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.


Outside Framnaes with, presumably, Catty Norman in the centre
Framnaes and family again with photographers swapped
The family outside Framnaes looking east
Written on the reverse is “All that remains of Catty Norman’s bungalow” which presumably is the railway carriage blown across to the other side of Widewater
Written on this one is ‘Tweedledee foundations’ the only mention of a bungalow name in all of the photos
Damaged but still standing Cosynook, Beachholme and Fairhaven
Fairhaven after the storm
More damage – Summer Holme and Sea Blossom

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

5 Replies to “Catty Norman and Framnaes”

  1. A wonderful piece of research and a great set of previously unseen (by me) photos. Another piece of the jigsaw falls into place.

  2. Agree with the comment by Howard Porter, it is so nice that the bungalows of the old time Shoreham beach are remembered and that people are still interested. Having such a close connection to beach through my grandmother and mother who lived at various places on the beach and in their own bungalow ‘Rosemary’ on Old Fort Road, it is particularly poignant for me since I was told so many stories when a child about the lovely life they had on the beach and the heartbreak when the Army gave them 48 hours to get off the beach because of the fears of German invasion. I still think the beach and Shoreham in general is a fantastic place, the little town and the station, Brighton nearby and the south downs, who could ask for more!

  3. All I remember of the Beach , and the wooden bungalows , were the concrete platforms they were built on together with shards of coloured asbestos roof tiles and the detritus all around , telling all that once a great number of bungalows were built .The surrounding beach was a riot of colour Vipers bugloss, and Vivarium some Pink and some white , Tamarisk in clumps leaned away from the prevailing wind. it was 1948 , and one or two buildings were being erected along the Old Fort Road. We have our memories

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