Saturday, 30 July 2011
The White Cliffs of Dover
This postcard was my starting point for this week's Sepia Saturday, mainly because it shows a similar shaped car to the one in the prompt (they all look the same to me) and partly because it actually is sepia. This card has a space marked for a 1d stamp which dates it at anything between 1918 and 1940. Probably people who know about cars could date it more closely.
Note the castle, Dover Castle, on the skyline. The keep is to the left and at the highest point you have the church and the remains of the Roman lighthouse. They are still exactly the same to this day.
This card also shows Marine Parade and is probably the oldest of the cards. It allows correspondence on the reverse, only for inland postage. Correspondence on the reverse came into effect in the UK in 1902, but at varying times for the rest of the world until 1909.
With the wider angle, you can now see the white cliffs to the right of the castle.
A very similar view is shown in this reproduction of a 1924 card, though taken from the bottom of the slipway seen in the earlier card. Otherwise the view is almost identiical.
Now moving closer to the eastern cliffs with the castle out of sight. The building on the extreme left I am fairly sure is now the White Clliffs Hotel. In front of it there is now a duel carriageway leading to the cross channel ferry port.
Finally, the most modern card, dating from 1997 showing the East cliff again, but now with the ferry port and a road sweeping down from the cliff above. This road, the Jubilee Way, was built in 1977. Otherwise, very little has changed over the years, fairly miraculous when you consider the proximity of mainland Europe and the bombs that fell during the war.
During World War I the town was the first place in Britain ever to be bombed, and the bomb was aimed at the castle. In all, 184 bombs were dropped on Dover until the end of the war in 1918. During World War II, the bombing was much heavier of course. The first fell on 6 July 1940, and 2226 bombs later, the last fell 26 September 1944, averaging nearly two a day. They estimate over 10,000 buildings were damaged and yet these along the sea front escaped.
You can find other old images and new reflections at at Sepia Saturday.