Southwick’s Lost World

A horse tram in Albion Street in about 1911. The trams ran from Ham Road in Shoreham to near Brooker Hall in New Church Road, Hove. The tram depot was in Albion Street but the service ceased in 1911.
A horse tram in Albion Street in about 1911. The trams ran from Ham Road in Shoreham to near Brooker Hall in New Church Road, Hove. The tram depot was in Albion Street but the service ceased in 1911.
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UNTIL the bulldozers moved in 50 years ago, Southwick’s Albion Street was a busy, vibrant, changing and mixed community.

Created at the end of the 18th century, it grew to be the town’s commercial heart, shopping centre and densely populated residential district.

Albion Street before the Great War. The prominent Weslyan chapel can be seen in the background. It is thought to be at the time of the coronation of either Edward VII or George V.

Albion Street before the Great War. The prominent Weslyan chapel can be seen in the background. It is thought to be at the time of the coronation of either Edward VII or George V.

There was a shipyard, sail-lofts, horse-drawn trams, houses for labourers, ships’ captains and shop keepers, busy wharves, a coast guard station, the Town Hall, butchers and bakers, grocers, chemists and printers, a cinema and yacht club, two chapels and nine pubs.

Once smugglers drank in the pubs, sailing ships were built and fitted out and the horse tram clattered between Shoreham and Hove.

During the last war, the Canadian Army guarded it and you needed a pass to enter.

Almost all of these historic buildings were swept away in the 1960s, leaving just a few ghostly memories.

Southwick’s Lost World is the opening exhibition of the 2015 season at Manor Cottage Heritage Centre in Southwick, in Southwick Street, Southwick, opening on Saturday, May 30.

An accompanying booklet of pictures, Southwick Remembered by Nigel Divers, brings some of these places and people back to life and will be on sale at the exhibition.

The booklet contains pictures of Albion Street, describes its history and tells the stories of some of the people who lived there.

Mr Divers, secretary of the Southwick Society, said, “Today, it is difficult to believe that Albion Street was once a lively community of shops, homes, pubs chapels and businesses with a rich heritage.

“We hope that this exhibition will bring this fascinating history back to life for everybody in Southwick as well as reviving happy memories for older residents.”

Entry to the exhibition is free, but the Southwick Society invites donations towards the cost of up keeping the Manor Cottage Heritage Centre and staging the exhibition.

Opening times are 10.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays from May 30 to July 4, with extended opening to 4pm during the Adur Festival, May 30, June 6 and 13.