Local historian Michael Hunt’s latest book, Thanet Places – the People Concerned & the Things They Did, supplies exactly what it says on the cover.
Michael admits: “It’s not the snappiest of titles but it tells you what you’re getting: descriptions of some of Thanet’s fascinating (if lesser-known) private and public buildings, monuments and once-open spaces; together with the stories of those associated with them – those who built, lived in, or merely visited them – so contributing their own histories to an area already steeped in history.”
Most of the places described are still there for the reader to discover for themselves. Some have gone but have left their mark on the landscape or memory. Royalty, politicians, scientists, artists and criminals have invested these places with a legacy sometimes inspiring, sometimes chilling. Ghosts walk corridors. Walled-up lovers protest their innocence. Naval heroics, financial chicanery and industrial philanthropy have contributed in their different ways to the Thanet we know today.
Who was the millionaire too mean to have his house connected to the town’s sewers? Whose butler committed suicide within hours of returning to London from Broadstairs? What temporal and astronomical factor connects Ramsgate with Greenwich? What links cowgirl Annie Oakley with Ellington? Why build a railway station and then run no trains?
These and other questions are tackled, and largely answered, within the pages of Thanet Places – the People Concerned & the Things They Did by Michael Hunt, published by and available from Michaels Bookshop, 72 King Street, Ramsgate; price £9.99.
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