This is the first of seven articles about the important part Shoreham plays in aviation history, written by local expert Andy Ramus.
Prologue- The Aeronauts’ Balloon Years.
Any aviation history of Shoreham should hardly ignore the first attempts at flight by ‘lighter than air’ machines, otherwise known as hot air balloons. Quite by accident, while researching the history of ‘heavier than air’ machines, I came across old news articles which told the story of intrepid Aeronauts from a much earlier era, beginning with a cross channel flight no less. After digging a little deeper, I found these fascinating stories which take our aviation history back another 60 years to 1850, with a certain George Burcher Gale, and various flights in between. The Swiss Gardens, where the Swiss Cottage pub now stands, were the starting point for these adventures, advertised as part of the entertainments bill provided by the hosts.Continue reading “A Brief History of Aviation at Shoreham – in 7 parts”
The Life of Paul Redgrave Plumb 1924 – 2012
Written by Nick Redgrave Plumb for his father’s funeral ceremony in 2012
Paul was born on November 22nd 1924 to Daisy Ellen Plumb (formerly Barnes) and Ernest Redgrave Plumb at 27, Queens Place in Shoreham. He had an older brother Allen and sister Doris.
When he came into the world Doris immediately sent brother Allen to the Post Office (just over the road) where his Dad worked to tell him the good news. Allen ran all the way, so when he arrived he was completely out of puff and could hardly speak, but through the panting managed to say ….”It’s here!”. Paul had a thick mop of golden curls until the age of about 3. He remembered having a huge pram with big wheels & canopy and being pushed along by his sister Doris.Continue reading “Paul Plumb”
Following on from the popularity of the 1946 class group photograph from Middle Road School, we now have wonderful images from Victoria Road School in 1949 and and 1953. These were given to us by Jenny Elton who lived up the road in Mill Lane. Can you put a name to any of the children?
Jenny can remember some of the names and recounts: “First left Brian McIntyre who in later life was the school caretaker. 2nd from right Tom Blundell, now Sir Tom, Professor of Chemistry, Oxford Fellow of the Royal Society etc. Interestingly his younger brother Roger is also a Sir (Economics). The tallest boy in the back row, Roger Brann was a St. Wilfrid boy and together with Tom were the class brain boxes.“
You’ll find a detailed article on Victoria Road Infants and Junior Schools here.
A study of the inhabitants of Mill Lane, Shoreham in 1939.
written by Jenny Elton
Following the onset of war in September in 1939 a Register was taken of the civilian population with the purpose of producing a National Identity card. Later it was to become multifunctional, first as an aid in the use of ration cards and later helping officials to record the movement of the civilian population over the following decades. From 1948 it formed the basis for the National Health Service Register. The data was collected on 29th September 1939.The following information was listed. Name, gender, date of birth, marital status, occupation, and whether a visitor, servant, patient, inmate or inferred family member and other members of the household.Continue reading “One Day, One Year, One Place”
If unsure, just land and ask a local.
This photograph was unidentified until recently. It is of a daring early aviator Louis Emile Train who designed his own aircraft and competed in a number of races. The story behind this photograph is amazing. It should have been taken at Shoreham airfield at the penultimate stage of the Calais to London Air Race of 1911.
Unfortunately after flying over the English Channel heading to Shoreham before taking the last leg to Hendon Louis was presented with a challenge – what did Shoreham look like? He knew the Adur was a landmark, with Downs all around – but he came across Newhaven first and when Louis failed to find the aerodrome he decided the best approach would be to ask a local for directions. He put down his aircraft in a sloping field to the north of Newhaven.
He executed a difficult landing on a sloping field without incident, until the aircraft came to a halt – at which point it rolled backwards down the field. Unequipped with brakes the aircraft ended up in the field fencing and the tailplane was irreparably damaged. Louis was forced out of the race and never got to Shoreham.
The photos of the hubbub that ensued once the locals learnt of the unofficial French invasion and landing can be seen here.
The location of the field at South Heighton is here.
An excellent photograph has arrived from Colin Wadey who has kindly permitted us to re-publish it here. This is Middle Road Secondary Boys School in 1946, around 10 years after the school was built. Colin has listed his classmates – with quite a few familiar Shoreham names in the roll.
LtoR Mr Jeavons (Head), M Hearsey, P Tillet, E Willboughby, R Sheeon, R Saint, Fermer, Barker, Abethall, Mr Osborne (Master)
Collins, Cherry, Ellis, Dean, Heaster, Aylen, Yarlot, Grimwood, Payne, Kilner, Bishop
Horner, Morris, Lees, Carden, Hobden, Gordon, Bridle, Nash, Wadey
The Shoreham Cine and Miniature Camera Club was started in the late 1950’s by local retailer Paul Plumb. He gathered a group of friends & advertised in the local press to form the cine club. Paul had a shop in Shoreham & was very well known for his enthusiasm about life in general. The response he got was quite amazing, in the region of 60 people were interested in becoming members.Continue reading “Shoreham Cine and Miniature Camera Club”
Built as a Custom House in 1830 by George Henry Hooper at the expense of the ancient Poole family mansion that had stood on the same site for centuries before. Hooper was himself a descendant of the Poole family and the new building was, initially at least, an attractive one designed by Sydney Smirke R.A, but its appearance was somewhat compromised during the subsequent enlargements of 1920.Continue reading “The Old Town Hall”
Published in 1921 this is a copy of the definitive history of Shoreham-by-Sea written by local historian Henry Cheal, Hon. Curator and Librarian to the Sussex Archaeological Society