Margate… a small, run down seaside town in Thanet, England? some may see it as a blotch on the Kentish landscape, but others (myself included) see it as place of inspiration, creative opportunity and development.
Margate’s regeneration has mostly been shaped by the Turner Contemporary, which forges a link between JMW Turner and the town. Turner himself certainly found Margate inspiring and even described Thanet skies as ‘the loveliest in all of Europe’.
Having lived in Margate for eight years, I can confirm… he was not wrong.
The Old Town sector of Margate has been given new life. It is now home to galleries, retro style shops and cafés… a little hub of culture in seemingly desolate surroundings. But I have always thought that even there, there is a melancholic beauty.
The derelict parts of Margate appeal to the romantic in me; the ghostly ruins of The Lido, of Dreamland (which is now in the process of being redeveloped) and the Scenic Railway, now overgrown, serve as a reminder of happier past times when Margate was a thriving seaside resort, and perhaps it will be again.
No one can deny that Margate is on the cusp of change; it’s up and coming, and for that reason I think it is an exciting place to be.