Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Friday, 30 January 2009

Three old Margate engravings

Three more Old Margate Victorian engravings by unknown artists to download, the top one is a early Seabathing Hospital view. The other two are of Hartsdown and Nash Court which are a bit hard to place, perhaps both buildings are the original views and have since been demolished.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Engravings of Holy Trinity Church, Margate

Two Victorian engravings of Holy Trinity Church , Margate by unknown artists for downloading . I am not sure if Michael may have these on Thanetonline, but if he has you have got a double helping.
Holy Trinity Church was consecrated 1828, destroyed my enemy action 1st June 1943 and demolished 1959.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Victorian arrivals at Margate - the husbands boat

Two Victorian drawings of arrivals at Margate by paddle steamer, the top drawing is the entrance to the 1824 Jarvis Jetty or landing stage by a unknown artist. In the background the original Fort Point can be seen, as mentioned in other postings this was a popular location for artists to draw and paint the Jetty, Harbour and sunsets.

The other drawing is of the arrival of the husbands boat by W.McConnell taken from the illustrated times September 6th 1856. It was a Victorian custom for the wife and children to proceed with their holiday midweek while the husband worked in business to join the family at the weekend. A steamer was laid on specifically for the husbands after business, bound for Margate, it was known by the wives as the husbands boat. As the drawing illustrates the families would line the Jetty waiting for the arrival of the husbands boat. Below is a press cutting from the Illustrated times which does give some background to the husbands boat drawing. Please feel free to download , reproduce or whatever with these drawings and info.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Helena Modjeska salvaging affair.

With all this debate over the wood washed ashore from the "Sinegorsk", I have found an article in the Margate Historical Society archive for downloading that makes interesting reading. It is about the salvaging of cargo from the "Helena Modjeska" and 12 Margate salvagers ending up appearing in court.

The wrecking of the "Samaritano"

During the 18th and 19th Century, January and February was the shipwreck season off the Thanet coast. Most of the accounts of local shipwrecks of winter shipwrecks show January and February as the busy months. A large number of the casualties being colliers bringing coal to Thanet from the North East in the winter months when demand was at its highest. Coal at the time was big business with vessels loaded to capacity putting to sea in all weathers to meet the demand. The owners of the shipping companies made a lot of money from the coal trade and in most cases it was the cargo that was insured not the ship and crew.The account of the Samaritano I have attached is from the Margate Historical Society archives about the wrecking of the Samaritano and the heroism of the Margate and Ramsgate boatmen for you to download.

For those of you fed up with shipwrecks and salvage etc., I have left on one of Terry Purser's stories and others of Margate's past for you to enjoy. Terry is no longer with us but his stories and experiences live on.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Driftwood is it theft ?

The salvaging of the Russian wood from the foreshore has certainly opened up some opinion both for and against, with those against resorting to direct insults. The national media has resorted to the use of the word “scavengers” and on a previous posting one anon even refers to the “low life Thanet”. I just find it incredible that passions can run high over what is nothing more than driftwood. To be honest I cannot see what their problem is and as far as I am concerned someone taking driftwood is fair game. Such comments like this are typical of this middle class opinion that runs through the Southeast of England and is nothing more than snobbery, come to think of it the only thing we in Thanet have in common with the rest of the Southeast is geography. People who live inland just do not understand coastal ways and historically salvaging is something that has gone on for centuries and will carry on for many more. Maritime law can be a complex thing but the right to salvage is not illegal.

On another point, Thanet District Council, the Police and Coastguards did exactly what they should do in times like this and put public safety first . It was important to clear Ramsgate beach first as TDC had a duty of care for the outer marina in Ramsgate Harbour, just imagine the outcome if all that wood had ended up in the outer marina.

As far as I am concerned it is up to the individual what they do regarding the wood providing it is not motivated by greed.

Friday, 23 January 2009

A shelved Victorian project for the Turner center site

This is a very unusual engraving of a building that never was. Dated 1st May 1875 it was one of the Victorian proposals for the present day Rendezvous car park site. The intention of the development was to attract visitors who had arrived at Margate by sea on the end of the Jetty. Considering that Margate at the top of it's popularity there would have been a footfall of one million people using the Jetty in arrivals and departures, so development of this site was seen as viable. Up until the great storm of 29th November 1897 there was a lot of interest in the site, but the devastation of the Marine Palace during the great storm put of any potential investors off for good. Margate Museum does have some information on the Marine Palace site well worth a read.
On another point, I found this print strange because it is of a building that never was. I suppose when people in a 140 years time come across literature of the original Turner Center MK1 proposal they will be as equally mystified at a building that never was.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

A great day out at the seaside wood galore

As predicted the wood has arrived two days ahead of schedule thanks to the overnight South Westerly winds. Ramsgate beach does appear to have "this ring of steel guarding the wood" this morning. Considering that the flow of wood is moving Northwards it is easier to access is further along the coast past Broadstiars at the most Northerely tip of the flow as demonstrated from the picture above. Some wood is still in bales , there does appear to be at lot of six metre lengths and the condition is excellent , most of the dimension is 25mm by 100m. There are larger sizes and it is all planking. People are starting to take it but only one or two pieces probably for souvenirs and that tends to be the broken pieces as the wood is heavy and water logged. From where I was nobody was taking anything in large quantities probably because of the Coastguard plane flying above as pictured, mind you once darkness falls I expect they will all be out there.
It now appears the Police are letting people onto the beaches and people are now removing the wood. Meridian news 18:00hrs.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

St Johns Church Margate

Two engravings of St Johns Church for downloanding or whatever, St John the baptist Church was founded in 1050 and both these views are pre early 1870's. The Church spire was added in the early 1870's, I am not sure of the exact date but both engravings are excellent.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Hearts of Oak 1871

Page 7 of the Isle of Gazette (16/01/2009) has a very interesting article on the heroes of the Margate Lifeboat and facts on the Lifeboatmen who have died on service .
There are many accounts of the heroism of both the Margate and Ramsgate Lifeboats in written history and in local folklore. One such account of a rescue I find fascinating is of a rescue that took place off Margate on 25th January 1871, it was a typical RNLI rescue of the time full of strength, determination and bravery. This inspired the wife of the owner of Keebles Gazette to write lyrics to the tune of Hearts of Oak in honour of the bravery of the RNLI crew, I have attached a copy of the lyrics and history of the rescue for you to download. The original is on display in the Margate Museum and is an excellent reminder of what our coastal Heritage is all about.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

What's killing them ?

Thousands of dead crabs are washed up on our beaches and "What's killing them ? " is the headline on the front page of this weeks Thanet Extra. The answer is simple, it is the sudden cold snap.

Most of the crabs in the photograph on the front page of the Extra are Velvet swimmer crabs and cold weather is fatal. This because they originate from the warmer southern and southwest end of the English channel and they are only here by working their way around the coast in mild winters and hot summers breeding as they go. They are by nature a swimming crab and their back legs act as a paddle, because of this they cannot burrow effectively into the sand and mud to escape adverse weather. The shore crab as we know it is pictured with the swimmer crab and notice how pointed the back leg is. This enables the shore crab to burrow into the sand in cold weather.

Cold winter deaths of crabs is part of their life and death cycle and the main beneficiary of this has always been Cod. In years past shoals of Cod would have feasted on the crabs stunned by cold in the inshore waters. When I was a fisherman it was not uncommon to find over twenty dead crabs in the stomach of a gutted Cod. As we all know Cod is on the decline and the shoals in our inshore waters have decreased and all this free lunch is not being consumed. Instead it is being washed ashore.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Missing Tudor House furniture ?

Just before Christmas I paid a visit to the excellent Tudor House Christmas event. I took along my camera especially to take photographs of the carved Burmese furniture which has been in the Tudor House since the 1950's. To my dismay I found there were only two items of carved furniture on display .
As far as I can remember back to the days when the Tudor House was open to the public and would receive thousands of visitors on a annual basis, there was a collection of Burmese carved furniture. Now there is only two items so where has it gone ?
Just in case I am losing my marbles, I thought I better check this one out. Taking into consideration the TDC public collection inventory is a top secret document to the public and access forbidden even under the Freedom of Information act, I knew I had to use my own resources again to find out what the score is.
It appears from the copy document in A4 from the 1990's that there are five items of furniture on the accession register . At the time of the Tudor House closure TDC did not even know the status of the furniture regarding ownership or loan. This falls in line with what I have said before regarding the handover of artefact's from the Town Councils to TDC during local government changeover in the 1970's, it was total chaos.
However, it appears the furniture does have a owner and the furniture is on a informal loan to Thanet District Council as part of the extract of a letter I have obtained confirms.

The question I would like to raise is the furniture missing or is it a case of out of site, out of mind ?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Margate Harbour from Bankside

This engraving for your archives is titled "Pier at Margate" and is a view from the bank side , it is unsigned and the publisher is unknown. It can be easily dated, as the Stone Pier was completed in 1815 and there is no Jarvis Jetty (1824) or landing stage as it was known.

Five landmark buildings of old Margate

Five engravings of landmark Margate buildings from the early part of the nineteenth century. The top two are the inside and outside of Betttison's Library in Hawley Square. There is Levey's Bizaar from what is today's High Street, Howe's Royal Hotel, Zion chapel and the Hawley Square Chapel.

Tivoli Brookes pipes

Since the demolition of the remains of the Jetty in the summer of 1998 there has been a gradual erosion of sand around the eastern spit of the Nayland Rock. In plain English, the area around the current Nayland Beacon. Uncovering the shipwreck I mentioned earlier and the crash site of the Whitley bomber which crashed landed in September 1940 after running out of fuel. Another feature which reappears is a pipe, which lays directly out from the the sundeck swimming pool on the low water mark. This pipe is one of two which drained Tivoli brooks when the sea front wall was constructed, the other still in use today is built into the boating pool wall beside the clocktower. In the lower picture the stump of the original Nayland beacon can bee seen directly out from the end of the pipe.
Below is pictured a find which is not uncommon in the area. It is about nine inches long made of alluminium and is the remains of a lifeboat maroon fired by the Margate Lifeboat.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Margate Harbour shingle bank

Just inside Margate Harbour off the square head lays a shingle bank which is accessible on every low tide. Unlike most shingle banks around the Thanet coast which are built up of flints, fossils and flint pebbles, the shingle bank off Margate Harbour tells a different story. Formed by the tidal action of Northerly gales hitting the harbour wall the debris picked up in a storm is deposited in the shelter of the harbour entrance and mixed with pebbles and flint creating the shingle bank. Amongst the debris there is a very interesting insight into the maritime activity and natural disasters that have taken place in the area over the centuries.
The latest addition to the bank is the debris from the area around the the head of the Jetty that was demolished and removed in 1998. Once the last remaining piles of the Jetty were removed there was nothing to hold any item that that was buried under the Jetty. For example the remains of broken bottles and stoppers which are now gradually working their way towards the shore. It may take time but is does happen , for example there is Terracotta debris from the Marine Palace destroyed on the Rendezvous car park site in November 1897 which has worked its way around the coast before the groyne outside the harbour wall was built. There are other finds like pieces from the pre 1828 lighthouse and pieces of the lighthouse that was destroyed in February 1953.
I also have a collection of pieces of broken plate that bear the motifs of the paddle steamer companies that used the Jetty and the Harbour. Other pieces of broken pottery found are from the pavilion on the end of the Jetty that was destroyed in a fire in 1964. None of the items found are intact but they do tell a story like most of the bottle stoppers pictured which I have collected over the years. They are either local, coastal or from London. My favourite stopper is a Victorian one embossed "Fred Smith Mile End" and it doesn't take much working out how that got there.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Turner shipwreck found ?

This painting by Turner is something to be admired and the ship wreck on the left is certainly of interest. Firstly, the view has been taken from the Nayland Rock with Margate Harbour and Hooper's Mill visible on the horizon. Close to the location where the veiw of the painting today there is a gulley that has a familiar shape, which is the outline of a sailing vessel. This morning I photographed the gulleyand ribs. It is situated on the Margate side of the Nayland Rock and the location is identifiable by one of the Nayland beacon posts on the left. Today was a neap tide so the gulley did not drain, but in the gulley covered by water is the ribs of a sailing vessel similar to the size that would match the ship wreck in the picture. I have tried to take a picture and the out line of the ribs is visible plus part of the keel structure.
At spring tides the gulley does drain out and the ribs are better exposed, considering the remains of the stumps of the Jarvis landing stage (1824) are still with us. Could it be possible that the remains of the shipwreck be the same as in the picture as the location is about right. Well worth further investigation do you agree ?

The "cut" Margate

The "cut" Margate as it seen today was once the site of the Margate Jetty constructed in 1853 on the site of the previous wooden Jarvis landing stage constructed in 1824. The cut and the concrete landing stage was well used in its time as the early 1900 postcard shows. Even before that in the 1700's small boats carrying out maritime activities would use the area well.
After the final demolition and clearance of the Jetty remains in 1998 the most of the visible history went with it and there is very little evidence of the activity that took place apart from the concrete landing stage. The remaining evidence now lies buried beneath the sand and the storm of January 1978 which downed the Jetty uncovered many items dating back to George III prooved many things. During 1978 to 1998 there were so many items recovered and removed from the area that it is almost barren of anything from the past. Today anything to be found is still buried in the deeper areas of the sand, so today out of curiosity I went for a scratch about just to see what was there. I took a few pictures of what I came across which I have attached. Surprisingly the pictures are of wooden remains, one is of a wooden collar that surrounded one of the screw piles from the 1853 Jetty also in the foreground of another there is a stump protruding from the chalk. This stump is English oak and is the remains of a wooden pile from the 1824 Jarvis landing stage. After a good storm more stumps appear all the way back to the shore and the line of the Jarvis landing stage can be mapped out. Another feature in the area is pieces of Terra cotta from the storm of November 1897 from the Marine Palace site of which I picked up and put in the photographs.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Margate Gas works

This print is of the Margate Georgian Gasometer around the 1860's, it is a hard print to come by as not many people at the time would have engravings of the local gasometer hanging on the walls of their homes therefore the rarity. To accompany the print I have added a 1938 advert for the Isle of Thanet Gas Light & Coke Company and a article from the Margate Historical Society archives published at the time of the demolition of the Gasometer in King Street.
Please feel free to download for your local history folders.