Business supporters complete hut project

The completed end walls of the wartime Nissen hut, provided by Weatherbeaters
The completed end walls of the wartime Nissen hut, provided by Weatherbeaters
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ONE year on from the official launch of Shoreham Fort’s Nissen hut, the final pieces are due to be completed.

The hut, which is now an indoor education centre at the fort, off Forthaven, Shoreham Beach, was opened by East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton and county councillor Debbie Kennard at last year’s Easter Fun Day.

This year’s event, which will be held on Easter Sunday, should give visitors the opportunity to see the fully-completed hut.

Sharon Penfold, secretary of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, explained: “The Friends are a dedicated team of volunteers who rely on the goodwill and generosity of organisations and businesses to support them in their cause.

“One of the longest standing business supporters of the charity is Weatherbeaters and the owner, Bertie Desjarlais, has once again proved his commitment to the project by providing the skilled labour required to complete the end walls of the fort’s wartime Nissen Hut, which is situated on the original World War Two Nissen hut bases.

“The ensure that the Nissen hut looked as in keeping to the original designs and as smart as possible, the Friends sourced the closest natural material that they could.

Bertie’s continued support over these last years has meant a lot to me personally. His generosity has been constant and now that our end walls are complete, it means that the Nissen hut is waterproof

Gary Baines, chairman, Friends of Shoreham Fort

“Security meant that wooden doors were not an option but the doors donated by Vivo Vision retain the wood-like characteristics.”

The Friends are aiming to have the Nissen hut completed in time for the fun day, which will run from 11am to 4.30pm and feature egg and spoon races, sack races, craft making, the gun rack, ‘Mad Minute’, the mini airsoft range, tours, cakes and refreshments. Free tours of the fort will be held at 1pm and 3pm.

Chairman Gary Baines said: “Bertie’s continued support over these last years has meant a lot to me personally. His generosity has been constant and now that our end walls are complete, it means that the Nissen hut is waterproof.

“Once we have finished a few jobs internally, we will be able to use the Nissen hut for the purpose which it was put there for, an indoor education room.

“Having no internal space has been a major hindrance to the project, with schools and organisations having to cancel in bad weather but now this won’t be a problem.”

The Friends of Shoreham Fort offer presentations and tours of the site throughout the year. To learn more about the fort’s unique, diverse and nationally important heritage, email secretary@shorehamfort.co.uk or visit www.shorehamfort.co.uk for more information.

Volunteer days are held every other Sunday, giving people the chance to find out more about the fort. Anyone interested in helping with maintenance and restoration and pop along from 11am and regular tours are held for visitors at 1pm and 3pm.