Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Saturday, 27 December 2008

A few pieces of Victorian Margate

During the summer of 1985 the Jetty entrance destroyed in the storm of January 1978 was demolished and removed to make way for the construction of the breakwater and slipway behind the Droit House. During the construction period wooden steps were erected halfway along the Rendezvous car park from the green heart pile and cross beams salvaged from the Jetty entrance, this was done to provide access to the foreshore below. When the breakwater and new slipway was completed the steps were removed and the promenade was made good. Two years later in the summer of 1987 a concrete ledge was constructed . The intention of the ledge was to lessen the impact of the waves that crashed over the Rendezvous car park in the wintry Northerly gales during January and February. This proved to be very effective creating a backwash that would clash with the next on coming wave, fortunately for us beachcombers the backwash would erode areas of sand.
At the height of some storms the sand would occasionally disappear completely stripping away the sand to the chalk bedrock. When this first happened in 1993 there was a large area about the size of a tennis court where the sand had completely disappeared. Considering the area was the site of the Marine Palace destruction in November 1897 there was an abundance of many Victorian items found relating to the Marine Palace, like an enamelled sign, a fire place, brickwork, tiles and a large wheel that had remained more or less where they fell since 1897. The small items like coins however, had been pushed by the tide into holes and cracks in the chalk.
Where the wooden steps had been constructed a few years earlier the remaining holes from where the piles had been had left deep holes that seemed to have attracted coins, buttons, badges and other metal ware like a magnet. There was handfuls of the stuff and it was just a matter of picking the items out of the icy water and it was just my luck it was blowing a blizzard at the time, but I stuck it out.
I found many Victorian coins and other items of the period included the silver coins and 1897 jubilee medallion pictured above, as you can see from the picture, salt water and silver does not mix resulting in corrosion. Other finds included lead soldiers, lead dress weights, lead musket balls, lead bullets and lead piano weights. The lead piano weights were interesting because in the account of the storm of November 1897 the grand piano lost from the Marine Palace was smashed against the promenade wall.
Below is a picture of the makeshift steps taken in 1985 with the Droit House in the background.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Tivoli pleasure gardens

Tivoli Park today is overgrown and a thick woodland, in 1829 the area became known as Tivoli Gardens and became a fashionable open air pleasure garden with entertainment of all the social graces of the period. I have attached from the Margate Historical Society archive a researched account of the history of Tivoli Gardens. It is possible to identify some features that remain today but it will take a bit of exploring. Also there are two prints of the area from that period, one dated 1838 and the other undated is the Tivoli Gateway which was in Hartsdown Road. Please feel free to download and copy, for further information the Margate Museum archive is still available to the public.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Churchfield House and the Old Vicarage

This fine print of Churchfields House was drawn and published by W. Perry of Broad Street , Margate and is undated. Even though it is undated it certainly has a lovely early 1800's feel about it. The building still stands today and was recently discovered to be a cannabis factory.
The other engraving is of the old St John's the Baptist Vicarage that once stood in the church grounds before it was demolished. Please feel free to download both prints and add to your collection of old Margate.

Fort Cliffs Margate 1830's

These two engravings are what the cliff face on the Turner Centre site would have looked like in the 1830's. The top engraving titled " No mans' land of Margate Sand" by J . Shury and published by John Denne in 1832, is of the original Fort Point. The Chalk stack was once an cave then an arch which has collapsed to become a stack. The chalk stack in the print looks familiar to the chalk stack we see at Botany Bay today. The arch at Botany Bay also started as a cave , became an arch and collapsed in the storm of January 1978. Below is a picture of the cave at Botany Bay
before it ended up as a arch then a stack.
The second engraving is a well known classic of the area called Fort Rock with the Holy Trinity Church and Cobb's chimney in the background. The mast on the cliff top was a popular spot for artists who studied the view of the Harbour, Jetty and Sunsets over the bay.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Margate Seafront 1860's

Three engravings of Margate Seafront circa 1860's, the view of Buenos Ayres showing the London Chatham & Dover Railway entrance was published 20th May 1868 and the view of Margate Sands with the bathing machines was published 10th July 1868.
The view looking east is rather exaggerated and shows the iron bridge that once stood where the Clock Tower is today, some of the buildings are even familar today.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Margate Bathing Rooms - Lower High Street

Two engravings of the Margate Saltwater bathing rooms, the top engraving was published on April 12th 1812 and shows the entrance to the rooms from the lower High street. On the side of the building the proprietor Philpot offers a warm salt water baths or machines for bathing.
The other engraving also published 1812 shows how the bathing machine was accessed from the bathing rooms via wooden steps. It is also noticable there is no lighthouse on the end of the harbour and the shape of the harbour wall does indicate it is the wall that was destroyed in the great storm of 1808.
Part of sea wall pictured can be seen today at the end of the alley by Henrys and over the railings opposite Sundowners. The old sea wall continues to the clock tower if you follow the slope from Sundowners to the clock tower.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Shell Grotto - a new book out soon

A book on the shell temple of the Margate Grotto is now in preparation for publication next year. The research into this highly complex structure has of necassity been long and very thorough, and the story which is has to tell is simply amazing. The working title is "The Templars hidden History - Their secret mapping of the world and Solomon's Temple of Shells in Margate" the authors are Gretchen Cornwall,Mick Twyman and Alf Beeching, and it hoped that it will be out in mid summer, so look out for the publicity.

Margate as seen from Westbrook 1830's

This view of Margate is from a newspaper cutting of the time with some very famous landmarks. On the right is the Sea Bathing Hospital (1797), Holy Trinity Church (1828) and the three Margate windmills on the horizon. The windmills were situated where Northdown Road is today, the one on the far left was burnt to the ground to create a diversion by smugglers led by "Carver" Lawrence. The site of this "fired" widmill is where Woolworths stand today in Northdown Road . Below is an engraving of the three windmills.

Seamans mission - Fort Road clearance

Following on from yesterday a engraving of the Seamans mission and a photgraph of Neptune Square to download with yesterdays article.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The clearance of Fort Road

On the present day Turner site on the Fort Hill dual carriage way, there was once a huddle of old buildings that made up Neptune Square, Paradise Street and Fort Road. This was the heart of maritime Margate and with total ruthlessness the entire area was flattened to make way for a pointless dual carriageway. The decision was as controversial as the current day Turner Centre and this article for downloading by Mick Twyman examines the historical facts involving the development of Fort Hill in the 1930's.

Margate Harbour - early engravings

Four early engravings of Margate Harbour , the top engraving of the Droit House is dated 1812 which is incorrect with the Holy Trinity Church (1828) in the background. The engraving of the square head is dated 1815 , whatever the accuracy of the dating both are of the same period.
Below are two later engravings, the Droit House engraving is post 1824 as the entrance of Jarvis Jetty opened in that year is visable.
The 1842 engraving of the "The Pier at Margate" has a London illustrated news look about it.

Monday, 15 December 2008

The Oval from the air - 1920's

Two pictures of the Oval for the Margate Historicl faithful to download. The Oval was excavated in 1897 and the banstand was built in 1903 to give some timescale. The Hotels around the Oval were built between 1890 to 1905. In this airial postcard taken some time in the 1920's the Endcliff Hotel can be seen mid way on the far left and the Queens Highcliff in the top right hand corner.
Below is a 1940's view of the Oval published by Photo Precision, St Albans, this postcard enlarges well and has good detail to study.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Marine Terrace 1860

A print and a photograph of Marine Terrace , Margate around 1860. The photograph of Marine Terrace in its original form was a impressive range of buildings. To the far right is the Margate Sands railway station and to the far left part of the iron bridge over the access to the sands for the bathing machines in the foreground. The bridge was removed in 1879 and filled in during the construction of Marine Drive.
Both the print and photograph are for downloading for anyone to do as they wish with them.

Friday, 12 December 2008

George Hoare Margate Photographer

George Hoare was 19 when he left home his in Wales in 1898 to settle down in Margate to work as a photographer. He worked for Goodman and Schmidt who ran a photography shop in Northdown Road. Goodman and Schmidt also owned a studio in Fort Road, Margate from where George worked from. The studio later became known as Goodmans studio and eventually Hoares Studio when George took over the running of the business.

I was aware of the Hoares series of postcards but I knew very little about his work. It was when I became a Margate Charter Trustee and Roy Ford became Mayor that the opportunity came my way. Roy wanted the vault in the old town hall tidied up. During the tidy up, Alan Miles the town seargant at the time came across a box of old postcards, documents, a photograph album and a large thick scrap book. The scrap book was very interesting as it was a war time scrapbook of press cutting,souvenirs and photographs kept by George Hoare who was the Mayor of Margate in 1940 . Some of the photographs were of wartime events and some these images had never been seen before. Equally interesting were topo graphical samples of George's work from the Edwardian period when he was a young photographer. Closer examination revealed that some of his work must have been sold to other publishers who produced many postcards of the period. It was evident that many well known postcards of the Edwardian period and later were actually the work of George Hoare, like the postcard featured.

George took many photographs from his house in Fort Cresent, Margate. This included the construction of the Winter Gardens, The Royal Navy Fleet off Margate and the Jetty. I believe from what I saw that all the well known postcards taken from that location at that period are the work of George Hoare. Later when he took over the running of the business from Goodmans he produced the Hoare's Series postcards which were sold from his wife's gift shop.

The Margate Charter Trustees retained the topo graphical Edwardian collection. The Scrap Book, the contents of the photo album including family photographs, documents and later postcards were donated to the Margate Museum. Combined with the archive on George Hoare, the Margate Museum has an excellent archive of the Edwardian photographer who later became Mayor of Margate in the most difficult period in Civic history.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Dating postcards - The Jetty entrance 1897 to 1947

The top left hand photograph of Margate Jetty on a still day with visitors admiring the view from the footbridge that linked the Jetty entrance to the Marine Palace which once stood on the Rendevous car park, the site of the new Turner Center. The footbridge was damaged during the storm of 29th November 1897. So any view with the footbridge open to the public must have been taken before that date.
Deemed unsafe and unrepairable the decking was removed and the footbridge was closed to the public, by 1907 the footbridge was removed. Therefore any photograph taken in that period with the footbridge intact but closed off can be dated in that period.
In three of the pictures the Camera Obscura building can be seen , originally from the Alexandra Palace Exhibition it was destroyed by enemy action in 1941.
Some of the photographs have the two lifeboat slipways east and west side of the Jetty. The west side slipway ceased use in 1924 and was demolished in 1928. The east side slipway was rebuilt with a new lifeboat house in 1925 to house the new Lord Southborough motorised Lifeboat. There are postcards and photographs of the old west slipway and the new lifeboat house side by side. Obviously date 1925 to 1928 these views are very unusual.
In one of the postcards there is the new lifeboat house the camera obscura and a pleasure boat leaving the Jetty which will date this postcard as 1930's pre war veiw.
Finally , there is the pre war postcard postcard 1947 of the new Droit House and the different buildings on the Jetty entrance to replace those bombed in 1941.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Newgate Bridge 1861 to 1907

The first bridge to span Newgate Gap was erected by Captain Hodges in 1861 to enable access to his flagstaff promenade at Palm Bay. The bridges survived until 1907 when it was removed to make way for a new bridge to commemorate Margate's fiftieth anniversary as a Borough.

The Queens Highcliff and Cliftonville Hotels

The Queens hotel as many people remember it, the Queens Hotel was founded in 1885 and was an amalgamation of the Queen's Highcliff Hotel and Kimber's Hotels, then further augmented by the Dalmeny Hotel foremerly St Cecilia's Ladies College. Together this almalgamation formed a 150 bed complex. The postcard above is a early 1960's view under the Bulins ownership.

The coloured postcard postmarked May 1908 is of the Queens Highcliff and is titled Highcliff Hotels. Below the cliff is the Pettman Bathing platform at Newgate Gap. It is interesting that this postcard has the town crest, because at the time permission was needed from the Borough of Margate to use the crest for commercial use. Today the Margate Charter Trusttees are the custodians of the town crest.
The Clitonville Hotel with the Queens highcliff in the background. The Cliftonville Hotel was established in 1868. The Hotel enjoyed great success up until the First World War and during the early part of this period the name Cliftonville was adopted for the area.
The postcard of the Cliftonville Hydro Hotel proudly flying the Hydro flag is postmarked 1906. This Hotel was later renamed the Grand Hotel and was owned by Butlins in later years until it was sold and emolished to make way for flats.