Deal, Kent

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Deal
Deal seafront.jpg
Deal seafront
Deal is located in Kent
Deal
Deal
Location within Kent
Population30,085 (2011 census Deal Urban Area)
OS grid referenceTR375525
• London83.9mi
District
Shire county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDEAL
Postcode districtCT14
Dialling code01304
PoliceKent
FireKent
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Kent
51°13′21″N 1°24′02″E / 51.2226°N 1.4006°E / 51.2226; 1.4006Coordinates: 51°13′21″N 1°24′02″E / 51.2226°N 1.4006°E / 51.2226; 1.4006

Deal is a town in Kent, England, which lies where the North Sea and the English Channel meet, 8 miles (13 km) north-east of Dover and 8 miles (13 km) south of Ramsgate. It is a former fishing, mining and garrison town whose history is closely linked to the anchorage in the Downs. Close to Deal is Walmer, a possible location for Julius Caesar's first arrival in Britain.

Deal became a 'limb port' of the Cinque Ports in 1278 and grew into the busiest port in England; today it is a seaside resort, its quaint streets and houses a reminder of its history along with many ancient buildings and monuments. In 1968, Middle Street was the first Conservation Area in Kent.[1] The coast of France is approximately 25 miles (40 km) from the town and is visible on clear days. The Tudor Deal Castle, commissioned by King Henry VIII, has a rose floor plan.

History[edit]

Deal is first mentioned as a village in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Addelam. It is referred to as Dela in 1158, and Dale in 1275. The name is the Old English dael meaning 'valley', cognate with the modern English 'dale'.[2] Deal developed into a port by the end of the 13th century. In 1495, the town was the site of an attempted landing by the pretender to the English throne Perkin Warbeck. His supporters were driven off by locals loyal to Henry VII at the Battle of Deal, fought on the beach. Sandown, Deal and Walmer castles were constructed around the town by Henry VIII to protect against foreign naval attack. In 1861, a Royal Marines Depot was established in the town. In 1989, it was bombed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, killing 11 bandsmen.

Maritime history[edit]

The proximity of Deal's shoreline to the notorious Goodwin Sands has made its coastal waters a source of both shelter and danger through the history of sea travel in British waters. The Downs, the water between the town and the sands, provides a naturally sheltered anchorage. Positioned at the eastern end of the English Channel, this is where sailing vessels would wait for a favourable wind, either to proceed into the North Sea, or, heading to the west, down the Channel. Ships going from London (the largest port in the world for much of the age of sail) to the Channel would leave under a fair wind (largely westerly), would turn south past the North Foreland and then find the same wind to be against them to go any further. (The reverse is true for ships heading for London from the Channel: a westerly wind prevents the last part of their journey.) It was common to find four or five hundred ships waiting for a slight change in wind direction that would allow them to proceed. When a useful wind shift occurred, those in the anchorage would be hastily weighing anchor and setting sail, whilst some ships heading in the opposite direction might now be entering the Downs to anchor, as the wind had turned against them.[3]:61–62[4]:113-114

When the port of Sandwich silted up, the only way to provide ships in the Downs with fresh provisions, stores and equipment was in boats launched directly from the beach. This was an extensive trade for Deal, and lasted until steam ships took over from sail.[3]:61-62 Deal also provided a convenient landing place for passengers for London, potentially saving a long wait for a fair wind to finish a voyage; it also allowed outward bound ships to be caught up with and joined.[4]:114

One problem with the Downs was the quality of the holding ground of the anchorage. It consists of chalk, which is not the best material. Hence it was common for ships in the roadstead to drag their anchors in strong winds, especially those from north round to east northeast or from the southeast, as these directions were less sheltered. This provided salvage work as an additional source of income for the town, with many ships being saved by help from the boatmen.[4]:114

Deal was, for example, visited by Nelson and was the first English soil on which James Cook set foot in 1771 on returning from his first voyage to Australia. The anchorage is still used today by international and regional shipping, though on a scale far smaller than in former times (some historical accounts report hundreds of ships being visible from the beach).

In 1672, a small Naval Yard was established at Deal, providing stores and minor repair facilities.[5] Just outside the gates of the yard there is now a building originally used as a semaphore tower planned to be used as a communication link to the Admiralty in London but converted to a timeball tower, in 1855 which remains today as a museum.

The Deal Maritime and Local History Museum is housed in an historic complex of light-industrial buildings in St George's Road, dating from 1803. It contains a series of displays and artefacts, narrating the town's maritime, industrial, domestic and leisure history.[6]

Boatmen[edit]

The Deal boatmen were internationally famous for their skilled seamanship and bravery in operating their locally-built craft, launching and recovering from the open beach. Only the severest weather prevented the larger of the working boats from being able to launch. A range of work was done. Provisions and supplies were taken out to ships anchored in the Downs, and the Post Office paid for mail to be taken out or landed. Ballast (in the form of shingle loaded from the beach) would be sold. Passengers were taken to and from moored ships. It was not unusual for a ship in the Downs to lose her anchor – either slipping the cable in an emergency or if a cable or anchor chain parted. This provided two sources of work for the boatmen.[4]:113-115[3]:55-72

First, the Downs had to be kept as clear as possible of the obstruction that lost gear presented, otherwise the anchors of other ships could become entangled in them and prevent weighing. In 1607, two boatmen were awarded £30 a year for sweeping for and recovering lost anchors, with substantial numbers being salvaged. In the 3 years from 1866, over 600 anchors were swept up from the Downs – at that time the Board of Trade paid for this to be done.[4]:113-115 [3]:64,89

Secondly, a ship that had lost her anchor would need to replace it. A large store of ground tackle of every size was kept by the boatmen, from which a suitable example could be loaded into one of the larger luggers and taken out and sold to the ship which needed it. In ordinary weather, this charge would be the fair cost of the gear sold. In severe weather, provision of an anchor would be classed as salvage, since it often prevented the loss of the ship. After the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854, the salvage claims became more fairly assessed than in prior years and substantial payments could be made to boatmen who launched into strong winds to provide this service. In November 1859, in 12 days 30 anchors and chains were supplied to ships in the Downs, 17 of them in one day. The lugger Albion earnt the most from this: £2,022 8s 6d, with other boats earning several hundred pounds each.[4]:113-115,129-131[3]:72,91-92

Other salvage work was also done by the boatmen - anything from supplying fresh men to man the pumps of a leaking vessel, to taking cargo off the wrecks of vessels that could not be saved.[4]:115

Boats used by boatmen[edit]

Deal luggers and a 4-oared galley on the beach at Port Arms station in 1866. The luggers are hauled up close to their capstans, where they are held by chains led through special holes in the keel. The galley in the foreground is of the type used for boarding and landing pilots

In the 19th century there were several types of boat used by the boatmen. The 2 largest were the Deal luggers. In the early part of the century, these were 3 masted vessels, with a dipping lug on the fore and main masts and a standing lug mizzen. A jib was set on a bowsprit and the mizzen sheeted to a long outrigger. The main mast could be dispensed with to give more working room in the boat or in the winter, so it was common for just 2 masts to be used, and the 3 masts ceased to be used in the 1840s. The "first class" luggers (often called "forepeakers") would be up to 38 feet long, with a beam of 12 feet 3 inches, carrying 6 tons of ballast in a hull that weighed 3 and a half tons. They were clinker built and had an enclosed forepeak in which the crew could shelter or sleep - but otherwise these were undecked, open boats. It was these larger luggers that would carry a replacement anchor out to a ship in the Downs. The smaller luggers were called "cats", able to do most of the work of the larger boats, but instead of the enclose forepeak they had a removable cabin that could be set up between the thwarts. There were 21 of first class luggers boat operating from Deal in 1833 and 15 cats. In the same year, 54 four or six oared galleys worked from Deal. These were lighter boats of between 21 to 30 feet in length. They could be sailed as well as rowed, setting a dipping lug on a single mast. They were used for taking passengers out to ships in the Downs and for boarding and landing pilots.[3]:72-74, 82. 101[4]:117-122, 139

Luggers were launched bows first down the beach by slipping the chain that ran through the "ruffles" (a hole in the back of the keel) and travelled at gathering speed down greased wooden skids laid on the shingle. The intent was to gather enough momentum to get through the first waves encountered as the foresail was hoisted. A haul-off rope, led to an anchor set off-shore, could hold the boat up to the waves as the sail was hoisted and help the boat sheer off on the correct tack. If not enough speed was gained, unless the weather was calm, the boat would probably turn parallel to the beach and be smashed by the waves.[3]:84-86 At high water, the shorter run to the sea increased the difficulty of getting a good launch, as there was less space in which to pick up speed.[4]:116 When the boat's work was complete, beaching was done by sailing on to the beach in front of the capstan, with a man standing in the sea ready to fasten the capstan rope to the chain strop that went through the front of the keel. For a large lugger it would take 20 or 30 men at the capstan to then haul the boat up the beach and then turn it round ready for the next launch. This was a hazardous task in which men could be killed or injured if control was lost of the large weights being moved.[3]:87

Naval and Military[edit]

The Navy Yard[edit]

A naval storehouse was built in Deal in 1672, providing for ships anchored in the Downs. In time, the establishment grew to cover some five acres of land, to the north of the castle. There was also a Victualling Yard on site. In contrast to other naval yards, there was no place for ships to dock alongside at Deal, so instead a number of small supply boats were maintained at the yard; these would be launched from the shingle beach, carrying supplies, provisions, personnel or equipment as required. The Yard closed in 1864.[7]

The barracks[edit]

The Royal Marines Depot, Deal were constructed shortly after the outbreak of the French Revolution. They originally consisted of adjacent cavalry and infantry barracks (later known as South Barracks), alongside which were separate hospitals for the Army and Navy. In due course the hospitals were also turned into barracks (known as North Barracks and East Barracks respectively). From 1861 the complex served as a sizeable Depot for the Royal Marines; latterly it was known in particular for the Royal Marines School of Music, which had moved there in 1930.[8]

Lifeboats[edit]

Piers[edit]

The 1957 Deal Pier
Embracing the Sea (1998) by Jon Buck at the entrance to the pier

The seafront at Deal has been adorned with three separate piers in the town's history. The first, built in 1838, was designed by Sir John Rennie. After its wooden structure was destroyed in an 1857 gale, it was replaced by an iron pier in 1864. A popular pleasure pier, it survived until the Second World War, when it was struck and severely damaged by a mined Dutch ship, the Nora, in January 1940. This was not the first time the pier had been hit by shipping, with previous impacts in 1873 and 1884 necessitating extensive repairs.

The present pier, designed by Sir W. Halcrow & Partners, was opened on 19 November 1957 by the Duke of Edinburgh. Constructed predominantly from concrete-clad steel, it is 1,026 ft (313 m) in length (a notice announces that it is the same length as the RMS Titanic, but that ship was just 882 feet (269 m)), and ends in a three-tiered pier-head, featuring a cafe, bar, lounge, and fishing decks. The lowest of the three tiers is underwater at all but the lowest part of the tidal range, and has become disused. The pier is a popular sport fishing venue.

Deal's current pier is the last remaining fully intact leisure pier in Kent and is a Grade II listed building.[9] Its structure was extensively refurbished and repaired in 1997, with work including the replacement of much of the concrete cladding on the pier's main piles. Work began in April 2008 to construct a new pier-head with a modern restaurant, with the restaurant opened in December 2008.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Southend Pier
National Piers Society
Pier of the Year

2008
Succeeded by
Saltburn Pier

Museums[edit]

Deal has several museums; most are related to Deal's maritime history. Both Deal Castle and Walmer Castle are operated by English Heritage – Deal has a display on the events in the reign of Henry VIII that led to the invasion threat which caused its construction, along with some material on its subsequent history, whereas displays at Walmer concentrate on Walmer's post-Tudor role as the Lord Warden's residence. There is also a ruin of the third Tudor castle, Sandown Castle, in North Deal. The Deal Maritime and Local History Museum has exhibits of boats, smuggler galleys and model naval ships. It also contains extensive histories of the lifeboats as well as local parish registers. The Timeball Tower Museum, on the other hand, focuses on the importance of timekeeping for ships, and the role the building it occupies played.

Notable references[edit]

Diarist Samuel Pepys recorded several visits to the town, being moved on 30 April 1660 to describe it as "pitiful".[10]

The author Daniel Defoe controversially wrote of the town in his book about the Great Storm of 1703. The town accused him of libel and refuted the allegations he made. Defoe's book included:[11][3]:65[12]

If I had any satire left to write,
Could I with suited spleen indite,
My verse should blast that fatal town,
And drown’d sailors' widows pull it down;
No footsteps of it should appear,
And ships no more cast anchor there.
The barbarous hated name of Deal shou’d die,
Or be a term of infamy;
And till that’s done, the town will stand
A just reproach to all the land

William Cobbett passing through in September 1823 noted in his book Rural Rides:

Deal is a most villainous place. It is full of filthy-looking people. Great desolation of abomination has been going on here; tremendous barracks, partly pulled down and partly tumbling down, and partly occupied by soldiers. Everything seems upon the perish. I was glad to hurry along through it, and to leave its inns and public-houses to be occupied by the tarred, and trowsered, and blue and buff crew whose very vicinage I always detest.

In fiction[edit]

Dickens, who had visited the town, had Richard Carstone garrisoned here in Bleak House,[13] so that Woodcourt and Esther's paths can cross when Woodcourt's ship happens to anchor in the Downs at the same time as Esther and Charley are visiting Richard:

At last we came into the narrow streets of Deal, and very gloomy they were upon a raw misty morning. The long flat beach, with its little irregular houses, wooden and brick, and its litter of capstans, and great boats, and sheds, and bare upright poles with tackle and blocks, and loose gravelly waste places overgrown with grass and weeds, wore as dull an appearance as any place I ever saw.

Deal is the setting for local novelist George Chittenden's smuggling saga, which is set in the late 18th century when the town was a haven for criminal gangs smuggling contraband across the English Channel. In Chittenden's debut The Boy Who Led Them a child rises through the ranks to control the biggest smuggling gang on the Kent coast, fighting wars with rival gangs and revenue men at every turn.[14]

In Chittenden's next book The Boy Who Felt No Pain he takes the reader on a journey back to the dangerous coastal town of Deal, fleshing out the back story of main characters from the first novel whilst also raising some interesting new questions.[15]

In Jane Austen's Persuasion,[16] the town is mentioned as the only place where Admiral Croft's wife Sophia Croft was ever ill, as it was the only place she was ever separated from him, whilst he was patrolling the North Sea.

  • A renamed Deal served as the setting for the William Horwood book The Boy With No Shoes.[17] It is also the setting for part of his earlier novel The Stonor Eagles.
  • It is the (renamed) setting of Frances Fyfield's crime novel Undercurrents.[18]
  • It is the setting for David Donachie's book A Hanging Matter, a murder and nautical mystery.[19]
  • North & South Deal were swapped round in the semi-autobiographical novel The Pier by Rayner Heppenstall.
  • Deal features briefly in H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds.
  • Deal is mentioned as the destination for a Marine recruit from Edinburgh in the novel Guns of Evening by Ronald Bassett. "What's Deal?" the recruit replies having never heard of it.
  • Deal is the setting for Ian Fleming's 1955 James Bond book Moonraker. Villain Hugo Drax has built his Moonraker rocket just outside Deal, where Bond has to go and investigate.
  • Characters in the Aubrey–Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brian frequently stay in Deal waiting for their ship to be ordered to sea.
  • Horatio Hornblower (in The Commodore, by C. S. Forester) departs from Deal on his voyage to the Baltic.
  • Deal features in Anthony Horowitz's 2017 crime thriller The Word Is Murder.
  • It is the setting for GJ Kelly's historical thriller Considerable Advantage.

Local media[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

Deal has one paid for newspaper, the East Kent Mercury, published by the KM Group.

Radio[edit]

The local radio station for Deal is KMFM Shepway and White Cliffs Country. Deal is also served by the county-wide stations Heart, Gold, KMFM and BBC Radio Kent. Deal Radio[20] is an online radio station with news, music, interviews Broadcast from The Landmark Centre, High street Deal Kent. Dover Community Radio (DCR), founded in 2010, is a podcast and online radio station fir Dover District (White Cliffs Country) broadcasting to Dover, Deal and Sandwich. DCR was awarded a community radio licence by OFCOM in May 2020 and will launch on FM in the next few years.

Sport and leisure[edit]

Deal has a non-League football club Deal Town F.C., which plays at The Charles Sports Ground.

The Rugby Club, Deal & Betteshanger Lions plays at the old RM Drill Field off Canada Rd.

There is also Deal Rowing Club located on the seafront north of the pier.

There is a Farmer's Market on Wednesday which sells local produce, as well as a long-running market on Saturday. The town has an independent retail sector in the North End of Deal High Street, and a number of chains on the High Street, though there are some retail voids.

The Astor Theatre in Deal offers musical performances, live theatre, exhibitions, movies, classes and clubs, and more.

Deal used to have two cinemas up until 1981, but these finally closed in 1984 with the closure of the Cannon Classic in Queen Street and although a small cinema re-appeared in the former Cannon Classic Cinema building, that too closed in 2007. Deal's former bingo hall the Regent, another art deco cinema building, closed in 2008 and was sold by the local council to reopen as a cinema or arts space. As of April 2018, the building remains shuttered with no plans submitted for its regeneration.[citation needed]

Twin towns[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Actors[edit]

Musicians[edit]

  • Edward Francis Fitzwilliam (1824 in Deal – 1857) [37] composer and music director.
  • John Ireland (1879–1962)[38] was an English composer and teacher of classical music, lived at Comarques, 122, High Street, Deal from 1936–1939[39]
  • Dick Morrissey (1940–2000 in Deal)[40] jazz musician and composer. He played the tenor sax, soprano sax and flute.
  • Adrian Brett (born Deal in 1945) is a British flautist.[41] His album, Echoes of Gold appeared in the Top 20 of the UK Albums Chart

Writers[edit]

  • Elizabeth Carter (1717 in Deal – 1806) [42] poet, classicist, writer and translator, and a member of the Bluestocking Circle around Elizabeth Montagu
  • Stephen Phillips (1864–1915 in Deal) poet and dramatist, popular early in his career, he lodged & died in Deal[43]
  • Nathaniel Gubbins (1893–1976) journalist and humourist,[43] lived at 109 Beach Street from 1947–1958, known as The War's Leading Humorist
  • Elizabeth Bartlett (1924 in Deal – 2008)[44] poet
  • William Horwood (born 1944) novelist,[45] he grew up on the East Kent coast, primarily in Deal
  • Sean Gabb (born 1960 in Chatham)[46] writer, lecturer and broadcaster, lives in Deal. He was the Director of the Libertarian Alliance from 2006 to 2017
  • Charlie Connelly (born 1970 in London) author and broadcaster

Climate[edit]

The nearest UK Met Office weather station is in Langdon Bay. Deal has a temperate maritime climate, with comfortable summers and cold winters. The temperature is usually between 3 °C (37 °F) and 21.1 °C (70.0 °F), but the all-time temperature range is between −8 °C (18 °F) and 31 °C (88 °F). There is evidence that the sea is coldest in February; the warmest recorded February temperature was only 13 °C (55 °F), compared with 16 °C (61 °F) in January.[47][48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Deal Middle Street". dover.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  2. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.140.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i March, Edgar J. (1970). Inshore Craft of Great Britain in the Days of Sail and Oar. Volume 2 (2005 ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1 86176 269 0.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Leather, John (1979). Spritsails and Lugsails (1989 reissue ed.). Camden, Maine: International Marine Publishing Company. ISBN 0877429987.
  5. ^ Lavery, Brian (1989). Nelson's Navy. London: Conway Maritime Press.
  6. ^ "Museum website".
  7. ^ Coad, Jonathan (2013). Support for the Fleet. Swindon: English Heritage.
  8. ^ "WalmerWeb: Local History – The Royal Marines". walmerweb.co.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Deal Pier – National Piers Society". piers.org.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Monday 30 April 1660". The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  11. ^ Defoe, Daniel. Minto, William (ed.). THE STORM : The First Substantial Work of Modern Journalism Covering the Great Storm of 1703; Including the Biography of the Author and His Own Experiences. ISBN 978-80-268-6751-7.
  12. ^ Treanor, Thomas Stanley (1904). Heroes of the Goodwin Sands. London: The Religious Tract Society.
  13. ^ Chapter XLV
  14. ^ "The Boy Who Led Them: Amazon.co.uk: George Chittenden: 9781849631280: Books". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  15. ^ "The Boy Who Felt No Pain: Amazon.co.uk: George Chittenden: 9781849634489: Books". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  16. ^ Chapter 8
  17. ^ William Horwood (2004). The Boy with No Shoes: A Memoir. Review. ISBN 978-0-7553-1317-4. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  18. ^ Frances Fyfield (4 October 2012). Undercurrents. Little, Brown Book Group. ISBN 978-1-4055-2048-5. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  19. ^ David Donachie (1 April 2002). A Hanging Matter. McBooks Press. ISBN 978-1-59013-016-2. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Deal Community Radio – Something for everyone". dealcommunityradio.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Blitz,Antonio" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography – via Wikisource.
  22. ^ "Hulke,JohnWhitaker" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). 1911.
  23. ^ Perkins, Eleanor (25 September 2019). "Transgender dad and Seahorse star Freddy McConnell loses court case". Kent Online. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  24. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10 1986 retrieved 3 October 2017
  25. ^ Sports Reference LLC retrieved 3 October 2017
  26. ^ The Aerodrome website retrieved 3 October 2017
  27. ^ Fashion.telegraph.co.uk retrieved 3 October 2017
  28. ^ The Peerage, Person Page 12487 retrieved 3 October 2017
  29. ^ Members of the House of Lords retrieved 3 October 2017
  30. ^ Sports Reference LLC retrieved 3 October 2017
  31. ^ IMDb website retrieved 3 October 2017
  32. ^ IMDb website retrieved 3 October 2017
  33. ^ IMDb website retrieved 3 October 2017
  34. ^ IMDb website retrieved 3 October 2017
  35. ^ IMDb website retrieved 3 October 2017
  36. ^ IMDb website retrieved 3 October 2017
  37. ^ "Fitzwilliam,EdwardFrancis" . Dictionary of National Biography. 19. 1889.
  38. ^ Stewart R. Craggs, John Ireland. Ashgate Publishing (2007) retrieved 3 October 2017
  39. ^ "Blue Plaque Walks in Deal". High Street Deal. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  40. ^ The Guardian, Thursday 9 November 2000, Obituary retrieved 3 October 2017
  41. ^ Biography on Becker Ensemble of London site retrieved 3 October 2017
  42. ^ "Carter, Elizabeth" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 05 (11th ed.). 1911.
  43. ^ a b Blue Plaque Walks in Deal retrieved 3 October 2017
  44. ^ Guardian Obituary Tuesday 29 July 2008 retrieved 3 October 2017
  45. ^ William Horwood website 2017 retrieved 3 October 2017
  46. ^ seangabb.co.uk, Own website retrieved 3 October 2017
  47. ^ "Deal climate". metoffice.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  48. ^ "December Climate History for Dover – Local – Kent, United Kingdom". myweather2.com. Retrieved 24 September 2015.

Sources[edit]

  • Green, Ivan. The Book of Deal and Walmer, Barracuda Books Ltd, 1983, ISBN 0-86023-156-9

External links[edit]