Home ... Kent ... Rocks all that remain of Bay’s boating pool

Rocks all that remain of Bay’s boating pool

THEN: Residents and visitors alike enjoyed messing around in the water in the boating pool
THEN: Residents and visitors alike enjoyed messing around in the water in the boating pool

THE introduction to Herne Bay Historical Record Society’s latest publication warns that not all change is for the better. And many people who remember the boating pool featured in this week’s photos would probably agree. The first photo, from the book Heme Bay Then and Now, which pairs images from the past with modern shots of the same location, was taken in 1936. The pool itself was built to the west of the pier for boating, but after the Second World War the boats were taken away and it became a paddling pool for children, similar to the one that still exists in Margate. It was certainly popular, along with the rest of the town, judging by the line of coaches on the prom. But when the Neptune’s Arm jetty was created in the 1990s, providing Heme Bay with a harbour of sorts, the pool was demolished to make way for a breakwater of stones designed to prevent silt. The rocks are now useful for youngsters looking for something to climb, but can prove hazardous at high tide if anyone attempts to jump off that side of the pier.

NOW: The pool is gone but children’s rides have appeared
NOW: The pool is gone but children’s rides have appeared

Our second pair of photos is an on-shore shot of the same location, and you can see from the first pair how things have changed. In 1936, when the boating pool photo was taken, it looks like the houses above the shops were still being built, although you could still buy ice cream or a drink. The corner building shown in the photos was originally built In 1833 as part of the single-storey line of shops still seen today. In 1857, it became a pub, remaining open until 1983 when it was closed and sold. As the Kent Tavern, it provided the headquarters for the Heron Angling Society for 60 years. from 1904 until the club acquired its own premises in 1964. The building is now a fish and chip shop and cafe, and in good weather diners can enjoy outside seating just across the road, where you would have had a view of the boating pool back in the 1 930s.

Bingo

PAST TIMES: The Kent Tavern was once the headquarters of the Heron Angling Society
PAST TIMES: The Kent Tavern was once the headquarters of the Heron Angling Society

Bingo is advertised at the arcade next door in 1960, when the photo was taken, and it can still be played there today. More photographs showing how Herne Bay has changed can be found in the book, put together by Mike Bundock, with text from John Fishpool. Phil Rose took on the task of digital layout. It was supported by subscription and many of the photos were donated by members and non-members.

  • The book is available from A Bundle of Books in Bank Street, Demelza House bookshop in Mortimer Street, or by writing to Herne Bay Historical Records Society do 56 Beacon Hill, Herne Bay, CT6 6JN.

Herne Bay Times, January 30th 2014

MODERN DAY: A cafe and fish and chip shop occupies the site of the former pub
MODERN DAY: A cafe and fish and chip shop occupies the site of the former pub

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