30 years ago

From the West Sussex County Times of Friday, January 28, 1983

Friday, 25th January 2013, 9:27 am

Ancient Prewetts Mill on the River Arun is to have a new lease of life as part of a major new office block development in Worthing Road, Horsham.

The mill will be linked to a 27,000 square feet office block and used as a conference and dining area for staff employed by United Rum Merchants when they move to the town.

The developer of the site, Crest Estates Limited, started negotiations for the purchase of the site some three years ago.

The preservation of the historic flour mill was a condition of planning permission, and Horsham District Council have also insisted that Crest should construct a public walk along the northern bank of the River Arun.

This will replace the present right of way through Mill Bay Lane.

As soon as the office block is in use, Mill Bay Lane will become an access road for the rear car park and for Provender Mill, further down river.

Provender Mill, a grade two listed building, is also being restored as a private residence by the minister of Horsham Baptist Church in Brighton Road, the Rev Paul Brandt.

Burst mains left many families in Horsham district facing a second week of queuing at standpipes as the water strike continued.

With strikers running an emergency-only repair service, a young Cowfold couple had no mains water for their six month old baby and a Horsham firm warned of lay-offs if supplies were cut.

But union co-operation led to supplies being partially restored to several hundred homes and farms in the Duncton area after a burst main cut water to a home for the mentally handicapped.

Southern Water said that until then, West Sussex had been ‘extremely lucky’. It had been the first time a wide area had been affected since the strike began.

Seven homes and a farm in Cowfold and two homes and a farm in Billingshurst had supplies cut after mains burst at the weekend. Standpipes were erected and families were told to boil water for drinking.

The first national strike by the water industry’s 29,000 manual workers was expected to last at least until the weekend as union branches considered the latest pay offer of 7.3 per cent over 16 months.

The strikers are pursuing a 15 per cent claim with improved conditions and pay comparability with other public utility workers.

Ministers, like congregations, come and go but a church building is usually thought of as constant, immutable, untouchable - a memorial which has stood for many years and will remain centuries after we are gone.

Not so Horsham’s United Reformed Church, which has twice succumbed to hammers and bulldozers in the last 170 years leaving its versatile congregation to prove that dedicated Christians can worship just about anywhere.

Eight generations have moved from a small chapel near the Michell Arms to the first congregational church, known as Pastor Harm’s chapel, to the huge, redbrick Victorian monument before, in 1980, finding themselves homeless altogether.

Now, after more than two years of splitting services between Tanbridge House, Lower School; the Unitarian Church in Worthing Road and, lately, the new church hall, they are looking forward to what they hope will be the final move for the foreseeable future – into the comfortable modern building at Springfield Road.

The dedication service to be held on Saturday is described by the minister the Rev Jack Garside as ‘the climax of a very long process which began with the town centre redevelopment’.