The Cable Hut is one of the most intriguing secrets of Cuckmere Haven. Most visitors wonder what this strange building is doing on the beach and are unaware of its significance. It is one of the few remaining cable stations that once lined the coast.
In November 1900 The Anglo American Telegraph Company bought the little plot of land from The Right Honourable Walter John Earl of Chichester to use as a cable station for telegraph lines to France. Western Union took over the operation of the lines and by 1918 one cable ran from Cuckmere to La Havre and two more to Cap d'Antifer.
During the WWII the cable hut was requisitioned by the military authorities and in 1940, like all the cables running under the sea, the lines were cut. They lowered the roof, added strengthening materials, and inserted gun slits; thus converting it into a "pill box". By the end of the war it had been demolished by gunfire.
Cable Hut 14 was a major and important cable route taking messages from London to France and on to Canada.
In 1947 Anglo American Telegraph Company and Western Union wished to move the station to a more convenient site near a main road. Captain Douglas Ann, the father of the present owner of the cable hut, had built and been running The Golden Galleon tea house at Exceat bridge just up the river. This was an ideal site for the cable companies and as Captain Ann was a keen fisherman an exchange was made - a parcel near the A259 for a ruined building by the sea.
Captain Ann restored the hut to its wartime state as a convenient place to store his fishing gear but the local council objected and told him to tear it down and reinstate it as a ruin.
He went to appeal and won the case. GPO and Western Union continued to maintain a manhole there some years after. The Ann family continue to use the hut to house bathing, fishing and boating equipment and enjoy days on the beach with their family.
The Cable Hut
PREPARATIONS AND ORGANIZATION OF THE SIGNAL CORPS, AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES.
"The chief signal officer visited England in November  to arrange for the laying of a 4-conductor cable across the channel and for telegraph and telephone lines in England. The British post-office authorities agreed to place, at our expense, and within two months, a 4-conductor telegraph cable from Cap d’Antifer to Cuckmere Haven, and to lease to us four telegraph wires from Cuckmere to London, and one telephone circuit simplexed for telegraph from London to Winchester and Southampton."
The map and quote are taken from History of the Atlantic Cable and Undersea Communications
"Tear it down!"