Widewater Bungalows Lost to Storms

Bungalow Town properties were known by name, not the street numbering system used across the river in Shoreham Town and it was first necessary to identify the location and names of the bungalows at Widewater beach.  This has been carried out using photographs, Ordnance Survey maps of the period, Street Directories and the 1911 Census Returns – all have inexactitudes to a greater or lesser extent. Additionally, it wasn’t just one storm that caused the bungalows to be destroyed and damaged but a number in the space of a few years (1910 to 1913). In between times new bungalows were built or extended and existing ones had their names changed. Some were split into two properties making it appear from the directories that a new bungalow had been built but was in fact still one building sometimes conveniently retitled with the original name plus ‘and annexe’ for example but sometimes with totally different names!

All this made it an almost impossible task with which to achieve total accuracy and the findings should be viewed with some reservation. Nevertheless, the explanation of how the names and locations were identified should provide reassurance as to the accuracy of most if not all of the findings (see 4. ‘Reliability of Records Used’).

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Catty Norman and Framnaes

Joined Neil De Ville at the auctioning of these eight old photos and managed to purchase them.

Pencilled notes on the reverse of some indicate they were photos of Catty Norman and his family who’s bungalow was destroyed by the 1913 storm. No  bungalow names were shown but we were able to identify them by by a painstaking trawling through this website’s collections comparing them with similar photos. We thought it might be interesting enough to include an explanation of the identification process and this follows after the eight photos.

 

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A Roadside Memorial

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.

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A Fisherman’s Tale – the Maple Family

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”

Tragedy at Old Erringham

 

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

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Shoreham’s Mystery Seaplane Base

 

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.

Photo by permission of Neil De Ville and Alan Humphries

 

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”

Albert Warren of the Northamptonshires

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.

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