Monday, 16 June 2008

Damage to the floor of the Eastern gully, Ramsgate Harbour

I think these pictures are about 1905 to 1910 as you can see from the picture above there are a lot of slabs on the crosswall suggesting major work is in progress to the harbour.

I can only say that a lot of people probably find this sort of posting rather dull, but I find the civil engineering works on the harbour and cliff façades very interesting, if you happen to be likeminded I can thoroughly recommend, “An Historical report on Ramsgate Harbour 1791” by John Smeaton, click here for a sample read

I am aware that I should be devoting more time to the public safety issues that some local developers seem to be ignoring, frankly I find chasing the various government departments in the vain hope that they will apply common sense to these issues, boring and slightly distasteful.

So today has been devoted to local history which means there will be a new local history book out tomorrow, I have indulged my customers, and myself and turned my back on unpleasant local issues.


  1. DULL!! never, very interesting set, they show how well built the harbour is, unfortunately the silt covers most of it now. Any idea if they are repairing the slabs due to the force of water from the sluices?
    I remember seeing the sluices in action and the force of water was quite incredible.

  2. If you don't blog about what interests you how will you find blogging interesting? I say blog about what matters most - besides it adds some depth and flavour to local blogging.

  3. Sorry that should have said "blog about what matters most to you".

  4. I was looking at a recent photo of the sluices and there are 11 courses of stonework above the left hand arch, 6 in the 1905 / 1910 photo. Were the slabs used to increase the height of the cross wall?
    Does anyone know when the sluices were last run and were the gates removed?

    Definitely NOT dull, keep up the good work.

  5. Michael,

    Local history is always interesting. Your efforts here are not in vein! Keep up the good work.

  6. Well people thanks for the vote of confidence, Tony I haven’t found out about these photographs yet, I bought them at Sundays boot fair from a chap who found them in the attic. They will eventually find their way into one of my books.

    I find it very ironic that had he donated them to the Kent archive or the National Maritime Museum, were they would have been insignificant and there would probably have been better copies already, hardly anyone from Ramsgate would ever have seen them.

    Sound advice Matt.

    Cassoulet if you email me the picture I will try to resolve that one, I suspect the sluices have been rebuilt on several occasions, if you click on the link to Smeaton’s book in this posting you will see a map showing a very different crosswall and sluice arrangement.

  7. Cassoulet has sent me the pictures he mentioned earlier and I have published them with the others, link on this post, you can see what he means it is obvious that at sometime the crosswall was built up to increase its height.

    Even with the increased height it has been immersed in 18 inches of water during tidal surges, something that are often underestimated in Ramsgate.

    Another interesting point here is that this means that sides of Smeaton’s dry dock must have been raised at some time.

  8. Michael, I think there is a bit of confusion. The first picture of Cassoulets is of the West Gulley sluices, which does have more courses of stone than the East gulley sluices,shown in Cassoulets second picture and in the 1910 photo.

  9. Whoops, Tony the steps are a bit of a giveaway, what with posting a postcard of Worthing labelled Margate its definitely as well people are keeping an eye on me.

    A while ago I posted a card of Folkestone labelled Ramsgate and have just put together three new books of Ramsgate postcards containing about 500 pictures in all, probably with one of Folkestone, so I had better get onto that one too.

  10. Whoops my mistake. Only excuse is similar camera angles, the fact that the other photos were obviously of the eastern sluices didn't ring alarm bells.

    While reading about the sluices I came across a paper which mentioned discharging 30,000 tons of water in 15 minutes when acting violently.


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.