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.

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  1. A nice selection of Dover postcards. A lot the views are as you say still recognizable today.

    Apart from the bombs which landed on Dover it was also shelled relentlessly by long range German guns based on the French coast.

    Did you know that in WWII no German bombs or shells landed on Dover Castle? This was due to strict orders from Hitler who wanted it preserved as a prize after the German invasion of Britain.


  2. A very clever series of views - some things never change! The delicate colouring of the second one is lovely.

  3. A lovely selection of old postcards

  4. If it's true, what Glen said, it's one of the few good things Hitler ever did but not for a good reason. Very interesting cards!
    I remember going past the White Cliffs of Dover on a ferry on my way to France in the '60's. (the 1960's, that is.)

  5. I think the second postcard is the most appealing. It really makes me wish I were there.

  6. I don't think I made it to Dover in my dozen or so trips to England. It looks beautiful.

  7. I've been through the ferry port, also in the 60s. On the last occasion noone was examining the view it was too rough at the time.
    Fine collection of postcards showing Dover through the years. No bluebirds though!

  8. Great collection of cards. Thank you. It must have been grand to stroll around Dover at the time of your first card. So few cars . .

  9. What a fabulous collection : especially all those cards showing what must be almost exactly the same scene : but over so many years. You can move backwards and forwards between the individual images and build up your own time-line. Quite fascinating.

  10. OH YOU!!!


  11. I loved them all especially the modern ones.

  12. I've only seen the white cliffs from an airplane, so it's nice to see them from the ground.

  13. I wish I'd actually spent some time in Dover. Each time I've arrived from France and loved seeing the cliffs rising off in the distance. Once ashore I headed for London missing all the charms of Dover.

  14. Oh these are family and I actually visited Dover, the White BEAUTIFUL cliffs and the Dover Castle....we even went through the underground war tunnels that haven't been open for all that long...lovely post...thank you so much!


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