Former Deal resident Richard
Whiteside, who now lives at Haywards Heath in
West Sussex, contacted DealWeb in August
2009 to raise a couple of questions about the
Cannon Street area of Deal and recall life there
in the 1940s and 1950s.
Richard grew up in the north
end of Deal and worked for the East Kent Mercury
newspaper until he left for Johannesburg,
South Africa, in 1971. He came back to the UK
in 1999 with a wife and two teenagers.
Here's what he told us...
is a photo of a plaque that is opposite The
Jolly Gardener pub in Cannon Street. It appears
to have the figures 94 upon it, maybe part of 1894?
I have been aware of it for years but never took
any real notice. Maybe the local historical society
will be able to decipher its meaning?
curious about the origin of the name Cannon
Street. Were cannons perhaps manufactured
or stored here for Henry VIIIs castles?
the gasworks in Cannon Street being demolished
in the early 50s as a four-year-old. My
grandfather, John Richard Whiteside, was a manager
at the gasworks, living at no:27 Cannon Street.
When he retired at the age of 70, my grandparents
moved to no:23 Cannon Street. Whereas no:27 was
grand with gas lights and a huge upstairs bathroom,
no:23 was particularly sparse with one cold water
tap, an outside toilet and a tin bath in the kitchen
filled by an Ascot gas water heater!
Richard John Whiteside, was an engineer and, in
the '50s, travelled around construction sites
putting in gas pipes for new post-war developments.
He returned to Deal in 1960 and later became Mayor
photo was taken at the back of no:27 Cannon Street
in 1952 - long before the place was concreted over
due to the toxic contamination in the ground. Im
on the horse with my brother John standing behind.
The wall behind us is the one that separates the,
then, garden area and the yard of no:27 from tanks
holding cyanide and other chemicals used in the
works. It did pong. The view is looking south-west
towards the corner of the property that passes back
of the gasworks offices (no:25 Cannon Street) to
meet the boundary of no:23 and allotments to the
west (now under concrete). My brother John now lives
in Worthing. We both rowed for Deal with the Deal
Rowing Club in the '60s. John still rows and represented
Worthing at the Regatta in Deal last weekend (August
Cannon Street residents had
a lucky escape when a wartime bomb failed to explode,
as Richard explained....
is of my uncle, John Price, crouching over the
spot where the bomb that went through cottages
where the garage is today (it used to be Hardys
Garage in the '50s and '60s).
hit a gas holder strut, went through the cottages,
spinning and hitting the wall of the gasworks
offices. You can see where the filler cap imprinted
in the wall today. Also notice the broken herring
bone paving by my uncle!
it on good authority that the family came out
of no:27 to see, whereupon our dog approached
the bomb and cocked its leg up on it! Had it gone
off my family would not be here today along
with half the families in Cannon Street.
time the Oatridge family lived in no:23. Roy Oatridge
and I grew up and went through school together
at North Deal Infants, and then the Methodist
Primary in Union Road. I have not seen him since
1971 but I believe he is living in Thanet.
is of the Methodist School PTA's production of
"Jack in the Beanstalk", circa 1956.
From the left are (1) Ivy Waters (Ethelbert Road),
(4) Molly Whiteside (nee Price, my mother), (5)
Mrs. Gardiner (Methodist School teacher); the
boy at front left is John, my older brother. As
for the rest, unfortunately I do not know the
to share your own memories of living in Deal? Why
And if you want to contact Richard, you can
e-mail him by