The Margate Mercury Autumn 2021

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Modern-day Seaside Stories

autumn 2021

skate & chips The campaign for a Margate skate park

it’s our art school! A look at the youth-led Despacito


a gamble that paid off Haeckels’ HQ in a converted casino


Margate Mercury


Editorial Editor Jessica Jordan-Wrench Subeditor John Murphy


Founder & Editor-in-Chief Clare Freeman

Welcome to the autumn issue

Publishing assistant Esther Ellard

ur cover stars this issue are members of youth-led art programme Despacito, shot by Margate based photographer Matthew Murphy. Despacito is a project very close to my heart. As Twinkle Troughton explains on page 23, it began when a group of local children knocked on the window of art school Open School East in 2017. I was an associate artist at OSE that year and warmly remember the huge presence they came to hold in our studio: curious and bold, the perfect critics. Guided

by the excellent Ayaan Bulale, Despacito has blossomed into an extraordinary programme. A grassroots Margate success story. This issue is full of grass-roots Margate success stories. On page 47 Jim Biddulph talks to Dom Bridges, founder of natural skin care and wild fragrance company Haeckels. What started as Dom and a pan in his Cliftonville kitchen, is now an internationally celebrated organisation employing a team of 40. Elsewhere is the issue, on page 13, Graham McCulloch meets one of the women transforming a disused synagogue into a multiuse cultural space, while on page 31 we reveal details of (not one, not two, but…) three festivals taking place in Margate this Autumn. I am confident that the skate park championed by Dan Cates and Nic Powley on page 10 will prove to be another grass-roots Margate success story. A permanent skate park in the town has been a long time coming, but these two have the skills, experience and commitment to ensure it arrives. Clearly, this is a town full of people who get up and make things happen. The image of Despacito strikes me as the perfect summation of that spirit. It is a joyful scene: the young people are smiling and self assured, running towards us hand in hand, proud of what they have created.

Issue twenty one


Music Adam Tinnion Jax Titmus Food Lisa Harris Spaces Jim Biddulph


Photographers Matthew Murphy Cressida Romana Lynch

Three Rooms

Ivan Seal David Brian Smith Sebastian Stöhrer 9 October - 28 November 2021


Ivan Seal (2020)

Pondering Dave


Sea views – the charms of a British summer


Mark Thomas – an interview with the politically charged comedian


17 Culture corner 19 Turning tides – we speak to Margate based artists about the impact of Turner Contemporary 23 It’s our art school! – a look at the youth-led project Despacito 27 No mo for the many – how No Mo May has transformed our town

From the Editor Jessica Jordan-Wrench

Art Twinkle Troughton

Writers Brigitte Aphrodite Sonny Arifien Jim Biddulph Betsy Carn Edgar Alaistair Hagger Anna Hart Alex Haros Lisa Harris Jessica Jordan-Wrench Joshua Lambert Anna Lounguine Graham McCulloch Dave McKenna Emilia Ong Jude Shapiro Franzi Sordon Adam Tinnion Jax Titmus Twinkle Troughton Ed Warren Bethany West Francesca Wilkins


15 Inside the shul – the vision for an inclusive, cross-cultural, multi-arts hub in Margate

Design director Lizzy Tweedale

Section editors

The Scoop

10 Skate & chips – the skaters campaigning for a Margate skate park

Co-founder & Advertising director Jen Brammer

Social media manager Twinkle Troughton


29 How I live – an interview with writer Ros Anderson 32 Margate festivals – three local festivals share their plans for the autumn 34 Black British history – past and present icons – a closer look at the Margate based mural 36 Seasonal almanac 39 MF Coffee Project – from Margate to Malawi 42 Food news 44 The question: who delivers something different? 45 Food review: a taste of the Iberian Peninsula on Fort Crescent 47 A gamble that paid off – Haeckels unveil their new HQ, in a converted casino 51 Small spaces 53 Confetti gardens – a love song to pollinatorfriendly veg 54 Margate the muse – a selection of songs inspired by the town 57 Inevitable daydream – the Margate based band reaching for the outer cosmos 59 Margate in the movies – three films that feature the town

For the record

61 Food for free – the best books on foraging 63 Fiction – flash and micro fiction inspired by Arlington House 67 Brigitte Aphrodite – a love letter to the arts 69 WOE 800 – agony aunts share their advice 70 Quick and cryptic crossword

sister publications

Autumn 2021 – August to October

Website brightsidepublishing. com

Illustrators Jack Cant Jade Spranklen

Social Media @margatemercury

cover image Despacito art school by Matthew Murphy


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Tequila & Mezcal bar Mariachi opens in The Centre Astoundingly, Mariachi stocks almost 100 variations of Tequila & Mezcal, alongside an authentic cocktail and margarita menu, inspired by the traditional Mexican Flavours. Beautifully designed and open Thursday-Sunday 14-12, it's well worth a look.

New in Town We are yet again welcoming some new businesses to the town. For orginal and authentic Spanish Flemenco dresses pop down to Flemenco Rocks, on the High Street. And, to joining our excellent selection of cocktail bars, you can now pop down to the Old Town and visit Wildes. Instagram: @wildesmargate @flamenco_rocks

Instagram: @mariachi_margate Compiled by Alexandros Haros

Anna B Savage This October, come and see this London singer-songwriter’s ‘questionmark music’. Said to be capitvating, with themes including female sexuality and self doubt. This unique event is 18+ and presented by Arts Cool.

Oval Summer Sunday's

Get your tickets online.

America’s Got Talent winner comes to Margate Margate Now Paul Zerdin Hands Free America’s Festival 2021 Got Talent Winner comes to Margate. The comedian and ventriloquist kicks off his UK tour Hands Free in Margate’s Theatre Royal on 19 September. Instagram: @paulzerdin

The Margate Now Festival if back this Auntimn, from the 25 Septemeber until 10 October. If you have not seen it before, this is a multi-displinary arts festival. It is an amazing way to see the excellent talent this community has to offer. Instagram: @margatenow

Scouting for Girls As part of their huge UK tour, Scouting for Girls are coming to Dreamland. They have created the sounds of a generation, sold out Wembley and performed at countless festivals. Now you can seem them this November, tickets avaliable online.

spooktonville Head down to the Oval Bandstand this Halloween for a spooky evening with your family. There will be competitions and even a ghost walk for you to get your fangs into. For more information check out their website.

The Oval's Summer concerts are continueing into September. These are free events that will help you make the most of the final long weekends. Have a look on GRASS's new 'Whats on' section on the website to see who will be performing this Sunday.

First Fridays are back Just incase you needed another reason to come down to Margate town, on the first Friday of the month there are multiple events and special offers to take advantage of. Keep an eye on their socials to see what will be happening next month. Instagram: @firstfridaymargate

Argosy Artists Pippa and Matthew Darbyshie present an installation of new work at 18 Marine Drive 25 September – 17 October 2021 (Tuesday – Sunday 11-5), preview Friday 24th September 6-8pm.

Ceramic Workshops and an Art Auction DIG Gallery on Canterbury Road are now hosting Ceramic Art Workshops, for beginners and anyone interested in clay, the first Thursday of each month. Contact Deborah at or via Instagram @diggallerymargate for more information. In more ceramics news, The Great Pottery Throwdown's Keith BrymerJones is hosting an Art Auction at the Turner Contemporary on Saturday 20th November 2021, 7.30pm – 9.30pm. Featuring work by over fifty local artists, all proceeds go to art projects at Palm Bay Primary School.


l ura naT e n i w



L re-fil e win




Drink here or take awa

WeD-saT 12-10, Sun 12-5

3 norTHdowN paraDe, pRices ave, cLifTonvilLe, margaTe cT9 2Nr @sTingrayDRinks


Margate Mercury


nd o p

e r i n g d av e

Writer Dave McKenna


Illustrator Jade Spranklen

ING... PING... PING... That’s not a hattrick of microwaves going off, nor is Matt Hancock’s email inbox coming alive with job offers. PING... It could be a live tally of a GB News audience. But it’s not. As it’s far too frequent. PING... No, Ping is of course the new Pan, where here on the Kentish Riviera (as

it’s almost never called) we’re living through the Pingdemic days and hanging out with the wrong crowd or diving into the wrong bar can cost you ten days’ isolation. Or as I like to say, ten days in the PINGitentiary. Yes reader, it can happen to anyone. Don’t think you’re above the ping. Nobody is above the ping. Apparently not even the Latin-muttering scarecrow in charge of the country – nor his arch-rival the Colgate-sponsored briefcase. Being pinged in the heart of the summer must have been about as infuriating as taking a penalty against the ever-growing human sunflower that is the Italian goalkeeper. This summer was described to me as “our summer of love”. I tutted at the time and I stand firmly by that tut. To compare getting together on Margate steps with relaxed social distancing liberated of a little face cloth to 1967 in LSD-liberated San Francisco is to compare... well Margate to the Riviera. There was a joyous, triumphant mood about the town – that much could not be denied. In late July, during the “extreme heatwave” (or as it is known elsewhere in the world, slightly above 24 degrees), the beach was packed, the penalty pain of the football forgotten as we soaked in the sun, turning our phones to airplane mode to avoid the ping – and indeed the pan – and have a sozzled sing while trying to get a tan. One “well hot” Sunday, I wandered across the beach, pint in hand, only to see what I assumed was the latest trendy pop-up by the TS Eliots. As I got closer the legend came into view: “Vaccinations on wheels.” Bang on trend. Oh how very vogue, I

thought. I couldn’t see a menu, but before I knew it a friendly chap appeared at my shoulder. “Had your jab, sir?” He reminded me in his accent and manner of Spud from Trainspotting, as played by Ewen Bremner. No I haven’t, actually. “We can do you one today, sir. Ermmm? Won’t take a jiffy, sir.” Yeah, I mean I was after a ninety-nine but sure a shot of Pfizer could suffice. Before I know it I’ve given him my name, and he’s told me to hop in the back of the

“‘We can do you one today sir?’ Ermmm? ‘won’t take a jiffy sir?’ Yeah I mean I was after a 99 but sure a shot of Pfizer could suffice” van. Brilliant, I’m doing my bit, I thought. It was only when I saw the sun reflect menacingly off the needle the nurse was holding up that it dawned on me… How legitimate is all this? I’m in the back of a van with hypodermics. The petite nurse is eerily familiar as she tries to reassure me in her clenchtoothed Scottish burr, clamping a belt around my arm and proceeding to tap for veins. Wait a minute! It’s not that kind of van! I don’t remember how I got to be lying on the beach with a tin of Tennent’s in my hand, but when I woke up Spud told me I owed him £20.

Margate Mercury

Writer Sonny Arifien


Illustrator Jade Spranklen

A British Summer is Not Without its Charm (If You Twisted My Arm)


epending on what mood you might have caught me in, if you’d have asked why I’d decided this year to stay local for the summer, I’d have probably offered two very different explanations. The first would be that my wife Elizabeth and I had made the joint decision to fall in love again with the beach on our doorstep. The other (somewhat less romantic) version would be that, being in the same boat as millions of others faced with a myriad of travel uncertainty, the decision to remain in Margate for the holiday season was in fact

made for us. Whichever account you choose to believe, in the end the outcome was much the same: amber and red warning lists were traded for candy floss sunsets over the old Lido, suitcases were subbed for a single trusty tote bag, and the only conversion worth noting was the revamped Turner Gallery and not the pounds in our wallets. Having grown up with the elongated Australian summers that came on prematurely and stretched well into the autumn months, I was initially apathetic to this idea. “It’d be in the mid-30’s by now if it were back home in

Sydney” my wife would hear me bemoan with disapproval whenever I peeled back the roof window blind to reveal a sky puffy with rain clouds. Even my wife’s optimism of leaving a bottle of after-sun in the fridge door was enough to hit me with a wave of melancholy whenever I’d attempted to partake in a bout of emotional eating to compensate for the absence of the sun, my oldest and most dearest of bosom buddies. But the plot-twist would arrive one overcast morning whilst I was heedlessly tracing the various snaking promenades that connected Walpole Tidal Pool with the main sands. Cradling my coffee as if it were a freshly laid egg on a spoon, something began to slowly dawn upon me as I approached the Oval Bandstand, prodding at me more insistently the moment I’d passed the sprawling

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Viking Adventure Playground, and slapping me with such force it had ironed out my furrowed brow by the time I’d made it to the hollowed shell of the old Winter Gardens. I believe that the one thing Margate has in spades is open space; and unlike Sydney, one doesn’t need to know someone with an exorbitantly priced house or apartment in order to admire its beauty from a vantage point. They say a combination of illadvised or poor local investment and the wider accessibility of cheap international travel has left many British seaside towns to fall by the wayside. The catch-22 is that with advantageous property development, iconic towns like Margate risk losing much more than just their democratic sea views. Whether or not the uncertainty around international travel has proved to be the arm-twisting catalyst in many of our decisions in staying local this summer, there still remains a lot to be appreciative of.

Margate Mercury


MARK THOMAS – Plugging the Gaps in a Fractured Britain

menswear . womenswear . music

Open: Wed – Mon 11 – 5 or by appointment


albion – stores. 27 Fort Road Margate CT9 1HF 01843 280000

Writer Alastair Hagger @albionstores






Alaistair Hagger talks to the politically charged comedian






OPENING THIS SEPTEMBER LOMBARD STREET, MARGATE We are delighted to be joining Margate Old Town, to bring you;


Restyled vintage furniture


Statement furniture & rugs




Commissions Northdown Rugs residency Planned events and Community pop-ups

@august_margate 9 Love Lane, Old Town, Margate

Follow us on Instagram for opening & event details @burleyandfield


Weekly + private botanical candle making workshops in store hosted by Milkwood @milkwood_margate

t’s the morning of the Euro 2020 semi-final between England and Denmark. A week has passed since fans rushed the stage and overturned tables at Dreamland; we are still days away from Tyrone Mings’ elegant, extraordinary rebuke of the home secretary on Twitter. The air is electric with the dual, conflicting energies of proud patriotism and aggressive nationalism that seem to arrive pre-packaged alongside every involvement of the England men’s football team at major tournaments. The comedian Mark Thomas, speaking via Zoom from his home in London, is focused on the positive, but recognises the ironies. “What’s amazing is the number of people who are really rooting for the team – that’s brilliant,” he says. “But it’s a weird thing that we’ve adopted the British national anthem. I think it’s typical of the way in which England has co-opted things of Britishness and said, ‘They’re ours!’ And really Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are afterthoughts.” This idea of shifting, fractured national identities is the theme of 50 Things About Us, which finally comes to the Theatre Royal Margate on 18 September, a year and a half after its pandemic-triggered postponement. Billed as “a show about songs, gongs, loot, tradition, wigs, nicking, statues, art and identity”, it has evolved in lockdown to include observations on our hellish last two years. “There’s basically a new hour in the show, about

 Courtesy of Steve Ullathorne

our response to Covid,” Thomas says. “Because it says a lot about who we are. Our natural instinct is to look after each other. And in a seaside town you know this, because you’ve got lifeboats. That’s institutional compassion coming out of individual effort, and I love that.” A kind of edgy, confrontational empathy has defined Thomas’ polymathic 35-year career. From the discussion-driven skits of Radio 1’s The Mary Whitehouse Experience to his politician-aggravating Channel 4 series The Mark Thomas Comedy Product, his fearlessness in calling truth to power has cemented his reputation as one of the country’s most politically productive comedians. Between 2013 and 2014, he committed 100 Minor Acts of Dissent, which included the distribution of thousands of stickers in train carriages requesting passengers not to read the Daily Mail. His 2011 show Walking the Wall, in which he recounted walking the 724km length of the Israeli West bank barrier, was shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression

“Our natural instinct is to look after each other. And in a seaside town you know this” Award. He is an investigative journalist, the author of five books and four plays, and holds the Guinness World Record for holding the most protests in 24 hours. In addition to 50 Things About Us, and another new show, Seriously Annoying, he is the host of the poignant, riveting six-part podcast series Keywords, in which he talks to essential workers about their experiences of the pandemic. “The government moves the pressure elsewhere, as long as it’s off the balance sheet,” he says in one episode. “But then people instinctively plug the gaps.”

They are people like the woman he calls Elaine, a part-time school cleaner and kitchen worker who out of her own pocket pays for extra bread to make sandwiches for those schoolchildren who hate margarine. “We talked about how these kids wave hello to her in the supermarket – there’s a generosity in the way we work as human beings which I completely love,” he says. “The fact that we want to be in communities. That’s the interesting thing about the false hope that Boris Johnson offers. Politically, that’s terrible. What you need to offer is a chance for faith. And I mean faith in the most secular way possible: faith in each other, faith in human beings, faith in our ability to create something greater than the sum of the individual parts.” As a performer and communicator, how has he himself coped with the restrictions of lockdown? He turns his laptop around to show the kitchen balcony where he’s been delivering ten minutes of new material daily to his neighbours. “I can’t wait to get out there and perform!” he says. “What I think is lovely about places like Margate is that people are really trying to make those places work after the economic slumps they’ve had. I love the theatre there. Seaside towns are beautiful – they are amazing places of Britishness. Go back and look at all those performers who used to do the end-of-the-pier stuff. You know – this is my roots and culture.”


Margate Mercury



Margate Mercury

skate & chips Writer Jessica Jordan-Wrench

This summer Sky Brown became Britain’s youngest ever Olympic medallist, winning bronze in the women’s skateboarding park event at the Tokyo 2020 games. The 13-year-old told reporters, “I’m so stoked – I really hope I inspire some girls”


olstered by the pandemic, alongside social media platforms bringing greater visibility to the sport, Brown appears to have achieved her wish. From films to fashion to music videos, via FKA Twigs-directed Facebook ads, skateboarding is everywhere. But is it in Margate? Though skaters have always thrived in the town, with DIY ramps being built and unceremoniously flattened at various points over the last 30 years, and celebrated pro-skaters such as Danny Webster and Fids emerging from the scene, there hasn’t been a substantial permanent skate park here since the mid-1980s. Skaters Dan Cates (professional skateboarder) and Nic Powley (skateboarder and owner of Skate Pharm Margate) are leading a campaign to change this. Earlier this year it was announced that Margate Town Deal has been awarded up to £22.2 million of government funding, with £750k earmarked for a skate park. Tracey Emin has personally contributed a further £100k to the proposed skate park. (“Her brother used to skate, so I guess she grew up around skateboarders” Nic says. “She knows what’s up,” Dan concludes.) TDC have added £50k to the pot. Nic and Dan are in the process of setting up the

CIC Margate Skateboard Club to drive the project forward. They are in close talks with the council and renowned skate park designer Trevor Johnson (@theskateparchitect on Instagram) and are continuing to fundraise to ensure their world-class vision becomes a reality. Entry to the park would be free and the ambitious plans include a café, job creation and coaching (“There’s an organisation called street games that have said that we can provide 300 hours of free coaching to local kids,” says Nic). At this exciting juncture in Margate’s skate history, we speak to Nic and Dan about their relationship to skateboarding, and what the proposed park could bring to Margate. When did you start skating? Dan: I started when I was 11 and I’m now 45. As soon as I started, that was it. There was nothing else. Nic: I was 14. There are certain things that always get people into skateboarding. Tony Hawk Pro Skater coming out was one, Jackass… Dan: … Dogtown and Z Boys … Nic: For me it was Back to the Future. I’m going to be 52 by the time that it’s built, but once you get past a certain level, you become part of something that’s bigger. You get to this point where you’re like: I’ve taken a lot from this and I’ve got a lot to give back now. I’ve acquired all this knowledge and contacts and skills... Dan: It’s almost like it’s our duty. Where is the proposed site for the park? Nic: The old Oasis Crazy Golf course in Cliftonville, up past the lido. That space has been empty for ten years or

more. It’s the perfect site for it. You’ve got a nice view out to sea, it’s a nice place to spend time. It’s away from anywhere people are going to object to people being there. Dan: The worst thing we can do is build a skatepark somewhere where people don’t want it. Nic: Then you just end up with a load of friction. Dan: It is a huge plot. If we are able to fill it, we could have pretty much the best skatepark in the country. Who do you imagine the park being for? Nic: We want it to be a place for the community. Teenage kids can go there to skate, but also a place that I can take my daughter, or older people that want to have a skate can go there too. We want to design a park that is good for everyone. Dan: We’ve got this opportunity and we’re never going to get it again. Nic: We don’t want to let anyone down. Other than obvious benefits for Margate based skaters, what do you think the proposed skatepark will bring to the town? Dan: It will bring people to the area, massively. Any skateboarder can tell you the best skate parks in the world that are worth travelling to: Malmo, Bondi, Venice Beach. These are all basically tourist destinations for skateboarders. Nic: And then you get the people watching. Like at Bondi you get crowds watching every day, it’s a really nice atmosphere there. Venice Beach is similar, Southbank in London. They are tourist attractions.

 Dan courtesy of Rob Shaw

 Dan and Nic courtesy of Mark Heaton

It will also reduce crime in the area. It’s proven. Wherever you build a skatepark the crime rate decreases. Why do you think that is? Nic: It elevates you. It’s like a stabilising factor, it keeps you on the rails. Dan: It gives you life lessons. Nic: It gives you purpose, even though it’s pointless. It gives you a sense of belonging because you’re basically almost instantly friends with anyone else that skates. You can go anywhere in the world and meet like-minded people. Dan: I’ve been to around 65 different countries through skateboarding. What you’re doing physically on the board is a lesson in itself: if you do something and you fail, you just keep trying. Nic: You do it 200 times, fall over, hurt yourself, just keep doing it...

Dan: … and eventually you make the trick. Nic: If you want to be good, you can’t cheat it, you’ve got to put the hours in. You’ve got to pay in hard work and blood. That is a lesson, those are transferable skills. Dan: I think that’s why a lot of skateboarders have been really successful in their endeavours, especially creatively, you know, in music, fashion and art. There’s a really strong connection between creative pastimes and skateboarding. I think you start seeing the world differently, it trains your brain to work in a different way. How so? Dan: You’re always looking. You walk down the street and you’re thinking: look at that curb, look at that bench,

look at that wall, how can I skate it? So maybe you develop this subconscious mindset where you are looking at things, asking how can I use this? How can I make something of this? Nic: It’s almost like your brain moves at hyper-speed. You might spend a week learning a trick, but your brain’s already on to what next, planning a variation of it. It gives you really good planning and preparation skills, because you’ve got to do the groundwork or else you’ll get hurt. It’s a brain training exercise that you don’t even realise you’re taking part in until you’re older and you look back on it. If you would like to support, contribute, or simply hear more about the plans for Margate’s Skate Park follow @therealdancates, @margateskateboardclub and @skate_pharm on Instagram

“A skate park can excite and unite energy from such a broad section of society, encouraging all to learn, perfect and share new skills. Skate parks should be seen as a regular tool in a kit of social landscape parts, alongside the beach, food outlets, lidos, picnic areas, football pitches, tennis courts, open lawns, woodlands and wildflower meadows. Each makes a different contribution to our experience of the natural and physical world and those who live their lives amongst it.” Architect Sam Causer, and member of the Margate Town Deal Board

Margate Mercury







inside the shul Writer Graham McCulloch Photographer Lisa Valder

30 High Street Margate CT9 1DS

Photography: Cynthia Laurence-John Model: Lily Breuer



The vision for an inclusive, cross-cultural, multi-arts hub in Margate


uring the first lockdown, local musician and producer Francesca Ter-Berg came upon Cliftonville’s synagogue. We caught up with Francesca on the shul’s doorstep to find out more about how she, along with Jan Ryan (founding director of UK Arts International) Dr Lucy Lyons (lecturer and owner of Margate arts space Gordon House) and Kate Gillespie (independent advocate) – known collectively as Cliftonville Cultural Space CIC – caught sight of a unique opportunity, and what the future holds for Cliftonville’s special space. Could you tell us a little about the history of the shul? Margate has a great Jewish history! Lots of Jews used to come down on holiday, and they raised money to build the synagogue in 1929.

Northdown Road had a number of Jewish-owned shops and at its peak the shul had 300-plus members (only men were members, meaning this could actually equate to 300 families). Since the 1970s membership waned in correlation with a decrease in popularity of seaside towns, leaving Margate’s shul with a dwindling community. Will the Jewish heritage of the building continue to be celebrated? Definitely. That’s important to us and to the benefactor who invested with us. When we were crowdfunding we

had so many people messaging saying how they or their great-grandfather grew up in the area and had such fond memories. It may well not have gone to someone who wanted it to be something other than a community space. It’s going to be a cohesive crosscultural centre which everyone can get involved in. The design and shape of the building are still very much that of a synagogue; it still retains its Star of David stained windows, and its dome. Members of Cliftonville Cultural Space CIC are all Jewish so it seemed pertinent to celebrate the building’s Jewish history. ►


Margate Mercury


Margate Mercury


in touch with different people who have since been crucial in the project.

What can we expect to see? Workshops, talks and music that represents the diversity of this area. Inside we are hoping to have a timeline installation, artefacts on show, and oral history tours. There will be a community garden and affordable food in the café. Accessibility is huge – we want the people who live here to feel that it’s theirs.

How can we get involved? Great question. We are looking for volunteers all the time to help out. You can contact us through social media – we are on Instagram and Facebook as Save our Shul. You can also contact us by email at In mid-September we have two weekends of open days where anyone can visit the shul. We’ve also just been given an Arts Council grant to support the community consultation process.

Various public figures put their names behind the Save our Shul campaign. From Oscar-winner Arnold Schwarzman and Grammy award-winner Imogen Heap, they have all endorsed the group’s vision. How did they get involved?

When will the space be operational?

It’s been amazing to see local people involved in the arts noting its significance. Arnold Schwarzman has been pivotal through his help with procuring the structure and branding, while Imogen Heap actually prompted the purchase. I took her to Cliff ’s for brekkie and she just said, “Buy it!” She then helped put me

Good things come to those who wait! We think it will take until 2025 to build and staff Cliftonville Cultural Space. It shouldn’t feel new when it opens, everyone will feel that they are already part of the Cliftonville Community Space. We like to be idealistic but why not? The vision, the dream and the will is there.

“We like to be idealistic but why not? The vision, the dream and the will is there”



Margate Mercury



POWER TO THE PEACEFUL; ALTERED SURFACES Sarah Wyld The Eclectic Art Gallery 8 to 31 October Photographer Sarah Wyld is exhibiting photographs featuring surfaces such as walls, roads, trees and cliffs which have been altered by the sun, weather, humans, and time. The collection of photographs ranges from the 1970s to the present day and were taken in London, Zurich, Venice and Thanet.

Compiled & written by Twinkle Troughton

It’s all go in Margate’s galleries this autumn as the relaxing of Covid restrictions mean exhibitions and events can be penned into the calendar again, and what a packed calendar it is! Enjoy all the town has to offer, and do check ahead for opening times and private views

FUTURE NOSTALGIA by Joanna Hyslop Pie Factory Margate 16 - 26 October Joanna Hyslop is a painter who is as fascinated with the physicality of surface she is with image. Her solo show Future Nostalgia is a retrospective selection of work presented in conjunction with new paintings, offering an insight into the evolution of her practice, open 11am to 6pm daily MAKING ARRANGEMENTS by Dawn Cole THE CORTEGE OF THE MAGI AND OTHER NEW WORKS by Graham Ward Pie Factory Margate 28 October to 17 November Kent-based artist Dawn Cole presents a new series of works with which she continues to explore themes of memory and loss. Making Arrangements focuses on the artist’s response to clearing her mother’s home after her move into care, and of the poignant and very personal path that grieving and loss takes us along. In tandem with Making Arrangements, the Pie Factory welcomes back Graham Ward to galleries three and four, with a series of new works that continue to reflect his ongoing involvement with a personal visual landscape that is populated by child-kings, holy fools and familiar beasts.

HOUSE PARTY CRATE project space 24 September to 17 October

▲ “The Last Things (Nintendo)” by Sadie Hennessey

WILD SANCTUM by Twinkle Troughton Haeckels Home 10 October

SURVIVING SUICIDE BOOK LAUNCH The Margate School 9 September, 7pm

Wild Sanctum is a solo show of paintings by Twinkle Troughton depicting the ivy that grows along the cliff tops here in Cliftonville. Fascinated by their peculiar organic sculptural forms, Twinkle’s miniature oil paintings of ivy are a celebration of a rich habitat for biodiversity, often overlooked or misunderstood. IG @TwinkleTroughton

In response to losing three friends to suicide during the pandemic, Stretch Outsider Arts founder Dean Stalham has edited a book of poems by renowned and unpublished poets who pay homage to those who have lost lives and to those who have survived. Surviving Suicide – A Collection of Poems that may Save a Life can be purchased on Amazon.

SUGAR CUBE The Lido Stores Gallery 16 to 26 September

RESORTING TO TYPE The Margate School 22 September to 7 October

Hera Margate are proud to announce the opening of a newly renovated gallery space in the Lido Stores with Sugar Cube, a group exhibition featuring recent work by artists Elisa Hudson, Jose Campos, Enzo Marra, Twinkle Troughton, Martin Butts, Jonathan Hughes and many more. Expect to see paintings, sculpture, collage and prints all executed within the last year. IG @hera_margate

Resorting to Type is an exhibition of lettering and typography at the seaside by Justin Burns, head of art and design at Leeds School of Arts. Burns surveys some of the familiar typefaces along the coast, contextualising the origins and influences on the visual landscape of our resorts.

ALL THAT GLISTENS by Sadie Hennessey LIMBO Arts 4 to 10 October All That Glistens is a new sculptural work by Sadie Hennessey showing at the Sunken Garden for one day only, on Sunday 3 October, and then on view on and around various parts of the Limbo Substation building (viewable from the street) for the duration of the festival. IG @limbomargate

TURNER CONTEMPORARY OPEN 2021 23 October Ten years on from the gallery’s first Open, the Turner Contemporary Open will display works by both practising and non-professional artists living and working in Kent and Medway, or those working nationally and internationally who studied here. Margate Pride, Canvas for Equality, the Turner Contemporary Access Group and Age UK worked alongside the curatorial team to select the artworks exhibited.

House Party is a series of three different group shows taking place over three weekends showcasing the work of CRATE’s current programmers: Steven Alan, Frankie Brown, Emily Driver, Zara Gabriel, Sara Jackson, Peter Leigh, Rosa Marouane, Jo Murray, Teddie Newton, Coral Pryke-Syrett, Rosalind Russell, Sam Vilanova, Caitlan Walker and Jack Wood. Check ahead for details. THREE ROOMS Carl Freedman Gallery 9 October to 28 November Three Rooms features new works by Ivan Seal, David Brian Smith and Sebastian Stöhrer. Ivan Seal’s new paintings continue his rich and detailed exploration into memory and imagination. Sebastian Stöhrer presents a new series of bold ceramic sculptures with bright pigments and dripping glaze and David Brian Smith unveils a hand-painted wall mural alongside a new series of dreamy landscape paintings on paper. VISIONS OF A WHISPERED PAST by Jakob Rowlinson ANTECHAMBER GROUP SHOW Quench Gallery 28 August to 10 October Quench present two tandem shows; Visions of a Whispered Past is a solo show by Jakob Rowlinson who works across media interweaving personal and fictional accounts into historical narratives and ties together his extensive research into British folk traditions and queer histories. Antechamber brings together four artists whose work variously explores ideas of mysticism, folklore, ritual and landscape, featuring Kedisha Coakley, Richard Porter, Alicia ReyesMcNamara and Leo Robinson.

Margate Mercury


turning tides


daniel bass multi-disciplinary artist

Images Courtesy of the artists

“I’m delighted to see old buildings, and the not so old, being given a new lease of life. I’m also pleased to see people being able to make a go of new businesses, and the fact that friends from all over Europe/USA/UK who visit Margate have their minds blown by all the changes.”


Argosy 18 Marine Drive Margate CT9 1DH 25 September - 17 October 2021 Tuesday - Sunday 11 - 5 (Preview Friday 24th September 6 - 8pm)

Gallery with contemporary curated exhibitions selling original art, photography, prints and greeting cards. The venue is available to hire for workshops etc. Kitchen and WC facilities included for use with hire, all on ground floor so easy access for everyone. For all enquiries, please contact Deborah on 07732 447010 85a Canterbury Road, Margate, CT9 5AX diggallerymargate

▲ “I done a thing, now where's my prize” by Daniel Bass, image by Immi Photography

Writer Twinkle Troughton

his year Turner Contemporary celebrated 10 years since first opening its doors. The impact of the gallery on Margate is beyond doubt, with the subsequent influx of people making the town their home, setting up businesses, opening cafés, shops and bars, and the gallery having welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors so far. The town has since become home to many galleries and studios, and plays host to an abundance of festivals, exhibitions and events. Creatives from around the UK have found the burgeoning arts community irresistible, and for such a small town the ratio of artists living here is now astonishingly high. But what was Margate like for artists who lived here before Turner Contemporary laid its roots? We speak to three artists who lived in Margate before the gallery opened to hear how the town, and their lives, have been impacted as a result.

Pippa Darbyshire & Matthew Darbyshire


DIG Gallery, Margate ▲ “Vital Signs” poster series by Jemma Channing

Dawn Cole, artist and printmaker

Jemma Channing was born in Margate, where she lived until 2003 when she left to study at university in London. Her mum had moved to Margate from London in the 1980s when pregnant, and lived in a bedsit on Athelstan Road. Jemma describes herself as having many roles: she is a registered occupational therapist and also works in a museum. But she says being an artist is at the heart of everything she does. Jemma says that Margate before and after Turner Contemporary opened feels like two different places. She recalls how in the late 90s there was a small grassroots arts community who were innovative and resourceful: “Exhibitions were put on in nontraditional venues: a sandwich shop on Northdown Road, music venues like the Lido and, later, at the Community Pharmacy Gallery. People were making zines and doing experimental performances in music venues. The site that Turner sits on once housed the Ship Inn, which was one such venue.” “Now,” says Jemma, “there is a real and visible difference in the number of venues available for creative activities to take place. There are enough art galleries in Margate that you can spend a weekend going from one to another, which is something that just did not happen before.”

It is Turner Contemporary which Jemma says gave her opportunities which have been life-changing. Working as part of the community research team on its exhibition Journeys with The Waste Land in 2017 gave her experience running a project with a gallery and the local NHS trust. This enabled her to develop skills, leading to a full-time role in the creative sector, working as a project coordinator. Jemma also feels the arts community here don’t just stick within the gallery walls: “They are working in health, with migrant communities, with LGBTQIA+ communities, addressing environmental issues. There is a real generation of places where skills can be developed, such as Open School East and ArtsEdEx.” When asked about the future of Margate, Jemma says, “I think it is important to acknowledge that not everyone has benefited. The rise in rent and housing prices is unsustainable for an area which is still struggling with equality in education and employment. Numerous people are being priced out of the town. What I would like to see is the community come together to address these issues, to create a real sense of equality of opportunity.” Instagram @Jemmachanning Website

“In 2003 I became involved in Thanet Contemporary Arts Festival – Margate Rocks. At this time Margate Old Town was a sad, desolate place, full of boarded up and empty premises and a hollow shadow of the bustling past I remembered from my childhood. Cleaning, painting, clearing up pigeon poo, taking down hoardings and creating temporary exhibition spaces for the festival felt like breathing new life into the place. Giving hope and inspiration that contributed to the resurgence and regeneration of the place as we know and love it today.” @dawn_cole_studio

Steve McPherson, Artist working with plastic debris from the UK coast for over 25 years “While growing up, Margate was a forgotten town, worn out and scarred by its reputation. Its potential was overlooked and I doubt many people dreamt that it could become the hub for so much creativity that it is now. Since the opening of Turner Contemporary we have seen an amazing resurgence of interest in the local area. It’s great to see and hear so much positivity and witness an amazing diversity of businesses being created, day-trippers and holiday makers visiting and people coming to make it their new home.” @mcphersonsteve


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BESPOKE FRAMING FINE ART GICLEE PRINTING HIGH RESOLUTION SCANNING PRINT EMBOSSING ARTIST SERVICES RE STORATION OFF STREET PARKING PAUL HAZELTON Born in Ramsgate in 1962, Paul Hazelton grew up in Margate. As a child he had an early love of drawing and of exploring abandoned environments such as an old railway line which ran behind his family home. Working from a studio above Margate Shell Grotto, he makes intricate drawings, and sculptures created using household dust. Paul’s memories of Margate in the 1980s are of it being “run down and edgy”. He recalls an alarming story of being kidnapped at gunpoint, with his captors demanding he draw their portraits: “We ended up at their flat, and when they fell asleep I slipped out.” He goes on to say, “Life wasn’t always so colourful. The winters were drab and the Old Town was like a ghost town. There wasn’t much to look forward to other than the sunsets, which I would frequently paint.” Moving into the early 90s, Paul notes that there wasn’t much going on in Margate by way of the arts – he chose to spend time in Whitstable instead. But it wasn’t long until he himself played a big part in how the arts shaped Margate’s future. Among many projects, he was on a steering group establishing how the numerous empty properties here could be utilised by artists. In 2002 he established LIMBO Arts, one of Margate’s preTurner arts organisations, running the

studio space and gallery until he left in 2017. Paul recalls an air of anticipation with talk of Turner Contemporary’s arrival, which saw a small influx of newcomers who left again in a blink. “Although,” he says, “some rode out the wave, such as Tim and Janet Williams who set up the Pie Factory and the Community Pharmacy Gallery, which is one of the only ones surviving from that time.” Now Paul says seeing the town flourish while watching his daughter thrive creatively gives him much joy. He loves to visit the town’s galleries, mentioning Bon Volks, Resort, Quench, the Margate School and Carl Freedman Gallery, among others. Looking forward, Paul says he feels Cliftonville is still neglected: “There are such wonderful buildings standing in Northdown Road that I would love to see restored. There is an untold history that runs deep beneath our feet which needs elevating. The local authorities were keen to encourage creative entrepreneurship in the leadup to the launch of Turner. It would be good to see a real commitment to artists of all types who are investing so much in the area.” Website: Instagram: @wyrdust

▲ “Future Gathering” 2021 household dust, dandelion seed heads by Paul Hazelton

KRISTEN HEALY Kristen Healy moved to Margate from London in the 1990s when she was ten years old. Her parents, who were concerned about pollution in London, moved here so they could have the sea on their doorstep, and space for a growing family. Kristen is a painter, currently working in oils, who only recently picked up her brushes again when her son started school. When she first moved here as a child, Kristen says she couldn’t get enough of the sea and felt she had a lot more freedom than she did in London. However she also remembers Margate as “a pretty depressing place”, recalling how, as the seaside trade died with cheap overseas holidays, “there was a lot of poverty and challenges in the area. It was pretty bad and so I left as soon as I could.” Most of her family had stayed on, and Kristen moved back briefly after studying for an art degree in the Midlands. “Things looked promising,” she recalls. “Turner Contemporary was in development and a small creative community was forming in anticipation. The arts community was friendly and full of positivity and hope for the area.” Kristen held studios at LIMBO, then at Crate Space. “There were private views and things happening,” she reflects, “but it was still incredibly quiet. I remember I had a solo exhibition in the Old Town. A load ▼ “Sleeping Boy” oil on linen by Kristen Healy

By appointment

of friends from Brighton came for the private view and one friend commented, ‘Margate is like Brighton but without the people.’” Deciding to move away again, jumping between Brighton, Amsterdam and Ireland, Kristen kept in touch with her friends here, visiting often. “It was amazing to watch the town develop into a lively, buzzy place,” she says. “I remember each time I visited I was surprised by how much I liked it. Until I decided to bite the bullet and move back myself.” Kristen’s return has seen her create new connections with the arts community here; she also co-owns Hera Margate, a gallery gift shop in the old Lido Stores on Cliff Terrace, showcasing Kent artists and makers. Looking to the future, Kristen says, “I hope the sea stays safe to swim in. The recent sewage issue was horrific! I hope the people buying and renovating live in the properties so the area is populated throughout the year, and I hope the problem of a lack of affordable housing is addressed. I hope the town continues to be vibrant, tolerant, kind and full of fun. I hope small businesses continue to thrive and artists can afford to stay and continue to add so much to the community.” 01843 585 760 @blueswiftframers 1 High St (lower ground floor) St Lawrence, Ramsgate CT11 0QH

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Instagram: @hera_margate @knhealy | @lido_stores_margate





Margate Mercury


▲ Courtesy of Matthew Murphy


Writer Twinkle Troughton

As the roots of an art school formed unconventionally in Cliftonville grow stronger, the future looks set to flourish thanks to the nurturing and dedication of those behind it, and of the students who attend

‘It’s our art school!’ I

n 2017 art school Open School East (OSE) moved into the ground floor of Resort Studios on Athelstan Road, a street rich in cultural diversity but also one of the UKs most deprived neighbourhoods. Within a matter of days local children were knocking curiously on the window. It’s unlikely they foresaw what would follow: the formation of a free art school all of their very own. It was OSE employee Ayaan Bulale who invited their intrigued neighbours inside for a tour, wanting to ensure the school was welcoming to local residents. Ayaan, who was the school’s events manager, recalls how during that initial tour the children declared, “We love art. We want lessons.” And so, rather unconventionally, Despacito Art School was established because the children demanded it. Starting out as a six-week programme, Despacito now runs

From 23 October 2021

Free Entry

▲ Colourful PPE, Doorstep Despacito 2020

throughout the year, providing opportunities for five to 12-year-olds to learn new skills and develop creatively. To date, the impressive range of projects have included creating a soundscape with electronic musician Sarasara for Margate Carnival, making a zombie film with artist Heather Tait, and making a series of shortstop motion films with performance company 1927. OSE alumni have also overseen projects, introducing techniques such as cyanotype, blockprinting and instrument-making. Alongside this clear focus on creative learning, there is also a code of excellence for the children to follow; kindness and helpfulness are emphasised, while violence and prejudice are condemned, bringing the children together as one team. At the start of each lesson, the children must also declare, “I will be the best artist I can be.” Ayaan explains: “This last rule

is one the kids have to shout at the top of their lungs. I want them to feel it in their bodies, I want the vibration of the shouting to inspire ownership of their artwork. I want them to feel it in their soul.” This notion of the children’s ownership is key to how the school runs. When asked about the name Despacito, Ayaan, who is continually eager to point out this is the kids’ school, says, “When the school was set up, the song ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonzi and Daddy Yankee was all over the airwaves. The children loved it and decided to call their programme Despacito, which means slowly. It felt like it was meant to be.” Ayaan has recently announced she will be standing down from her role at Despacito, as she will be relocating to Sweden for the foreseeable future. However Ayaan’s unwavering energy for the project has helped



Despacito become a firm part of the OSE agenda. Polly Brannan, OSE’s newly appointed director, has been devising a progressive vision for the whole of OSE, a vision she very much sees Despacito being integral to. Polly says, “We strongly believe that every child has the right to access free art, education and cultural experiences. Art must be part of everyday life and

▲ Despacito making clay pots with Coral Brookes, © Louis Palfrey 2019

“I learned not to be shy anymore. I learned not to be shy outside. Actually, I am now really confident to do things”

“It’s our art school” Maria, aged 11

Bruno, aged 11

Folkestone Triennial continues!

Margate Mercury

Margate Mercury

accessible to all, and children need outlets for creativity to carve out a future for themselves.” Polly has plans to bring nature to the forefront of Despacito, seeing it as an essential tool for healing following lockdown. Their current programme Garden Art at Garden Gate, inspired by forest school methodologies, will see the children partaking in practical and

collaborative workshops at the Garden Gate, led by multi-disciplinary artist Jason Evans. Polly also sees it as a priority for the school to involve the families of the children they are working with. She explains: “The Despacito artists speak eight or nine different languages among themselves. Many of the families are dual heritage, such as Afro-Caribbean and English, Zimbabwean, Roma Slovak, Roma Czech and Bulgarian. It’s vital they have a voice here in Margate. By working with these children and their families, we hope to support them in ensuring further integration into the local community. As the arts ecology grows here in Margate, we must ensure that our young people and children do not get left behind.” And their intentions to continue expanding Despacito’s outreach don’t stop there, with ambitions to include wider communities and people from even more different backgrounds, all the while creating connections, building confidence and putting the children and their families at the heart of Despacito. You can support Despacito Art School’s ongoing work by donating to the Despacito Art School Fund via


▲ Despacito camera-less photography and light sensitive emulsion making with Jason Evans at the Garden Gate Project, © Louis Palfrey 2021

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No Mo For The Many Writer & Photographer Jim Biddulph

Now No Mo May has transformed our town

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recently experienced something novel – I had to clean off bug debris that had accumulated on the front of my vehicle. It was strangely nostalgic; a physical action that felt vaguely familiar, and I have a sneaky suspicion that I won’t be the only person to have experienced this over the past few months. Now whilst a little revolting and moderately inconvenient, it also offered me a glimmer of hope. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t bask in the glory of a mass insecticide, but it highlights a 2021 mini success story that needs celebrating. The chief protagonist in this narrative is No Mow May; an initiative set up by British conservation charity Plant Life. The brief, laid out to local councils, farmers and gardeners of all kinds, was simple: don’t mow in May. It may not seem like much of an idea and to some it’s been seen as an “untidy” approach to gardening,

but the significance of the initiative cannot be underestimated. Our inbuilt obsessions with the neat and tidy lawn came about as a result of Middle Age Kings and Queen’s desires to make statements regarding their individual wealth and power. With the invention of the grass lawn came an aristocratic visual trademark of nobility, with neatness the ultimate symbol of power and status. Of course, short grass isn’t totally useless; it still takes in carbon dioxide and breathes out oxygen via photosynthesis. But grass, particularly well-groomed lawns, create a monoculture. Monocultures occur when a single living entity dominates, choking out other species and generally doing very little for wildlife as a whole, so not much use when it comes to biodiversity. What’s more, you tend to only find a very small bracket of colour when it comes to cut grass, whereas the usually “green” spaces of our built surroundings have put on a display of unbridled bleeds, blends and accents of colour. This year, where we would usually have expected short tufts of grass in fields, parks, verges and front lawns, we have witnessed wildflowers and grasses of all shades spring up in abundance. The display of ever-

changing colours, shapes and forms has been refreshing and uplifting but the rise in pollinating insects, which also support an ecosystem that includes birds and mammals,

“Individuals and organisations alike have chosen to extend the scheme well beyond the month of May, with many set to go strong into the autumn” has been equally noticeable. What’s more, the extra vegetation has offered new habitat space for all of these animals. This is vitally important. In 2019, a major global biodiversity review concluded that there we are experiencing a startling and unprecedented lose of species and habitat and that, significantly, this is and will continue to have a major

impact upon humankind. Biodiversity, the mix of all life on earth, affects the food that we eat and the air that we breathe whilst protecting us from the threat of pollution, flooding and climate breakdown – it’s all connected. Such was the success and natural beauty of the initiative that individuals and organisations alike have chosen to extend the scheme well beyond the month of May, with many set to go strong into the Autumn, when we will bear witness to further chromatic shifts as autumnal amber shades set in. Of course, as the longer grasses and flowering plants move into this stage of senescence (and perhaps even at times over the course of the summer) they might get a little leggy; a tad wind swept and even a bit bedraggled, but it’s important to remember that this is all a natural process. Plants grow in cycles after all. So if you see a cluster of wild flowers in the summer or even the brown skeletal architecture of a dried plant in the winter; a bee busily buzzing about it’s tiresome business or have to scrub unfortunate flying insects from the bonnet of your car, you can do so safe in the knowledge that they’ve made a difference. The overall affects may not yet be perceivable but it’s still a positive step in the right direction.



HOW I LIVE: ros anderson

In our ongoing series we meet Margate locals and ask them about their lives What is your first memory? Maybe of a beachball blowing away over the sand and out to sea on a family holiday. Everyone running after it. It seemed so dramatic, so exciting and when I realised it wasn't coming back, ultimately tragic. What is your proudest achievement? Currently, I confess, publishing my first novel, The Hierarchies. It really is something the world will tell you is an impossibility, and even trying to do it is considered a huge act of hubris, if not shameful idiocy. I'd just binned a book I'd spent years working on, and

Margate Mercury

Margate Mercury



instead decided to focus on writing something for myself. For fun. I went every morning to MarMar cafe and wrote whatever I could, finally making that writing time my priority. After 6 months I had written the bones of The Hierarchies. I finished the book in the lovely room above The Margate Bookshop. The day I sat outside Francesca's shop signing copies of the book I'd written there did feel great.

that Margate has plenty of places to dance on the beach, and Bar Nothing feels like being in your front room. I almost caught myself grooving about to Smalltown Boy being played loud on the karaoke at The Bull’s Head the other day. It was a sunny day in the Old Town Square and it was – almost – irresistible.

What motivates you?

What is your greatest struggle?

What and when was your favourite meal?

Staying awake. I'd always rather be asleep, or at least on my way.

I have such fond memories of spending the first year after I moved here in Cheesy Tiger on the harbour, eating 2-4-1 toasties and meeting new friends.

If you could give on piece of advice to a large group of people what would it be?

I used to be an interiors and design writer, and I'm very attached to things. I'm currently lovingly restoring Mumphy, a teddy bear knitted by my mum in her youth, since passed to me. Two decades of London moth attacks have left him literally half the bear he was. And I've recently inherited my dad's mountain of jazz records. I'm playing them every morning, working through this amazing pile of mono John Coltrane and Charles Mingus.

What are you most afraid of right now? Oh goodness, apocalypse in any and every form, like everyone. When was the last time that you danced? In the back of Bar Nothing, at Pride. I've been missing the pleasure of dancing in a club, so it was a huge treat. Dancing ought to be done in a nearly-dark basement, really (RIP The Dug Out!) but post-Covid I love

If it was aspiring writers, and I was giving writing advice, I'd say get a book finished. You can publish a bad finished book, but an unfinished one can only stay on your desk. I found most writer's advice really awful, by the way, and almost deliberately intimidating or excluding. The exception to that is Kurt Vonnegut whose writing advice is really humane and, I found, helpful. He also gave a piece of life advice, so maybe I'd say that to any big group of people who were interested. “God dammit babies, you've got to be kind.”

Other people doing stuff. I love that everyone in Margate is getting on with projects, of every imaginably sort. It’s really motivating to be around. What is your most treasured possession?

What’s something you’re really satisfied with right now? Ha ha nothing! Are you kidding?! 2021 has been most unsatisfying, and I'm not holding my breath for next year either. Originally trained as a dancer, Ros is a writer based in Margate. Her debut novel, The Hierarchies, is out now.

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We speak to the people behind three local festivals, about their plans for the autumn

Margate Bookie is a charity that inspires a love of reading and writing through literary festivals and creative courses. The ‘friendly lit fest’ by the sea has been postponed till next year, but the young producers events are still going ahead online. Find out more at


Can you tell us about your festival? Margate NOW began in 2014 as Margate Festival, and has grown into an annual festival producing contemporary culture for diverse audiences in site-specific locations around Margate. This year it runs 25 September – 10 October, with most activity happening over the weekends at the Sunken Garden, Nayland Rock Hotel & other venues around Margate. Visit for more information

Co-relate and the Margate Bookie bought together five young creatives – Pernela Chea (aka Chea Wing Sum), Louise Devismes, Carly Maling and Crow Rudd – to plan, produce, fund and execute their own series of events as part of Margate Bookie. The young producers have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to bring you three exciting events. Can you pick out your top three unmissable events?

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Making Waves Open Call Exhibition, from the 24th of Septemver. Making Waves is an open submission for 13-30 year olds based around Antony Gormley’s Another Time sculpture. Selected entrants will have their work exhibited at Margate Fine Art School. The Open Call closes on the 3rd September.

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The current team have been running the festival for the last 4 years, and have worked with over 600 artists and attracted visitor numbers in excess of 15,000 each year. Our past guest curators include Sacha Craddock, Russell Tovey and PDC. This year, Margate NOW are very excited to be working with guest curator Anna Colin, former Director of OSE. Launching as Sunken Ecologies on 25 September, Colin’s programme for the 2021 festival takes on the human-made natural environment. It centres on the Sunken Garden, a public park in the Westbrook area of Margate, designed and landscaped in the 1930’s. During the festival, the Sunken Garden will act as a catalyst for botanical, social and speculative investigation and be a space to present artworks, and reclaim or reimagine green spaces.

Peaches and Cream, a beginner’s writing workshop which focuses on erotic fiction (erotica) on the 3rd of October. It will teach the writing skills specific to that genre and is inclusive to people of all levels of experience, regardless of age, ethnicity, sex and gender identities, all are welcome.

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Sad Poets Doorstep Club – Margate Bookie Edition on the 17th September. Sad Poets Doorstep Club is a queer-friendly mental health poetry night that seeks to promote marginalised voices and fight the stigma around mental illness; headlined by some of the UK’s most exciting emerging talent as well as established performers. Applications to be featured will close on the 5th of September, and poets will be contacted within a week of that date.

Can you tell us about your festival? ▲ Carly Maling

Anything else you want to mention?



We would like to thank Tom Gavriel and Isobel Cook for their help early on in the project. Keep an eye on the margate bookie social media to stay updated. ▲ Crow Rudd

 Westgate Sunken Gardens © Heather Tait

Who is involved and/or how can people get involved? The 2021 festival showcases Margate as a centre for the production and presentation of new contemporary art in a programme made in collaboration with artists, partners and venues selected from proposals by creative practitioners who live and work in Margate and across south east England. In the Sunken Garden, Margate NOW have commissioned three permanent installations by Nicolas Deshayes, Lindsey Mendick and Olu Ogunnaike. Other headline artists include Ama Josephine Budge, Adam Chodzko, Kim Conway, Sonia Overall, Christina Peake, Molly Pickle, Shamica Ruddock, Holly Slingsby, Francesca Ter-Berg and Sara Trillo. The partner programme includes projects from Cliftonville Cultural Space with Charlie Evaristo-Boyce, Falle Nioke, Dominic Rose & others; CRATE with Rebekah Ubuntu, Jules Varnedoe & Jerome White; Arts in Ramsgate with Rosie Carr, Jemma Cullen, Holly Hunter, Trevor Neal & members of GOLD (Getting On With Learning Difficulties); LIMBO with Sadie Hennessy; Margate Bookie with Billie Penfold; Open School East with Sara Jackson, Lottie McCarthy, Sam Slattery, Kathryn Tovey & Young Associates; Transit Collective with Simon Cole, Dominic Rose and Jon Spencer. ►


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Alongside these commissions will be a wider programme of exhibitions and events happening all around Margate. Can you pick out your top three unmissable events?


On Saturday 25 September, 10am to 3pm, Cliftonville Cultural Space, their collaborators Charlie Evaristo-Boyce and Dominic Rose, and children from the Athelstan Road Project, will be building ‘Shelter’, a creative interpretation of a Sukkah, a structure built during the Jewish festival of Sukkot, which connects to nature, harvest and diaspora. Everyone can witness and join in the process which, when finished, will welcome live musicians from 4pm, including Falle Nioke. This will take place at the Sunken Garden.


On Saturday 2 October, at 5pm, artist and writer Sonia Overall will present ‘Loci’, a performative journey around the Sunken Garden, walking a narrative of weird ecological change and possibility through shifting layers of land and time, soil and water. Sonia asks: if we were to stop and examine alternative histories and outlooks in this porous place, what vegetal beauties and horrors might we encounter? In this reenvisioning of place, strange mutations take root, entangling past and future to erode our present certainties. ‘Loci’ will be repeated on Saturday 9 October at 5pm.

 Artist's impression of gate sculpture for hermit cave at Sunken Gardens, Sunken Ecologies, 2021 by Nicolas Dehayes


Margate Film Festival takes place across the last week of October across multiple venues in Margate and Broadstairs. Tickets will be released in September via Can you tell us about your festival? Margate Film Festival is a creative, cinematic arts organisation, established to build communities and celebrate the vibrant local culture through film screenings and events. Going into its 4th year this October, it is now established as the premiere film festival in Kent for independent film and moving image. This year explores the theme of borders and boundaries, exploring the lines between land, language, identity and politics.

Who is involved and/or how can people get involved? The festival is volunteer-led with a small team of community organisers. Although film submissions are now closed, we are still looking for individuals and organisations interested in hosting their own events as part of the festival. We will also be looking for volunteers through the festival season – contact Kate at i for details. Can you pick out your top three unmissable events? Margate Film Festival 2021 will present a hybrid of online and inperson events, with feature films, shorts, Q&As, live scores and family


On Sunday 3 October, 10am to 5pm, the Sunken Garden Society, who tend the garden, are putting together an ecology and biodiversity knowhow day. Bee, bat, butterfly and moth conservation societies, along with plant nurseries and alternative gardening projects will present their work, lead demonstrations and workshops, and a range of talks by different experts in topics ranging from coral conservation and Mediterranean plants in Thanet, to biodynamic farming will be held. And, of course, the artworks and landscape interventions at the Sunken Garden, by Ama Josephine Budge (writing a short story about the Sunken Garden), Nicolas Deshayes, Lindsey Mendick and Olu Ogunnaike (making permanent, functional art works for the garden), Sonia Overall (writing speculative plant labels), Christina Peake (making sculptures inspired by coral formation, envisioning the garden as the bottom of the ocean), Molly Pickle (designing a new identity for the garden), Shamica Ruddock (making a soundtrack for the garden inspired by speculations that the garden conceals at its core the ruins of an ancient star observatory), and Francesca Ter-Berg (composing a sound piece for certain areas of the garden). And at Nayland Rock, Adam Chodzko (a film mapping and activating the Sunken Garden’s desire paths created by children), Holly Slingsby (a video performance on gardening, confinement and healing), and Sara Trillo (an installation emulating an improvised laboratory, displaying ongoing research and finalised outcomes that utilise the plants and archaeology of the Sunken Garden).

workshops spanning documentary to comedy, artist moving image to spooky Halloween specials. The programme is yet to be announced – but you can expect stories and characters from across the globe, including a surreal tale of love in a fairground, secrets discovered overseas, British seaside holidays, queer zine-makers making a mark, coming-of-age in a time of revolt and much, much more. Anything else you want to mention? Keep an eye out for the online programme, available throughout the festival and the first week of November, featuring additional online-exclusive films.




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Margate Mercury

Black British History – Past & Present Icons

Margate Mercury




ave you spotted the mural painted on the hoarding at Dreamland? ‘Black British History – Past & Present Icons’ was created by artists Ben Connors and Leondre Ansah, working with People Dem Collective and using artwork submitted by local young people. The project began with a zine produced by Sprankenstein Studio during Margate NOW 2020. Ahead of Black History Month in October, we take a look at some of the Black British Icons featured.

Skin “I was 11 years old and very much into music when “Weak As I Am” was released in 1995. I listened mostly to rap and R&B, especially from the USA. As you can imagine the women in the music videos were always super slick. Then Skin came on my screen, and I was like wow she is beautiful, she hasn’t got hair and wearsnblack lipstick, and is screaming on the floor. She was like a wake-up call, and a radical inspiration for self expression. A queer black british icon who was the first black brit to headline glasto and says it how it is” Artist – Catherine (Black British History, Who’s Your Icon? Zine) Deborah Anne Dyer OBE was born in London on 3 August 1967 to Jamaican parents. Known by the stage name Skin, her family moved to the UK as part of the Windrush Generation. Skin is a British singer, songwriter, electronic music dj, and occasional model, best known as the lead vocalist of Skunk Anansie.

Malorie Blackman


“I really like the book ‘Girl Wonder To The Rescue’. It’s my dream to be an author and would like to write a book like Malorie Blackman with characters that look like me and my mum.” Artist – Tallulah (Black British History, Who’s Your Icon? Zine)

“My Black British Hero is Stormzy because I grew up listening to his music and he does charity work and I would like to be successful like him when I’m older” Artist – Sebastian (Black British History, Who’s Your Icon? Zine)

Malorie Blackman OBE is a British writer who held the position of Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015. Born 8 February 1962 in Clapham, London, her parents were both from Barbados. Blackman primarily writes for children and young adults, often using science fiction to explore social and ethical issues including racism.

Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr., aka Stormzy, was born 25 July 1993 in Croydon, London. He is a British rapper known for his political activism and philanthropic work. This includes funding the ‘Stormzy Scholarship for Black UK Students’ at the University of Cambridge, which covers tuition costs for two students and maintenance grants for up to four years.

Neil Kenlock “This year’s Black History Month in October is more important than ever. It’s not just a month to celebrate the continued achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world. It’s also a time for continued action to tackle racism, reclaim Black history, and ensure Black history is represented and celebrated all year round. As 2020 showed, and 2021 continues to show, Black history is being made every day, in all kinds of ways.” Black History Month Magazine

“I like the fact he was a photographer who cared abouty the ‘Black Family’. He worked with the black Panther Party. I like that he is with me when I listen to the radio.” Artist – Knight (Black British History, Who’s Your Icon? Zine) Neil Kenlock was born in Jamaica in 1950 and has been living in London, England, since the 1960s. He is a celebrated photographer and media professional, acknowledged as being “at the forefront of documenting the black experience in the UK”.

SEPTEMBER 01:14 01 02:50 02 04:05 03 05:04 04 05:51 05 06* 00:22 07* 01:00 08* 01:37 09* 02:16 10* 02:56 11* 03:34 12* 04:10 13* 04:50 05:40 14 00:35 15 02:08 16 03:39 17 04:53 18 19* 05:49 20* 00:33 21* 01:13 22* 01:47 23* 02:17 24* 02:44 25* 03:12 26* 03:41 04:12 27 04:46 28 05:30 29 00:14 30

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OCTOBER 01:45 01 03:27 02 04:32 03 04* 05:20 05* 06:00 06* 00:30 07* 01:07 08* 01:46 09* 02:25 10* 03:04 11* 03:44 12* 04:28 05:21 13 00:18 14 01:56 15 03:28 16 04:37 17 18* 05:28 19* 00:12 20* 00:48 21* 01:16 22* 01:40 23* 02:06 24* 02:37 25* 03:08 03:38 26 04:10 27 04:51 28 05:48 29 00:51 30 01:27 31

08:06 09:37 10:38 11:26 12:06 06:38 07:17 07:55 08:35 09:15 09:57 10:44 11:45 06:36 08:12 09:36 10:45 11:37 06:07 06:40 07:14 07:49 08:23 08:55 09:24 09:54 10:30 11:17 12:24 07:03 07:40

14:45 16:03 16:59 17:46 18:27 12:43 13:19 13:57 14:28 15:20 16:06 16:59 18:04 13:12 14:50 16:14 17:17 18:04 12:17 12:49 13:16 13:48 14:21 14:55 15:28 16:02 16:42 17:33 18:38 13:53 14:15

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NOVEMBER 01 02:45 02 03:40 03* 04:25 04* 05:08 05* 05:50 06* 00:16 07* 00:58 08* 01:41 09* 02:26 10 03:14 11 04:09 12 05:20 13 00:33 14 01:58 15 03:04 16 03:55 17 04:36 18* 05:13 19* 05:49 20* 00:08 21* 00:37 22* 01:10 23* 01:43 24* 02:17 25 02:50 26 03:30 27 04:21 28 05:21 29 00:26 30 01:46

08:50 09:43 10:27 11:08 11:48 06:33 07:17 08:01 08:48 09:40 10:44 12:04 06:48 08:03 09:07 10:00 10:42 11:16 11:49 06:26 07:01 07:34 08:04 08:37 09:14 10:00 10:58 12:09 06:35 07:52

15:17 16:07 16:51 17:32 18:12 12:31 13:18 14:08 14:59 15:55 17:01 18:25 13:29 14:43 15:42 16:27 17:01 17:31 18:02 12:22 12:57 13:32 14:08 14:45 15:25 16:12 17:08 18:15 13:22 14:29

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Margate Mercury


18:59 19:37 20:14 20:51 21:26 22:02 22:40 23:27 19:33 21:12 22:40 23:44 19:09 19:44 20:14 20:42 21:09 21:35 22:02 22:32 23:13 19:15

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On 1 September the sun will rise in Margate at 6:07 BST and set at 19:40 BST, giving us 13 hrs 33 mins of daylight. By 30 November the sun will rise at 7:35 GMT and set at 15:50 GMT, giving us 8 hrs 15 mins of daylight. This autumn we have full moons on 20 September (Harvest Moon), 20 October (Blood Moon) and 19 November (Frost Moon). Want to see a shooting star? There are a few good opportunities to watch meteor showers this autumn: the Draconids will peak on the night between 8 and 9 October, the Orionids usually peaks around 21 October, the Taurids are expected to peak around the 12 November and the Leonids on the night between 17 and 18 November.

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18:52 19:33 20:15 21:00 21:53 23:03 19:48 20:58 21:54 22:39 23:15 23:43 18:34 19:04 19:33 20:03 20:37 21:18 22:08 23:12

During full and new moons, the gravitational pull of the sun and the gravitational pull of the moon on Earth combine, causing the oceans to swell. At these times, the high tides are higher and the low tides are lower. They are known as spring tides. They are an excellent time for rambling, rock-pooling and swimming in the tidal pools. Average sea temperature will be 17.3°C in September, 15°C in October and 12.1°C in November

September is an excellent time to forage blackberries; look for them in woods, hedges, heaths and roadside verges. However, a well known English folk story states that blackberries should not be picked after Michaelmas Day. Apparently after this date the fruits are cursed, as the devil stamped, spat and urinated on the berry on this day, angry after he fell from Heaven onto a blackberry bush. In October Margate welcomes winter visitors from the north and east of the world. Among many duck, geese and wading birds, Brent geese are particularly prevalent. Look for the darkbellied bird flying in loose flocks along the shore.

22 September, the September equinox, when the Sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal. 31 October, Halloween & Daylight Saving Time ends 4 November, Diwali, a major Hindu celebration, known as the ‘Festival of Lights’. 5 November, Bonfire Night 14 November, Remembrance Sunday 29 November, first day of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah

19:31 20:39

Illustrator @cressidaromanalynch

Margate Mercury



FROM MARGATE TO MALAWI Writer Emilia Ong Images courtesy of M.F. Coffee Project

The coffee company with a focus on farmers


rinking a cup of coffee these days can feel like a fraught business: after crude oil, it is the highest earning industry in the world, and yet exploitation continues to be rife. But now MF Coffee Project is working to change that. If all goes to plan, soon their coffee will be coming to a Margate coffee shop near you “I guess it might seem a bit odd,” Cameron McAllister is saying. He laughs and corrects himself. “Well, not odd exactly, but unusual.

 M.F. Coffee Project’s recently hand painted washing station in Nkhota, Malawi








01843 291 531

Unorthodox, you know.” He is talking about how, six years ago, he came to set up MF Coffee Project, a company which, though it can now safely be referred to as a “specialist producer”, was back then little more than an idea for a “washing station” tucked away in a remote area of Northern Malawi. A washing station? “The beans you buy are just the seed of what’s called the coffee cherry,” he explains. “To get to those, first we have to take the, er, fruity bit off.” Taking the fruity bit off is, it turns out, what’s known as washing. It is a process which fascinates Cameron, and it has come to form the core of what makes MF’s coffee, as well as its business ethos, distinct. Cameron is something of an outlier in the field: after all, not many people start a business by thinking about how to please their producers. At least, not before spending a great deal of time figuring out what their customers want. It’s simply counterintuitive: think, for instance, of the fabled story of Starbucks’ inception, in which Howard Schultz waxes lyrical about the “theatre, romance, art, and magic” of the Milanese espresso bars which inspired the brand. “Ours is a totally different approach,” says Cameron. “At MF we’re all about starting at the opposite end of the spectrum. You know, with the farmers, not the baristas.” His hope is that by placing production and producers centre stage, MF can “not only improve conditions for the people behind our coffee, but also create delicious and unusual flavour profiles” with their beans. MF stands for Manchewe Falls, a mountainous part of Malawi which Cameron describes as “in the middle of nowhere. Literally at the edge of a cliff!” It was here that he met Lyson, MF’s Malawian co-founder and all-round “man on the ground”. At the time Cameron was managing an eco-lodge which he describes as “completely off-grid. We had solar power, gravity-fed spring water, permaculture gardens, compost toilets, our own pigs… the whole shebang”. It was the lodge’s outreach programmes which exposed him to the realities of coffee production – both economic and agricultural. “I began to see how the centralised processing centres were not serving individual farmers as well ►

Open seven days a week. Serving freshly-prepared tapas, with a range of meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Ice-cold beers, wines, cocktails and more.

The Victoria Bar & Restaurant is situated opposite the famous Winter Gardens on Margate’s beautiful coastline. 25-26 Fort Crescent, Margate CT9 1HX

Margate Mercury



 Lyson and Cam, co founders of M.F. Coffee Project

Check us out Or call 01843 230 375


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Napoli-style pizza, made-to-order in Margate.

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“We want people to feel that when they buy a bag of coffee, their money is essentially travelling from their pocket straight back to those of our farmers” as they could,” he says. Together with Lyson, he began working with the Tiko Growing Collective, a group of 48 farmers, to help them process their coffee on site. “The thing about processing,” says Cameron, “is that it’s a part of the coffee journey which is overlooked. Generally people just don’t realise that the final flavour profile starts at harvest.” In other words, when it comes to the taste of the coffee: it’s not just about the roast. He explains that there are three processing techniques, each of which remove the cherry skins in a different way. The company has experimented with each – not in order to land upon a single best, but to bring out the advantages of each. “The point is that because all of our coffee comes from the same farmers, people will be able to taste the difference,” he says. “And believe me it can be drastic!” Eventually he hopes that the method and place of processing will come to mean as much to the consumer as the country of origin, and roasting style, already do. Take natural processing, which involves leaving coffee cherries to dry in the sun for about two weeks. “Not removing the skins till they’re dried means the fruit flavour gets into the seed,” Cameron notes. The washed process, in contrast, uses a “depulper” to remove the skins before leaving the sticky pits in a tank (“It could just be a bucket”) to ferment. “With this method, you end up with a profoundly different end taste,” he says. Finally, there’s the delectable-sounding honey

 The Nyirenda family, members of Tiko Coffee Collective

process, which involves “a mix of the two”: a depulper is still involved, but the sticky pits are left to dry instead of fermenting, leading to a coffee which is typically, says Cameron, “sweet and full-bodied”. I suggest that it all sounds a bit like wine. “I’m sure it is,” says Cameron. “And I reckon I could easily get all nerdy about that too. But at the moment I’ve only got enough room in my head for one obsession!” Because of the extraordinary global demand for coffee, the industry has long been notorious for unethical practices. Though fair trade campaigns have significantly raised consumer awareness, Cameron believes there is more that can be done. “Now that I’ve seen the industry from the farmers’ end of the supply chain,” he says, “my aim is to make that chain as short as possible!” What he’s referring to is what he calls “the same old story of intermediaries” which cuts, he says, across much of agriculture. “Even in fair trade schemes a farmer sells to an organisation, who sells to an exporter, who sells to an importer, who puts the product onto a wide marketplace,” he says. “It’s like a shopping mall. Roasters choose from different producers, and – this is the problem – everyone takes their cut.” As opposed to this, MF Coffee is all about creating as direct a link as possible back to Malawi. “We want people to feel that when they buy a bag of coffee, their money is essentially travelling from their pocket straight back to those of our farmers.” His ambition does not stop

there. “Roasting at origin would be fantastic,” he says, “but for that you need a whole lot of infrastructure. A source of nitrogen…” He trails off. “It’s something for the future, perhaps. It would get a whole lot more money back into Malawi though.” For now, he is in talks with several Margate coffee shops about supplying them with coffee – and the Grain Grocer is already a confirmed stockist. He would love to move freely between the UK and Malawi, but the pandemic has made that impossible for now. “It’s not ideal,” he says, “but it’s alright. We’ve got a great team over there, and I chat with them on Zoom daily.” Plus, he loves Margate. “It’s so weird,” he says, affectionately. “That’s its charm. My girlfriend’s lived here for years and I think it’s such a cool, creative community.” I mention that there’s also a lot of people here who care passionately about their daily cup. “That’s definitely a major pro,” he laughs. “You’ve got loads of brilliant coffee shops in Margate, and people really do seem to care about the impact of their choices on the wider world. What I want,” he concludes, “is to do as little harm as possible. I think people in Margate get that. And so hopefully they’ll also get what MF Coffee is trying to do.” MF Coffee will be available to buy at The Grain Grocer from early October, and can currently be purchased online at Follow MF Coffee Project on Instagram @mfcoffeeproject

Local Roasters We Are Here We Are Here roasts high-grade beans right here in Margate. With just four types of coffee to choose from – playfully named This One, That One, The Other One, and Decaf – the team are keen to make the world of speciality coffee accessible to everyone. Each variety comes with a simple description of flavour notes, best brewing practice and provenance. 10p from every bag sold is donated to charity. Plus, if you live in Margate, you can get your coffee delivered by bicycle for free!

Curve Founded in 2016, Curve Roasters is arguably already the best known of local coffee purveyors, and for good reason: the range is seasonally led, the beans are responsibly sourced, and they roast to bring out what the team refer to as “sweetness, balance and drinkability”. Supplying many local restaurants, they also have their own coffee shop and general store – Storeroom – located in the Printworks creative space on Union Row.


Margate Mercury


Dive Margate continues to serve top-notch tacos on the Harbour Arm Friday to Sunday. Watch out for their new opening at the top of the High Street in early 2022. Including indoor seating and a brand new menu. Reservations at


Sargasso has reopened. Much like its sister restaurant Brawn in East London, it’s inflected with Italian flavours such as stracciatella cheese and courgettes, lobster spaghetti, or pickled mussels with crisps – best served with a chilled vermouth. Sargasso Sundays showcase live DJs from 5pm and are the perfect way to end the weekend with sunset on the harbour arm.

Writer Lisa Harris Images Courtesy of businesses

Get stuck in to the new openings and old favourites on Margate’s food scene

Daisy bar serves elegantly potent cocktails out of the Mala Kaffe spot on the harbour arm, Thursday to Saturday evenings. Concoctions include a blue raspberry tequila number, espresso martini, or the Purple Nurple with cachaça, beetroot, rose and lime. DM @Daisy_Margate to book.

 Crab tostadas at Dive Bar

Forts serve dinner on Monday nights 4-10pm. If you can’t get enough of their epic daytime sandwiches, you’ll love their evening menu including red pepper sirloin with cucumber kimchi, heirloom tomatoes with pickled blackberries, or roasted peaches with thyme and honeycomb. DM @fortscoffee to book.

Stingray now serve Hot Squeeze cheese toasties alongside local and craft beers, refillable wine bottles, canned cocktails and ciders to drink in or take home. (3 Northdown Parade, Prices Avenue, CT9 2NR) Love CafÉ opens on Marine Gardens near Main Sands this autumn. Coming from the Libertines’ guitarist Carl Barât, chef Gizzi Erskine, musician Edie Langley and band manager Ronnie Traynor, the venue promises to be an eclectic arts and music venue as well as a seafront cafe serving breakfasts and life-changing sandwiches. @lovecafemargate

 Stingray

 Finbar’s of West Bay

 Daisy


► Forts

Mia Papa’s Kitchen fires up their pizza oven at Northdown Brewery every Saturday and opposite the Tap Rooms (Prices Av) when the sun is shining. Watch out for their new opening at Batchelor’s Patisserie in the evenings, with pizzas including margherita with handmade sunblush tomatoes and The Papa with fennel seed salami and parmesan. @miapapaskitchen

Finbar’s of West bay has a beautiful terrace to watch the sunset over Westgate beach. You might have stopped by for a morning cuppa, but their evening menu includes lobster Saturday, as well as seasonal seafood platters, Kentish cheese boards, fish ’n’ chips, burgers and grilled steak. Their hugely popular Sunday roast dinners are back, and unmissable live tribute acts the first wednesday of every month including Grease and Dolly Parton. for reservations. @finbarswestgate





Margate Mercury



 Sam's Roomservice



THE REVIEW victoria bar 25-26 Fort Crescent, CT9 1HX

V ▲ Pekish Vegan Curry Club

 Kookiedoe

Margate Mercury

The Chicken Stop is salvation for those If you’ve had your fill of everyday short on time. Their meal prep will stock up deliveries over lockdown, it’s your fridge and take time to refresh your speed dial care of all your meals. Subscribe weekly for two with these innovative Margate or three meals a day, five food delivery businesses or seven days-a-week delivered on Wednesday and Sundays. Breakfast includes granola bowls and pancakes, Brendons Bakes is a new food lunch options include healthier BBQ delivery service bringing home cooked chicken with crushed new potatoes or meals for your family including steamed rice, and vegetables and salad carbonara pasta tray, beef and onion or on the side. They also offer takeaway chicken pie, as well as sweet fruit pies, Thursday to Sunday with classic crumbles, cakes and jams. They also do chicken nachos, burgers and wraps as events as well as midweek meals when well as keto-friendly options. Order via you don’t feel like cooking, but want honest, handmade food. Order via @brendonsbakes Little Bakehouse slabs are a sugar sensation delivered to your door. Kookiedoe delivers vegan cookie Brownie, blondie and rocky road dough for those late-night sweet slabs include Terry’s chocolate orange cravings. Run by entrepreneur Elyese flavour, Golden Oreo, Toffee Crisp and Van Aalst and a small, female-led Twix. Treat boxes feature a brownie team, their cookie dough comes in and blondie selection for £10, and bite bags or family-size tubs including party platters will feed all your loved classic choc chip and salted caramel, ones with their signature slabs as well as well as colourful, edible cookie as homemade sausage rolls and NYC “playdough” for the kids, boba tea, iced cookies. DM @thelittlebakehouse4 to tea and dairy free milkshakes. Lots order. of gluten free options too. Order via, Just Eat or UberEats. Sam’s Roomservice brings fivestar service to Thanet, as chef Sam Pekish vegan curry club delivers Bussey cooks up takeaway classics plant-based, spicy goodness. Dishes with local ingredients and flair. Perfect include curry house classics Kerala for when everyone in the family fried seitan “chicken”, tofu rendang, wants something different; choose and saffron rice. Using local produce from pizzas with homemade dough, and compostable packaging, they also salads, buttermilk chicken burger, offer free local delivery. Pre-order on vegan bean burger, chilli, hot wings Wednesdays via or or brownie cheesecake. Order via social media for delivery Thursday to Sunday 5.30-8pm

is certainly for victory at the Victoria bar and restaurant on Fort Crescent, opposite the Winter Gardens. The team of classically trained chefs serve up an impressive hit list of tapas and sharing platters to local residents as well as hotel guests. The boutique hotel has 14 historical, sea-view rooms upstairs with an adjoining three-bed holiday cottage. It feels a little like being on holiday anyway. The restaurant’s food and flavours transport you to the Iberian Peninsula and the south-facing, suntrap of a courtyard seals the deal. Currently filled with a Bedouin-style tent, the owners plan to open the terrace up into an Ibiza-inspired garden next summer, complete with an outdoor kitchen, dedicated mixologist and music. Perfect for private parties and get-togethers, the tapas menu goes equally well with a sit down meal or a chilled Spanish or Portuguese beer at the bar. They specialise in cocktails

(with buy one get one half price on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings), but the wine list is discerning too. Order your food bit by bit for a true, relaxed tapas experience. Generous beef meatballs arrive in a rich and spicy tomato sauce, with griddle bread to mop up the juices. There are lots of veggie options including classic Spanish tortilla with layers of soft potato and a colourful baby tomato salad on the side, and perfectly charred pimientos de padrón topped with crispy onions. The mature serrano ham and manchego platter is one to share and look out for specials including pork kebabs and lamb with chimichurri. If you’ve got room for something sweet, try the Victoria Mess with seasonal fruit or Spanish-style crème caramel for dessert.

Open seven days a week: lunch from “Here in front of the grey Kentish sea, it seems to say, 12-2.30pm and dinner from 5pm. 25-26 Fort Crescent, CT9 1HX we can all be Libertines.”

conde nast traveller

“So is The Albion Rooms a hit?Absolutely.”

the times

“A place you happen to sleep in while having the luckiest bender of your life.”

the guardian 31 Eastern Esplanade Cliftonville Margate Kent CT9 2HL

Dine / drinK / BRunCh / Live / BreAthe / CreatE/ ReCOrd / SleeP

Margate Mercury



A GAMBLE THAT PAID OFF Writer Jim Biddulph Images courtesy of Haeckels

 Dom Bridges


or seaside dwellers, seaweed isn’t always viewed in the most positive light. In the busy summer months a moment at the beach barely goes by without the squawk of a bather whose limbs have unwittingly come into contact with the slippery green plant. During the height of the initial lockdown those out on a stroll anywhere near Westgate beach did well to not hurl at the stench created by the festering piles washed up and marooned upon the shoreline. But, back in 2012, local volunteer beach warden and coastal enthusiast Dom Bridges saw past the negative connotations and started an experimental journey of alchemy

 Annie Nichols

fuelled by entrepreneurial spirit, in which seaweed is to Dom what chocolate is to Mr Wonka. Instead of confectionery, Dom’s focus was skincare products; although at the time he was a director of film, TV and plenty of commercials. It all began with walks along our coastline, a saucepan on his kitchen stove and a nagging doubt that the existing established brands could be doing things a little differently – and far more sustainably – in the way they made their products. Having been collecting and experimenting with seaweed and other coastal botanicals behind closed doors, Dom founded and opened his first store, Haeckels, on Cliff Terrace in 2013, selling his

Haeckels unveil their new HQ, in a converted casino


Margate Mercury


first organic wares including scent cones and candles, as well as a range of skincare products. Visitors were greeted by a vintage interior with impressive Victorian display cabinets, as well as the enveloping mix of stunning aromas including bog myrtle and juniper – and Dom, patiently stirring a pan while manning the till. He enthused (and still enthuses) in sharing his story, explaining where the products come from, how they’ve been made and why Haeckels carries the ethos that it does – namely that the brand should represent high

quality products made from natural substances that are intrinsic to the town and its long history of healthy coastal living. For while the popularity and usage of seaweed has ebbed and flowed during human history, the properties it offers, as well as its abundance around coastal dwellings, are uniquely positive. Seaweed is rich in vital vitamins, minerals and amino acids that help to hydrate and rebuild the skin, and it even has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The decision to utilise local seaweed and botanicals was an astute one, with Haeckels coming into being at the beginning of a trend for “wellness” that has continued to grow to this day. And it didn’t take long for this approach to gain traction, with plenty

Margate Mercury

of travelling customers coming to visit the store, along with the likes of the Guardian who let it share page space with the larger publicly funded Margate initiatives like Turner Contemporary and Dreamland in “Shoreditch-on-sea” style articles. Ironically, as the brand gained in popularity and recognition, Dom chose to take things in the opposite direction, opening a space on Broadway Market in East London as the next experiential destination for the brand in 20.. It was a canny move, with more and more department stores coming a-knocking with offers to stock Haeckels Margate-made products in cities around the globe. But even with international concessions, Dom has never lost sight of the brand’s deep roots in the town. He is responsible for the rebooted version of a Victorian

carpet and a vast quantity of pleather. Not to mention the flashing lights of fruit machines and the green felt of blackjack tables and the like. Spread across two floors, the building is vast, with its own kitchen and a surprising number of windowless rooms out the back. Now under Dom’s stewardship, the space has taken on a radical transformation. The interior retains the best bits of its former grandeur but the gambling paraphernalia is long gone and in its place are stainless steel industrial kitchen workstations, vast rows of shelving stocked with brown glass jars and vials and hydroponic growing units. Not to mention plants, including a Fiscus tree. And where punters would have witnessed attendants cutting cards they now find Dom’s team busily testing, mixing and making product formulas in the central atrium space. It’s a fascinating watch (and visitors are invited to do just that) and one that merges the feel of a factory, laboratory and kitchen all in one. The sensation is extended by the daily offering of food served up by local culinary expert Annie Nichols, who will be heading up the Haeckels canteen. And this is no ordinary food. Continuing the ethos of using natural and locally sourced ingredients, the


“Gone are the days where brands can hide how they manufacture. We believe in the ‘everything to see here’ approach”

sea-bathing unit that can be found by the steps at Walpole Bay Tidal Pool (a true labour of love). Even during the pandemic has entirely redesigned the Margate store not once, but twice! And yet, the latest chapter in the Haeckels journey is the most exciting yet. It involves a factory, food and a team of enthusiastic and intuitively trained staff right here in the heart of the town. Although this factory happens to be a former casino and the Haeckels staff are most definitely not Oompa-Loompas. Those who ever visited the enormous red brick building on Fort Crescent may have at least a hazy memory of a swanky interior space with a vast circular opening in the centre, wood panelling, a pretty busy




dishes Annie and her team serve will be made from produce grown on site. The hydroponic growing stations provide the vegetables and greens, while the dark corners of the building have been turned into mushroomgrowing facilities – a material the team also uses in manufacturing of biodegradable packaging for the skincare products. The sights and smells floating around the building are synonymous with the brands ever-experimental and inquisitive approach. Indeed it’s even a trademark of sorts. It’s a testament to Dom’s dedication and unerring faith in his vision for the brand that this new and innovative space has come about, something that he hopes will inspire a change in the outlook of other manufacturers out there: “We are a self-financed tiny giant and the new space represents a big step – we want people to see and enjoy everything we do. Gone are the days where brands can hide how they manufacture. We believe in the ‘everything to see here’ approach.” It started with Dom and a pan and now it’s a team of 40, predominantly local folks, who share in his vision – to create high quality and sustainable products and experiences that put Margate firmly on the map.


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Moving to marvellous Margate Our expert lawyers know the area inside out and will gladly share their local knowledge with you and support you on your journey to your new home. In 2019 we won eight trophies at the national ESTAS Conveyancing Awards, including best solicitors in Kent; accolades purely based on ratings by our clients.

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Caravan owner and travel writer Anna Hart on how a love of vintage fashion has infected every room she decorates

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ong before I loved vintage interiors, I loved vintage clothing. I volunteered at charity shops throughout my early teens in Belfast, which meant I got first dibs on any 1950s tweed jackets, 1960s shift dresses and 1970s denim that came into the War On Want on Botanic Avenue. I never imagined that my fondness for vintage fashion could cross over into the world of interior design. For a long time, I thought interior design was intimidating, expensive, and entirely closed-off to anyone who didn’t own an enormous fancy home, full of glass and steel and coasters purchased at MoMA. Now I understand that the spaces we live in can be dressed in the same way we dress our bodies – it’s about showing off what we care about, experimenting a little, feeling comfortable and having fun.

Put a frame on it

Let there be lamps

Part of the furniture

As it happens, it was vintage fabrics that provided my entry point into “dressing” spaces. I’ve never been able to afford a 1960s Pucci vintage dress, but looking for one on eBay, I scored a vintage Emilio Pucci for Pausa linen remnant, a collaboration the Italian designer did with a department store. I had this stretch of fabric framed, and it’s now one of my most cherished pieces of artwork, transported from rented flat to rented flat until I settled in Margate. This is art, and not an old tablecloth, only because I treat it like art, and gaze at it like it’s art. This is what a love of vintage fabrics has done to my eyes: turned a tablecloth into art. Here in Margate, Lovelys ( do a brilliant job of framing artwork, vintage Heals curtain remnants or anything else I’ve thrown at them.

This year, when I began renovating an old caravan with my two talented designer friends – Whinnie Williams and Emma Jane Palin – I wanted to bring vintage fabrics into the bedroom I designed, aka The Jungle Room. With such a small space, I hit on the idea of vintage fabric lampshades. Local designer Louise Fuud, ( works with vintage remnants to make bright, bold overalls, and Lou let me into her studio to pick through fabric samples for Club Jupiter. I found midcentury lamp bases for £5 each at RG Scotts (scottsmargate., and made drum lampshades out of 1950s tiki fabrics and £10 kits from Dannells (

When we renovated Club Jupiter we worked with two talented Margatedwelling upholsterers, Jessica du Preez and Joanna Moore, who helped us breathe new life (and Poodle & Blonde fabric) into the original caravan sofa. Jo and Jess have just launched the Margate Design Collective (, running upholstery courses. I have fantasies about reupholstering an old footstool in fabulous 1960s fabric. But until I master the art, I might settle for making a cushion cover… Anna Hart is one-third of Club Jupiter (@ClubJupiterUK), a caravan revival and rental project in Birchington Vale, just outside Margate

Catherine Froggatt

Margate Mercury


Garden Design

Complete design service Maintenance & development Free initial consultation RHS qualiied Margate based

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A love song to pollinatorfriendly veg


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Architecture and Interiors

Writer Franzi Sordon


Sensitive repairs to a gauged arch: Before and After

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reating havens for bees, butterflies and all other wildlife is not only beneficial for the little critters out there that are vital for balanced ecosystems, but also soothing for the human mind. Imagine stunning blooms and beautiful foliage gently swaying in the wind, releasing the sweet scent of summer. Imagine the variety of winged visitors arriving, collecting nectar and pollinating blooms for sunny seasons to come. Imagine the rich fruits that a dearly loved garden holds and rewards us with during harvest time. I’m a sucker for all things garden and wildlife and I am totally smitten with nature’s treats such as bees, butterflies and wildflower meadows. Today, I’m going to be singing praises about edible blooms and home grown organic veg and I honestly couldn’t agree more with gardener and writer Jeff Cox when he says: “A garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and mother nature.” Let’s dive in to explore some

pollinator-friendly veggies and edible blooms that can be easily grown in containers or in the garden. Some of the easiest veggies to grow are carrots, radishes and beans (sow between spring and summer, 1 cm deep and 7 cm apart). When left to thrive for a second year, carrots produce a wonderfully delicate blossom and also make great cut flowers for vases at home. A few weeks back, I have counted around 20 insects from 7 different pollinator species at the same time on one single carrot bloom, amazing right? Imagine the wildlife you can attract simply by growing your own veg! The most pollinator friendly bean varieties are the Broad Bean, which you can sow early in spring to help provide a rich source of pollen for bumble bee queens coming out of hibernation in winter, and the Scarlet Runner Bean. Runner Beans will need climbing support. If you build a bamboo cane tipi, you will have a colourful tent full of stunning blossom.

The beauty that is Red Basil will never fail to pimp up any meal and can be easily grown even in small pots on the windowsill. Basil, just like Wild Chicory, produces edible flowers that can be added to any raw or cooked dish. Another show stopper is the Nasturtium. My new discovery this summer has been the gorgeous variegated variety called “Alaska Mixed” or “Alaska Salmon Orange”. All parts of this plant are edible, from the round Nasturtium seeds to the gorgeous white and green variegated foliage and colourful blossom. They all add a fiery and peppery taste to smoothies, salads and mueslis. You can also make a fantastic pesto from Nasturtium leaves and flowers and soak the young seeds in brine or white vinegar to make capers, yum! There are so many pollinator-

friendly plants out here that are not only blossoming beautifully, but that are also edible for us humans. That’s a win win for us and the bees! The good news is that we don’t need a massive space or big budget to grow, because containers and raised beds are often affordable, as is swapping seeds with other gardening-enthusiasts. I hope you guys fall in love with these pollinator-friendly veggies as much as I did and continue to do every season anew, and that you get to sing that sweet, sweet duet in your very own veg garden! If you’d like me to plant a few more little seeds or sparks of inspiration, please visit me on my instagram account @confettigardens or on my blog


Margate Mercury


Margate The Muse Writer Jax Titmus

A selection of songs inspired by the town and the artists who wrote them

 Alex Hills


argate, with its beautiful coastlines, wonderful skies, stunning sunsets and gorgeous sandy beaches, has been the inspiration for artists, poets and musicians for centuries. We all know the infamous “Down to Margate”, written by Chas and Dave in 1982, and Bob Geldof wrote the lyrics “She’s looking at a picture taken Margate ’66 of Terry on the pier looking cool”, as part of his 1986 song “Love like a Rocket”. We spoke to some musicians whose songs have also been influenced by our town. Alex Hills, an independent singersongwriter and producer, born and raised in Margate, was inspired when

working as a bay inspector on Margate Main Sands. While at work, sounds of the environment evoked a song (“Postcards from Margate”) that he ended up writing in a day. “I had a lot of emotion walking along the beach,” he recalls. “It’s beautiful In Margate but there is also a dark undercurrent of deeper issues that I wanted to capture.” While filming a video for the song, Alex decided to turn his work into an art piece. He left coloured chalk on the Margate steps so people could draw or write as they walked along. The day of recording a huge rain cloud appeared and Alex compared this to a metaphor for life: “We come along, we make our mark, and the rain just washes it away.” Alex collaborated with local artist Samantha Wing to design the cover art for his song, and her view of the seafront captured in oil paints fits perfectly with the evocative nature of the lyrics. Sports Team are an alternative rock band consisting of lead vocalist Alex Rice, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Rob Knaggs, lead guitarist Henry Young, bassist Oli Dewdney, drummer Al Greenwood and keyboardist Ben Mack, who formed whilst studying at Cambridge University. Lead guitarist Henry describes how they used to practise in a storage cupboard due to the director of music deeming their efforts unfit for the proper rehearsal rooms. “In the cramped surroundings of those early days,” he says, “Margate – the archetypal seaside escape – was the oasis in the desert.” Having written a song about Margate and with their manager living here, the band began an annual bus trip to the seaside town, bringing friends and fans. “What started with a rickety old 30-seater with no air-con has gradually escalated to a fleet of double-decker buses travelling down from Liverpool Street Spoons to Margate,” says Henry. The future of Sports Team is bright. “We are playing the main stage at Reading and Leeds, which is a childhood dream come true for Oli [bassist],” says Henry. “We have a few other festivals around Europe and then a UK headline tour in November, comprising our biggest show to date at Brixton Academy.” London-born Connie Constance’s debut album The English Rose (produced by Jim Abbiss) was released in 2019 and contains the song “Costa Del Margate”. In her words, “The honeymoon phase that you hope lasts forever. The race to the beach to create those nostalgic British summer memories of fish and chips and £2.99 ice creams.”

With a driving bass line and melodic guitar riffs that dance around her strong and punchy vocals, this is an advert and anthem for Margate that shouldn’t be missed. Connie’s sound has been described as indie-soul, however aspects of punk can also be heard in her music. Connie is currently touring the UK, Ireland and France throughout the rest of 2021. Jimi Tormey wrote his Margate melody after a heavy night in the Tap Room Cliftonville in 2019. Jimi describes how inspiration hit: “While walking home I stopped beneath a streetlamp at the bottom of Price’s Avenue. I felt overwhelmed by what seemed like everything. I couldn’t

Open 7 days a week Coffee, Records, Breakfast & Lunch, Stirling Hair Plenty of space inside & out. Free wifi. 172 Northdown Road CT92QN @cliffsmargate

“Margate – the archetypal seaside escape – was the oasis in the desert” quite remember why I was there or where I was going. I was tied up in an existential quandary which I tried to put to paper the following day.” Writing this song provided peace for Jimi having been unable to articulate his thoughts at the time. The lyrics are particularly thought-provoking, with the line “If you do not change direction, you might end up where you’re heading” really capturing Jimi’s mood at the time of writing. Jimi grew up in Kent and returned after a sabbatical four years ago. We asked him how he feels about Margate and he told us, “I like the pace of Margate and the fact that most people have the time to commune. I also like the sea, it’s consistent and comforting and completely out of my control, which contributes to the comfort.” Jimi releases his music under the name of Yemrot and will be releasing music in the coming months on Prah Recordings. You can also listen to his show on Margate Radio. Margate has changed a lot in recent times, but for those who love its charm, there will undoubtedly be more memories made, more sunsets watched, and more songs that will be written in the future, about this wonderfully quirky seaside town. All of the above artists can be found on social media and an afternoon of listening to each would take you on a musical journey of authentic Margate magic.



Margate Mercury


Margate Mercury



Bar & Kitchen Bookings


16 The Parade Old Town Margate

Writer Adam Tinnion


Photographer Georgie Hurst


hree wandering daydreamers, grasping at the amorphous strands of the outer cosmos, with feet planted deeply in Earth’s ample soil. As Inevitable Daydream approach ten years of existence, they’ve put together a new album which is a huge departure from everything that’s come before. For a band who are still relatively young, taking the decision to experiment with a new release is a welcome departure from almost every other band’s philosophy – if it ain’t broke... After listening to their Spotify catalogue, you’d expect to find a band with big 70s-style riffs and the classic blues of a Metallica/Led Zeppelinstyle outfit. Jack (guitar and vocal) and Connor (bass and vocal) explained: “When we met and formed the band as teenagers, that was the sort of thing we were into. But over the years we’ve experimented wildly with our styles and have found something that we feel better represents us with the latest record.” Jack and Connor moved to Margate

in around 2017 – they didn’t travel far, just from the other side of Kent – but they’ve found a home alongside the Margate music scene. After performing shows for Sammy Clarke of Elsewhere for a few years, the pair decided to make the permanent move and have found the scene to be more conducive to making new music. Working with other local musicians has definitely helped on that front. Jimmy Tormey from the Margate band Gang is one such musician who played drums on the latest album.

With the band’s latest release Your Dreams Are What You’re Made Of, you can really see how they’ve spread their wings and experimented. There’s a country ballad, an instrumental, “finger-picky” folk track and a psychedelic funk song. As Jack and Connor say, “It’s all a bit silly. We wanted to experiment but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” What’s refreshing about Inevitable Daydream is they seem like a throwback. Their entire catalogue is tinged with references to the classics. Even the release of the latest record was more retro, with the band choosing to release a full album rather than individual singles. “We decided to release the full album because we wrote each track to take the listener on a journey. It’s meant to be listened to as a whole piece rather than a single at a time.” If you’re in the mood to daydream, head over to Spotify to find Your Dreams Are What You’re Made Of.

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Margate in the movies Writer Ruby Tipple

15 The Parade Old Town Margate

Ruby Tipple is 15 years old, was born in Margate and loves where she lives. Ruby plays guitar and sings, but most of all she has a passion for cinema




Steve McQueen’s Ashes is painful. It is formulated from two sets of footage McQueen collected in Grenada. The first, recorded in 2002, shows the eponymous Ashes riding on swelling sapphire waves, the wind crashing, a smile on his face. He is alive. In the background, when screened at the Turner Contemporary, you can hear the second footage, recorded in 2015 when McQueen revisited the country, to discover Ashes’ murder at the hands of drug dealers. They are making his grave. The resulting effect is memorable, poignant, excruciating, yet essential viewing.

Jellyfish is demanding, and sticks in your mind, not least because of the truths it exposes, and the provocative central heroine Sarah, played by the sensational Liv Hill. Sarah copes with the responsibility of a part-time job, caring for her mentally ill mother and younger siblings, and it is only through her drama teacher that she is provided with an escape – a stand-up comedy gig at Margate’s Theatre Royal. Jellyfish is grim, but the vivacity and the dynamic nature of the cast prevents it from teetering into becoming too depressing – you root for Sarah to escape her dismal circumstances because of Hill’s excellence.

Last Orders starts boldly: Jack the butcher is dead. In the wake of his death, his friends embark on a nostalgic journey to Margate, where he wanted his ashes to be scattered. The stellar cast of British 60s filmic legends, such as Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings and, of course, Michael Caine, is one that conjures memories of a bygone era of Britain, where British cinema triumphed and Margate was the seaside destination to end all seaside destinations. The secrets revealed, the arguments the characters share – they pale against the true message conveyed by Last Orders. Regardless of whether you have lived in Margate all your life, or are new to the town, by the end of this movie, you will feel as deeply connected to it as Michael Caine does.

those were the ones that captured my imagination most. The surreal, Dadaist almost terrifying worlds of fantasy. Turns out most of those were designed by the legendary Storm Thorgerson & his Hipgnosis design team. Storm is famed for his striking, almost movie like Pink Floyd covers (Wish You Were Here’s burning businessman, the Dark Side of the Moon Prism) also notably Paul McCartney & wings staring down upon earth from their ship in ‘Back to the Egg’, a muscular naked man staring up at two giant skewed skyscrapers for Yes’ ‘Going For the One’, but the one that jarred me the most as a kid was Led Zeppelin’s ‘Presence’. It features 10 different photographs of various domestic, semi-kitch scenes in life dominated by a central black

monolithic object. Most notably a standard, bourgeois family – mum, dad and two kids – sitting around a table in some strange marina not to eat or drink but to examine an oddly shaped black object that seems to enthral them. Seems they don’t need much else – the table is bare. As a 10 year old it took me to an alternate reality where this alien like object drew everyone’s happy focus no matter what they were doing. It terrified me, and still does! What was it? Was it Led Zeppelin? An alien? Are Led Zeppelin from another planet? Or is it a mind reading device? A central entertainment unit? A portal to infinity? Simple explanation: Storm simply forecast the dominance over the human race a small black monolithic object would have over the human race, way back in 1976!

The Margate coffee shed Live music and workshops at Rosslyn Court The 1st hour only is live streamed - find the link at (please donate)

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Gerry Colvin Duo – Unique and unforgettable John Kirkpatrick – yes! + afternoon session 3-5 Magpies – transatlantic folk trio from Leeds Alden and Patterson – harmonies, solid folk Jeni Hankins& Alfred John Hickling, bluegrass Germa Adan’s band – Celebrating difference Raven’s Wedding – glorious foot tapping stuff Ellie Gowers – echoes of the 60’s revival Jez Lowe – acclaimed Geordie songwriter limited audience, stage screen/air extraction

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12-13 the parade Writer Ed Warren Illustrator Jade Spranklen

ike most kids I’d spend hours pawing my way through my dad’s huge record collection marvelling at the various wondrous sleeve designs and letting them transport me to new worlds. Devo dressed as baked potatoes, The Who pissing on The Alamo, Antony Price’s risqué Roxy Music soft porn sleeves. I didn’t listen to any of the music of course, I wouldn’t be interested in that boring nonsense for a few years yet, but the artwork was hypnotising. Big Al loved prog so there was a lot of weird mystical stuff that I could’t get my tiny head around, and

Margate Mercury

Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October

! d e s s i m e b Not to


food for free

 Sea beet © Hannah Scott

the best books on foraging

broadstairsfoodfestival broadstairsfoodfest

Victoria Gardens and Promenade CT10 1QS


Writers Francesca Wilkins & Anna Lounguine

Thanet is a treasure trove for foraging. The Margate Bookshop highlights the best books to get you started



ore and more people talk about foraging, and it’s especially relevant here in Thanet. More than a simple trend, it’s an ancestral practise, a way towards a more sustainable way of life, a possibility to connect with the nature that surrounds us, to align with the seasons and lead a happier, healthier life. Here are some of our favourite books on the topic.

WILD ROSE Dir Tom Harper

THE PALACE CINEMA For people who love independent film Harbour Street Broadstairs CT10 1ET

OUMA ’ S 189 Northdown Road, Margate Tues - Sat : 10am to 5pm Fri - Mon : 6pm to 9pm @oumas_margate ,

ENTANGLED LIFE There are more than 2 million species of fungi and they mostly come to us as mushrooms, moulds, wood-rot, infections and antibiotics but they are absolutely everywhere. Neither plant nor animal, found throughout the earth, the air and our bodies, sometimes microscopic, but also some the largest organisms ever recorded, fungi live on surfaces, in and below the soil, in the air, in water, in deep ocean floors and inside solid rock. And actually, it’s the fact that they interact with other matter that makes the world the way it is. Mycologist Merlin Sheldrake is a wonderful guide, providing key elements to understand both the planet and life in general, alternating between stories, scientific statements, philosophical quandaries and Prince quotes. Entangled Life creates new terms to engage with the mostly invisible, underestimated form of life, to find meaning in connectedness, away from our anthropocentric society. A gamechanger of a book that won’t open the doors but give you the keys and leave the rest up to you. Vintage Books, £10.99 paperback


THE SEAWEED COLLECTOR’S HANDBOOK A beautifully-made, handy little book, The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook catalogues the weird and wonderful history, culture and use of seaweed. Colourful, buoyant, magnificent seaweed. Dutch poet and artist Miek Zwamborn looks at how seaweed was collected throughout history as opposed to today, using it in fashion, art, dance, cooking and even to combat climate change. Based in the Isle of Mull, seascapes influence her research, at the intersection between art and science. One day, she found a seaweed twice her height in length, and carried it home. This was the beginning of a new relationship with the sea and what it produces for us. Seaweeds are as hard to depict as they are to pin down, Zwamborn rises up to the occasion with lovely illustrations and a book completely ‘brimming with life’ and wonder. Translated by Michele Hutchison, Profile Books, £9.99 PAPERBACK




Number five in the River Cottage Handbook series, Edible Seashore walks you through the surprisingly large amount of things that can be found, harvested and eaten by the sea. World-class forager John Wright introduces you to the mindful art of foraging with practical advice, as well as recipes and species specific information. From crustacea and molluscs to mushrooms, plants and, of course, seaweed. This is the ultimate reference for anyone who fancies food for free and incidentally one of the best pro-earth and anticapitalist moves you could make. Bloomsbury Publishing, £16.99 hardBACK

And still from John Wright, comes another beautifully designed book, The Forager’s Calendar. Roaming the British land and seas in search of wild species to take home and eat, month by month. Wright takes you through the species that can be found and where to find them, how to identify them, and how to store, use and cook them. Foraging is something we think and talk about more than ever today — and it’s not, he defends, “a middle-class fad” but an important practise to keep up. If you’re feeling insecure about your own ability to source your breakfast, lunch and dinner from the earth, this will hold your hand through it. Profile Books, £12 paperback

A seasonal and holistic approach to health, Root to Stem puts plants, herbs and nature at the heart of how we live and eat, linking our individual health to our communities and the planet’s health. Perfect companion to the seasons, expert medical herbalist Alex Laird brings a deeper understanding of how to forage, grow, or shop for plant and herb-based foods. Alternative to nose-to-tail, rootto-stem eating encourages you to use every edible part of plant, including the leaves, skin, seeds and stalks, for the sake of your own health and well-being. Penguin Books, £9.99 hardBACK

HUMONGOUS FUNGUS Because children should know more about the ubiquitous fungi, illustrator Wenjia Tang and writer Lynne Boddy join forces for Humongous Fungus, a fun science and nature book showing mushrooms in all colours, shapes and sizes with illustrations, photos, full-out tabs and fun facts. There’s a real surge in children’s books about nature and it’s already tangible and exciting to see how much it’s shaping a different relationship to the world for a whole new generation. Dorling Kindersly, £12.99 hardBACK

Margate Mercury


Fiction: Arlington House Illustrator Jack Cant

We invite writers to submit flash and micro fiction inspired by a Margate location

it gets everywhere By Joshua Lambert

Laughing, Lili starts smacking her kingdom of sandcastles into spray with a plastic spade. She’s eight, and does not want another child to enjoy her careful afternoon work. Is this normal child behaviour? I’m just babysitting, sat in a dress like a picnic blanket with far-too-hot Converses on because I detest sand. I seem to absorb it through osmosis, crusting my heels and toes within my socks. This is deeply upsetting. Lili is making the scene, but everyone’s blaming me – pasty holiday opportunists, dad bods topped red like the Daily Mirror, the cute but irritated lifeguard. It’s our cue to leave. You can see Lili’s home from here, beyond the chippies and amusements. Arlington House, embarrassingly huge, a brutalist bullying the penny arcades for their lunch money. Lili’s window is up there, somewhere, embedded in the building’s rippling muscle. At the lift inside, Lili says, “You should take your shoes off. You’ll get sand everywhere.” “It’s fine,” I say. I have no intention of entering a lift servicing 140 flats barefoot. Lili gives an expression of grave uncertainty. “I’ll take them off at the flat, okay?” Once there, I work my shoes off and ball my socks inside. Admittedly, I do seem to have left a trail of yellow footprints behind, glittering in the overhead. Lili sighs. We rinse off with the shower nozzle and get to the usual. Frozen – a true summer flick – a pizza, and a not-too-late bedtime. Taking advantage of the space, I fall asleep watching TV. It’s still blaring

when the phone wakes me up in the morning. It’s Lili’s mum. “Hi, Kay. What’s up?” “I’m outside. Why don’t you guess what’s up.” I peek behind the curtain. Oh dear. Downstairs the windows have burst, weeping sand steadily. Beyond, none of the building is visible. Vast slopes of glittering yellow fall away, stretching to the streets, arcades, rides, and the beach – the one that’s supposed to be there. We are the sandcastle of a behemoth, troubled child. Dispossessed folk walk along the dunes, holding their hips and shaking their heads. A few work at it with spades. “Did you wear sandy shoes up to the flat?” I bite my lip. “It was Lili. Just couldn’t get her to take them off.” “Well you’ll have to slide down. It’s a joke if you think you’re getting paid.” Lili is already awake, making sandcastles with a kitchen bowl. She looks on reproachfully as I brush off the doormat. We go to the window, ready to slide down to the ground far, far below. I see someone, the lifeguard from yesterday, clambering up, feet slipping but making steady progress. “Where are they?” he asks. I point. He climbs through, grumbling, and returns with my Converses at arm’s length. Sand pours from them with every movement. “I’ll shake them out on the beach. Pick them up later, okay?” “It’s all right,” I mumble. “I’ll buy some flip flops.” Not meeting his eye, we slide down the dune.



Margate Mercury



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Do you work in the Arts, Health or Education sector? Are you a creative Entrepeneur?

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You wish they were not always outside, you wish they were not always doing things, you wish things were not always changing, you wish you weren’t always seeing things. Broad and square and filled with light, but filled with light, even on the grey days you are filled with light, it’s a surprise, they say, it’s a delight. They delight in the surprise of your light. No one wants a view with a block but a block with a view, well, that’s meant to be you. They say that it’s you, they all want a view, they all want you. But you are old, Father William, you are old. That afternoon he spread his arms wide: Speaks for itself, he said – but do you think, at your age, it is right. All this light. Do you think it is right. You feel him watching. Two years became ten became fiftyeight. You got bogged down in notes which is to say in plans in notes of plans in plans for notes and with all these plans which is to say notes which is to say intentions which is to say dashed intentions which is to say never really were intentions which is to say never were because did you ever really believe they would and did you ever really believe you could. Time makes its purchase on us all. And outside always the wavering clouds and the roiling sea,

outside always the surgings and the sinkings, and the evenings wane and the mornings wax and it comes to you that you have deteriorated. You look out. There is something humiliating about watching the sea, it is a doing and an undoing and a redoing and yet another undoing, there is always another undoing, on and on it goes, on and on and over and over, the to-and-fro, the back-and-forth, the grand avalanche of unravel. It is all you have to look at. The tides. In and out they go, up and down. Each time a tide comes in it seems to come a little more in than the last and each time a tide goes out it seems to go a little less out. The sea is inching in. The sea is stealing in. It has been for decades. From inside you look out at the beach, you look at the sand, you look at the sky. You look at the Harbour Arm, and you feel weakly that it is sinking. The winds are gathering themselves into a gale, you can see the water whipping itself white and you feel not, as you ought, boundless potential, infinite horizons, illimitable possibility, no, it’s the light you see, it’s the bright you see, water is everywhere, you are sinking. You splutter, you rise, you are resubmerged. You are standing tall. You always wanted a view but not when the view is you. You are breathing water. It’s no wonder, you think then, that you never change.

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The only thing we ... overlook is the sea

JUMP By Betsy Carn

I live in Arlington house, a concrete mountain. Scanning my apartment, I looked for the thing that was never there. I would imagine my parents sailing home, their smiles brighter than the glistening water. I fished for my schoolbooks. When my work was done, I glanced out of the window, it was pitch black. Then I saw it, the earth, so far away. It shined radiantly, I envied its freedom. I jumped so high, I could see memories. So high I could hear voices pulling me back. “We’re home” someone said, and I knew it was for good.

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Margate Mercury



dear woe-800 Our resident agony aunts Bethany West and Jude Shapiro offer their advice

Supporting independence at home for people with dementia

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Ifyouareinterestedinhearingmore please contact... Jessica Budgett, UCL (University College London) Email: Tel no: 07899 858 684

Research partners:

Funded by Alzheimer’s Society

Jude says: ABS, you are in luck. I am a hissing prevention expert. Two weeks ago, in a biblical rainstorm, I discovered and rescued four new-born kittens and a semi-feral cat. Shortly afterwards I contracted Covid so me and the five felines isolated together. My home quickly became hissing central, population: me. My advice is therefore for your partner who I greatly sympathise with, and who I think will benefit from my guide on ‘How to deal with a hisser’. First, approach with caution. Show them there’s nothing in your hands and get on their level to reduce intimidation. Soothing phrases like ‘here, kitty kitty’ work well. Repeat as you get closer. Hissing may increase with proximity but keep going. Hissers sense fear and will react. When you eventually make contact, stroke their arm/head/tail gently but with confidence. Later on, you may try introducing snacks such as small cubes of cheese but don’t rush to this stage prematurely. When the hissing finally subsides, listen to The Hissing Of The Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell to keep the calm energy flowing. Bon nuit.

‘active I’ve always been an lking, sleeper’ (walking, ta ly I have thrashing) but recent cat or a started hissing like d it’s an a snake in my sleep out. freaking my partner cidents so There have been 3 in my partner far. First, I’m told tting on top woke up and I was si a cat wanting of her clawing like kneading attention or someone ssing in her bread. I was also hi face. ke up and Second, my partner wo of the top I had climbed up on of squatting rt so s bedstead and wa ing into the like a gargoyle, hiss rtner asked me darkness. When my pa id there was what I was doing I sa a white worm. just Most recently, I was d an moving to generally thrashing e bed. When different parts of th shoulder to my partner touched my I grabbed , ask what was going on at her. her wrist and hissed l hearsay Obviously this is al leep. because I’m always as can I stop w Ho Help me Woe-800. hissing? Yours fitfully, ABS (A Bad Sleeper)

Tune in to WOE-800 on Margate Radio for a dreamy deep dive into this problem with music, advice and audio investigations – 10am, Friday 24 September

▲ Image courtesy of Rachel Green

Bethany says: I thought I could solve this one with a quick google but I’m sorry to say that even the experts at have nothing on the dreamer doing the actual hissing themselves. They do affirm that visions of a white worm connect to the dark side of your personality AKA the Shadow Side. According to the ultimate expert, Carl Jung, ‘the less embodied the shadow side is in one’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is’. FURTHERMORE the shadow side ‘may be one’s link to more primitive animal instincts, which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind’. Jude’s advice might help deal with your animalistic tendencies in the heat of the dream but when morning breaks, consider a voyage into your unconscious. Have you asked your parents whether they remember you slithering as a child? If you have amazon prime, Jung’s Dream Analysis could be at your house tomorrow. Get yourself a saucer of milk, listen to Trench Warfare by Holger Czukay and trawl those pages with a fine tooth comb until you fall into a deep deep sleep.

Find out more and unload your woes - voicenote on the WOE-800 hotline 07909 770 075, email or Instagram @woe_800


Margate Mercury

Margate Mercury



a love letter to the arts By

My Nan tap-dancing down the stone corridor in her draughty bungalow. OH NO HE DIDN’T, OH YES HE DID, OH NO HE – The absolute anarchy of Barbara Windsor lobbing sweets out to me and 300 other children at the Bromley Churchill Theatre in which felt like my first mosh pit experience.

The middle-class boy carried a postman bag for style purposes disappointingly he knew nothing of the inner workings of the Royal Mail but he did introduce me to Gorecki third Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Classical music has been my jam ever since. The Curzon cinema in Soho, me all wide-eyed from a dark popcorn-adorned throne being transported round the world though International indie film. Walloped by the band Pulp Jarvis Cocker wordsmithery and showmanship at a sticky Reading festival. I knew it was love he knew the interior design of my heart we still, 15 years later listen to Blur together in the dark. Drag Kings and Queens performance art punk bands in damp dripping caves at the Edinburgh Fringe. Art is a key for young people to escape the turmoil they are facing at school at home online in their bodies.

in the virtuoso banging of our Brads drum in the dragonfly’s hum in her wah wah nails in the birds’ mating dance in the fortnight teens grooving prance in the almost summer heavy blossom breeze in the swoon maroon footballers spoilt knobbled knees in the beautiful games bellowing chant in the winking star in your anime

dust turns to glitter under stage lights.

in the stories of change in admitting that no matter how hard we try to be ‘normal’ we are all blimming strange

The little girl who speaks so quietly, until her fifth drama club class where she finds her LOUD VOICE and it burns and bounces around the room taking space filled with joyful confidence.

Reserve your place by emailing:

Art is your best choruses in songs it’s rap that make your heart gong stories in a language spoken only by your Nan Art helps us untangle the mess of the world and how we feel.

If you’ve been mentally struggling

Open Morning on Friday 17th September 2021

ART IN ALL BREASTS on toilet walls on bake off (especially in Noel Fielding’s shirts). In comedy at its best in missing you so badly after your death

in you in the air on skates in the pasta shapes she makes

Outsiders, freaks, misfits making beautiful things happen for the world to enjoy

for 2 to 13 year olds

Art is in grime Art in nursery rhymes in children’s books art in the train tannoy lady’s call Art in my dad’s Greek accented drawl in the whistle while you work-man’s whistle in the jaw so chiselled stubbled bristle

For a few hours, few minutes, few moments

The supportive nature of show people.

An outstanding school in Broadstairs

art should be prescribed as an often-successful placebo pill.

Art in the way they dress Art in their face Tradition Colour Culture Art in every race in all living things Art in a Netflix binge ART IS VIABLE I’ve seen it with the balls of my own eyes it lives within all our favourite things wearing a clever disguise I kid you not ART SAVES LIVES Support artists, we need them more than we know. Look after your brain look after your heart look after our public art A love letter to the arts.

PW #13

cryptic 1




















17 4 18




5 22 6

7 23





26 10




28 13









1 Shout out cry of pain under the sea in 10 film (6,9)

1 10 number 2 days’ previously’s tomorrow (9)

9 Bring back pictures to raise a smile briefly on Indonesian island (7)

2 Bemoans having trouble walking,

10 Widely known Scousers might stab eel... (7) 11 ...Eric’s partner, or an eagle (3)




5 Car with no gearstick (9)


Amount 1 broadly Smile (4)


Down 1 Amount (8) 2 Swiss cheese dip (6)

9 Extinct reptile (8)

dly (4)

3 2 Swiss cheese dip (6)

10 Purify or improve (6)

They’ve been canonised (6)

4 Diagonal to the weave (4)

3 They've 6 Shares Chile’s longest 11 Sulky-looking (6) been ile (8) border (9) canonised 13 Remained behind (6) (6) 7 A female ruler once (5,4) plane landsto (6) the weave 4 aDiagonal prove (6) 15 Where 12 E.g. Tagalog or Farsi (8) 16 Unbelievers (4) (8) ng (6) 14 Soak with water (6) 18 Bone of the forearm (4) 6 Shares Chile's longest 15 Outcome of match (6) while others behind (6)19 They work border (9)

ane lands

s (8) forearm

while e (9)

strike (9)

17 Eric may be lazy (4)

7 A female ruler once (5,4) 12 E.g. Tagalog or Farsi (8) 14 Soak with water (6)

15 Outcome of match (6)

Find the answers on our website 17

12 Those carrying the coffin, stuttering, almost r-release Al with hollow bump (11) 13 “It’s terrible!” After shocking routs, is sad (10) 15 Response sent very politely at the start, as requested (4) 18 Thread of a story (4) 20 Treats fish roughly in initial rounds of sporting competition (5,5) 23 10 hit the direction of travel for this puzzle (4,2,2,3) 25 Spot the letter E in Morse code (3) 26 Pyrenean resort and/or rat-hole in part (7) 27 “Avoiding unnecessary spending” could be Green mantra in New York (7) 28 ,21. Poem about a performance artist and a toilet – or 10 waxing autobiographical (3,6,2,4,3,4)

ending in plangent groans (7)

3 Possessed by cephalopod, introducing 10 garden (8) 4 Play for time in cubicle (5) 5 Your bright ones, from Jackson Browne – or grim ones, postpartum (4,5) 6 Ark park (6) 7 Having lost a stone briefly, lack of mobility may become a health issue (7) 8 Reduces sicknesses after Di’s gone (5) 14 A path where trains once ran, track duplicated to a T (4,5) 16 Exchange rate checked by Mexican in Tokyo, staggering south with no peyote (4,2,3) 17 Don’t take it seriously: keep quiet, bareheaded (5,3) 19 Slap on the scalp, make badger disappear – yet “do or...” needs different spelling (4,3) 21 See 28 22 Rome in a muddle thanks to Sicilian code of silence (6) 23 Lots to take in, when one is in the middle of event like Glastonbury, briefly (5) 24 Give up the output (5)



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THE CENTRE, Margate. The colourful

shopping precinct situated in the heart of Margate. Home to a range of independent traders, cafés and national high street shops. Find a creative community of small businesses, good food and renowned music venue, featuring artwork, studios and our very own indoor market.

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PIE FACTORY is a unique art space located in an historic building in Margate Old Town. With a weekly schedule of diverse exhibitions, the gallery offers something special for both visitors and artists. Now taking bookings for 2023. IG: @piefactorymargate FB: Pie Factory Margate W:

An open and friendly yoga studio, welcoming beginners to more experienced. Join our yoga community for classes workshops and teacher trainings. In studio and live stream.

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Fifty-three-year-old family run patisserie, bakery and retro coffee shop. Freshly baked bread, croissants and Danish, tortes, fresh cream cakes and savouries daily. Celebration cakes made to order. T: 01843 221227 FB: @BatchelorsPatisserie IG: @batchelorspatisseri (no 'e' on the end)

T: Call Kyla 07516 282608


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2021 •



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s in Broadst




on Harbou

r Street

love local love local

Crosswords set by Edgar


Margate Mercury

love local love local

Margate Mercury


love local love local