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Pav's Tea Gardens, Westgate

1890, Westgate-On-Sea
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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.

Written by Barrie Smith. To send Barrie Smith a private message, click here.

A memory of Westgate-On-Sea in Kent shared on Monday, 16th November 2009.

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RE: Pav's Tea Gardens, Westgate

This is a "blast from the past" , memoriese of halcyon days in Westgate on Sea, especially St Mildred's Bay. Every Coventry fornight my mam and dad would book a fortnight's holiday at "St Crispins Caravan Site", down a dusty road. Family friends would also come down for the spectacular fortnight's holiday. The weather was ALWAYS "red hot", never did I encounter rain once. We would always catch the midnight straight through train from our home, a village near Nuneaton, Warwickshire, called Stockingford. It was the only time I had the experience of travelling in a car also, as my dad always ordered a taxi to the station. I used to sleep the whole journey and always was woken at Whitstable, coming to terms with lucidity before arriving at Westgate on Sea to glorious sunshine. "Fabulous days" - the smell of the gas mantle, the lighting of the gas mantle as you entered the caravan, the cooked breakfast my mam used to do for us, and the crusty cobs she used to make up for the beach... At the end of the road leading to the carvan park were bungalows that were on the main road into Birchington and Margate and their gardens were full of lavender, the most wonderful smell I had experienced as a young boy, and every time I smell lavender it gives me flash backs to Westgate on Sea. From there I used to mak my way to the level crossing to stand there and watch Merchant Navy, Battle of Britain, and Schools Class Steam locomotives. The smell of steam oil and smoke was again a very lasting memory, and the sight of these massive locomotives thundering by on their way to and from Margate was mindblowing for a young lad... 333 Squadron, Tangmere, Stowe just to name a few Keith Bates 61 Queen Elizabeth Mews Nuneaton Warwickshire CV10 9AT

Comment from KEITH BATES on Monday, 23rd August 2010.

RE: Pav's Tea Gardens, Westgate

Pav was a larger than life man, a Jewish guy. He wore glasses that he used to peer over when he gave you your ice cream, he was a stone chisled faced man I can remember. There was a blonde lady, I believe his wife, who used to help him serve the teas. He was a bit abrupt I thought as a young boy, a man that would stand no messing about, but he was a very industrious man, always on the go in his tea room. We all loved this guy to bits. He always kept in touch with my mam and dad as my father's family came from the South East End of London, so did Herbert. I used to call him Mr Pav as he seemed huge to me as a young boy as he used to come and chat and sit with my mam and dad on the beach, for hours leaving this blonde lady in charge. I can remember all the stars he had met and produced around the ice cream parlour and tea rooms " fabulous" ...Tommy Steele being one that stood out...... He always said the reason he left the industry was to meet real people...... Fabulous Character....Fabulous Man Keith Bates

Comment from KEITH BATES on Monday, 23rd August 2010.


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