Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

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.

2 comments:

ascu75 aka Don said...

nice little collection wond what happened to Fred Smith

ascu75 aka Don said...

or wonder even LOL