Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Living in Pegwell

I lived, with my wife Anne, in Pegwell, on the Isle of Thanet in Kent, for a couple of years around the turn of the seventies to eighties.

I had moved to Ramsgate in order to manage the Classic Cinema. We stayed at first at a hotel overlooking the harbour and then in a flat beside a yacht club.

But we found a flat in a terrace known as Westcliff Terrace Mansions, built in what is now a Ramsgate suburb in about 1840.

We could walk into Ramsgate town centre in about half an hour, and could also walk along the seafront to the harbour in around the same time.

If it were not for the trees in the big back garden of the terrace, we would have been able to see the white cliffs in France, close to Calais. Nearby was a pitch and putt course, and there was a colony of parakeets living in the trees. We used to keep quiet about them, because a similar colony in the Cliftonville area became targets for shooting practice.

While I was managing the Classic, the company took over the opposition cinema, the Kings, and I was appointed General Manager of the two. Later on, while we were still living at Pegwell, I left Classic Cinemas and managed the Marlowe Theatre at Canterbury.

Much of my days off periods were spent, especially in the early days, exploring the area. The Isle of Thanet is particularly interesting, with its three towns of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs, but we also spent time in other places not far away, especially Canterbury, Deal and Sandwich.

Anne worked for Hoverlloyd, who at that time operated a regular hovercraft service between Ramsgate (actually it was Cliffsend) and Calais. We used to often pop over to France using that service.

We moved from Pegwell in 1981, and went to live in Halstead in Essex, where I managed the Halstead Empire Theatre.

If anybody reading this has any connections with Pegwell, or the Isle of Thanet in general (Born? Lived? Worked? Ancestors? Relatives?), I would be very pleased to hear from them.