SS Arthur Wright -collier

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The SS Arthur Wright – a Shoreham Collier

The SS Arthur Wright was built by William Pickersgill & Sons at their Southwick, Sunderland yard in 1937 for the Brighton Corporation. It was a 1,097-ton vessel, the Corporation’s first collier, and used for conveying fuel to the electricity works at Portslade. Named after the first (1894) manager and engineer of the works (he also designed the first domestic supply meter) the Arthur Wright carried coal mainly from the Yorkshire and Welsh coalfields via the ports of Goole and Port Talbot. Continue reading “SS Arthur Wright -collier”

A Small Book of Letters


The early 19 th century letters of a Shoreham Resident



Page 1 – 2 Introduction

Page 3 – 4 Letter A (transcript)

Page 4 Letter B ( .. )

Page 5 Letter C ( .. )

Page 5 – 6 Letter D ( .. )

Page 6 – 7 Letter E ( .. )

Page 7 – 9 Letter F ( .. )

Page 9 – 10 Letter G ( .. )

Page 10 – 12 Notes H ( .. )


The Original Papers


Page 13 Front cover, inside front cover and first page (letter A)

Page 14 Second and third pages (letter A continued)

Fourth and fifth pages (letter A concluded and start of letter B)

Page 15 Sixth and seventh pages (letter B concluded and start of letter C)

Eighth and ninth pages (letter C concluded and start of letter D)

Page 16 Tenth and eleventh pages (letter D continued)

Twelfth and thirteenth pages (letter D concluded ad start of letter E)

Page 17 Fourteenth and fifteenth pages (letter E concluded and start of letter F)

Sixteenth and seventeenth pages (letter F continued)

Page 18 Eighteenth and nineteenth pages (letter F continued)

Twentieth and twentyfirst pages (letter F concluded and start of letter G)

Page 19 Twentysecond and twentythird pages (letter G concluded and notes H)


A Small Book of Letters and Notes by William Butler (circa 1816)


This beautifully written book (not much more than a few pages eight and a half by six inches sewn together ) discovered recently under the floor boards during renovations at No.22, Church Street transpire to be the writings of William Butler whilst serving on board the Revenue Cutter ‘The Hound’. The Butler family of that time is vividly described in detail by Maria Butler in her history of that family shortly before her tragic death at 27 in 1857.There were possibly more than two William Butlers from Shoreham living at this time but the most likely candidates were baptised in 1760 and 1795. The former, who would have been 56 at the time, is not seriously considered to be a candidate for the author of these writings (A) in view of the author’s exploits which will be revealed later (although it could have been possible), and (B) because he is not mentioned at all by Maria in her notes. Furthermore, since his baptism, this older William does not appear again in the parish records, even for burial, so it is assumed that he had moved away and died elsewhere.


Continue reading “A Small Book of Letters”

St. Wilfrid’s Children’s Home

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St. Wilfrid’s Children’s Home, Ham Road, Shoreham by Sea


This was a care home administered by East Sussex County Council although paradoxically it was in West Sussex. When I was born in 1948 in Southlands Hospital, my parents were Assistant Superintendent and Matron. The home cared for children whose own natural parents were unable for various reasons to care for the children themselves. It was not an orphanage nor a “naughty boys and girls home”. Some of the children were orphaned of one or both parents; most were from homes in which the parents felt unable to cope for many reasons.

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Stanley Howard Winton 1881 – 1964

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Stanley Howard Winton 1881 – 1964 and Lancing’s Golden Sands


Stanley Winton aged 14
Stanley Winton aged 14

Fourth son of William and Emma Winton, Stanley was nicknamed ‘Bull’ by the Winton family – perhaps because he was ‘bullish’ in nature as his physical build never seemed to match this description. Like his brother Norman, Stanley doesn’t seem to have been involved in learning his father’s printing trade as in 1907 he is shown on a joint Winton family advertisement as a ‘Sanitary and Gas Engineer’ – he was still living with his mother and father in Shoreham at that time so the family business was beginning to diversify even more. 



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Stanley (left) with family friend Billy Reading (centre) and brother in law Robert Hall in the backyard of his parent’s house in Church Street, Shoreham c.1912


In 1911 he appears in the census as a builders’ merchant, progressed and shortly before WW1 purchased one of the last lorries available before WW1 government permits were required. His company hauled loads from the capital to destinations in the southern counties and eventually grew to a fleet of 17 trucks specialising in long loads up to as much as 85 feet.


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Stan’s steadily improving financial situation enabled him to purchase a grand Renault car seen here when visiting relatives in John Street, Shoreham.


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Stanley (extreme right) treats his employees to lunch in Bungalow Town, Shoreham


It seems he also had an eye for other opportunities as a Daily Express report during the 1920’s revealed. The Thames Conservators were at that time considering various schemes to prevent flooding along the river’s course in the capital and Stanley proposed opening up parts of London near the Thames to absorb the river’s waters during times when flooding threatened. It was not adopted but is a solution that in these days of rising sea levels is now being given more credence.


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As a successful and obviously hardworking businessman forty-year old Stanley perhaps found little time for a social life or just had not considered marriage but, whilst in the capital, he finally met and married Geraldine Spence at St. George’s church, Hanover Square in 1923. Whether or not he ‘worked hard and played hard’ in the past he certainly ‘played’ more since marrying Geraldine as the family photos increasingly show.


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Stanley and Geraldine are in the car on left at an unknown venue in the 1920’s


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By the time of this photo (in Devon) the couple had upgraded to an impressive 1924 Rolls Royce Landaulette and an Eccles mini-caravan.


The Winton brothers and sisters were a close family and even seemed to spend some of their holidays together. Certainly Stan’s nephew Geoff accompanied him and Geraldine as the following images show and other contemporary photos from the related Hedgecock and Spence family collections suggest that in 1930 they all made their own way down to meet up at the holiday venue.


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Superb period shots of the Wintons on holiday in Cornwall 1930. In the lower picture with their later caravan (another Eccles model) are Geraldine, Stanley and their nephew Geoff Winton (Geoff and his brother Hubert were ultimately to be taken on by Stan to help run his business).


Thereafter business continued to prosper and his improving fortunes led to him purchasing land at Lancing, just a mile or so from his parents’ house in Shoreham. The grounds are approached by a drive that rises to the entrance above the Lancing/Shoreham seafront road and here Stanley built for himself the imposing house that stands there now.


Either he was a genuine ‘buy British’ only man or perhaps he was seeking publicity for his business as when he first erected this building (he named it ‘Brinecourt’) it received the attention of the local press. During the building of it Stanley had turned away deliveries of the building materials because the delivery lorry was not British or the materials were manufactured abroad. In the end he got his way (and publicity), the suppliers changed their fleet of lorries and the replacement materials were British made.


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A later photograph showing Stanley in an Austin car behind the Lancing house – the balconies still remain.


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Top:- The area behind the house before the carriages were brought in. Below:- The same view with the easternmost Pullman carriages


The land at Lancing was considerable and faced directly on to the beach – the local holiday camp was nearby as was a railway carriage works and perhaps these gave Stanley his idea to purchase the land in the first place. He installed a number of redundant Pullman railway carriages that he had purchased which were put together with their own entrance porches built on then fitted out with bedrooms and living quarters to create his new holiday venue. The nearby holiday camp only provided basic accommodation, mainly in tents – by comparison the carriages were luxurious. Although the carriages have long gone the area is still in similar use today and we know it now as the Golden Sands Caravan Park.


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Looking south-west. An interesting contrast of summer and winter.


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Looking north-east from the beach. New Salts Farm can just be made out in the centre-left distance.


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A visit from Stan’s sister Myrtle (left), Sam Maple’s wife May, Sam his nephew and Myrtle’s husband Sam Foster.


The London haulage company’s depot was in the Docklands area at Bermondsey and during the Second World War inevitably received damage during the intense blitzes of 1941 that destroyed many of his vehicles. His resourcefulness however not only enabled him to locate and purchase replacement vehicles to save the business, not an easy task in wartime, but also gave him the opportunity to secure new contracts at a crucial stage of the war.


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A post-war advertisement announcing the company’s return to their Dockland premises.


Stanley and Geraldine (Gerry to the Wintons) were never to have their own children but Stanley was very loyal to his siblings and their offspring. Besides employing his brother’s two sons at his haulage company he was also later to provide accommodation for some of the older members of the Winton family (i.e., his sister Pansy and sister in law Mary) in their retirement at the other houses at his Lancing site.


Stanley had worked hard and deservedly earned a good life enjoying his own yacht, his Lancing property, the haulage business and a second grand house in Henley on the Thames. Sadly his later years brought with them some controversy within the Winton family. It was at Lancing that his wife Gerry died in 1959. He, it would appear, remarried in Brighton to Mildred M. Lob just a few months later the same year and subsequently died in 1964 at the good age of 81. He left his entire estate to his second wife, an action that led to much resentment and ill feeling amongst the remaining Wintons.


Roger Bateman

Shoreham, September 2012


With grateful thanks to Jon Spence for his permission to include the majority of the photos in this article. Jon has much more to see at:-

John Butler’s 1786 Sketch of Shoreham Examined



(click to enlarge image)


The story of Captain John Butler has already been extensively described in Maria Butler’s family history ‘Memories of a Shoreham Seafaring Family’ but this circa 1786 sketch shows another side of his talents. The naive character of some of the buildings, St.Mary’s church etc., in the drawing may suggest that he was not an especially gifted artist and many have thought that his representation of Shoreham is not altogether realistic. Continue reading “John Butler’s 1786 Sketch of Shoreham Examined”

Shoreham’s War



A unique record of Shoreham’s war as seen through the eyes of the people that lived through it. Probably the most complete record to date of wartime edited from the reminiscences of many contributors to the web site history forums and others, in particular Gerald White (whose article ‘Shoreham in World War 2 – A Diary of Events’ has provided much general information for the background of this record) and John Lyne who were both near neighbours in Connaught Avenue. Special acknowledgment is also due to Peggy Bailey a Shoreham Beach resident, Cynthia Bacon once of Swiss Gardens for her memories and photos and to Brian Bazen who lived in Eastern Avenue whose reminiscences in full can be seen on ‘Britain at War’ at Continue reading “Shoreham’s War”

The Opening of the Shoreham Branch Railway

Trestle Bridge

The Opening of the Shoreham Branch Railway Line 1840

It is not generally appreciated (except by railway history enthusiasts) that before the formation of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway proper (1846), the railway line to Shoreham (initially the line ended here and was not extended to Worthing until 1845) was the first part of the then London & Brighton Railway to be opened (1840) for traffic – one year before the line from Brighton to Haywards Heath and eventually to London. Continue reading “The Opening of the Shoreham Branch Railway”

The Vinery

The Vinery, 1 – 3 St.Mary’s Road, Shoreham

-what fate awaits this rare architectural gem?


During the 20th century the name ‘Vinery’ had long since been associated with the house itself but in fact originated from the covered walkway that once stood between the road and the front door of the property. The house has been variously described as having been built in the late Regency period or the second quarter of the 19th century and was a large building situated to the east of and adjacent to St.Mary’s House on the north east corner of the graveyard. It was a building of two houses – in total known as ‘Brighton House’ in the 1870’s but by the 1890’s the west half became known as ‘The Vinery’ with the other half retaining the original name. Continue reading “The Vinery”

Middle Road Secondary School


– the new school photographs and plans in 1936 with reminiscences of former pupils from the 1940’s to 1980’s

Built in 1936 on a five-acre site in Middle Road, Kingston, where the recreation ground is now but then in land that had largely been used as fruit orchards and nurseries by the Cook’s Jam Factory in Dolphin Road. Initially opened as a boys’ senior elementary school for 360 pupils it included a number of unusual features (for those days) in both design and construction. It was built of reinforced concrete and flat roofs to allow for future extensions to be placed on top of the ground floor building and enabled wider spans for rooms that, with the large Crittall windows also installed gave pupils and teachers a bright and spacious environment. Continue reading “Middle Road Secondary School”