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Some things you may not know about Whitstable

TODAY the streets, paths and narrow alleyways of Whitstable retain their rich cultural and historical identity. Many buildings hold their own story, which may or may not surprise you. So, here are seven historical facts about the Bubble that makes it the charming, one-of-a-kind town it is today:

  1. The first railway bridge in the world was in Old Bridge Road in Whitstable and it was built in 1829. The world’s first season ticket was sold on the Crab and Winkle Line.
  2. The first successful trial of diving helmets was carried out by the brothers Charles and John Dean in Whitstable around 1830.
  3. The Whitstable Diving Company was the first one in the world, and many of the first divers lived in “Dollar Row”, so-called because of the money they earned.
  4. Whitstable Sea Cadets was the first Sea Cadet unit in the world. It was formed 1854.
  5. The Seasalter and Ham Oyster Fishery of Whitstable, one of the oldest companies in Kent, sends little oysters all over the world to be reared.
  6. It is thought the youngest Whitstable resident to die in the First World War was Frederick John Nazer. He was born in 1899 and died on April 25, 1916 (aged 17). Mr Nazer was blown up in Brindisi Italy aboard the H.M. Trawler Clach-na-Cudin, while he and some other sailors were defusing a mine. This was part of a drift net fleet used for mine and submarine catching in the Adriatic. He is buried with four other sailors, who all came from Scotland, in the Ban War Cemetery in Italy.
  7. The first steam car in Whitstable was a Whites Steam Car, which was built around 1902. The registration number was A 709 and the car was owned by Wallace Rigden (also known as Dubby). He was a family butcher at 98 High Street.

Do you have any more historical facts about Whitstable to share? Send them to newsdesk.times@KRNmedia.co.uk

Herne Bay Times, January 15th 2015

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