Friday, 24 February 2012

The sea defence diaries 24/02/12 - all hands to the pump

Today I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to witness the the final stages of the under pinning of Margate Stone Pier as a matter of historical record. For all the guys working on the site it certainly was a case of all hands to the pump as they were capping the piling as the tide came in, if that is the correct terminology to use. It did make me smile when I could hear someone say "where is that effing truck" as the tide started to move even closer to the spot where they must have spent the early part of the morning digging.
As for myself, today was a day for observation watching all that lovely mud being excavated. Instead of putting up with the smell I felt as if I could taste it as it was piled up inside the harbour in preparation for the capping to take place. It was impressive just to see how deep they have dug and where they were digging so close to the wall. Eventually my calculation and observation was to pay off as I could see a earthen ware ginger beer bottle in a pile of mud. The problem was how to retrieve the bottle as the mud was really thick heavy and soft. Observing the rule of not panicking if I get stuck I edged slowly to the bottle and only got stuck once before I could retrieve the bottle. The bottle certainly was a beauty, a pristine condition Rawlings impressed ginger beer bottle with cork top and probably dates around the 1880's.

The bottle ginger beer bottle was not the only find as I found many other finds of which I need to photograph and record in the next few days.


Anonymous said...

Is this part of the flood defences, or just part of the maintenance of the pier ?

Tony Beachcomber said...

The underpinning is to strengthen the foundations of the stone pier of which the last 300 feet is built on clay. In the 1953 storm the foundations of the square head and lighthouse were washed out and structure collapsed. The stone pier does form part of the sea defence system of the old town and part of dreamland which is low lying. So the underpinning is part of the flood defences.

Anonymous said...

Lucky for tdc then.