Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Hippodrome and TDC offices part 2

This map is from 1955 and details the Hippodrome and the rest of the site before the Centre and TDC offices were built. Midway up the top half of Margate High Street is Bentley's Place which took it's name in the 19th Century from Bentley's the towns leading ironmonger. Up until 1960 there remained a ironmongers called Sturton and Walters.
At the top of the lower High Street there are the initials PTP which was the site of a Police Telephone Post, a reminder what policing was like before radios and mobile phones.
It appears from the map that a Roman Urn was found in Grosvenor Place in 1880.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Hippodrome and TDC offices.

The latter part of Victorian Margate is often looked upon as a golden age in tourism and prestige for the Town. However, reading through many archives it is so clear there were as many challenges faced then for the town as there is today. There was also the familiar pattern of bankruptcies, out dated venues, derelict sites and the "Fire". One fine example is the corner of Cecil Square where the Library and TDC offices now stand . There once stood on the site the18th Century Assembly Rooms , unfortunately in 1882 these outdated premises were burnt to the ground in the famous "Great Fire of Margate" at Cecil Square (the print is on the wall Margate Museum by the stairwell). This corner of Cecil Square remained derelict for 15 years until 1897 when it was purchased by Morrell and Mouillot who owned a chain of Theatres. They built and opened the New Grand Theatre in 1898 which also led to the re planning of that part of Cecil Square. In 1905 the Theatre was bought by the South of England Hippodrome Company and renamed the "Hippodrome". From that period up until the first world war the theatre enjoyed considerable success. Then in 1921 the Theatre was converted into a "Super" Cinema with an orchestra playing for the silent films. In 1934 the Regal Cinema opened next door making it difficult for the Hippodrome to compete. Throughout the Second World War the Hippodrome remained closed, and after the second world war the Hippodrome just could not remain viable and was closed and put up for sale in October 1958. For 8 years it was a closed dilapidated building until it was bought by Margate Corporation in 1967 for £19,000 at an Auction. Following negotiations lasting many years the building was demolished in 1967 followed by the opening of the Library and Thanet District Council offices in 1974.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sand Castles

I always find that nostalgia is a more debatable and attractive subject than pure History with one of my favorite topics being what people did to earn money when they were young.
Thanet youngsters in the past were always fortunate as the area was packed out with visitors in the summer months and there was plenty of scope to earn a shilling or two. One very old method to earn a honest shilling“Grotto-ing”.
“Grotto-ing” was typically Victorian and involved building artistic sandcastles involving patriotic designs decorated with shells. The whole idea was to entice the onlookers to throw down a half penny in appreciation of the designs. A good location was always where people could look down onto the beach from a promenade, sundeck or the pier.

There had always been a local argument as to whether this was begging. In Victorian and Edwardian times children from orphanages and convalescent homes would make elaborate designs in the sand and appeal for coppers (not the boys in blue). In June 1901 Margate Police arrested some “sand scratchers” and they were fined 2/6d for obstructing the sands. By 1921 the practice seemed to have some approval, with Margate Borough Council granting a Mr. C.Marriot permission to work from Margate Sands as a sand artist for a fee of £7.00. With or without approval the practice by youngsters continued with the last historical reference being in 1937 when two youngsters were fined 5/- each for “begging” on Clintonville sands. However, it has to be remembered that Clintonville sands were always considered to be up market and were patrolled by beach wardens. Margate Sands had less attention as it was always considered a little bit down market.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Louis Wain , Westgate's cat man

There are very few recorded incidents in local historical archives where Councillors have behaved badly in public. However, I have managed to find one.
This article by Mick Twyman is about the life of Louis Wain, one of Westgate's more famous residents. Louis Wain without doubt was a talented but eccentric person and was noted for it , on one occasion in Westgate Town Hall he was on the receiving end of a insulting Town Councillor who tried to belittle him which backfired.

Friday, 20 March 2009

"local boy makes good"

The local blogs are really buzzing over "local boy going bad" which has prompted me to look through the Margate archives to find a genuine case of where a "local boy makes good". The holder of this title in my opinion has to be George Lansell, his claim to fame was to earn a fortune and donate the gold for the Mayor of Margate's chain. This article for downloading is by the late Dr Alan Kay and makes interesting reading into the life of George Lansell.

Margate 1904

Two postcards of Margate circa 1904, the view of the Parade is interesting with the wherries on the bottom of the harbour slipway. The last one disappeared from Margate Harbour in 1982 and was called the "haughty belle" and belonged to Vernon Kennard.
The Newgate gap postcard shows the old iron bridge replaced in 1907.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Thanet Times "Fools Gold" article

The Thanet Times (17/05/09) really went to town this week regarding the problems Hiltons Jewellers have landed themselves in with the trading standards. I know Hiltons have admitted to the charges to mislabelling etc., but being someone who likes to look into the detail of things, I was more than interested in the charges and references to the unhallmarked gold. Using google I looked on the British Hallmarking Council website and the Assay Office website and found something which does add to some truth to what Richard Hilton said regarding Hallmarks.
It appears that under the Hallmarking Act 1973 and the 1998 amendments, any Gold item over the weight of 1 gramme, Silver items over 7.78 grammes and Platinum over 0.5 gramme must by law have an official hallmark. The hallmark may be either a British Hallmarking council mark or a official foreign Hallmark by a country signed up to the International Hallmark Convention.
However, as Mr Hilton points out, in this country we are awash with items for sale above these weights stamped just .925 for silver or just stamped 9ct which are not hallmarks. The punches to do this can even be bought from abroad over the Internet. I have seen both locally and nationaly items that are for sale that do not comply with the law.
I do wonder in the near future are we to expect trading standards to be busy enforcing the law or are such laws only applicable to Mr Hilton.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Margate seafront 1910

This photograph is the bottom half of a postcard that I have scanned, it is dated 1910. There isn't a arcade in site and the only place to spend a penny is in the Arcadia bazaar, Margate's answer to poundland in 1910.

Monday, 9 March 2009

"Lord" George Sanger continued

The conclusion to the George Sanger research that I put on my blog a few days ago. It is an interesting fact that George Sanger created employment for 250 people and founded the Beaconfield Conservative Club, anyway I won't spoil the rest story.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Boat building at Margate Harbour

Margate in the past once had a thriving boat building industry which no longer exist. The last boat builder working from the the Harbour being George Hatcher in the 1970's . There was another long established boat repair business called Henniker and Spain who worked from their workshop until the 1980's at Fort Mount Margate.
George Hatcher's workshop today is a unit on the Harbour Arm and is easily recognisable by the brickwork as everytime he built a boat part of the wall on the outside had to be removed and then rebuilt in order to get the boat out. Henniker and Spain's workshop was destroyed by a fire a few years ago in Fort Mount while it was a car repair workshop.
In 1999 Frank Spain who sadly is no longer with us produced this very factual acticle with Mick Twyman on boat building at Margate for the Margate Historical Society it is for downloading so please add to your archive's.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Lord George Sanger

On page seven of the Isle of Thanet Gazette 06/03/09 there is a very interesting article on George Sanger and recent developments regarding the animal cages on the Dreamland site. There is a lot of back ground history toGeorge Sanger which I have attached from Margate Historical Society archives for downloading ,this is ideal information for anyone wishing to publish articles on the subject or just enjoying the subject.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Fort Lodge and Fort Paragon

This postcard dated 1904 is a very artistic view of Fort Lodge and Fort Paragon overlooking Fort Green bandstand the present day site of the Winter Gardens. In 1830 John Woodward senior, a local builder commenced building the Fort Paragon Terrace at right angle from the Cliff. This was to take advantage of the opening of the Clifton baths. Later this terrace block as pictured in the postcard become the Fort Paragon Hotel opening only during the tourist season. Due to difficulties competing against luxury hotels which led to bankruptcies in 1908,1912 an 1921 the Hotel was eventually converted into individual houses and flats. Fort Lodge as a popular Hotel lasted longer into the 21st century, even though Fort Lodge was upgraded a few years ago with TDC tourism grants the Hotel was controversially converted into flats ending a era of Hotels in that part of Margate.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Dane Park Margate.

Some photographic postcards of Dane Park, Margate for downloading. They incluid some landmark buildings that are no longer with us. The photograh of the Royal School for the Deaf is dated August 15th 1908, the fountain with the large building in the background is dated April 11th 1911. The black and white view of the pond is Edwardian going by the early landscaping and the later view is early 1920's.

Monday, 2 March 2009

More 1920's Margate Photographs

More quality photographs of early 1920's Margate and Cliftonville for downloading. The background information and detail is a very interesting study into 1920's Margate. It is our seaside heritage so please feel free to copy, reproduce or even publish .

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Tongue Fort

The Tongue Fort disappeared from the North Thanet skyline in February 1996. This article by Mick Twyman gives some historical background into "Margate's oil rig".
I have kept on the following article regarding the "carry on" saga of the demolition of Margate Jetty.
This article is from Margate Historical Society magazine Vol 2 Number 2, March 1999 circulation at the time 160.

Ingersoll's Improved Metallic Lifeboat at Margate Harbour

Like ships in the night Margate Harbour has a very interesting past with many events generally going unrecorded. This download reminds us when Ingersoll's Improved Metallic Lifeboat visited Margate after sailing the Alantic in 1866.

Margate Harbour in the 1920's

These photographs are from the 1920's and are common views overlooking the harbour. When scanned the background detail can give at lot of information like in the top photograph. The sluice or "tunnel" at the back of the harbour looks like an entrance to a cave. In the background the Metrople Hotel is in its former glory and Holy Trinity Church dominates the skyline. The other photgraph below of the Harbour was more than likely taken on the same day from the Parade.

I have added this photograph with excellent detail of the Parade, outside the White Hart hotel is a open top double decker bus destined for Westgate and Birchington.

These photographs are from my collection, please feel free to download and copy for your collection or whatever.