The Early Bungalows

Before the bungalows arrived the chemical works, cholera hospital, coastguard station, and a few boat and fishermen’s huts were about the only buildings on the beach. The location of the earliest bungalows can be seen on the 1898 Ordnance Survey map. Matching this to the 1930’s Bungalow Town map and lists shows that these first bungalows were named, from west to east, Kittiwake, Arcadia, Struan Lee, Rhodesia, Lazyland, Sea View, Sea Spray, Coronation, Shoreham Dene, Waterville and Canaan (the empty rectangles were plots for later bungalow to be built on them but some don’t seem to have materialised.

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Dilkusha bungalow and storm damage 1913

Continual searches through our collections over the years do lead to some images sticking in the memory and these are three of them. At the top is the well known postcard of Dilkusha bungalow and below it a view from the beach-side of the storm damage (1913 I think) to it and its neighbours, then another from the Widewater side.

1913 storm damaged bungalows

A successful bid for a set of 1913 storm-damaged bungalows on the beach provided a bit of a challenge as none of the bungalows in them were identified. An extensive trawl through our collections eventually matched them all and even managed to identify a long standing mystery bungalow that by coincidence stood close by!
You’ll see what we mean:-

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Doomed Bungalows on Widewater

Nice, clear photo from a postcard on E-Bay. Bungalows that stood on the western half of Widewater Beach.  Regimented, sturdy looking buildings but all destroyed in the 1912/13 storms.


Bungalow locations from old deeds

Interesting extract on e-bay from the 1908 deeds of Sea View owned by the Maple family. They sold their fish and oysters from their shop at the west end of the High Street – more here
Detailed plans like this of Sea View and surrounding bungalows are invaluable for confirming location and names at a specific time, particularly as the names were often changed.  Inset is Louisa Maple, who signed the document, matriarch of the family at the time – husband Samuel had died just a few years earlier.

Bungalows at Widewater

The articles and reference material on this website provide a reasonably comprehensive picture of the bungalows in Bungalow Town on the Shoreham part of the Beach. Up until now though, due to their early destruction by storms, our records and elsewhere lacked the identification and location of those bungalows that once stood along the beach at Widewater.
Hopefully, the omission is now addressed with this recently published research that identifies those bungalows, the defence work and destruction caused by the storms of 1910 to 1913.

Widewater Bungalows

Bungalow Town properties were known by name, not the street numbering system used across the river in Shoreham Town and it was first necessary to identify the location and names of the bungalows at Widewater beach.  This has been carried out using photographs, Ordnance Survey maps of the period, Street Directories and the 1911 Census Returns – all have inexactitudes to a greater or lesser extent. Furthermore, the majority of these bungalows were lost to storms and it wasn’t just one storm that caused the bungalows to be Continue reading “Widewater Bungalows”

Catty Norman and Framnaes

Joined Neil De Ville at the auctioning of these eight old photos and managed to purchase them.

Pencilled notes on the reverse of some indicate they were photos of Catty Norman and his family who’s bungalow was destroyed by the 1913 storm. No  bungalow names were shown but we were able to identify them by by a painstaking trawling through this website’s collections comparing them with similar photos. We thought it might be interesting enough to include an explanation of the identification process and this follows after the eight photos.


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A Fisherman’s Tale – the Maple Family

For centuries Shoreham folk have earned a living from the sea and one hundred years or so ago the fishing families of Ratcliffe, Page, Laker and Maple were prominent. Perhaps the best known of them were the Maples who sold their fish and oysters from their shop at the west end of the High Street in one of the ancient cottages that once stood alongside the King’s Head pub. Continue reading “A Fisherman’s Tale – the Maple Family”

Shoreham’s Mystery Seaplane Base


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.

Photo by permission of Neil De Ville and Alan Humphries


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”