The Tidemills at Bishopstone

Between Newhaven And Seaford on the south coast of England, Tidemills and its History.

the royal naval air station

 Photo above  Aerial view of the base,  the slipway projecting out to the right with a seaplane at the far end. 2 slips were built ,the first washed away in a storm. Remains of the second one show that it reached about 90 yards to the water  allowing aircraft recovery even at the lowest Equinox tides. The Radio mast is visible behind the hangars

The Royal Naval Airstation Newhaven was built in 1917 the base was used by seaplanes to carry out anti U-boat patrols and escort convoys moving in the Channel. Newhaven and Littlehampton were the main ports for stores and munitions. It had a concrete ramp running down into the sea, this was storm damaged between the wars but the floor of the hangars, complete with door tracks, still remain. Some 150- 190 people lived and worked there and huts and accommodation were built on stilts to reduce the risk of flooding and later a number of old Stroudley railway coaches built in 1880/1 were sited there as well. The foundations of these made of railway sleepers still survive. These were taken over as holiday homes after the first war and lasted until 1941 when the site was cleared for defence purposes. The wooden Hangar (built 1917120ft x50ft) was moved to East quay and used as a bonded warehouse until destroyed by fire in the 1960s. The metal one (built in 1918 180ftx60ft) was transported to the Railway yard at Wimbledon around 1923 and is still standing , and in 2012 attempts are being made to get English Heritage to schedule the building. Prior to being resited it was used as a factory to make concrete, hexagonal piles to repair the East Pier, one of these dated 1920 is still on site. No 242 Squadron RAF was formed in August 1918 from Nos 408, 409 and 514 Flights RNAS at the seaplane station at Newhaven and nearby airfield at Telscombe Cliffs. . On 15 May 1919, the squadron was disbanded and the Station closed down and sold off.

 

the  staff & Buildings

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 Around 150 people worked on the base. Accomodation was in old railway carriages and requisitioned buildings in Tidemill village

 1961 and the 1917 wooden hangar resited to East Quay as a wine warehouse  burns down

 

The aircraft

A Short 184 floatplane, bombed up and ready for Convoy escort duty. Newhaven breakwater in the background 

More photos of the Air station