Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Thanet Amber coast

Even though Thanet has no Amber deposits off shore, Amber has been found along the Thanet coastline after wintry gales for centuries. Normally found along the strandline this fossilized tree resin originates from the Baltic, as comparisons which Baltic specimens prove without doubt. There have been many written articles on Thanet Amber and there have been some amazing discoveries, so what I am writing is nothing new.
However, as we enter into winter there is now another opportunity to find some interesting specimens. That is depending on which side of the island you are when the wind blows and the amount of seaweed that comes ashore as amber is generally found amongst the seaweed with the smaller the pieces of weed the better. Places like Walpole bay Cliftonville are excellent in strong northwesterly winds especially when there are small patches of seaweed ashore between the groynes, West bay is just as good in any northerly wind in the middle of the bay, in Ramsgate you can get two bites of the cherry as north east winds (main sands) and south west winds also produce amber with the Western Undercliff being a hot spot in south westerly gales. In each case it is really down the how strong the wind is blowing in your face from off the sea and how the sea weed is deposited on the beach.
Colours of the Amber vary from a clear brown to a translucent yellow/orange; it is not unusual to find white Amber.
Pictured are four pieces from my collection, the two pound coin is included to give some idea of scale. The top left came from Margate Harbour as the Harbour Arm is a excellent trap in westerly winds, the bottom left piece was found in Kingsgate Bay(easterly winds) and being clear there is forest debris visible. The top right was found in West Bay and the bottom right came from Walpole Bay from the areas mentioned earlier.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Tomson & Wotton table water

During the late Victorian period up until the early 1920's , there were 23 mineral water manufacturers recorded as operating during that period in Thanet. Many being small independant manufacturers trading for a few years. The mineral water trade in Margate was dominated by the big three Reeve, Barrett and Harlow. However in Broadstairs and Ramsgate there was no such dominance with many smaller companies supplying both visitors and locals. The Granvile Hotel even produced and bottled its own mineral water in coloured glass bottles which are highly collectable today. Other lesser known manufactures were Silas Daniel the Chemist in Harbour Street, Mrs Smith of Turner Street,George Sykes and Darling & Co both of Turner Street. There were also larger concerns like S.G Philpott of Cavendish Street and Josiah Edward Austin of Victoria Road Ramsgate. Even the brewers got in on the act like E G Wastell of Queen Street Ramsgate and Tomson & Wotton also of Queen Street.
Tomson & Wooton had been long established brewers in the town for many years with Tomson brewing since the 17th Century. In 1889 the company opened a shop in Canterbury in St Dunstans Street selling stouts , ales and table water. The table water was produced at the Queen Street brewery and was also sold in Thanet. Pictured above is a Tompson & Wotton table water bottle found on a local dig which is an early version of the crown cap flat bottom variety of the early Edwardian style.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Margate Edwardian beach scene

Two images of Edwardian Margate beach entertainment, the top postcard is dated August 23rd 1902 featuring Uncle Bones (Alfred Bourne) and his Minstrels. The other is a photograph circulating in Margate Historical circles dated 1905 and also features Uncle Bones and his Minstrels.

The postcard was actually posted to a Monsieur Paul Roden , Par de Calais as pictured below.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Victorian gaming tokens

Whenever I read or see anything referring to George IV, Hanover and young Queen Victoria the first thing that always comes to mind is Ramsgate. Therefore these gaming tokens or jetons are no exception. Perhaps they have no association with Ramsgate but when holding them in my hand I must admit my imagination does run wild thinking of the history as they are local finds and all have been used I presume on gambling tables .
Pictured above are obverse and reverse scans, the top right token is of George IV and the reverse reads born 1762 died 24th June 1830 beloved & lamented crowned July 21st 1821 .
The others are young Victoria and the reverse of two of them are taking a satirical poke at the Duke of Cumberland who even though was deeply unpopular at the time was a Hanoverian royal who contested the throne when William IV died. He believed as in Hanoverian law that only males should inherit the throne and he should be monarch instead of Victoria. However, this was not to be much to the relief of the population. The story of this token can be googled to find more information. One site I found interesting on this token was Chard Coins at which is an excellent reference of old and modern issues for collectors and investors.
The brass token on the bottom left is another gaming token which on the reverse has the coat of arms of Prince Albert .

Thursday, 3 September 2009

1930's Foreness Bay

This quality photograph is of Foreness Bay in the 1930's with some excellent detail. This photograph is perhaps one of the finest I have seen of bathing tents at Cliftonville. In 1920's & 1930's Cliftonville it was not the done thing to walk to and from the hotel to the beach in ones swimwear. People were expected to change on the beach after all we are British, so in order to do so, beach tents and huts to allow people to change in were hired from the Pay Office on the promenade. Like many social changes after the second world war bathing tents disappeared.
On another point I am doing a interview with radio kent on West Bay on beachcombing at 11:30 should be fun.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Doing the decent thing.

Following on from a previous posting regarding M. J. Harlow Mineral Water Manufacturers Margate. I have received a number of emails from Joyce Greaves who happens to be a direct descendant to M J Harlow . Joyce has sent me some facts and images that will be of great interest to local historians and mineral water bottle collectors alike. However, I have suggested to Joyce that she writes up a story and send it to a local paper. On my part I given her one of the bottles in the picture compliments of the Margate Historical Society.
If anyone has any snippets, ads etc., regarding M J Harlow just send them to me and I will forward them to Joyce.