At present we are all witnessing a new chapter in Margate's history with the construction of the Turner Center , Margate. Twenty five years ago another chapter closed with the demolition of the Jetty entrance.
Badly damaged after a storm in January 1978 the remains of the Jetty entrance was being replaced by a sea wall as part of a upgrade of the sea defences protecting the old town. The demolition was swift and clinical and within weeks the site was cleared. It was so trouble free there was even time for the contractors to salvage many of the green heart piles and beams that had stood firm for 125 years.
As soon as the contractors had gone the site was left for a few weeks before construction of the breakwater leaving the upturned sand and chalk exposed to the elements, which in turn unearthed many items of Margate's past. Using a metal detector I was able to find many coins, buttons, badges, lead items and military items on the site. The earliest items came from the George III period around 1790's to the present, to give some idea of the scale of the finds I had to take a large builders bucket each time with me as I was digging there every day for a fortnight. In most cases at lot of the items found were in appalling condition and they were nothing more than scrap even though they were very old. Today from that dig I have very few good items left as most items of interest either ended up in the Margate Museum or in local collections. Fortunately I did take a few photographs, and this one taken behind a rather exposed Droit House and was taken soon after the first concrete block of the breakwater was laid. Please feel free to copy it.