Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Friday, 28 February 2014

George Hatcher and other Margate Boat Builders

This is a good read, Margate Boat builders by Frank Spain from the Margate Historical Society archive. Some people may even remember George Hatcher.

Fire at the Hippodrome

I do not attract many comments on my blog, so when I do I take note. These photographs are a bit of Hippodrome nostalgia and the other is something older on the same site worth giving a mention.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Iron age well sites at Minnis Bay

Following an article in the Isle of Thanet Gazette on the archaeological digs at Minnis Bay  conducted by  Antoinette Powell Cotton I contacted the Powell Cotton Museum as they requested anyone with memories of the digging to come forward . I then met up with the archaeologist who is coordinating the research.
 I received my brief and I went walking and bingo I came across this. It is a Iron age well listed as MED 39 and has been back filled after excavation with granite pegs. This photograph confirms its existence to the map and information they have.
Being  archaeological sensitive  sites I have no intention of disturbing them as my brief is to just re confirm their existence for modern data processing.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Cecil Square before the TDC offices were built.

Nostalgia for some, this is Cecil Square early seventies. The Hippodrome has gone, the Centre is under construction  and the foundation work for the Courthouse and TDC offices begin.

Ramsgate in photographs

Some of these Ramsgate photographs may have been well and truly circulated I may have even posted them at one point. As I am emptying this folder I am posting all what I have for your enjoyment please feel free to download.

Margate in the 1930's in photographs.

Sorting through a number of files I can across a small folder of miscellaneous photographs taken in Margate in the 1930's. I have posted the lot for your enjoyment and please feel free to download.

Margate football team 1930 - 1931

Dreamland 1930's

Event in Cecil Square possible 1935 silver jubilee.

Margate's political elite of the day

Clifton Boys Football club 1933 -1934
Sporting event in Cliftonville
Crowds on the main sands circa 1930's

Dane Park 1934

Northdown Road 1938

Northdown Road 1936

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Ramsgate artefacts - TDC and the forlorn hope

This week I have had only one item come in and that is from Ramsgate and it is a piece of Chatham House history a parents association newsletter  dated 1934.
As I write I expect the audit and cataloging of the TDC art and artefacts collection at the Margate Museum is well under way a process that is long overdue by all accounts. To get this far is a result but does it end there?
Well I would think probably not, because it has to be considered that this task is correcting years of local government neglect on an epic scale that involves at least 20,000 items. I have no longer any doubt over the job getting done now they have got a TDC Councillors son heading the audit and I understand he is very experienced at that type of thing. I find it no coincidence that within the system they are now touting for a £25k job position to cover the role.
The real question is will TDC Councillors or even Joe Public get to know any of the more gory details of the findings. I not being cynical but I was approached by someone within the audit process asking me about a painting they “think” may be worth £200K and asked me what I thought. Well the answer is simple ask a fine art expert not me.  This one item alone really does high light the complexity of what lies within the system and I think TDC Councillors really need to keep tabs on this. Considering the next artefacts working party meeting is in August and a lot can happen between now and then that Councillors wouldn't even know about.
As you can gather my name is mud within Margate historical circles and I don’t expect it is high up on the list among the Ramsgate clique either. I may be a Ramsgate Town Councillor but I am not a political careerist so at the end of the day what people think doesn't really matter at all and taking on the forlorn hope is something I am used to.
I have been looking into Ramsgate artifacts issues and to be honest it is dire and sadly the same applies to Broadstairs.  I have no doubt that the local government process has let both towns down for decades.
Ramsgate may have been a victim of the library fire but there has been no attempt at all to pick up the pieces regarding town history. Following the last RTC meeting I find it is going to be a hard job to sell this to other members plus RTC is badly infected with the goings on at TDC. I think I will have to change tack and the priority has to be fine art, decorative art and unique items with a provenance if I have to sell this to RTC members.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Ramsgate artefacts - a ramble.

There have been a few Ramsgate items turning up in recent weeks that are of interest. This ginger beer salt glaze earthenware bottle was sent to me via facebook and what a gem it is. It is an exceptionally rare Josiah Edward Austin mineral water bottle made specifically for the Granville Hotel. Josiah Austin was in business producing mineral water between 1887 to 1913 and supplied only hotels and inns in Ramsgate.
There have been many bottle pictures being circulated around facebook  this month that suggests there is a dig going on somewhere.

This medal was awarded to Mayor W Coleman 1905 - 06 , 1924 - 1925 and 1928. It was offered to Ramsgate Town Council for £2,000 and was turned down. It has no makers mark and there is no hall mark. The absence of official marks does makes it difficult to match up with the box it is in. The box is for an item made by silversmith Solomon Joel Philllips of Bond Street, on the reverse it is stamped "18" and that is meaningless. The seller in Germany said it was 18ct gold but there is no hallmark to prove it, anyway like I said it was turned down at that price.

I often wonder how much fine art and decorative there is related to Ramsgate on the open market because apart from the Mayor's town silver collection items are not widely known. Even going through "official" collection lists there are very few items that can be classed as fine or decorative art which is a shame considering the size and status of Ramsgate in its time. Margate on the other hand is different and it is a job to keep up with it.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Ramsgate artefacts - the Albion House inventory March 2010

Today I asked the town clerk of Ramsgate Town Council for a copy of the inventory for Albion house and he printed off a copy just like that and handed it to me. I  just wish every thing in life was as easy as that and it does prove there is no secrecy regarding Ramsgate Town Council.
Studying the list it is noticeable that there is very little attention to detail and it does read  like a fire auction list. An example being " framed print harbour scene" , now what sort of description is that, it could be a de Loutherbourg, a Francis Jukes print or even something picked up for a tenner at a boot fair. Who is to know ? .
Most of it is recent as in so far as it includes civic gifts but there are items of historic interest that I think require looking into like framed prints for example. I have posted the list for all the Ramsgate watchers as this is public property.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Ramsgate artefacts - aquisitions

More from the daily rant- this time recent acquisitions. For an organisation that does not display Ramsgate artefacts the library seems to be making a few  acquisitions as this list of new items implies. I like the bit  "others may have been part of the collection" another example of previously poor record keeping in the past perhaps ?
Anyway this list is not really intended to have a dig at the library system it is for Ramsgate watchers  to make note of the details. interested to note that the Ramsgate library are photographing their items plus the new Rxxx number.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Ramsgate artefacts - TDC loans

This is a copy of the loan list of items loaned to Ramsgate Town Council by Thanet District Council. In total, it amounts to twenty items. Some numbered with TDC identification numbers and others that are not. What intrigues me however is how some of the items managed to come into TDC possession in the first place considering some items are clearly Ramsgate civic and item 3 for example was once displayed in Albion House and has no TDC identification.
It is an established fact  that all TDC artwork , printed matter like photographs, unframed prints etc..,  have an  identification number and to date I have found that most Ramsgate pre 1974 items  generally fall in the 7000 to 7999 TDC number range . On the list items 5 & 6 have a “J” number  that indicates the prints have come from a Borough of  Margate collection then re listed as a TDC item. Under the new TDC re numbering and cataloging these older numbers will be retained with the new number on the TDC data base to keep provenance.

Items  2 & 3 arrived at the Margate Museum when the TDC items were being removed from Albion House and the same applied to item 8. As I stated earlier there was no paper trail, they carry no TDC identification and this is evidence enough to suggest that the Albion House clearances need looking into.  Without TDC identification these items must have belonged to the Ramsgate Charter Trustees and if they didn't it just beggars belief that these items have remained un audited in a council building for 40 years. With this level of neglect how can anybody be 100% sure about the past security of Albion House items?  Another example has to be Item 4, Ramsgate post 1974 civic items in TDC ownership, Hmmm...,

Another point I should mention  is the description of item 9 being a print titled “Ramsgate” engraved by F Jukes. In fact this print is worth more that all the other items put together. It is a Aquatint drawn and engraved by Francis Jukes, published June 21st 1787 Howland Street, Bryden , Charing Cross , London . It is also described in  art catalogs as “further inscribed with topographical details of the harbour in pen and ink then executed in watercolour”. Sanders of Oxford have one up for sale at £600 and elsewhere on the internet a good quality framed reproduction is yours for £100. More details can be found on the internet.