Stan Tubb, born in 1898, was the last inhabitant of Tide Mills. When the remaining
houses of the village were evacuated in May 1940 Stan's wife went with their daughter
to stay with her brother in Patcham, north of Brighton, but Stan carried on living
at 3 Tide Mills for a further two months. In 1972 he gave a very detailed account
of his memories of Tide Mills and the wider area to Kenneth Astell. A transcript
of the interview can be read at Seaford Museum.
Stan had had military experience during the First World War and early in the Second
World War he was a member of the Home Guard. This experience, coupled with his knowledge
of local weather conditions and geography, was useful to the military personnel based
at Tide Mills, and he was therefore allowed to stay until July 1940. Before leaving
the village and again on his return he had to report to the guardroom housed in the
Chailey Hospital buildings. His advice was used in relation to:
- Decisions about where to place mines in the beach.
- Keeping the mill creek open and full of water as a barrier against invading tanks.
- Forecasts of bad weather that made it unlikely that an invasion would occur in
the next 48 hours, a good time to allow men to go on leave.
Many people visit or pass through Tide Mills today. It is on a popular route for
walking and cycling, but if you arrive by car there are two car parks just north
of the site between the A259 and the railway line. Kevin Gordon's guided tour can
be highly recommended. Another option is to join one of the litter gathering sessions
run by Jim Skinner. If you go alone then the information boards will help to convey
an impression of the industry and the village that once existed here.