Monday, June 12, 2006

Dover Skating Rink

Dover Skating Rink was located on Marine Parade and the site is now the duel carriageway to the Docks, it more or less stood in front of Motes Bulwark.

Built on the site of Guildford Battery is was begun in 1909 and was opened by William Crundall on 13th August 1910. It had a floorspace of 25,000 square feet and had the largest spanned roof in Dover at the time. It was in direct competition with the Promenade Pier for a number of years, but had a similar fate.....

In World War One the site was requisitioned and became the site for the RNAS Seaplane station and used as a hanger throughout the War. Two further hangers were built and a slipway down to the beach. The date the other hangers were demolished isn't known, but the 'rink' remained in places as an industrial unit until the 1970's when the road widening project was put through.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dover Promenade Pier

I will start with a part of the town's history which time seems to have forgotten, though it was a major attraction to the town in it's time "Dover Promenade Pier"

The pier was completed in 1893 and was originally 900 feet long. There were setbacks in the construction when a collision took place that destroyed the centre section. Finally in 1897 the pier was completed with a pavillion on the end.

Many events took place including skating, which was in direct completion with the Dover Rink (located below the castle) and regular concerts. In WW1 the pier was used as a Naval landing stage, but never again saw it's heyday and was demolished in 1927.

Many part of the pier were auctioned off including the ballroom floor, boards and gates. In fact parts of the gates themself are still in existance in the Weald of Kent.

Incidentally, Dover Promenade Pier also has a 'twin' ! Both designed by JJ Webster, Dover and Bangor Pier in North Wales still stands and the architecture is very similar...

Welcome to the new Dover "Then and Now" Blog !

Well, after a couple of years if editing I have recently moved a lot of my "Then and Now" pictures of Dover over to a new Flickr site (

LIfe started on the Planet Thanet when I explored the various tunnels in and around Ramsgate mainly (see new Blog Interests soon stretched across Kent when we joined the "Kent Underground Research Group" in 1990 where we attended sites all over the county and annual NAMHO conferences all over the county ( I later became KURG treasurer and Webmaster for a number of years.

When I started work in Dover my interests in the Western Heights fortifications grew, a site first visited a number of years before. Just as I was about to leave that job, I bumped into the author Western Heights Today ( and a couple of years later became the Treasurer and Webmaster of the Western Heights Preservation Society ( where after a couple of years, we now open the Drop Redoubt on an annual basis. I also became Webmaster for the Friends of Dover Castle ( for a couple of years too.

I soon found that there were many links between the history of the Heights and the Castle, which lead me to being more involved in the town's history and that led to the creation of Dover Then and Now, and to being a regular contributor of the Dover Forum (

It is from there that I now start this Blog of the events and history of the town whenever time allows me. I hope you enjoy it....