The Beginning of the Port
The ship building industry has been a major part of Shoreham’s local economy for 672 years and it all started because of the 100 Year Wars between England and France. The English army needed to send their men to France but the biggest port of the time, Dover, was inadequate for the task of Navy building so an alternative was needed. In came Shoreham – a little fishing town on the Adur estuary with great potential for a port that could be custom built to make a Navy. It was perfect, so commenced the building of the port and in a number of years later the port was finished and the Navy had its ships!
The Downfall of shipbuilding at Shoreham Port
The beginning of the end for the shipbuilding industry in Shoreham was the start of Victorian era and the Industrial Revolution of Britain. This pulled much of the skilled local workers away from Shoreham to cities, replacing physically demanding work such as ship building with working class jobs. So the highly physical jobs in the local ship building industry became less and that is why the industry went downhill.