Newhaven in old picture postcards volume 2

Newhaven in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Peter S. Bailey
:   Sussex, East
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2947-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2 - 3 werkdagen (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Newhaven in old picture postcards volume 2'

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Rather than give a lenghty account of the History of Newhaven, I have attempted to incorporate much of it in the explanatory captions to the photogi:aphs, whereby certain facts and incidents can be readily associated to the present day scene.

Newhaven, like sa many other coastal towns, had its defences on high ground from ancient times, with emphasis on the proteetion of the bay and the river estuary. At some time the river moved to Seaford and made an exit at the eastern end of the coastline. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I this limb of the Cinque Port of Hastings, became choked and fmally broke out in an area west of the 'Buckle', this was named the New Haven. The whole district was very marshy and many channels were formed and deserted, one of these later becoming the creek to Tidernills. This sluggish situation led to much flooding in the Ouse valley up to Lewes, the low land at times being unusable for grazing, even in the summer. This situation became so serious that the length south from the present swing bridge was straightened and cut to the sea, emerging under Castle Hili. This is believed to be the course of the Ouse in Roman times. The canal work eased the flooding upstream and a fixed harbour entrance was eventually established. The old Saxon name of 'Meeching' was dropped and the fishing village by the river bank became Newhaven.

The coming of the railway in 1847 was directly connected with the introduetion of a steam packet service to Dieppe. The routes were extended over the years to include St. Mala, Honfleur and Caen. Also, there were regular cargo-passenger services to this harbour by steamers from St. Nazaire and the Clyde. The freights handled by all these vessels, added to the regular passenger and cargo sailings to and from Dieppe

resulted in the 1880's with Newhaven becoming the sixth most important port in the United Kingdom in terms of revenue earned.

Three other milestones were to follow, the first was the New Cut made in 1863, when yet another canal was made, this time north from the area of the fust swing bridge (yet to be built) later to become North Quay. As a result of this work Denton Island was farm ed. With the spoil from the New Cut, Pennants Eye, a backwater reaching alm ast to the town railway station, was filled in. These extensive alterations created an increased flushing effect by the faster moving water. The next major happening was in 1879 when the creek to Tîdemills was closed allowing the building of East Quay and in this year began the dramatic Harbour Works which included the widening of the harbour mouth, the building of new east and west piers and the reclaiming of the area under the Fort Cliffs to create the promenade, this whole massive enterprise culminating in the construction of the remarkable breakwater and the establishing of a cross channel service free of tidal restrictions.

With the diverting of the railway track supplying the breakwater, to a new course around Sleepers Hole at the turn of the century, the causeway running from the lifeboat station to the Green Light was removed for a considerable length and with much dredging an area of this slob land was deepened to allow for a lay-by berth to accommodate two cross channel steamers abreast and moorings for two dredgers plus any yachts which could squeeze in. Destroyers were moored here during the First World War and a loading area for tank landing craft in the Second World War.

The deep mud to the south and north was not removed until the yacht marina development of the 1960's. Apart from the

renewal of quays and piers (and a new swing bridge in the 1970's) there were few other changes in the port scene in the period covered by this book.

The growth of the town went hand in hand with the progress of the port. Industry was not encouraged, there were small concerns Iike the chaIk quarry and the even smaller 'blue boulder' trade, when hand picked beach flints were collected and sent to Runcorn for use in glass and pottery glazing processes. The building of sailing ships of several hundred tons had taken place in the shipyards between the 'old river' and now Robinson Road, but after the heyday of John Gray the quest for steam driven iron craft, put the trade into de cline by the mid-1800's. A small fishing industry has fortunately survived.

Newhaven town has been stripped of all its old properties and its few impressive houses have been demolished, Ieaving but the record of the one time existance of a Roman villa in the area of the present police station, and apart from the possible inclusion of the 'Bridge Inn' of 1623 there remains only the delightful old Parish Church of St. Michael as the sole reminder that once a place called 'Meeching' was hereabouts. The greatest 'incident' of the last war occurred at 5 a.m. on 22nd November 1944, when a barge carrying 180 tons of a very high explosive broke from its tow and came ashore on the west stone beach, here it hit a mine and blew itself up and but for the cliffs, much of Newhaven would have followed it. Windows were broken in Lewes 7 miles away ... The mess in Newhaven ean he imagined, an additional problem was the Ioss of so much rationed food through the contamination by splintered glass both in the hornes and the shops. Emergency feeding had to be introduced. Injuries were numerous with many of the population being awakened by

their ceilings joining them in bed, yet only one person was killed, a wall fell on an unfortunate naval rating.

Compiling this, the second book of 'Newhaven in old picture postcards' has been a most pleasing task, tinged with the sadness at having to reject so many other lovely or constructive pictures. I have attempted to concentrate on scenes of places which have gone or been greatly altered, this will explain the omission of our parish church and the restored Fort Newhaven. Reference is sometimes made to volume 1 and a picture number, this is to help readers who have the first book to link up the cross references. In no way is this intended as a sales promotion as there is no certainty for how long volume 1 will be available.

Since the formation of the Newhaven Historical Society in 1969 thousands of photographs have been given or loaned for copying. This unique collection is housed in the Seciety's Museum at the West Foreshore and from these archives I have made the selection of pictures featured in this book.

May I take this opportunity to thank all of those who have sa kindly contributed towards this store of local history . Several of the photos will have passed through many hands, so that it would be impossible to be sure to whom to give acknowledgement and likewise there is always the fear of accidently infringing on some reproduetion rights. I hope sincerely that this has been avoided.

Lastly may I thank all of the members of this Society for their support which has ensured our survival after many years and my sineere appreciation to the officers, past and present for their work and generous sacrifice of their free time. I think it can be justly said: 'We have done Newhaven proud!'

Peter S. Bailey

1. The Shepherds Cottage, Church Hill, just below the junction with now Newfield Road. It is said that the roof 'departed' in the same storm in December 1896 which wrecked the Chain Pier at Brighton. The last private owner, Miss Caroline Catt, died on 14th November 1895. She had bought 'Meeching Place' from William Elpbick on 29th September 1865. Transference to the Convent Order was on 14th July 1896. Caroline Catt was a daughter of the famous miller at Tidemills, William Catt, who had in bis time been an adviser to King Louis Philippe on milling matters so it is no surprise to learn that Caroline attended upon the fugitive French Monarch and his Queen, during their one night stay at the 'Bridge' Hotel.

2. In 1912 one of the young lady boarders at the Convent sent this card to her parents in France. By courtesy of the recent craze for postcard collecting it has found its way back to this country. It would seem that the badminton court was also the croquet lawn! The Convent was built on the site of the 1591 'Meeching Place', the last resident was Miss Caroline Catt, On each first of May, the tewn's children would assem bie in the grounds each carrying a garland of flowers, the footmen and gardeners would position the youngsters and then Miss Catt would emerge and give each an orange, a bun and one penny.

3. Annual Corpus Christi procession from the Convent in Church Hill, to the Catholic Church in Fort Road,1930's.

4. Looking down Church Hili in about 1919. The Baptist Chapel is on the left. The gates, right, are at the entrance to the Convent of the Sacred Heart. This day and boarding school was built on the site of the 1591 'Meeching Place', The front face of the old house can be seen in volume 1 picture 19. 1t was pulled down and a second school block erected on the plot. The arrangement is little changed today apart from the mode of occupation.

S. Upper High Street in 1891. The Webbers Farm Gate on the left is in the area of the present day post office. Wellcourt Farm is on the right. (vol. 1, pic 15.)

6. An early view outside Wellcourt Farm, upper High Street, south side. The postman, near the gas lamp, probably knew the names of the entire population at that time.

I," "j" I _

7. Upper High Street in about 1910. An open tiered bus trundles down the main lOad. The floor of the vehicle was on an upward slope towards the rear, the passengers all having a good forward view in consequence. The bus is abreast of todays Lloyds Bank.

8. At the junction of High Street with Meeching Road was S. Thompson the grocer, baker and ironmonger. Just around the corner, in Marshall Lane, his brother baked the bread. The accommodation above the shop has served as the local headquarters of the Liberal and Labour parties. Now of course, the venue of a well known school of dancing.

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