Awaiting erection Thomas Monnington
History is of course about buildings and also their occupants. Seaford Heritage, a small group dedicated to researching Seaford's history are installing blue plaques to remind us about those who played a part in the history of the town and the nation.
As you walk around the town you might come across buildings once occupied or at least visited by national celebrities - did you know at least five prime ministers have connections with Seaford, the Duke of Wellington, William Pitt the Elder, George Canning Henry Pelham and Winston Churchill. Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote his ode to the Duke of Wellington in Seaford House and George Meredith penned "The Lark Ascending" in Marine Terrace. Hermann Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in pyschology lived in West House. Clementine Hozier (later Clementine Churchill) resided here and the once numerous boarding schools have taught many a famous name. We also have local residents who played a part in the of story of the town. A plaque on the site of the old Empire Cinema in Sutton Road remembers a local fireman Fred Mace, who lost his life when it burnt down in 1939. Dr Pringle Morgan lived at Hurdis House in the Broad Street. Dr Pringle Morgan identified and described congenital word blindness for the first time, later known as dyslexia. Stone's House was built on 1767 by Robert Stone, seven times Bailliff of Seaford. Later it became a nursing home and for a while Avril Coleridge Taylor, composer and pianist resided there. Seaford and its environs has also been depicted by well known artists and one, Eric Slater lived most of his adult life in Seaford. Henry Coxwell the pioneer balloonist had his factory in Seaford and lived in Connaught Road. James Stagg, the meteorologist who delayed the start of D Day lived in Carlton Road Seaford. We have other war heroes too, so perhaps it is fitting that the first plaques to be erected in Seaford are to the military commemorating the events of the First World War. Although not a blue plaque, a memorial plaque was erected in October 2015, in memory of the 36th (Ulster Divsion) who trained and were deployed from Seaford for action in the battlefields of France. It can be found on Bonningsted Promenade on the seafront below Marine Parade. The railway station has a blue plaque commerating the centenary of the formation of the British West Indies Regiment who trained in Seaford in 1915 before being deployed to Egypt in 1916. Seaford has also attracted artists, Leo Cheney, a cartoonist on the Manchester Evening News created the famous "Striding Man" logo for Johnnie Walker Whiskey in 1915, lived in Sutton Avenue Seaford. Thomas Monnington, one time President of the Royal Academy, and a war artist lived in Seaford a school child. Another Royal Academician S.Francis Smitherman. a famous marine artist, lived in Steyne Road Seaford in an interesting house and Sir Frank Short RA also is mentioned on a plaque in Seaford,in Claremont Road. Actors too: Maurice Denham, film and TV actor lived in Middle Furlong Seaford. Even fiction has made it to a local blue plaque, Sherlock Holmes can be found in nearby East Dean.
We also include other interesting plaques found in and around Seaford. A plaque on the site of the old Empire Cinema in Sutton Road remembers a local fireman Fred Mace, who lost his life when it burnt down in 1939, and another commemorates the defeat of a French Invasion at the Buckle.
If you want to know more about blue plaques and the like in the UK and possibly beyond, visit Blue Plaque Places website.