The river Thames has always been a strong element of Gravesend's history. A port was established close to London, which became the embarkation point for overseas visitors before Tilbury Dock was built. From 1800 to 1830 the population doubled as it became a fashionable resort for Londoners. Day trippers increased in the nineteenth century as cheap fares on paddle steamers became available to the cockney masses. Affordable rail tickets also swelled visitor numbers.Fairs, parks and promenades flourished from the throngs of Victorian pleasure seekers. Meanwhile, heavy industries such as cement and paper manufacture also contributed to business growth, and during the last century, large housing estates have spread around the old town. Robert Turcan's new book will surprise and delight as it shows how the area has changed over time.