Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Behind the Droit House
These two photographs of which I apologise for the quality were taken in the 1980's. They were taken behind the Droit House, Margate shorty after the first northerly storm had hit the newly constructed breakwater on the site of the old jetty entrance. Looking at both photographs it is clear how much sand had swept away just by measuring the distance between the green seaweed and the water. The depth of the water is about 12 inches and bottom is chalk bedrock.
For the first time in living memory this was the first time the sand had disappeared in the area leaving all metal items just laying on the bedrock. Unfortunately it was impossible to metal detect with a 1980's metal detector and to make matters even worse the water was like ice. The water was cloudy so it was a case of feeling around with my hands at any object that either looked like a coin or something of interest. I was full of optimism as a few years previously (1980) when the sand in that area had dropped a few feet I was able find find some Victorian gold jewellery and other Victorian items of interest. So in theory anything metal would be laying on the bedrock. I was to find coins but it was agony and within 15 minutes my hands were totally numb, the coins I found were mostly Victorian and a few went back to George III.
Once my hands had reconnected with the rest of my body I took some photographs and did a mental survey of the area.
In one photograph some sacks of cement can be seen stuck to harbour wall where a emergency repair had once taken place and they had been left there. In the photograph on the right the blocked up sluice that used to run through the harbour can be seen. When the sluice gate was constructed carts would pass through the sluice full of silt from the harbour to be dump the contents outside the harbour wall. To make it easier for the carts a granite roadway or slipway was constructed and without the sand present it could be clearly seen in the water. There were many large blocks that had fallen from the stone pier in various storms and a few can be seen in the photographs. I did find a large copper pipe that had been seam welded which gives some idea of the date.
As soon as I finished what I needed to do I took the copper pipe to Sam Reid's in Love Lane and weighed it in as scrap, then off toHarbour cafe for a tea to sort out the coins I had found.