I have managed to recover "Black's Guide Book to East Kent" (1909) which was lost in the attic for some years. It makes fascinating reading. On Margate:
"We emphatically repudiate the sweeping criticism of the popular authoress to whom the name of Margate suggested nothing but 'sixpenny teas' and a vulgar flavour of shrimps floating, unbidden in the air. Miss Marie Corelli is recommended to make a visit to Cliftonville, with rooms, say in Sweyn Road or one of the new large hotels; and in fact to obtain a more through acquaintance with teh 'upper' and pleasanter side of the the Margate of today."
What Marie Corelli, born Mary Mackay would make of the place 99 years further on is anyone's guess but the little green book is an absolute treasure trove of traveller's information from a long lost time; hotels, walks, teas, excursions, histories and of course, bathing machines!
"Merry Margate can boast some advantages not possessed by it rival neighbours, monotony here, there cannot be."
I may get around to quoting some excerpts on Broadstairs and Ramsgate too but meanwhile, I'm enjoing this little time machine view of another world.
By the way, if anyone is following the excellent BBC mini-drama "Ballet Shoes" that screened last night, look out for the aerial scenes that we shot with the BBC last summer opposite Reculver.