We have been frantically busy carrying our oral histories and events – which of course is no bad thing! But it does mean we have lots to update readers with..
‘Dead Man’s Grip’ in Shoreham Port
Firstly going back to February we were lucky enough to film an interview with local and best-selling author Peter James. Peter’s crime fiction novels include Looking Good Dead, Not Dead Yet, Dead Simple and the others in the Detective Roy Grace series. http://www.peterjames.com/about
Before living in converted farm buildings on a historic site outside Lewes, Peter was brought up in Ditchling, Sussex and regularly visited Shoreham, and in fact was in fact the early inspiration for his crime scenes. When thinking back to his childhood he particularly he remembers regularly taking bike trips down to Shoreham Harbour with his father, or on his own
“My earliest memory when I was about 10 when I was allowed to go out on my own on my bike, when I lived down the Withdean Road. I used to bike down to the sea-front and I just loved going around the harbour. In those days you could go all around the quay. My dad would drive, I’d sit on his lap and I’d steer the car, he was pretty brave because we were quite close tot the water. The memory I have is the smell of it, the smell of coke and watered timber, and slate, oil and rust. Almost to me, the defining smell of Brighton was the smell of that harbor…” Peter James
Peter’s writing is greatly entrenched in the geography and history of Shoreham, “its the perfect location for villains, with all the escape routes needed – close proximity to London, Shoreham airport, the harbour to import and export and many antiques brokers to fence stolen goods” Many of his novels have been inspired by real life tales told by local Sussex police. Including the origins of one of his most popular books ‘Dead Man’s Grip’.
Since meeting Peter who gave us a contact for Retired Sussex officers we have been following up many leads and interviewing retired officers who have memories of the area, which will now be incorporated into our reminiscence project.
The full interview with Peter James was screened as part of the Shoreham Port Past & Future event on 26th February.