A Personal Perspective
Written by John Randall
Just before Christmas, out of the blue I got a Messenger alert from Stephanie Young that said “I can see from your posts that you are passionate about Shoreham-by-Sea.” Stephanie went on to explain that she was looking for local contributors for the new website she is developing. To be honest I was pretty chuffed to be asked but asked myself, why me? But then I thought why not, I’ve got nothing to lose, so here it is, my first blog, not just for the EnjoyShorehamBySea website but my first blog ever!
Probably best to start with a little bit about myself. I’m 61 and have lived in Shoreham by Sea since 1989 when along with my wife and one-year-old daughter we moved from nearby Brighton. Two years later our son arrived and both went to a local primary school. Like so many in past year, I was made redundant but at my age I’m thinking, is this retirement or do I look around for something else. In the meantime, I keep myself busy – I’m an amateur photographer and specialise in taking images on my Samsung S10 mobile phone (you may have seen some of my photos on local Facebook Group pages). I also volunteer for Shoreham Foodbank where I look after their social media marketing. I also enjoy walking, cycling, reading, music (I’m a massive Bowie fan).
Well enough about me, as I better get back to what I intended to write about, what makes Shoreham by Sea unique? Well I suppose for many who don’t know the town it’s just that annoyingly congested industrial bit of the A259 that you have to go through on the way to Lancing and Worthing, or perhaps it’s the Holmbush Retail Centre. But for those of us ‘in the know’, it’s got so much going for it and all packed into a relatively small area.
First, its location is pretty unique in terms of geography. A place where the South Downs meet the River Adur on its western side, creating the beautiful Adur Valley, to the busy harbour entrance to the east where the river meets the English Channel. In between it’s packed with hidden gems, like the Norman Church of St Mary de Haura which dominates the town centre. Or perhaps West Street, Ship Street or John Street where you can imagine you were in a Cornish fishing village. Then there’s the vibrant café and restaurant culture of lower East Street where, on a warm sunny day I like to think I’m somewhere in Normandy or Brittany.
Next, it’s a stroll over the Adur Ferry Bridge that connects the town centre to the Beach. You now have a choice, wander east along the boardwalk towards to the Old Fort (or take the river path behind Emerald Quay for a different perspective). Alternatively head west to Widerwater Lagoon. The beach itself is pretty special and is home to a unique range of flora (stunning in early summer) and fauna (have you spotted the green lizards?). Then at low tide a whole stretch of sand gets exposed allowing a walk the whole length of the beach but look out for the sinking sand in places.
Back to the town and you have a wide range of independent retailers, including arts and crafts, small galleries, clothes shops and for foodies there’s a wide range for places to buy fresh local produce.
I could go on and haven’t even mentioned that you can go SUP boarding, kayaking, kite-surfing… But stop I was told that 500 words was probably enough and you’re probably thinking it is! So I hope you’ve enjoyed this rather rambling first blog and if I’m asked to write another, I thought I’d focus on one of the local lockdown walks that my wife and I enjoy.
Are you a local to Shoreham-By-Sea or do you have a story to tell about our wonderful town? Then get your story online! #EnjoyShorehamBySea are looking for contributors to celebrate all the wonderful things to do, find and discover of our past, present and future. So if you wanna get published online please contact us today.