Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Wednesday, 30 January 2008


This coin is a copper twopence dated 1797 and weighs about 2 ounces. The diameter is about 40mm or 1 9/16". The reverse features Brittania and because of the rim and weight the coin was known as a Cartwheel.
Either side of the hole is the initials HC and EA, the coin would have most likely been holed, initialed and hammered into a keel of a boat behind the mast as a good luck talisman. On the obverse is a mark where the coin had been levered off. A fine maritime artefact I beleive.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Rendevous car park sea defence

This picture was taken in 1985 of the cold harbour sea defence attached to the Rendevous car park. The site was originaly the entrance to the iron Jetty and the 1824 Jarvis Jetty.

As you can see the workman are working on the infill that was taken from Margate Harbour and in the background is the Ship Inn and the smelly toilets by the lifeboat house.

The construction of the wall is reinforced concrete and the picture taken from the inside with the jetty remains in the background shows quite clearly.
In my view, TDC are experts when it comes to sea defence and I suppose with 22 miles of coastline to look after they have to be on the ball. A bit like the Dutch with their dams I suppose.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Rendevous Site 1879

The map of the rendevous site, on the top 1897 and to the right 1879. Any questions?

Friday, 18 January 2008

Fort Hill, Margate

In todays Isle of Thanet (18/01/08), Cllr Ken Gregory has a mention in despatches on page 9.
The little rascals at Union Row have picked up comments he made on the thanetlife blog. With a touch of butter wouldn't melt in my mouth he is quoted as saying "While I understand, and to some extent agree, that we should control our development, I also feel we are part of history, and we should be a little relaxed about what we do"
This picture is of Neptune Square, Margate in the 1930's. Under a so called "slum clearance" these old buildings were demolished and replaced with the northbound carriage of Fort Hill. Perhaps planning desicions create history but on the otherhand they can destroy it for ever.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Grassing over Fort Hill

Fort Hill, Margate is in the local news regarding the proposal to grass over the northbound carriageway.
This picture taken in 1875 is of a minstrel troupe playing on the grass outside the Brittania pub. It does appear that part of the grass is now the present southbound carriageway and the pavement is the central reservation.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

East Pier shipwreck and the Bleak House cannons

In 1980 after a similar bout of weather to what we are experiencing now a small wreck was discovered on the low water mark off the East Pier Ramgate.
The wreck was indentified as a small armed customs cutter engaged to combat smuggling. The overall dimension of the wreck was calculated at 45 foot length, 15 foot beam with a gross tonnage of 60 tons,The armanent was 6 cannons of which three were recovered. All three of the recovered cannons were 9 pounders, two were of the smaller carronade type cast by the Carron Iron Company at Stirling in Scotland. These shorter cannons were known as "the smasher" having twice the fire power over a short range than a long cannon. Being shorter and lighter the carronades could be mounted on skids and on the upper deck manouvered quickly. The large versions were used with great effect at the battle of Trafalgar by HMS Victory at short range smashing gun ports and raking of French ships.
This Carronade pictured was recovered from the customs cutter and stood on the terrace of Bleak house when the house was purchased by the new owners.
It has the crude inscription R.O.W which is receiver of wrecks, this suggests the cannons were pressed into Customs service and more than likely seized from a vessel engaged in smuggling activity .

The storm of 11th January 1978

Thirty years ago this week we woke up one morning to this.
After 153 years surviving two world wars plus numerous storms , Margate Jetty the marvel of Victorion engineering finaly lost its battle with the elements.
The stem laying in ruins in the foreground was supported by piles slotted into screwed in piles. The force of the storm lifted the stem out of the sockets of the screwed in piles and was left a tangled pile of scrap metal. Most likely worth a fortune by todays prices of scrap.

Ship aground

Gale force winds play havoc with shipping, but in some cases ships often run aground under their on steam. This picture is of the "Aquity"which ran aground on the Nayland rock on Christmas Eve 1938. Why this happened I do not know.
I guess the people in the foreground are not really concerned how the "Aquity" ran aground, they are enjoying there ancient rights of salvage. In order to refloat as quick as possible and minimise damage to the hull, the skipper has jettisioned some of the cargo of coal. Others may say that he dosen't wish to spend Christmas on the Nayland Rock. Either way the locals have a nice little Christmas bonus.
In the background in front of the Bow is the lifeboat that once stood on the Jetty, this picture is from the Margate Historical Society collection. The magazine published quarterly has loads of little gems like this. To subscribe ring email me and I will give details,

Monday, 14 January 2008

Art collection returned

Recently 18 works of art were returned to the Margate Museum from the Judges Lodging in Maidstone where they have been on long term loan since 1985.
The work undertaken providing a museum service at the Margate Museum includes managing the Thanet District Council art collection from the grant EKMT receives . This is one of the pictures that has been returned and is now hanging up in the maritime room and is well worth a look. The group of 18 have been out of Thanet for 22years and it does make me wonder what the valuations must be. Overall TDC is sitting on a valuable seaside art collection , in this collection are Ramsgate prints and pictures which have rarely been on public display since local government reorganisation since 1974. Of the TDC art collection there are 16 Ramsgate maritime prints on display in the Maritime Museum, 1 in the Margate Museum. There are some in Albion house but it is not the sort of place where you can just pop in and have a look. I have approached TDC out of interest regarding the list of Ramsgate art on its books under the Freedom of Information act in the past. But due to data protection this was denied. I understand through a written reply that money from the priority improvement fund is avaible for a new data base of the TDC art collection. Strange that TDC can propose to cut a grant that provides a service and then finds money elsewhere thats funds the service it is cutting.