We had originally planned to go to Shobdon for a walk to the arches and lunch at the recently reopened hotel. Wales is sparse in meteorological reporting, so the nearer TAFs looked ok but BBC weather forecasted drizzle after lunch. Checking more TAFs to the north and west agreed with BBC so I decided to postpone the walk until definitely sunny weather.
Short notice change of plan: Shoreham has a town and beach in walking distance. I’d been twice before, diverting for fuel on the way back from France in a PA17, but never left the airport so was keen to actually visit.
This looked a lot more ominous in real life, and we went underneath
RAF/RNAS Ford, now HMP Ford, a prison famous for its high escape rate (people even break in to steal stuff)
The beach (where we went is directly under the wing)
I need to photoshop some red
The flight there was short and routine. I couldn’t pick up the Shoreham ATIS, but a few other aircraft on the busy APP/TWR frequency had the same problem. ATC asked diffidently if I could accept an overhead join, which sounded a little odd, but I said yes. Listening more carefully afterwards, every other arrival was requesting base joins. It suddenly struck me that the overhead is the preserve of the mentally deficient and emotionally disturbed: sure enough, I was asked to orbit, then conformed to expectations by turning in the wrong direction. Otherwise, a slightly larger circuit behind a school Cessna and a nice landing to make things up.
The C office and passage between two hangars were unprepossessing, but the art deco main terminal building more than recompensed.
The railway bridge over the river Adur
From the road bridge into town, the distinctive Lancing College chapel almost lost in the background
We’d brought the children’s scooters, and set off to walk into town. Just before the bridge was a good play area, where the kids were obsessed with running inside a giant hamster wheel.
We walked over a bridge through the town, and went to La Galleria Italian restaurant, which had nice décor and good food, but was maybe a little on the expensive side. They were all ‘real’ Italians which was nice, and they liked my daughter’s eyepatch (she still wants to be a pirate). Some younger members of the family found the service too slow and had to be restrained from drinking the water in the flower vase No photos of the food or restaurant unfortunately. There’s a few other restaurants that look ok if we go again.
The late Norman church. The restaurant and pedestrianised East Street are to the left.
High vaulted ceiling, clerestory, and strained glass give it an airy feel
After lunch we went to look at the Church of St Mary de Haura (of the harbour). It’s much larger than normal for a town of this size, and was actually originally twice the size again, with some ruined remains of the western half in the churchyard. The flying buttresses are noticeable, and apparently these are a very early example of their use. It turns out New Shoreham was an important port in the Norman era, when the church was first built and then extended, funded by a sizeable fixed and transient population and lucrative port fees. By 1500 however, erosion and changing tides had washed away half the town and made the harbour unsafe.
No sand :(
The boardwalk was really good
We then went over another bridge to the seaside. Then we discovered a major flaw in our planning: the beach is pebble, not sand. It turned out ok, as the children were perfectly happy throwing pebbles at a target, then running down the beach to be chased back up by each wave. There was a boardwalk along the top of the beach which made it much easier going, especially for the scooters. The scooters really help, as they fold to nothing in the back of the plane and greatly extend the range of shorter legs. We walked a slightly longer way back to the airport, along the beach then through some saltflats.
To be honest, there was nothing overly remarkable about the flight or the destination, but I liked it and it all worked well to make another happy family memory. We unfortunately missed @IO390 at the airport.
Thanks for sharing! Hope we’ll make it there next year!
Lovely outing and glad you enjoyed the pleasantly decrepit Shoreham by Sea
Shoreham is one of the few UK GA airports where you can land and walk somewhere nice, including getting reasonable food.
I was away on the Spanish fly-in otherwise I would have popped down to say Hi.
Where would a visitor normally park? Next to tower, or some other place? Thanks!
There is a large apron, in front of the tower.
It was a really good day out, and we’ll do it again at some point.
Tower asked how long I was planning to stay, and when I said 3-4 hours, she directed me to the main concrete apron in front of the terminal. There was space for about 15 aircraft, with only 2 or 3 spaces already taken.
Nice family day out @Capitaine
Not being used to the overhead join, I do find it more complex than the more frequent downwind join or a 500ft higher overhead to enter downwind on the “live side”. I am sure I lost something in translation on your ideas on overhead vs base join and attendant holds….
Nice church and thanks for the architectural lesson: I had no idea our “arbotantes” we’re your flying butresses. Also no idea about so many French Norman names in the area.
How long a flight is it from your base to Shoreham?
Also what is the tab sticking up from the inboard side of your RH fuel tank? What type is your mount?
Door stop. Not uncommon on some Pa28’s
I think ATC offered me the overhead because I didn’t specifically request a more direct routing. I didn’t realise until too late that all the other traffic was requesting base joins, and I should have done the same. I jokingly chose to interpret it as lack of faith in my abilities 😃
The flights averaged 36 minutes each way. We’re not trying to beat any endurance records 😃
GA_Pete is right, the red thing stops the door slamming open in the wind or propwash. It probably costs 0.5kt in cruise, but does prevent damage. Arrow IV, with the T-tail: it’s a solid airframe but a bit tired, so I’m slowly bringing it up.
I have not flown an OHJ in years – at EGKA or anywhere else.
Just ask for a left/right base etc.
OHJs tend to be used (in the UK generally) where ATC cannot get any more into the circuit. At some UK airfields, non ATC, the OHJ was used by “little hitler” A/G radio guys to make life difficult – the long defunct Panshanger was one example, with a RH OHJ which is especially difficult to visualise.