Excavations at Church Street

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The entire block of houses numbered 13 to 23 in this area of Church Street were built in the1850’s by G.H.Hooper, a Shoreham property developer and descendant of the ancient Poole family of the town. Hooper had previously acquired and demolished the earlier building on the site that was believed to be 16th century. Anciently known as ‘Chantry House (before the later house of the same name in East Street) the southern half was used as the Customs House until the 1830’s. Continue reading “Excavations at Church Street”

Archaeological Excavations at Ropetackle

Simon Aquamanile

Introduction

The Ropetackle site had been the subject of a long-running series of failed development plans, but following the entry of SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) into the process planning, permission was given for a mixed development at the site. Owing to the position of the site within the area of the well-documented Norman new town and busy medieval port, and hence the high potential for the survival of archaeological remains, a condition was attached to the planning permission requiring archaeological work in advance of any development. Hence an archaeological evaluation was carried out in October 2000. The excavation of trial trenches uncovered a number of medieval and post-medieval remains with associated assemblages of pottery, animal bone, building material, clay tobacco pipes and other artefacts. These results confirmed the significance of the site, and underlined the need for more archaeological work.

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Bombing and Other Incidents during WW2

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Shoreham and Southwick Bombing and Other Incidents during WW2

This work identifies the accounts of bombings and more serious incidents (as well as some less serious but nevertheless interesting) in Shoreham and Southwick during WW2. These have been identified primarily from the official West Sussex Action Officer’s Minute Books and in some instances have been embellished with first hand reminiscences of the people that witnessed them.

“A total of 37 raids were carried out on Shoreham and Southwick by enemy aircraft during the war. These involved 143 high explosive bombs, 5 oil bombs and in excess of 2,000 incendiaries causing the deaths of 17 people and injuring 108 others.” (Shoreham Herald 6th October 1944). The number of HE bombs shown in the Minute Book reports are fewer but they do not always include all the bombs in every incident, nevertheless they still amount to over 100. Continue reading “Bombing and Other Incidents during WW2”

Vault in Church Street

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Survey of the old Vault in Church Street

Documentary Records.

 

Described as a ‘Capital Messuage in 1738, the land within which the vaults are situated was owned by the Smith family and then, in 1782, passed to the Bridgers. However, the description of the property whilst mentioning ‘two tenements, malthouse, garden, stables, coach house and coachyard (which included the land and buildings southwards from the Manor House down to – but not including — the old Custom House and west [behind] the latter.) does not mention a vault or cellar at all. Continue reading “Vault in Church Street”

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.

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Stanley Howard Winton 1881 – 1964

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Stanley Howard Winton 1881 – 1964 and Lancing’s Golden Sands

 

Stanley Winton aged 14
Stanley Winton aged 14

Fourth son of William and Emma Winton, Stanley was nicknamed ‘Bull’ by the Winton family – perhaps because he was ‘bullish’ in nature as his physical build never seemed to match this description. Like his brother Norman, Stanley doesn’t seem to have been involved in learning his father’s printing trade as in 1907 he is shown on a joint Winton family advertisement as a ‘Sanitary and Gas Engineer’ – he was still living with his mother and father in Shoreham at that time so the family business was beginning to diversify even more. 

 

 

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Stanley (left) with family friend Billy Reading (centre) and brother in law Robert Hall in the backyard of his parent’s house in Church Street, Shoreham c.1912

 

In 1911 he appears in the census as a builders’ merchant, progressed and shortly before WW1 purchased one of the last lorries available before WW1 government permits were required. His company hauled loads from the capital to destinations in the southern counties and eventually grew to a fleet of 17 trucks specialising in long loads up to as much as 85 feet.

 

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Stan’s steadily improving financial situation enabled him to purchase a grand Renault car seen here when visiting relatives in John Street, Shoreham.

 

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Stanley (extreme right) treats his employees to lunch in Bungalow Town, Shoreham

 

It seems he also had an eye for other opportunities as a Daily Express report during the 1920’s revealed. The Thames Conservators were at that time considering various schemes to prevent flooding along the river’s course in the capital and Stanley proposed opening up parts of London near the Thames to absorb the river’s waters during times when flooding threatened. It was not adopted but is a solution that in these days of rising sea levels is now being given more credence.

 

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As a successful and obviously hardworking businessman forty-year old Stanley perhaps found little time for a social life or just had not considered marriage but, whilst in the capital, he finally met and married Geraldine Spence at St. George’s church, Hanover Square in 1923. Whether or not he ‘worked hard and played hard’ in the past he certainly ‘played’ more since marrying Geraldine as the family photos increasingly show.

 

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Stanley and Geraldine are in the car on left at an unknown venue in the 1920’s

 

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By the time of this photo (in Devon) the couple had upgraded to an impressive 1924 Rolls Royce Landaulette and an Eccles mini-caravan.

 

The Winton brothers and sisters were a close family and even seemed to spend some of their holidays together. Certainly Stan’s nephew Geoff accompanied him and Geraldine as the following images show and other contemporary photos from the related Hedgecock and Spence family collections suggest that in 1930 they all made their own way down to meet up at the holiday venue.

 

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Superb period shots of the Wintons on holiday in Cornwall 1930. In the lower picture with their later caravan (another Eccles model) are Geraldine, Stanley and their nephew Geoff Winton (Geoff and his brother Hubert were ultimately to be taken on by Stan to help run his business).

 

Thereafter business continued to prosper and his improving fortunes led to him purchasing land at Lancing, just a mile or so from his parents’ house in Shoreham. The grounds are approached by a drive that rises to the entrance above the Lancing/Shoreham seafront road and here Stanley built for himself the imposing house that stands there now.

 

Either he was a genuine ‘buy British’ only man or perhaps he was seeking publicity for his business as when he first erected this building (he named it ‘Brinecourt’) it received the attention of the local press. During the building of it Stanley had turned away deliveries of the building materials because the delivery lorry was not British or the materials were manufactured abroad. In the end he got his way (and publicity), the suppliers changed their fleet of lorries and the replacement materials were British made.

 

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A later photograph showing Stanley in an Austin car behind the Lancing house – the balconies still remain.

 

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Top:- The area behind the house before the carriages were brought in. Below:- The same view with the easternmost Pullman carriages

 

The land at Lancing was considerable and faced directly on to the beach – the local holiday camp was nearby as was a railway carriage works and perhaps these gave Stanley his idea to purchase the land in the first place. He installed a number of redundant Pullman railway carriages that he had purchased which were put together with their own entrance porches built on then fitted out with bedrooms and living quarters to create his new holiday venue. The nearby holiday camp only provided basic accommodation, mainly in tents – by comparison the carriages were luxurious. Although the carriages have long gone the area is still in similar use today and we know it now as the Golden Sands Caravan Park.

 

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Looking south-west. An interesting contrast of summer and winter.

 

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Looking north-east from the beach. New Salts Farm can just be made out in the centre-left distance.

 

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A visit from Stan’s sister Myrtle (left), Sam Maple’s wife May, Sam his nephew and Myrtle’s husband Sam Foster.

 

The London haulage company’s depot was in the Docklands area at Bermondsey and during the Second World War inevitably received damage during the intense blitzes of 1941 that destroyed many of his vehicles. His resourcefulness however not only enabled him to locate and purchase replacement vehicles to save the business, not an easy task in wartime, but also gave him the opportunity to secure new contracts at a crucial stage of the war.

 

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A post-war advertisement announcing the company’s return to their Dockland premises.

 

Stanley and Geraldine (Gerry to the Wintons) were never to have their own children but Stanley was very loyal to his siblings and their offspring. Besides employing his brother’s two sons at his haulage company he was also later to provide accommodation for some of the older members of the Winton family (i.e., his sister Pansy and sister in law Mary) in their retirement at the other houses at his Lancing site.

 

Stanley had worked hard and deservedly earned a good life enjoying his own yacht, his Lancing property, the haulage business and a second grand house in Henley on the Thames. Sadly his later years brought with them some controversy within the Winton family. It was at Lancing that his wife Gerry died in 1959. He, it would appear, remarried in Brighton to Mildred M. Lob just a few months later the same year and subsequently died in 1964 at the good age of 81. He left his entire estate to his second wife, an action that led to much resentment and ill feeling amongst the remaining Wintons.

 

Roger Bateman

Shoreham, September 2012

 

With grateful thanks to Jon Spence for his permission to include the majority of the photos in this article. Jon has much more to see at:-http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonspence/