Mike Bundock, Society’s Curator and Archivist, gave the
Annual Harold Gough Memorial lecture at our last meeting entitled “Wish
You Were Here” which illustrated how holidays to Herne Bay were publicised
in the past.
He traced the history back to the first recorded picture
bearing the name of Herne Bay drawn in 1780 by a local vicar’s wife to the trading
coasters and hoys which would have also brought passengers down as visitors from
As early as 1792 bathing machines were situated just to
the east of the Ship Inn and from then on Herne Bay started to be favourably mentioned
in the travel guides of the day as a select retreat for sea bathing. The first pier
built in 1832 gave rise to a sudden influx of visitors encouraged by the advertising
of the Herne Bay Steam Packet Company who ran regular trips from London using their
two boats the “Red Rover” and “The City of Canterbury”.
The coming of the railway in 1861 again provided a stimulus
for more visitors to spend their holidays by the sea and as a result of the Registrar
General’s announcement in 1883 that Herne Bay was one of the healthiest seaside
places to live in, the slogan “Visit Healthy Herne Bay” came to be synonymous
with all future holiday advertisements of the town until well into the 1960’s.
Members really enjoyed the colourful images taken from
the series of Herne Bay Holiday Guides produced by Herne Bay Urban District Council
from the 1930’s and the iconic British Rail posters which portrayed a somewhat idealistic
picture of golden sands, sea and sunshine intended to entice families to the town.
The talk engendered much discussion of memories past amongst members which was continued
over refreshments kindly served by Margaret Woods.
David Birch, Chairman, explained that the society was in
the process of producing a publication to celebrate 180 years of the incorporation
of Herne Bay as a separate town. This involves matching 180 old views of the town
with their modern counterparts and he asked whether any members would be prepared
to help by photographing any of the selected locations.
He also appealed to members for anyone who might be willing
to take on the Honorary Treasurer’s position which has recently become vacant on
the death of Tony Bendry. Mrs Colleen Ashwin-Kean is at present acting in a temporary
capacity but he said she would welcome a more permanent replacement.
A list of possible Summer Outing locations was circulated
and members were invited to return their choices at the next meeting. This will
be on Thursday 21st February at United Church Hall High Street Herne Bay when Ian
Moat will be talking on The Dissenting Churches of Canterbury, starting at 7pm.
Doors are open from 6.30pm. Members free, visitors £2. For more information ring