Saturday, 4 June 2011

Tip and run - the Margate Sands bomb crater

I have received a reply from John Williams aviation archivist for the Margate Historical Society and he informs me that the prime suspect for the bomb crater could be the raid of 1st June 1943 which was a quick tip and run. Which was Simon's theory when Alisdair said it is a bomb crater and when I questioned what may have been the target.

John's reply is as follows;

"This may well be a left-over from the air-raid of 1st June,1943. The aircraft taking part were Focke-Wulf Fw190fighter-bombers of 11/SKG10. If it had been dropped by a Junkers Ju88 or a Heinkel He111 you would have a stick of bombs,i.e. quite a few craters in a line across the beach and lower town area.The lower part of the High Street received a 500 kg bomb from one of the twelve aircraft taking part (Messrs Tumbersand White Fuller's destroyed). The raid took place at 13.00hrs on Tuesday,1st June,1943. Bombs fell at the following locations;-St.Peter's Road, Thanet Road, Northdown Road, Laleham Road, Dalby Square, St.Mildred Road, St.Pauls Road, Milton Square, Warwick Road, Cornwall Gardens, Approach Road,High Street, Athelstone Road, Dane Park and Lower Fort Promenade. One 500kg bomb failed to explode. One bomb (500kg) destroyed Holy Trinity Church. Total casualties;-sixteen killed, thirteen seriously injured and fifty-seven slightly injured (War Graves Commission lists nine civilians dead.)."

I should also add this very same raid caused the Tudor House to list sligthly and caused the collapse of the north wall in the Grotto alter chamber. However, I am not sure the impact it had on the Margate caves.

It's a bomb crater.

At 19:00 hrs (03/06/11) an hour before low water I carried out a complete search on the site of the ship wreckage and the mysterious hole on Margate main sands. I was soon joined by Simon Moores who recorded the event, Alisdair Bruce local geologist , his partner Kim and Fiona Sherriff who acted as an observer.

My role was to seek out as much historical evidence from the site as possible. Alisdair did a geological survey taking samples and was quick to confirm that the mysterious hole was in fact a bomb crater. Like myself , Alisdair agreed that the wreck was oak and the construction was from the bottom of the vessel , however there was an absence of a Keel that maybe buried. The timbers of the wreckage are in remarkable condition and they are free of worm and I am still content to stick to my 1877 storm theory as mentioned earlier.

Around both the wreckage and the hole the area is littered with shards of china and broken glass which all present started collecting and examining. Considering that metal detector users have already been over the site there was a absence of coins and other non ferrous metals. However, I was lucky enough to find a 1855 penny which I have scanned in. Amongst the broken china and glass was everything I would expect to find associated with Margate's seaside past. There were pieces of Victorian glass from bottles of local mineral water companies, pieces of china from steamer companies that even though there were no motives on the china I knew the company designs like General Steam and Navigation Company. Also I came across pieces of quality china from the Victorian restaurants and caterers from Marine Terrace.

All the finds for that search that I found are are now with the Marine Studios Albert Terrace as they now have first refusal on everything I find in the Margate area plus they now hold all my Margate recent finds. I did find two items associated with Ramsgate which I have at home to accompany my Ramsgate historical research.

Finaly, I have emailed John Williams of the Margate Historical Society on his opinion of the bomb crater which will be informative.

Friday, 3 June 2011

A fresh water spring maybe on Margate Sands ?

Following on from the previous posting about the mysterious clay hole on Margate Sands I also came across water rising up from under the sand about 100 metres east from the clay hole. The water is exceptionally cold and it is drinkable, which does lead me to think maybe it is a fresh water spring. If I am right it could be of some significance as in ancient times human habitation was never far from a source of water supply. About 19:30 hrs (03/06/11) tonight the tide will be out far enough to work on the site, if you are interested I will see you down there.