Sea bathing began in Margate as early as the mid 1730s. The town soon became a popular resort owing to its pure air, limpid waters and level, sandy beach. It was within easy reach of London via the Thames, which enabled its growth in the days before the advent of the railway. Visitors of all classes flocked to the resort to experience the healthy effects of bathing and local businessmen soon developed bathing machines (featured in the present watercolour) which allowed them to bath in decency. Margate's expansion included the building of the New Marine Library (featured here) where the proprietor, Mr. Garner, provided books, periodicals and newspapers. A shaded gallery projecting over the waterfront allowed subscribers to admire the view with their telescopes.
We are grateful to Penny Ward of the Margate Library, Cecil Square, Margate, for her help in preparing this catalogue entry.