Whitstable in old picture postcards

Whitstable in old picture postcards

:   Michael Trowell
:   Kent
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3420-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Whitstable in old picture postcards'

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The Beach, Whltstable

29. Whitstable beach, circa 1920. Many people in Whitstable owned rowing boats like these. In the 1920s an eleven foot long rowing dinghy could be built locally, selling for as little as eleven pounds, though it cost more for fittings like oars and rowlocks, anchors and cables. During the summer, professional boatmen took holidaymakers on pleasure trips along the coast in this type of small craft. Some men owned as many as twenty boats. They each worked from a stretch of the beach recognised as their own trading position and marked by their oar box at the top of the beach.

30. A view from the sea looking towards houses on West Beach, circa 1915. These beach properties were , of course, ideal places for holiday-makers to stay. We know from the writing on the reverse of this card that in 1916 Littlecote, the fourth house from the left, was rented out for a month along with a rowing boat like the one in the picture.

31. Whitstable Harbour, circa 1906. Whitstable's main import was coal from the north of England which was transported via the railway network to many parts of Kent. Canterbury was an important market. The coal went there on the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway directly from the harbour, in the type of railway wagon seen on the right of this card. They had special rounded ends to enable them to go through the narrow Tyler Hili tunnel at the Canterbury end of the line. In the background is the chimney, since demolished, of the coke oven which converted coal to coke for the locomotive engines used on the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway.

32. Ship repairing yard, circa 1909. With so many Whitstable boats engaged iJl fishing and coastal and overseas trade, it was natural that there were shipbuilders and repairers along its coastline. For boys who had left school the shipyards were an alternative souree of employment to the sea, though more of ten only for the boys of better-off parents. Poorer families might need immediately the higher income which a boy could earn from fishing. Parents who were better-off sometimes encouraged their son to learn a trade, which would eventually be more lucrative, by putting hirn to a four year apprenticeship with one of the ship builders.

33. A Thames Barge in Whitstable Harbour, circa 1920. 'Daniels Bros.' can be seen painted on the stern. They were managers of the Whitstable Shipping Company that owned a small fleet of barges that operated between Whitstable and London. Their main import into Whitstable was grain which was transported to various parts of Kent. In the centre of the picture is the lift which was used to unload the grain from the barges.

Whitstable Harbeur


34. A view ofthe harbourfrom the east. The message on the back ofthis card, posted in 1905, is interestingfor its sheer brevity. It reads, simply, 'B.W.' which obviously meant something to the card's recipient. In the 'Golden Age' of postcards, before 1918, they were often used for brief communications Iike this, This was because it was cheap to send postcards (not unti!1918 was the postage rate raised from a halfpenny to a penny) and because the post a! service was very efficient. The Post Office delivered up to six times a day and a card posted anywhere in the United Kingdom usually reached its destination within twenty-four hours.

35. Though there has been a recent revival in the Whitstable oyster industry with the maturing of factory nurtured oysters in the local waters, Whitstable 'native' oysters are no longer cultivated off the Whitstable shore though the industry was for a long time the mostly important part of the town's economy. This card was posted in 1910 in an era when Whitstable dredgermen still caught millions of oysters every year and when many of the townspeople relied on the industry for a living, though not as many as in the last century. After the formation of the Company of Free Fishers and Dredgers of Whitstable in 1793 the number of freemen admitted grew rapidly to a point where there were more men than necessary to work the beds. Through still receiving payment these surplus men became a burden on the Company. An Act of Parliament in 1896 slimmed down the Company but it was soon after this that the industry went into a decline. As severe frosts, disease and pollution gradually killed off the oysters so the industry became less important to the local economy.

The Oyster Fleet Whitstable

36. A picture taken from the Horsebridge, circa 1920. Some of the oyster fleet can be seen on the right. The Iarger vesseI to the left, is a schooner, the type of eraft which carried Scandinavian timber, one of Whitstable's main imports, into the harbour. At low tide horses and carts went into the water down the slipway, on the right of the postcard, to unload the vessels.

37. A close-up of a Whitstable Native Oyster, and the type of vessel put to sea to dredge it up, from a postcard, circa 1906. The most common oyster smack, or yawl, used at Whitstable, according to A.O. Co!!ardin his book The Oysterand Dredgers of Whitstable (1902), was 'a c1inker-built boat, with overhanging counter, of from 10 to 25 tons burden. She (was) cutter-rigged, having a boomed mainsail, a topsail, Ioresail, and jib'. The rowing boat tied to the back of the yawl was used to bring the oysters ashore. This postcard neglects, infact, to give the Whitstable oyster its fu!! title. Since 1793 it had been called, impressively, the Royal Native Oyster because the Whitstable Company of Free Fishers and Dredgers had received in that year a charter from King George lIl.

Oyster Dredging, Whitstable.


Whitstable Native Ouster.

ยท Whitstable- View from Tankerton Road.



38. The reservoir, from a postcard sent in 1910. The waterfrom the reservoir was used to flushout the harbour at low tide but has since been covered over and is now the site of Whitstable market. The building in the background, with the masts of the vessels in the harbour behind it, is the Steam Packet public house. When this picture was taken it was an all wood construction but, after being bumt down in 1913, it was rebuilt ofbrick. The building on the extreme right is the Harbour Master's house. His office is the smaller building to the left.

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