|Along the Promenade
|The picture above shows
Beach Street as seen from the end of the pier. The building on the
far left is the Royal Hotel, with the Star & Garter Hotel just to
the right and behind it.
The picture extends to somewhere near Silver Street, just beyond the Pelican. There were once as many as 7 or 8 public houses and hotels in this short stretch of road. Those on the side nearest the sea were all demolished by the Council in the late 19th century (with the exception of the Royal Hotel) to provide a promenade. Several others (including the Pelican) are now private houses.
|On the corner of
Exchange Street, opposite the Royal Exchange, stands the Boatman's
Reading Rooms, built in 1884 (now a private dwelling). The small
on the wall to the right of the window reads:
This short extract from the first edition of the Deal, Walmer and Sandwich Mercury (2nd June 1865 paints an idyllic picture of Deal in the middle of the last century:
"To persons unacquainted with the locality and visiting Deal at this season of the year, and more particularly within this last month, a greater part of which our roadstead has presented the appearance of one vast mirror, whilst on the Beach there has scarcely been a ripple sufficient to move a pebble stone. The water has also been of such transparency that the fish could be distinctly seen and also the bottom as far from the shore as the end of our new pier, to the great amusement and attraction of those who stroll thither to spend a quiet half hour: ..."
This was, of course, in the days before oil-fired ships and sewage outfalls polluted the waters around our coastline. We still get days when the sea is calm, but you can rarely see the bottom a yard or two from the shore!