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’).
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.
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”
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”
Alexander Duff Robertson, the son of a Scottish industrialist, began business as the proprietor of a laundry in London. He later became predominantly involved in property development both in London and Shoreham. During WW1 he was a captain in the RFC/RAF and afterwards served on Shoreham‘s Urban Council.
Alexander purchased land on Shoreham Beach and went on to build a number of bungalows there for himself, his family and to let out. During their time in Bungalow Town the building work and subsequent residency in their homes was uniquely recorded in a collection of photographs and ephemera that have been generously donated by a descendant who bears the self same names a his forbear. Continue reading “The Robertsons and their Bungalows”
Amongst photographs recently found in part of the collections of the late Shoreham historian, Michael Norman, is one noted by him on the reverse ‘First bungalow on Shoreham beach c.1890.’ There are no other notes at all concerning it and curiosity prompted an attempt to find out more.
Before the bungalows arrived the chemical works, cholera hospital, coastguard station, and a few boat and fishermen’s huts were about the only buildings on the beach. The location of the earliest bungalows can be seen on the 1898 Ordnance Survey map. Matching this to the 1930’s Bungalow Town map and lists shows that these first bungalows were named, from west to east, Kittiwake, Arcadia, Struan Lee, Rhodesia, Lazyland, Sea View, Sea Spray, Coronation, Shoreham Dene, Waterville and Canaan (the empty rectangles were plots for later bungalow to be built on them but some don’t seem to have materialised.
A very rare map of bungalows and their names as they were in 1917 when the growth of Bungalow Town was really getting under way. There are (as to be expected) lots of familiar and new names on this, some for new bungalows and others that were obviously changed. The footprints for each bungalow are not accurate, though, with no real indication of their shape (as with the 1930’s map) only identical hand drawn rectangles for each showing their location. The map year fortuitously coincides with the 1917 street directory (also on shorehambysea.com website) but already that comes up with a few anomalies (different names for some properties on the same spot, probably in part due to frequent name-changes and different time of the year between the two publications – there are even different names for some of the roads!).
1901 and 1912 to 1914 Properties on the Beach (from Census Returns)
Bungalow Town was then under the control of Lancing Council – no road names are mentioned. The bungalow details are listed in the same order as shown in the census and from the names of some of the properties that survived to the 1930’s it would appear that the list works generally (with some exceptions) from the east to the west. Where the names did survive or locations are known through other research (e.g., ‘Along the Beach at Bungalow Town ‘article) these have been included using the 1935 street names – if they appear on the 1935 property list the numbers are also included. Un-named bungalows appear as ‘bungalow’ and ‘bungalow buildings’ may perhaps be brick built as opposed to all wood construction. The census was carried out in March of 1901 out of the holiday season which is why very few residents are shown. The few residents’ names that are mentioned have been included:- Continue reading “Bungalow Town Properties 1901 & Lancing Beach 1912-1914”