At the Marine Shops

By Andy Gilbert

Photo:Sandown and the Marine Shops

Sandown and the Marine Shops

Old photo

This old photo cropped up on the Memories of East Sussex Facebook group and with kind permission of the group's Admin I'm sharing it here for those who don't 'do' Facebook.

This aerial view shows the Isle of Wight paddle steamer "Sandown" moored at the Marine Workshops on the Railway Quay. She's in for her usual winter overhaul and paint-up, after which she'd be moved further down the quay to make room for another vessel, often her twin sister "Ryde".

Sandown doesn't appear to have any masts in this photo, which makes me think that this is the refit where her original foremast was reduced in height to have a radar installed. A new mainmast was added at the aft end of the superstructure in a later refit, perhaps the following year. A bit of research has dated the photo to 1960 or earlier, as the mainmast is shown in a photo dated March 1962 and so cannot have been fitted later than the 1961 refit. Her lifeboats have been lifted off for a repaint and are sitting on the quayside near the bridge.

Sandown would only run on the Isle of Wight route for a few more years, she was already running a summer only service, with the motor ships "Southsea", "Shanklin" and "Brading" (also regular visitors to Newhaven for lay-up) operating year-round. Sandown and her sister would be gone by the mid 1960s.

Also of note in the photo is a gasholder, or 'gasometer' in Railway Road. But it isn't the large one further to the East. Does anyone know what this smaller one was for? My own thinking is that it was a 'reservoir' to cover the gas that would be lost every time the swing bridge was opened.

There's a railway turntable just East of the engine sheds, I'm told it was used for turning the large engine that pulled the overnight sleeper service from Newhaven to Sterling as well as our local shunters.

On the West Quay, between the swing bridge and the Riverside Hall, is a tall mast and yardarm. A black canvas cone was hung from this to warn of impending gales. Pointed up would mean a Northerly gale and pointed down would mean a Southerly one. That cone is now in Newhaven Museum.


This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 06/10/2019.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.