News: “Over the graves of the Druids and under the wreck of Rome,
Rudely but surely they bedded the plinth of the days to come.
Behind the feet of the Legions and before the Norseman’s ire
Rudely but greatly begat they the framing of State and Shire
Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
If we trace on ancient headlands the twist of their eight-ox plough.”

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Author Topic: An Unexpected Present for Margate. 24th December 1938  (Read 2223 times)

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Offline peterchall

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  • 25.06.1929 - 12.03.2016
Re: An Unexpected Present for Margate. 24th December 1938
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 22:35:52 »
They should have made it Kent’s version of the film ‘Whiskey Galore’, called ‘Coal Galore’. :)

Thanks for posting it
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful


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An Unexpected Present for Margate. 24th December 1938
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 22:15:35 »
On the 24th December 1938 the Aqueity, a coaster bringing 400 tons of coal for The Isle of Thanet Gas, Light & Coal Co, was thrown off-course by a prevailing north-east gale and grounded on Nayland rocks as she attempted to enter Margate harbour.
After fruitless attempts to refloat her, it was decided to lighten the vessel by jettisoning some of her cargo. Over two days nearly 200 tons 0f coal was thrown overboard. Attempts were made to use tractors to bring the coal ashore, but these had difficultys in getting over the rocks.
Most of the jettisoned coal then became a welcome New Year present for Margate's unemployed and needy. In cold icy weather, men, women and children flocked to the beach, grapping as much coal as they could and often wading knee-deep in icy water.
Finally, after two attempts, the Aqueity was towed off the rocks by her sister ship Apricity. The Aqueity was undamaged and was able to unload the rest of her cargo in Margate harbour.
Nearly two years later the Aqueity was sunk after striking a mine off Southend.

British Pathe footage (0.30) complete with an annoyingly jaunty commentary.


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