Shoreham’s WW1 Fatalities

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The names on this Roll of Honour have been collected from the memorials in Shoreham’s churches, cemeteries, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Soldiers Died in The Great War and includes many whose names are not shown on the town’s War Memorial. This record has been compiled independently of the Roll of Honour web site and includes more comprehensive information gleaned from Civil Registrations, Census Returns, Shipping Passenger Lists and some Service Records. Continue reading “Shoreham’s WW1 Fatalities”

Coliseum Theatre Programme 1919

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A rare programme of a musical comedy at the old Coliseum that once stood at the between Ham Road and Brighton Road next to the Ham. No local people seem to be involved and the performers appear to be a travelling troupe probably based in London that also toured the provinces.

The theatre regularly staged revues from London and on Sundays supplemented these with a ‘programme of pictures’ – probably early movies that were later to replace the live shows entirely. Cakes, biscuits and non-alcoholic drinks were sold at each performance and the management seemed to consider it necessary to include a note in the programme that the theatre was regularly disinfected with Jeyes Fluid!

Familiar local businesses and shops of the period can be seen in the accompanying advertisements but one of lesser known was plumber Fred Barnes’ business – Barnes’ Baths two doors west of the Surrey Arms pub, that provided hot baths at a time when there were still many homes in Shoreham that did not have the luxury of piped hot water.

Roger Bateman

Shoreham

July 2013

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Bert Longstaff – Professional Footballer

Bert Circle

In his time Albert Edward Longstaff was a household name in Brighton, in the county and beyond; his image and exploits appeared in many postcards, football team photos and newspaper reports during the first part of the twentieth century. Born in 1885 in Shoreham of parents John and Sarah and one of four brothers and two sisters living for a short while at the family home at Queens Place before moving to their more permanent home in Victoria Road. His father was a Durham man, an agricultural engine driver experienced in steam ploughing who later used his knowledge to become a traction engine agent for the Shoreham and surrounding area.

Whilst living at Queens Place the Longstaff family would have been close neighbours (just one door away in fact) of Shoreham Football Club manager and secretary Oswald Ball who doubtless recognised Albert’s footballing abilities from a young age, and perhaps encouraged him (and his brother Harvey) with a view to enlisting him in the town’s team. Oswald was a teacher who became headmaster at Ham Road school in 1901 and may even have been there earlier as a teacher when Albert attended the school as a pupil. After junior school at Ham Road Albert followed his brothers to York Place Intermediate School opposite St.Peter’s church in Brighton – a fee paying school charging 9d a week for its education and he would have travelled to Brighton daily in the company of a number of other boys from Shoreham who attended the same school.

School & Vic

Top:- Victoria Road around 1900, home to the Longstaff family during Albert’s early playing days. (photo Sussex Archaeological Society collection PP_SHORM_89.1266)

Below:- Ham Road School 1880 showing the headmaster’s house in the foreground and the school beyond. (photo Sussex Archaeological Society collection PP_SHORM_89.467)

Albert played initially for Shoreham Excelsior, a now defunct club, before progressing to Shoreham FC Reserves and then to the town’s First XI who played their matches at the Oxen Field. He was just seventeen when he first played for Shoreham in the West Sussex Senior League in season 1902-3, the year that they first won the Sussex Senior Cup.

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Shoreham F.C. 1904 – 5 (Winton Collection)

This postcard of the Shoreham F.C. team for season 1904-5 shows Albert as a nineteen year old sitting second from left in the front row. In those days our team, formed in 1892, was something of a force in the county and, before the nearby Brighton club became more prominent, townsfolk would flock to the Oxen Field when home games were being played. Shoreham F.C. 1904-5. The full line-up is thought to be:- standing at the back left to right W.J.Brooker and Oswald Ball. Middle Row:- Alf Maple, Frank Longstaff (Albert’s brother), Art Maple, Ernest Ayling, E. D.Gates, George Gates, F. Rose. Front Row:- H. Upton, A.E. Longstaff, W.J.Elmer, C.E.Peake. (more information on them is included with the 1905-6 team photo).

By now Albert, or Bert as he was commonly known, was gaining the interest of the professional clubs as well as the Sussex County selectors. An approach was made to him from Tottenham Hotspur but turned down owing to his parent’s influence in wanting their son to remain at home. It was the season of 1905–6 that brought Shoreham’s and Bert’s greatest honours to date when they won a county ‘treble’ by taking the Sussex Senior Cup, the Royal Ulster Rifles Charity Cup and the West Sussex League championship.

 

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The photo of the successful team with their trophies that appeared in the local newspapers in 1906. (from the Sussex Archaeological Society Collection image no. PP_SHORM_ 89.706)

Instead of using the Oxen Field for the shot the uninspiring backdrop looks to be more like the back of the buildings on the riverside behind the High Street. The trophies are from left to right:- Royal Ulster Rifles Charity Cup, West Sussex Senior League Cup and Sussex Senior Cup.

The names of those in this photo and who they were are left to right back row:- Full back George A. Gates 24, carpenter and son of William Gates who ran the successful builders and undertakers business in Brunswick Road; W.J. Brooker 33, the goalkeeper who had a painting and decorating business on Dolphin Hard (his sign can be seen on some old photos of the hard); Art Maple (Arthur) 26, full back, was the son of oyster merchant Sam Maple – Arthur was a fisherman and also assisted in the running of the family’s fish shop business. In 1908 he married Ivy, one of the daughters of William E. Winton who organised the town’s regattas and carnivals.

Middle row:- President of the club Doctor Henry Reeks 33, who’s practice was at St.John’s House in John Street; Half backs:- Frank Stubbings 25, a cycle maker from Steyning; Alfred Maple 29, brother of Arthur (above); William John Elmer 28, a labourer living at Norfolk Cottages in the Ropetackle area; Secretary and Manager Oswald Ball, 35 headmaster of Ham Road School who is previously described; James Edward Hackett 25 the trainer – he was a well known athlete in his own right, the Sussex Half Mile Champion in 1913 and went on to become a gifted amateur dramatic actor who starred in shows at the Theatre Royal in Brighton as well as in Shoreham’s numerous amateur productions during the twenties and thirties.

Front row:- forwards Wallace Slaughter 22 the son of Edwin who ran the greengrocery shop in the High Street; Albert Edward. Longstaff 21; Ernest Digby Gates 26 (captain) went on to run a successful auctioneering business in Shoreham, son of the wealthy ship-owner Thomas who lived at the prestigious Athole House in New Road; Harry Upton 22, one of the prolific and well known Shoreham family of that name that lived in Surrey Street; Charles Edward Peak 26, a fruit grower who owned the Southdown Nursery in Southdown Road and like Digby Gates became prominent members of the town council.

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Gates & Sons’ shop in Brunswick Road, Shoreham. A poor quality photo but a relevant one with the shop window displaying the trophies won by Shoreham F.C. in 1906. George Gates was one of the players in the record breaking team. (Winton Collection)

All this success soon brought fresh interest from the professional clubs and by the next season (1906-7) Bert had signed on as an amateur with Brighton & Hove Albion, then in the Southern League, before becoming a professional player with them the following year. In those days the Southern League was more of a force in English football and was almost on a par with the Football League itself. Initially used in the inside right-position he was quickly recognised to be most effective on the right-wing where he rapidly became a favourite with Albion fans as a local boy made good. He was a highly successful goal scorer himself but his crosses from the wing to his inside forwards particularly resulted in many goals for the club.

During the 1910-11 season Brighton were drawn in the F.A. Cup against Leeds United (then Leeds City in the second division of the Football League). It is a report of this match (included here verbatim) that provides us with a glimpse of Bert in action:-

“Although City were unhappy about the Brighton opening goal, they could have no complaints about the overall result. Brighton started brightly and before five minutes had elapsed Bert Longstaff crossed from the goal-line, with Leeds complaining the ball had gone out of play, but Harry Bromage could only parry the cross and Bill ‘Bullet’ Jones had the rebound in the net in a flash. City were on level terms five minutes before the interval after some brilliant work by Billy McLeod. He had already tested the Brighton Goalkeeper, Bob Whiting, on several occasions, and he now he tried to lob the ball over the keeper’s head and, after it hit the bar, Hugh Roberts was on hand to rifle the ball home from the rebound.

City, however, failed to build on that goal and after sixty-five minutes they fell behind again. Bert Longstaff found himself in lots of space on the right and from his accurate cross Bill ‘Bullet’ Jones lived up to his nickname to head his, and Brighton’s, second goal as Harry Bromage unavailingly could only get his fingertips to it. It was Bert Longstaff, once again, that created Brighton’s third and best goal. The tiring Leeds defence failed to hold him from making another searching run down the flank and he sent over a teasing centre for Jimmy Smith to power in a great header for the killer third goal, in a 3-1 victory. Leeds finished well beaten by a much fitter, cleverer and more organized side.” (The Brighton team was Bob Whiting; Fred Blackman, Joe Leeming; Billy Booth, Joe McGhie, J.H. Howarth; Bert Longstaff, Bill Jones, Jimmy Smith, G.C. Webb, Bill Hastings.)

Bert was now performing at what many believe to have been his best and in much the same way as his performances helped his former club to achieve their ‘treble’ the Albion’s similar success in the 1909-10 season was due in no small way to his influence when they carried off the Southern League title, the Southern Charity Cup and no less than the F.A. Charity Shield!

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A penny postcard that was sold in its hundreds to Brighton fans. The owner of this particular copy wrote upon it additional information concerning Bert’s earlier teams and his first benefit year (from the Winton Collection)

The Charity Shield in those days was competed for between the champions of the Football League and Southern League and the winners were nearly always from the former. Aston Villa were Brighton’s opponents that day and the match was played in front of 13,000 spectators at Chelsea’s ground at Stamford Bridge. Brighton started well and were the more impressive of the two teams until nearer the end of the first half when Villa started to take control and actually had the ball in the net but this was disallowed as the rules then prevented goals from being scored direct from corners. In the second half Villa continued to press but Brighton easily contained the pressure and only two long distance shots were made at their goal. On 72 minutes Bert Longstaff crossed the ball which Villa failed to clear. Bill Hastings took possession of it and passed to Charlie Webb who “dribbled round two defenders before hitting a rising shot into the net.” In winning this match Brighton effectively became the footballing champions of England.

Albion Poster

The Albion poster issued to celebrate the 1909-10 successes showing the players, trophies and statistics. (author’s collection)

What kind of home attendances did Brighton have in those days? Ordinary league matches may well have has lower attendances but we know the gates of some of the more important games. In 1905/6 there were 15,000 for the cup match against Sheffield United; 11,000 saw Bert Longstaff score the final goal in the 3-1 defeat of Swindon in the 1909/10 season to win the Southern League title and similar gates were experienced in the matches against Northampton in 1911 and Everton in season 1912/13.

The First World War bought an interruption to Bert’s and most other footballer’s careers but he went back with the Albion again when the war ended and the football leagues recommenced their competitions. Despite his age (34 in 1919) he continued in the first team and in the season 1920/21 he played for them in the newly formed Division Three South of the Football League that included such clubs as West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton and Crystal Palace but this was to be his last season as a professional.

During his time with Brighton Bert earned himself two benefit matches, the first in 1913 when the opponents were Portsmouth and with a crowd attendance of 2,000 earned him £135-3s-0d, equivalent to about £11,000 in today’s money. Unusually, his second benefit in 1923 was after he had left the club in a match against Merthyr Town (then a Division Three South club like Brighton) when the gate was 5,000 – this however was a joint benefit with another player so that the shared amount would have been a little over what he had earned in 1913. Bert made 443 appearances for the Albion during which he scored 86 goals thereby becoming the only Brighton player to hold for a number of years both records for aggregate appearances and goals.

His younger brother Harvey also made his mark playing for Steyning, Shoreham and Worthing before following Bert to join Brighton. However, Harvey’s time there was brief making only 9 appearances but scoring 4 goals before being transferred to Southend in 1914.

In 1924 later Bert secured permission from the Football Association to revert to amateur status and rejoined Shoreham then in the Sussex County League for his remaining playing years and appeared for them in the 1925 Sussex Senior Cup Final aged 39. He later moved to Freshfield Road, Brighton and lived there until his death at the good age of 84.

Roger Bateman

Shoreham

May 2010

Sources:-

‘Albion A – Z ; A Who’s Who of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.’ by Tim Carder and Roger Harris. Published by Goldstone Books 1997

‘Albion – The First Hundred Years’ by Paul Camillin & Stewart Weir. Published by Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) Ltd 2001

‘Leeds United F.C. – A Complete History.’ (website)

Venetian Water Carnival Programme 1923

 

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A rare, original programme recording the competitors and events of the 1923 carnival. This small booklet measuring 4 inches by 5 inches and printed by Pope & Beesley of Middle Street reveals that from start to finish the carnival ran for a considerable nine hours but, surprisingly, on a Wednesday and not during a weekend. The story and photos of Shoreham’s regattas and carnivals, particularly the 1924 and 1926 events and the man that organized them are already included in the article ‘William Edward Winton – Regattas and Postcards.’ That article describes some of the boat races including the shovel and dog swimming events – this programme reveals a few more such as one-oar races, milk churn trundling, participation by the town’s fire brigade and even a list of the illuminated boats.

The booklet includes many familiar surnames of Shoreham families of the time, particularly those in the children’s events. Notes or points of interest about people and places mentioned have been restricted to those we know more of. These are numbered with the page to which they relate at the end of the article.

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Notes. (any already published articles relating to the persons or places are also included)

Page 1. Major Sexton was an eccentric, well-to-do character who wore military style clothes and lived at Bungalow Town in a dwelling that was constructed using Queen Victoria’s personal railway carriage. He was a very generous benefactor of Shoreham charities, events and sports clubs during the 1920’s and 30’s and a particular supporter financially of William Winton’s regattas and carnivals.

Major G. F. Sexton in 1922

3 (continuing to 5). Stewards:- James E. Hackett was for many years a leading amateur character actor and often appeared in Brighton theatres – see article ‘Some Lesser Known Shoreham Characters’ for more information; Ernest C. Ayling, played in goal for Shoreham F.C. during their most successful years as a leading Sussex amateur football club, son of Henry who founded H. Ayling & Sons grocery stores – for further information see ‘Shoreham F.C. 1886 – 1907’; Harry Claud Lucking, the tailor and gent’s outfitter in the High Street who later moved his shop to East Street (see advert on page 27); Ernest T. Corbyn, a long standing Shoreham councilor, Corbyn Crescent was named after him; William Hughes Browning the first curator of Marlipins Museum (see article ‘The Saving of Marlipins’; Albert Patching, a well known amateur racing cyclist and secretary of Shoreham District Cycling & Athletic Club .

Starter:- Arthur C. Maple, another Shoreham F.C. footballer who played at half back during their successful years – he was married to Ivy Winton, one of W.E. Winton’s daughters.

Clerk of the Course – W. P. Glazebrook, landlord of the Bridge Hotel.

Marshall – Bill Winton, W.E. Winton’s eldest son who built a successful printing business in the town, his postcards of Shoreham are much collected today – more on him in ‘William Edward Winton – Regattas and Postcards.’

Bill Winton and his megaphone

The names of the fancy dress competitions judges includes many more familiar names including Alfred Snelling who ran the butcher’s shop in the High Street (see advert on page 27); F. and B. Holloway of the family that had the garage next to the footbridge; Arthur Burfoot, one of the brothers that ran the nursery in Middle Road; Charles Peak, yet another member of the successful Shoreham football team who also ran a nursery but in Southdown Road; the Battens of course who had the dairy business (see also 4 below); the Harkers of Harkers Stores in the High Street; two of the wealthy Shoreham ship-owning Gates family – Digby Gates, solicitor and ex captain of Shoreham FC who had regularly represented his county and Thomas I. Gates, Dr. Reeks, the general practitioner in John Street.

4. The Batten family from Devon had their dairy in East Street and the Pebble Tea Lounge in Ferry Road (see also Pebble Tea Lounge advert on page 32).

5 (continuing to 7). It is pertinent to see that the ancient stones in the High Street (outside Stone House) were still a feature and, in this instance, used as an area for dancing on – where were they removed to or were they just broken up?

The General Directions & Conditions section include some interesting rules – the Dog Swimming races include an hilarious condition (but with laudable intentions) that any reluctant animals that are thrown into the water will be deemed non-starters!

Paine’s Wharf was behind Paine’s ironmongery store within the block of Dolphin Buildings that is now Coronation Green.

9. June and Dennis Hall were the children of Pansy (W.E. Winton’s daughter) – it was June that inherited the Winton photo collection (see ‘Winton Family Album’ on the Shorehambysea.com website); Dennis was killed in an accident flying for the R.A.F. during WW2. Tony Eley was the son of Myrtle (another daughter of W.E. Winton) and Reg Eley – Tony was also destined to die during WW2 as a tail-gunner on an Avro Lancaster of 57 Squadron over Germany.

11. Eileen Turrell and Emily Clement (mis-spelt with an ‘s’ in the programme) were cousins, Emily’s story is included in the article ‘Emily Winifred Elizabeth Hudson 1914 – 2005’.

Children in fancy dress behind the grammar school shortly before the parade

12. Frank Ward was the official photographer for the event. His shop was on the west corner of Church and High Streets. In WW1 he flew as a reconnaissance photographer for the Royal Flying Corps but died shortly after 1923 from lung damage originally caused by the effects of mustard gas –see article ‘Some Lesser Known Shoreham Characters’

14. Reg Eley was a prominent racing cyclist in the south-east but turned to motor cycles to earn a living when he opened his garage in Shoreham later marrying W.E. Winton’s daughter Myrtle in 1914. He served with the Royal Marine Artillery in WW1 and became another casualty of the effects of the war at his death in 1926 which is noted as ‘having been accelerated by the war.’

20. The Court Kinema – another of the Winton family’s businesses and a photo of it is included in the article on W.E.Winton. It stood in Church Street and is now the Co-op goods delivery entrance.

21. Punting Race for Men – the competitors in this race all came from long standing Shoreham families, W. and R. Suter were of the boat building family at Suter’s Yard (see advert on page 23), the three Uptons lived in and around the Surrey Street area (predecessors of Shoreham historian Alan Upton), the Pages were fishermen and ferrymen.

29. Frank Van Der Linde was a Canadian soldier stationed at the Army Camp near Buckingham Park during WW1. He married Shoreham’s Bertha Page and settled in the town (see article ‘Emily Winifred Elizabeth Hudson 1914 – 2005’).

33. Some in the over 55 sculls event were in their seventies!

‘The Story of Shoreham’ is still the definitive history of the town that cost five shillings then and even second hand copies now command prices of around £30.

34. Sussex Mutual advert – Arthur F.W. Eade was the son of the founder of Shoreham’s Eades Stores (see also advert on page 21), he was also another of the town’s early (penny farthing) cyclists and supporter for the acquisition of the Marlipins premises as a museum during the 1920’s. He married twice, to Henry Cheal’s sisters on both occasions. (see articles ‘Some Lesser Known Shoreham Characters’ and ‘The Saving of Marlipins’).

Roger Bateman

Shoreham

May 2013

Photos:- Major Sexton from the Sussex Archaeological Collection; Bill Winton and megaphone from the Winton Family Album; Childrens fancy dress from Emily Hudson.