Rye Harbour Image Library | Picture

Picture No:98
Courtesy of:Michael Alford
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Shingle grading plant

Date guessed!
Picture Added on 25 March 2006.


This shingle grading plant was of course Hall& Cos. I would say this picture must have been taken in the early to mid 1950s. I remember it well because as a child I spent many happy hours playing on a huge sand mound, that in this photo was built up to the right of the church, in front of the ballast hopper and crane. The ballast came up to the crane area in barges and then loaded into the hopper by the crane and then went up a conveyer belt to the plant. It then graded the shingle into different sizes, from pea beach right up to cobble size. The sand was separated from the shingle and made into sharp sand or into fine sand. You can just see the fine sand chute under the conveyer belt coming out of the left hand side of the plant. This picture has bought back so many memories as a child playing on the sand, and later when I left school at 15 I ended up working for Hall & Cos in the office which was just behind the plant, as an office boy and tea and coffee maker, my bosses then were I remember Geoff Butler and Tony Boots, who I recall were dab hands at cribbage!!! which they played after working out the weekly wages. People I have spoken to about Hall & Cos have told me they thought it was an ugly building, but it gave local people much needed work in very hard times, it was part of the old Rye Harbour, when it was a closely Knitted community, much smaller than now, who all knew each other by their christian names, and could go out to the shops or the mothers meeting and leave their windows and doors open in the summer without worry of theft or damage. All that's left of the plant now is the mechanics house and a big hole overgrown with weeds where it used to be and just memories.
Added by Bernard Clark on 25 March 2013.
Hi - surfing through memories here in Victoria, Australia, I came across the Rye Harbour site and note particularly Bernard Clark's comments on Hall and Co's plant. My father, Frank Brown, managed both this and Hall and Co's Crumbles plant near Eastbourne for many years, including through the WWII era, commuting back and forth several times a week, a long way to drive in those days, with black-out to cope with. Like Bernard, I also have fond boyhood memories of both plants, exploring the workings, cadging rides on the tug and barges, and on the locos and skips that did the same job at Crumbles. I remember Geoff Butler who looked after Rye Harbour plant office day-to-day, and Bob Jones in the workshop who knew everything there was to know about keeping the plant going. My father also had a working relationship with Harry Phillips at Phillips boatyard, and had two small boats built and maintained there, and others converted. Once again, many happy hours for me at the yard spent scrounging for copper and brass scraps to sell to supplement meagre pocket money! Watching the boat builders at work must have inspired me as I still build and own wooden boats. Keep up the good work with the website. Great memories...
Added by Jeremy Brown on 01 October 2014.
Yes Jeremy, I remember your father Frank, I was as I stated an office boy, back in the 60s, at the Rye harbour plant, my main duties were issuing tickets to the various lorry firms for sand, shingle ect.But by far was the tea and coffee making!! In my time my immediate manager was Ron Butler, who was assisted by Tony Boots.Your father used to come over from Crumbles on a Thursday, and he was always very polite, and whom I thought a lot of, he talked me out of leaving several times, and always asked how I was getting on. When I was employed there Bob Jones had left Hall & Cos, and it was Ted Cogger who ran the plant then. I love thinking back to those times, to me Rye Harbour is not the same places without the tall black building its long gone, like your father, Geoff Butler, and Ted Cogger, but you and I have fond memories of Crumbles and Rye Harbour plants.
Added by Bernard Clark on 26 August 2015.

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