Top – two men digging aither side of a barge (1920’s Harbour Trustees photo). The aerial shot of similar period shows three barges together near the back of the Victory suggesting perhaps a permanent mooring and therefore a permanent function – e.g., the regular scouring of the mud flats by hand near that point. The old dredgers were perhaps unable to operate away from the main channel even at high tide until they got through the locks. The photo shows the barge outside the round marker bouys of the main channel. Even dredging by hand gradually between hightides (common in Victorian times) over a period of time may well have been effective “for shovelling away by navvies called muckshifters…..” until relatively recent times when dredgers had more efficient mechanisms and shallower draughts as the whole area there inside and outside of the old main channel seems now to be maintained at 1.9 metres. Is that what is happening here …. or have they just grounded?
Just love the questions that old photos ask. The lower one is noted as circa 1903 – the top one is undated but despite it showing the building in a more dilapidated state it, and the lady’s style of dress, seems to indicate an older image perhaps and therefore a refurbished rendering in the lower image? The cyclists advert suggests a landlord then (circa 1903) of Harry Jas (James) Burt (rather than what looks like Harry Jasbury) but with a small poster just above it appearing to include perhaps the words ‘New Management.’ The changing management theme is further indicated by the name ‘F.Smart’ appearing to have been recently added to the pub sign. There is also a signpost pointing south indicating I guess the carriage works but why also Brigden at 187 Western Road when there were obviously others in that road? Someone with access to a Lancing directory of the period will have the answers
This well known photo of the veterans 1907 race at the Oxen Field (now Windlesham Gardens) was of particular interest to me as it provided a glimpse of the Mill Lane windmill that was owned at the time by a predecessor. More interestingly though was the fair there that included what looks like gypsy caravans and swing boats including one mad individual that propelled his swing boat so high it was nearly vertical!
Photos to date of the ship Britannia in full classic side-on pose are in dirty condition and poor resolution – that is until one turned up that was included with the collection donated by Jean Tyler. The full length shot will be included when we have the galleries up and running (shouldn’t be long now) but, as usual, we couldn’t resist looking at the background detail. The Britannia was launched in 1877, the map is dated 1872.
The Parlett family name often appears in the Shoreham records around the 1930’s onwards, notably Frank, James and John Parlett who were largely involved with the building trade. John lived on the west side of the Old Shoreham Road, just below the viaduct where he had his workshop beneath one of the arches there. One of his advertisements in 1938 shows a neat looking bungalow he had built that Spinalman has since discovered still survives largely unaltered at number 357 Upper Shoreham Road. The advertisement mentions the houses, bungalows and shops that John was also building near the golf course and seems to be in competition with Braybons who were building at the nearby ‘Downside’ area. Building though came to a halt during the war years and the majority of both those areas did not become completely built upon until the 1960’s and after.
Finally, a scatty but hilarious report concerned the farcical 1849 election of an unopposed Lord Lennox, the only candidate for the Rape of Bramber that year. Sparsely attended due to a bitter, northerly wind on that December day and conducted in East Street near the south-east entrance to the churchyard. It included Lennox, John Shelley (the deceased poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s brother), an ancient town crier who hardly had the strength to shout and a heckling, anti-Lennox, one-eyed fisherman waving a kipper! Wonderful stuff!
Humour though did emerge from time to time. One report (1831) mentioned an Irishman who on passing the signboard of the Sussex Pad inn exclaimed ‘Sure now, I’ll be after getting me a pint of beer here for the honour of ould Ireland for it’s the only place in England that says Success to Pat!’ On another occasion (1842) a churchgoing woman not blessed with spelling and punctuation skills whose husband was going to sea passed a prayer for his wellbeing to the St. Mary’s vicar that read ‘A man going to see his wife desires the prayers of this congregation’ which when read out ‘set the congregation in all of a titter.’
In 1826 a Shoreham oyster merchant demonstrated a great deal of ingenuity in solving one particular crime. Owner of one of the oyster beds in the river that had suffered a series of thefts of his stock he suspected a fellow trader. At low tide he wrote his name on a number of scraps of paper, inserted them between the half open shells that the oysters instantly closed. Next day he purchased and opened oysters from the suspected man, found the scraps with his name and the man was arrested.
Shoreham’s home-grown justice was also used for other offences. In 1799 the miller at Southwick windmill was prosecuted for selling flour deficient by 5lbs in the hundredweight. This so incensed the populace at Shoreham (to whom he apparently sold his flour) that they ‘exhibited the miller in effigy about the streets’ then burnt it on a bonfire. Another man was known to have ill-treated his wife (1848) so some 200 townsfolk paraded through town carrying an effigy of the offender on a pole ‘chanting some doggerel rhyme,’ marched to his house in the High Street, let off fireworks and burnt his effigy in front of him.