Southwick in 1914 focus for talk

Pretty Lane in Southwick
Pretty Lane in Southwick

LOCAL historian Nigel Divers opens the winter season of talks at the Marlipins Museum in Shoreham.

In the summer of 1914, Southwick was about one third of its present size, with only about 4,000 inhabitants.

The illustrated talk, The Last Summer of Peace, looks at the town and some of its people just before the Great War.

There was no development north of Old Shoreham Road, much of the town consisted of fields, farms and market gardens, and the hamlet of Fishersgate was separated from Southwick by fields.

South of the railway line was a dense area of houses, shops and industry, though nearly all have long since been demolished.

Many of the people living there were workers on the harbour, seamen, industrial workers and shopkeepers. Courtney and Birkett’s boat yard employed many skilled men and that summer, they were building pinnaces for service in the Royal Navy. They were also putting a new engine into the Wanderer, the 88-ton yacht belonging to local composer Sir Hubert Parry.

Mr Divers is secretary of the Southwick Society. His talk will be at the Marlipins Museum, High Street, Shoreham, on Friday at 12.45pm.

Entrance is £4 for Friends of Marlip[ins Museum members, £5 non-members. All the proceeds go towards the museum’s roof fund.

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