May 2017


LATEST ON THE TIMELINE : From Bridge Farm to Westham, the untold story of Pevensey School


Dear Sir/Madam,

I am researching my family history and visited Pevensey last week. I visited the church and saw the war memorial inside which commemorates one of my cousins. While I was there I tried to find Bridge Farm where my family once lived, but I presume that the cottage is no longer there.

However, I was very interested indeed to find the Pevensey timeline website and the article “From Bridge Farm to Westham, the untold story of Pevensey School”, and to get to see a beautiful picture of the cottage.

I’m very keen to try to find out more information about my great grandmother’s cousin Jesse Banks who was sadly killed in the First World War, and his parents James and Agnes Banks. Agnes was my great great grandfather’s sister, and I believe she probably lived in Pevensey until her death in 1941 although I couldn’t find a gravestone in the churchyard.

I wonder if you might possibly be able to put me in touch with one of the contributors to the article mentioned, Eric Banks, who I believe is a distant relative. I also read an article in The Sussex Express that mentioned Jesse’s war medal was found and returned to Eric a few years ago.

I would love to find out if anyone has any information about James and Agnes, and I’m particularly keen to find out if any photographs exist of the couple and their children.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to hearing from you with any information that might be helpful in tracing my family.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Lennard

IMAGE CREDIT: Richard Lennard
Any information can be sent to us here info@pevenseytimeline.co.uk

VIEW ALBUM HERE: Chris Haley, 1932

Hi there

I wonder if by any chance you have any information on Pevensey Bay in the 1930s, or could you point me in the direction of someone who might have such information. Is there maybe an information centre or museum in the area?

My mother and her family had camping holidays each year in Pevensey between the years of 1932 and 1939.

I believe the holidays were organised by their church in the East End of London.

I have an album of old photos of each year of those holidays and am planing a visit, along with my cousin, in September. We thought it would be great if we could try and identify the area where they might have stayed. I know it is a long shot but found your site via an internet search and thought it was worth a try.

Kind regards, Chris Haley

EDITOR RESPONSE: Fabulous, yes we ail do everything we can to help. We have 1,000 page views to our web platform every day and we have a broadsheet newspaper called the Pevensey Bay Journal which is published monthly.

The first thing we ail do is to publish your message on both the web platform and in the newspaper. This will be a very interesting search on behalf of you and your family, and people here love their local history, so I am sure that will be of value to get you some answers. Maybe send us a few of the photos to get the searches started? We could then get people thinking and searching if that is what you would like to do.

The other thing to do as a suggestion is to send an email to info@pevenesytimeline.co.uk. (have a look at the web platform www.pevenseytimeline.co.uk)this is group of researchers studying the 2,000 year history of Pevensey.If anyone wants to make coment or conatct, they can email us at info@peveneybaylife.co.uk

Hopefully, our search will be of value to you and your family. When you visit in September, we may be able to find someone to show you round some of these places if they are in the Pevensey or Pevensey Bay locality.

You are very welcome.

RESPONSE TO EDITOR: Re: Camping in Pevensey Bay 1930s

As you suggested, here is a selection of photos from the album I told you about. Please pass them on to anyone you think might be interested. If we can come up with any information regarding the whereabout of the campsite that will be a bonus. Look forward to continuing the correspondence.

Kind regards, Chris Haley

VIEW ALBUM HERE: Chris Haley, 1932


IMAGE CREDIT: T Cecil Howitt, Nottiingham City Council

News that the writing group beginning planning a book about the Beachlands estate in Pevensey Bay has re-discovered the story about the status of the architect responsible for the plans is an interesting piece of detective work. If, as they suggest the architect father of the estate is T, Cecil Howlitt one of the eminent provincial architects of the 20th century, then this story will have significance beyond Pevensey Bay. The value of the book that they plan is yet to be seen, but clearly there is an opportunity here for the book to have possible demonstrable social and economic value not just to the owners of properties on the estate , but also to Pevensey Bay. Their book, “Beachlands Estate, the unfinished symphony to the sea” looks as if it could provide some interesting national publicity for the estate in the media and amongst architectural historians across the country—Bay Life, 29 May 2017

The architect father of Beachlands in Pevensey Bay revealed for the first time since 1935, the man who had the Prince of Wales calling.
. . .
The architect father of Beachlands
Major T Cecil Howitt, DSO, OBE, FRIBA

“To have discovered, lost in architectural history after over 80 years, that the architect father of Beachlands is one of the eminent provincial architects of the 20th century, is something of a revelation.

“T Cecil Howitt was responsible for the initial designs, sketches and layout of the first fifty houses in Beachlands, making him both the architect father and inspiration for the estate.

“His work is lauded and acknowledged in the field of public housing in the inter-war years across the country and his ‘Council House” for Nottingham Council was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1929.

“The fact that he is the father of Beachlands is of national significance to the history of social housing architecture in this country and we believe that in writing this book and making what we discover available to a national audience represents the addition of a lost piece of the jigsaw in the history of modernist social architecture in this country.

“We hope to be able to crowdfund this book because we believe that what we have discovered is of national significance to architectural historians of the twentieth century.’

“We would also hope to be able to encourage documentary makers to consider this story as a possible candidate for a BBC programme about the history of modernist estate housing in this country. Until now, this story has been unknown and most certainly it has never been told.

“The fact that Beachlands represents one of the unfinished masterpieces of T Cecil Howitt, one of the eminent provincial architects of the 20th century, is both incontrovertible and extraordinary”.
—authors, The Beachlands Estate, the unfinished symphony to the sea.
. . .

[draft text, chapter one, The Beachlands Estate, the unfinished symphony to the sea]
Information about the life of Thomas Cecil Howitt, the architect father of Beachlands is featured in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

He designed the iconic Council House in Old Market Square, Nottingham Trent University’s Newton building and the former Raleigh headquarters.

His entry was written by architectural historian Doctor Elain Harwood, who explains that Howitt’s influence on the city was vast.

She said: “He is the great Nottingham architect of the 20th Century. One just needs to look around Nottingham and you can see his wonderful designs.”

In 1904, Howitt entered the office of the architect Albert Nelson Bromley, the year that Bromley was engaged in supervising the erection of the former Boots flagship store on High Street in Nottingham to his design, the new store being to the rear of the old Exchange building.

Howitt produced what was essentially a magnificent shopping arcade, largely influenced by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Thomas Cecil Howitt began his career designing telephone exchanges and shops for Boots before the First World War.

He later joined the Nottingham city engineer’s department and helped develop new housing estates in the north and west of the city to tackle a shortage of houses.

In 1923 he proposed a replacement for the old 18th century Corn Exchange which would become the Council House. Work started in 1927 and the building was opened by the Prince of Wales two years later.