Kent has one of the longest coastlines in Britain and was at the forefront of the growth of the British seaside industry from the eighteenth century onwards when sea bathing became fashionable. The Kent coast is within relatively easy access of London, so a day trip to the coast became a great attraction for fashionable Londoners. For the most part, transport to these fashionable new resorts was by ship but as some resorts did not have a harbour there was a problem getting passengers ashore.By the mid-nineteenth century the piers had become the most fashionable place to promenade in town. They quickly evolved into attractions in their own right with ornate pavilions containing all sorts of amusements as well as tearooms. Iconic emblems of the seaside experience and unique attractions, the new seaside resorts fiercely contested to have the best showpiece pleasure pier.
John Clancy is a keen local historian and avid postcard collector. He is a member of several organisations including the Kent Archaeological Society, the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust and the Sittingbourne Heritage Museum. He is also a founder member of the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne and edits their monthly magazine The Archive. Brought up in Milton Regis John now lives in Sittingbourne.