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 http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/ramsgate_street_directory_1971.htm 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.

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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.