Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Geoffrey Mead, Geography Lecturer at Sussex University, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society entitled ‘ Coasting Along Sussex’.

The coastal settlements between Chichester and Rye are exposed to Channel storms, unlike those west of Chichester, sheltered by the Isle of Wight.  They retain many historic features but are constantly evolving as time passes.  River mouths and harbours get silted up, although Pagham Harbour’s access was reopened by a storm in 1910.  Before the Planning Acts there were several beachside settlements of bungalows, shacks and former railway carriages as at Pagham and between Lancing and Shoreham.  Those at Shoreham formed a retreat from London for theatrical characters.

The varying rock and soil types are important, with chalk cliffs between Seaford and Eastbourne and coastal erosion where softer rocks reach the sea e.g. Fairlight.  Some fishing activity still remains, particularly at Hastings, and recreational sailing is found at various river estuaries along the coast, e.g. Littlehampton.  Art Deco establishments, such as the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill have been recently refurbished or restoration is under way, as at the 1938 Saltdean Lido.  The major settlements of Bognor, Worthing, Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne, Hastings and Rye remain popular for day-trippers and holidays and this whole stretch of coast is sought after for retirement.`


Coasting Along Sussex by Dr. Geoffrey Mead,