V1 Flying Bombs at Shoreham

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.

Part of the Bob Hill Collection


That looked iffy for a start – how could anyone be ready with a camera at the very point in time that a V1 happened by and click the shutter quickly enough to capture it? It all seemed extremely suspect. Was the photo a hoax, had it been tampered with before being given to the Museum? With today’s sophisticated photo editing computer programmes it is not difficult to fake photographs but these were collected by a reputable author and historian many years ago when photo editing without computers was difficult.


I know that view of the rooftops well which is not Old Shoreham at all but in the town. It shows the roof of today’s car bodywork repair garage in Middle Street, beyond it the roofs of the Royal Sovereign pub (right) and its neighbour (then one house and now split into two properties). The latter is easily recognisable by its two distinctly dissimilar dormer windows.


The view in 1944 compared with today.


I could see that the photo was taken from the southernmost, rear window on the first floor of our old house in Church Street and shortly after we moved there some twenty years ago I was contacted by Denis Turrell, an earlier resident, who was able to give me information on the history of the occupants and the building. He was there during the 1930’s and 40’s and his bedroom was the same room that the V1 photo was taken from although I didn’t know that when I spoke to him and we have since lost contact. I found Denis to be a genuine chap and, if it was him that took the photo, I have no reason whatsoever to think he would have wanted, or even had the expertise necessary then, to alter it.


The only recorded instances I know of V1s actually impacting on the area (there were many that overflew on their way, presumably, towards London) was on 13th July 1944 near Lancing Chapel and the 5th November 1945 at the top of Eastern Avenue. The V1 in the photo is not falling (once their engines cut out the nose-heavy machines would plummet head first). Its sillhouette is unclear although this is to be expected as it was travelling at speed. V1’s normally had straight, level flying attitudes pointed towards London but this one seems to be banking and is in fact flying southwards, away from the capital!

The Original Photo


No convincing arguments in favour of a genuine photo there then, that is until the discovery of an article by Shoreham resident Brian Bazen of his wartime reminiscences in the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Britain at War’ series. The V1 that hit Eastern Avenue actually exploded on Brian’s allotment there which is coincidence enough but he also goes on to say on another occasion ‘I actually saw a doodlebug being nudged by the wing of a British fighter, and watched it turn back out to sea. I was disbelieved, but I actually saw it happen!’ Could this have been the Middle Street doodlebug and did Denis Turrell photograph it?


V1 engines had a noisy and distinctive sound that warned of their approach, add to that the fighter aircraft’s engine noise and the time it took to turn the missile then there may well have been sufficient warning for a photograph to be taken.


Some V1s that were ‘nudged’ off course didn’t always crash immmediately but, because their gyros were affected, would start circling and losing height. The Shoreham V1 is very low and looks to be banking in the same way, perhaps in a wide circle towards the sea.


The image has been checked by a photographic expert who confirms there is nothing in the image that suggests it is technically a fake and further examination revealed even more surprises. Compared with most photos of flying bombs, and unless there is some optical distortion, the silhouette indicates a slightly longer nose and tapered wings – there is a conflict of opinion on this, some hold that operational V1s never had tapered wings wheras others say they were used for a while only in the early stages of the attacks on London. Photos of V1s with tapered wings are scarce, if not completely non existent.


All in all, and if this is a genuine untouched photo, something of a rare discovery perhaps.


Roger Bateman

22nd July 2017


Watercraft 1980

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Watercraft 1980

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”

Shoreham Follies Programme 1931

1931 Shoreham Follies Revue Programme

St.Mary’s Hall, February 1931

 Photocopies of this programme, a chorus line photo, a ‘Modern Players’ programme of 1938 and a Shoreham Herald newspaper of Friday June 21st 1946 were donated by ex. Shoreham girl Sue Waterfield of 1, Church Park Road, Yealmpton, Devon. Sue is the daughter of James (Jimmy) Barker who features in the newspaper and in the programmes/photo.

Continue reading “Shoreham Follies Programme 1931”

The 1912 Shoreham /Edinburgh Motorcycle Marathon.

20 year-old George Hedgecock with his penny-farthing bike

George Hedgecock, Shoreham’s popular bootmaker in East Street during the first half of the twentieth century was one of the town’s first cycling enthusiasts in the 1880’s taking part in races on his penny-farthing cycle.


In his 40’s he adapted his interest to motorised cycling and purchased a Singer motorcycle and sidecar possibly from Reg Eley’s garage – Reg was a fellow member of Shoreham’s motorcycling club and an agent for Singer Motorcycles.

Continue reading “The 1912 Shoreham /Edinburgh Motorcycle Marathon.”

Audio Recordings

Shoreham memories

A set of audio recordings and a BBC radio programme that captures the anecdotes and memories of those residents of Shoreham.

Introduction – Shoreham’s Past Recalled – BBC Local Radio interview with David Tait of the Shoreham Society in 1994:

Bert and Peg Taylor recall their time in 1920’s/30’s Ship Street, Gordon Road and Bert’s wartime experiences during the retreat from Dunkirk (part 1):

Bert and Peg Taylor recall their time in 1920’s/30’s Ship Street, Gordon Road and Bert’s wartime experiences during the retreat from Dunkirk (part 2):

“Shoreham Memories” BBC Radio programme about Bungalow Town

Listen to Fred Clarke’s delightful Sussex accent as he describes his time  at work in the boatyard and Bungalow Town during WW2:

  ‘When milk was a penny a pint’ – more on Bungalow Town in the early years with Doris Roberts (part 1):

‘When milk was a penny a pint’ – more on Bungalow Town in the early years with Doris Roberts (part 2):

Bungalow Town residents Helen Larman & Arthur Godfrey:

Sunday School at St.Julian’s Hall and life in Kingston and Southwick in the 1930’s:


Sam Youles, the Harbour and Kingston (part 1):

  Sam Youles, the Harbour and Kingston (part 2):

Bessie Bailey remembers Bungalow Town life between the Wars:

More Sussex accents with the Burchell family of Horsham:





Blind Fanny Winton

Blind Fanny Winton

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I’ve known about Old Shoreham’s blind Fanny Winton for many years but never got round to reading Martha Rigden’s account in her 1873 book ‘By A Way They Knew Not.’

In clearing some old papers recently I discovered this anonymous resume of the book that condenses Fanny’s story of a hard life, going blind, travelling to Brighton for (somewhat harsh) treatment, bedridden for 30 years etc., and also tells us a little of the area and the people in it.

Continue reading “Blind Fanny Winton”

Stow & Son Yachts


Thomas Stow & Son Yachts 1866 – 1936,

Courtney & Birkett and Francis Suter


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries Thomas Stow & Son earned themselves a reputation internationally as a respected designer and builder of good quality luxury racing yachts and other types of boat at their shipyard on the river at Shoreham. In his book ‘The Ships and Mariners of Shoreham historian Henry Cheal lists some of their schooners, yawls, luggers and cutters. These were of high quality, well planned internally to give them a ‘roominess’ rarely matched by other makers. Besides supplying private customers Stows also built many of the boats that carried British troops up the river Nile for the 1884 Sudan Expedition. Continue reading “Stow & Son Yachts”