Lagoon Show launches new talks season

Swans on Widewater Lagoon, a stretch of water between Shoreham and Lancing
Swans on Widewater Lagoon, a stretch of water between Shoreham and Lancing

A fascinating look at the history of Widewater Lagoon will launch the new series of Shoreham Society talks.

The talks are open to all and will be held monthly on Fridays at 7.30pm at St Peter’s Church hall, West Street, Shoreham, starting on January 19.

Adrian Towler, from the Shoreham Society committee, said the Lagoon Show will be a real treat.

“Garry Purnell will tell you all you want to know about Widewater Lagoon, that curious strip of water between Shoreham and Lancing,” he added.

“What did Widewater look like in the Middle Ages? Where were the houses on the beach? What does the Shoppesdram mean and where was the port of Pende? All this and more in Garry’s illustrated talk.

“Just turn up at, everyone welcome. Non-members pay £3 and there are refreshments, plus the bar will be open, at club prices.”

The series will continue with a talk on Lancing by local historian Chris Hare on February 18. The Bell Memorial Home has been demolished and is a building site but it had an interesting tale to tell. Chris also talks about smuggling on Lancing beaches.

On March 16, the Shoreham Society has invited popular Blue Badge Guide Sally Botwright to tell the story of Southwark. After an industrial period as The South Works, it became London’s entertainment centre with theatres, bear-baiting and cock-fighting pits.

Why Are We Paying so Much Rent? will be the question posed on April 20. Rebecca Searle from Brighton University will explore reasons why, for many, rents have become increasingly unaffordable and how housing policy has shifted over the last 100 years.

May 18 will be the society’s annual meeting, followed by a talk on the Land Settlement Association in West Sussex. This was a 1930s scheme bringing families from the depressed north-east and South Wales to smallholdings in Sussex to start a new life. Find out whether it worked and where the remnants of this scheme can be seen.

Visit shorehamsociety.org.uk for more details of the society’s activities.