Pictures of a prospering port

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THANK heavens for elderly postcards, could well apply to Picture No 1 and if it’s a harbour scene, thanks too for the vessels therein which can help establishing a probable date.

The foreground is most interesting, the rail track to the seafront has been diverted around Sleepers Hole, note the water trapped there, this had yet to be infilled.

Beyond, what had been a trapped area, now scattered with sleepers, certainly not as rafts, perhaps they were about to be removed for

some waterside construction, can hardly imagine the Villa Andriana occupying the site as it still does today, abandoned as it sadly has become.

Way to the left the abandoned black wooden barge from the also wooden harbour dredger the Hercules built in 1842, I do not know when she arrived here but I saw her being towed away for breaking up by a small James Dredger Tug in about 1927.

That old black barge, one of three and named The Shark, continued to rot away until the start of the last war .

Parallel with the river is the original railway track which came south fromthe swing bridge to the breakwater end, only a restricted bridge permitted small craft into The Hole (now the yacht marina).

The port was prospering and the ferries were getting larger , the necessity arose to provide more space for out of service company

vessels, the bridge was removed and a large east to west basin dredged for this purpose, in the postcard a paddle ferry with white funnels with black tops is so moored.

On the nearside of the clearance can be seen a line of white posts, this was for the large bucket dredger (of any period) tomoor against with at least two massive chains to shore to counteract the gale problems from the south west.

Now this is where one can become unstuck, if the paddler is the Rouen IV , she was sold in 1903 and here waiting to go and across the harbour, near is the brand new Brighton IV our first turbine steamer , a replacement for the old Rouen, then fine, we are admiring a hand tinted postcard of 1903, problem solved – ah – but is it?

The Rouen had an identical sister the paddle Paris (3) both built in 1888 but the Paris was not sold until 1912.

So how about the remaining steamer in the picture, sitting in today’s car ferry berth, then the night berth, when the older looking craft seemed to be often used and their age not so easily noticed, well, the one here is the pretty looking Sussex built in 1896 and torpedoed in 1916.

Sowe can’t confirmthe date of 1903 although little doubt that would be right, so let’s escape in the story of the Sussex.

She came into service to replace the ill fated SS Seaford, another good story.

Being a joint service, the French had need to run her , the First War broke out, Newhaven became a closed port, supplying the Western Front, such ferry service as remained was transferred to Folkstone-Dieppe, the Sussex on this run was torpedoed offBoulogne on 24 March 1916. After the sinking of the Cunard Liner Lusitania, 7 May 1915, an agreement had been made, this was violated, many Americans were lost on the Sussex and the US then became our fighting partner . History was made, the Sussex lost her bow from the bridge forward, was repaired, but not returned.

Picture No 2. Now here’s a character , Delamark (Del) White, one time barber at Newhaven had his first little salon in Chapel Street close to the Co-op and lastly close to where the swimming pool now stands.

Our restored museum at Paradise Park is now well and truly back in operation and I am sure the new presentation will be much appreciated, as would be a few more volunteer staff, afternoons only on a chosen day in very pleasant and interesting surrounds, handle the original painting of the Brazen rescue as featured in this paper last week and so much more. Call and see us, any afternoon.