This postcard dated around late 1940's early 1950's is of the Bathing Pavillion on Margate main sands.Commonly known as the Sundeck it was opened on 23rd July 1926 to accomodate 320 bathers. Designed by a Mr G C Wilkins and built by L H Snowdon of Kingsgate at a cost of £28,000. The construction used about 410 tons of steel , the steel stanchions were bedded five feet into the chalk, and the main decking area was 305ft x 88.5 ft wide and the approach was 112ft x 40 ft wide. This construction survived numerous storms and a world war before being demolished in the late 1980's.
On the day of the opening the Mayor was given a gold key by the contractors. Declaring the Sundeck open the Mayor stated that Margate was one of the most up to date and enterprizing towns in the kingdom. How times have changed.
On the nearest left hand corner on the sundeck is a sunbeam photo's kiosk. Sunbeam photographed any vistor regardless of class and status as they walked along the promenades, sundecks and pier, later selling the photgraphs from pick up kiosks. In fact Sumbeam photgraphed everything and the record of their works is a fine example of social history of vistors to Margate. Thanet District Council does own a fine collection of topographical black and white Sunbeam photographs of the coastline and other locations taken pre war and post war. The collection is housed in the Margate Museum and is catalogued. I have copied many of the photographs for use on my blog and some are in the archive of Simon Moores Thanetlife blog. On the Margate Museum website there is also a brief history of Sunbeam Photo's on this month's featured article.
Finally, the picture of the Viking ship I use as my picture is a sunbeam one. It was taken off Viking Bay in 1949 as the Viking Ship approached the Bay. Today as we all know the Viking ship now displayed at Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate.