Note And Photos From:- Kelowna Trout Angler.
Shoreham Harbour, East Sussex, England.
In 1959 life was very different to the present day. Pleasures seem to have been so much simpler. As kids we would go down to the harbour and walk by all the boats which had come in from far away places. Like Newcastle or Sunderland. If a boat came in from Norway or Russia then it came with all the romance that we youngsters could muster.
Were there any pirates? We hoped there would be.
There was timber, coal and petrol in abundence brought in by little coasters.
The quayside had a distinctive smell of tar, oil and the sea which crashed on the shingle at the southern side of the harbour.
I’m sure it was dangerous to play around the industrial area, but we were never driven away. There was a road which ran along the southern side of the harbour canal and it was the evocative smells of the industrial units which drew us. The old gas works would have it’s great piles of coal and the power station worked generating electricity and warm water. Warm water, which was pushed along a pipe and out into the sea behind the power station. This warm water outflow gave us good fishing from the beach and again it must have had inherent dangers, which would give modern parents heart failure.
The timber yard and stacks gave a distinctive smell which one can still detect if you walk around any lumber yard.
In the harbour canal there were always crabs to be caught from the walls. We would lower a small piece of fish on the hook. As the bait went down the side of a wall the crabs rushed out and grabbed the offering. They were never of great size, but they added to the excitement of any day out.
There were huge mullet swimming along the sides of the harbour wall and close to the lock gates. These fish were elusive, but they managed to raise the heartbeat as they swam close to the bait. They never played fair. Somehow they knew that the offering was dangerous.
I remember there was an old man ( or so it seemed to us ) who used to row us accross the canal so that we could run through the "alley" by the gas works and down to the sea. What a joy at the sight of the waves if the tide was in or the marvel of the sand at low tide when we could play football or cricket.
There was always some form of life that inspired the naturalists. There were butterflies, lizards, fish, birds and people.
Shoreham harbour was a great place for kids.