Thursday 28 February 2019

Some Thoughts on Ramsgate Pier, Thanet history and on visiting the bookshop

 This picture shows Ramsgate Pier in the background. The pier was built in 1879 and demolished in 1930 it must have been taken before 1930 and yet the hoardings have an uncanny resemblance to ones round the abandoned Pleasurama site that are there now.

The pier was severely damaged during WW1, fire, collision and finally a mine exploded under it. The main object of seaside piers was to provide deep enough water at all states of the tides for the paddle steamer ferries which ran to a timetable. As ferries already had this facility at the harbour pier head in in Ramsgate the whole thing didn't make much sense and the company behind it went bust two years after it opened.

If you want all of the details we publish a book about it here is the link although the better option is to come to Michael's Bookshop here in Ramsgate and browse over 200 books about this area and another 30,000 about other stuff. I'm not sure where this falls in terms of advertising as I guess most people realise that bookshops, art galleries, libraries, theatres, don't really make a profit but are often the result of individuals with an interest in promoting arts, like painting and literature.
 A rare (photography was forbidden during both wars in Ramsgate) view of the beach with war defences on it.

Some thoughts on visiting Michael's Bookshop, we don't allow dogs or eating and drinking in the shop and the inside of the shop is arranged as a warren of dead ends, so you should be able to get stuck into browsing most of the sections without people scrambling past you, someones drink or food landing on you of feeling obliged to pet someone's do and then wonder where you are going to wash your hands. On the other hand we take a very relaxed attitude to people, including children and the disabled. We do have ramps for disabled access but the are not strong enough for heavy disabled scooters, that said about half of the books are going to be on shelves that are too high, but we are very happy to set the wheelchair bound up with a table and bring them books.

The shop is very close to Staffordshire St car park if visiting by car. 

Staffordshire Street Car Park Ramsgate 200 spaces (including 10 disabled bays)
Time Period
Up to 1 hour
Up to 2 hours
Up to 3 hours
Up to 4 hours
Up to 15 hours

Also note that if you are bring boxes of books to sell, for exchange vouchers, donation, assessment, valuation, you are allowed to stop outside for unloading purposes.

We do our best to sort out people's excess book problems for them, and I recommend that people take photos of the books the want to dispose of  and send them to us or share the file with us, or just shoe us the photos on their phones before carrying large quantities about.

You only need to take photos of the spines of the books on the shelves and not each individual book, the browse the books part of our website has plenty examples this is the link to it
Not sure about the white writing I thought this was August 1940.

 Visiting the bookshop by public transport is very easy as the Loop bus stop (called, Ramsgate, Belmont Street) is very close. ITC means different things to different people and while a lot of people will just use their smartphones to find us on Google Maps 

For others Red arrows point to the bus stops and blue pointing to the car park.

When visiting by train the Loop Bus also stops at Ramsgate Railway Station, it is important to get on the Loop bus going in the Ramsgate direction. 

The whole business of shopping and of bookshops is still changing rapidly with the remaining independent bookshops increasingly becoming something of family leisure destinations. Getting what we have to offer is a bit of a balance. The best we can do is to please some of the people some of the time. But that said there is a sense that the bookshop is becoming something of a community asset, so if you have thoughts about how it could be improved I am interested in them and would like to hear them.

Margate photos next

 I am pretty sure that this was roughly where Dreamland is now and was produced by converting the railway station there when having two stations next to each other based on competing lines finished.
 I think tent bathing developed after the bathing machines from the end of WW1, the woollen bathing costumes were still in use when I was a child and were inclined to sag, cling and so on, this may have had something to do with it too.
 Cliftonville Bathing later called The Lido opened in 1927, so I guess new means not long after then.

Mr Sydney’s Koh-I-Noor café later became Harold Page’s The Bungalow Tea-Rooms, which was destroyed by fire in 1975

Tuesday 26 February 2019

The Alma Conspiracy and other Local History Conundrums

 With the local history of Thanet it is worth remembering that much of our economy was founded from about 1740 on the curative power of the seaside.
 Drapers Mills
 That until around 1950 a very large proportion of visitors arrived by sea with the first reliable paddle steamer service dating from 1815

 St Lawrence

I think this must be Dunkirk

Not the prefabs, I wonder why the homelessness problem isn't being solved in this way at the moment? It worked in the 50s and 60s
Two pictures of The Alma Inn from the same collection I am pretty sure the bottom one is right
Confirmed by this next picture
Although I think it was demolished a bit later than 1970, so I wonder where the first of the three photos is, another Alma?

On to now and the out and about photos I took yesterday

 A bit of a makeover above Godden's amusement arcade

 The Schoolwear Centre has been boarded up over the signs saying it was going to reopen soon
The whole old Lewis and Hyland site has had a bumpy time since it closed

A quiet day in the bookshop so a lot of books got priced and put out

Link to the pictures of the books