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  1HE STORY OF SHOREHAM           REMINISCENCES  
                         
Business went along pleasantly for the remainder of the week,, and day after day hundreds embraced the opportunity and novelty of a railway ride. On the Sunday evening, however, a fatal accident occurred. A young man who was incautiously sitting on the tail board of a luggage waggon, which had been. temporarily used to accommodate the extra traffic at Shoreham,, was, at Southwick, precipitated by a sudden jerk beneath the train and killed on the spot.     recall to mind its predecessor with the old " box-like " waiting room on the down-side, out of which one went up a flight of steps on to the platform.
    Trams formerly ran between Shoreham and Hove. The rails were laid and it was opened in the early 'eighties, the cars being drawn by steam-engines. They ran from the Hove Borough boundary by way of New Church Road, through Portslade, Southwick and Kingston, thence along Ham Road and Western Road to Southdown Road. We have said "ran," but it is probable that no self-respecting traction engine ever " snailed " it like the Shoreham steam tram. Moreover, it had a decided propensity for running off the line at every possible opportunity, and few were the occasions when it kept to the rails in turning " Pennifold's Corner," in its painful endeavours to get into Western Road.
The late Mr. John George Bishop, at one time a resident of Shoreham and for many years proprietor of the Brighton Hera?d, in his "A Peep into the Past, or Brighton in the Olden Time,"' contrasts the conditions of modern railway travelling with those prevailing in 1840.   " The Third class carriages were of the poorest description, being little better than cattle trucks. They were wholly uncovered and some had not even the accommodation of seats, the divisions of the sections in each carriage being simply an iron rail.   The dust and smoke from the engine were annoying in the extreme, but worse than these was the almost constant descent of fine ashes ! Umbrellas were in frequent requisition. to protect the eyes and to avoid the chance of a burn." With a. good sou'-wester blowing and a driving rain, even the short journey between Brighton and Shoreham could scarcely have been a pleasant experience. " Later on, covered carriages were introduced, but even these were, at first, without windows ! Such luxuries are modern improvements, while the introduction. of cushions in Third class carriages is well within the memory of the present generation."  
             
  The journey was afterwards curtailed to terminate at the end of Ham Road, and eventually, engines being so unsatisfactory, horses took their place. These cars ceased running about eight years ago and the rails have since been removed.
  When a traveller, returning after a fifty years' absence in the Australian Colonies, revisited Shoreham in 1901, he found the town " for all practical purposes " much in the Farne condition as he had known it in the 'forties, " only, perhaps, a trifle more drowsy.", In the main street few shops appeared to have been altered, though most of the shop-keepers had long been at rest in the shadow of the glorious old church. He recalled the old familiar names of Gates the butcher, Adams the baker, Battcock the draper, Bradley the grocer, and Hore the chemist. He missed the little general shop where you could buy fruit, coals, cakes, malt liquor, snuff, and hardbake, while the sign outside the shop informed the passer-by :
To extend the Shoreham branch to Worthing it was necessary to carry the railway over the river Adur and this was accomplished by means of a trestle bridge approached by a viaduct. On November 24th, 1845, Worthing received its first railway passengers, and Chichester on June 8th, 1846. The junction from Shoreham to Partridge Green was opened 1st July, and the extension to Horsham 16th September, 1861.    
               
      Here he lives, Old uncle Nat, Try his oysters fresh and fat ; Full-rood herrings ready to burst, Table beer to quench your thirst.  
The original trestle bridge over the Adur becoming unsafe, was replaced about a quarter of a century ago, by the present steel bridge designed by Sir John Aird. The supporting cylinders are filled with concrete and some of them find a firm footing 70 feet in the river-bed. With this fact in mind, it is surprising that the former bridge of wood had served its purpose for so many years. The Railway Station has been once rebuilt. Many will        
               
    Corbett, the clerk and sexton of the church, is remembered as " a short squat man with wavy grey hair flowing over his shoulders in silver ripples." A man who could say " Amen " at the end of the prayers with unction and emphasis. Another local celebrity was a man who hawked crabs at 4d. each, and hares
                         
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002