The Whitstable Times is the weekly newspaper of Whitstable. Established in 1863 and first printed in 1864, it has become the forum and the voice of the community providing an on the spot account of the people and times of the town throughout many generations of change.

Thousands of editions are archived on microfilm accessible at the library. These provide a fascinating insight into the economic and cultural growth of the town as influenced by national and international events.

Today our ‘Times’ is still based in the town and is now part of Kent Regional Newspapers, which in turn is part of the Trinity Mirror newspaper group, giving the paper the resources of the largest newspaper publishers in the U.K. will not normally publish any major story about the town before it has appeared in the ‘Times’, nor will we plagiarise their copy. Apart from the fact that we just don’t have the resources to emulate the paper the reasons for this are more than just copyright issues:

  1. The ‘Times’ staff are dedicated professionals who have built up the contacts and sources to get to the bottom of any breaking news.
  2. Over the years the ‘Times’ has proved itself to be the most reliable source of information and pictures about the town and it’s people. It has been there every week for them with over 7,200 issues, excepting some weeks during WW2 due to bombing or supply problems.
  3. We believe very strongly in the ongoing strength of this commitment to our townspeople.

There has been no index made of the Whitstable Times. Here at as we use information from old copies of the paper we are building a database of items covered in each issue to start an index that will be of use to all, including genealogists, local historians and the newspaper itself. This will be a long term project, but in the meantime the fact that information recorded on this site is searchable means that the job has begun already.

Primarily the data we are interested in are births, marriages and deaths, stories about local people and anything that links with other pages on the site. Every now and again we will use general information from one issue to log, at that moment of time, what was going on in the town along with prices, adverts and gossip to re-kindle the atmosphere of the town in that period of its history.

Special Features.

The ‘Notes of the Week’ series written by E.B. in the late 1940’s contain much valuable information and are so extensive we have made a separate section for them. This journalist talked with many townspeople of that time and in re-publishing his articles we are able to read his version of their memoirs going back into the 1800’s.

The Bob Dale Index. Bob spent most of his working life as a fisherman and oysterdredger. In his latter years he shared his knowledge and experiences with the readers of the newspaper by way of a number of letters. These letters contain little gems of local knowledge that are not to be found elsewhere.

Featured issues or articles.

As we concentrate on an issue from time to time a transcription of many of its articles and newstories will be published here:

Issue 900 – 2nd April 1881. The inquest on a strange death at the Pearsons Arms, a Shipping accident, A Narrow Escape for the Customs Officer, Railway Timetables and some Advertisements. This is the copy being read in the town as the 1881 Census was being carried out.

Issue 1760 – 24th Sep. 1897. Master Rowden blows his finger off whilst playing with explosives on the beach. The death of the Vicar of Whitstable – H.M. Maugham. Shipping arrivals and departures. Advertisements.

November 1898. A compilation of issues following the storylines of the loss of Whitstable ships and men. The “Robert Peel” with Frederick Kemp and Frederick Shilling. The “Flirt” with Captain Chadwick, Mark Rigden, Able Seaman Neat and an apprentice.

1917 – Snippets from the Whitstable Times. Letters from the Front and the listing, at that date, of the Roll of Honour. The death of the current ‘Father’ of the Oyster Company.

11th October 1941. Death and destruction visit the town in the form of a bomb landing in the heart of the Whitstable. Read the Whitstable Times report published the following week.

All Saints’ 1962. This article reports on the moving of some of the oldest headstones in the churchyard at Whitstable parish church, All Saints’, to make way for a new extension being built. It includes details about the family names, Camburn, Kemp, and Reynolds.

Issues indexed so far: (black= no,  colour = link to years index.)


Other work in hand.

We are gradually transfering what remains of the original negatives of the pictures used in the newspaper over the years to electronic media. At the same time these will be indexed and a description added so that they may be searched on and retrieved. Amongst these images will be pictures of local people that will find their way onto these pages. Some examples of the pictures so far transfered are here.