Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Thanet coast - pretty in pink

Most of the colours of seashells  found on the Thanet coastline do tend to be plain and those shells that have any tinge of colour do tend to fade once the animal inside has died and the shell is washed up on the strandline. However there is one species of shell that seems to hang on to its colour, and that is the Tellin  otherwise known as the Tellina . The colour range varies  from a bright pink to yellow and can be with stand being weathered by sand and tides longer than most sea shells. There are two types of Tellin that can be found around the Thanet coast, being the Baltic Tellin and the Thin Tellin . The number one spot for finding these in masses is to the left of the old hoverport slipway at Pegwell Bay Ramsgate. Second hot spot being Minnis Bay in Birchington .
Photographed are today's find from Pegwell Bay and these are the pick of the bunch that took about half an hour to pick up.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Exploring the Thanet coast even deeper.

Sometime ago I took the decision to drop local history and work on other subjects regarding the Thanet coast. I took the decision to drop local history because I was being marginalised by people who have no real  depth of knowledge of the subject and I can see no point in being a member of a group, museum or society any more. As life is to short to worry about people like that I am now totally freelance on what I do regarding the Thanet coast.
Recently I have been reading up on Dr Arthur Walton Rowe who without doubt in this modern age is one of Margate's and Thanet's forgotten sons. This guy was amazing because he studied and made many  discoveries in and around Thanet. I am also inspired by the fact that he was also a conchologist and as there is no shortage of sea shells on the Thanet coastline , I thought I will now concentrate on sea shells for the rest of the summer. To date things are going really well and I have literally thousands of sea shells .
All of my finds are being photographed and below is a photograph of more recent finds. As you can see in the photograph some of the shells have holes in them. This is caused by a predator and in this case it is these little chaps on the right of the photograph. They are known as sting winkles and the attach themselves to a suitable prey, boring a small hole into the shell to eventually suck out the contents. These finds came from the Western Undercliff area of Ramsgate.

Below is another common species that can be found in abundance along the south coast. In Thanet they do take some finding and these examples in the photograph came from the Pegwell Bay area of Ramsgate. They are known as the prickly cockle and the distribution is from Southern Norway to the Med. Like the common cockle they are commercially exploited.

I do not expect to make exceptional discoveries, but by photographing and publishing my finds it is a record of what Thanet does have to offer to people outside of the area.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Mods , Rockers and Margate bank holiday disturbances.

Last year my Dad died and recently I have been going through some of the items that once belonged to him. This includes items relating to the time he was in the special constabulary. Based at Margate he served from the mid 1950's to the early 1980's resulting in 27 years of service. As far as I can gather he never missed a bank holiday duty on Margate seafront and he dealt with all the youth cults that descended on Margate during that era. Teddy boys, razor gangs, mods, rockers, skinheads , punks  etc., he experienced the lot.
Being an ex serviceman servicing in the Royal Military Police he could handle himself and he told me many stories.I once asked him who were the toughest and hardest group he ever had to deal with and without doubt it was the 1950's Teddy Boys from London who would carry razors and when there was a fight between rival gangs there was no such thing as rules except grassing. People would be cut up bad and nobody saw a thing.
The Mods and Rockers bank holiday riots in 1964 is something that is being commemorated at the moment and I struggle to think why . A few years ago I asked my Dad about his role in the event. Well it appears that when the rivals gangs stormed Margate main sands and the sea front, families on the beach fled to Dreamland for safety. All available specials including my Dad were issued with pick axe handles and were positioned at the Dreamland entrances . Believing that rival gangs were in Dreamland other gangs tried to enter into Dreamland. However, they did not stand a chance up against ex servicemen armed with pick axe handles so Dreamland remained safe throughout the riots on that day. This left the regulars to deal with the disturbances elsewhere.
On a more local note my Dad told me his experiences dealing with the trouble in the Bali Hai , Cinque Ports , Galleon , Coxswain and the other pubs used by the London beano's . This was a time when his Police issue truncheon came in very handy.
Looking through his scrapbook it is horrendous to think that during this era that violent gangs of youths descended on Margate looking for bragging rights. Something I am sure ruined Margate's reputation as a sea side resort for generations to come.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Shelling off the Thanet coast.

There is very little on the internet regarding the variety of sea shells that can be found around the Thanet coastline. So I thought I post a photograph of some of todays finds just out of interest for casual reading. In the photograph are the lesser known sea shells that can be found. All were found around the Pegwell Bay  side of Ramsgate though to the northern end of Sandwich Bay. The shells in the bottom right hand corner are interesting because they are Coquina shells and they have a world wide distribution. Generally they are found in warmer waters and I have come across them in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote and in the tropical waters of Cuba. They do vary in colour and the predominate colour off Thanet is pale yellow as seen in the photograph. I am not sure if they are native to this part of Kent or the should I say the northern end of the English Channel. Could they be the result of global warmer or could they be an invasive species like the rock oysters that are appearing everywhere on the chalk reef around Thanet. this is something I will have to look into.