Patcham

Patcham near Brighton already had a well established treacle mine dating back to the 19th century when in 1871 Peter Jones a scientist, who had long suspected the existence of treacle rock, sank his first shaft. He did not hit rock but a gusher- which spouted for three days, covering the countryside for several miles around with a fine rain of treacle. After three days Peter Jones brought the gusher under control. From that day onwards, the treacle mine provided employment for many Patcham families. They jealously guarded the privilege of free treacle, (tins not provided) which were handed down from father to son in the families of the original twenty employees.

 

Like many treacle mines the Patcham mine closed down when sugar cane and sugar beet was more easily accessible than treacle. But when there was talk of war and a shortage of sugar, the people of Patcham reopened their mine. They put up road signs pointing to the Patcham Treacle Mine and business was swift. But, the signs were quickly removed when it was thought the enemy might send its agents to Patcham to destroy its mine after it became known they were supplying their substitute 'sugar' to help the British Armed Forces during a time of rationing.

 

What the locals did not know - that under their very feet - a group of P.I.E. agents were already established and preparing for any invasion from the continent.

 

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