Monday, 21 December 2009

Ramsgate's maritime heritage 40 years ago

Thank you to reader John for sending me a copy of a magazine called Sea Breezes dated April 1969. He draws my attention to two articles

"The first of Hoverlloyd's two SRN4 Mountbatten class hovercraft was delivered by the British Hovercraft Corporation to Pegwell Bay (pictured) on January 15 1969. A brand new international hoverport is nearing completion there. Trials are being carried out in preparation for the start of the service due on April 2 between Pegwell (Ramsgate) and Calais."

and in a separate article on the last of the square-rigger ships...

"The Alastor was a 850 ton 3-masted iron barque, built at Sunderland in 1875 by Mounsey and Foster for Robert Penney of Shoreham, Sussex. She carried many emigrants to New Zealand, and from 1928 brought timber from Finland to the Kent coast. In 1946 a Thanet company bought her and brought her to Ramsgate. They renamed her Bounty and converted her into a floating restauarant, and she lay in the inner harbour by the fish market (ironically just across the quay from where the Hovercraft terminal now operates) until 1951, when she was taken round to London River in connection with the Festival of Britain. Later she was broken up.

She was a very good-looking vessel, typical of the thousands of undistinguished, hard-working little barquesthat carried so much of the world's ocean-borne commerce in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and it was a great pity that she ould not have been saved like the Cutty Sark."

I wonder if any readers recall dining on the Bounty?


  1. Any idea to what's going on at the former hoverport at the moment? There's a convoy of construction machines, vans and containers. Also an office / reception on the access road gate.

    Haven't heard about any work scheduled there?

  2. It was in the local press anon; something to do with the wind farm, & they're also going to build a walk-way to connect with the nature reserve.