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Storm Tide by Michael Payne

John Simkin

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Set against the backdrop of national and international events, this book traces the momentous period leading up to conflict as witnessed by the people of Worthing. Topics explored include the bitter arguments between Conservatives and Pacifists over rearming; the attempts by the British Union of Fascists to turn the town into a Blackshirt stronghold; the arrival not only of the deposed Emperor of Ethiopia, but of Basque children escaping the horrors of war-torn Spain, Jewish refugees fleeing Central Europe, and evacuees from London.


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First of all, I think you have written a very important book that will be invaluable to historians writing about the history of the 1930s. I was not surprised to read that the first BUF councillor to be elected was in Worthing. However, the large number of peace activists and anti-fascists in the area did come as a shock.

1. On pages 20 and 137 you mention a Methodist minister called Rev. Frampton who was secretary of the Worthing branch of the League of Nations Union. Do you know anymore about him or the church he was at?

2. I was interested to read about Mr. Martin, the headmaster of Worthing Boys High School. I was very surprised to read about him making statements about the political situation in the 1930s. Do you know what happened to Martin?

3. You mention that the Thornycroft family lived at Champions, Offington Drive. Is the house still in existence? Do you know anything about the background to this family? I was surprised to find such a radical family in such a conservative area.

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