More Pictures and Video Links

A big thank you to John for sending around 80 very interesting photos of Old Ramsgate which have been posted in the picture album. Included are many shots of businesses in the town and I’m working my way through them trying place them. If you can help please leave a comment or send an email.

Shown above is the Odeon Cinema on the corner of King Street and Broad Street, latterly known as the Classic Cinema. I recall being told that this is the site where horses were kept at Hodgman’s Yard for pulling the Fire Pump which was housed in York Street. When a fire was reported the horses ran down to the Fire Station to be harnessed up. Does anyone else have any knowledge of this and does anyone know when the Odeon was built?

Can you help identify the premises above? There doesn’t appear to be any clues in the picture other than the name and it appears to be on a hill.

Although Ramsgate had more than its fair share of breweries, I’ve been unable to find any details of “Ramsgate Brewery”. Could this be the Ramsgate branch of another brewery such as Tomson & Wotton? There is clearly something else on the sign before Ramsgate Brewery. Can you help?

There are now links to some interesting old Ramsgate videos on the side bar. Many of them are Pathe News previews going back to 1919. Let us know if you recognise anyone.

Ramsgate's Bounty

The Bounty being towed out of harbour in 1951

Originally called the Alastor, the Bounty transported many emigrants to New Zealand, and later brought timber from Finland to the Kent coast. In 1946 she was brought to Ramsgate, renamed Bounty and converted into a floating restauarant. She was moored near the Clock House in the pier yard until 1951 when she was taken to London for the Festival of Britain, and later broken up.
A further 36 pictures depicting Ramsgate's past have been uploaded to the picture album. These are mainly but not exclusively of the harbour area. Click HERE to view them.

Another Twist to Ramsgate

Many years ago motorcycles were operated by a series of levers. I remember riding a 1930s Scott motorcycle with a hand operated gear change. The gear lever was on the right hand side of the fuel tank, and on the right side of the handlebars were the lever operated choke, front brake and lever operated throttle (accelerator). Things became quite busy when approaching a junction especially if you were turning right and had to give hand signals as well.

The procedure was greatly simplified in the 1920s with the invention of a twistgrip throttle. Now used worldwide the twistgrip was invented by a Ramsgate electrician Harry Laslett. Harry had his electrical shop in Queen Street, and lived at Queensgate Road. Members of the Laslett family still live in Ramsgate.

Many have claimed they invented the Twistgrip with some saying it was first invented by Silvester Roper for his steam motorcycle in 1869. There have been many modifications to the basic design but Harry Laslett received a U.S. Patent for his design in 1925. Click here to view the patent.

The photo above is of a Motorcycle Gymkhana of Southwood Football Ground. The gentleman at the back under a top hat is Stan Howard, a member of the local Police Force. Wearing the Mexican outfit is local engineer Jack Aycott and behind him is "Jonka" Spain. Many will remember the local motorcycle club dressed as Cowboys and Indians in local carnivals with horns and eccentric wheels on their bikes.

What happened at the Palace?

George Sanger built his Amphitheatre on the corner of High Street and George Street in 1883. Initially it was a circus building but was also used for opera and drama from its early days. The building was converted to a theatre in 1908 by Frank Matcham, a well known and prolific builder of theatres, and was renamed the Royal Palace Theatre. Films were also shown and in 1929 the theatre was equipped to facilitate talking movies. Films, variety and theatre continued until early 1961 when it was demolished along with the adjoining Sanger's Hotel.

This view is of Sanger's Hotel on the corner of George Street, but the striking façade continued down High Street and was complemented with eight female figures standing on pedestals holding ornamented gas lamps.

The façade continued as far as the present day Post Office building which now also accommodates shops at the front with the Post Office being relegated to the rear. Part of the façade still exists above the parade of shops next to the Post Office building

This view shows the last of the eight statues and marks the extent of the Sanger's building in relation to the current Post Office building.

But what went on inside the Palace? Pictures of the interior are very rare, as are those who can remember it.
Do you have any knowledge of the layout behind the facade? Pictures of the theatre or hotel interiors would be most welcome.

Claxton Ship Builders and Engineers

Claxton & Co. Ltd. were a well known and highly skilled engineering company in Ramsgate. In 1936 they occupied the Clock House at the Harbour and were carrying out ship repairs on the slipway. They also had stores at 7 Military Road.

This photo is dated September 25th 1939 and was taken outside Merrie England in Marina Esplanade. A couple of weeks later in October 1939 Merrie England was commissioned as a naval shore base known as HMS Fervent.  Do you know anyone in the picture?
More photos can be seen in our Old Ramsgate Picture Album 

1822 Map of Ramsgate online

A scanned copy of Collard and Hurst's 1822 map of Ramsgate has been uploaded to the Old Ramsgate Discussion Group site. The map is from a survey by R. Collard and G. Hurst and was published in 1823 by R. Collard, Broadstairs.  The scan is slightly blurred in places but should prove useful for research purposes.

Click HERE to see the map full size.

Ramsgate Rocks!!

Can anybody help out with these two new photos that have been added to our Old Ramsgate Picture Album . . .

The notice says it's Real Ramsgate Rock, 56 lbs
that's 25.4 kilos in new money
Do you know who the characters were or when and why it was made?

Invicta Motorcycle Club

Footage of Invicta MCC Combine Trial held at Westbere Cafe on the A28 east of Canterbury. Starting the Trial is Martin Tomson of Tomson & Wotton Brewery.

1950's Invicta Motorcycle Club Scramble. Date and venue unknown

The Sunbeam Motorcycle Club Sprint in association with Ramsgate's Invicta Motorcycle Club. A quarter mile sprint along Ramsgate's Western Undercliff.

Old Ramsgate Photo Album

Photo Album of Old Ramsgate copied from various sources including Ramsgate Library's collection by kind permission of the late Charles Busson

Pathe Newsreel of Ramsgate

1920 - Captured German Submarine towed into Ramsgate Harbour
1933 - Ramsgate Councillors take to the air on a new air service to London
1936 - Pegwell Bay frozen over (plus other non Ramsgate events)
1939 - Tea Party on Ramsgate Sands attended By Ramsgate's Top Hat Mayor Alderman A.B.C. Kempe
Welcome to Ramsgate

This blog is under construction as a convenient place to assemble information about Ramsgate's past. New content will be added as and when it becomes available.