30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, April 24, 1981.

FOLLOWING last week’s freak floods in the Horsham district, anger is growing over a decision to delay a major drainage scheme in one of the worst hit areas.

Residents in the village of Southwater, still recovering from the effects of flood water in homes and businesses, are demanding that the Southern Water Authority takes immediate action.

They are furious because proposals for a £250,000 drain improvement programme in the village, due to start this month, have been put back by a year.

Among those leading a campaign to get the scheme going immediately is Roy Albrecht, Horsham District Council representative for Southwater.

He said that there had to be a completely new drainage system in the village if future chaos and damage was to be avoided when there was heavy rain.

And he believes that no more housing development should take place there until there is action to solve the long-standing problem. Three times in recent years villagers have suffered from serious flooding.

Mr Albrecht said he intended to put pressure on the Southern Water Authority, who are responsible for drainage, until they agree to overhaul them.

HORSHAM could be a step nearer to twinning with a French town after this year’s visit by St Maixent Rugby Club.

Around 50 players and coaches from St Maixent, which is near Cognac, spent the Easter weekend in Horsham, where rugby matches and entertainment were laid on.

The two sports clubs have been twinned for several years and said Horsham’s spokesman Andy Smith: “St Maixent have been asking for formal twinning for some eight years now and this year are bound to ask for a firm twinning.”

In his speech at the civic reception held by the district council for the French visitors on Saturday, the president of St Maixent Rugby Club, Jean Fallourd, said: “The new management committee and players hope the sporting twinning between our two clubs will continue for many years and that the excellent relationship between our two towns will be maintained.”

MEMBERS of Upper Beeding Parish Council were confused and intrigued by a plea to find the owner of a mysterious ancient monument in the village, a link with the past they did not even know they had.

The Department of the Environment’s Inspectorate of Monuments sent a letter to Horsham District Council asking for information about the Salterns or Saltings, which lies 300 yards north of Church Road, Upper Beeding.

Having drawn a blank, the district council passed a copy of the letter to Upper Beeding Parish Council in the hope they could shed some light on the matter.

Unfortunately local knowledge did not include the mysterious ‘monument known as Salterns’.

Speaking at the parish council meeting, a bemused Hank Gilbert, council chairman, said: “I have been over to Church Farm and I can’t see anything. I went to the farm, but that appears to be deserted.”

All members of the council agreed they could think of no monument in the area suggested by the Department of the Environment’s letter, though Mrs Audrey Preston-Smith said she could tell them who owned the land.

Enquiries at the DoE revealed the information – the Salterns is a pile of medieval rubbish, about two to three feet high, and 50 feet across, the result of 13th century salt manufacture from the tidal reaches of the Adur.

The mound of debris which stands on Church Farm is one of a group of eight similar Salterns, six of which have been destroyed, and one which has been scheduled by the DoE.