25th May 1931 & forward to 1972

By John Hills

Photo:25th May 1931

25th May 1931


A great view on the 25th May 1931, looking towards the south-west down the river towards the harbour mouth.

On Denton Island we can see the of row of 16 huts, in the centre of the island. The huts were originally constructed to house the workers building the West Breakwater in the 1880's but at this time in 1931, they were home to the "Denton Islander" families.

Also we can see the little triangle of houses in the top left-hand corner of Denton Island made up of Reed Cottages, Sefton Terrace and Inkerman Gardens with Catts Cottages to the right of the bridge.

On North Quay the four rows of coal trucks being filled by the cranes unloading the moored ships.

Just visible halfway down, on the left hand edge of the picture are the old huts of the army camp that were used in World War 1 to service the troops fighting in France. In 1931 they were now occupied by the Valentine Pen Factory later to become the Parker Pen factory.

Again on the left-hand edge close to shore the white building is probably the hanger that housed seaplanes and the other buildings being the maintenance section associated with the Newhaven Seaplane Base.

The site was an experimental one which was used during World War 1. Seaplanes armed with one torpedo, flew reconnaissance missions in the English Channel searching for German submarines. 

The base was closed down in 1918.

Photo:Forward to 1972

Forward to 1972


In the 1972 picture we can see the excavation of the new ring road has started on the southern loop after leveling the old Christ Church in South Road together with Meeching Junior, Infant Schools and red brick building that housed the Police Station in Dacre Road, that's the price we pay for progress! 

To the left of the railway line in Railway Road the long building is the Parker Pen factory, with the Newhaven Town railway station and the 8 Railway cottages on the right in the same road.

In the centre of the picture are rows of cars lined up on the East Quay, probably Simca's imported from France, ready to be transported to their respective dealerships.

Just above halfway on the left-hand side are the Bevan Funnell Reproduction Furniture works buildings and showrooms. The business was setup in 1945 to produce hand finished antique furniture and closed their Newhaven furniture making factory in the summer of 2008.

Bevan Funnell, like Parker Pen had employed many people in the Newhaven area for many years, both were a great loss to the town.




This page was added by John Hills on 24/03/2020.
Comments about this page

Great photos, John!

Can't say much about the 1931 photo as the resolution isn't clear enough to ID the steamers at the East Quay.

However, the 1972 photo is easier. At the ramp is one of the 'V twins', Villandry or Valencay. Interesting to see Falaise in the 'lay by' berth. As it looks like a summer photo (no Railway ships in lay-up at the Railway Quay) I wonder why she's there?

Meeching is at No. 5 stage with one of the two mud barges inboard of her. The dredger Testside and the other barge is halfway up the River Wall, angled slightly out. At the next stage up (sometimes called the 'Metrec stage' as that's where Mike Newton-Smith's fleet usually moored) the larger vessel is a former minesweeper, converted for salvage work and renamed Investic. Looks like four fishing boats outboard of her, possibly those displaced by the dredging work.

Marine Workshops clearly visible, with the Railway Club directly in front. At the bottom left of the photo is the Harbour Garage.


By Andy Gilbert
On 25/03/2020

Assuming that the photo was taken at the same time as the other recent aerial view, the steamers are, from North to South: Brighton IV, Dieppe, Rouen and Worthing. The tug Foremost 22 is at No.5 stage on the River Wall.

Yes same day the 25th May 1931 Andy 

John --  Editor

By Andy Gilbert
On 25/03/2020

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