Thursday, 24 April 2014

Denis Smith exhibition at the York Street Gallery Ramsgate

 The current Exhibition is by  "Denis Smith"
Denis is a ramsgate artist who produces large (And smaller) portraits on canvas using acrylic. Denis is also displaying some of his amazing photo images of Ramsgate.

The exhibition runs -- 23rd April - 30th April

click on the pictures to make them bigger

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

St Paul’s Church, King Street, Ramsgate - The remains. A guest post by Benedict Kelly.

St Paul’s Church was located at the bottom of Artillery Road, on Ramsgate’s King Street.  The church had an entrance from King Street and a side entrance from Sussex Street. 
St Paul’s stood here for 80 years.  Part of the curved apse was retained.
1872 Map.  The site of the church was formely Artillery Place, a cul-de-sac of nine terraced houses, that were pulled down in 1873.  St Paul’s was consecrated on 22nd May 1874.
1907 map of St Paul’s Church.

St Paul’s was opened in 1873.  The Kent Coast Times, 20th November 1873 reported:  The architect is Mr R Wheeler of Tunbridge Wells, the builders being Messrs. Smith & Son of Ramsgate.  The dimensions are:  total length 68ft, width 29ft, height to apex of nave roof 83ft, accommodation 250, style, simple pointed.  The church will have a nave, chancel and in one aisle a vestry will be formed at the farther end of the aisle, and at the other end will be a porch.  The walls will be carried up to form a turret, whose height will be 150ft.  The church will be almost lighted by clerestory windows above the aisle roof, the nave roof being an open timber one with tie beams.  The walls are to be bricks of the neighbourhood, built hollow with a lining inside of red bricks.  There will be no internal plastering, the red bricks will be the finished face of the walls.  The nave will be divided from the aisle by columns of polished red Peterhead granite, supporting pointed arches of red and black brick.  The window cills, heads and mullions will be of bath stone.  The cost of the building, exclusive of site will be almost £1,150.
On King Street, this is now a walled up entrance.  Below, the remains of the gate hinge.

The ecclesiastical authorities felt St Paul’s was too small, so it was enlarged and remodelled in 1887.
The tower of St Paul’s on Sussex Street, and the same view today below.

The base of the tower still remains and was incorporated into a garage wall.

Above, the church boundary wall was retained to the rear of Barton Court.

Above, the grassed area was the central nave.  Wall retained to the right.

Above the nave, and the view to day below.  “The seats are entirely free and unappropriated” – Kent Coast Times 27th January 1887.

The demolition of St Paul’s, courtesy of SEAS Photography (The South East Archive of Seaside Photography), and Thanet District Council. The above photograph appeared in the East Kent Times on 13th February, 1959 accompanied with the following text:  Church authorities at Diocesan House, Canterbury, were asked by the East Kent Times and Mail reporter what would happen to some of the more valuable and useful articles in the building.  “Some of the windows have already been installed in St Mildred’s Church, Canterbury,” said a spokesman.  “The remainder are in the care of the Canterbury Cathedral glassworks.”  The spokesman said that such things as pews, desks and Bibles had been given to St George’s and Holy Trinity Churches, Ramsgate.  The Rood Cross, which is in the church’s war memorial, and the Crucifix from the side chapel, had been put in store.  The storing of these articles is under the Church Commissioners’ scheme.
The memorial stone for St Paul’s.  It was acquired by Mr Brian Fagg from the demolition contractors as they were about to smash it up.  It was transferred to St George’s Church.  It reads:  TO THE GLORY OF GOD, THIS STONE WAS LAID BY THE RT HON E.R KING HARMAN MP, JULY 29 1886.
The St Paul’s bell was presented to St Christopher’s Church, Newington, where it was dedicated on Sunday, 26th October 1958.  Around 10 years ago, the bell was gifted to a church in Africa.
Further reading:  St George-the-Martyr, also St Mary’s & St Paul’s Churches, Ramsgate, by Brian R Fagg, August 1977.
Occasional Ramsgate Writings by Donald G Long.  Published by Michael’s Bookshop, December 2008. 

Ed. Here is the link to the previous article about the church

And the good news is that I think I have persuaded Ben to start his own blog. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Pen and Ink sketches of Canterbury today

Some drawings of Canterbury today, done with only a black Pitt pen size S.

These are done fairly quickly while the rest of my family engage in shopping, this one had to be finished very quickly, so the people are not very good I started drawing the buildings from the top in the middle of the picture working to the left, then the water tower and worked to the right, the bottoms being difficult because of the people in the way.

 This one hardly got started before I was summoned to a bookshop.

Here are a couple of photos on the spot, in case you have become geographically disadvantaged.

 Actually looking at the photos they don't really help much, so I guess you can either recognise what the drawings are of or yo can't. 

Trees are surprisingly difficult in this medium, granted they are just a type of scribble, but the wrong type of scribble and they lack treeness.

The main problem today was finding somewhere to sit in the sun, as it was a bit cold in the shade, with the sun more behind me than in front of me, with some of the old Canterbury buildings in front of me. Most of the public seats in the sun are up the top end of the High Street where a lot of the buildings are modern.

To do the one of the tower with the clock on it I had to buy a coffee at McDonalds to get a seat I could draw it from. 

apologies for repeating an image here, just comparing a photo with the clock vertical which I was focused on with the drawing.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

New plans for Ramsgate Maritime Museum

The new plans for the museum have appeared on paper but are yet to be available as computer files. My initial thoughts on the plans is that they are pretty good and probably far and away the best we are going to get in terms of providing an attraction for visitors to Ramsgate there.

Conditions for copying the plans were not ideal and I have done my best, copying the full sheets and then copying close-ups of the blocks of text on the sheets. The pictures should expand when clicked on and the expanded pictures should expand when clicked on again, I hope.

the plans are on display in the museum 
Open 10.30am until 5pm Easter Weekend Weekends and Bank Holidays until the start of the School Summer Holidays School Summer Holidays until end of September Tuesday to Sunday 

The new Cervia website is at and also well worth a look at. 

Who moved the stone? a five dimensional Easter riddle

Still teaching the youf of today about drawing and vanishing points, I guess this is about what can go wrong when you have two vanishing points. 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

New Ramsgate street directory for 1971 published today.

This directory of Ramsgate streets is taken from the Kelly’s Thanet directory for 1971 so it would have been compiled in 1970, many thanks to Kelly’s Directories for giving me permission to reprint their old directories.  

The best way to use the directory to fit together a picture in your mind of Ramsgate at this time, which may include your own memory, is to walk the streets of Ramsgate with the directory as a guide.

The picture on the cover of the book was taken in about 1971 is of The Black Opal a sailing ship rigged as a three masted barquentine, not something you would think it would be easy to forget. She was moored in Ramsgate Harbour’s inner basin from around 1968 to around 1972.

She started life at some time in the first half of the 1900s as a three masted schooner called the Eouls, built as a costal trader with a large two cylinder diesel engine, the hull being one large hold for carrying goods, the sails adding to her speed and economy.

At some time her masts had been cut off at deck level and she arrived in Ramsgate with the timber to make new masts on her deck. During the time she was in Ramsgate she was fitted with a new engine, re-masted and rigged as a square rigger and her hull was fitted out with cabins.

After this she had a chequered history of bankruptcies and ship wrecks including being used in the movie Popeye. She is now high and dry in Malta and used as a restaurant called The Black Pearl. 

The earliest of the Ramsgate street directories I produce is for 1849 and these used in conjunction with the maps provide answers to many of the local and family history questions. Who lived where and the location of local businesses, which helps with dating old pictures of the area.

When using the directories it is important to remember that before 1900 in many cases the street numbers were changed by the rating officer as the town expanded, so it is important to compare the pre 1900 hundred directories with the 1900 directory to avoid mistakes about which building is which.

The original Kelly’s Directories have risen considerably in price since I produced my first directory reprint (Ramsgate 1900 Street Directory) about 10 years ago, then a 1971 Thanet directory sold for about £7 now the price would be between £20 and £30 depending on condition.
This price rise means that I intend to produce several more of the post war directories, making the information in them cheaply available to everyone.  

I have now produced about 150 booklets about the history of this area and have also produced three historic street maps of Ramsgate for 1822, 1849 and 1879 all of which are available from my bookshop in Ramsgate. The shop is open from 9.30 to 5.30 and closed on Mondays and Thursdays.         

If you want to buy the directory online click on this link UK postage is free but you will have to use the dropdown to pay extra for postage overseas.

Our secondhand stock of out of print local books is fairly good at the moment, with many of the more difficult titles like The Ramsgate Millennium Book and The Book of Ramsgate I have copies in stock in different conditions at different prices.

I don’t sell the more difficult to find local books via the internet, as if I did we just wouldn’t have them for the customers who visit the bookshop.