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RAMSGATE | 1895

LCDR C Class 1884

 

Lucy 1895

As a girl Queen Victoria had holidayed in the town and ‘we have pretty stories of her delight when she was allowed to play by the seashore, and go for long donkey rides or country walks on one of her many visits…’ According to Burnand’s and May’s comic Zig Zag Guide to the Kentish coast published in 1897, the train would have arrived in Ramsgate in a slow and dignified manner, for ‘It does not do to come rushing and screaming into Royal Ramsgate, nor to enter into the town all panting, puffing and blowing.’

The harbour is packed with an assortment of sailing craft, including fishing smacks, brigs and sailing barges. During the 1880s, Ramsgate had the largest fishing fleet in south-east England-144 vessels all told.The premises of W T Foster's ship's chandlery, founded in the 1870s, is on the left. Two interesting developments appear here. On the right, the dry dock has been half filled in by Thanet Ice Company, and an ice house has been built to supply ice to the fishing smacks. On the left, Harbour Parade and Military Road have been widened and raised. Madeira Walk was officially opened on 6 April 1895.

Despite the ‘Royal Ramsgate’ tag, the blatantly populist brand of entertainment on the beach and in the town – Sanger’s Amphitheatre had opened in the high street in 1883, and was capable of accommodating 1500 people – was aimed at the lower middle or working class tourist, the target audience with which Ramsgate was snobbishly associated. Nor did all the locals see this influx of visitors as an opportunity. In the year Sanger’s Amphitheatre opened, one disgruntled local shopkeeper complained that ‘they are ruining Ramsgate by these cheap trains […] they bring down mobs, who come only for the day, and bring their dinners in their pockets. They spend nothing in the town, and they drive away resident visitors’.

pointing_handYou wish to renew the acquaintance of an old friend. Check into your hotel and send her a message.

pointing_handYou are distracted by signs for a Diamond Jubilee party. Visit this first.

 

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