Snapshot Memories of England's Hollywood



NEB's Interviews  

Jim Walters

Unmade Road Bungalow Town c 1930

“Now the Beach has childhood Memories for Jim Waters?”

“I seem to remember going to a school called Mrs Barker’s School”.

“Where was that?”

Church of the Good Shepherd 1913

“That was in Beach Road, not very far from Ferry Road. Then of course later on when we started taking more interest in the church as choir boys, not that we could sing, but they couldn’t get any other boys to join in. And sometimes in the summertime, when Mr Engleback was the priest in charge, we used to have services on the beach and we would travel in procession from the Church of the Good Shepherd, down onto the sands, and try and sing against the noise of the sea.”

Mr Engelback (centre) c 1930

“Of course Mr Engleback was quite a character, wasn’t he?”

“Oh, he was, he was very well known for some of his absentminded acts. He didn’t often go to meet his family if they’d been out shopping, but one day he did decide he ought to go and meet them to tell them that something had happened right outside their bungalow, that the gas men had come and dug a pit, and if they weren’t careful they might fall into it. And when he met them at the bus, he walked home with them having forgotten to warn them that there was a big hole in the shingle, just by their gate entrance. I think he slipped in himself, if I remember rightly.”

“You must remember the Old Fort?”

The Old Fort c 1975
(West Sussex County Library Services)

“Oh, the Old Fort was a great playground where all the boys, and the girls (who would play boy’s games) were allowed to join in, and we would often spend a whole day playing games on the Fort, and then on to the Silversands, which were nearby.”

“It was more complete then, surely?”

Oh yes, I think all the rooms were in use, or could be used then, it was full of rubber in places, but there was a proper moat all the way around the Fort, and there were one or two of the guns, if I remember rightly, which we used to sit upon, I think, and make out we were firing them, but why we sat on them to try and fire them, I can’t remember.”

“Jim explain about one of the ferries.”

“Just near the footbridge there used to be a ferry, which went across to the opposite side It was pretty perilous crossing, especially at night and in the winter when the gales were on; when the tide was low you found yourself very often getting into deep mud if you strayed from the path, and sinking up above your ankles in it.”

“Many people I think probably carried hurricane lamps.”

“Well they needed them; believe me”.

Ferry, Shoreham by Sea c1913
(West Sussex County Library Service)

“I remember one of the ferryman was Page, his name was Ferry Page, I’m sure there are still some of his relatives living in the area now. But there’ll be quite a number of these ferrymen, because it was the only way of getting from the beach to the town, except by walking right round over Norfolk Bridge, which is a suspension bridge, and they had on one of the columns, a lion and the other, the unicorn. It was a very handsome bridge and beautifully kept with a tollhouse at either end.”

“What about the fisherman, there were quite a lot of fisherman there at one time?”

“Oh, there were, they used to fish from the beach with their boats, they were all row boats then, and there used to be a family of fishermen called the Lakers, I remember. They used to stand on the top of the ridge of the beach and they would suddenly shout out, there’s a shoal, and you’d see the mackerel, and they’d leave one rope on the shore and take their net right out behind their boat, letting it out, and bring in the other end of the rope, and then everybody who was in the neighbourhood would help pull. And sometimes we boys used to get behind the net when it was getting near to the shore, of course the mackerel started jumping out over the back of the net, and we’d hold our jerseys out and sometimes a mackerel might jump into it, and we could take that home for breakfast.”

 Patti Gray   Jim Walters Fred Batten

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