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Whitstable Town FC: Kent League Tables 1946-1959

Article Produced in Conjunction with Ian Johnson

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1946/47: Start of the Golden Era

  

The Golden Era of the Kent League commenced in 1946 - four years before Whitstable joined the party. At that stage, sixteen clubs competed and the battle for the title was fought primarily on the east coast of the county with Margate narrowly withstanding the challenge of  Folkestone.

    

1946/47

P W D L F A POI
1 Margate 30 16 9 5 89 46 41
2 Folkestone 30 17 5 8 100 70 39
3 Sheppey 30 17 4 9 84 55 38
4 Maidstone 30 17 3 10 80 56 37
5 Ramsgate 30 16 5 9 69 59 37
6 Lloyds (Sittingbourne) 30 16 3 11 104 76 35
7 Gravesend & Northfleet Res 30 14 6 10 85 73 34
8 Shorts Sports 30 12 9 9 66 33 33
9 Ashford 30 13 6 11 81 72 32
10 Sittingbourne 30 13 5 12 97 79 31
11 Gillingham Res 30 12 6 12 90 73 30
12 Snowdown CW 30 9 7 14 56 99 25
13 Royal Marines Chatham 30 11 2 17 75 93 24
14 Dover 30 7 3 20 46 118 17
15 Betteshanger CW 30 4 7 19 63 111 15
16 Deal 30 3 6 21 43 97 12

  

1947/48: Margate Again

  

A number of changes took place during the summer of '47. Shorts Sports appear to have amalgamated with  another Medway Club - Chatham. The new club became 'Chatham Town FC' and took over Shorts' membership of  the Kent League Division 1 for the 1947/48 season. 

The league expanded from 16 to18 clubs with the arrival of Canterbury City and Aylesford Paper Mill. Despite the changes, it was a case of "same again" at the top - with Margate finishing just ahead of Folkestone....  

   

1947/48

P W D L F A POI
1 Margate 34 24 1 9 103 44 49
2 Folkestone 34 21 5 8 100 43 47
3 Gillingham Res 34 19 5 10 71 45 43
4 Ramsgate 34 20 2 12 72 53 42
5 Maidstone 34 18 5 11 72 61 41
6 Lloyds (Sittingbourne) 34 18 3 13 86 74 39
7 Dover 34 15 8 11 70 60 38
8 Gravesend & Northfleet Res 34 14 10 10 65 54 38
9 Sittingbourne 34 15 7 12 86 79 37
10 Chatham 34 15 6 13 82 67 36
11 Canterbury 34 15 4 15 77 71 34
12 Ashford 34 12 5 17 59 68 29
13 Betteshanger CW 34 11 6 17 68 81 28
14 Deal 34 9 8 17 55 79 26
15 Snowdown CW 34 8 8 18 61 89 24
16 Sheppey 34 10 2 22 64 98 22
17 Aylsford PM 34 6 8 20 46 99 20
18 Royal Marines Chatham 34 7 3 24 49 121 17

  

1948/49: New Champions

    

Whilst the make-up of the league remained the same for the 1948/49 season, Margate's domination came to an end with Ashford claiming the trophy on goal average from a fast emerging Dover.

   

1948/49

P W D L F A POI
1 Ashford 34 24 4 6 109 41 52
2 Dover 34 24 4 6 86 41 52
3 Ramsgate 34 25 2 7 104 52 52
4 Folkestone 34 20 8 6 115 55 48
5 Betteshanger CW 34 21 3 10 77 64 45
6 Gillingham Res 34 17 8 9 85 46 42
7 Canterbury 34 16 5 13 90 64 37
8 Chatham 34 15 6 13 78 70 36
9 Sheppey 34 14 6 14 75 73 34
10 Margate 34 14 5 15 84 64 33
11 Gravesend & Northfleet Res 34 14 3 17 61 58 31
12 Snowdown CW 34 13 5 16 92 96 31
13 Maidstone 34 12 6 16 67 85 30
14 Sittingbourne 34 12 4 18 57 71 28
15 Lloyds (Sittingbourne) 34 9 5 20 75 95 23
16 Deal 34 7 4 23 41 100 18
17 Aylsford PM 34 4 4 26 39 110 12
18 Royal Marines Chatham 34 2 4 28 35 185 8

   

1949/50: Trophy Returns to Thanet

   

The league became a wholly first team competition when both Gillingham and Gravesend withdrew their reserve teams for the 1949/50 season. Nevertheless, seventeen clubs took part... thanks to the arrival of another famous old Kent Club - Faversham Town. At the end of it all, the trophy ended up back on the east coast but with a new name engraved upon it.... Ramsgate! 

  

1949/50

P W D L F A POI
1 Ramsgate 32 26 3 3 118 33 55
2 Folkestone 32 23 5 4 115 33 51
3 Canterbury 32 19 6 7 100 53 44
4 Dover 32 16 10 6 98 46 42
5 Snowdown CW 32 18 4 10 79 50 40
6 Margate 32 17 5 10 67 39 39
7 Ashford 32 15 8 9 83 62 38
8 Bowater Lloyds 32 13 10 9 80 75 36
9 Maidstone 32 13 3 16 78 88 29
10 Faversham 32 12 5 15 54 65 29
11 Sheppey 32 8 11 13 56 78 27
12 Deal 32 10 6 16 51 87 26
13 Sittingbourne 32 10 5 17 46 70 25
14 Betteshanger CW 32 8 6 18 68 82 22
15 Chatham 32 8 4 20 56 97 20
16 Aylesford PM 32 6 5 21 46 106 17
17 Royal Marines Chatham 32 1 2 29 24 155 4

   

Local interest focused on Division 2 of the league where Whitstable finished in top place. As a eesult, the club gained senior status and moved into the elite First Division for 1950/51. 

 

1950/51: Whitstable Make a Start

   

This is where it all began for Whitstable.... their first season in the Kent League Division 1. Along with fellow newcomers, Tunbridge Wells United, they replaced Maidstone (who had moved on to the Corinthian League) and the Royal Marines (whose Chatham Division was disbanded in August 1950). 

Whitstable made a fair start to their senior career..... by finishing in twelfth place. However, the main honours went to Folkestone. They lifted the championship title for the first time..... after finishing in the "top four" every year since the war.

   

1950/51

P W D L F A POI
1 Folkestone 32 26 4 2 114 29 56
2 Snowdown CW 32 21 7 4 88 33 49
3 Canterbury 32 18 7 7 92 48 43
4 Ashford 32 18 7 7 87 53 43
5 Dover 32 19 4 9 105 53 42
6 Margate 32 16 9 7 93 57 41
7 Sittingbourne 32 17 5 10 75 52 39
8 Betteshanger CW 32 13 10 9 62 50 36
9 Ramsgate 32 13 8 11 69 62 34
10 Sheppey 32 9 9 14 46 60 27
11 Bowater Lloyds 32 11 4 17 56 75 26
12 Whitstable 32 10 6 16 38 58 26
13 Deal 32 9 7 16 38 58 25
14 Tun Wells Utd 32 9 4 19 51 83 22
15 Chatham 32 7 4 21 33 65 18
16 Faversham 32 4 3 25 37 128 11
17 Aylesford PM 32 2 2 28 38 159 6

   

1951/52: Dover Emerge

   

During the summer of 1951, the Kent League took another step towards becoming a wholly "town club" competition when Aylesford Paper Mills lost their senior status after collecting a mere six points during the previous campaign. They were replaced by Bexleyheath.

The championship trophy didn't have far to travel to find a new home. In the Spring of 1952, it moved just a few miles up the East Kent coast from Folkestone to Dover. Meanwhile, Whitstable consolidated their  mid-table status and even improved a little.... with a 10th place finish....

  

1951/52

P W D L F A POI
1 Dover 32 23 6 3 109 36 52
2 Snowdown CW 32 16 9 7 68 36 41
3 Sheppey 32 19 3 10 82 57 41
4 Margate 32 16 7 9 77 49 39
5 Folkestone 32 17 5 10 80 51 39
6 Sittingbourne 32 17 4 11 74 66 38
7 Ashford 32 17 3 12 63 38 37
8 Ramsgate 32 14 9 9 72 47 37
9 Deal 32 15 5 12 70 51 35
10 Whitstable 32 15 4 13 59 71 34
11 Betteshanger CW 32 14 4 14 81 73 32
12 Faversham 32 11 6 15 52 77 28
13 Canterbury 32 10 7 15 71 70 27
14 Bowater Lloyds 32 11 5 16 65 79 27
15 Chatham 32 6 3 23 45 99 15
16 Bexleyheath 32 4 4 24 28 118 12
17 Tun Wells Utd 32 5 0 27 31 109 10

   

1952/53: Back to Folkestone!

  

Dover made a gallant effort to retain the title in 52/53 but it wasn't quite enough. By springtime, the trophy was back at Cheriton Road, Folkestone. Whitstable slipped slightly... to thirteenth place.

  

1952/53

P W D L F A POI
1 Folkestone 32 23 5 4 93 28 51
2 Dover 32 20 8 4 70 41 48
3 Sittingbourne 32 18 8 6 81 60 44
4 Betteshanger CW 32 19 5 8 81 46 43
5 Tunbridge Wells 32 19 2 11 64 53 40
6 Deal 32 16 6 10 80 42 38
7 Ashford 32 13 9 10 65 48 35
8 Canterbury 32 13 9 10 62 57 35
9 Sheppey 32 14 7 11 62 64 35
10 Snowdon CW 32 14 6 12 74 53 34
11 Margate 32 13 7 12 66 52 33
12 Ramsgate 32 7 13 12 51 48 27
13 Whitstable 32 7 8 17 51 70 22
14 Faversham 32 5 9 18 51 77 19
15 Bowater-Lloyds 32 8 3 21 50 99 19
16 Bexleyheath 32 4 4 24 44 102 12
17 Chatham Town 32 3 3 26 30 130 9

   

1953/54: Whitstable's Best

   

The competition was reduced to just 16 clubs for the 1952/53 season when Bowater-Lloyds withdrew. The league was now very much an inter-town affair. By April of 1953, the league title had progressed a little further around the east coast to one of the less fashionable clubs - Deal Town. 

Deal had nudged Margate aside on goal difference. There was also cause for local celebrations as Whitstable achieved its highest position in senior football - sixth place.

     

1953/54

P W D L F A POI
1 Deal 30 18 8 4 78 33 44
2 Margate 30 19 6 5 74 36 44
3 Folkestone 30 17 9 4 71 29 43
4 Snowdown CW 30 15 8 7 54 39 38
5 Sittingbourne 30 13   7 61 40 36
6 Whitstable 30 14 7 9 56 48 35
7 Betteshanger CW 30 14 6 10 48 48 34
8 Ramsgate 30 13 7 10 62 51 33
9 Canterbury 30 14 5 11 52 46 33
10 Dover 30 13 6 11 59 42 32
11 Tun Wells Utd 30 11 3 16 42 64 25
12 Sheppey 30 10 3 17 54 72 23
13 Faversham 30 7 5 18 38 72 19
14 Ashford 30 5 7 18 34 50 17
15 Bexleyheath 30 5 5 20 38 81 15
16 Chatham 30 3 3 24 32 102 9

  

1954/55: A Miner Success

   

Gillingham Reserves rejoined the league after a  five year absence and this increased the number of competitors to 17. However, the 1954/55 season became the year of the miner - demonstrating the sporting prowess and enthusiasm of the Kent mining community. Snowdown Colliery Welfare became champions after finishing in the 'top four' on three occasions in the preceding four years.... 

 

1954/55

P W D L F A POI
1 Snowdown CW 32 18 9 5 60 36 45
2 Dover 32 16 11 5 64 38 43
3 Folkestone 32 16 11 5 73 55 43
4 Sittingbourne 32 18 5 9 77 50 41
5 Margate 32 17 6 9 82 48 40
6 Ramsgate 32 15 8 9 65 49 38
7 Tun Wells Utd 32 15 8 9 60 52 38
8 Gillingham Res 32 12 9 11 53 51 33
9 Canterbury 32 12 8 12 57 53 32
10 Bexleyheath 32 13 6 13 76 71 32
11 Deal 32 10 12 10 66 62 32
12 Ashford 32 11 7 14 49 52 29
13 Whitstable 32 9 8 15 51 64 26
14 Faversham 32 9 5 18 47 72 23
15 Betteshanger CW 32 6 8 18 46 68 20
16 Chatham 32 6 4 22 63 121 16
17 Sheppey 32 3 7 22 42 89 13

  

Sadly, Whitstable's ageing team was on the slide. They finished in thirteenth place and this disintegration continued at an alarming pace during the remainder of the decade.

   

1955/56: Town Hit the Rocks

  

Twelve months later, normality resumed with yet another East Kent coast success. This time it was Ramsgate winning their second title ahead of near neighbours, Margate. However, Whitstable had hit rock bottom....

   

1955/56

P W D L F A POI
1 Ramsgate 32 24 4 4 108 39 52
2 Margate 32 19 6 7 93 45 44
3 Snowdown CW 32 20 4 8 91 50 44
4 Tun Wells Utd 32 18 7 7 74 49 43
5 Sittingbourne 32 16 8 8 73 47 40
6 Deal 32 16 6 10 72 61 38
7 Canterbury 32 14 8 10 65 56 36
8 Dover 32 16 3 13 60 56 35
9 Folkestone 32 16 2 14 64 55 34
10 Bexleyheath 32 10 11 11 55 58 31
11 Ashford 32 11 7 14 46 58 29
12 Gillingham Res 32 11 6 15 62 57 28
13 Betteshanger CW 32 9 6 17 44 68 24
14 Sheppey 32 8 4 20 43 80 20
15 Chatham 32 7 5 20 48 90 19
16 Faversham 32 5 5 22 37 97 15
17 Whitstable 32 2 8 22 29 98 12

    

1956/57: Rams Double

   

Ramsgate retained the title at the end of the 1956/57 season. Whitstable scrambled off the bottom... but only by one place.

  

1956/57

P W D L F A POI
1 Ramsgate 32 23 6 3 84 38 52
2 Tun Wells Utd 32 21 6 5 80 36 48
3 Snowdown CW 32 21 4 7 84 42 46
4 Canterbury 32 19 3 10 85 58 41
5 Dover 32 18 4 10 76 50 40
6 Gillingham Res 32 16 5 11 67 56 37
7 Sittingbourne 32 14 7 11 65 49 35
8 Margate 32 16 2 14 64 65 34
9 Folkestone 32 10 9 13 58 56 29
10 Ashford 32 13 3 16 59 59 29
11 Bexleyheath 32 12 4 16 69 76 28
12 Faversham 32 8 6 18 64 87 22
13 Deal 32 8 6 18 46 79 22
14 Betteshanger CW 32 8 6 18 41 76 22
15 Sheppey 32 6 8 18 44 79 20
16 Whitstable 32 8 4 20 39 82 20
17 Chatham 32 8 3 21 68 105 19

   

1957/58: Bay Arrive... but Title Goes West

    

Herne Bay joined the league and saved Whitstable the embarrassment of finishing with the wooden spoon! Despite the challenges of Margate, Ramsgate and Dover, the East Kent domination of the league was ended by Sittingbourne..... 

   

1957/58

P W D L F A POI
1 Sittingbourne 34 25 6 3 77 28 56
2 Margate 34 20 9 5 80 34 49
3 Ramsgate 34 22 4 8 84 49 48
4 Dover 34 20 5 9 74 43 45
5 Bexleyheath 34 18 5 11 84 57 41
6 Folkestone 34 17 6 11 78 62 40
7 Tun Wells Utd 34 16 8 10 70 65 40
8 Snowdown CW 34 17 4 13 76 69 38
9 Canterbury 34 14 9 11 78 62 37
10 Gillingham Res 34 12 6 16 52 62 30
11 Faversham 34 12 5 17 76 87 29
12 Chatham 34 13 2 19 60 93 28
13 Betteshanger CW 34 10 7 17 57 63 27
14 Sheppey 34 9 7 18 54 84 25
15 Deal 34 7 7 20 53 87 21
16 Ashford 34 7 6 21 53 85 20
17 Whitstable 34 8 4 22 49 87 20
18 Herne Bay 34 6 6 22 51 89 18

   

1958/59: Bourne the Final Champions

  

Sittingbourne held onto that title during the final season of the Kent League.... and Whitstable held on to 17th place!

  

1958/59

P W D L F A POI
1 Sittingbourne 34 26 6 2 90 25 58
2 Folkestone 34 22 5 7 103 49 49
3 Tunbridge Wells Utd 34 17 9 8 96 63 43
4 Bexleyheath 34 20 2 12 115 76 42
5 Margate 34 18 5 11 101 72 41
6 Canterbury 34 16 8 10 69 74 40
7 Dover 34 14 10 10 61 47 38
8 Gillingham Res 34 15 7 12 64 47 37
9 Ashford 34 16 4 14 75 53 36
10 Snowdown CW 34 13 8 13 81 76 34
11 Ramsgate 34 10 8 16 65 81 28
12 Herne Bay 34 13 1 20 58 85 27
13 Betteshanger CW 34 9 8 17 70 97 26
14 Chatham 34 9 8 17 71 105 26
15 Faversham 34 10 6 18 67 102 26
16 Sheppey 34 10 5 19 57 88 25
17 Whitstable 34 4 12 18 48 98 20
18 Deal 34 6 4 24 50 103 16

  

It was a nostalgic moment.... with the clubs departing to various competitions. There would never be another golden era for the Kent League 

   


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