Displaying the first of 55 old photos of Westgate-On-Sea. View all Westgate-On-Sea photos
Historic maps of Westgate-On-Sea and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Westgate-On-Sea maps
Westgate-On-Sea area books
Displaying 1 of 26 books about Westgate-On-Sea and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Westgate-On-Sea
Westgate Colour Centre And Domestic Stores 1963-1970
My father Robert Williams, owned and ran a hardware shop in St Mildreds Road from 1963 until his death in 1977. His three sons, of which I am the middle, used to help in the shop when we were not at school. We sold a huge range of hardware and ironmongery, as well as fireworks and 'beach toys' in due season. The shop, which is now an undertakers, was fronted by a very old fashioned set of arcade windows, and entered by a heavy hardwood and brass door. I remember my dad selling what seemed like vast amounts of Esso Blue paraffin to people who came in to have their cans filled, and loading five gallon steel drums full of the greasy oily smelling stuff into his ancient van, to deliver it to their houses. It is amazing, looking back from 2012, how many people heated their houses by means of paraffin heaters; my dad, when he called on people, would use a big metal funnel to pour the blue... Read more
Mr McDonald's Guest House
I first went to Westgate in 1961 with my parents (I was born in 1956). My memories are of Mr McDonald's Guest House and the brass dinner gong in the hallway. Also memories of the cafe and Speedy Gonzales on the jukebox! The holidays were taken every summer for about 6 years. I have photographs of me and my brother on the beach with Mickey Mouse which I will forward when I find them. Fond memories.
Summer Holidays in Westgate on Sea
I wonder if anyone is old enough to remember Westgate on Sea before the war! Our family would go there every year for 2 weeks and stay at a guest house not far from where the railway crosses the road that leads down to the beach. It was run by Miss Prior. We had so many happy years there - my grandparents, my mother and father and me aged from about 4 until the start of the war when I was 8. I can remember that on that fateful Sunday - Sept 3, I believe, I had just got down to the beach where my grandparents were waiting when this strange noise broke out - the air raid siren! Immediately, we all rushed back to the house, grabbed our gasmasks and went down to the cellar where the other guests were assembled! After about an hour, the 'all clear' sounded and up we came. That was the end of Miss Prior's for us as we never... Read more
East Kent Coastal Holidays in The 1950s/60s
As a child the East Kent coast was a regular destination for our 2 week family summer holiday. We usually stayed in Westgate. In the late 1950s the excitement started with the journey from Bromley aboard a train pulled by steam locomotive. As a 5 year old it was like venturing into another world - even though the trip was only an hour and a half (i.e. 60 miles from home). Westgate had a fabulous broad sandy beach and safe sea. I remember exploring the rock pools, a round on the putting green, donkey rides, cricket matches on the beach, toffee apples, having my sandy feet rinsed under the tap outside the public convenience, picnic lunches, sticking paper flags into sandcastles , brightly coloured deck chairs and wind breaks, open-top bus rides into Margate..... A visit to Dreamland was of course essential, although I could never buck up the courage to go on the big dipper, or "scenic railway" as I believe it was called. The last holiday we had there... Read more
Westgate on Sea Holidays in The 1960s
My parents took myself and my late brother to Westgate on Sea almost every Easter from 1959 to 1971. Living in west London we caught the 2.40pm train from Victoria, arriving at Westgate on Sea about 4.10pm, a short walk along Station Road, St Mildred's Road then a left turn in to Rowena Road. At the Sea Road end on the right hand side of Rowena Road stood a building called Ledge Point (now the site is McCarthy and Stone retirement flats) which in the above picture is the large building in the middle with the mock Tudor style front. It was a Holiday Centre of the P.O.F.R. (the Post Office Fellowship of Rememberance). We would normally arrive on Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday) and leave on the Saturday following Easter Monday. We spent a lot of the time walking along the front by St Mildred's Bay and along towards Westbrook via the Sunken Gardens and onwards into Margate. I remember that Westgate had a nice selection of... Read more
Pav's Tea Gardens, Westgate
Pav's Tea Gardens in St Mildred's Bay was a place where I spent my youth, owned by Herbert Smith the famous film producer, the cafe was full of stills from the films he had worked on, there must have been over three hundred photos covering all the walls. Great music coming from the Rock-ola juke box.
St Mildred's Hotel, commonly known as Millies, was a hive of activity in the 1950s/60s when I was a teenager. Joe used to play there for crowds of dance-mad youngsters, sometimes he used his own material which was a bit saucy. We would travel over by train on a Saturday and spend all evening there meeting our friends and then go off to Cliftonville for a curry before going home. Life was fun!
As a member of the 6th Brockley Scout Group, I visited Westgate 3 or 4 times during the early 1950s for the annual 2-week camp in August, our tents being pitched in the grounds of the then Catholic Church on the London Road.
I remember that we loved buying jam-doughnuts from the Devonshire Bakers, often burning our mouths on the hot jam, as the doughnuts were usualy just made!
I saw the film, "Reach for the Sky" at the Carlton Cinema on one visit to Westgate.
Sometimes we placed penny coins on the rails at the level-crossing to be flattened by passing steam trains!