Caught By The Tide, Bosham, Sussex, England 1935

Archive Reference: BGA1817
December 2, 2023
The Quay, Bosham, Sussex 1935
The Quay, Bosham, Sussex 1935


The second half of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of a yachting fraternity, particularly on the south coast of England. Yachting was becoming a popular pastime for the wealthy, nobility and royalty. Baron Charles Berkeley was an active Lord of The Manor of Bosham from 1867 to 1897, and encouraged wealthy yacht owners to take up moorings at Bosham. These yachts needed crews when they sailed in the summer months, and quite a few Bosham fishermen and mariners met this need. Large ocean-going yachts such as the Leander, Cambria and May became a familiar sight in Chichester Harbour. The Duke of Richmond from Goodwood, Lord Egremont of Petworth and Prince Edward (later King Edward VII) were amongst those who patronised Bosham's yachting fraternity in the nineteenth century.


Annual sailing regattas between Chichester Harbour's fishing fleets began in the late nineteenth century and were organised by the harbour's customs house, and the first recorded Bosham Regatta was held in 1903. Bosham Sailing Club is the oldest sailing club in the harbour, and was formed in 1907. It wasn't until after World War I that other clubs were established within the harbour (Emsworth 1919, Hayling Island 1921, Dell Quay 1925, Itchenor 1927, Chichester Yacht Club 1936, Thorney Island 1945) and since then, the harbour has mainly been used for recreational and competitive sailing.


What was once a busy, working Quay for Bosham's fishermen and mariners, with customs tolls payable to the Lord of The Manor of Bosham, is now used to launch and keep sailing boats that are raced in the harbour, or tenders that are used to row out to the deep-sea moorings.


The sight of sailing boats tied up on and around Bosham Quay wasn't a common sight until after World War I, and this photograph shows the Quay completely submerged with boats afloat during a high spring tide, and storm gales in 1935. It would have been a rare sight to see a motor car caught out by the tide, such as this Riley 9 Ascot towing a sailing dinghy. Cars weren't a common sight until early 1910s. Note the board put over the radiator in a last-ditch attempt to keep the seawater out, and the waves driving across the Quay into the side of the car.


© Luke Whitaker

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