Tuesday, 29 May 2018

That Zeppelin raid on Ramsgate ..... not once but twice and the porcelain cat and Teddy

Now I am absolutely convinced that someone in the Imperial Bazaar saw the upside of the two Zeppelin raids on their premises at Albion Hill in May 1915 and June 1917.

Nor were they alone as the series of picture postcards issued sometime after the May 1915 raid testifies.

I have seen four postcards which show the shop, some of the damage, a group of bystanders and four policemen holding up the remains of the bomb cases.

I suppose given the absence of the wireless, and television and the infancy of the film industry, picture postcards were the most immediate way of telling the story, with the added advantage that they could be sent all over the country and beyond.

By contrast these crested pieces of porcelain cost more and would never have the same visual impact as the cards.

They were produced in their thousands from identical moulds with just the application of a transfer coat of arms and a name to mark them out as Ramsgate, rather than London, Blackpool or Great Yarmouth.

But never one to miss out, the producers or the retailers at Imperial Bazaar had the idea of adding on the base of each piece, the legend, “Souvenir from the Imperial Bazaar Albion Hill Ramsgate Twice wrecked by Zeppelins May 17 1915 and June 17 1917”.

All of which made these bits of unremarkable china something very special.

I would like to have shown the picture postcards, but they may remain copyright, because although the original copyright will have long ago expired, there may be issues with the four examples I have seen which are the property of an individual.

Location; Ramsgate

Pictures; crested porcelain circa 1917, from the collection of David Harrop

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