Dark tales of murder and mayhem in Rotten Ramsgate Valentine’s tour

One of the tales on the Rotten Ramsgate Tour

A Valentine’s date with a distinctly dark nature is on offer in Ramsgate.

Rotten Ramsgate Tours will take participants to bygone times when murder, mystery and mayhem abounded,

The three-mile walking tour, lasting around two and a half hours, recounts eight dastardly deeds committed in Ramsgate from 1651 up to 1930.

The tour includes a 30 minute break at a town pub, The February 14 tour takes place from 7pm, meeting at The Obelisk (by Wetherspoons) in Harbour Parade

Tickets are £9 and £10 from Eventbrite here

Among the tales is that of 16-year old Charles Wagner who went over the cliff, perpendicular to the Montefiore estate.

At 2pm on Saturday, April 1, 1882, Charles Wagner Snr, the owner of a butcher emporium in Canning Town, gave his 16-year old son Charles a bag containing £150 in gold which was to be deposited at the London and County Bank in Stratford, together with three pence for his train fare.

James Walter had been employed as a shopman for approximately six weeks; he also left the shop shortly after Charles.

When his son had failed to return by 5pm, Wagner visited the bank to make enquiries as to whether any money had been paid into the account. The bank manager checked the entries for that afternoon but nothing had been deposited.

From the inquest records, it would appear that Charles Jnr and Walter had arrived in Ramsgate later that evening after catching the last train from Victoria. At about 10pm that night, they had visited a drapers’ shop in the High Street where they had purchased collars and a necktie. They were last seen heading towards King Street.

At 12:45am John Williams, a coastguardsman based at Ramsgate, discovered Charles Wagner Jnr’s body at the foot of the Eastcliff. The body was still warm. There were very few external injuries and the postmortem determined that death had been due to internal haemorrhage, more than likely sustained by a fall from the cliff.

The post mortem also showed that Wagner had not been drinking alcohol. Walters was arrested and committed to stand trial for murder at the Kent Summer Assizes in Maidstone. The prosecution put forward the theory that Walters had planned to rob Wagner and went on to kill him by pushing him over the cliff edge.

However, the defence argued there was no conclusive evidence of murder and the Judge agreed.

Walters was found not guilty by the jury but was re-arrested and committed to trial for theft. Walter was found guilty and sentenced to seven years penal servitude.

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