Sea bathing at Margate in the early twentieth century is a subject that is well documented, thanks entirely to the beach photographers like Robert Vanhear in the photograph above.In local history circles and in the Margate museum there is this huge archive of sea side history that people out side of Margate unfortunately do not see. Being in possession of the Mick Twyman collection or should I say part of it I have over 3000 images covering all aspects of Margate's sea side history. I have pieced together a few photographs of early twentieth century sea bathing at Margate .
Above is a photograph of a bathing cart that took sea bathers out to the bathing machines. To board the cart required paying a bathing fee on marine terrace and entering a board ward through a small gate in the railings to await the cart. These gates are still visible in the railings today.
The cart then takes the bathers out to the Bathing machines where the bathers change and enter the water as in the photographs above and below.
This undated view above shows one of the many changes in bathing costumes of which this is an early one.
This view above is dated is dated 1910 and the bathers are in hired bathing costumes.
Both these views above and below are dated around the 1920's
This 1915 photograph is taken at Palm Bay, the Borough of Margate ran all the Cliftonville and Margate bathing pavilions at Cliftonville Note the man with the BM on his hired costume.
Not everybody fancied a swim but there was still plenty to do like riding on a donkey or making sand castles wearing your best clothes. The photograph below is dated 1914.
Many groups visited Margate sands like the 1919 Peace movement.
Finally a typical 1920's view , this view can be identified as 1925 with the bathing pavilion in the back ground under construction.
The Mick Twyman collection does include 1000 + images of Margate and Cliftonville beaches and this is a small example. Please feel free to download.