In this Issue:|
|Where on earth has this year gone…|
'Irregular' by name, irregular by nature. – 6th Nov 2017
Since our previous 'Irregular Newsletter' at the end of March, it has been somewhat of an emotional roller coaster for us all.
We have had a great Easter Sunday Funday, an amazing MHW 2017 and an extremely wet, windy and utterly exhausting Heritage Open Day.
We have had a successful fundraising campaign to get a souvenir book designed and printed and terrible amounts of vandalism to the site.
We have had failed communications and projects that should have been completed last year that haven't really even started - although many volunteer hours have been given for very little in return.
We have made some fantastic contacts this year, achieved good things through new partnerships, given literally dozens of presentations and numerous guided tours too.
As hard as it can be sometimes we need to keep hold of the positives to help us ride the storms.
Tea-light Remembrance Event
Our fourth and final annual event in the Shoreham Fort calendar is our Remembrance Evening event on 12th November 2017.
The site is open to the public from 17:00 and Food for Fort will be open for hot and cold refreshments. The event will commence at 17:30 being lead by Father Terry who will invite all to come and light a tea-light in remembrance of anyone they have loved and lost.
Once all the tea-lights are lit we will have a 2 minute silence and our Jubilee beacon will be lit (wind direction permitting).
This very personal event allows individuals the time for private reflection and thoughts in the tranquil surroundings of Shoreham Fort and we hope that you will be able to join us.
Kickstarter gave us a kick start
It seems utterly impossible that nearly a year has passed since our Kickstarter campaign finished and, thanks to a very substantial last minute pledge, the fundraising was successful.
A lot has happened in that year and in the last couple of months things have been moving forward in leaps and bounds.
We're just making a few last minute double checks and changes, the designer should be starting on his draft layout next week, the printer is raring to go and Jack, who has grown and grown from this first pencil drawing that Nadia Chalk did for us, can come out of hiding.
We really can't wait for you all to meet him properly and our aim, if everything goes to plan, is to have the book printed ready for Christmas.
Environment Agency - Tidal Wall Scheme update
Unfortunately we cannot tell you an awful lot about the Tidal Wall Scheme, as we've had no direct communication for the EA for some time now.
We do know that the car park was closed on 27th October and the signs suggest it will remain that way until 31st March 2018. As of Sunday there were no signs of it being used yet though.
Work is obviously imminent and all we can hope is that the pile driving doesn't have an impact on the stability of the fort. She is an old lady now (turning 160 back in June) and she has many, many substantial cracks and bits missing - something we have been advising for 2 plus years now. We had hoped for a full structural survey with proper measurements etc but this unfortunately hasn't happened.
The contracted surveyor has been incredibly thorough in his photographing of the site and has literally thousands and thousands of images. He's has also been very understanding of our concerns and has acknowledged the significance of the site and its Ancient Scheduled Monument listing.
What can we say...?
Shoreham Fort really has been under a new threat of invasion this year, not from the French or the Germans soldiers but from mindless individuals who seem to have nothing better to do than try and destroy their national heritage.
The sickening thing is that it affects the volunteers who have donated so much of their time in trying to make the site a nicer and safer environment for everyone to enjoy.
What these sick individuals don't seem to grasp though is that their actions are literally destroying history.
Through all this negative we have gained a very valuable ally. Daryl Holter is the Heritage Crime Lead for Sussex Police and, voluntarily, he has been doing everything humanly possible to help us try and deter the antisocial behaviour and heritage crime that has been occurring on site.
The partnership with have with Daryl has enabled Sussex Police to gain a portfolio of crimes on the site and, with the increased number of incidents, he has been able to arrange for regular patrols of the area to be reinstated.
West Sussex Heritage Crime Surgeries
Daryl's partnership with us has gone that one step further than just being on the end of a phone and we can't thank him enough for this.
Daryl has, since September, been providing monthly Heritage Crime Surgeries in the Nissen hut. These surgeries are open to anyone and everyone and they provide a vital aid in the education and prevention of Heritage Crime.
The next surgery dates are 9th November 11:00 ~ 15:00 and 7th December 11:00 ~ 15:00. The days are very relaxed and there are presentations at 12:00 and 14:00.
The amount of heritage crime is really on the up in Sussex and, with the knowledge that Daryl can share with people, it means that he has more eyes and ears to help him combat these crimes as we can all work together on this.
There is no need to book a place, just turn up on the day and make your way over to the double doors of the Nissen hut. If you would like any more information though, please do contact us via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. If we are unable to answer your queries then we will forward them on to Daryl.
National Coastwatch Shoreham
With all the vandalism at the fort we need to say a really big thank you to the fantastic volunteers up in the National Coastwatch Tower who now check all the doors and handles on site for us every morning and evening.
Not only that, the NCI have applied for some funding from the Aviva Community Fund and in that funding bid they have included CCTV which will help protect some of Shoreham Fort too.
There are a lot of projects in the local area who have applied for this funding pot, many of them schools with lots of parents to bump up their votes. What would be absolutely fantastic is if we could ask all of you to consider voting for the NCI, so that we can show our support for them and hopefully help them get the money that will make such a difference to them and us.
Registration is very simple, please just click here and enter a few basic details. Once registered you can vote and to find the NCI just type in Shoreham-by-Sea in the search box and look for the photo of the lovely white tower and the words 'New Windscreen Wipers/CCTV system'.
What some of you may not know is that the tower, that the NCI call home, is actually an original WWII aiming light station and, with the one that was 5 bungalows down on the beach, it would have been used to flash on the targets for the 6" guns, built on top of the fort during the Second World War.
Find Out More days...
I think you can see that there has been an awful lot to contend with over the past months but it is all made worthwhile by the positive comments and feedback we get from people when they come and visit us on site and actually see what we are up to.
Every fortnight, on a Sunday, the volunteers are on site. The tea hut is open and there is always a friendly face to answer any questions you may have. Please do not let the fact that the car park is closed deter you from coming to support the volunteers and having a cuppa with us. Our next Find Out More day is 19th November and then we change from the norm in December and we are only there on the 17th. We will then be back in the new year on 14th January.
We are on site from 11:00 ~ 16:00 in the winter and we look forward to hopefully seeing you soon.
**Don't forget 12th November is an additional day the volunteers are on site as it is a special event.**
Want to help?
We're always in need of equipment, tools, and items at the fort... here's a few things on our wish list:
If you're able to help, or have contact with someone who can, then please let us know
Do you recognise one of these names? Perhaps a family member or friends family?
Let us know - They might be connected to the 1st Sussex Artillery Volunteers who were based at Shoreham. Any information is greatly appreciated.