The Dodge actually started life as an access mooring pontoon and I inherited this metal box on purchasing the mooring site 20 Riverbank in 2001. The former resident, one Gerry Cobbin had erected a plywood clad studwork construction with a tent inside which accommodated a single bed and television. The internal space outside the tent kept out a proportion of the elements and was filled with various ephemera, much of which has found subsequent use.
In 2001 I was in the process of developing the Verda, my principle boat. The coach body on the top deck was sourced from the vehicle breakers at Adversane and a bit of hardcore salesmanship (£500, the coach was only £200) from the then proprietor saw delivery to the Riverbank car park of one Dodge fire engine circa 1971. The coach took two of us 3 days to dismantle. The fire engine took three of us 2-3 weeks. A very well built piece of kit.
This shell was then erected on the pontoon and part of a mobile home completed cover to the surface area giving storage space for several years. It was about 2008 when I first attempted to convert her back to living accommodation. The stern and prow were welded on with metal donated from Rebus Stone, an oil tanker which had recently taken up Riverbank residence under the ownership of Lucy Gill and Tom Keeling. The mobile home rapidly disintegrated and was replaced by the inverted lifeboat, my former wood store which was forever sinking. It was a 2 day job turning the hull over and winching up ramps into its current position, a job I had to do twice when it fell off when the incoming tide altered its stability. I swore.
A further two boats were added to form interior partitions, wardrobe space and doorway and I lived on her for two years. I particularly enjoyed fitting the doorway albeit I could have plumbed it in better. I cannot remember the
provenance of the glass but I was most upset when I dropped I scaffold fitting on it, an accident that subsequently turned out for the best.
The bathroom is raised to allow for unassisted drainage from bath and shower. The tree trunk in the main cabin was sourced from the River Adur just below Lancing College at Cuckoo Corner and I towed it back here with my rowing boat. The volume of woodworm that were subsequently evicted was gross. The cut outs in the trees were made to accommodate the kitchen.
When my friend Phil Parsley moved out in summer 2015 I took the opportunity to emulate my boat neighbours more luxurious taste. The Dodge was leaking badly in many places, much damage done and I commenced what turned out to be a 6 month refurbishment. The access improved, floor re-laid, the kitchen moved, storage heater installed, new shower cabinet, enhancement of the sedum roof, redecorating inside and out and my favourite piece of work, the boat bed from a catamaran I bought in Steyning back in 1989 since laid guiltily neglected and forlorn on the mudflats and now transformed to a bed in which I delight. I hope you also enjoy waking up in a boat within a boat within a boat.
Instructions & Information
Instant water heater is on gas bottles and can run out although we always try and keep them adequately full. If in doubt contact Hamish.
Main heating is from a storage heater under the bath and comes on automatically. There are back up free standing electric heaters, please feel free to use them.
The wood stove also runs the radiators, for which the pump switch needs to be in the ‘on’ position (glows red). This is next to the socket below the water heater. Wood is supplied, if you are unsure please contact Hamish.
Deck lights are on a socket just behind the harmonium next to the front door. For the double boat bed, there is a double socket for the fairy lights in the roof and the anglepoise reading light.
The kitchen light switch is on the back of the boat doorway on the right.
Pay and display in the main car park. Street parking is free. DO NOT park in resident bays along the Riverbank, as you will get a parking ticket. Any questions, speak to Hamish.
Boat bed – raise and lower using the silver chain. Unhook the ladder prior to lowering. Please ensure the ladder is seated on the ladder marks on the floor. Chain is slightly greasy, gloves are provided on the window sill.
First aid kit is situated in boat door cupboards
Wifi – name is belkin.afd. Password is ca2d46fc
Toilet – this is a sea toilet, please see instructions above the sink.
Rubbish and recycling – there are different coloured bins in the kitchen and a general recycling bin near the wood stove. Recycling includes glass, tins, paper, hard plastic etc but not plastic bags. Larger recycling bins are next to the car park.
Kitchen – please feel free to use anything in the kitchen.
Music – please feel free to enjoy the record player and harmonium
Rowing boats – these are not currently useable
Hamish – 07989098505
Xabier – 07464800094
Taxi – 01273 595959
Shoreham Health Centre – 01273 466052
Police non-emergency number 101
NHS non-emergency number 111
Emergency (fire, police, ambulance, coastguard) 999
Direct services of London Victoria and coastline (Brighton, Portsmouth)
Shoreham Station is 10 minutes walk.
Brighton and Worthing
700 from the High Street, every 10 minutes during the day
Steyning and Bramber
2 from the High Street, near Ropetackle, check timetable for times
Local pubs and food
Into the Blue, great fish restaurant, Ferry Road, Shoreham Beach, best to book 01273 464768.
The Bridge Inn, good pub food, with Shoreham’s best pub garden overlooking the estuary. The High Street, near Ropetackle.
The Duke of Wellington, great for live music and real ale. Lovely outside seating area. On Brighton Road, heading east, about ¼ mile from the foot bridge.
The Red Lion, historical and charming English pub near to the river. Good food and real ale. Lovely walk or directly along Old Shoreham Road, about a mile.
Chambers, traditional English restaurant, £10 a la carte mid week menu. On the High Street.
The Sovereign, reasonably priced Thai food, real ales, off the High Street
Several nice cafes on East Street
Recommended -Tom Foolery, the High Street, just opposite the foot bridge
Places of interest
Walks, speak to Hamish about interesting local walks, he has maps you can borrow.
Marlipins Museum, open May – October, Tues – Sat. Small entrance fee. Excellent local museum in listed 12th century building The High Street.
St Mary de Haura, 10am Sunday Service. Church Street. Bellringers talk to Hamish
Shoreham beach, quiet unspoilt, pebble beach with local nature reserve status for plant life. Popular for swimming, fishing, paddleboarding, kite and wind surfing. Kite and boarding school in Worthing.
Shoreham historic airport, art deco terminal building, with café and bar. Flying lessons and sightseeing tours available.
Shoreham Fort (Redoubt) built in the 1850’s to defend against a French invasion. Due east along Shoreham Beach.
Widewater Lagoon SSSI due west along the sea front, seasonal outdoor kiosk.
Farmers market (2nd Saturday of the month) Artisan market (4th Saturday) 9am – 12pm. East Street
Shoreham Centre market, every Wednesday morning
Tarmount Studios, selection of vintage stalls, new pottery and café
West Street Loft, variety of interesting events including free Thursday night film with bar and food (6.30pm onwards) West St is off the High Street.
Ropetackle, Shoreham’s largest arts venue, see quarterly events calendar on The Dodge for details.