Monday, 27 March 2017

The New Ramsgate Guide for 1867 by J Bear

Using this type of guide, if you are interested in local history, doesn’t always work out quite how you think it will. A read of the guide or just coming into my bookshop in Ramsgate and having a good old browse of it forms different picture to reading a history book. If you, for instance read Charles Busson’s “The Book of Ramsgate” which was published in 1985 and is a good history of Ramsgate, one thing you unlikely to get is a picture of Ramsgate in 1985. Of course back in 1985, Pleasurama was still running, Ramsgate had a busy town centre and I think most people assumed then – only 32 years ago – that Ramsgate would still be pretty much the same. Guide books are different to history books inasmuch as they tend to a slightly rose tinted view of the now back then.

Often it’s the advertisements that tell us a great deal, however be careful about the addresses, as some of the street numbering and some of the street names have changed since 1867. Before getting too committed about this I strongly recommend coming into the bookshops and carefully working you way back through the street directories while keeping a weather eye on the 1872 map of Ramsgate on the wall next to the directories, so you don’t wind up venerating the wrong building.

On the supply front I usually have copes of Charlie Busson’s book in stock and in various conditions at various prices, with Bear’s guide a good browse in the bookshop and as a last resort, if you can’t get to my bookshop you can do an online thingy here or just message me or say something in the comments, all depending on how your ITC skills stack up.  

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