Shoreham heroes celebrated with Sustrans portrait bench

A portrait bench which celebrates three people who made a difference to Shoreham has been installed at the Shoreham Beach end of the Adur Ferry Bridge.

Friday, 26th October 2018, 11:58 am
Updated Friday, 26th October 2018, 12:05 pm
Shoreham heroes depicted at the portrait bench on Shoreham Beach

The portraits were created as a partnership between Adur District Council and cycling charity Sustrans as part of a national art scheme to celebrate local heroes.

The people represented by the life-size two-dimensional figures, which are cut from sheet steel, were voted for by Shoreham residents after an article was placed in the Adur Outlook magazine, which used to be delivered to homes in Adur.

The portraits, which are located between the Ferry Road car park and the Waterside pub, are of Joan Morgan, Peter Huxtable and King Charles II.

Shoreham heroes depicted at the portrait bench on Shoreham Beach

Joan Morgan was the last star of British silent cinema. During the First World War she made several pictures in New York, but when the war ended the Progress Film Company took over the famous Glasshouse Studio on Shoreham Beach where Joan appeared in films directed by her father Stanley Morgan.

Joan became the leading actress at the Shoreham Beach Glasshouse Studio and also had success writing popular novels, film scripts and plays. She returned to Shoreham Beach in her nineties to unveil a plaque commemorating the Glasshouse Studio on the site of the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Peter Huxtable volunteered for the RNLI in Shoreham for 43 years, during which time he helped to save 449 lives at sea. In 1991 he became the coxswain of the Shoreham Lifeboat and continued as such until his resignation in 2011.

In 2005 Peter was awarded an MBE for his services to the RNLI and received two RNLI Thanks of the Institution on Vellum, one of the Institution's four senior awards for gallantry.

King Charles II ended up in Shoreham after travelling 610 miles for six weeks, hotly pursued by the Parliamentary army, following the defeat of the Royalist army at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

In Shoreham, he found a Captain Tatersall who was willing to take him across the Channel. The King and his friends, worried that the Captain would report them to the authorities, kept the Captain with them drinking until they left port and he made his escape to exile in France.

Charles II was the eldest surviving son of Charles I and was twelve years old when the Civil War broke out. His father was executed in 1649 and it was not until 1660 that he was invited to reclaim the throne.

A spokesman from Sustrans said 230 characters had been chosen by thousands of people from across the UK for the portrait benches, adding: "The characters reflect those things that are important to the community; each is inspired by the local heritage, culture and aspirations of the area; some we’ll know and some we won’t."

The installation comes as regeneration work on the Ferry Road side of the bridge is completed.

The improvements works consisted of a revamp of the car park and walkway - read more here. The Adur Ferry Bridge, which spans 250 metres, is part of the National Cycle Network's route two - which will eventually run along the south coast between Dover and Cornwall.

Coordinated by the charity Sustrans, the National Cycle Network is made up of thousands of miles of safe walking and cycling routes throughout the UK.