Following a move from SE London to Cliftonville - in Margate - here is a daily photographic record of my personal observations during a year spent in or around the Isle of Thanet and Kent. (March 2008).

DAYS 301 - 365
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(1775-1851) - An English painter who was one of the most original artists of his day. He travelled widely in Europe, and his landscapes became increasingly Romantic, with the subject often transformed in scale and flooded with brilliant, hazy light. His innovative use of emotive colour, as in The Slave Ship (1840) and his passionate depiction of feeling as it exists in the natural environment, had a tremendous influence on modern art. Many later works anticipate Impressionism, for example Rain, Steam and Speed (1844). His early work consisted of drawings and watercolours on paper and it was some years before he felt ready to start painting in oils.Turner exhibited his first oil painting at the Royal Academy, Fishermen at Sea, in 1796, when he was twenty-one. He lived in Margate with his mistress and landlady Sophie Booth between 1827 and 1847 saying here he could paint, "dawn clouds to the east and glorious sunsets to the west". This plaque is located at the junction of Love lane and Hawley Street.


This Edwardian-era Swiss-Gothic style building was originally built and opened in March 1910 as a Town Hall, but was never used as such. It had a flat maplewood floor and was first used for roller skating, then became the Town Hall Cinema from 1912. In 1932 it was re-named Carlton Cinema and seating was on one level. In around 1957 when CinemaScope was installed major alterations were made, the most significant of which was the reversal of the auditorium. The current screen end by the entrance to the auditorium was originally the rear of the auditoium. The building at 25 - 29 St. Mildred's Road is Listed Grade II.


The oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings. Because it eats cockles - and mussels - the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited. Most UK birds spend the winter on the coast; where they are joined on the east coast by birds from Norway.


Pagan traditions give us the English word "Easter" which comes from the word "Eostre" - the Anglo-Saxon word for April ("Eostre-monath" (the month of openings). The Christians celebrated the resurrection of of Christ earlier than this and named the feast "Pascha" (Linked to "Passover"). Easter always falls on the first Sunday following the full Moon either on or after the Spring Equinox (March 20 or 21). The earliest possible date for Easter is 22nd March but this hasn't happened since 1818 and the last time it fell on 23rd March (as it does this year) was in 1913. (The next one isn't due until 23rd March 2160). As luck would have it, this year it snowed. (Here viewed falling on St. George's Lawns and The Walpole Bay Hotel.


The South Eastern Railway received Royal Assent to embark on an extension to the Isle of Thanet on 23rd May 1844 with a branch between Ashford and Margate, via Canterbury and Ramsgate, and it opened on 1st December 1846. It ran to the 'Margate SER' (later 'Margate Sands') station, located on Margate's sea front, through the grounds of what was the Dreamland Amusement Park, alongside Nash Road and thorough Westwood. From 1861-1863 the Herne Bay & Faversham Railway (later the London Chatham & Dover Railway) was extended to Ramsgate via Margate, using the 'East Margate' (later 'Margate East') station - to the east of today's station. There was a third station 'Margate C&D' which at the formation of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway (in 1899) became 'Margate West' and then simply 'Margate' when the Southern Railway was formed in 1923 - and rationalisation of the railways in Thanet and Kent took place and the old SER line was removed.


Held over two days at The Winter Gardens with around 200 real ales, ciders and perries from all over Britain (plus a few from the Netherlands) this is the third of Thanet CAMRA's gatherings. There is live music from The Fling and Waterhorse and a quiz on where a £100 can be won as well as hot and cold food along with soft drinks, tombola and souvenirs.


At 1-5 Royal Crescent this building has had a rather checkered history. Once lying fire-damaged and largely derelict it was re-furbished and again open to visitors. Then came Migrant Helpline and asylum seekers and for some time the hotel provided shelter for those waiting to have their claims determined. It was also earmarked as an immigration removal centre. "The Nayland Rock Hotel is a fine building in a superb and important location with stunning views across the bay, out to sea and towards the famous 'turner Sunsets' " - it has reopened once more as a visitors hotel.


Margate Football Club was founded in 1896/7 as an amateur club, playing friendly matches on school grounds, with the club colours being black & white. The Club moved around the Margate area and played at various grounds but in 1924/5 was reformed and moved to the Lower Pitch at Dreamland in Margate and competed in the Kent League Division One. In 1929 the Club once again reformed and moved to its present home at Hartsdown Park and in 1949/50 the Club changed its playing colours to the present blue & white. 1964/65 season saw the Club go full time professional with the team finishing 6th in the Premier Division and 2000/01 saw the Club win The Dr Martens Premier Division title and promotion to the pinnacle of non-league football into the Nationwide Conference. The club is presently 10th (out of 22) in the Ryman Premier Division - with 51 points.


The Renewal Area scheme works as a partnership process in which the Thanet District Council and partner agencies work with the local community, landlords and businesses to support them in improving and maintaining their property, whilst working to improve the infrastructure and environment of a local area. Work has now begun on this beautiful Victorian building on Cliff Terrace in the Cliftonville West.


A short brick lined tunnel has been driven through the chalk cliff at Pegwell Bay. It is known locally as the Seaweed Tunnel and is believed to have been excavated to provide easy access to the beach where seaweed could be collected for use as an agricultural fertilizer. The tunnel can be found at the end of an overgrown footpath running south from a sharp bend in Chalk Hill along the west side of Little Cliffsend farm yard.


Without disabled access and adapted toilets this long established social facility overlooking the sea at Ledge Point in Westgate is facing a bleak future. A campaign to save it has been organised.


At a celebratory dinner, Bruce Crowther - Fairtrade Towns Co-ordinator - made a formal declaration and presentation to mark Thanet Fairtrade Initiative's newly achieved Fairtrade Isle status. He handed over a certificate to TFI chairman Tammy Stewart-Jones, who in turn presented it to Thanet District Council leader Sandy Ezekiel. The TFI met five objectives:
1. The district council had to pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade.
2. At least two Fairtrade products had to be made readily available in the area's shops, cafes and restaurants.
3. Fairtrade products had to be in use at a number of workplaces and community groups.
4. Gain media coverage and popular support for the campaign.
5. Establish a Fairtrade steering group.
Shown here the TFI stall at the Big Event last year


In 1859 "Charles Dickens published A Tale of Two Cities. Queen Victoria had been on the throne for 22 years and the Maidstone Telegraph, forerunner of the Kent Messenger, was born." Almost 150 years later, the company continues to publish weekly newspapers, supplements and magazines - with one of the Group's titles that can trace it's history back well beyond Queen Victoria - almost 300 years to 1717 when the Kentish Post, which became the Kentish Gazette, first rolled off the press in Canterbury. KM also runs websites, radio stations and other media-related businesses. Next door to the 'Extra' offices in Northdown Road is KMFM - "The Music You Want, The News You Need" Whose schedule includes 'The Tony Blackburn Show'.


The Theatre Royal Margate, being a Georgian theatre, opened on the 27th June 1787 and is the second oldest theatre operating in Britain, and the oldest un-restored theatre in the country. It is a professional theatre that receives and produces 3 seasons of professional work each year, featuring drama, comedy, music, dance, exhibitions and talks. They also run an extensive Community, Outreach and Education programme. Their aim is to act as a cultural resource for the people of Thanet, East Kent and beyond, providing work of the highest quality, working with established companies as well as supporting emerging artists.


Ships find shelter off the North coast of Thanet as the worst winter storm of the year, so far, passes across the South of England.


A 4-bedroom eco-house with off-street parking for two vehicles and private rear gardens is being built in Northdown Road in Broadstairs which boasts zero emissions and is near self-sustaining. Constructed with SIP (structural insulated panels) it incorporates a 2.1kW photovoltaic array, solar-thermal collectors, rainwater management system, ventilation with heat recovery, low voltage/wattage electric underfloor heating, whole-house water filtration, central vacuum, timber framed windows and doors and an electric vehicle charge point.


Canterbury Christ Church University was originally founded as a teacher training college in 1962 as an outward-looking University and a Church of England Foundation providing academic and professional education underpinned by research, scholarship and creative work - with Christian principles and values. The Broadstairs Campus located beside the Westwood Cross retail outlet opened in 2000, teaching subjects as diverse as commercial music, digital media, business, police studies, computing, child and youth studies, early years and nursing.


"The cheerful, nodding heads of daffodils are the true harbingers of spring" which are easy to grow and require little maintenance. They come in many different shapes and colours so that, with careful selection of varieties, they can bloom for four months a year. The scientific name of the daffodil derives from the Greek god Narcissus, who looked into a pool, saw his reflection and fell in love with himself. Here they flank Pegwell Bay North of Sandwich.


In 2006 Margate celebrated the 150th anniversary of this burial place as duly consecrated by his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury on the 1st of November, 1856. The first to be interred was a diseased from the Royal Bathing Hospital and others now found here are The Cobb Family, Dr David Price Ð physician to J M W Turner R.A. and The Margate Surfboat Memorial. The original ten acres alongside the Manston Road has since become thirty five, surrounded by a substantial brick wall, and two neat but unadorned Chapels are enclosed - one for the Established Church of England and the other appropriated for Dissenters - leaving today some "quiet, beautiful, and tastefully laid-out grounds".


As the blue plaque on the wall of this quaint shuttered house at the top of Trinity Square states - "Actors Hattie Jacques and John LeMesurier Lived Here in the 1960s".


"Situated on the seafront at Tankerton, which is mid-way between Whitstable and Herne Bay, the Royal has views out to sea. It has the benefit of a large trade kitchen, together with a good food trade and two bars. The main bar has a 50 cover restaurant and the public bar has the benefit of a darts and pool area." Beers sold are KENTS BEST, MASTERBREW & SPITFIRE (Shepherd Neame).


This proposed development overlooking the harbour in Margate will celebrate the town's association with the English painter JMW Turner and will be located on a site once occupied by a guesthouse frequented by the artist. The gallery will present both historic and contemporary exhibitions as well as a program of educational and arts events with a design that seeks to take maximum advantage of the dramatic setting - "making strong connections both to the sea and the town".


Founded in 1968, Margate Civic Society is a registered charity which is affiliated to both the Kent Federation of Amenity Societies and the Kent History Federation. The Society produces a Newsletter four times a year, and has a winter lecture programme which covers a wide range of interests. During the spring and summer volunteers from the Society lead Guided Walks in Margate Old Town, which last for about two hours, with frequent stops for descriptions of the historic buildings and the personalities who contributed to the life of the area. The Society takes an active role in reviewing and, where appropriate, responding to planning applications and has a good working relationship with Thanet District Council in helping to improve the character and appearance of the area. "The love of our town leads us".


The Farmers Market is held on the last sunday of every month at the Oval Lawns, Eastern Esplanade in Cliftonville where prepared foods, meats, breads, jams, chutneys and drinks can be bought direct from the farmer or producer.


Called the Belle Vue for a very good reason, this lovely 17th century inn has stunning views across Sandwich Bay and out towards Deal and the English Channel from it's cliff top garden. The restaurant caters for the local community as well as the tourist trade and the wall leading up to the first floor is covered with historical indentures dated between 1812-1862. Being a Shepherd Neame pub it serves KENTS BEST, BISHOPS FINGER & WINTER PORTER.


Originally 103 towers were built between 1805 and 1812 to resist a potential invasion by Napoleon. They were built of brick, 13 foot thick on the seaward side, stood about 30 foot high and were equipped with a cannon on the roof. 74 were built along the Kent and Sussex coastlines from Folkstone to Seaford between 1805 and 1808, the other 29 to protect Essex and Suffolk. Tower 3 stands on the cliffs above Copt Point, Folkestone, and overlooks the harbour below.


Shopping in Thanet changed forever when Westwood Cross opened on June 9th 2005 with a range of popular stores including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Body Shop, HMV, TK Maxx and Next as well as the new HSBC branch, the JJB Fitness Club, the Vue 10 screen cinema and many cafes. On the junction of the A256 Haine Road and the A254 Margate Road there is extensive parking and 'The Loop' and 'Star' bus services run at regular intervals from Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs, and their railway stations.


Ramsgate Maritime Museum focuses strongly on Ramsgate and its immediate environs, with a brief introduction to the rest of the region's maritime past. The museum - housed in the early 19th century Grade II Clock House in the heart of the country's only Royal Harbour - is an exhibit in its own right, being the product of some of the most eminent civil engineers and architects of its time. It is the site of the unique Ramsgate Meridian - from which Ramsgate's own particular Mean Time (5 mins 41 secs ahead of Greenwich) - was calculated.


The history of municipal entertainments in this country can be traced back to Margate and the Winter Gardens was opened on 3rd August, 1911. The objective was to provide high class entertainment in Margate for visitors and residents alike and the Pavilion and Winter Gardens were situated in an artificial hollow at Fort Green so that the construction would not obscure the view or light of the ground floors of those existing buildings around them that were protected by a covenant. Dug by hand the site took nine months to build at a cost of £26,000.00 and when completed consisted of a large Concert Hall, four entrance halls, two side wings and an amphitheatre. Internally, the Pavilion and Winter Gardens was decorated in a Neo-Grecian style and the stage could be viewed from both the main hall and the amphitheatre with the ability to enclose the stage in bad weather. The accommodation was for about 2,500 persons inside the building and 2,000 in the open air. The Margate Municipal Orchestra, consisting of 36 musicians, would perform a variety of classical and operatic works, backed by the leading vocalists of the day and later it received some of the 46,000 troops evacuated from Dunkirk. More recent acts to play here were Laurel and Hardy and The Beatles.


Bugsy's has 12 fully automated lanes with an automatic scoring system in a fully air conditioned building with ample space behind the lanes for spectators. There are 6 full size snooker table and 10 American Pool tables for members only and a cafe and bar. Located on Ethelbert Crescent, Cliftonville, it is open 10.00am till late every day.


Lug or blow lug as it is also known is found on most sandy beaches and they live in very large colonies with thousands in any one bed - normally found just below the high water mark. The worm lives in a burrow that can go as deep as 2 foot during the winter months and as little as 9 inches during the summer and the way to identify the blow lug is by looking on the sand for the 'cast' as pictured here on the local sands.


An idea to create the first giant hill figure of a White Horse in Kent on the chalk hills of the North Downs was conceived by artist, Charles Newington, as a Millennium landmark in 1996. With the help of Richard Beaugie, a local farmer (and the landowner) and the Tory Family Foundation Charitable Trust, the project became a reality. David Hanbury joined the team in 2002, to assist with administration and construction - trenches filled with chalk and limestone slabs. The Folkestone horse team and a large number of Gurkas, stationed in Folkestone, worked incredibly hard and the figure was completed (apart from the eye) in about two weeks. The slabs were transported down the hill on sleds. The finishing touches were added shortly after.


St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, was sent from Rome by Pope Gregory the Great and arrived on the coast of Kent as a missionary to England in 597 AD. The local King, Ethelbert whose Queen, Bertha, was already a Christian, gave Augustine the church of St Martin of Tours within the Roman city walls and later the first cathedral was built which came to serve a formal community of Benedictine monks - that continued until the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1540. The Cathedral was rebuilt completely by the Normans in 1070 following a major fire and there have been many additions to the building over the last nine hundred years, but parts of the quire and some of the windows and their stained glass date from the 12th century. In the early 19th Century, the North West tower was demolished and replaced by a copy of the South West tower, thus giving a symmetrical appearance to the West end of the Cathedral. Today, the Cathedral stands as a place where prayer to God has been offered daily for over 1,400 years - nearly 2,000 services are held each year. The date of Thomas Becket's murder here was 1170.


Traditional nest sites for Gulls are on the sea-cliffs, or islands and other inaccessible locations, but Gulls have also adopted roofs for nesting. The nest is usually a well constructed 'cup' made of twigs and other materials and a clutch of one to four eggs is incubated by both sexes for up to thirty days. The chicks hatch fully covered in down to be fed by both parents and at only a few days old the chicks leave the nest and move to the safety of nearby vegetation. Gulls may live for twenty or more years and start to breed when three to seven years old. This pair on the cliffs at Walpole Bay seem keen on getting an early start this year.


A view from The promenade at Naylands Rock as the sun sets on the harbour and Droit House.


Originally built as cottages in the 16th century, the Evenhill lies on the A257 in Littlebourne, between Canterbury and Sandwich and with a 4-star rating this characteristic pub has an open fire, oak beams, home cooked cuisine and a hotel consisting of 16 bedrooms - all of which are en suite with air conditioning. It also boasts a large pleasant garden, an extensive split-level restaurant for lunches and dinners and a traditional Victorian bar serving MASTERBREW & ORIGINAL PORTER (Shepherd Neame Brewery).

DAYS 301 - 365 | 211 - 300 | 121 - 210 | 61 - 120 | 1 - 60 | CONTENTS