Many, many years ago in the Sun newspaper there was a short article about the discovery of tropical sea shells on the low tide mark at Margate main sands. I am not sure if the story was in our local papers, but it did open up some local dabate and national publicity as to where the shells came from . So how did they get there ?
Well I was to find out many years later , the culprit being Terry Purser. At the time Terry had a shell shop in the Arlington arcade and at the beginning of each season he would receive a delivery of sea shells from abroad. One year he received a batch and unfortunately a few crates had been penetrated with water. This resulted in the shells in these crates having a coating of a black slime and going slightly off colour . Obviously he couldn't sell them, so he got his son to scatter them on the beach at low tide under darkness. Within in a few days visitors started coming into his shop with these shells, that after a few tides had been cleaned up by the sea, asking if he could identify them. Well it was obvious he could identify them because they were his shells and how people including myself couldn't put two and two together realising he may have something to do with this I do not know.
However, the outcome was to give Margate some very good publicity and as for Terry, well the sale of shells in his shop increased that season and he was quids in.
The photograph is a sand sculpture taken in Orissa, India. Just imagine if something like that was to appear on Margate main sands.