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.
The photo of the family outside their bungalow compared to others in our collections identified it as Framnaes that stood on the beach near The Gap where the sea had broken through before, halfway along Widewaters and was, with many others, destroyed by the storm of January 1913.
One shot showed a barren post-storm view of concrete bases that had ‘Tweedledee foundations’ pencilled on the reverse (the only bungalow name mentioned in the photos). This was a little misleading as our BT maps of the location of each bungalow showed that property was nine properties west of Framnaes. The next showed what was apparently Framnaes carriage that had been blasted by the storm completely across Widewater (notes on reverse reads ‘All that remained of Catty Norman’s bungalow.’ Further photos showing more damaged bungalows could not only be matched to other bungalows in our collections but actually enabled an hitherto mystery bungalow to be identified.
Our street directories of the time show the bungalows at this spot to have been (west to east) Hermitage, Homeleigh, St. Nicholas, Framnaes, Waveney, Casita, Cosynook, Beachholme, Fairhaven, Summer Holme, Sea Blossom, Silver Sea and Sorrento etc.,
We know what St. Nicholas looked like and of course Framnaes and these bungalows match another we have that was taken from Widewater – note Sea Blossom in the distance.
The new discovery was Sea Blossom (1). The gable front image of the bungalow (2) has never (to our knowledge) been identified until now. The Widewater side of it looked quite different (5) but alongside it on the left is the distinctive looking covered belvedere top of Silver Sea that is also shown in other photos (3 and 4) together with its neighbour Sorrento.
Not all bungalows at the Widewater beach were damaged or destroyed at the same time by the same storms. All of them though eventually succumbed, even Sea Blossom, Silver Sea and Sorrento (6).
(C) Roger Bateman, Shoreham July 2019