Thursday, May 24, 2007

Introducing themes: Ramsgate Then and Now

WestCliff HallOK, I know there are other sites and blogs that do this, and I'll try to complement rather than duplicate. However, I seem to be building up piles of pictures books, guides and so on that show Ramsate and Thanet in the glory days. and I do believe that you appreciate what you have now even more when you understand a little of its past. And there are some favourite views in the area that feel so... well... forlorn, especially when you see what they used to be.

So today's favourite spot is West Cliff Concert Hall. Previously the Motor Museum, but closed and fading for the last couple of years (and deteriorating for a while before that it seems). Soon to be refurbished, if the news is to be believed.

From the 1936 Ward Lock guide: "The West Cliff Concert Hall was formed by the Corporation in 1914 on the site of the Italian gardens. A hollow has been scooped out here, terminating in a stone balcony in the cliff face which commands fine views across to Deal and Dover and even to the French coast. That portion of the hollow beneath the West Cliff Promenade has been enclosed by glass partitions and forms an attractive hall that will seat 1,000 persons. Orchestral and other high-class entertainments are given here throughout the year, and the hall is also used for Badminton and dancing". The view from the balcony was a little lovelier before the port was developed perhaps...

Here are a couple of other West Cliff Hall pictures on Flickr.

And have a look the Old Ramsgate blog and Michael's Bookshop.