One of the nation’s most unusual fair venues is the network of underground tunnels on the Marina Esplanade in Ramsgate.
The brainchild of Ramsgate’s ‘top hat’ mayor – the splendidly named Arthur Bloomfield Courtenay Kempe – these huge air raid shelters were built in a matter of months at the outbreak of the Second World War using a disused railway tunnel.
When the east Kent town was hit by a wave of air raids in 1940 and 1941, 60,000 people decamped for months at a time to the underground metropolis.
There was a barber’s shop, a hospital, a canteen, a greengrocer – and a full orchestra for entertainment.
A subterranean vintage and collectors’ fair at the venue on Sunday, March 25, is a first for the organisers, who currently run guided tours in the tunnels. They are hoping for 25-plus dealers selling militaria and other vintage and wartime memorabilia.
A successful fair could see it become a regular occurrence. For more information on the fair ring David Batten on 07973 469411.