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A27 / Southerham Cement Works

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On 6 May 2014 at 9:26am curious wrote:
According to the interweb the opening of the bypass and the closure of the cement works both took place in 1981. Does anyone remember which happened first? I was just wondering because I saw the rail tracks still set in the roadway just down beyond Monkey Bizness.

Is it the case that they went to all the trouble of bridging the bypass over the railway (and probably re-laying the tracks), and not a single train ever went under the bridge?
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On 6 May 2014 at 6:04pm The Tooth Fairy wrote:
The Bypass opened around 1978 and the Cement works closed, as you say around 1981
The rail tracks you mention are probably part of the cement works private track that joined British Rails mainline via a siding at Southerham
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On 6 May 2014 at 7:59pm nevillman wrote:
The quarry is vast. It could house supermarkets, county hall and a substantial housing development and no one would know it was there. It has good access to the A27. Why is it not proposed for development?
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On 7 May 2014 at 3:23am Fairmeadow wrote:
Fossils would be disturbed, and might be upset!

Check it out here »
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On 7 May 2014 at 6:43am Sceptic wrote:
Fair meadow, how dare you call the planning department fossils. Ha Ha.
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On 7 May 2014 at 10:39am Snapper wrote:
Can you get in there legally? Be a nice place to take some photos.
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On 7 May 2014 at 2:03pm Tim wrote:
@ Snapper. You can walk into the pit, next to the railway line and behind a large dumpster. I go there often, to watch the birds and reptiles etc. The police actually patrol it regularly, to stop any motorcycles that use it from time to time. It reminds me of a doctor who set from the 1970's. Simply wonderful but please be aware there are nesting birds on the chalk faces, so go carefully please.
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On 7 May 2014 at 2:50pm Clifford wrote:
This is interesting, if you haven't seen it:

Check it out here »
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On 7 May 2014 at 5:34pm KENDO CASTER wrote:
Go to the bottom of the car park and follow the old narrow gauge railway line as it goes under the road, this takes you into the quarry.
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On 7 May 2014 at 7:31pm Sussex Jim wrote:
There used to be a working railway from sidings alongside Southerham Junction, where the railways to Newhaven and Eastbourne diverged. The tracks probably ran all through the cement works; possibly as far as the Snowdrop.
The A27 used to run past where there is now a short section of isolated rails in the concrete roadway. Follow that to the bend of the old road that runs up to the scrapyard (and used to go through what is now the travellers' site, to rejoin the modern road at it's entrance) and there was a level crossing. (and a pub!)
This was the road out of Lewes towards Beddingham. In the early seventies one could be stopped on this already busy road by a train going in or out of the cement works at walking pace, complete with the guard waving a red flag at the motorists.
Add to that having to negotiate Cliffe High Street, Beddingham cossing and the road all round Firle before the modern straight; the drive to Polegate would have taken almost as long as the congested conditions today!
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On 7 May 2014 at 9:06pm JWHG wrote:
Just prior to the works closing I was employed as a site agent for ISIS Construction who carried out a lot of works for Blue Circle. We moved tens of thousands of chalk into the old grey pit to make way for a new vehicle park.
After the park was completed they then decided that the railway line should be extended. We then cut through the concrete and a gang who I believe were from Sheffield installed the new track.
The concrete bed was duly replaced and the concrete cured.
Later the small diesel shunter was taken out of the shed and ran up and down the new line, I don't think it ever moved again until it was sold!
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On 7 May 2014 at 10:04pm Tim wrote:
@ kendo caster. You can't get in that way anymore because it's fenced off to stop caravans and motorcycles getting in again. That is if you're talking about entry from the industrial estate car park.
 
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On 7 May 2014 at 11:17pm KENDO CASTER wrote:
Its been a few years since ive been down that way. Is it private property, if not, how do you get in there.
 
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On 7 May 2014 at 11:46pm KENDO CASTER wrote:
Ive just been on Google earth and i see the fence in question.
As you approach Southerham roundabout from Lewes, directly under the Big green Southerham roundabout sign is a path which leads to the river bank, if this is a public footpath then this is the way in. There is also a gate almost opposite the entrance to the Travellers site, this will take you in the other end of the quarry.
 
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On 8 May 2014 at 1:22pm TDA wrote:
I went up there on my pushbike a year or two ago to take some photos and was similarly struck by the 'Dr Who' similarities. It has a strange atmosphere. Then I heard the sound of a very angry dog, which slowly seemed to get louder and louder, and I decided to leave, as the barks appeared to be getting extremely close. Interesting place, but with an air of menace.
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On 8 May 2014 at 2:12pm stevet wrote:
@Nevillman - two reasons why its not proposed for development: a) its an important existing waste management site and there are planning policies to protect those, and b) its in the National Park.
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On 8 May 2014 at 3:27pm belladonna wrote:
Are we talking the north side of the A27 at Southerham ? Or the massive amount of scarred land on the south side of the A27 that is apparent on google maps ?
Isn't this where some trials bikers/ scooters go and ride at weekends ? Can quite often hear the noise of them buzzing about....

Check it out here »
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On 8 May 2014 at 5:12pm nevillman wrote:
Thank you Stevet. What does important existing waste management site mean?
 
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On 10 May 2014 at 3:11pm Pssttt... wrote:
Isn't Southerham Grey Pit owned by the Firle Estate?
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On 11 May 2014 at 9:12pm KENDO CASTER wrote:
I had a look at all the entrances to here and they have all got signs saying private land, no entry. So i assume its a no go area now.


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