Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Friday, 21 December 2007

Sunbeam photo collection


In the Margate Museum, Thanet District Council owns a huge collection of Sunbeam black and white photographs which runs into hundreds. This one of Palm Bay has been copied by permission of the Margate Museum. On Simon Moores Thanetlife.com there are some on the gallery of old photographs also copied with permission and well worth a look. Should the Margate Museum close it will be interesting to see what TDC will do with the Sunbeam collection. In some cases the black and white photography is stunning and is certainly an art form in its own right. Would you agree

Friday, 17 August 2007

Low tide a Margate

As we approach Autumn a familiar sight on the low water mark on Margate mains sands in the evenings will at least be one person with a metal detector. Some metal detector users may appear to look like "billy no mates", but this time of year right up to the autumn equinox there can be some exceptionaly low tides capable of producing amazing finds. One example, the lowest known point on the low water mark at Margate main sand is clay/sand from the creek. In the clay are the impressions of the tracks from the days of the Bathing machines.
Inside the bathing machines the floor had gaps between the planking to allow seawater to run out. Unfortunately some people dropped valuables through the planking in the bathing machines. This has been prooved because detecting between the tracks has resulted in finds. One example being a gold Victorian collar stud and a half sovereign found by one metal detectorist.

Bellarmine Flagon shards found at Margate.

I recently gave Sarah at the Grotto a neck and a square piece of a Bellarmine flagon found at Margate for exhibition. The neck was found in the cut where Margate Jetty once stood and the other piece showing the effigy of Bellarmine was found in Margate Harbour when surveyors tested the depth of the bedrock in the Harbour in the 1980's.
Bellarmine Flagons have been known to be used localy (east kent) in rituals involving pagan beliefs to ward off evil spirits. The small piece bearing the Bellarmine effigy has been shaped deliberately suggesting it may have been a keep sake. Both pieces are open to interpretation and can be veiwed at the Grotto.

Monday, 30 July 2007

The cave under the Captain Digby

I recently received a email from David Chamberlain regarding his beach combing experiences. I found it a very interesting account, especially his reference to the Cave under the Captain Digby. My own association with the cave was in the summer of 1998 when the back of the cave collapsed leaving a hole in the Captain Digby carpark. It appeared that the hole was the site of the entrance to the back of the cave, sometime in the 1880's the entrance was filled in with Victorian domestic waste. The development of the Captain Digby car park finally capped the entrance sealing in the Victorian waste. Over the years various collapses within the cave exposed bottles and earthenware, both broken and complete in the spoil heap .

I understand from various sources that the collapse began after the January 1978 storm and since then many artefact's have been found.

My finds are mainly bottles and artefact's from the 1998 collapse. They have been given to the Dickens House Museum and added to my bottle collection on display in the Margate Museum. I gave the Drapers Mill collection the ink earthenware's I found.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Crashed aircraft site

refer to posting dated 03/10/08

Monday, 12 February 2007

The opening of the sluice in Margate Harbour

At the time of writing Thanet District Council are proposing opening up the sluice in Margate Harbour to flush out the harbour silt.
In volume nine number two of bygone Margate published by the Margate Historical Society there is an article by Mick Twyman called piering into the past. It covers the issue of the sluice in Margate harbour, and it reads as follows.

In an effort to flush out the Harbour in order to stop it silting up, it was decided to open up a sluice under the wall in the form of an arch 9 feet wide and 9 feet high, the sides being 6 feet to the spring of the arch, and paved at the bottom to also act as a cart road for the removal of silt, this method being quoted as costing only sixpence per ton as to the two shillings per ton cost of filling the lighter by hand for discharge at sea. Nowadays, only a few feet of this arch show, even on the outer wall of the pier, which illustrates just how much levels have risen over the intervening years, but even then the level in the Harbour was six feet higher than that outside. the reasons given for this accumulation were, just as those given today, quite spurious, ranging from the seaweed driven in by gales rotting to make the silt, or the sand churned up by steamboats settling in the wrong place. In fact, one of the proposals once the sluice was built was to station a steamboat stern to it and let the wash from her paddles turn out the silt through the wall
What had in fact caused a rapid worsening of the problem , started initially by the same continuous eastward drift of sand which we still experience today , was the construction of the stone groyne at the Nayland Rock, a project paid by the Company as an experiment to retain sand in the bay which believe it or not , had a lot of shingle in it at the time. Well now they knew the answer and just look at the state of the bay when it will soon be possible to walk from the Clock Tower to the Harbour Slip and only get wet up as far as the knees. This experiment with the sluice cost the Pier & Harbour Co. around 853 pounds, and the project was a failure. After all, how could a tunnel pointing in the direction it did have any effect on clearing detritus and silt from along the wall? In the event, all it did to cause a great agitation of water inside the harbour in rough weather, and almost certainly brought in more sand than it let out.