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”
In 1782 Shoreham shipbuilder John Edwards is shown as owning land called ‘David’s Marsh’ where today’s Swiss Gardens School now stands, together with, just below it, ‘a meadow embanked.’ This was later acquired by his son-in-law John Britten Balley, his partner in the ship building business. Hitherto, the area had been unsuitable, marsh-land saturated by the waters of the Northbourne Stream on its last stretch before it emptied into the River Adur. The stream’s embankment of 1782 largely cured all that providing Balley with an opportunity to develop the land.
It turns out that three past and present Shoreham residents Brian Bazen, Denis Turrell and I are linked in a surprising set of coincidences. Earlier this year I was looking through Bob Hill’s collection of Old Shoreham photographs (he wrote the booklets ‘Old Shoreham Village & Farms’) in Marlipins Museum and found one of a V1 flying bomb (they were known generally as doodlebugs) that was taken through a window.
Shoreham historian Henry Cheal tells us that following the great storm of 1703 that blew down the town’s original market house another was built in its stead in 1711 on 10 columns and stood opposite the Crown and Anchor pub.The new market house was described as having consisted of ‘an oblong canopy of freestone (a fine grained stone, usually sandstone or limestone) embellished with gothic ornaments, supported by ten columns’ and was ‘a fine piece of architecture.’ Was it merely a canopy or roof supported on columns – maybe not as Cheal refers to the new building as a market house? It was itself later removed and replaced by another market house contemptuously described as ‘a mean building of brick,’ in East Street near the New Road junction in 1823. From there we are told it was taken to the island at the bottom of Southdown Road where it would have been a landmark seen by the crowds on their way from the station to the popular Swiss Gardens.
Built around the 1750’s it is first recorded as a tenement and garden in 1782 owned by Richard Lashmar and occupied by John and Sarah Purse. Ann Foster, a Church Street resident and landlady of a number of rented houses, then acquired the property letting it out to Thomas Carver during the 1820’s and 30’s.
In August 2015 ASL were sub-contracted to maintain a Watching Brief on land opposite 3 Ship Street Shoreham, by West Sussex Archaeology LTD. This took place over the course of nine days in September 2015 on the 7th – 11th and then a second week on 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 25th.
Remnants of domestic medieval pits were partially excavated containing burnt cereal grains, building material and pottery dating to the 13th – 14th century. A later phase was represented by the demolished remains of an 18th century building and cobbled yard which was replaced by a later 19th century house. A mid 19th century French bayonet was found rammed through the yard surface. In the mid 20th century the house was demolished and the area levelled to create a car park space.
By Andy Ramus from his article ‘Watercraft, my part in its downfall’
Having kicked my heels for a couple of months after leaving Kingfisher yachts, I got an interview for an apprenticeship as a boat builder at Watercraft LTD on Harbour Way, Shoreham Beach. Dear old Pa had asked a couple of his friends, Paul Powter and Peter Kilner, who had sons already working there, to put in a word to get me the interview. Continue reading “Watercraft 1980”