Dependent originally on fishing and farming, Margate and Ramsgate benefited as limbs of the Cinque Ports during the Middle Ages, shipping grain to London and elsewhere. Growth was, however, slow until an interest in sea-bathing arose in the eighteenth century, when, to Margate's great benefit, Benjamin Beale invented the first bathing machine with a modesty hood. After that, hoys, paddle steamers and railways brought a stream of visitors that rapidly became a torrent. After the last war, easier foreign travel allowed people to bathe elsewhere, causing Margate to lose many hotels and other amenities. Mods and rockers did not reverse that trend and Manston aerodrome enjoyed some notoriety with the USAF in residence. Successes included the Hovercraft service to Calais and the enlargement of Ramsgate harbour. Thanet's cliffs, beaches and sea air remain attractive today, though. This delightful book shows some of the changes.