made for drainage or naturally formed? Apart from the main river little or nothing of them in their original position remains now although the section from ‘Salte Mershes’ opposite Old Shoreham down to ‘Lyttel Iland’ seems to have survived up to 1780 alongside a road through what is now the airport (Map5a) and although that road can still be seen on the 1912 map (Map12b) the ditch itself has disappeared.
Reproduced by permission of Lord Egremont.
A selection of newspaper cuttings providing five year example of ship movements in and out of Shoreham port during the 19th century. The ship’s name is followed by the surname of the captain then the port sailed from or to. From early 1840 the cargo carried is also given.
The British Library Newspaper Archive is a massive and absolutely fascinating resource and thanks must go them for their permission in allowing these images to be reproduced (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk). Please also note that in copyright images belong to Northcliffe Media Limited and out of copyright images belong to The British Library. Continue reading “Ship Arrivals & Departures 1837-1842.”