SIAS Newsletter 4

 

NEWSLETTER No. 4. October 1974.
SIAS NEWS
Littlehampton
Following the appearance in our publications of several items of I.A. interest for this area, it was timely to select Littlehampton for a field visit; on the 20th July, 15 members joined with friends from the Littlehampton District Natural Science G Archaeological Society to follow out a seven page briefing drawn up by our Programme Organiser, Mr. Hugh Gordon.
Setting out by launch from Nelson Steps and in perfect weather conditions the party went up river through the Harbour noting workshops, boat building yards, warehouses, timber yards and parts of the original seaport town. Of particular interest were the swing bridge which later in the day was examined more closely on foot, the railway bridge over the Arun at Ford with the nearby station of 1846 which had at first served both Arundel and Littlehampton, and the site of the 1918 flying field at Ford which is now largely taken over as one of H.M. prisons but which is still arguably one of the best sites for a modern South Coast airport. Returning through the harbour a view was obtained of the gasworks site, now used only as a gas storage station but which was one of the oldest types of column-guided, water-sealed gas holders operating alongside an example of the Wiggins dry curtain-sealed holder installed in recent years as the latest of the low pressure storage holders to be designed for the gas industry.
After lunch some time was spent at the Museum in River Road where ample evidence is available for those interested in the former ship building and allied activities. Members then went on foot to various buildings in the town including the railway station with its large Victorian warehouse.
From the remaining concentration of original buildings, yards and warehouses along the line of the river it is still possible to envisage clearly the Littlehampton which grew over the long years as a significant point on the coast for communications and transport services and, although the holiday and residen-tial aspects of today have outgrown the industrial corner of the town, much material from the past is available for study including some excellent documenta-tion and photographic records. Having regard to some of its advantages the riverside area will undoubtedly see the growth of new industries giving ultimate justification to those early planners who recognised the importance of Continental trade or who had the imagination to coneive a through water way to London. W.R.B.
Brighton
On 24th August, 11 members and their friends gathered at Goldstone Pumping Station to meet Mr. Jonathan Minns who has acquired a lease of the site and proposes to turn it into a steam and mechanical engineering museum. Mr. Minns explained his proposals in some detail, which include getting No.2 beam engine under steam again and the creation of a large exhibition hall in the present coal-store, where a number of items are now in store. The old maintenance work-shop will also be restored to use again. It was noted that the Blackstone oil engine from Brighton Technical College, which is housed in the coal-store, is in need of cleaning and greasing; the Secretary would be glad to hear from any members in the Brighton area who would be prepared to undertake this work.
From Goldstone most of the party went on to Mr. Minn's house, The Old Mill; Hellingly, where we were shown a very fine collection of early mechanical models and entertained to tea. We were also able to inspect the mill itself, which is in very good condition and which Mr. Minns plans to get working again when he has completed the rebuilding of the sluices. A.J.H.
Greenwich 
The last field visit of the season took the form of a day in Greenwich on 21st September. Nine members gathered at midday aboard the "Catty Sark" and inspected this iron built clipper with timber cladding. There is an interesting exhibition on the main cargo deck of documents, old photographs and paraphanaIia connnected with the ship and those who had sailed in her. Of interest also was the very limited range of rolled iron sections that had been available to the constructors who had made what today would be an unusual use of light angles heavily rivetted together for the hull ribbing.
Nearby and dry docked like its neighbour was the last yacht of Sir Francis Chichester; Gypsy Moth IV which several members inspected to note the complete sophistication of construction and instrumentation as compared with the older ship. Also close by, our attention was drawn to the domed structure which houses the lift shaft and staircase which gives access to the Greenwich pedestrian tunnel. An identical structure is visible on the north bank of the river. The absence of all but pleasure craft on the river was remarked on and one member who had come by boat from Westminster was saddened by the virtual disappearance of commercial traffic and the consequent 'deadness" of the dockland area.
After lunch and in heavy rain we made our way up the hill to the old Royal Observatory to take a look at the early quadrants and telescopes housed in the Meridian Building as well as the superb clocks} chronometers and other instruments in Flamsteed House Unfortunately, part pf the exhibition is closed for -reorganisation in anticipation of the Tercentenary next year. By this time the party was becoming somewhat dispersed but the Maritime Museum was visited to see at least part of the collections of models, displays and documentation covering the history and construction of both the Naval and Mercantile Marine including the advent of steam propulsion. There is at present a special display embracing the last phase of coastal shipping from 1850 and the building of timber coastal sailing vessels for which the yards of Rye and Littlehampton were mentioned.
There is much to study at Greenwich and those who care to make a solo visit would do well to apply to the secretary for one of the few remaining briefing documents so ably and in detail prepared by Mr. Hugh Gordon, but please enclose a stamped 9"" x 4"' addressed envelope. W.R.B.

Local Museums
It is probable that there are a number of items of I.A. interest in our local museums, either on exhibition or in store, The inspection and recor-ding of these is a job that members might like to undertake in the winter months, not forgetting the documentary research that should be complementary to this. Would any members willing to do this inspection of museums please give their names to the General Secretary so that he can ensure that overlapping does not occur and that all areas are adequately covered,

Railway Architecture John Hoare writes;
"I have been asked to expand my article in S.I,H, into a short but well illustrated volume and should be grateful for any additional information and some specific assistance from fellow members of the Society,
1,: The Hove station 'mystery'. Many readers will realise that the first "Hove" was near Holland Road, the present station started life as "Cliftonville" in 1865. Drawings of the present station house, formerly both station. and house, exist undated by the artist but with ''1863' pencilled on. As Seaford (1864) is very similar, there seems no reason to question this date. The plans for the present booking-hall and portecochere date from 1904, The puzzle is that the LBSCR Directors approved a contract to Robert Abraham in 1878 for a new station at Cliftonville for 2697; and 2924 was actually spent in 1879: What was this 'new station`: 2900 would not have built a whole major station. (This is, incidentally, one of many such detective issues which a study of this sort leaves unsolved),
2. Brighton station, Between 1861 and 1866 93;409 was spent on various improve-ments, a vast sum. I am curious to know what was done, besides the construction of the wide bridge across Trafalgar Road, Neither main station building nor roof were significantly involved. Unfortunately the folder of Brighton Station plans is unavailable at present because of the proposed vandalism which I trust the Society is fighting),
3. Old photos, postcards, etc. I should be most grateful for the loan of any of these, especially of stations now closed or altered,, as much can be deduced from such evidence. Any items which could be used to illustrate the volume will, of course, be appropriately acknowledged. Help here will really be appreciated as most of this study is now complete but early illustrations of stations are not plentiful.
John Hoare,

SHORT NOTES
Windmill and Watermill Records
The typewritten notes of the late H.E.S. Simmons of Shoreham; near Brightong on Windmills and Watermills of Great Britain are now housed in the Science Museum Library, South Kensington The notes are set out in Counties and Parishes, and filed under two separate headings viz. (1) Historical Notes (2) General notes. There are numerous references to advertisements relating to mills,, map references to sites and details of their machinery and history. There is also a file of negatives of mills,
Photocopies of the notes and the photographs: from the negatives can be obtained from the Science Museum Library at very reasonable fees There is also a photocopy of most of the Sussex entries in Brighton Reference Library, Cat. No. Windmills S.62145, Watermills S,6212,
A.I.A. Conference On the week-end of 13th-15th September I attended the first Annual Conference of the Association 'for Industrial Archaeology at Keele University. On the Friday many interesting slides were shown by members and Dr, Stafford Linsley gave an extensive illustrated review of I.A. in the North East as an introduction to the 1975 Conference which will be held at Durham University, 12th = 14th September. On the Saturday morning we had two extremely good lectures; on "The North Staffordshire Coalfield" by W.J. Thomson which, among other details, described the early methods of coal mining, and "Raw Materials in the Pottery Industry" by Robert Copeland, In the afternoon two coach tours were arranged both visited the Glad--stone Pottery Museum at Longton; a fascinating display of the history of the pottery industry, and Etruria where we saw the remains of Josiah Wedgwood"s original works along the Caldon Canal, One tour then went to Silverdale and Apedale to inspect the iron works amongst which was the Springwood blast furnace, one of the best preserved in the Midlands and believed to date from 1768. The other tour went to the Cheddleton Flint Mine, also on the Caldon Canal, where flits were ground for addition to the pottery body. Two large breast shot wheels on the River Churnet each drive a large grinding pan where the flints, after calcining in kilns on the site, are ground to a fine powder in water by large blocks of chert driven round on a chert floor by four horizontal radial paddles. Also seen on the site were an old wharf-side crane, an interesting small crane for lifting the blocks of chert and a Robey 100HP Drop Valve Horizontal steam engine of 1928, the last to be intro- installed to drive a pottery mill. In the evening we had a talk from Dr, Jennifer Tann, showing, with slides, the influence of country house architecture on the design of factories and mills in the 18th and 19th centuries,
On Sunday we had a talk from Dr. C.T.G. Boucher on "James Brindley, Millwright Engineer and Canal Builder", followed by the A.I.A. Annual Business Meeting. There was also a very good'exhibition of literature, maps and pictures from various I.A. Societies and Museums.


THE LOWER OUSE NAVIGATION (Part II) 
John H. Farrant.
Even before the first Act passed, it was questioned whether the tolls were high enough. One calculation, in 1791, was based on a traffic of 15,000 tons of goods entered at the Customs House (and paying the 4d. toll on the river) and 8,000 tons of gravel, sand, chalk, etc., (paying 2d.); a modest computation' in 1783 gave a similar total, of 21,000 tons. On that proportion between the traffic paying the two rates of toll and the amounts for which the tolls were leased in 1796-9 (between 251 and 266 p.a.) the traffic was nearer 18,000 tons.10 However; with the tolls doubled, the lease yielded 811 in 1805-6, perhaps representing some 28,000 tons, and a peak of 1,105 in 1810-11 (39,000 tons?), and 911 in 1814-15. These tolls meant that no deficit had to be met by the scots after 1805, and that they could be reduced to 3d. and 6d. per ton in 1818.11 Even so, the smallness of the increase in traffic is surprising. The extension of navigation above Lewes, reaching Upper Ryelands Bridge in Cuckfield parish in 1812 should have increased traffic on the lower river, and Newhaven's imports of coal rose from 6,600 tons in 1788, to 16,700 tons in 1807 and 27,300 tons in 1829.12 The Wealden exports of timber and Downland exports of corn, though, were on the decline and perhaps the failure of the trustees to complete the works deprived barges of much of the potential advantage. The drainage purposes of the Act had, however, been achieved. Rand may have been exaggerating when he claimed that 4,000 acres had been recovered, their value raised by 200,000, with fine crops now growing where sea birds had resorted at time of incubation'; but Horsfield, in 1824, was probably justified in saying that the levels, instead of being covered with water the greater part of the year, were now but rarely flooded, and a few days were generally sufficient to carry off the inundations occasioned by the land floods.13
Only in 1830 did the trustees evidently move to complete the works. In 1825, Josias Jessop, son of William, had soothingly reported that 'the works are generally in such good order, and the improvements carried on so judiciously, that it is scarcely necessary to point out those trifling defects which without doubt would in due course be removed'. Six years later, a special committee of trustees acknowledged that obstructions still remained at four, points below Lewes bridge and expressed the hope that they could be removed within a reasonable time and without a serious increase in debt.
in fact the last shallows were removed only in 1839 when some merchants threatened to take legal action A newspaper reported in 1840 that the tow path was to be continued from Stock Ferry to Newhaven, so the section from Southerham Corner had evidently been constructed, and this final section was made in that there are later references to horse towing. 14 It may well have been these belated improvements which made it possible to get small seagoing vessels up to Lewes, so avoiding transfer to barges: in 1850, the Jason and the Lady Fielding brought cargoes of 97 and 84 tons of stone from Selby or the new Lewes p on, .and the Channel Pilot of 1863 described the river as navigable to Lewes for small coal brigs; while the first seagoing vessel built at Lewes was launched in March 1839 and a few more followed.15 But the enhanced, capacity was rather belated to be of any long-term use. In 1847 a railway between Lewes and Newhaven was under construction, and, in the realisation that competition might get the navigation into financial difficulties, the trust and the harbour commission were amalgamated. The Newhaven Harbour and Ouse Lower Navigation Trust inherited debts of 15,000 from the navigation trust, which therefore can have paid off little of the capital borrowed 50 years before; and was faced by a steep decline in tolls. Throughout the 1830s, they had been around 1,300 a year, some 1,000 in 1842-6 and 1,300 again in 1846-7; ten years later they were down to 166, following reductions in the rates, and complete abolition of tolls came in 1858. As to the debt, the Act of 1847 laid down contributions over a period of 28 years from the Commissioners of Sewers (and thereafter a fixed contribution for maintenance only) to liquidate part of it; the trust`s income met the rest.16 In 1878, control of the harbour passed to the Newhaven Harbour Company (which was effectively owned by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway), and the trust was left with the river above Horseshoe sluice, an annual income from the company of 500 - and much the same functions as the trust of 1791, except there was scarcely any traffic on the river. Quite how much cannot be said, After 1882 or 3, it was 11 years before Southerham railway bridge was again opened for a vessel, though possibly. there was a small revival thereafter, as in each year at the beginning of this century a few vessels paid harbour dues as they passed through, bound for Lewes. Barges, several being built by Chatfield in the 1860's, continued to ply the river (they could pass the bridge without it being opened), but the 20th century saw a steady decline in the tonnages on which dues were paid in the harbour; 1905 6,173 tons,, 1910 3,943 tons, 1915 480 tons, 1927 167 tons and after that year no further barge dues were collected.
However, barge traffic continued in some form, as Eastwoods Lewes Cement Co. Southerham, said in 1936 that its barges had navigated the river daily since 1903.17 Completion of a wharf or jetty near the Asheham works of the Alpha Cement Company in 1934 gave the river anew importance and induced the trustees to reintroduce dues above Horseshoe sluice. 18 Evidently the company found it cheaper to import its coal, from Kent, and export some cement, by sea rather than by rail or road; the jetty was connected to the works by an aerial railways. In 1936, by way of example, one set of vessels brought 95 cargoes of coal (22,710 tons) and three cargoes of gypsum (691 tons), and another set took away 110 cargoes of cement (18,799 tons). The average net registered tonnage of these motor vessels was 94, but the colliers were probably rather larger. The other cargoes carried on the river that year were nine of iron and steel (1,584 tons) for J. Every at the Phoenix Works, and eight of scrap iron (1,380 tons) down stream for the Newhaven firm of Wheally. Here the vessels averaged 65 tons and were probably coastal sailing barges.19
The barges ceased to frequent the river in 1940. So temporarily did the vessels to Asheham; they returned after the war, in 1947, but the traffic was only about a quarter of that in the late 1930s, and it ended in 1967.20 Meanwhile, the N.H.O.L.N.T. ceased to exist in 1952, when its rights and duties were transferred to the East Sussex River Board which was merged first into the Sussex River Authority and then, in 1974, into the Southern River Authority.
REFERENCES
10. S,A.T,, PP4, Chas White to Pelham, 10 Feb. 1791, British Library, Add. MS,5701, f,207. E.S.R.O., D187/3/25/36,
11. S.W.A., 11 Aug. 1806, 26 Aug. 1811, 4 Sept. 1815, 19 Oct. 1818. E,S.R.O., RA/C l, for the annual contributions from Scots.
12. Gibbs and Farrant, p.29. Universal British Directory (1790). British Parliamentary Papers, 180 (69), xii, (Lords), cclxxvii, 262.
13. Report of Cater Rand . river Rother and Levels ... (Lewes, 1812).
T.W. Horsfield, The History and Antiquities of Lewes and its Vicinity, i (Lewes, 1824), 216.
14. E.S.R.O., D187/3/25/34,37. Brit. Parl. Papers, 1847 (628) lxi, 104. Sussex Advertiser, 19 Oct. 1840.
15. E.S.R.O., LH17, trust's letter book, 1 Aug, 1850. M.R. Bouquet, No Gallant Ship (1959), 112. Statutory Register of Shipping, Port of Newhaven.
16, 10-11 Vic. c.ix. E,S.R.O., RA/C/l (on the assumption that tolls equalled Scots in 1830-46); RA/D/1C,, annual reports of trust's committee of management, 1847-58.
17. 41-2 Vic. c.lxxi. Sussex Daily News, 29 April 1894. British Rail (Newhaven Harbour), ledger of dues receive by commodity or traffic, 1900-68 (abbreviated hereafter to Ledger). E.S.R.O., RA/D/l/3. 11 Jan. 1936.
18. E.S.R,O., RA/D/1/2, annual reports of the committee of management, 1933, 1934
19. E.S.R.O., RA/D/28. Ledger.
20. Ledger.

Woodbridge Tide Mill
Those interested in the watermill side of our activities and who have paid occasional visits to see the restoration work at the Bateman's; Burwash watermill and in which sadly few of our members have actually participated, should not hesitate to also visit the Woodbridge (b. Suffolk) Tide Mill which at the present time is being restored by a local Trust formed for the purpose.
Although the tide mill with its four sets of stones is somewhat larger that Bateman's and certainly housed in a much more spacious building, there is a remark-able similarity in the two projects, each had a building to re-roof and strengthen and each had collapsed machinery to rebuild, the latter with much identical detail. Woodbridge was the earliest recorded tide mill in Britain - 1170 and the last working example, it stopped only in 1957. When working the tide was allowed to fill a seven acre mill pond through incoming sluice gates and for two hours on each side of low tide the water thus impounded could be released through outgoing sluices gates to the twenty foot diameter and six foot wide waterwheel which could be breast shot or undershot as demanded by the height of the tidal estuary into which it discharged. Unlike Bateman's, when the tide mill is completed it will not be able to work because the mill pond has been opened out to form a Marina for sailing craft. W.R.B.

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