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.