Images from around the harbour

By Richard Wheeler and Andy Gilbert

Richard Wheeler has kindly allowed us to add some of the photos that he has recently posted on the 'We Love Newhaven Pictures' Facebook group. Here are some harbour photos taken in 1958.

Photo:The view from the Fort, 1958

The view from the Fort, 1958

Richard Wheeler

Looking across from the Fort at Castle Hill. Let's see what we can winkle out from this one. It's a sunny day with a cricket match in progress. The dredger isn't working and we can see the tall funnel of the tug Foremost 22 at her usual berth, No. 5 Stage. These facts might well suggest that the photo was taken at a weekend. Brighton VI is at the gridiron with the dredger Testside in front of her, but it's hard to identify the ship that's up at the Marine Workshops. The large amount of white in her hull suggests it may be St Patrick or one of the Isle of Wight paddle steamers. But that's puzzling, as it would be unusual to see those ships up there in May. Maybe Brighton had a problem needing some underwater work - we could sort most things out in the harbour back in those days. Nothing much would change in this scene until 1963, when work started on the car ferry berth. The brick building in the foreground is the plotting room for the fort gun battery.

Look closely and in the rec you'll also see a bowls match in progress and do you remember the lovely flower beds just behind the pavilion?

Photo:Inshore Minesweeper HMS Watchful leaving harbour

Inshore Minesweeper HMS Watchful leaving harbour

Richard Wheeler

On Facebook, this vessel was identified as HMS Watchfull, and she was certainly one of the occasional naval visitors to Newhaven, but it is also possible that it's a visiting coastal patrol vessel of the 'Fairmile' class. Hard to tell as HMS Watchfull was herself an ex Fairmile launch!

Photo:The Wheeler family at Sleepers Hole

The Wheeler family at Sleepers Hole

Richard Wheeler

A view of the Wheeler family taken in Sleepers Hole, and looking across the harbour to the night berth. Richard is shown with his mother and sister, and tells us that all three are still going strong, with his mother now being 97!

There's a large crane at the bottom corner of the Railway Quay. Could this be something to do with the demolition of the London and Paris Hotel, perhaps, or is May 1958 a bit early for that?

Photo:Nantes enters harbour

Nantes enters harbour

Richard Wheeler

Here we see Nantes coming through the 'narrows', looking very smart - maybe fresh from a refit and repaint. She was one of the three 'Dieppe Screws', the little cargo ships that used to supplement the service from our four fast passenger steamers back then. The other two were Rennes and Brest. Slow, but reliable old plodders, in addition to cargo carried in the hold and in railway wagons as seen here, they would also carry motorist's cars across the channel - our car ferry service wouldn't start until 1964. For those unfamiliar with the term 'Dieppe Screw', it goes back many, many years. The first non-paddle ships on the Newhaven-Dieppe route were the little cargo ships. Because they were driven by screw propeller, they gained the name 'Dieppe Screw' and it stuck. The last of the three 'screws' left the route as late as 1966, two years after the car ferries started. All three ships were in fact sold to the same Greek owners and had extended careers in the Mediterranean sunshine.

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 16/10/2018.
Comments about this page

Nice set of photo‘s and it is the year I was born as well.

By Malcolm Marshall
On 24/11/2019

Remember watching these 'Dieppe Screw' called ships when as a young lad would cycle to Eastern breakwater, Rennes, Nantes, & Brest as I recall before the days of Ro/Ro TS Falaise (1964).


By Chris Young
On 11/04/2020

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