Riverside Hut

By Richard Beckett

The Seaman's Mission  - Where the MENCAP building is now.

Photo:Seaman's Mission - Where MENCAP building is now

Seaman's Mission - Where MENCAP building is now

Old Postcard

Photo:Newhaven, 27th January 2001 - Mencap Hall

Newhaven, 27th January 2001 - Mencap Hall

Mick Humphrey

Photo:Flag of the The Mission to Seamen

Flag of the The Mission to Seamen

Mission to Seamen website

This page was added by Richard Beckett on 09/03/2008.
Comments about this page

What was the name of the little cafe next door to the mission. Was it the obvious 'Riverside cafe'?

By Rob Patten
On 03/05/2008

It was certainly called Riverside Cafe. During the 60s it was run by Les and Ruby Atherley. People came from all over for Ruby's apple pies! The Atherleys emigrated to New Zealand in 1974 where Ruby still lives with her daughter and son-in-law.

By Janet Baker
On 17/05/2008

According to my husband it was the Riverside Cafe. He remembers it being run by Reg Lyons. My husband used to dig bait for the fishermen who were going out on the fishing boats and I used to sell the bait outside of the cafe on a Saturday and Sunday morning. I remember my fingers being stained bright yellow from iodine after counting out the black lug. Yuk!!

By Marilyn Nolan
On 17/05/2008

My Mum Doris Graves, met my Dad Ted Cairns, there during the Second world war.  Mum and others were supplying food and drink to the soldiers.  They have good memories of this.  They have now been married for over 63 years.  Mum worked at the Valentine Pen company. (Parker Pen)

By Ted Cairns
On 26/06/2008

I remember when my Saturday morning treat was to go to the Riverside cafe, with my uncle Stuart (Taffy) for a full english, absolute heaven!

By Mel Blackwell
On 05/10/2008

In 1947 aged 10, I joined the St John's Ambulance Cadets who met at the old  "Seamans Mission" hall. I also went to Labour Club Christmas parties there in the late 40's. The building was completely built of green corrugated iron.

By Jack Patten
On 16/10/2008

I remember the cafe very well, both my mother and my sister worked there for Les and Ruby. Yes, the apple and the mince pies were legendary. Many years later my sister tried to demolish the then empty corrugated building with her car, "skidded on the ice" she said. Did not do much damage to the cafe but "wrote off" the car !

By Colin Brandon
On 25/06/2010

They were the good days. We ran the Riverside Cafe for several years, cooking for fishermen, builders, lorry drivers etc. They were a good bunch, yes. Reading one message; Taffy came every day for his dinner, he was quite a character. We bought [the cafe] from Harry Miles.

By Reg & Rose Line
On 16/07/2010

My grandfather William Sharp (from Liverpool) was a volunteer in the Royal Naval Patrol Service during the war and based at the Seamans Hut. While on his small boat in the harbour in September 1940 he was killed during a Messerschmitt attack, a few hundred yards from the hut. Great photos, thanks for uploading them. I'll try putting on a photo of him in the harbour.

By Denis Byrne
On 04/09/2010

Did the Riverside cafe get some sort of award for its food ? Was it an Egon Ronay ? I seem to remember something like that.

By Terry Howard
On 02/04/2011

I have been told that my great-grandfather, Henry Wilson, was one of the founders of the Seaman's Mission hall. Henry worked as a porter at Newhaven railway station. I remember visiting the hall in the 1950s.

We will look into it for you Brian.

John -- Editor

By Brian Wilson
On 16/04/2021

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