Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Margate beach finds from the 1998 summer erosion

 During the summer of 1998 the demolition of the last remains of Margate Jetty took place.
For some unexplained reason at the same time part of Margate main sands below the high tide line started to erode. It was a small area and like any erosion on Margate main sands it is an open window to find many items related to the Victorian seaside. At the time large quantities of glass appeared in the area and being the height of the summer season it was the last thing we needed.
So a group of volunteers myself included led by Brian Smith Stewart under the beach watch banner with TDC blessing set about to clear the entire area of  broken glass            

 To make the task interesting we collected thousands of shards and soon built a very large collection. Most were patterned and other carried logo's or advertising. Many were Victorian and some bore the emblems of paddle steamer companies or originated from caterers from the sea front or jetty. After a while I was able to identify many finds by date, pattern and design, something that has now came in very useful  as I assess  finds found during the recent sea defence works.
The piece photographed  above was found by myself, it is exceptionally rare and a complete bottle is even rarer. It is part of a ginger beer bottle from Church Street Margate and was used for homemade ginger beer produced by a baker named George Kirby who traded in Church Street..
Even though George Kirby was a baker he also manufactured mineral water from 1897 to 1900 on his premises to sell in his shop, something that was very common practice at the time by  traders especially chemist proprietors.

The second piece above was found by one of the volunteers on the main sands in the same location and the name Dreadnought is certainly a name associated from an era long gone when Britain ruled the waves.

The photograph on the bottom to the right is a selection of finds found by the volunteers. As you can see the selection is the same as the finds that are being found as a result of the sea defence works today. Those photographed originate from the Margate Jetty Pavillion, some are from South Eastern Railway Refreshment department and the other two pieces in the bottom right bear the initials GJM. Something that will need further research as I have found similar pieces 14 years later during the recent sea defence works.


Suzannah Foad said...

Hi Tony, I love the Dreadnought Scotch Whiskey Ashtray!!

David Barker said...

The Kirbys is rare I have one the same as yours, there are also kirby codds and kirby impressed ginger beers to be found.