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The Watchman, Wednesday 14 November 1838
Accident to the Duke of Wellington
On Saturday morning an accident happened to the Duke of Wellington, which might have been attended with serious consequences. His grace was hunting between Walmer and Upper Deal; whilst crossing a bank his horse's feet slipped, and coming down on his haunches, threw the duke off, and he fell on his back upon the ground. Lord Mahon, fearing the horse might roll upon his grace, instantly darted forward and succeeded in getting him up, we are happy to state, without having sustained any injury. His grace, after shaking the dirt from his cloak, remounted, and continued the hunt as if nothing had happened.
The Watchman, Wednesday 4 September 1839
Mr Wyse, the new Lord of the Treasury, is married to a niece of Napoleon, by whom he has two children.
The Penny Postage, it is said, will commence on the 1st of January, 1840; and very active arrangements are now making at the Post-office to carry the measure into full effect. It is intended that stamped envelopes shall be sold at all the metropolitan and country post-offices, where stationers, as well as the public, may obtain supplies. Letters sent without being stamped will be conveyed, but they will be charged at a higher rate.
Intended Abolition of The Fleet Prison, &c.
A notice has been received by the marshal of the Fleet prison, and a similar intimation has been made to the marshal of the Marshalsea prison, directing them to hold themselves prepared for the removal of the prisoners from their respective prisons to the Queen's Bench prison, it being intended at once to sell the ground on which the Fleet and Marshalsea prisons stand. It is said that a saving to a very great extent can be effected, one prison (the Queen's Bench) being amply sufficient to contain the whole of the debtors, since the passing of the late act.
It is a singular fact, that there are now confined in the public and private establishments for the treatment of insanity in London and the neighbourhood, no less than sixty men and women who consider themselves the legitimate but unacknowledged sovereigns of the country.
The magnesian limestone, or dolomite of Bolsover-moor is the stone recommended for the new Houses of Parliament. The Times.
The Watchman, Wednesday 18 December 1839
Mr. Hansard's property was announced to be sold yesterday, under a writ of fieri facias, for the damages in the case Stockdale v. Hansard; and some interest was excited, from a rumour that the House of Commons would interfere. At the hour appointed, however, a notice was posted that "the sale would not take place" but under what arrangement did not transpire. The money was paid on Monday evening, by whom it is not stated.
The Watchman, Tuesday 24 December 1839
On Saturday evening a respectably dressed woman, about thirty years of age, threw herself from the parapet of the centre arch of London-bridge, and was carried away by the tide.
Death of a Miser
On Tuesday afternoon an old shoemaker, who resided in Brook street, Lower Deptford, named Allen, died from the effects of an asthma, leaving £6,000 in cash and notes, and a similar sum invested in the Bank of England. The deceased lived in the most penurious manner, and during his illness would not apply for medical advice, nor have any one to attend upon him for fear of expense. On examining the boxes and drawers in the house, money and documents were found to the amount of £12,000. The notes were discovered hidden between the leaves of books, and in some bags were penny-pieces and farthings to the amount of £40 which must have been hoarded up for many years, as most of them were mildewed. A will was found, bequeathing the whole of his immense treasure to his relatives, about 10 in number. The old man was a bachelor, and a native of Scotland, and in the 76th year of his age.
The Mayor of Deal is a surgeon; he was invited the other day by a boatman to go professionally on board a vessel in the Downs. He did so, performed the required operation, and was making his bow, when he was told that the vessel was under quarantine, and that he must go with her to Stangate Creek ! The law is imperative; the mayor was obliged to comply. 
The Socialists, though a sect of Infidels, denying the very existence of a God, get their places of meeting licensed under the Act of Parliament which was intended to provide for the registering of places of "religious worship". The Act 55 Geo. III. c. 155, provides for the registering of places for a "congregation or assembly for religious worship of Protestants;" and the Socialists, to get the certificate, act the double farce of calling themselves "Protestants", and of pretending that they assemble for "religious worship!" This is characteristic, however, for the system is as devoid of morality as it is of religion. Leeds Mercury.
 Ships arriving in London by the Thames had to undergo quarantine in Stangate Creek.
Stangate Creek on the River Medway circa 1823-4
Water colour by Joseph Mallord William Turner
The South Eastern Gazette, Saturday 16 September 1871 at page 3
Precautions against Cholera
By permission of the Board of Admiralty, her Majesty's ship 'Rhin', a vessel of the fifth class, now in Stangate Creek near Sheerness, is to be stationed in the river Thames as a floating hospital for the reception of cholera patients who may arrive on board homeward-bound ships.
The Watchman, Wednesday 22 July 1840
The New Houses of Parliament
Mr. Charles Barry, the architect of the new houses, has had several interviews with Viscount Duncannon and the Hon. Mr. Commissioner Charles Gore, on the subject of laying the foundation-stone of the buildings for the Lords and Commons, and it has, we understand, been definitively arranged that the ceremony is to be postponed until early in the ensuing year, when it will probably be laid by her Majesty. Mr. Barry stated to the Commissioners that the houses will be completed by the commencement of the session of 1844. The workmen, of whom there are nearly 500, are still employed under the contractors (Peto and Grissell) in constructing the Speaker's house, Usher of the Black Rod's, and Parliamentary offices, which, by the end of the present year will, in the opinion of the architect, be twenty or thirty feet from the basement.
A man was, on Thursday, committed to the House of Correction for two months, from the Marylebone Police Court, for having stabbed his wife with a table-fork, in consequence of his supper not having pleased him.
Determined Suicide of a Young Lady
Between seven and eight o'clock on Friday morning, an elegantly dressed lady, apparently about twenty years of age, committed a most determined act of suicide, by throwing herself into the Surrey Canal, near the arch of the London and Greenwich Railway. Two labouring men, who saw her jump in, instantly ran to the spot, but the body never rose to the surface. It is a most melancholy fact that, since the formation of the above canal, upwards of 2,000 bodies have been taken out of it.
A person named Job Denton stole two cows, near Sheffield, on the night of Sunday week; on Monday morning, he was apprehended and committed to York Castle; on Tuesday, he arrived; and on Wednesday, he was tried and received sentence of transportation for ten years.
Important to Auctioneers
In the Court of Queen's Bench, last week, an action was tried, "Rainy v. Vernon", in which the question involved was, whether an auctioneer who has been once engaged to sell a property is entitled to his commission when the vendor succeeds in selling his property before the day appointed for the auction, and before the auctioneer has done anything. The verdict was for the plaintiff, thereby deciding the question in the affirmative.
It was a clumsy and cruel contrivance of the Romans to use hedge-hogs for clothes' brushes, and prepare them for it by starving them to death; our method of sweeping chimneys is not more ingenious, and little less inhuman. Southey.
"A great lie", says the poet Crabbe, "is like a great fish on dry land, it may fret and fling and make a frightful bother, but it cannot hurt you. You have only to keep still, and it will die of itself."
Fashion is a poor vocation. Its creed, that idleness is a privilege, and work a disgrace, is among the deadliest errors. Without depth of thought, or earnestness of feeling, or strength, of purpose, living an unreal life, sacrificing substance to show, substituting the fictitious for the natural, mistaking a crowd for society, finding its chief pleasure in ridicule, and exhausting its ingenuity in expedients for killing time: fashion is among the last influences under which a human being, who respects himself, or who comprehends the great end of life, would desire to be placed.
An Irish tailor, having made a gentleman's coat and vest too small, was ordered to take them home and let them out. Some days after, the gentleman, inquiring for his garments, was told by the ninth part of an Irishman, that the clothes happening to fit a countryman of his, he had let them out at a shilling per week.
The Watchman, Wednesday 2 September 1840
Swallowing the News
As Mr. Driver, a fishmonger residing in High-street, Shadwell, was engaged in his business, he had to cut open a codfish of about eighteen pounds weight, in the stomach of which he discovered a ball of paper compressed together very close. He succeeded with great difficulty in getting it partially open, when he found it to be a copy of the London Morning Chronicle, of February 11, 1801. The paper is as stiff as parchment, but the reading is tolerably legible, and from its appearance there can be little doubt but it has been in the maw of the fish a considerable time. The fish was caught off the Scotch coast, and it is supposed that the newspaper must have been blown overboard from some ship and have been gorged by the fish, this species invariably swimming with their mouths wide open. It is no uncommon thing to find stones, nails, and pieces of wood inside a codfish.
A woman of very ordinary appearance and thirty-five years of age, was examined at Manchester on Monday week, charged with having four husbands all alive.
Death From the Bite of an Adder
On Friday week, as a poor labouring man, named John Minter, who had been mowing barley in a field belonging to Mr. Major, of Park Farm, Folkestone, was crossing another field on his way to help his wife, who was reaping, he saw a large adder, nearly three feet long, which he stamped upon with his foot. When proceeding to pick it up, the reptile stung him on the fore finger of the right hand. In less than five minutes he began to swell all over in an amazing degree, and foamed at the mouth terrifically. Messrs. Jeffery, Kelsey, and Minter, surgeons, were quickly in attendance, but, melancholy to relate, notwithstanding every exertion that could be used, the sufferer expired in the most dreadful agony in less than an hour after he was bitten by the adder. On Tuesday, the members of the Friendly Club followed him in melancholy procession to the churchyard. The incision made by the reptile was not larger than the prick of a needle. Kentish Mercury
The Watchman, Wednesday 30 December 1840
Snow in Kent
A considerable quantity of snow has fallen in East Kent, and drifted in many places to a great height. The van from Deal, on its return from Dover, was laid up about a quarter of a mile from Ringwould, and the passengers, ten in number, including five ladies, got with the greatest difficulty, through the snow, knee deep, to the Five Bells public-house in that village, where they were all obliged to remain for the night. The van was got back to the inn, but did not reach Deal till twelve the following day, having to traverse through the fields to arrive at its destination. A poor woman had been a considerable distance for some medicine for her husband, when she lost herself, and had fallen in the snow, but was providentially found by two men and carried to the above inn, and enabled to pursue her journey.
We have to record in our political obituary the deaths of two Chartist journals, the Western Star and the Northern Liberator. The former died young, at its 9th number, the latter had reached its 165th. The disease in each case was deficient circulation. Globe.
These associations, it appears, prevail in many parts of the country to a considerable extent, and circumstances have recently occurred which are calculated to produce a considerable degree of consternation in the public mind in respect to the real character of these confederations. There can be no doubt that a labourer is perfectly justified in disposing of the only marketable commodity upon which be depends for a subsistence to the best advantage, and he may employ every legitimate means for that purpose; but, when measures affecting not himself only, but society at large injuriously, are resorted to, under the erroneous impression that they will secure the desired end, the matter assumes a different and more serious aspect. For instance, at Ashton-under-Lyne the other day, a man was murdered by means of an instrument called "an infernal machine", which was fired at him whilst peaceably engaged in his occupation of a sawyer. No evidence has yet been procured to fix the crime upon any individual, but the investigation that has been instituted has developed the existence of a conspiracy, formed under the mask of a "Trades' Union", which is fearful to contemplate. It is, in fact, a revival, if it be not a continuation, of the system so extensively organized amongst the Glasgow Cotton Spinners during the late strike, and existing amongst the Ribbonmen of Ireland at the present day.
The means employed for enforcing an observance of the "Union" rules are various, from petty personal annoyance to the destruction of property, and murder itself. The manner in which it is determined by whom any act agreed upon is to be executed, is described by a correspondent of The Times, who writes from Ashton, and who appears to have had access to information respecting the discoveries of the police during the pending investigation into the recent murder there. The proceedings of the "Union" are, it seems, conducted in secret, by a few of the most active members; and, he observes:
"Whenever the prime movers in the unions have determined what is to be done, the members are assembled, and, having been blindfolded, a corresponding number of balls with the number of members present is placed in a ballot-box, and each draws a ball. The balls are all black but one, and that one is red, and whoever is the unlucky man to draw the red ball is compelled to commit the crime, whatever may be its nature. Should the appointed assassin refuse, his life would, of course, be in similar jeopardy. Horrible as this statement may appear to be, I have no doubt, from the source from which my information emanates, of its authenticity, from which it appears that when once an operative joins the unions, he has but a small chance of retracing his steps."
Census of 1841
According to the population act of last session, the census for the year 1841 is to be taken on Thursday, the 1st of July next, by enumerators of districts selected by the registrar of births and deaths, and approved by the superintendent registrar and the registrar-general. Their instructions will require that an account be taken of the name, age, sex, and condition of every person who slept in any house within their district on the previous night. Parties returning false answers to questions put by the enumerators in the discharge of their duties, will be liable to punishment.
We understand that Thomas Henry Lister, Esq., the Honourable Edmund Phipps, and Thomas Vardon, Esq., are the Commissioners for taking account of the population of Great Britain, in July next, pursuant to the Act of 3 and 4 Vict., c. 99. The first-named gentleman, in his capacity of Registrar-General, is specially constituted a commissioner by the terms of the act; the others have been recently associated with him by her Majesty. Mr. Mann, of the General Register Office, has received the appointment of Secretary.
The Watchman, Wednesday 14 July 1841
As some men were employed in digging gault last week in Haddenham Fen, Isle of Ely, and had got about five feet below the surface, their spades came in contact with a hard substance, which, to their great astonishment, they discovered to be an ancient canoe, in length twenty-six feet, and in breadth something above four feet, with rowlocks for three pairs of oars; about five feet in length was broke off the canoe in getting it out. It appeared, on close inspection, to be hollowed out from the trunk of a single tree.
The Watchman, Wednesday 18 August 1841
The Thames Tunnel
On Thursday, Sir I. Brunel descended the Wapping shaft, and passed from one end of the tunnel to the other, under the river, and made his exit by the shaft in Rotherhithe, returning across the river in a boat. He was warmly congratulated by the workmen and others assembled, as the first person who had ever passed under the Thames by means of that gigantic undertaking. Afterwards, Mr. Hawes, M. P., the chairman of the company, accompanied by another gentleman, descended into the tunnel on the Rotherhithe side, and soon made their appearance in the shaft at Wapping, having also passed under the entire breadth of the river. It is not to be inferred, however, that the tunnel is completed by what happened on Thursday, but the shield extends to within ten feet of the Wapping shaft, and a drift way, or water-course, has been formed from the shaft into the tunnel, through which Sir I. Brunel passed.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 14 April 1863 at page 5
The New Pier
Deal, in a few months, it is said, will again be provided with a landing pier, to which steamers may draw and passengers land, and which will also add much to the general aspect of the town. It must be admitted, however, that many of the inhabitants, including the most influential, are of opinion that it is not likely to work wonders, or realize the professed object in view, namely to promote the general interests of the town, should it interfere with the services of the boatmen - the main point to be considered, and to which weight is justly attached. The ceremony of driving the first pile, or rather of embedding the first column in concrete, came off on Wednesday. The proceedings did not occupy many minutes, including Mr. Hugessen's address, which was terse, appropriate, and fraught with good wishes to the undertaking. It is confidently said that it will be three weeks before anything more is done, a statement which seems strangely at variance with a report that the advanced arrangements of the contractors would enable them to make rapid progress with the structure.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 3 November 1863
A few days ago a conger eel of unusual size, measuring 6ft. 1in. in length and 23 inches in circumference, was caught in the Downs by a fisherman named Outridge.
Downs Harbour and Docks
A special meeting of the promoters of this project was held at the Guildhall, Deal, on Thursday last, W. T. Pettit, Esq., Mayor of Deal, presided. Mr. Alfred Giles, C .E ., attended, and exhibited his plans. They consist of a basin of 30 acres, to be constructed on the waste ground near Sandown Castle, to be connected with Sandown by a cut 100 ft. wide, through which the waters of the river Stour can be diverted when necessary, to flush out the entrance of the basin. The cost is estimated at about £200,000. The engineer explained that the outer basin would be always open and have 10ft. of water at the lowest spring tides, and the entrance to the sea protected by two arms or piers. The drainage of the marshes would not be interfered with; and the waters of the Stour would be so seldom required for flushing, that the river above and below Sandwich would not be injuriously affected. On the proposition of Captain Betts, seconded by R. Marsh, Esq., Mayor of Sandwich, it was resolved to adopt the plans and estimates of the engineer, and apply to Parliament this sessions for powers to construct the necessary works. Joint committees from the promoters in Deal and Sandwich are appointed to take the necessary steps to bring the project before the public, which will, we confidently assert, find favour and support, not only in the immediate locality, but among the monied circles of ship-owners, and underwriters in London. The Downs harbour and docks will supply a want that has long been experienced by all pilots and nautical men acquainted with the navigation of the Downs and the East coast of Kent, viz. a spacious harbour into and out of which vessels and steam packets of moderate draught could pass at all times of the tide, in any weather, and thoroughly sheltered from the prevailing winds.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 17 November 1863 at page 5
During the recent gale from the N. N. E., the floating raft, constructed of huge masses of timber used for fixing the piles at the new pier, parted from her moorings, and after drifting a short distance was brought up by the anchor becoming attached to the drain pipes of the barracks. To secure the balks several boatmen were engaged, and among the number a man named Castle, who unfortunately received a violent blow just beneath the knee, which broke his leg. He was immediately conveyed to Deal, where surgical assistance was promptly provided, and he is going on favourably.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 22 December 1863 at page 4
At about 7 o'clock on Sunday se'nnight, two guns were fired from the gull Light, signifying that a vessel was in distress on the Goodwin. Without delay a long galley, named the "Arrow", with a crew of eight men, hastened to the spot, but on reaching it they found that a Ramsgate lugger had saved the crew of the vessel, and consequently that their services could be dispensed with. Before reaching home their own lives were imperilled. The Arrow, it seems, carried too much sail, and a sudden gust of wind, when about 80 yards from the shore, caused her to capsize. After buffeting the waves for a short time, four or five succeeded in reaching the columns of the pier, to which they clung till assistance arrived. The rest were saved by a ship's boat which happened to be near. The operations at the pier, during the last week, have been vigorously carried on, and it now extends seaward 280 feet, leaving 722 feet for its completion. On Thursday night several of the wooden piles were displaced by the sea, and have not yet been recovered.
Accidents. A few nights ago Mr. Hubbard, Trinity Pilot of Deal, while in charge of a vessel which was being towed by a steamer in the river, was pacing the deck (the night being extremely dark), when he approached too close to the aide of the vessel and fell overboard. A rope was instantly thrown to his assistance, which, failing to grasp, he called out "If you again miss me I shall be lost". Happily the second rope proved successful, and nothing could exceed the satisfaction of the crew when the pilot safely reached the ship, with no other inconvenience than a wet jacket.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 12 January 1864 at page 5
The sum required to defray the Parliamentary expenses and to obtain a Bill for the construction of a harbour is estimated at £2,000, towards which amount £1,800, from various sources, have already been subscribed. The remainder will be forthcoming when desired. A few days ago, the raft called the 'Alhambra', used for raising and fixing the iron columns at the new pier, again parted from her moorings, and by the combined influence of wind and tide drifted against one of the large columns, which was so completely severed by the collision as to render the support of two heavy balks of timber necessary. The strong tendency of cast iron to break, for example chain cables, from the effects of intense frost, is well known to the mariner, and to this circumstance the fracture in question is ascribed.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 19 January 1864 at page 5
The Channel Fleet is shortly to rendezvous in the Down.
The operations at Deal Pier are about to be discontinued for a month or six weeks (so far as pile driving is concerned), on account of adverse weather. The iron columns not yet used are placed on the Esplanade, collected together, and confined by a strong chain.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 15 March 1864 at page 5
At the Petty Sessions on Thursday, Edward Hanger, Thomas Erridge, and Henry Foster, were charged with smuggling a quantity of Cavendish tobacco concealed in two baskets in a boat called the 'Susannah', and liable to a duty of 4s. 6d. per lb. William Batten, a coast-guardsman at the north-end station, Deal, stated that he was on duty at the watch house on the 5th inst. about half-past eleven in the forenoon he saw a boat coming ashore. When she struck the beach the three defendants jumped out of her. As soon as the boat was hove up witness overhauled her, and under some potatoes in two baskets he found a quantity of tobacco. The men walked away, but Erridge and Hanger afterwards delivered themselves up, and Foster was apprehended.
C. T. Flower, Esq., Collector of Customs at Deal, stated that the tobacco brought to the Custom house by the coastguard weighed about 20 lbs. It was Cavendish tobacco, and was liable to a duty of 4s. 6d. per lb. It was worth 1s. per lb. besides the duty. Mr. Everest, a gentleman staying here for the benefit of his health, generously volunteered his professional services in behalf of the defendants, and the case for the prosecution being closed, the learned gentleman proceeded to address the court in a speech not remarkable for its brevity or want of tact, and which was deemed not conclusive enough to justify an acquittal. The magistrates, after a short deliberation, sentenced each of the prisoners to pay a penalty of £100, or in default to be imprisoned six months. The latter alternative being adopted, they were accordingly sent to gaol.
At the close of the proceedings an indecent outrage took place in the hall, in which a party named Wilds was mainly implicated. In the attempt to take him into custody a scuffle ensued between him and the police, in which the clothes of the superintendent and P.C. Cod were damaged. Wilds was ultimately lodged in prison, but was liberated on Friday, after being bound over to keep the peace and paying the costs.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 29 March 1864 at page 5
New Assembly Rooms - The building of the new rooms in Park Street, the ground for which has been handsomely given by I. Iggulden, Esq., commenced on Wednesday, and will occupy to completion (if pushed on vigorously) about six months. The contemplated dimensions are 66 ft. length, 36 ft. width, and 26 ft. depth, providing a room not only calculated to accommodate a first-rate party, and suitable to all purposes, but considerably superior in appearance to any already constructed in the town.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 12 April 1864 at page 4
Our fair on Wednesday and Thursday afforded an unmistakeable sign that its doom is sealed - a circumstance which few in the town have cause to regret. There were only a few straggling stalls to be seen.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 26 April 1864 at page 5
The numerous improvements at present going on here, and others in contemplation of comparative magnitude, bid fair, among other advantages, to open fresh sources of employment, and advance the general interests of the town and neighbourhood. As regards the Docks and Harbour Bill, the matter is satisfactorily settled; the pier now only wants 240 ft to completion, and a first class Public Room in Park-street, which will not be spoiled by situation, will be ready for use early in the autumn. The first stone of the edifice was laid by the Mayor a few days ago, and as ceremony is usual on such an occasion, and most people like a little parade to mark an interesting event, a procession was formed, and his worship, attired in his official robes, performed the principal duty. On arrival at the appointed site, Mr. Edwards read the following copy of a scroll enclosed (with sundry coins) in a bottle, which was deposited under the foundation stone: "The site of this building was presented by John Iggulden, Esq. The first stone was laid by William Matson Cavell, Mayor of Deal. Directors, William Betts, jun. (chairman), P. Leith, M. B. Tompson, F. T. Hulke, C. Roberts, J. B. Kemball, W. R. Collard, J. Nethersole and G. Frey (Hon. Sec.); Architect, Thomas Hellier; Solicitors, Mercer and Edwards; Builders, Denne and Wise."
As an appropriate sequel to the proceedings, our worthy rector, the Rev. T. L. Griffiths, on the suggestion of Capt. Betts, invoked the divine blessing on the undertaking. The procession then reformed and adjourned to the Black Horse Hotel, where a sumptuous déjeuner was provided, and a thoroughly pleasant meeting took place.
On Wednesday the water in the Downs was so beautifully clear, that a quantity of iron, at least four fathoms below surface, was so perfectly distinguishable to the naked eye, that without much trouble it was transferred to a boat, and from thence to the beach. It appears the iron in question, weighing 7 cwt., formed a part of the ballast of a Deal lugger called the 'British Queen', which was lost off the south end of the town as far back as April 19th, 1849. Several crabs were plainly seen crawling on the sands at a considerable depth.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 26 April 1864 at page 5
The numerous improvements at present going on here, and others in contemplation of comparative magnitude, bid fair, among other advantages, to open fresh sources of employment, and advance the general interests of the town and neighbourhood. As regards the Docks and Harbour Bill, the matter is satisfactorily settled; the pier now only wants 240 ft. to completion …
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 24 May 1864 at page 5
During several evenings of the past week the sea at the water's edge seemed teeming with life, arising from countless myriads of young smelt of the most tiny description, which, to get clear of mackerel, made for the beach, and from their numbers they deeply coloured the water.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 7 June 1864 at page 5
Larger quantities of mackerel have been caught within the last few nights than have been known here for many seasons. Two boats, the 'Louisa' and the 'Himalaya', caught nearly 10,000 fine fish, which were quickly transferred to Ramsgate and other markets. As to getting choice fish here nobody, except strangers, expects it, unless indeed a sudden and unexpected glut should take place.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 14 June 1864 at page 5
At the Petty Sessions on Thursday … Frederick Cavell, a workman employed on the pier, was charged with being drunk and riotous thereon. It appears on Wednesday, by way of refreshment, Mr. Denne, brewer, generously gave the men employed a barrel of beer, of which a man named Cavell, feeling thirsty, the weather being warm, drank rather too freely, and as all things may be abused, and even beer taken to excess he refused to leave the pier, when desired to do so by the authorities, and was accordingly taken into custody by the police and lodged in gaol. As no one appeared to press the charge, he was discharged, this being his first offence, with a caution to be more circumspect in future.
Early Closing Movement
The principal grocers of the town, at the request of their assistants, have announced their intention to close their shops every Wednesday evening at 6 o'clock, during the summer.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 21 June 1864 at page 5
The annual regatta is expected to take place in the early part of August. Preliminary steps in furtherance of the object, as regards the appointment of a committee and other arrangements, were adopted at a meeting convened by the Mayor at the Town-hall on Friday. Tuesday, the 23rd of August is the day fixed for the Deal Regatta.
The Downs Harbours and Docks Bill
This bill has passed the ordeal of a third reading in the House of Lords, and now only waits for the royal assent. This really important intelligence reached Deal by electric telegraph on Friday night, soon after the result was known, and was welcomed with feelings of the liveliest satisfaction. The required powers having been obtained, the undertaking, despite of many a shake of the head and adverse prediction, taken up as it, is with commercial spirit by British capitalists, will commence at no distant period, as it is well understood that definite plans are arranged.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 28 June 1864 at pages 4 and 5
We are informed that the Downs Harbour and Docks Bill has received the Royal assent.
Another Life Boat
A brick building is about to be erected between the site of the old castle at Sandown the windmill on the beach, for the use of another life boat.
At the Petty Sessions on Thursday, Edward James Lloyd, James Wright, and Edward Salusbury, soldiers belonging to the 23rd Regt., were charged with being drunk and disorderly, and assaulting the police in the execution of their duty, on Wednesday night … The prisoners, who had nothing to say except that they were drunk, were severally sentenced to seven days' hard labour. The superintendent informed the Bench that several persons were appealed to for assistance, but refused. The Bench said it was well to know that a refusal to assist was an indictable offence, and that in future such conduct would be severely dealt with by the magistrates.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 5 July 1864 at page 5
Fire on Deal Pier
A few days ago a fire broke out on the new pier, caused by the boiling over of two barrels of coal tar. The general belief was that the wooden part must fall a sacrifice. Happily there was a large quantity of gravel at hand, by the timely-use of which the flames were checked, and ultimately got under without doing much damage.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 19 July 1864 at page 5
The improvements which have recently taken place here, and are still progressing, afford a favourable augury of a prosperous future, The past week was one of unusual interest, on account of the opening on Thursday of the new pier. The Mayor, with his usual spirit of courtesy, lent to the inauguration pageant the display of a civic procession, which derived additional interest from the presence of Colonels Burton and Maxwell, with a large military retinue, accompanied by the bands of the garrison.
The pier, which of itself is a great improvement to the town, presented on this occasion an imposing appearance, and attracted an immense concourse of spectators.
The only drawback to the proceedings was the newly-made asphalted walk on the pier, the surface of which freely yielded to indentation, and became so pasty from the effects of the sun's rays as to adhere with annoying tenacity to the boots and dresses of the ladies. This was not the only disastrous incident which took place - a fine specimen of the canine genus, a valuable Pomeranian dog, belonging to a gentleman in the Walmer road, having followed him to the pier, deliberately laid himself down, but soon after, despite repeated struggles, found that he was unable to move, and was only released by the owner cutting away a large quantity of hair.
… The asphalted coating of the pier is being removed. One lady had a rich dress entirely spoilt.
An immense shoal of porpoises in a single line was observed on Thursday evening, about half a mile from the beach, proceeding in a northerly direction. The salient powers of several were considerable, as they sprang from the surface of the water to a height of not lees than three feet.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 26 July 1864 at page 5
By permission of Colonel Burton and Lieut.-Colonel Maxwell, the brass band of the 6th Dépôt will perform on the Pier every Friday evening, from half-past six to nine o'clock; and the fife and drum bund of the Royal Marines, and Sergeant Goddard’s troupe of hand-bell ringers, every Monday and Wednesday, at the above time, during the season.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 23 August 1864 at page 5
The prevalence of Algæ or Kail has been particularly noticed within the last few days, insomuch that it was difficult to use an oar along shore without a large quantity suspended from it. The stillness of the water and fineness of the season are supposed to have greatly facilitated the growth of maritime productions.
The life-boat house now in course of construction between the site of Sandown Castle and the mill on the beach is rapidly approaching completion, and will be ready for the safe keeping of the new boat in a few weeks. The walls are of great thickness, and well fitted to sustain the concurrent attacks of wind and weather.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 30 August 1864 at page 5
Re-Survey of the Downs
Commander Calver, of the 'Porcupine', surveying ship, having completed the resurvey of the Thames from Sheerness to Harwich, and who was preparing to continue his operations as far as Lowestoft, has been ordered to proceed to the Downs, the Trinity Masters finding that considerable changes have taken place of late in the Gull Stream. The despatch used by Commander Calver in re-surveying such a vast tract of shoals as those lying between Sheerness and Harwich is highly creditable to him, and contrasts favourably with the seemingly endless surveying operations of some of his predecessors and contemporaries at home and abroad.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 6 September 1864 at page 5
On Saturday afternoon, at about one o'clock, a thunder storm of extraordinary violence passed over the town, accompanied by a deluging downpour, which fell with scarcely any intermission for nearly an hour and a half. Lower-street was completely flooded, both at the northern and southern extremity, so as to render it impassable for foot passengers. At the foot of Cottage-row, leading into Lower street, where a confluence of water from various quarters took place, the horses' knees were under water. Being at the time of high water the south end drain was overflowed, hence there was no outlet for the water to escape. The ground floors and cellars of many houses were flooded, and in some instances the inmates had but just time to rescue their goods before all was afloat. Mr. Green, chemist, in Lower street, is said to have had more than 60 loads of water taken from his cellar, and other houses it is believed fared not much better. Still it is satisfactory to state that the damage is not so extensive as might have been expected.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 20 September 1864 at page 5
On Tuesday last, at Shoulden, a labouring man named Harvey, upwards of 70 years old, had his thigh so badly fractured that he is not likely to recover. The accident was occasioned by a sheep knocking him down, by rushing between his legs, as he was taking some lambs from a fold to convey them to a butcher at Deal. Mr. Solly, in whose field the accident happened, had every attention paid to the sufferer.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 11 October 1864 at page 5
Owing to the nipping air of a keen nor-easter, which has prevailed with considerable violence several days, our visitors are much less numerous. Upon the whole the season has been a good one.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 25 October 1864 at page 4
On Thursday afternoon, a large Confederate merchant vessel, named the 'Southern Rights', bound to London with a valuable cargo, passed through the Downs, within a trifling distance of the 'Sacramento' and 'Niagara' a brace of formidable looking iron clad Federals.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 6 December 1864 at pages 4 and 5
… Lord Clarence said he had now had the honour of representing that borough 17 years, and his earnest ambition was to remain their member [cheers]. The noble lord then proceeded to remark upon the present position and future prospects of Deal. That place had lately shown great improvement. Through the enterprise of many there they bad succeeded in raising a very beautiful structure in the shape of a pier. The site of their old dockyard, an unsightly, rotten pile of buildings had been sold to the Conservative Land Society to make way, he hoped, for a handsome row of houses.
After touching upon one or two other local improvements, Lord Clarence referred to the Bill brought before Parliament last Session for the creation of docks in the Downs. The Downs was to all sailors an historical spot, and that place might, before all others, be called the key of the Channel. When the question of forming a great harbour of refuge was before the country some 30 years ago he believed the weight of naval evidence was in favour of the Downs as being an infinitely superior site to Dover [hear, hear]. But in an evil hour for the country Dover was chosen in preference to the Downs [cheers]. Happily, however, in these days of enterprise, the creation of docks and basins at Deal had been projected. A crippled ship was now obliged to run for Ramsgate harbour, and they all knew that a more intricate and dangerous navigation than the approach to Ramsgate did not exist. They could readily conceive, then, how thankfully hundreds of vessels would avail themselves of a harbour in the Downs for repairs and for safety. There was one broad fact which stared them in the face, namely, that between Portsmouth and Sheerness there was not a single secure harbour on the coast [hear, hear]. As a sailor, therefore, he felt certain that the time would come when that great and magnificent national work would and must be undertaken [hear]. He could only say that, as far as he had any influence in the country or in the Government, he should deem it his duty to forward in every possible way so noble an enterprise [cheers].
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 20 December 1864 at page 4
A Mr. William Murphy, an Irishman, and quondam priest, having announced a series of lectures at the Town-hall, avowedly designed to expose the false teaching and pernicious practices of the Church of Rome, the Mayor, prompted by a sense of duty, has refused to grant the use of it, for purposes calculated to raise a disturbance, especially in a garrison town, where Roman Catholics are not a few in number. If the report of these lectures be true, the Mayor is perfectly justified in placing a veto on the use of the ball. The development of truth is doubtless a primary object of importance, but even in a good cause zeal without discretion has often proved an inseparable stumbling block to its propagation.
A meeting recently took place at the office of Mr. Mercer, in reference to the contemplated new harbour and docks at Sandown, which it is confidently reported will be vigorously commenced in the early part of the ensuing spring.
The tradesmen of the town generally intend to close their shops on Monday next.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 27 December 1864 at page 5
It is reported that it is the intention of Government to reduce, in the spring, the 26 dépôts stationed in various garrisons in the kingdom to 19, in order to raise the numerical strength of the latter from the men disbanded.
The South Eastern Gazette, Monday 26 May 1884
Amusements for the Season
An adjourned meeting to consider what steps should be taken to provide the visitors with amusements during the coming season was held at the Guildhall on Thursday evening. The Mayor occupied the chair, and stated the points to be discussed.
Mr. Weston announced that he had engaged a military band for the Marine terrace gardens, which would commence on Whit Monday, and he should do his best to get a series of military bands during the summer. He should not be able to get so many as last year owing to the Artillery band at Dover having been broken up, but he should get other amusements. As regarded the engagement of a Town Band it would not interfere with his arrangements. The annual regatta he should be sorry to see abolished.
Mr. Lawrence, manager of the pier, said he had already engaged a summer band, the same as last year. He had engaged the band for ten weeks from the 10th July, the Pier Company paying twelve guineas per week.
Mr. Huntley warmly advocated a regatta as a means of advertising the town. Mr. Pengam suggested that a recreation ground should be provided by a piece of land being hired for cricket or lawn tennis. The Mayor said the proposal opened up a wide question and an expensive one.
Mr. Long said a cricket field was provided last year, and visitors were invited to join the club at a small subscription. Only two availed themselves of the opportunity.
Mr. Thompson said the pier had engaged a band to play morning and evening; it would do good if they played in the afternoon in the town. Mr. Chapman supported the suggestion. It was ultimately decided to form a committee to carry out the arrangements of the annual regatta.
The South Eastern Gazette, Monday 27 October 1884 at page 5
Supposed Smuggling Conspiracy
On Thursday night a boatman named Finnis was arrested by the Customs' officials at Deal for having landed a cargo of smuggled tobacco from the steamship 'Burslem', which was transhipped off the South Foreland a few weeks ago.
The prisoner was brought before the magistrates on Friday morning and formally charged with the offence. It is said that the Customs authorities are in the possession of positive evidence that the lugger fell in with the 'Burslem' off the Foreland by arrangement, and took the tobacco on board, and subsequently landed it. There is a suspicion that an extensive smuggling trade has been carried on in this way. The prisoner was remanded until Thursday, bail being required to the extent of £2,000.
The South Eastern Gazette, Monday 5 December 1887
On Monday an inquest was held by R. M. Mercer, Esq., on the body of a boy named Samuel R. H. Lill, aged eight years. Deceased entered the shop of Messrs. Ford and Co., grocers, and called one of the assistants' attention to a bottle of jam which was broken. Shortly afterwards the boy was noticed spitting up blood, he having eaten some of the jam, which was evidently mixed with broken glass. The medical evidence showed that the deceased suffered from difficulty in breathing and swallowing, and on Friday he became delirious and died. The gullet was cut, which led to an abscess forming in the chest and right lung. A verdict in accordance with the medical testimony was returned.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 25 December 1888 at page 3
On Monday at a special meeting of the Deal Town council, it was decided to forward a memorial to the Board of Trade showing that Deal was without any harbour or shelter for ships or boats; that for generations a large part of the population had been engaged in nautical pursuits, but from the want of a harbour they were unable to engage in deep-sea fishing, and at certain times of wind and tide were unable to carry on their occupation at all, as they could not launch from the beach; that through the decline of their occupation the race of Deal boatmen was likely to die out, unless some steps were taken; that the seaside population of the neighbouring towns on the coast had advantages through their harbours, of which Deal boatmen were deprived; that these towns obtained their goods by water, whereas at Deal everything had to be brought by rail, causing a much larger outlay, to the injury of the locality as a place of residence; that in coal alone a saving in the cost of at least £2,000 would be effected, equal to a rate of 2s. in the £, and it would open up import and export trade, as well as deep sea fishing, afford further communication with the continent, and provide a safe refuge for vessels of moderate size; that it would be of the greatest use from its position in connection with H.M. Navy, especially in the time of war, as a rendezvous for small cruisers, and as a coaling station and victualling depot; and asking their lordships to grant to the promoter of the Deal harbour the provisional order he seeks, and also promote and facilitate the confirmation thereof by Parliament.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 1 January 1889 at page 5
Town and Country Notes
The marriage entry referring to Marlowe's parents has been discovered in the register of St. George the Martyr, Canterbury:
"1561. The 22nd of May were married John Marlowe and Catherine Arthur."
"1563. The 26th day of February was christened Christopher, the sonne of John Marlowe."
The discovery at Canterbury of the marriage entry of good old Izaak Walton, the Prince of Angling Saxons, does not quite yield the final word on the question of his trade. He was always regarded as a linen draper who had a shop between Chancery-lane and Temple-bar, but the marriage entry describes him as an ironmonger. There is not much in common between the two trades, but it is presumed that Izaak would not indulge in fiction at so solemn a moment, even if he were a man capable of deceiving anybody or anything but a fish. The explanation seems to be that he was not an ironmonger by trade, but that he belonged, as is known, to the Ironmongers' Company. As a citizen of London he described himself in formal documents by the name of his Guild.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 1 January 1889 at page 6
Christmas in Prison since 1863
On Monday at the Folkestone police court, Katharine Emmerson was sentenced to fourteen days' imprisonment for being drunk and disorderly in Tontine street on Saturday night. Prisoner asked the Bench to give her a "chance" this time. She had spent Christmas in prison ever since 1863, and if the magistrates would let her off this time - she would not ask them if it were not Christmas time [laughter] - she would keep straight. Superintendent Taylor said it was quite right what the prisoner had stated. She had spent nearly all her life, since 1863, in prison. She had been convicted at Maidstone, Canterbury, Tunbridge, Folkestone, Dover, Dartford, and many other places. On Thursday she was locked up for being drunk and had the delirium tremens so badly that a doctor had to be fetched in. He hoped the Bench would not let her off. She was a pest to the police. Prisoner said she had a very weak constitution, and as soon as she drank any beer it made her intoxicated.
The Daily Express, Monday 6 August 1900
Round the Coast
The Shores of Kent
By F. G. Aflalo
When the horses don straw hats and the judges doff their wigs, London is one of the finest cities in the world to get away from. So, just as July gives way to August, the shutters go up, burglary insurances are paid, and servants go on board wages. Their employers used either to go to the Continent, or to say they were going there.
Recent amenities, however, have made patriotism and the truth compatible, and they will this year admittedly repair, according to their tastes and means to the South Coast, to the north of Scotland, or to the west of England, leaving Ostend hotel-keepers to express a fine indifference to the sour grapes of their patronage.
I assume that some readers of the "Express" set store by knowing something of the bathing, boating, fishing, and excursions available at the chief centres of our six Channel counties, or, to be more precise, five counties and a "delectable" duchy, and it is my. ambition to draw on the memories of two yachting trips from Kent to Cornwall, many train journeys in the hinterland of the coast, and varying periods of residence at some of the chief resorts, for hints that may be useful these early August days.
These rambling notes are not addressed to the specialist. The cyclist has his road books, his ordnance maps and his "Danger" boards for his guidance. The yachting man has his charts, his suits of ducks, and his crew to do all the work, while he consumes tobacco in a deck chair. The golfer has likewise his chaste entrees of information as to the most sporting links, and the conditions of temporary membership of seaside clubs. The amateur sea-fisherman can likewise learn through the columns of the "Field" where he has a chance of ten-pound bass bass, twenty-pound pollack, or mackerel by the thousand.
Fresh air, bathing, fishing
And now of Kent. One goes to Kent in August for the bracing climate. It may be bracing. I have fished at Deal before daybreak Christmas week, and was braced almost into eternity. On the other hand, I have received letters from Margate in July, mournful recitals of overpowering sun and breezes that would not blow, and had them blown out of my hand by cool winds in South Devon.
As regards the bathing in Kent, it is, save at spring tides near Deal and the Forelands, quite safe; and the paddler finds the sands of the Margate neighbourhood most agreeable.
The August fishing is not first rate. Guide books say otherwise; but guide books are not as a rule compiled by sportsmen; and their writing is moreover on the principle that every place is best.
A good-sized bass might, or might not, reward a fortnight's close attention to a line baited with squid or herring, and flung out from Margate Jetty or Ramsgate Harbour, and the red buoy off the latter would probably give a mixed bag, sufficient to satisfy the untutored taste, of whiting and dabs to a paternoster baited with mussel or lugworm.
The wreck off Sandown Castle gives pout; Deal Pier offers small pollack; and larger fish of the same species may on good days be obtained at Dover, just opposite the shaft of the embryo Channel Tunnel. But Dover fishing is not what it was for the Government has "improved" the Admiralty Pier in every interest but the angler's; while the Promenade Pier, of which much was hoped a year or two ago, is so regularly denuded of its weed and mussels that the fish avoid it as De Wet avoids Roberts.
Taking these Kentish places collectively, the most convenient course in a limited space, there are two unfailing attractions for excursionists in Canterbury and the French coast. The glamour of the latter, waning on political grounds, is heightened by the prospect, never fulfilled, of being "conspué" back to your steamer.
Hints to cyclists
Canterbury Cathedral is served by a converging rabble of trains, coaches, and wagonettes, and is the shrine of a thousand bicyclists and half as many pedestrians every week. The walk between Deal and Canterbury - speaking from memory, I suppose it is rather more than a dozen miles - takes one along about the best scenery of the maritime part of Kent, vastly inferior to some of the inland districts, and nowhere rising above the level of what is vaguely termed "nice", that conveniently colourless adjective for mediocrity in music, girls, or landscape.
The cyclist will find the flattest roads, the parent or paddler the finest sands, at the Herne Bay end of Kent, both direct results of the outflow of the Thames. The least poor summer fishing may be looked for, on the other hand, between Ramsgate and Dover.
The scenery is nowhere much better than the fishing, for the fact is that, with the exception of a few isolated efforts as at Dover, the Needles, and Lulworth, our south coast scenery is a little painful until we get to West Devon.
It was my highest ambition, when planning these notes, to outline the special attraction of each place, but it is by no means as easy as it might appear to define characteristic attractions.
Some would, though scarcely in August, associate Whitstable with oysters, Margate and Ramsgate with minstrels and donkey rides, Deal with better vegetables than they get at home, and Dover with fortifications that flutter the dovecotes of Paris, with sea sick arrivals from the Continent, and with gentlemen in red coats who interfere with the safety of perambulators and their occupants. Dover is, in fact, at length realising the hopes of those who have for years advocated its claims as a summer resort. It has not Folkestone's Leas nor Margate's "life" but you can boat and bathe and catch a few fish, and play golf; and if it is a little hot in the town so snugly ensconced between the garrisoned heights, there is always a breeze up by the Castle or on the opposite cliff.
And, one way and another, it is lately noticeable that many folks who go there one August return the next.
The Daily Express, Wednesday 7 November 1900
Immense numbers of silver whiting are now to be met with off Deal, and sea-anglers have made some exceptionally large baskets. Two rods upon one occasion accounted for 440 whiting, one rod and a hand-line took 380, and in two hours a couple of anglers caught 74. In one night it is estimated that over 1,000 whiting were caught from Deal Pier. One ½ lb. whiting secured from a boat between two and three miles out had eight partially-digested small fry in its inside, and when pulled in was found to have taken two pieces of sprat and to have been hooked twice.
The Daily Express, Tuesday 16 August 1904
What to do at the Seaside
The Growth of South-Eastern Resorts
Places for Anglers
Deal is an excellent centre for deep-sea fishing. The British Sea Anglers' Society have an active branch here. Mr. E. Hanger is the local secretary. There is good bathing from the machines on the foreshore. Mixed bathing is not allowed, although at Kingsdown, a mile or so along the front, bathing
en famille from tents takes place. Sea excursions are run daily to neighbouring coast towns, and across Channel once or twice a week in the season. Private apartments can be obtained for as little as 30s. a week.
The Daily Express, Monday 22 October 1906
Triumphant Woman Angler
Miss Allison Wolff carried off all the honours at the two days' pier angling competition of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association which began on Saturday. She caught the largest cod, the heaviest flatfish and the largest pout. There were fifty competitors, seventeen of them being women. The fish were shy and the catches were very light. Miss Wolff's total catch for the two days weighed only 5 lbs. 11 ozs.
The Daily Express, Thursday 1 August 1907
Sea Angling for the Holidays
Prospects of Sport for the Amateur Fisherman at Deal
Although the weather during last month has been anything but kind, and the sea has not yielded up its usual complement of finny prey, yet the prospects for August holidays, especially on the east coast, are better than they have been.
The steady increase in the popularity of sea angling has never been more marked than it is at present, and local preparations are going busily forward to deal with an anticipated "rush" of enthusiastic anglers - men and women, for the latter have taken roost kindly to the sport in towns where only a few years ago the average amateur fisherman was represented by a hopeful little boy and a piece of string.
Nowadays the sport of sea angling numbers its votaries by hundreds of thousands, and annually some hundred of thousands, and annually some hundred of tons of fish are taken out of the sea by rod anglers alone. Men and women not only go to the seaside to lounge on the front or parade the pier, but to fish, and thus get the full benefit of both the muscular exercise and the fine life-giving sea air.
Deal, being one of the first angling stations in England, naturally comes in for a large share of this attention.
Nor are visitors this August likely to be disappointed; for among the fish which may be taken are mackerel and there is no more delightful sport than mackerel spinning from a boat, bass (from the Kingsdown Rocks), cod (which are already "coming in", and afford one of the finest specimen fish caught on the coast), conger (out by the Bank Buoy), eels, dabs, flounders (towards Pegwell Bay), herrings, skate (10 to 16 pounders), whiting and whiting cole or pout, generally in great numbers, with an occasional sole, a fine turbot, pollack, and plaice, to say nothing of crabs and lobsters, which, although they play havoc with one's bait, nevertheless afford compensations when caught.
Nor need the sport prove an expensive one. A half-guinea rod, a sea-winch, a hundred yards or so of good stout line, with a few odd leads from 4 ozs. to 10 ozs., and, roughly, the equipment is complete.
Bait - lug worms, mackerel, herring, etc - costs but a few pence a day, and if one wishes to dispense with the expense of a boat, there is always the pier or some rock or groyne from which, at high tide, fishing can be successfully carried on.
Very good sport can invariably be had at Deal from the beach, either from near Sandown Castle or towards Walmer.
This year sea-fishing competitions will be well to the front, and the arrangements for the forthcoming festival indicate that the policy of "Forward", which has been the watchword of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association since its inception, has been well maintained. Of these the principal events take place in September, October, and November.
Good Summer Sport
Some surprise may be expressed that these festivals are not set earlier in the season, but the reason why they are held on this part of the coast somewhat later than those of many angling associations is that the finest cod, whiting, etc., are generally more abundant in October and November, though it is true much good sport may be had throughout the summer, especially among the mackerel, pollack, and flatfish.
Moreover, the fine seaworthy boats and the magnificent seamanship of the famous Deal and Walmer boatmen render the sea angler less dependent on the weather than at other resorts, and act as a continual guarantee for both the safely and comfort of the deep-sea angler.
The splendid fish caught on these occasions (some of the cod taken last year scaled nearly 30 lbs.) prove not only the value of these fine fishing-grounds, but also the wisdom of the committee in fixing these competitions in conformity with the natural features of the sport. The great success which attended the ladies' angling competitions of last year has naturally resulted in a similar fixture being held this Season.
The Daily Mirror, Friday 13 January 1911
Passenger Steamer’s Peril in Gale
Deal Lifeboat in Trouble
In going to the assistance of the brigantine Sela, of Faversham, which had been in collision with a steamer in the Downs, the Deal lifeboat Charles Dibdin yesterday nearly capsized in the tremendous sea, the crew clinging to one side of the boat.
She was righted, however, by splendid handling, and made for the vessel, to which she rendered assistance.
Later in the morning the Brazilian ketch Flores, of Maceio, dragged her anchor, and, just touching Deal Pier, drifted southward. The Walmer lifeboat was launched, but owing to the wind was unable lo roach the schooner, which went ashore between Deal Castle and Walmer lifeboat house.
The rocket apparatus was brought up by the coastguards, but they had only got three men ashore when the schooner's cable broke, and the vessel swung round, rendering the apparatus useless.
The skipper and mate threw a line over the side, and tried to climb down, but their, rescue was effected, thanks to a plucky action by Coastguardman Coates, who, supported by his comrades, waded waist-deep into the water, caught hold of the end of the line, and helped the two men ashore.
A huge amount of shipping took shelter in the Channel between Dover and Folkestone, while in the Naval Harbour dozens of sailing vessels sought refuge.
A Danish three-master - the Marthing - ran into the Admiralty Pier, forced her bowsprit into a new electric crane, and knocked the back out of the engine-room. Before a harbour tug had dragged her clear the heavy seas had lifted the ship with the impaled crane repeatedly, thereby seriously damaging the crane.
The Daily Express, Friday 27 October 1911
Izaak Waltons in Skirts
Seven Hours' Ordeal on a Pier
Deal, Thursday, October 26th.
The wettest place in England today was undoubtedly Deal Pier, where three-and-fifty ladies fished all day in the annual sea-angling competition.
At least, there were fifty-three ladies until one timid competitor caught a peculiarly repulsive dogfish, and abandoned her rod and her chances in feminine horror.
Then there were fifty-two, and they, clad in gleaming black oilskins and sou'westers, braved seven long hours of the rain and wind-swept day. The gallants whose knightly duty it was to impale nasty red worms on fishhooks made an early flight before that riot of rain, but, with chilled hands grasping their rods, the drenched but doughty ladies kept their posts.
By twelve o'clock curls had become dank, dripping tresses. One o'clock brought a kindly steward of ceremonies down the thin black line to wring out the fringes of rain-soaked skirts, but still the anglers watched their wind-blown lines, fishing for fame and a pair of silver-backed hairbrushes.
Mrs. Percy Edgar, who organised the competition, was ahead early in the day by the capture of a big cod and, encouraged by this success, she went home and changed her clothes.
Mrs. Edgar looked an easy winner until about three o'clock in the afternoon. Then Mrs. Rose landed another corpulent cod, and promptly wrapped it in a wet cloth so that it would not lose any weight by getting dry.
An experienced angler, this Mrs. Rose. "I would not let any one breathe on that fish" she confided to me, "for fear they might blow a scale off it. It all counts in the weighing in."
So all through the day the oil-skinned anglers re-baited their hooks and cast their lines, while sheets of rain smote the boards, and the. waves thundered among the ironwork of the pier-head. At four o'clock the rain ceased, and at half-past four a whistle sounded, and the lines were drawn in.
Then, carrying their precious catches, the anglers gathered in the pavilion where they made a group that looked like Mr. George Edwardes' idea of a musical comedy lifeboat crew - a laughing crowd of young women in shining oilskins, their wet hair tumbling out from big sou'westers over wet, rain-beaten faces.
The weighing in was a solemn affair, but in the end Mrs Edgar scored a very popular victory. She only caught one fish, but it weighed four pounds five and a half ounces.
So Mrs Edgar wins the pair of hair brushes and Mrs Rose, whose fish weighed 3 lbs 12½ ozs., carries off the fishing-rod which is the second prize.
The total weight of fish caught was 21¼ lbs., which works out at less than half a pound of fish per angler.
Women's Fishing Championship
Women anglers competing on Deal Pier for the deep sea fishing championship of the United Kingdom
The Daily Mirror, Friday 1 September 1916
Sir D. Haig's Daughters as Anglers
The two little daughters of Sir Douglas Haig, Alexandra and Victoria, took part in the fourth annual angling competition for juveniles from Deal Pier yesterday. Among the spectators were Lady Douglas Haig, Lady Loreburn and Lady George Hamilton.
The Daily Mirror, Friday 13 October 1916
The ninth annual ladies' sea angling competition was held from Deal Pier yesterday.
A number of convalescent soldiers assisted in various ways.
The Daily Mirror, Friday 31 August 1917
Baby as Fisherman
Youngest Competitor Who Angled from Perambulator
A novel feature of the children's fifth annual angling competition from Deal Pier, yesterday, was that the youngest "fisherman", Ethel Holworthy, aged two years and four months, dangled the line from a perambulator.
The first prize for girls, a silver wristlet watch, given by the Countess Beauchamp, was won by Florence Arnold, with a weight of 1 lb. 10½ oz. while William Belahoyde, with a weight of 2 lb. 7¼ oz. carried off the boys' first prize, a silver hunter watch given by Lady George Hamilton.
During the match Lord and Lady Hamilton visited the Pier and chatted with the children.
The Kent Messenger, Saturday 15 June 1918
While fishing from Deal Pier Mr. Philcox, a member of the London Police Force, caught a codfish weighing 20 lbs. It is the largest fish caught from the Pier this season.
The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 27 August 1918
Wounded Anglers Competition
One hundred and fifty wounded sailors and soldiers took part in an angling competition on Thursday from Deal Pier, arranged by Deal and Walmer Angling Association. Among the competitors were a number of Canadians and Australians, and several men who took part in the attack on Zeebrugge. Some were maimed and fished from bath chairs. Thirty were successful in catching fish. The first prize, a silver wristlet watch, given by Lady Haig, was won by Pte. Lyon. At the close of the competition the men were entertained to tea and a concert, after which the prizes were distributed by Brigadier General Parsons.
The Daily Mirror, Monday 17 September 1923
Girl's Rough Sea Swim
14-Year-Old Athlete Makes Trip From Dover to Deal in 3½ Hours
In a rough sea, Miss Ivy Martin, the fourteen-year-old daughter of Mr. Francis A. Martin, a Dover licensed victualler, swam from the Admiralty Pier, Dover, to Deal Pier yesterday in three hours and twenty minutes.
Daily Mirror, Saturday 14 February 1925
Angling for Charity.
Competitors in the novel angling contest on Deal Pier.
The winner received the combined entrance fees and had the honour of handing them to the war memorial hospital.
Unhappily they did not get the weather they deserved.
Daily Mirror, Monday 28 December 1927
Great Channel Gale
Boat Services Cancelled for the First Time for Twelve Years
For the first time for more than twelve years all cross-Channel services connected with the Southern Railway, except one special boat which took 200 passengers from Dover and Folkestone to Boulogne, were cancelled yesterday owing to the great gale raging in the Channel.
No boats arrived at Folkestone from Boulogne or at Dover from Ostend. The Ostend boat remained at Dover.
No Continental expresses arrived at Victoria from either Dover or Folkestone, a thing which has not happened for years.
Deal Pier which, since its erection over fifty years ago has weathered some terrific gales, suffered to such an extent that it was temporarily closed.
At Kingsdown heavy falls of cliff occurred.
The steamer Indier, of Antwerp, struck the southern breakwater when attempting to enter Dover Harbour, and her bows were damaged.
The motor vessel David M., reported bound for London with a cargo of bricks, was driven ashore off Birchington. The crew were landed.
The Daily Express, Friday 23 August 1929
Excitement was intense on Deal Pier yesterday during an angling competition for boys and girls.
Parents were present in force to watch the skill of their children.
The Daily Express, Monday 25 August 1930
Two long-distance swims, one by an Indian student, and the other by a thirteen-year-old Ramsgate girl, will be undertaken tomorrow. The Indian, Ahmed Shah, of Osmania University, Hyderabad, will attempt to swim the twenty miles from Dover to Ramsgate as a preliminary to a cross-Channel swim.
The girl, Florrie Proctor, will set out to swim from Deal Pier to Ramsgate. She has already won a number of swimming trophies.
The Daily Mirror, Wednesday 27 August 1930
Young followers of Izaak Walton busy on Deal Pier yesterday.
They are seen taking part in a children's angling competition which drew 270 entries.
The Daily Mirror, Wednesday 27 August 1930
Child Anglers at Deal
One-fifth of an ounce of fish per child was the average catch made in the annual fishing competition for boys and girls on Deal Pier.
The Daily Mirror, Friday 16 September 1932
Mrs. Miller, meteorological officer, taking the temperature of the water from Deal Pier.
She has done this daily for years. A women's angling competition was held yesterday.
The Daily Mirror, Friday 10 August 1934
The Daily Mirror, Monday 26 November 1934
Eighty-eight anglers fished continuously for six hours from the Deal Pier (Kent) and established a new low record for the world. They caught six fish - total weight 4 lb. 2 oz.
The Daily Express, Monday 26 August 1935
Crowd Cheer Boy Hero
Sea Rescue Drama
Holiday makers on the beach near Deal Pier this afternoon cheered Harry Pitcher, fourteen-year-old son of a boatman, when he rescued a boy from drowning.
The boy grabbed Harry so tightly that he nearly pulled him under; and Harry's father and a Marine, John Gilbert, helped him to get the boy, Toni Cox, aged eight, son of a collier, up on the beach.
As Harry walked away in his dripping clothes be was loudly applauded by crowds of visitors.
The Daily Express, Monday 2 December 1935
The Daily Express, Tuesday 3 December 1935
One Fish - Angler Wins Four Prizes
A cod weighing 7 lbs. 13 ozs., caught from Deal Pier, Kent, yesterday, won four prizes, in the closing day of the Deal and Walmer Angling Association's Festival, for Mr. Edward H. Shuttleworth, of Deal.
Mr. Shuttleworth received the cup for the heaviest cod, another for the heaviest fish of the festival, another for the heaviest one-day's take, and the National Federation of Sea Anglers' bronze medal.
The Daily Mirror, Wednesday 15 January 1936
Couple whose Luck won't go Wrong - Fish, £1,500 and 40 Prizes
A married couple are the envy of all the anglers here - and you will envy them, too, when you hear their story. They are Mr. and Mrs. George Belsham, of Brighton, and while fishing from Deal Pier they have caught twenty-eight plump codlings, eleven dogfish and numerous whitings and dabs.
Other fishermen have had no luck at all. All this has happened in a week.
A Mr. Alfred Winchcombe did manage to catch a flat fish weighing 1 lb. 5½ oz., but then, you see, the Belshams were not on the Pier. "We are treating ourselves to a fishing holiday at Deal", said Mr. Belsham to me as we sat at the end of Deal Pier.
"Not only have we had plenty of luck with the fish but we have had a jolly fine windfall in another kind of sport - football pools. In one week last December my wife and I won £1,656 14s. 7d. But that's not all. During the last eighteen months, while fishing at Brighton and Deal, we have won seven silver challenge cups and thirty-three other prizes."
We adjourned to the Pier buffet and celebrated. When we came back Mr. Belsham had two fish on his line.
I'm Sure it was two … I saw two.
The Daily Express, Monday 13 July 1936
The Daily Mirror, Monday 17 August 1936
250 Child Fishers Sure to Have a 'Bite'
Two hundred and fifty toddlers will invade Deal Pier tomorrow to fish.
It is the twenty-third annual open sea angling competition for girls and boys from five to fifteen years.
There is a prize for every child, whether they get fish or not.
All the children are bound "to have a bite". Three or four bushels of apples, hundreds of buns and cakes will disappear somehow.
The Daily Express, Monday 17th August 1936
Two hundred and fifty children, aged five to fifteen, will take charge of Deal Pier today for their annual open sea angling competition. Training has been serious, but - catch or no catch - there is a prize for every one.
The Daily Mirror, Wednesday 26 May 1937
The Daily Express, Friday 28 May 1937
Swimmer Saves Alsatian
Daily Express Correspondent
Bathers on the beach opposite Walmer Castle today saw an Alsatian wolfhound swimming wildly out to sea. The dog swam a mile, then turned inshore.
Mrs. Ethel Kellingley, of Deal, snatched up a large bathing towel, dived in, swam to the dog, lassoed it with the towel, and brought it ashore in a strong flood tide still struggling and snapping.
The dog was taken to the police station. Police refused to keep it until it had been "doped" by a veterinary surgeon.
Later, the dog was claimed by Mr. Donald Robinson, of Deal. He had taken the dog - its name was Rex - down to the beach to see if it could swim.
The Daily Express, Wednesday 8 September 1937
Long-Distance Swimmer at 53
Mrs Ethel Kellingley, of Deal, is fifty-three. Yesterday she swam breaststroke from Dover's eastern breakwater to Deal Pier - ten miles - in two and three quarter hours.
Last May, at Walmer, she swam after a mad Alsatian wolfhound, "lassoed" it with a bathing towel and brought it ashore.
The Daily Express, Saturday 13 August 1938
Swims 10 Miles at 55
Mrs. Ethel Maud Kellingley, of Deal, walked unaided up the granite steps in Ramsgate harbour yesterday afternoon, and sweeping off her goggles and helmet revealed a head of wavy grey hair.
Mrs. Kellingley is fifty-five.
She had swum the ten miles from Walmer lifeboat station in 3 hours 5 mins. Last year she swam from Dover to Deal Pier in 2¾ hours.
Her husband, Billie Kellingley. swimming coach and trainer of many Channel swimmers, says his wife's next long-distance swim will be somewhere around the Goodwin Sands.
The Daily Mirror, Tuesday 8 August 1939
Saved by Sinking Boat
With his boat rapidly filling with water, Harry Pitcher, a Deal boatman, yesterday rowed a quarter of a mile to rescue two girls, Lise Fliegel, a Viennese, aged ten, and ten-year-old Lucy Reite, who were in difficulties near Deal Pier.
So hurried was his launch that his boat had no plug in it. By the time he reached the shore with the two girls the boat was more than half-full of water.
When Pitcher first saw the two girls both were exhausted, and one was trying to hold the other up.
He rowed out at top speed. The bigger girl had just enough strength to hang on to the boat while he pulled the younger girl on board.
The Daily Express, Tuesday 11 June 1946
Skilled handling of the motorboat Arcadia saved two fishermen whose waterlogged boat, the Ann, was trapped in the wreckage of Deal Pier.
The Ann became unmanageable in the gale, dragged her anchors, and was driven broadside on among the twisted girders of the Pier. Motor boats put off to the rescue through heavy shore breakers.
The Arcadia, the first ,to reach the Ann, was steered alongside the sinking boat, and the occupants, Mr, E. Cartledge and Mr. J. Fowler, were dragged on board.
The Daily Express, Friday 26 August 1949
Mrs. Ethel Kellingley, aged 68, of Deal, Kent, celebrated her 72nd birthday yesterday by swimming between Brighton's two piers, and back - 1½ miles in 57 minutes.
The Daily Mirror, Tuesday 19 January 1960
A Proper Cough Drop
There are two elementary principles about cough-mixtures that must be understood before you get to work. The first is that they must taste abominably. Anything that has a pleasant flavour may be a pure waste of time. A good cough mixture is reminiscent of gasometer paint, coffin varnish and the underwater preservatives that they used to apply to the stanchions on Deal Pier before it was blown up in 1940.
The second is that they should be expensive. This is a melancholy fact, but cheap medicines rarely did anybody any good. The waters of witch-doctory demand some sacrifice from those who partake of them in order that they may be in the correct receptive self-kidding mood …
The Daily Express, Tuesday 20 November 1962