High Street & Fort Road from 1888 to 1930s

Richard Beckett

Photo 1. Taken looking down the High Street from just below the Lewes Road, on the right hand side can be seen a gas lamp standing on the corner of Meeching Road. It is just possible to make out the flint wall on this side of Meeching Road which is curved and this curve was faithfully followed in the building which replaced it i.e. Parsons the Green grocers.

Photo 2. Believed to be taken from just inside the Lewes Road and where it joins the Brighton Road, which can just be seen at the right of the picture.

As can be seen from the titles on the bottom, both these photos were subsequently published as part of the "Arrow Series" of Postcards about Newhaven.

Photo 3. Yet another Meeching house of character which stood the test of time until it was decided to modernise and update the town. This is the beautiful old house called "Lorraine" which stood for many years in Fort Road until it was demolished and the present Fire station constructed on the site. The house stood out from its neighbours because of the tall elegant tower with the windows which gave views down the harbour as well as across the harbour and bay towards Seaford. It is believed that at one time Mr E. J. Coker lived in this house. He was the well known Headmaster of the Boys School (now the Hillcrest Centre) and later Town Councillor.

Photo:High Street 1888

High Street 1888

Arrow Series postcard

Photo:High Street junction Brighton Road 1895

High Street junction Brighton Road 1895

Arrow Series postcard

Photo:"Lorraine" c1930's

"Lorraine" c1930's

Newhaven Maritime Museum

This page was added by Richard Beckett on 08/11/2008.
Comments about this page

The new fire station replaced Lorraine but there was a lane that ran up the side of the fire station and became part of a rear alley between Fort Road and Hillcrest eventually joining 'Chalky Hill', but I dont see this in the photo of Lorraine, was this added when the Fire Station was built? If so where did the alleyway lead before this or did it come to a dead end behind Lorraine?

By Rob Patten
On 09/11/2008

I remember the alleyway you refer to, it was there when I was a kid during the war years, long before the fire station arrived where it is today.
The alley ran between Fort Road and Hillcrest and there was another alleyway immediately opposite which ran between Hillcrest and near to where Dr. Brooks used to live (where Gray's school is now). The Fort Road - Hillcrest alley also had another attached to it that ran behind the houses in Fort Road, and ended, as you say, in Geneva Road. Hope that helps.

By Jim Still
On 10/11/2008

The alley is in this photo. The bungalow was lived in by a school teacher and her sister, (remember their pekinese dogs and pram?). Shown here are 5 cappings on their front garden wall pillars, the curved wall goes up the alley, on the side of their garden. Lorraine's side wall can just be seen this side of the hedge. The fence is on the opposite side of the road from these properties, this photograph would have been taken from Hugget's Field.

By Colin Holden
On 13/11/2008

I remember the bungalow in the picture and especially the teacher mentioned above. I think her name was Miss Wheatley and she was a teacher either at the Infants or Junior School. I remember her being a bit fierce and every time we walked past the bungalow on our way to the 'Rec' we used to run past just in case she saw us and this was on non-school days!!
Does anybody else remember her or am I being a little unfair in my recollections of her ?

By Paul Blackman
On 14/12/2008

The bungalow was called "Gesith". It housed Miss Doris Wheatley, who used to teach at Meeching County Juniors and was an excellent artist, and her sister, who we called "Aunt Bertha", with their two pekes, called Bill & Tiny. Their brother was Bernard Wheatley who owned the scrappy's on the Drove.

By William Stovell
On 14/12/2008

The bungalow 'Gesith' was the home of my Grandparents James and Peggy Ellis in the late 1930's and my father, Stuart Ellis was born there.

By Jane Deakin
On 03/07/2009

The alley which ran between Fort Road and Hillcrest Road was always called Chicks Alley (not sure if the spelling is right) when I was a child.

By Terry Walton
On 03/08/2009

We called it "Chicks Lane", great place for scrumping apples as a child...LOL

By William Still
On 04/09/2009

Having moved to Fort Road in 1988, I don't remember "Lorraine" - but there is one house in "Lorraine Road" level with the alleyway between Fort Road and Hillcrest Road. My eldest daughter was four-and-a-half then, and I used to walk up what is referred to above as "Chicks Lane" with her, and then across Hillcrest Road and on up, to and from Grays School (and later with my other children). The bungalow at the bottom is still called "Gesith".

By David Rogers
On 31/10/2009

Lorraine was a lovely old house but very spooky, as I came to find out. It lay empty for a while prior to demolition and I had to go there to turn off the water supply and drain out the system. No electricity, not even a torch and I had to go down to the basement/cellars to turn the water off. As I was trying to circumnavigate the cobwebs and the years of junk underfoot to locate the stoptap, there was one heck of a rumble and I thought the cellar door had closed, but no, it was only a clap of thunder!!!! Now, on a lighter note, I did get to see a splendid, very old Lancaster car in the garage.

Did you mean "Lanchester Car" NOT Lancaster?

Richard, Editor

By Colin Brandon
On 08/06/2010

I remember Miss Wheatley. She taught me in the Junior school. She wore a fur coat which my mother thought was Musquash. With some envy perhaps!

By michael cawte
On 11/06/2010

Hi Richard, yes I did mean a Lanchester car, must have been thinking about an aircraft at the time.

By Colin Brandon
On 18/06/2010

Thanks for the picture of Lorraine. I fantasised about living in a house like that when I was a teenager - a bedroom with a corner turret like that was my idea of heaven! A great shame that Newhaven's best house was demolished to make way for a fire station. And I also have fond memories of Miss Wheatley -she was my form teacher in the first year of Junior school. Yes she was fierce and always kept a pile of wooden rulers in her desk which came out to rap the knuckles of anyone who misbehaved. but she taught me a lot and shouldn't be judged too harshly as she was of her time and other teachers behaved similarly.

By Alan Terrill
On 24/07/2010

I worked on the construction of the Fire Station, must have been mid to late 60s for Bannisters Builders. It would have been just after they relocated from the High Street to the Quarry. Does anyone have any photos of Bannisters Builders when it was based in the High Street ?

By Terry Howard
On 17/12/2010

It doesn't surprise me that " Lorraine " was demolished. Isn't that what has happened successively over the last three generations with all the lovely houses of character and individuality? Still, at least it was spared the ignominy of being converted into 10 compact flats.

By Henry Page Sr.
On 02/01/2011

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