Saturday, 22 September 2012

New Local Book "A History of Ramsgate Harbour "


A book describing the industry that was once a mainstay of Thanet’s community and economy is published this month.  Writer and historian Michael Hunt, whose previous work A History of Ramsgate Harbour was re-published last year, has produced a detailed but highly readable description of a commercial sea fishery the legacy of which still informs Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs life.  From the local industry’s earliest traces, through its 19th century hey-day, to the still important, ‘though contracted, fishery of today A History of the Ramsgate Fishing Industry encompasses a thousand years of Thanet men and women’s engagement with the sea.

The author evokes not only the image, familiar to our great-grandparents, of harbours packed side-to-side with herring boats and sailing trawlers, but the area’s largely forgotten involvement with the Icelandic cod fishery, the migration of fishing families and their craft around the coast of Britain, their involvement in the political and economic squabbles of mediaeval monarchs, and all against a backdrop of the tragedy and heroism endemic to this most dangerous of trades.   From the intricacies of boiling-up livers for oil (a ‘detailed and fairly disgusting description’) to the lad who could crack marbles with his teeth (‘he was always a quiet boy, was Percy’) this is a story long-overdue for the telling.

The development of fishing boats and activities of their crews in peace and war; the rivalries that existed (and still exist) between local and Continental fishermen are examined – sometimes to comic effect (‘the darned Mounseers danced and gesticulated and threatened worse than ever’) - but frequently tragically, as in the recounting of losses through shipwreck, storm or enemy action.
With dozens of black & white illustrations and copious source notes for readers wishing to explore the subject further this book makes a valuable addition to the history lover’s bookshelf.

A History of the Ramsgate Fishing Industry is available, price £7.99, from Michael’s Bookshop, 72 King Street, Ramsgate,

Also available online, post free to UK addresses, at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/a_history_of_the_ramsgate_fishing_industry.htm 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.