… and a chance, fleeting glimpse of a girl from a train between Newhaven and Seaford brings Owen back to Bishopstone Tide Mills. His sudden interest in her is later matched by his father’s interest in the old, failing mill which he believes might interest his employers who run a much larger mill in London. For the Tide Mills of the story is still fully built, running, and housing its staff in the adjoining cottages.
A piece of paper found as Owen and Ruth, the girl, explore Mill House, leads to a search for the inhabitants of fifty years previously. It unearths a story of lost love, a tyrannical husband and father, and his mistreatment of his wife and the child he knows is not his.
Friendships are made as plans for the mill develop, buildings are restored and Tide Mills is readied for the new, successful life they are aiming for. The characters of the old story are brought together. Ruth endures a major operation and befriends another patient. Unusually for the time, staff and management of the mill have an easy-going relationship which pays dividends in goodwill.
At last, smuggling rears its head again, demanding courage and perseverance from young and old alike.
This is a tale of families, of the ups and downs of life, of some little adventure. But it’s also a tale of the real Sussex of the time, with its old customs, its history, and some of its Characters.