1901 – Newgate Gap, Margate, Kent
Just after the publication of ‘Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy’, I received an email from James Brazier, Newsletter Editor of the Margate Civic Society, who wondered if I knew whether James Pulham and Son ever did any work on a set of steps leading down into the cutting at Newgate Gap, in Cliftonville. This was intriguing, because nothing like that was included in our Pulham Databases, but the photograph he sent me showed all the characteristics of a Pulham installation. I had no hesitation in confirming their authenticity, and Mr Brazier wrote an article for the Civic Society Newsletter for Autumn 2012 to draw the readers’ attention to it.
I didn’t have time to follow it up at that time, so the matter rested until July 2016, when I received another enquiry from Newton Whitelaw – a local artist and sculptor of Cliftonville – who was researching the history of Newgate Gap for a public art programme, and wanted to know if I knew anything specifically about it. The programme even included a special Clean-Up Day in and around Newgate Gap to get people interested in preserving their local heritage, so this inspired me to investigate further.