Terriers hard at work

By Laurie Stonehouse

These photographs show an era that ended nearly half a century ago. When the large warehouse located on the west quay ceased production of rope and tarpaulin, and with the further loss of other rail traffic, the decision was made to close the west quay tramway in 1963. The powerful Terrier 2636 "FENCHURCH" is still hard at work and now located a few miles north of Newhaven on the Bluebell railway.

Photo:Terrier 32678 leaving the west beach - C1960

Terrier 32678 leaving the west beach - C1960

D Riley

Photo:Approaching the Swing Bridge - C1948

Approaching the Swing Bridge - C1948

Private Collection of J K Stonehouse

Photo:Terrier 2636 "Fenchurch" crossing the old swing bridge - C1935

Terrier 2636 "Fenchurch" crossing the old swing bridge - C1935

Old Postcard

Photo:Crossing the Bridge - C1948

Crossing the Bridge - C1948

Private Collection of J K Stonehouse

Photo:Terrier 32678 coming over the bridge - C1960

Terrier 32678 coming over the bridge - C1960

D Riley

Photo:Terrier 32670 being coaled outside the Newhaven shed - C1960

Terrier 32670 being coaled outside the Newhaven shed - C1960


Photo:Terrier 2636 "Fenchurch" - C1950

Terrier 2636 "Fenchurch" - C1950

Old Postcard

Photo:Terrier 2636 "Fenchurch" at the Newhaven shed - C1935

Terrier 2636 "Fenchurch" at the Newhaven shed - C1935

Old postcard

Photo:Class "E4" approching Newhaven station - C1960

Class "E4" approching Newhaven station - C1960


Photo:Newhaven sheds - March 2008

Newhaven sheds - March 2008

Laurie Stonehouse

This page was added by Laurie Stonehouse on 17/11/2008.
Comments about this page

I worked on the footplate at Newhaven until 1962. There appeared to be a "Resident" driver for the Terriers; a Mr Smith.
The picture of the E4 - that looks remarkably like me as the Fireman. I always wore my hat like that, high at the front and well down at the sides. Thank you for sharing these pictures with us. It has certainly brought back some fond memories for me.

By Wiliam Still
On 20/11/2008

The pictures of 32678 (once named "Knowle") were taken by Dick Riley on the last day of the breakwater Branch - 10 August 1963. The person visible on the footplate in both photos is the shunter, Bob Cobden. Maurice Smith was the driver.
The E4 appears to be reversing out of Town station into the up side sidings (note that the shunt signal dummy is "off" authorising the move southwards).

By Alan Cobden
On 23/11/2008

How many terriers were 'stabled' at Newhaven as there appears to be three different locomotives in these photos (not including the E4)?

By Rob Patten
On 24/11/2008

Rob - Newhaven became a sub shed of Brighton in early BR days, from when only one Terrier was based in the town shed. Until 1956 this was usually 32636 (Fenchurch) but thereafter Brighton sent any of its Terriers to Newhaven, subshedded for a couple of weeks at a time. In Southern Railway days, Newhaven had 2 Terriers, 2636 (Fenchurch) being joined by 2647 (Cheapside) in 1936. 2647 moved to Hayling Island in April 1951 but broke a crank axle and was scrapped, still in pre-war Southern livery, in October 1951.

By Alan Cobden
On 28/11/2008

Maybe my mind is playing tricks but on a trip on the train to Seaford with my mum in the early 70's she pointed out a small steam engine on a siding at Seaford by the goods yard. I remember this because it was the only steam loco I had seen at that time before being taken to the Bluebell. Any idea what it was and why it was there.?

By Rob Patten
On 10/04/2009

In 1949 when I left school I started work as a cleaner at Newhaven loco shed, where I joined my mother's brothers, Uncles Ted & Jack Hillman who were both drivers, (the latter being my guardian from 1939). My first day's work was cleaning the boiler (red hot) of Atlantic Class loco "Beachy Head" and I just hope I live long enough to see it in steam again on the Bluebell Rly. On another occasion I remember cleaning an E4 class loco still in its wartime black, and sideways on in the shed light, saw on the the tank side some brown paintwork with the words 'Birch Grove' which did'nt mean a lot to me at the time. That loco is now preserved on the Bluebell Railway.

Having been passed as a cleaner, my first day acting as a fireman was on an E4 class loco and having booked on at 4.45am we travelled "light engine" (not hauling any trucks or carriages) to Lewes where we coupled-up to a full load and travelled back to Newhaven then on to Seaford.

The best turn of all was with a Terrier, and having booked on at 6.45 am, we would attach a dozen trucks or so and haul them over the swing bridge and down the breakwater where they were detached. Then it was back to the shed put the loco away and be home in doors at 1.30pm. The permanent driver at the time was Bogie Simmons.

A good book published by Middelton Press is entitled "Haywards Heath to Seaford" and contains some good photos of the area.

I wish I had owned a camera at the time because one summer weekend in the early 1950's while working nights and acting as shed fireman, in the height of the the summer traffic the shed was full with locos of several classes, Brighton Atlantics, Terriers, Moguls, E4s, a C2 Vulcan and a Schools Class. There was even a West Country class loco for boat train traffic, however using those West Country locos was short lived because they came off the rails on the sharp curve into the shed.

By Dave Brady
On 09/06/2009

Does anyone who worked at Newhaven Loco remember what a shift on the West Quay Tramroad involved? Were the Sheet Loft, Oil Tank and Breakwater Yard all served every day or was it "as required"? I remember there being a spur at the Oil Tank and one at the Breakwater Yard, but the only loop I can think of was behind Chapel Street. How did the engine run round its train for the return journey?

By Bruce Macphee
On 20/03/2014

 Bruce,  further to my comments in 2009,  when I started in 1949 & until at least 1953 the shift was Mon to Sat booking on at 6 45am  leaving the shed at 7 30am, then picking up trucks from either the middle yard, harbour, north quay, then over the bridge with Mr Avis leading the way with his red flag !!!. The load being a mixed bag of oil for the cross channel boats, sheet loft, items for the light house, breakwater & the general upkeep of the west quay. Then pick up from the same areas & return and repeat, obviously during spring & summer we carried more loads. usually back in the shed by 1pm and put the engine away. During the time I was there we had two terriers based at Newhaven one cold & they would switch with others from Brighton.  Jack Simmons was then the permanent driver & towards the end & because he was the senior driver, Maurice Smith became the driver and was I guess the last driver at a Newhaven.                  

By Dave Brady
On 02/10/2014

Hi Dave, I don't suppose you can remember how many engines were in the shed at one time? Like at the Beginning of the day?

By Andrew Diack
On 20/06/2017

Hi. Andrew  The amount of engines in the shed varied,  summer time being the most. As I have previous mentioned when I was on duty as  night shift shed fireman on night shift during the height of the summer season in the early 50s, all four lanes including outside, and a West Country ( which did not last long as they came off the rails on the curve coming into the shed). during the summer depending on demand the three cross channel boats (2 BR 1 French)  would operate day a night service service. at least one boat would would return same day as night boat. 

When I started in April 1949 in winter would be three Brighton Atlantic's in service, two operating the weekday commuting  morning service  from Uckfield to Victoria and one from Lewes to London Bridge and both return in the evening commute service, they would couple up at a Lewes and return to Newhaven Loco  about 8pm all Newhaven duties. The third would operate the 5pm boat train Newhaven duty and return in the morning 10 am, for the boat service Stewarts Lane  duty.  Possibly a forth on boiler wash  or having attention  by the shed fitter Fred Catlin or the boiler fitter who also rebuilt the brick arch when needed (or rather the fitters mate)

In addition would be the 2 Terriers  one cold,  three E4s, in service,  one on boiler wash or repair   1 K class, 1 Vulcan (C2x).    In Winter to keep the fitters busy Brighton Shed would  ensure a engine was on major repair.  And  the summer months additional engines  would be on shed such School's, King Arthur's, Moguls,  to meet extra boat train & goods  traffic.  The boat trains would be operated by Newhaven and Stewart's Lane men.  The Passed cleaners would then have fireman's duties, passed fireman would have engine train drivers duties. everyone moved up a notch that's where the experience was gained.   The Atlantic's were slowly replaced by the BR Standers Midland Tanks  but still operated the boat trains and summer specials until the last one Beachy Head 

Hope that helps

Dave Brady       

By David Brady
On 18/04/2020

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