Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Saturday, 6 October 2012

100 to 1

In Friday's Isle of Thanet Gazzette (5/10/12) on page 26 I got a write up on some of my beachcombing finds in the Margate area that are currently on display in the Margate Museum. Reading through the article I couldn't help thinking what a difference a year makes. As this time last year I was planning for the start of the sea defence works at Margate. My target was to pick up everything I could that was man made and over one hundred years old.  Anyone who knows the Margate main sands and harbour area well  would know that this is not as much of daunting task as it sounds. Simply because  finding items over one hundreds can be done on an industrial scale due to silting nature of the bay that has time locked so many items in the anaerobic layers of silt and sand.
On another point  I expect many readers of this blog are thinking that everything I do is about Margate and Icover very little about the rest of Thanet.
Being Ramsgate based I do put as much effort into finding things around the Ramsgate coastline as I do at Margate. But the problem is that finding anything old and man made (over 100 years) on the coast  at Ramsgate is very difficult and I would certainly applaud someone who has managed to build up a collection of coastal finds from the Ramsgate foreshore.
It is unfortunate that the  most frequented piece of beach at Ramsgate by the Victorians just happens to be the most volatile and unsettled piece of sand on the Thanet coastline that changes it shape almost on a weekly basis. So therefore finds are almost none existent as there has never been a silting process to bury and conserve anything.
Inside Ramsgate  Harbour on the other hand is the complete opposite and it does make the mind boggle as to what lies buried deep in the harbour. Reading through  the accounts of the shipping that sank in the harbour entrance trying to find a safe haven during the nineteenth century I guess there is a strong case for some good finds. However, the problem is none of it can be accessed.
So the only remaining option for accessible finds is the walk from the foreshore from the Western Undercliff to Pegwell Bay and into the bay itself. Over the years I have made Ramsgate finds in this area and it does appear that for every single items I find at Ramsgate I do find one hundred items in the same time period at Margate which is unfortunate trying to build a Ramsgate collection.
Above is a recent Ramsgate beach find and it is part of a Philpott ginger beer bottle and like every glass bottle produced by Stephen George Philpott there is a date, with this piece dated 1895. This piece is by no means rare and neither is the complete bottle. In fact S G Philpott glass bottles from the 1890's to 1920 are the most well known and easy to obtain bottles in Ramsgate. All are dated along with the stopper and some bottles can fetch as much as £40. I know Ramsgate Town Council has a dated Ginger beer bottle in their collection because I gave it to them and the Margate museum has one along with other Ramsgate bottles.
I have been following the local bottle (1880's to 1920's) market for some time and there is a huge price difference paid for a Ramsgate bottle compared to a Margate bottle with Margate being far cheaper overall. My Margate bottle collection is mostly finds from the Margate area and I have spent around £100 + to fill in the gaps and this collection is currently on loan to the Margate museum for display at present. As for a Ramsgate collection I am now planning on building an entire new collection.

1 comment:

Don Wood said...

I must say as a Margate resident I tend to favour Margate over other areas of Thanet. I wouldnt turn down a Ramsgate item but just tend to favour Margate. Saying that some of the most interesting Postcards for me would be the Ramsgate tram disaster. I know you are on about beach finds but I am unable to beachcomb any more.