Abandoned Communities ..... Tide Mills

Stanley Tubb, the last inhabitant of Tide Mills


Kevin Gordon leading a guided tour of Tide Mills

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.