Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Margate - The Seaside Resort du Jour

Margate features in the Independent newspaper today and this is some of what it says, although you can find the full story here.

Airport chaos and carbon footprints have done wonders for Kentish seaside towns such as Margate. Not long ago it was the enfant terrible of the Isle of Thanet, a byword for dilapidated bingo halls and kiss-me-quick postcards. Now the sandy bucket-and-spade resort is the seaside resort du jour. Tourists tired of the nearby trendy town of Whitstable are heading downstream to Margate, where the beaches are sandier and the air saltier, not just from the sea but the old-fashioned chippies that line the promenade.

A Margate renewal partnership is spearheading the regeneration campaign, working to turn the listed stone pier into an art-and-eating venue with painters' workshops and hi-tech night lighting. A high-speed rail link from London is set for completion in 2009, so you'll be able to go from smoke to sand in less than two hours. But the best thing of all? Margate's house prices are still comparatively low.

Margate was once the domain of retired couples and teenagers, but locals are upping the cultural ante. They like their seafood here: not just cod and chips, but mussels, oysters and fine wines too. A successful old-town regeneration scheme has got Londoners all a-fluster: won over by Margate's retro charms, they are opening boutiques, galleries and even a top jazz café that puts on a festival of national acclaim, Big Sky, every summer. You can hardly blame them: a burgeoning arts scene and lack of pretension are an all too rare combination.

Despite last year's mass exodus to the excellent shopping centre at Westwood Cross, the local council has done a fine job of encouraging retail in Margate's old town. A farmer's market comes to the hotel-packed suburb of Cliftonville once a month. Great nosh can be found at the newly opened Number Six, which has the best chocolate cake in town. And with no Starbucks in sight, Café G's low-fat cappuccinos won't fatten anyone but the local economy. A new juice bar on the high street gets the youth vote.

Read on...

Photo by Sue

13 comments:

Mr Friday said...

Did Councillor Ezekiel write that by any chance ?

It bears no likeness whatsoever to the Margate I know !!

Eastcliff Richard said...

How much of our council tax was wasted on treating that particular journo to a junket, then? By the sounds of it, quite a lot must have gone on, er, 'fine wine' as she seems to have seen Margate through beer goggles.

I take the fact that she omits to mention Ramsgate as confirmation that it is part of a Cecil Square PR plot.

DrMoores said...

Perhaps Ramsgate has "Jumped the shark", rather like Eastcliff Richard?

Anonymous said...

Wow!good stuff.Margate is finally changing for the better.Lots of really lovely shops in the old town and the lighting of the pier next month together with the cafe's and studios etc is really exiting,and yes we have got fantastic beaches and sunsets so i really look forward to this.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photo!well done Sue!

Anonymous said...

Is it April the 1st?

Michael Child said...

This article reminds me somewhat of Ireland’s History of Kent, the book is famous for its marvellous engravings and infamous for its text.

Ireland is most famous for producing fake Shakespeares of his own authorship. Known at the time as Shakespeare Ireland, his history of Kent was slated by the critics when first published.

“Irelands history of Kent is a miserable performance, with pretensions to being a county history……….he does not appear to have visited the county…….”.

Anonymous said...

Whether its an accurate view of Margate or not, and I suspect it isn't,what the hell, its a good write up and just what we need from a national newspaper. Any free junketing obviously paid off!

Anonymous said...

All the sarcastic comments, some of these people need to get out of their cars, look around and loose some weight. A mate of mine from Stratford said he'd never seen so many fat people in one place. There is a lot happening here or starting to happen. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

Margate only has one good thing going for it, and the TDC cannot claim any resposibility for it....
that is the Sunset views to the West. The Lower High Street is an absolute disgrace and is being left to rot by 'degenerates' (TDC). Cliftonville, once the elite area of Margate has suffered in the hands of the 'incompetant' (TDC).
I cannot understand such a wicked deliberate waste being allowed to take place before our eyes. I can only assume there is some criminal element behind it all.

DrMoores said...

5:23 like many others confuses the results of market/economic forces with the policies of TDC.

Not a day goes past without people looking for ways to make Margate better and to regenerate it but you appear to have no idea of the challenges involved. You can't simply wave a magic wand over the problem. Huge amounts of public money are involved and so is property owned by private individuals, not TDC.

Cliftonville has suffered at the hands of central government policy and certainly not TDC who have no control over the migration sent in our direction by other local authorities.

Anonymous said...

anon again!

Are you saying that the delpidated decrepit disgusting state of the lower Margate High Street, is NOTHING to do with the TDC?

DrMoores said...

Having just come from the governance and audit committee, where Margate regenerations, M&S etc were on the agenda, I can tell you that the issues, in regard to private ownership and planning are rather more complex than you imagine.

It is the council that is pressing for change and indeed planning it, making it happen is the difficult part when it impacts so many different interests and properties!