The view westward shows Marine Parade rising up slightly. However the exercise path continues level onto Bonningstedt Promenade. Sou’westerly storms wash shingle onto this area, so take care.
Bonningstedt Promenade was so named in 1993 in celebration of the twinning of Seaford with the town of Bonningstedt in Schleswig Holstein in northern Germany since 1984. A plaque on the wall of the central section of the lower promenade commerates the twinning.
Following the unification of Germany, Bonningsted twinned with the former east German town of Crivitz in 1991. Bonningstedt now has a road called Seafordkehre and both towns have a red telephone box presented by the people of Seaford. Seaford Twinning Association came to a close in 2019-20 but the history and goodwill march on together.
The adjacent plaque commemorates the encampment of the 36th (Ulster) Division prior to the deployment to the battlefields of northern France in 1915.
Above the promenade on the small hill, once known as Blatchington Down, was the site of an extensive barracks. Building commenced in 1794 with a creation of a ten cannon battery. The first militia units had to live under canvas at first. The Wiltshire Militia lost its tents in a gale one night. Other militia from Somerset and Oxford were also posted here, before a cookhouse, hospital or proper roads were constructed. The men were poorly paid, had to buy and cook their own food and were allegedly overcharged by the Seaford shopkeepers who supplied sub standard food. Men were starving, many were ill and they were expected to march to and from their trainng ground in Brighton. As a result the men of the Oxford Militia mutinied. A fuller account if this sad story can be read in John Odam’s “The Seaford Story” on sale in the Seaford Museum.
This part of the promenade used to have beach huts set into the wall under the adjacent roadway. However the westerly gales that not infrequently arrive from the Alantic and are funnelled up the English Channel, caused extensive damage and the huts were removed. In 2017 the Town Council built new beach huts on the site as part of the sea front improvements.
Continue westwards; the road regains promeande level and you arrive near the Claremont Road junction.