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Memories of Whitstable Characters - West Beach Minstrel

Wandering Minstrel of West Beach
(With thanks to Ivan Knowles & John Harman)

Back in June 2006, Ivan Knowles (Whitstable) kindly sent us this picture from the late 1940s and asked if anyone remembered the wandering minstrel who regularly strolled West beach with his banjo..... 



Well, John Harman responded from Canada with some details of the minstrel's itinerary....



I remember the "Black Minstrel" very well. The picture shows Wave Crest devoid of beach huts confirming that it was taken around '47/48 but he was a summer visitor to Whitstable long before that.

I remember him from the mid '30s. Dad (Tom Harman) knew him quite well. On a Sunday, he would come down from London and work his way along Nelson Rd and Island Wall, singing and playing his banjo. This would bring him to the Neptune or Guinea at around noon. After this, he would continue to entertain at the beach front. 

I do not recall his name but, in Whitstable, the name he was given, would not have been his real one! 

John Harman


If anyone can provide further information, we would love to hear from you.


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