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Newhaven memories

Here are memories of Newhaven and the local area. You can start now: Add your own Memory of Newhaven or a Newhaven photo.


My name was Susan Penfold and I grew up in a small house on Evelyn Avenue in Newhaven. My mother's mother was one of seventeen children born in Piddinghoe. I used to visit my grandmother's home and aunt Tops, auntie Else and uncle Pearce were kind to me. As a child they would give me home made cake and parsnip wine. I loved the river and I really loved the fruit trees and the chickens in their coops close to the river bank. I remember the beautiful feeling of walking along paths that many generations of my family had walked upon. The grass was so soft under my feet. I loved to turn the rocks over down by the river and see the crabs scurry away. I loved the winkles that my father would gather and cook for me. It was like heaven on earth and I knew in my heart God had created it all for me. I love fruit today because of lingonberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries etc., that... Read more

Watch House Duties

The Harbour c1960, Newhaven
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It must have been in the late 1960s, I was on duty in the old watch house and, as was my habit, I was hooking out whiting out of the Harbour. Fish that at the time had no commercial value at market, and the fishermen threw them back in. I was so engrossed in my angling when a voice behind said "What's all this then, what are you up to?". I turned and there was a policeman standing there, so I replied, "Fishing!". He thought I was being evasive, so I casually hooked a fish out and he was convinced. It really looked suspicious, as I was using a long handled broom and catching the fish on the broom head and flicking them ashore. Andy Relf was the policeman and we remained friends for a very long time, unfortunately we are no longer in touch, but if he happens to read this, perhaps it will make him smile as it does me.

Mackerel Fishing

The Harbour c1960, Newhaven
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Many's the time we wandered along the edge of the harbour and up and down the landing stages, studying the leathery faced fishermen's busy hands as they worked on the nets, or repaired lobster pots. We'd peep around, what seemed huge metal doors and gates clad in rusting wire mesh, to get a glimpse of the boat yards beyond, and if we'd enough in our pocket for a cup of tea, we stop at the cafe that looked across the harbour, and out towards the bridge on the left. The owners always had time for us, and if they had any stale bread and cake, they'd let us have it to feed the swans that swam among the boats just a few steps from their entrance, though needless to say, the swans only got what was left after we'd picked out all the edible bits.  
It was from Newhaven that I had my first fishing trip. A family friend took us out in his small fishing boat, and the... Read more

The Newhaven-Dieppe Ferry in 1960

The Harbour c1960, Newhaven
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Pinner Grammar School had an exchange programme for students in Annecy and every year a party of 4th and 5th Forners travelled to France on the Newhaven to Dieppe Ferry. When I was in the fourth form I joined the school party which was very exciting as I had never previously travelled abroad. We sailed on the "Arromanches", a cross channel ferry built for the SNCF in 1940 but renamed "Vichy" during the German occupation unitl returned in 1947.
Arromanches sailed on the Newhaven to Dieppe route until 1964 and I still remember my channel crossing in her one sunny day in May 1960. A group of us got into trouble for playing with the ship's manual steering gear at the stern!

Living on The Coastguard Station

The Harbour c1960, Newhaven
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The year England won the World Cup (1966) I was 8 years old and living on the coastguard station at Newhaven with my younger brother, you could hear my late father yell as England lifted the World Cup, we beat West Germany. Other than that it was always lots of fun, from where we were we could clearly see the lifeboat house and the car ferries come and go.

Court Farm Road

I used to live in Court Farm Road. My friends' parents used to own the caravan park, my friends' names were Pat, Alan and another sister, their cousin Susan lived next door to me. I remember the neighbours going out with the Lifeboat when the cannon went off. I used to go to the big school on the hill, I think it was Gibbon Road. I started my time with the Girls Nautical Training Corps. I knew the skipper of the Meeching tug boat. I remember Brenda Underwood, Janice Chapman and her cousin. One of my teachers was a Mr Clark. Does anyone else know these people? My friends dad used to work on the farm near the caravan park. I now live in Perth in Western Australia.

Meeching Court Farm Caravan Park

My parents used to camp there before the Second World War, they used to go most weekends. My first memories of Newhaven were of camping after the war I was five. We used go most weekends. My father built his first caravan in the attic in our London flat then reassembled it on the site, we used it for weekends and holidays until 1952 when my mother and father decided to move down there permantly. We lived in the little van for a couple of years while Dad built the second and bigger van. After a year my dad took over running the site for Mr Bowles and my mum ran the shop and did the bookings and van cleaning for the caravan owners. We lived there until I left school 1957. Mum and dad moved to Lancing and I was working with polo ponies at Midhurst. I took my husband back to see Newhaven and the site in 1970, we met Mr and Mrs Bowles and they seemed the... Read more

Meeching Court Farm

My father's aunt and uncle lived in Newhaven. Ted Hoskins was his uncle's name, he was injured in the First World War and later worked at the lighthouse at the end of the breakwater before it was automated. His wife's name was May Jane.  After the Second World War I went with my parents many times to Newhaven for holidays, always in September.  In 1955 we stayed in a caravan on  the Meeching Court Farm site in a caravan with the name 'Amy', it was situated on the hill and you could see the ferries come in and out of the harbour. The milkman came round each morning with the milk, my mother used to buy Channel Islands milk, thick with cream.  The milkman was a man called Bob, and he used to come in a little van and blow a claxon horn. The van leaned when he got in, he was such a well-made jolly man. I think he later went to Canada, he used to live in one... Read more

Bowles Caravan Site

I believe this is the caravan site that was, and may still be, situated on Mr and Mrs Bowles farm. (Not sure of the spelling of Bowles.) My mum and the five of us children spent many happy holidays here. The van that we stayed in was called 'Hartings' and was on the track that led to the farm. It had no mains connected to it. I don't know how we all squeezed in, but I do remember a double bed that folded out of the wall. The high spot of the day was the visit to the little camp shop, where if we were lucky mum would give us a few pence for an icecream.
My mum had fond memories of the place, as she was born in Newhaven, and her parents lived at 27 Second Avenue until grandads death in about 1968. Her mum had been a primary school teacher, and her father worked as a steam engine driver, and later,... Read more

The Horse Shoe Bite

The Promenade at High Tide c1965, Newhaven
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The small sandy beach at Newhaven was known as the horse shoe bite. It was completely covered at high tide, but as the water receded, it exposed fine golden sand, ideal for making castles and getting in your sandwiches. A row of barnacle-peppered rocks along the breakwater wall also got revealed with the falling tide, where a myriad of crabs hid amongst the clinging seaweed and a wonderland of rockpools formed, waiting to be explored.  
In the distance on the left of the photo you can just see the beginning of the breakwater, it's on the right of the harbour as you look at the sea. It was a good walk to the end, where generally in good weather there'd be a gaggle of fishermen dangling their lines. One half of the breakwater, as you proceeded seawards, was sheltered from the west by a high wall, inside of which was a sheltered promenade, fronted by arched openings that ran its entire length. In fine weather we would race along... Read more

Mum With Kids

The Promenade c1965, Newhaven
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The lady in the foreground looks very like my mum with me walking to her left and my sister in the pushchair. We lived locally and went to the beach all the time. It would be interesting to see that part enlarged so I could identify them. My favourite memory of that time was the excitement we felt on arrival and smelling the familiar smell of seaweed draped all the way up the concrete steps leading on to the sand, and the lovely feel of sand under your feet as you padded down them.

Weekend Visits From School

I was a partially deaf pupil at Ovingdean during the 1970s and as my home was a long way from there, I was one of the very few pupils that resided at the school during the weekends. I do remember two very profound memories of Newhaven during my four years at the school and although we often used to visit, snippets of memory are occasionally recalled to my mind.

My first memory was that on the east side of the harbour, there were a very few of us with a supervising teacher who took us in the schools minibus. I remember us singing current pop songs as we made our way there from Ovingdean. There was a rather large and badly overgrown railway storage yard there with lots of wagons, mischievously we played amongst these, changing the points and trying to push the wagons etc. The east side always felt mysterious, cold and damp and you never saw many people there, it was always the west side that had... Read more

Memories of East Sussex

Summer Holidays in Piddinghoe

I have very fond memories of my holidays in Piddinghoe, spent at my Aunty Rene's home which stood on the bank of the River Ouse. I loved walking into the village to buy cream soda pop from Mr Caplin's shop. He would call me & my little sister "his little Welsh friends" as that's where we travelled from to visit our family. Our walks along the river with the dog. Piddinghoe holds a special place in my heart.

East Quinton Boarding School

I went to a boarding school just ouside Seaford, called East Quinton. They were happy days as we used to walk from the back of the school to play in the trenches. I often wonder if they are still there.

East Quinton School From Early 1973-1975

My name is Junior Mayhew and I also went to East Quinton School from early 1973-1975. The boarding school small pupil wise, but had lots of land to play on including two very large fields and an old farming area. The house staff used to take us out in groups for many nice walks on the South Downs often leaving from the back of the school most evenings and shopping at weekends. We often would go up to old barn and play in the old trenches of what we called the Hidden City as it had lots of walkways, old shelters and WWII gun placements etc which were overgrown with bramble and stinging nettles and not so visible when looked at from the town of Seaford. Sadly that has all of that has gone now, but some of the shallow trenches remain. They probably seemed deeper as we were kids, but hey! Health and safety rulings I guess. If we were not going on walks we were out in the... Read more

My Days at East Quinton School

I went to East Quinton School in September 1978 and was one of the first pupils to enter the school after it had been refurbished. Mr Smith was the headmaster at the time, I was then at the school three weekends out of four. It was a good time, we used to walk down to Cookmere Haven then up over the cliffs to Cookmere Lane. We would go into the town on Saturdays to Woolworths and then walk back from town to the school. I left East Quinton in April 1981, it was the best two and half years of my life. Very good memories.

Cliff View House And Martello Tower

Cliff view house was a small school just behind the esplanade .It is now an old peoples home.It was what was known as a crammers, a place designed to push pupils through common entrance exam,
It was 1973 and I was 12, it was hard being away from home , I remember many tearful nights.Also I remember great adventures on the downs, takeing lost golf balls down to the club, exploreing the old war bunker and wonderfall swims in the sea.Now, I think that the big victorian esplanade buildings were still there and the sea in storms would splash over the promanade throwing stones everywhere
With tremendous violence.I also remember we used to climb onto a ledge that ran around the Martello tower and the sea would sometimes reach the tower walls, quite dangerous really.The only problem is that after looking on google map at the tower I cannot sea any ledge, I know that the tower has been restored since, but it looks so different now it does... Read more

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