The Shoreham Ferrymen’s Treat

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Before the footbridge was built access to the beach was gained either by a long walk through town and over the Norfolk suspension bridge or, for a penny, a short ride across the river in one of the rowing boats operated by a group of ferrymen between Dolphin Hard (the eastern end of Coronation Green) and the south side of the river. In 1901 the Shoreham Workhouse was moved to new premises at Southlands and the original building at Ham Road became the St. Wilfrid’s children’s home. The children there were either from families who could no longer care for them or came from a deprived background – a situation that was recognised with sympathy by many in the town.

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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.

1927 Britain from Above ©
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