Riverbank houseboats, Shoreham

Saturday, December 19th 2015

We had arranged to meet a friend in Brighton and caught a train thither from St Pancras. Our rendezvous was Divall’s cafe, across the road  from the station. We soon discovered that it was a match day with Brighton and Hove Albion, aka the Seagulls, at home to Middlesbrough. The station and the streets were crowded in consequence. Happily, we managed to find a table in the cafe where our friend soon joined us.

After the usual catching up and general conversation, there arose the question ‘What do we do now?’ Tigger of course had a ready answer: ‘The boat show!’ she said. So we caught a bus to Shoreham.

Shoreham is a pleasant and interesting town a short distance from Brighton, west along the coast. It’s a seaside town (its official name is Shoreham-on-Sea) but it also boasts a picturesque and useful river, the Adur, which passes through the town and whose lower reaches provide for a port and a marina. (See here for a Google Map of Shoreham.)

The Crown and Anchor
The Crown and Anchor

The bus dropped us off near the Crown and Anchor with its well known figure of a dagger wielding buccaneer.

Adur Ferry Bridge
Adur Ferry Bridge

A few yards away is the Adur Ferry Bridge which carries pedestrians across the River Adur and saves a much longer trip by the road bridge. This bridge, opened in 2013, replaced a previous footbridge called the Shoreham Ferry Bridge. The names suggest that the successive bridges themselves replaced a ferry but I have not so far found any evidence supporting this conjecture.

Looking downriver from the bridge
Looking downriver from the bridge

Our way took us across the bridge and this, in turn, afforded views of the river. The Adur is quite broad here and is bordered by mud flats and marshy areas.

Looking upriver
Looking upriver

Here the view is upriver. Near the centre of the picture (click for a larger version), you can see where the river branches. The southern side of that branch is where we were heading – see the map below.

Riverbank and the Adur
Riverbank and the Adur

If you cross the bridge and turn right (west), the road takes you to a pedestrian path called Riverbank. On the map it is shown as a dotted line.

End of voyage
End of voyage

The marshy land here is the graveyard for a number of craft that somehow ended up here, never to move again but to sit here gently rotting away.

Sea-themed street art
Sea-themed street art

Close by is a road called Beach Green, where a wall has been used as the canvas for a sea-themed piece of street art.

Houseboat

Along the river here lie about forty small ships or large boats (depending on your definition of those terms) and these are what we had come to see. This collection of eccentric and extraordinary houseboats is what Tigger refers to as the ‘boat show’, though it is not a show in any formal sense.

People have used these craft to create their homes and have allowed their imagination to run unimpeded in the resulting creations. Some of the boats are hardly altered at all while others have been so completely transformed that it is difficult to see the boat at all. Some are craft that have a history behind them, while others appear to be ordinary boats that once served their purpose and have now ended here as someone’s home.

They lie in higgledy-piggledy confusion, some boldly facing the path, others shyly hiding behind one another. What follows is a sample set without any claim to completeness. Comments would be either too prolix or inadequate, so I have not put any for the boats. Let them speak for themselves.

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Cat flap

Houseboat

Houseboat

Houseboat

Having followed Riverbank for the whole of its length, we emerged at the main road, called Brighton Road, where we could catch a bus back to Brighton and from there the train to London. Before leaving, I took a last look back along the Adur:

Looking over the Adur

Copyright © 2015 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Riverbank houseboats, Shoreham

  1. WOL says:

    Human ingenuity never ceases to amaze. Very colorful.

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