Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Addington Street . . . dainty...

Ashwoods Laundry, Addington Street Not a comic postcard, but a relic from times past, when Addington Street was the centre of domestic retail and services for Ramsgate.

This card advertises Ashwood's Isle of Thanet Laundry - a Dainty Laundry for Dainty Folk. You can describe Thanetians as a lot of things, but it's the first time I've heard them called dainty!

Although the picture on the card suggests this is a Georgian scene, the back says "Please send motor van", rather implying we're in the early part of the last century, when Addington Street was a the commercial and retail hub of the town.

Located just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the harbour (and near enough to the smart areas of Vale Square and Spencer Square) to provide genteel services for the local gentry, Addington Street was the proper 'High Street' of the town, when shops were all single entities, prior to the coming of the chains. Timothy Whites, Woolworths, the banks - their development around the market (where Halifax is now) would have led to the inexorable decline in Addington Street's fortunes, although it was still a street of shops as recenty as the 70s, so I'm told.

Of course this was in the days when you could post a card in the morning, and expect it to be delivered locally the same day. And there were enough post offices to provide the service.

Sadly Addington Street is now just a shadow of its former self - still pretty enough and full of delightful properties, but with no retail to speak of, and a vastly reduced street bustle to experience.

Ashwoods Laundry, Addington Street


Eastcliff Richard said...

On the trendier east side we had Bellevue Road, of course, where you could shop til you dropped and even catch a tram! Amazing to think of trams trundling up and down such a narrow street.

Now about the only thing you're likely to catch along there is a communicable disease or a drug deal going on in broad daylight, which just goes to prove how much more cosmopolitan we are over here in the east!

Michael Child said...

In the late 60s and early 70s Addington Street had among other things the town’s only secondhand bookshop. We had a guesthouse in Augusta Road and Bellevue Road had the butcher and greengrocers that supplied us. What we are seeing now is Westwood Cross damaging the town centre, I for one have boycotted out of town shopping wherever possible, and as for shops like Tesco and M&S that walked away from Ramsgate damaging the town, I try not to use them at all.

Anonymous said...

I used to love the haberdashers in Addington Street but had to allow at least 30 minutes if going in there as the chat with the owner was compulsory by everyone