Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Still on local maritime issues this time the value to the economy.

Back in 1895 when £1 was worth about £100, the value of fish landed in Ramsgate was very large indeed. £83,414 which is around eight million pounds at today’s values.

I do hope someone is going to check or contradict this amount, it seems to be right to me, 38,752 cwt, or about 2,000 tons of fish

For the same year Margate £4,106 about £400k at today’s value and Broadstairs £230 with 23 grand being a significant amount of dosh.

The local economy here in Thanet, the mixture of fishing, farming and tourism extending back historically, the more recent attempts to diversify into industry and transport that haven’t been entirely successful – well it fascinates me.

With the fishing I suppose it’s the local boatbuilding and repair that most relies on it, booksellers like me being well down the food chain pecking order or whatever it is.

From what I have read I think the largest fishing smacks built at Ramsgate would have been about 50 tons with most being about 25, the absolute largest vessel that could have been repaired in any major way that I can understand would have been on the slipway in Ramsgate Harbour that was built in 1838 and theoretically in  the 500 ton 300 ft long ball park although in reality the figures would probably be half as much, depending on the extent of the repairs.

Building from scratch perhaps 200 tons and 150 ft, it's partly the depth of water for floating the thing off you see.

So what to make of this Broadstairs document from around 1825, how could you build and launch a ship weighing hundreds of tons at Broadstairs? I can see a careening and quick repair between tides working on the beach there, possibly launching from a slipway on the harbour arm on spring tide something up to 50 tons, given a lot of luck or a fertile imagination.

Click on the images of the pages of the document to make them bigger and the click on them again to make them big enough to read

Perhaps when it comes to getting money from national government to invest in the local infrastructure there are lessons in this document.

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