The SS Arthur Wright was built by William Pickersgill & Sons at their Southwick, Sunderland yard in 1937 for the Brighton Corporation. It was a 1,097-ton vessel, the Corporation’s first collier, and used for conveying fuel to the electricity works at Portslade. Named after the first (1894) manager and engineer of the works (he also designed the first domestic supply meter) the Arthur Wright carried coal mainly from the Yorkshire and Welsh coalfields via the ports of Goole and Port Talbot.
To coincide with the re-opening of Shoreham’s Marlipins Museum this May 2022 it is worthwhile mentioning that a visit to the first floor gallery will give a rare opportunity to view in person the original sketch made by Butler in 1786. This accurate snapshot of Shoreham is especially revealing. Roger Bateman’s meticulous examination and research is linked below.
On Palm Sunday 2022, Mike Riddiford recorded the Bell Ringing before the Service and later recorded a fascinating interview with Ian Vaughan from the St. Mary’s Bell Ringers in the Churchyard. The recording starts with the sound from the inside Ringing Room, where you will hear Ian calling the bells and then later the Tower Captain Hamish leading the bell ringers.
The St. Mary de Haura Bellringers are keen to encourage new ringers to join them. Bell Ringing uses number notation, so it is not necessary to have any musical knowledge, although a sense of rhythm and a good memory can be helpful. Once the basics have been mastered, ringing becomes a group activity with the opportunity of visiting other towers and making new friends.
Shoreham has 5 bridges over the Adur. Before 1781 the only way to cross was by ferry boat or detour upriver to cross at Bramber bridge. The ‘old’ Toll Bridge changed this in 1781, followed 50 years later by the suspension Bridge and causeway to Lancing. Within 12 years the railway was extended westwards from the Shoreham terminus with the building of an impressive viaduct / wooden trestle rail bridge (1845). This was replaced 50 years later. By 1921 Shoreham had a new footbridge to the beach and 2 years later the original Norfolk Bridge was replaced. 46 years later a brand new road bridge was constructed as part of the new A27 trunk road, bringing the tally of river bridges to five.
Shoreham Beach resident Gill Wright kindly allowed us to record some of her memories of when she lived in “Town” (West Street) and then when her parents moved to the “Posh part” (Old Fort Road). The lack of transport to Southwick from the east end of the Beach at the time, was resolved when a friend introduced her to “The Ferryman”.
Recorded in interview with Mike Riddiford in 2022. The recording is around 14 minutes.
Long time Shoreham resident Bill Gebbett kindly allowed us to record some of his reminiscences from a diverse life in Sussex ranging from his exploits on the farm at Holmbush, driving tractors at 12 years old, becoming a bee expert, amateur film-making, and earning his living as a roofing contractor. Recorded in interview with Mike Riddiford in 2022. The recording is around 47 minutes.
A unique 1:4 scale sailing model of HMS Victory made a rare visit to Shoreham sometime in 1935. As a consequence of a wager between two naval officers a model, about 46ft long was built in Gosport in 1935. It was exactly based on the HMS Victory lying in Portsmouth dry dock No. 2 at the time, as she looked after her restoration 1922-28. This giant model set sail with crew (full size!) to prove that the original ship had indeed been a man-of-war with outstanding sailing qualities.
Resident in America for many years now, Shoreham born Mike Holland has gathered an interesting collection of paintings of the town and area of his birth that he has kindly had digitally copied for Shorehambysea.com and can now be seen at the end of our paintings gallery.
One is of Brook Harrison’s view of the town from the south side of the river and was painted in 1873. A large sailing ship stands on the stocks at Dyer & Sons’ yard with another moored at Stow & Sons yard, now the Sussex Yacht Club.
The last three large ships to be built built at Shoreham were the Mizpah 1874, Britannia 1877 and Osman Pasha 1878. As far as is known all three were built at the old shipyard not at Dyer’s new ‘patent’ slipway that seems to have only ever been used for ship repairs.