Isle of Thanet Kelly's Directory 1936



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The population of Margate including the area added to the Borough by the County of Kent Review Order, 1935 is 40,307; the area of the civil parish and borough is 6,960 acres. The water supply is derived from deep wells and tunnels in the chalk downs about one mile south of the village of Wingham and 15 miles in a south westerly direction from Margate. Broadstairs takes a portion of its supply from the Margate works. The Works also supply the surrounding villages of Wingham, Goodnestone, Adisham, Knowlton, Staple, Stourmouth, Preston, Elmstone, Nonington, Chillenden, Womenswold, Ickham, Wickham, Patrixbourne, Bishopsbourne, Bekesbourne, Bridge, Littlebourne, Monkton, St Nicholas and Sarre.

Margate has the most modern system of drainage.

The Town is governed by a Corporation, consisting of a Mayor, 10 Aldermen and 30 Councillors, and is divided into eight wards, called respectively: Birchington Ward, Cecil Ward, Cliftonville Ward, Ethelbert Ward, Marine Ward, Park Ward, Pier Ward, Salmestone Ward, West Ward and Westgate on Sea Ward; the Charter was granted in 1857.

The area of the Borough was extended in 1877, in 1894 and in 1913; in 1935 the Borough was still further extended under the Kent Review Order, 1935, both south and west of the town, to include the parishes of Westgate on Sea, Birchington and parts of the parish of Acol, Garlinge and Minster as well as part of the parish of Broadstairs & St Peters in the rateable area of the Borough. The New Marine Drive commenced in 1878 and opened to the public in 1880, at a cost of about £40,000 extends from the Jetty to the railway stations.

The chief promenades are Marine Terrace, Marine Drive, the Fort, Queens Promenade and Princes Walk extending to Kingsgate on the easterly side of the town; there is also a sea wall and promenade on the west side of the town from Nayland Rock to Westgate on Sea. The Jetty with its extension is the modern successor of the old landing stage and extends nearly 1,500 feet into the sea.

There is also a lifeboat slipway on the eastern side so that it is possible to launch the motor lifeboat at any state of the tide. The boat on being called out is lowered fully manned down the incline.

A bronze statue on a granite plinth representing a lifeboat man in full sea gear, with his hand shading his eyes, looking out to sea in the direction of the spot where a fatal catastrophe occurred, was placed on the Marine Terrace, in memory of the surf boat crew who lost their lives on 2nd December 1897.

When the first pier was built is now unknown, but it is certain that in Queen Elizabeth reign the stone pier was maintained by certain rates paid for corn and other merchandise shipped and landed at this place. Soon after the wooden pier had been well cased over with stone, a tremendous storm swept away, on the 14th January 1808, nearly one third of the pier, the bathing rooms and a great part of the High Street - from the Kings Head Hotel to the harbour. A new pier was built, the cost being £60,000. Of Jarvis Landing Pier little now remains except a few piles at the head of the Jetty. It was built entirely of wood, and covered by the tide at high water.

The fort is a promenade on the cliffs eastward of the town. Fort Green now has a fine sea wall formed along the old front; an excavation was made, and a large concert pavilion and winter garden built with inner and outer stages. The outer one is in front of a large arena with a covered colonnade. The arena provided with seats  for several thousand persons and in case of bad weather the entertainment is given in the fine concert hall; the Corporation have a municipal orchestra, which is composed of instrumentalists from the leading London bands, and is augmented by vocalists; performances are arranged daily at the bandstand, viz: -the Pavilion and Winter Gardens, the Oval, Westbrook Pavilion, Queens Lawns and Westgate Concert Pavilion. there are bridges over Newgate Gapway and Hodges Gapway. At Hodges Flagstaff there is a sea wall and promenade and en tout cas tennis courts, bowling and greens. Off the North Foreland, in June 1666, was fought the memorable four days fight between the English Fleet under Abercrombie and the Dutch Fleet commanded by De Ruyter and De Witt. The wide promenade from Newgate Bridge to Kingsgate is the property of the Corporation and is laid out with shelter seats and band stands at the Oval and Queens Promenade and with a games centre and car park at Foreness Bay.

A sea wall extending from Palm Bay to Foreness Bay accommodates the many bathing chalets and tents provided by the Corporation. There is a municipal passenger lift to the sands near the Oval.

At Westbrook there are sea walls and on the promenade at Westbrook there is a concert pavilion seating 1,500 persons.

There is a scheme of tent bathing at Palm Bay, Foreness Bay, Cliftonville, Westbrook, Westgate Bays and Birchington under the direct control and management of the Municipal Authorities, and on the Marine Terrace is a bathing pavilion erected. At Cliftonville the bathing ground extends along the whole of the foreshore including Clifton Baths, Walpole and Palm Bays where there are magnificent sands and bathing can be had at all states of the tide from the Corporation Bathing Pavilions and tents or small bathing bungalows. At Westbrook the bathing ground is in a sheltered bay close to the Westbrook Pavilion and here the Corporation have built a bathing pavilion for 100 bathers. There is also a bathing pavilion at Marine Terrace Sands. In 1927 a bathing pool to hold nearly 1,000 bathers with amphitheatre for 3,000 people and adjoining promenade and cafes was opened at the Clifton Baths Estate.

The Grotto situated near the foot of Grotto Hill where it turns into the Dane, is called the Margate Catacomb. Entrance is made through a winding passage in the chalk into a remarkable series of vaulted excavations which are covered with a mosaic in shell.

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist which was founded in A.D. 1050 is situated at the end of the High Street. It is an ancient edifice in the Transition Norman style. the church was restored in 1877; the old galleries were removed and the floor lowered. the ancient chapel in the south east transept was restored in 1927. The register dates from the year 1599. the living is a vicarage, net yearly value £688 with residence, in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and has been held since 1931 by the Rev. Cuthbert Frank Tyrrell M.A. of St Johns College Cambridge who is a surrogate. St Mary's Northdown; St Barnabas Hall, Milton Road; St Augustine, College Road and St Anthony's, Millmead Road are in connection with the Parish Church.

Holy Trinity Church in Trinity Square at the back of the Fort was consecrated in 1829 and subsequently enlarged; the tower was erected as a seamark and is 136 feet high. The living is a vicarage with residence in the gift of trustees and has been held since 1929 by the Rev. Edwin A Cook M.A. of Queens College Cambridge.

St Paul's Church Cliftonville was consecrated in 1873. It is in the Early English style with a tower at the west end. the living is a vicarage with residence, in the gift of trustees,  and has been held since 1929 by the Rev. William Britton B.A., B.D. of London University.

St James Church is situated on the Canterbury Road and is a building of Irregular Gothic architecture with about 400 sittings. The living is a vicarage net yearly value £345 with residence in the gift of the vicar of Margate and has been held since 1933 by the Rev. Ernest Evitt M.A. of Selwyn College Cambridge.

All Saints Church Westbrook which was consecrated in 1894 is a building of Kentish rag and Bath stone in the Gothic style with a tower added in 1909. the living is a vicarage net yearly value £400 with residence in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury and has been held since 1921 by the Rev. Harry Lovett Hubbard M.A. of Selwyn College Cambridge.

The members of the Countess of Huntingdon Connexion meet at the Emmanuel Church, Victoria Road.

The Methodist Chapels are situate in Hawley Square and in Northdown Road, Cliftonville. Services are also held at the Methodist Mission Hall in Buckingham Road.

The Baptist Chapel is in Cecil Square and is connected with New Street. The Congregational Church in Union Crescent was built in 1845.

There is also the Rehoboth Strict Baptist Chapel in Ethelbert Road Cliftonville.

The Society of Friends meet at the Drapers Almshouses, St Peters Road. Services are also held at the Brethrens Meeting House, The Dane Room, Dane Road and at Northumberland Hall (Open Brethren) in Northdown Road.

The Roman Catholic Church of SS Austin and Gregory is in Victoria Road, near the Old Church; and the Salvation Army Citadel Army Citadel is in the High Street.

The Theatre Royal is in Addington Street.

There are tennis courts on the Flagstaff Promenade in the Dane Park, Tivoli Park, Hartsdown and at Westbrook under the control of the Entertainments Committee of the Corporation.. There is a ground with three good courts in connection with Kingsley, Harold Road and also one with five courts in Dalby Square.

There is a Bowling Club with fine grounds in Northdown Avenue. The Corporation have greens in Dane Park, Hartsdown, Westbrook and also on the Queens Promenade near the Hodges Flagstaff.

The grounds at Margate Lawn Tennis Club are at Hartsdown.

The Thanet Golf Club established in 1897, has an 18 hole course at Hengrove about 1 mile from Margate. There are no entrance fees; subscriptions: gentlemen 5 guineas; ladies 4 guineas; secretary, John A Sisley; hon. sec. C Waterer, Golf Club, Hengrove, Margate.

Margate is noted for tope, many over 5 lbs in weight having been caught. Other fish caught here are grey mullet, cod, bass, monkfish, mackerel, whiting and flat fish.

By the munificence of J Woodward esq. formerly a resident of the town the Council possess the Dane Farm Estate of about 33 acres; this by the desire of the donor, was converted into a park and winter gardens. there are also bowling greens and lawn tennis courts.

The Isle of Thanet Electric Supply Company Ltd tram lines start on the west from near the "Hussar" Inn at Garlinge and pass through Westbrook along the Marine Terrace and Marine Drive to the Fort, thence down Athelstan Road to the Northdown Road through St Peters and Broadstairs by Dumpton to Ramsgate, finishing at the terminus of the Southern Railway in that town. The same company have also a service of Green Motor Cars; one service starts from the Harbour at Margate and runs at frequent  intervals to and from Garlinge, Westgate, Birchington, Westwood, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Kingsgate; another circular service runs from Margate in either direction via Westgate, Birchington, Acol, Minster, Ebbsfleet, Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. The East Kent Road Car Co. have a service of motor omnibuses which run at frequent intervals to Ramsgate, Westgate, Birchington, Canterbury and Faversham.

Motor coaches run daily to Canterbury, Deal, Dover, Folkestone and excursions round the island are made by the same description of vehicle, several of which start every quarter of an hour for Garlinge, Westgate and Birchington from The Parade near the Jetty returning to the Station Hotel Westgate or from The Square Birchington. There are also frequent excursions to Ramsgate and Wingham starting from The Parade; also to St Peters Broadstairs and the North Foreland, Kingsgate, Pegwell bay, Minster, Quex Park, Acol and Birchington, from the Clock Tower, Cliff Terrace and the Eastern Esplanade.

Steamboats run between Margate and London during the summer months.

The Town Hall is in the centre of the town. Beneath it is the Police Station and adjoining it a small market. the Town Hall is situated in the Market Place. The Municipal  offices are at 38,40, and 68 Grosvenor Place.

The Margate and District New General Hospital, St Peters Road was opened by T.R.H. Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught in 1930. The building which was erected at a total cost of about £70,000, stands on an open site of about 8 acres, and has 100 beds, with medical, surgical and children's wards and special departments for X-ray and ophthalmic cases.

An ambulance service is provided by The Margate Ambulance Corps, established in 1880. The corps is equipped with three  motor ambulances and has emergency stations in Sweyn Road and Clock Tower; first aid dressing boxes are distributed over the town.

The Royal Sea bathing Hospital for tuberculous disease of glands, hip joints, bones etc is on the Canterbury Road, at Westbrook and was founded on 2nd July 1791 by Dr John Coakley Lettsom. Sir Erasmus Wilson built the Wilson wing at his own cost in 1881; his statue stands in the grounds in front of the hospital. The chapel was also his gift. A mortuary chapel was erected in 1906 in memory of C.A.Swinburne who contributed £51,476 to the endowments of the hospital. The King George V wing containing 68 beds primarily for the reception of ex.service men was opened in 1920. The hospital now contains 320 beds.

A mile to the south east is Drapers Hospital provided by Michael Yoakley a poor Quaker boy who rose by his thrift and industry to a high position and as a token of his gratitude for the dispensations of Providence appropriated a considerable part of his property to this beneficent work. The centre building was erected in 1709.

The Royal Scholl for Deaf and Dumb Children founded in 1792 in Old Kent Road London is a handsome pile of buildings in Victoria Road near the old church; the buildings were opened by King Edward VII at that time the Prince of Wales accompanied by Queen Alexandra then Princess of Wales in 1875. Further additions were made in 1880, 1886 and in 1904, when the Committee having sold the institution in Old Kent Road determined to house all the children at Margate.. The ordinary branches of education are religious instruction, speech, lip-reading, reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography, drawing, drill, dairy farming, bakery and gymnastics. Between the ages of 13 and 16 boys spend from 15 to 20 hours weekly in one of the trade training workshops at cabinet making, boot making, tailoring, gardening or printing. The girls between the same ages do dressmaking, laundry work and housekeeping. In 1926 an instructional dairy farm was started and a swimming bath  opened. Instruction by the oral system of teaching was commenced in the year 1881, and has continued ever since, the great majority of the children being so taught; speech, lip reading and writing being the primary means of communication during school hours. A kinema for instruction purposes was added in 1923.

The Alexandra Philanthropic Homes for aged and necessitous inhabitants were erected in Tivoli Road in 1867 to commemorate the arrival of Her Late Majesty Queen Alexandra off our shores on the eve of her marriage and of her receiving her first congratulations from the Mayor and Corporation of this Borough. The Homes were enlarged in 1913 and again in 1923.

The other public institutions are the Victoria Home for Invalid Children in Canterbury Road and the Metropolitan Asylums Board.

The Margate Public Library opened in 1923 in Hawley Square was moved to Victoria Road in 1932.

The Margate Club is at 10 Marine Terrace.

The Constitutional Club is in Cecil Street and the Beaconsfield Conservative Working Men's Club have good quarters in Hawley Square.

The Freemasons Temple is in New Cross Street.

This page was last updated on 05-Mar-2021.

Copyright © 2008 Janet & Richard Mason.