The Long and Winding Steps

Shoreham’s church of St Mary De Haura has been a landmark for many centuries. For over 250 years the bells suspended in the tower belfry have been rung from the Ringing Room many feet below. The belfry, the ringing room, the clock movement and the tower roof are only accessible via a very narrow spiral staircase in the North East corner of the tower.

Note: video was taken using a remote 360 camera & telescopic pole safely from within the tower parapet.

Hamish McKenzie is the current St. Mary’s Bellringer’s Tower Captain – and one of his additional roles for many years is to ascend the narrow steps to raise the flag on national days and state occasions. www.Shorehambysea.com were granted access to accompany Hamish to the roof to raise the flag of St. George to mark St. George’s Day 2022.

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Panoramas from the Tower

Then & Now: Panoramas from the Tower

View South

East Street, New Road and the footbridge have not changed too much over the last 100 years. However the encroachment of large buildings on the waterfront has restricted views of the river significantly.  Note the position of the photographer on the tower roof was identical, except a little shorter. Maybe a tripod was used in 1922 or they sat down away from the low parapet?
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Panoramic 360 of Tower

To celebrate St George's Day 2022, ShorehambySea.com were allowed escorted access to film the hoisting of the flag of St. George on the recently refurbished flagpole on the tower of St. Mary de Haura.   To view the four 360 images click with the mouse and scroll and zoom around the views of Shoreham town.
Note: imagery was taken using a remote 360 camera & telescopic pole safely from within the tower parapet.

The Bells of St. Mary’s

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. 

http://www.stmarydehaura.org.uk/church-life/bellringers/

18 minutes duration, interview at 2 mins, with three sequences of the bells.
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Tale of 5 Bridges

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.

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Gill Wright – the ferryman saved my life!

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.

Gill Wright