Wednesday 29 May 2024

Click to Expand, Old Thanet Postcards and a Ramble from Michael's Bookshop here in Ramsgate.

 Starting with Palm Bay in Cliftonville with its very distinctive pavilion.

Margate Sands

On to Ramsgate, although this first one is St Lawrence, but I suppose you know what I mean

This last one was the only one to say anything on the back so 1929 or before

On to the ramble and I find I don’t know what to say, minds gone blank. OK here we go.


Last Friday’s blog post about the origins of the name Thanet had a lot of interest, plenty of comment on the local Facebook groups I linked it to. No real conclusions on the origin of Thanet. I have been temporarily banned from posting on the “We Love Old Ramsgate” Facebook group, best not speculate why.


I think I will have a go at the origin of the word Ramsgate next. The earliest reference to the town is in the Kent Hundred Rolls of 1274-5, "Christina de Remmesgate have stopped a common road at Remisgate" before spelling was invented so Ramsgate is spelt differently in the same line.


I’m back at work in Michael’s Bookshop here in Ramsgate after having had three days off in succession due the bank holiday, business if fairly slow, I guess people spent out over the bank holiday. We have put out a fair amount books out today, here is the link.

Friday 24 May 2024

The name Thanet, how old is it?

Julius Solinus, writing between 300AD and 350AD, is the first of the Roman writers, who mentions it by the name of Athanaton and Thanaton. The Saxons afterwards called it Teneth, and Tenetlonde,

Change of language, and length of time, it has been softened it to Thanet, as it is called at present.

As you can see, here at Michael's Bookshop in Ramsgate I have been reading some of our Thanet local history books.

On With the name Thanet. The following pictures are pages from the 1736 edition of John Lewis's The History and Antiquities as well Ecclesiastical as Civil of the Isle of Tenet, in Kent. We do a cheap paper edition of this. Here is the link 

The pictures of the pages should expand for reading with a bit of clicking and I hope you can see that trying to work out the origin of the name Thanet is a bit of a non starter. 

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Click to expand, Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Margate pictures and ramble from Michael's bookshop in Ramsgate.


Starting with this Broadstairs card and going by the clothes I am guessing around 1960. With a bit of clicking you can expand it and see what I mean.

I am pretty sure this Ramsgate one is before 1900 as the Granville tower looks to be taller (the height was reduced in 1900)
This one after 1901 as as it shows a tram (tramway opened in 1901)
Tis one after 1911 from the postmark

This one after 1904 as the pavilion has been built.

These two Margate Cliftonville cards, mid 1900s?

On to the ramble. If you have been following me for the last few days then you can see I have started tentatively blogging again. I don't want to say too much about that in case I don't keep it up, the stats say quite a few people are looking at the posts, but of course these days there is very little feedback.

I have been linking the posts to what seem like appropriate Facebook groups and I hope everyone is happy about this, group admins please let me know if you are not.

On to the ramble. I have just finished Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series, which is very good. I wanted to follow this up with something completely different so I have just begun a re read of David Lodge's "Deaf Sentence" I wanted something funny and this fills the bill. It is fairly difficult to find reasonably modern humour that actually makes me laugh and this is doing trick.

Bookshop wise we are reasonably busy today so sorry if this is a bit fragmented. Here is the link to the most recent books we have had in and put out for sale. 

We went book buying in Canterbury yesterday, I spent a long time in Waterstones looking at "Escher the Complete Graphic Works"  £25, so have just bought it on Ebay for less than half the price, which says something about shopping in this modern world. Fortunately here at Michael's Bookshop in Ramsgate our prices are mostly less than the books are online.

Monday 20 May 2024

Click to expand, Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs old postcards. A booksellers ramble mostly about Stephen King.

 Starting with Ramsgate

I think these two of Ramsgate Harbour are 1960s or 1970s. The trots (boats moored side by side) mostly had people living on them, collectively known as the inner harbour cruising club.

This next one postmarked 1910 as you can see, Ramsgate pier on the right for more info on this we publish a book about it, here is the link 

This one postmarked 1913, so before then. This is before The Queens Head and the buildings around it was redeveloped so worth a bit of clicking to expand and look at the back of the Old pun etc.  

Margate next

I think these two Margate ones are 1960s, the top one shows Margate pier, we publish a book about it here is the link

Finally Broadstairs 
Not sure of the date I am guessing 1920s

Now for the ramble. Running a secondhand bookshop gives a particular slant on life and a particular view of the area you live in. This means I can answer the question. What books do Thanet people read, which author is the most popular? Up until recently it was Terry Pratchett, but recently this has changed to Stephen King. 

To be honest I am not all that keen on horror fiction and had never read any of his books, what I didn't realise is that he also writes fantasy fiction, something that I am fairly keen on. I have been reading his "Dark Tower" novels which are a series of seven books, which - if you like - are Stephen King's Lord of the Rings. I have to admit that it is a very good series and I am going to be hard pushed finding something that I haven't read and is as good. There are some parallels with "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder and some with "The Magus" by John Fowles, as well as the obvious major fantasy quests.  

I did read Salem's Lot during reading the Dark Tower series as you pretty much have to to follow The Dark Tower series, so it may be another Stephen King next. Any Recommendations?

I also think that it is about time I reread the local history books that I publish, this is something I hope will help with my Thanetonline blogging which had rather dried up. I will probably start with John Lewis's book written in 1736, The History and Antiquities as well Ecclesiastical as Civil of the Isle of Tenet, in Kent The Second Edition, With Additions here is the link to it A word of warning here, don't read the first edition which is a much shorter book and had a lot missing compared the the second edition, which is by far the best.

I am still using the blog as my main place to post and then linking the blog post so social media like Facebook, this is mainly because blogger handles large pictures better, so when you click to expand the pictures expand a lot more.

Friday 17 May 2024

Click to expand, Georgian Thanet


Ramsgate Sands around 1830

I recently bought this old print of Ramsgate, it should expand fairly well with a bit of clicking. To date it for you, after 1815 as it shows steam boats and before 1842 because it shows the lighthouse designed by Benjamin Wyatt that was replaced in 1842 by the one we have now designed by John Shaw. Coastguard station centre right.

Margate Pier and Droit House in 1823

I am wondering if the round structure half way up the pier is a camera obscura, I know there was one on Margate Jetty but that wasn't there as early as 1823.This one come from the Mick Twyman collection

 This is Broadstairs in 1841 lifted from the web here  OK just Victorian although I would guess the drawing for the print would have been just about done in Georgian times.

Here at Michael's Bookshop in Ramsgate we publish cheap reprints of the following Georgian books about Thanet, should you want to learn more about this period here.

There is a sense in which this could be called advertising although I don't think there is any profit made on these publications.  

This is the link to today's new book acquisitions here at Michael's Bookshop