Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Monday, 22 June 2009

Do you remember the Mechanical Elephant ?


At a party this weekend the subject of Margate's mechanical elephant was brought up in conversation in between the disco music and alcohol. Just to prove that I have a memory like an Elephant I have reproduced Tim Keenan's article from Bygone Margate Volume 7 Number 1 January 2004 for the person concerned.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Margate Cinemas - The Astoria, Cameo and the Parade











In answer to a request regarding the Parade Cinema that once operated in the Old Town, Margate. I came across other articles on the Astoria and Cameo Cinema's produced by Mick Twyman & Alf Beeching for the Margate Historical Society in the 2006 later editions. To keep the subject on Margate Cinemas interesting I have grouped them.
As usual all these articles are for downloading and research so feel free to add to your collection.




Old Town Margate - Market Place fire 1905

















There are any accounts of the fire of the 23rd January 1905 at the Market Place , Margate in which P.C John Rolfe died. This article by Chris Sandwell for the Margate Historical Society Vol 9 No 2 (Summer 2006) is one of the most detailed of the tragic event.

Below is a picture of George Mence Smith's shop from around 1883/84 as featured earlier from the collection of Tony Lee.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Old Town Margate - Love Lane









My good friend Cllr Iris Johnston has asked me for some information on the Old Town of Margate. Iris as we all know is working closely with the old town action group with her colleague Cllr John Watkins. As this is a community sort of project I will put the info I have on my blog so it can be shared and people can make contributions, please feel free to copy and reproduce. I am starting with Love Lane as shown in this picture taken in 1953, on the left is Sam Read's scrapyard and over the road surrounded by corrugated iron was where he stored his scrap iron. To the right is the Love Lane Hotel built in 1857. On the corner is the back of the Crown Hotel, Broad Street and directly ahead is R.G Scott & Sons the locally famous pork butchers.
I have included some notes below by Dr Alan Kay for further research. The Mansion article is a bonus.



































Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The loss of Pilot Officer Johnny Allen DFC

Next year will be the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain a time to reflect on the heroism of the “few” whose gallantry played a crucial role in the outcome of the Second World War. Many pilots died in combat during the Battle of Britain and very few of us even know the names of those who died over the skies of Thanet during the Second World War as such events are often passed from word to mouth and memories become jaded.

One such event is the death of Pilot Officer John Allen who is buried at Margate Cemetery after his Spifire crashed into the substation at Omer Avenue, Cliftonville on 24th July 1940. The story is well known in Cliftonville and thanks to John Williams’s aviation historian to the Margate Historical Society I am able to piece together some of the factual history of the events of midday of the 24th July 1940.

On July 24th 1940 Pilot Officer John Allen of No 54 Squadron based at RAF Rochford was flying a Supermarine Spitfire MK1 serial number R6812 when he was engaged in combat breaking up a formation of 40 Bf109’s and 2 Staffelen of Dorniers threatening to attack a convoy of small colliers in the Channel and Thames Estuary .
During combat over Margate his engine was damaged after being hit by fire from a Bf109 of the Luftwaffe unit Jg 26 flown by German ace Adolf Galland. With a damaged engine he attempted to reach RAF Manston but his engine stalled and he was seen making for Foreness in a controlled descent with a dead engine. The engine restarted causing him again to make for Manston . Unfortunatley the engine stopped again and while trying to turn for Foreness he stalled and spun in, crashing into the substation at Omer Avenue, Cliftonville killing 24 year old John Allen.
One of the first people at the scene of thecrash was Colin Cuthbert who had tried in vain with others to try and save John Allen but the flames of the burning aircraft were too intense. John Allen’s funeral later took place at Margate Cemetery where he is buried.


No 54 Squadron assisted by 6 Spitfires from No 65 based at Manston held the Lutwaffe in close engagement for such a long period that the Germans had to break off the attack as low fuel forced them to break off the engagement and return to France in their escape manouvre the Split S and smoking engines.
The Lufwaffe lost 2 Bf106 aircraft on 24th July 1940 over Margate, one Bf109 was shot down at 13:00hrs and forced landed at Northdown , Margate with the pilot seriously injured . The other was shot down over Margate at 13:05 hrs and crashed in Byron Avenue , killing the pilot whose parachute failed to open when he bailed out. The RAF also had Spitfire R6710 damaged over Margate which was able to land with the Pilot H.K.F Matthews receiving just minor injuries. The British shipping loses were 2 minesweeper trawlers.

In the book “The Men of the Battle of Britain” by Kenneth G. Wynn published by Gliddon Books ISBN 0 947893 15 6 Johnny Allen is mentioned.

“On May 21st , 1940 between Dunkirk and Calais, Allen probably destroyed a JU88, 54 squadrons first victory. Two days later he and Alan Deere escorted Squadron Leader J. Leathart, flying a Miles Master to Calais Marck airfield to pick up a commanding officer of No 74 Squadron who was stranded there. 12 Bf109s attacked the Master but were engaged by Allen and Deere who between them shot down 3 and badly damaged 3 more, Allen destroying 1 and damaging 2.”
“On May 25th 1940 his engine was hit by a cannon shell and he bailed out in the channel near a destroyer . He returned to the squadron after three days in a sailor’s uniform carrying a kit bag”
“Allen was awarded the DFC on 11th June 1940 and received it from the King at a ceremony at Hornchurch on June 27th 1940, in company with Deere and Leathart, who were awarded the DFC and DSO respectively”

Pilot Officer John Allen DFC in combat destroyed eight aircraft of which 1 was shared, and had five unconfirmed destroyed.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Foreness Point 1900


This photograph of Foreness Point in its natural state was taken in 1900. Like many geological views they are time less until sea defence work is carried out. The view is almost symmetrical to Botany Bay looking west.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Marble Hall, Northdown Road


Marble Hall was the Herbert Hills butchers shop that traded from the corner of Northdown Road and Bath Hill Margate. This picture from around the 1920's shows the proprietor as being R J Harrington. It is interesting that the meat is hanging on the outside of the shop something the environmental health people would frown upon today.

Old Margate Pubs - The Royal Oak


Following on from yesterday's posting of the picture of the pre first world war "Star Inn" , Margate High Street. This photograph was taken about sixty years later of the "Royal Oak" which was down the road at 143 High Street, Margate. Like all buildings on that side of the road it was demolished as part of a road widening scheme and the building of Sheen Court.
Studying the detail, the boarded up building next door has posters advertising the sale of damaged goods from the Hippodrome.
This photograph is from the collection of Mick Twyman and is part of the Margate Historical Society archive and is for downloading.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Old Margate Pubs - The Star Inn , Margate High Street


This picture is of the Star Inn, Margate, 161 High Street it is so rare it is probably the only one in existance. It is from the collection of Tony Lee who sent it in following a request from a reader Steve S who ancestors once ran the pub.
The pub was demolished around the first world war.

Kemp & Brenchley , Mill Lane , Margate


This rare postcard featured in the Margate Historical Society millennium booklet "Bygone Margate". Taken in mill lane in 1910 and shows staff and horse drawn transport of Kemp and Brenchley, wholesale tobacco and confection merchants, whose premises were on the corner of Mill Lane and Latimer Place. They were agents for the quaintly named "Fer Famed Cake Company" whose products are prominently advertised on the building and delivery vans. Also advertised are Grapevine cigarettes, 8 pence for ten and Albian cheroots at 2 pence for five. Kemp and Brenchley were later taken over by the other famous Margate business of A.Norman Reeves.

Map of Margate 1955




Two sections of a map of Margate in 1955 which may help placing some of the photographs I have covered this month.

Iron Bridge Margate Seafront













This photograph of Margate seafront I believe must date around the 1860's and is from the collection of Anthony Lee, who I would like to thank for sharing with us. The iron bridge over the slipway can be clearly seen and it is probably the best view of the bridge in detail I have ever seen. The bridge was removed following the construction of Marine Drive and the construction of the Clocktower.

Old Margate Pubs - The Walmer Castle




This photograph is of the Walmer Castle was taken in 1965. The Walmer Castle was on the corner of Mill Lane and Crambourne Alley, the address being 15 Crambourne Alley. Like every other building in that area it was demolished as part of a road widening scheme and the building of Sheen Court.
Below is another Mill Lane view showing the view after the Walmer Castle had been demolished which is on the left of the picture.
Both pictures are from the Margate Historical Society archive and are for downloading and there is no copyright because the History of Margate belongs to everyone.

Northdown Road 1911


This photographic postcard of Northdown Road, Margate is postmarked 5th January 1911 and is a excllent view of the Tram service that ran down the centre of the road. The solid building on the left with the pillars is the National Westminster Bank.

Bobby's 1960's Northdown Road


This photograph of the Bobby's Northdown Road, Margate store in the 1960's. Opened on 4th July 1913 and closed after the January sales in 1973.

Kings Arms Hotel 1908


This postcard postmarked October 17th 1908 of the Kings's Arms Hotel one of the oldest pubs in Margate and dates back to the 18th Century. The landlord in 1908 was Charles Knight and I am not sure if that is him in the picture.
In later years the Pub was renamed the Dogget, Coat and Badge

Pettman removals 1920


This photograph if of one of F.L Pettman removal lorries taken in the 1920's outside the gates of Dane Park. The firm was founded by Frederick Lewis Pettman who was the chairman of the business until his death in 1948. F.L Pettman was Mayor of Margate from 1932 to 1935, a freeman of the borough and a JP.
His business interests include a removal company and depository, a coal merchants, Sunbeam Photographs and the Kent Pure Ice Company in Bath Road. F.L Pettamn also owned the rights to the foreshore at Cliftonville which enabled him to run the Pettman Bathing Company in the later part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century.
The vehicle pictured during the summer months would have been hired out to the railway company on Fridays and Saturdays delivering luggage to the Hotels and Guesthouses.
The photograph is from the Margate Historical Society archive and is for downloading.

Market Place, Margate 1883 - 84


This picture is from the south side of the Margate Place, Margate dated around 1883-84 and is from the collection of Anthony Lee who I would like to thank for sharing it with us.
The shops shown match those listed in the Isle of Thanet directory 1883-84 and they are as follows.
Market Place
18. George M Smith , oil and colourman
19. Gegan & Niblett , pawnbrokers
20. W.S Harvey, dispensing chemist
Market Street
1.Thomas Goodyear, grocer

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Hawley Street Taxi office


This photograph is for anybody who use Taxis in Margate, it was taken in 1900 when the office in Hawley Street was a small shop. There is a girl in the photograph standing upright with her hands behind her back facing towards Cecil Square which is a strange pose.

Nayland Rock 1871


This photograph of the Nayalnd Rock was taken in 1871 and like some Victorian photography it does not do the fine building justice. It looks like something from the Soviet era.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Mill Lane 1965


Another photograph from 1965 Margate of the corner of Mill Lane. The road to the right leads to Cecil Square and the one to the left is the original Mill Lane. The building on the corner was demolished to eventually make way for Mill Lane House which was originaly built as cheaper office space to entice business away from London, dream on. The first business to move in was a bedding centre and later a dental surgery. Today the Isle of Thanet Gazette is the latest tennant to move in.

Hawkes Bazaar, Cliff Terrace, Margate


Hawkes Bazaar, Cliff Terrace , Margate well stocked up with a good supply of buckets and spades judging by the amount for sale in the bottom left hand corner of the photograph.

Margate Seafront around 1930


A photograph of Margate Seafront around 1930 with some noticeable changes from the Victorian era. I am a bit surprised at the condition of Marine Gardens perhaps the local town council had budget problems at the time of the Great Depression and found things a bit tight.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

"Hats & Deckchairs" Westbrook sands 1900










If I had to nominate a heritage photograph of a Victorian Margate seaside scene this would be the one. Even though there is a absense of bathers this photograph captures everything in detail of a Victorian beach scene. I really love the hats in this one.
Please feel free to download and add to your collection.I have scanned sections at a higher resolution for those who like to study detail.














The Parade, Margate architecture 1890


This photograph dated 1890 is of the Parade, Margate. The detail of Victorian life is fascinating when the detail is enlarged. Like many pictures I have featured lately they have buildings that have either been demolished and burnt to the ground, in this case it is the White Hart Hotel. Another noticeable feature are the railings that became a casualty of the 1953 storm.
The photograph is from the Margate Historical Society archive and belongs to Mick Twyman and is for you to download for your collection.

Old Margate Pubs - Druids Arms


The Druids Arms was a Thompson & Wotton house situated on the corner of St John's Road and St John's Street , Margate. The pub and other buildings were demolished as a result of the ill thought Margate by pass and the site remained a car park until the early eighties (1982 or 83?) when flats were built on the site.
This photograph was taken in 1965 and is from the Margate Historical Society archive please feel free to add to your collection.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Mill Lane top of Margate High Street 1965




This photograph from the Margate Historical Society archive was taken at the top of Margate High Street in 1965 looking towards Mill Lane . The Plaza Cinema would have been to the photographers left. The shop on the left is Chart ladies fashions and in the window the fashion is typical mid 1960's. Directly ahead are the buildings that were demolished to make way for a car park and eventually the multi storey car park development we have today. The shop belonging to Katherine Sykes on the right was demolished to make way for the so called Margate bypass, one of the ill fated Council decisions that came to nothing during the late 60's. The dual carriage way started at the top of the High Street and only got as far as Churchfields 150 yards away when the project was shelved. In the picture below is another picture of Kathleen Sykes shop and next door is the infamous Silver Slipper cafe otherwise known as the "Rusty boot", a well known motor bikers cafe of the 1960's frequented by "rockers".

Old Margate Pubs, The Hope & Anchor


This picture was taken in 1950 of the Hope & Anchor 173/175 High Street, Margate. The Hope & Anchor was demolished to make way for the flats at the top of Margate High Street and a "new" Hope & Anchor was built along the Ramsgate Road. The photograph is from the Margate Historical Society collection and feel free to add to your Margate collection.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Old Margate Pubs , The Brewers Arms


This photograph of the the Brewers Arms, Margate High Street is probably the only one in existence, making it exceptionally rare. The Brewers Arms stood on the site of where W.H Smith is today. As you can see in the photograph the pub is a Cobb & Co house, however the origins of M J Harlow mineral water manufacturers started from the Brewers Arms. Early bottles produced by the company had the address of the Brewers Arms embossed or acid etched on the bottle. Like the photograph the bottles are exceptionally rare.
The photograph is from the Margate Historical Society collection and belongs to Mick Twyman. Mick has no objections to anyone copying this photograph so please feel free to copy and add your collection. There is a file in the Margate Museum in the archive of all the Old Margate pubs both past and present which is no longer accessible to the public. Fortunately I have some photographs from the Margate Historical Society archive of old Margate pubs that are no longer with us that I will publish as part of my one photograph a day for June.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bobby's Northdown Road 1940


This photograph of Bobby's Northdown Road ,Cliftonville , Margate was taken was taken outside the Belle View during the early part of the Second World War. There isn't a car in sight .

Cecil Square & the Hippodrome


A view of Cecil Square and the Hippodrome , Margate. Most likely pre first world war and can probably can be dated by the two cars in Cecil Square. There is some good detail like trees growing in Union Crescent. Please feel free to copy and add to your collection.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Cliftonville Hotel 1876


This photograph taken in 1876 is of the Cliftonville Hotel , Margate on the corner of Dalby Square. Cliftonville actually took its name from the Hotel which is a fine example of Victorian Architecture which was demolished in the name of progress. Please feel free to download and copy to add to your collection.
This month I will publishing a picture a day of old Margate as a protest at the way Thanet District Council is treating our heritage by keeping the Margate Museum closed and the way Margate has declined. Please feel free to copy anything on my blog to add to your collection and reproduce if you so wish.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Harriet Wellard

I have received this enquiry below regarding a Harriet Wellard a former councillor or Mayoress ? The obvious line of research would be to look up a obituary in the local papers at the Margate Museum. As that cannot be done, has anybody out there got any information that may help.


"In the absence of the Margate Museum, I wonder if you would know where I could find information about a Harriet Wellard, who I am lead to believe was either a Margate Councillor, or Lady Mayoress of Margate. She was born in 1868, and died in 1956. From the early 1920's until her death, she lived at 28 Tivoli Road Margate.
I have spoken to the Mayor parlour, who could give me details of the recent councillors, and a list of Mayor since the inception of the Borough of Margate. I have spoken to TDC, who thought the information would be in the Margate Museum, but try the Library. At the end of the day, all fingers point to the Museum! Are documents accessible?
The history behind Harriet is just a family story / myth that I would like to either confirm, or disprove.
Any help grateful received."