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MARGATE spring 2017



Modern-day Seaside Stories


the dame changers

food & Drink

spring into action

art & culture

Meet the inspiring women making Margate a better place to live

Our pick of the best worldwide foods from Northdown Road

10 Margate clubs, societies and activities to join this spring

Painters Darren Lewis and Jill Pantony invite us into their studios

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Margate Mercury


The Hotlist – the freshest and funnest events this spring


Spring News – the best openings and happenings this season Eggy Dave Encounters – one man’s musings on some brilliant and bonkers women of Margate


The Dame Changers – meet the inspiring women leading change and making a difference in Margate


POW!erful Women of Thanet – the history of POW! Thanet, a festival to celebrate International Women’s Day


The Seaside Stand-Ups – we chat to comedians and new Margate residents Charlie, Libby, André and Karl


Spring Stays – super-stylish new places to stay in Margate this spring


Taste the World Along Northdown Road – step behind the storefronts to discover the world on a plate


Recipe – shop owner Nausheena Khan shows Annie Nichols how to cook her family’s favourite dish, Yogurt Curry


The Seafaring Samaritan – the fascinating story of Michael Yoakley, the founder of Margate’s Yoakley care home Meg Meets –Dr Karen Shepherson, Director of the South East Archive of Seaside Photography

23 24 26

Spring Into Action – 10 clubs, activities and societies to join this spring Painting Margate – landscape painters Darren Lewis and Jill Pantony invite us into their studios


Free cut-out art poster by Charlie Evaristo-Boyce


Blooming in Spring’s Sunrise – Sam from Samzine meets the people behind Margate’s best nature spots


Give Something Back to Margate Classifieds Corner ‘Meditations on Spring’ by Charlie Cameron


From the Editor Clare Freeman

Photography Grey Hutton

In Margate I am continually impressed and inspired by the strong and enterprising women I meet. From hard-working mothers to women running charities and starting businesses, this town is full of brilliant women. In ode to this, International Women’s Day, and POW! Thanet, in this issue we meet a group of inspiring women who - through their hard work at charities, projects or organisations make Margate a better, happier place to live (see page 6). January was a challenging time for the magazine, but it has lead to productive conversations about how the wonderfully diverse community of Margate old and ‘new’ should and could be represented in this magazine. It has also definitely made me realise how much support there is for the magazine. I want to say a big thank you to all who reached out and for your kind words - it means a lot. As we head into spring I’m keen to move ahead with a positive attitude. I created the Margate Mercury to be an informative, inspiring, inclusive publication, capturing an exciting period of change in this modernday British seaside town. I know Margate isn’t perfect, but I do believe that in this




C O N TAC T @margatemercury

Issue Four, Spring 2017 (March to May) Founder & Editor : Clare Freeman Design : Lizzy Tweedale Sub-editor : Ros Anderson Intern : Stefanie Maurer Front cover : Darren Lewis by Gabrielle Hall Print : Mortons Print Advertising and distribution enquiries :

increasingly volatile and angry world we all need - more than ever - stories and publications which inspire us, show us the good and help us to understand each other. I’m lucky that I’ve always been taught that anything is possible - by my wonderfully supportive parents, by the books I’ve read - so I hope that if anything this magazine shows people - and especially young women and girls - that it’s possible to turn any idea into a reality and inspire them to start their own ventures. Granted, it’s not always easy, but in my experience it’s always a journey worth taking. If you have any feedback or constructive criticism about the magazine - or have a story or idea to contribute - please email me anytime on I hope you enjoy reading this issue and wish you a wonderful Easter and spring. Clare x



CONTRIBUTORS Writers Anna Hart Anna Willatt Annie Nichols Dave McKenna Francesca Wright Meg Molloy Twinkle Troughton Rachel Bell Sam Simmons Seb Reilly

Photographers Gabrielle Hall Jo Bridges Stefanie Maurer Illustrators Charlie Cameron Jade Spranklen

Published by Margate Mercury © All rights reserved Copyright 2017 Margate Mercury

The Hotlist MAR Son of a Tutu A performance from Son of a Tutu, one of the most popular drag acts from the London circuit 4 March 11 pm Sundowners 4 Albert Terrace

POW! Thanet Festival A four-day festival celebrating and exploring issues around feminism, women and girls 8 - 11 March Multiple locations

POW! Thanet Closing Party A party with DJs and performances 11 March 7 pm - 2 am Margate Arts Club

Milk+ with Pye Corner Audio Live A night from Margatebased Transmission Records with a live set from Pye Corner Audio 18 March 7 pm - 2 am Margate Arts Club

Tasting Thursdays: Spring Beers An opportunity to sample the world-class beers of spring 22 March 8 pm The Bottle Shop BottleShopMargate

An Evening with an Immigrant

Home Brewing Workshop

Easter Afternoon Tea

Oasis Charity Golf Day

Inua Ellams, an award-winning poet and playwright from Nigeria, tells his fantastic, poignant immigrant story

A session focused on ‘alternative’ coffee brewing methods with practical demonstrations and tastings

A traditional afternoon tea in a 1920’s ballroom with scones, cakes and finger sandwiches

23 March 7.30 pm Theatre Royal

26 March & 30 April 11 am - 1 pm Curve Roasters

A golf event to raise money for Oasis Domestic Abuse Service with food, 18 holes on the course, a charity auction and winners’ prizes

Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival

Veganvilla Supper Club

Ramsgate’s first international TV and film festival 24 - 26 March Ramsgate Multiple locations

Flash Drag Presents: Let Them Eat Cake A vintage drag extravaganza with cake, a buffet, bingo and drag shows. Tickets £10 in advance 25 March 7 pm Batchelors Patisserie BatchelorsPatisserie

Syd Arthur and Friends A night of live music in the Roller Room with psychedelic rock fourpiece band Syd Arthur 25 March 7 pm Dreamland

A 12-course vegan feast using ingredients from Northdown Road in Margate 30 & 31 March 7.30 pm - 11 pm Cliffs veganvilla-tickets.

APR Big Fish Little Fish X Camp Bestival Family Rave A multisensory fun dancefloor experience for all the family with glowsticks, bubbles, huge balloons and dance music, including techno, hip-hop, garage, drum ‘n’ bass and more 8 April 2 pm - 4 pm Dreamland

My Beautiful Black Dog

A three-course lunch and afternoon tea with optional champagne

A piece of electrifying gig-theatre for people interested in music, comedy, poetry, theatre, and the difficult and beauteous complexity of our mental health

26 March Midday - 5 pm Sands Hotel Margate

13 April 7.30 pm Tom Thumb Theatre

Mother’s Day Lunch and Tea

15 & 16 April Midday to 5 pm Dreamland

Margate Pride Fundraiser A Cockles and Muscles party to raise money for Margate Pride 22 April Lido Cliff Bar

Coffee Sensory Workshop A workshop focused on the different coffee origins, varietals and processing methods, and the flavours that are linked to them 23 April 11 am - 1.30 pm Curve Roasters

Hysteria The Olivier awardwinning comedy which explores the fallout when two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant and original minds collide 25 & 26 April 7.30 pm Theatre Royal

The Matter of Material A symposium bringing together academic researchers, makers and curators to discuss the role of textiles in contemporary art practice 27 April 11 am - 5 pm Turner Contemporary

28 April 12.30 pm North Foreland Golf Club, Broadstairs

Hipsville Seaside-aGo! Go! A unique weekend of British seaside fun with the best international bands, caged Go Go girls, and a car and bike show 28 - 30 April Dreamland

PRAH Recordings (DJs/Live) A night from PRAH Recordings with DJs 28 April 7 pm - 2 am Margate Arts Club

MAY Jack Rooke: Good Grief A critically-acclaimed debut production blending comedy, storytelling and a film to explore how we treat the bereaved and the state of welfare for grieving families 3 & 4 May 7.30 pm Tom Thumb Theatre

Jazz Thursday with Eloquin Acoustic Jazz Trio A three-course dinner with live jazz music 4 May 7 pm - 9 pm Sands Hotel Margate

Margate Arts Club First Birthday A BBQ and special guest DJs including Joe Goddard (Hot Chip) 13 May 7 pm - 2 am Margate Arts Club

Sandra A performance from drag queen Sandra with a mix of hit songs, sharp wit and audience participation 27 May 11 pm Sundowners 4 Albert Terrace

Margate Wonderland An exciting new music festival with a line-up of some of the best new bands 28 May 4.30 pm - 2 am Dreamland

Ventoux The story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani who overcame the most fearsome mountain encountered on the Tour de France, Ventoux 28 May 7.30 pm Theatre Royal

For up-to-date information on events this season please visit our online calendar at:

Margate Mercury


Clare Freeman


here’s plenty to feel spring-like about in Margate this season with new activities, comedy nights, food options and openings in town. From 8 to 11 March POW! Thanet festival will offer a variety of interesting workshops, talks and activities in Margate and Thanet, all aimed at inspiring women and girls (see page 11 to learn about their story, or Also in March, Northdown Brewery will open its doors at 17 Cliff Terrace with a ground-floor tap room serving home-brewed and local ales and a basement with a working brewery. You can also enjoy a drink at the wine bar Urchin Wines - opening in mid-March in a permanent location at 235 Northdown Road

a dose of margate life from a local with an egg-shaped head Writer

Dave McKenna


Jade Spranklen

This issue is all about women. The lovely, wonderful women of Margate. I’ve met plenty of women here in my hometown, some remarkable, some sublime, some detestable, some drunk, some sober, some generous and some absolutely …. Well let me enlighten you about some of my most memorable encounters. I could talk about the street encounters that everyone experiences, the lady with the



( - or at Transmission Records’ new cocktail bar on their extended mezzanine level, open two to three nights a week ( For the musically-minded, you can now learn to play the banjo with new Margate resident Dick Smith (, and there’s a new festival at Dreamland in May - Margate Wonderland - with exciting bands including The Kills ( Margate will also have its own independent community radio station from May onwards - Radio Margate - with a mix of music and talk shows (email if you’d like to get involved). If you have children, Adventures at The Garden Gate is a new bi-weekly outdoor event starting in March with folk art and craft, immersive theatre and wholefood adventures (firsthandexperiences., or if you’re a budding artist yourself why not try out Chiara Williams’ new free Dry Run invite-only peerto-peer critique sessions in her private home, where artists, curators and art professionals can test out new work and ideas and receive feedback ( With several stand-up comedians now living in Margate, keep an eye out for new comedy nights, including a live comedy night on the last Friday of each month at Cliffs (cliffsmargate. com). For foodies, My Little Green Box inside Dreamland will be launching a new menu

in the spring with dairy-free smoothies and other healthy homemade treats (facebook. com/mylittlegreenbox), or head to Fort’s Café for their new evening menu ( There’s also more culinary excitement at Cliffs, where Margate Supper will be hosting a new weekly supper club for 10 to 12 people with a six-course tasting menu (facebook. com/margatesupper). Or head over to Royal Crescent Promenade, a new food and drink destination next to Margate Main Sands, where the Bus Café will be relocating in March (email if you’d like to get involved). Finally, to spruce up your look for the spring head to the new Ruskin Clothing shop, a family-run clothes shop from Whitstable opening in March in the ground floor of Margate House (ruskinclothing., or to J Cosmo, a new shop on Hawley Street with classic, vintage and reproduction menswear (

dolls who speaks in an unknown dialect or the forever-raving pink-wigged lady who blasts out rock-based bangers from her portable speakers while rocking about town (both key figures in Margate mythology). I will instead share some much more personal and penetrable (door-penetrable in some cases) encounters. When we first moved to Margate our family invested in a B&B. On our first night manning the then-Luxor Hotel, we opened the door to a little elderly woman seeking shelter. We let her in and showed her to her room. Later that night she started running up and down the stairs, suspiciously spritely for a woman of her age. My dad confronted her asking the painfully and comically obvious question “Something wrong?”. It was then that the woman showed her true colours. She grabbed a tennis racket and attempted to give my dad’s face a sturdy forehand. My dad fled, retreating downstairs where - like Jack Nicholson in The Shining - she tried to enter. The police were called and she was thankfully escorted off the premises, probably straight to the grass courts of SW19 to give the Williams sisters a decent game. Since then we have welcomed many more interesting women to the B&B. From Sheila, the gold-wearing Cockney who arrives every year without fail and boasts one of Margate’s finest tans, to Diana, a Canadian who loves

polar bears and insists on a kipper-based breakfast, similar to her beloved beasts. One of my favourite female guests of all time though is Sue. She arrived one afternoon last summer, and before she’d had a chance to roll her suitcase through the front door she was moaning. “And they call this summer,” she sighed. I wasn’t too sure what her scepticism was aimed at - the weather (unlikely, as it was relatively warm) or the very word ‘summer’? We’ve always called it summer, it seems like an acceptable name for it. Sum-mer, the word is almost onomatopoeic. Sue spent the next week endlessly finding fault in Margate. Name an element of the town and Sue hated it; from the regeneration of Dreamland to the beach itself. She hated our gulls, she even hated our men. “They all look diseased. In fact these may be the ugliest men I’ve ever encountered.” As you can imagine, it grew tiresome serving fried breakfasts to a woman convinced she was visiting the most appalling place in Britain. She departed merrily in August saying her search for a new home would go on. I bumped into her not so long ago though, and it turns out she now lives... here, proving that Margate will win you over eventually, no matter your first impression.

Adventures at The Garden Gate

“Margate will win you over eventually, no matter your first impression”


Margate Mercury



e m a d s r e g n a h c Writer

Rachel Bell

Photographer Jo Bridges

There are many inspiring women committed to the community in Margate and Cliftonville. Rachel Bell meets just a few of the women leading change and making a difference


“When I came to visit Margate with my daughter, she said, ‘Mum, I’m tired of London, can we move here?’ In spring 2015 we moved on a whim. I fell in love with hip-hop as a kid – the old school hip-hop of peace, love and unity is about creating for ourselves. Having set up Femme Fierce, the world’s largest all-female graffiti street art festival, I saw the derelict buildings and boarded up walls in Margate and thought it would be great to turn Margate into a world street art destination. The Street Art Margate project I set up aims to get local and international artists painting murals sideby-side, and be community inclusive – getting

“I saw the derelict buildings and boarded up walls and thought it would be great to turn Margate into a world street art destination” local kids involved through workshops that also educate on the history of hip-hop, graffiti codes of conduct and the law. Both Femme Fierce and Street Art Margate come under my umbrella company Be That, with a vision to make more of engaging local youth through urban art. Where are kids supposed to go? They need safe spaces and free activities on their doorstep. Be That will be a community engagement specialist, delivering workshops in schools across

Margate and Thanet. It’s about promoting local engagement, diversity, equality and integration. We hope to do street art, street dance, with the help of B.Supreme, the festival for women in hip-hop, and work with Thanet Parkour Academy – anything that gets kids off the streets and engaged – especially the girls, who are too often sidelined in hip-hop. In 2018 Femme Fierce is coming back bigger and better and I’m planning to raise money for CALM again, the charity working to prevent male suicide. In the past Femme Fierce raised money for Breast Cancer Care and Plan International UK, which promotes the rights of girls. My family is Somalian and my mum was a victim of FGM. She is a huge inspiration and stopped my grandmother putting me through the same suffering. She cut that legacy and my daughter is in the first generation of girls who are 100% not at risk.”

Margate Mercury


“I started at Cliftonville Community Centre as a volunteer. I lived locally and I would talk with the groups of people I would see on the street while pushing my then-baby son, now 13, in his pram. Thus people knew me and would come into the centre as a basis of trust had already been established. Trust and confidentiality are vitally important in our work. As a manager I restructured the centre and pursued and received funding. I had a vision of what I wanted the centre to be – familyfriendly and a place where people can come in and feel empowered, feel they will be listened to, have a voice and pursue a better quality of life. We help with job applications, training, form-filling, school places, issues with landlords, registering with a doctor or dentist. We run numerous activities in the centre such as Taekwondo, ping-pong, cooking and baking, and family sessions for people to chat and play in a safe environment. We strive to make people feel that they have a right to be listened to, that they have purpose. A large section of our service users are from the Roma community who are now well established in this area. I recruited translators to help in our work. For many, being able to talk with someone who understands and speaks their own language puts them at ease. We are a Christian organisation but we are here to help everyone in the community, irrespective of nationality, race or creed.



“Me and my husband, Phil, moved to Cliftonville 10 years ago with our two baby boys. Having grown up in east London, we wanted to give our children an opportunity to hold onto their naivety longer than we did! Shortly after I saw a job for a Refuge Manager in the local paper. I have always preferred working in the community in which I live – it was perfect synchronicity. Oasis was set up in 1994 as a refuge for women and children experiencing abuse at home. The charity has expanded significantly now to provide a host of community-based services as well as the original refuge. In Thanet there is a high incidence of domestic violence and abuse. Our aim is for children and families to have opportunities to build stronger, safer families and relationships. Both culturally and systemically we have a lot of work to do. We counsel, house, build safety plans, train others, provide school-based drama

workshops and mentoring. In the coming year we plan to build a family court provision for women who are representing themselves in the face of reduced access to legal aid, involvement with community activities, such as, POW! Thanet, as well as building a community of women helping women. Funding is an ongoing challenge but I remain committed to Oasis because it is brimming with inspiring women, from those who contend with abuse to staff members who deal every day with heart-breaking stories, frustrating social systems and children in desperate need of services for their wellbeing. Every day I am inspired by their motivation, dedication and courage.”


We are very much driven by local needs and concerns, from drug use and antisocial behaviour to fly-tipping and local environmental issues. Alas, there are children in the area vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation and underage sex. In the future we would like to expand our service on these issues, for example giving talks in schools about sexual health, the right to say ‘no’, as well as issues like budgeting and other life skills. I’ve never been one to give up. When I was growing up in Wales a girl moved in next door and, as children do, I wanted to play with her. She was a little girl with disabilities and I think the pleasure I had from us playing together made me passionate about seeing the worth in other people.”

r offer, o rvice to nation e s a e av do If you h ke to make a mail li e e ld s u a o k le w tre, p n e c m t e o h h @ to t s p philli elainec


Margate Mercury


Lorna Kane

“Since January 2016, 105 unemployed people have gained a qualification here”


“I joined Windmill Community Gardens in 2004 when it was being set up by Jules Ellis, Enid Hall and one volunteer from Margate. They were responding to local parents’ requests for a safe, natural outdoor space for play and growing vegetables. I’d previously worked in community gardens from Thamesmead to Bolton. Our team of staff and 16 volunteers respond to the needs of the community to design our services, improve on what we offer and stay relevant. The toddler group, organic market garden – our veg box scheme sells to local groups and restaurants, too – training courses, work experience, forest garden – they all came about because we researched local needs. We engage with some of the most socially isolated individuals locally and sustain those relationships, including people with mental health needs, older people and people seeking employment. Since January 2016, 105 unemployed people have gained a qualification here. Our toddler group means children and their carers, many new ones, have found skills and confidence in food growing and seasonal cooking. I must say the participants make the garden what it is as much as the team and volunteers. Seeing the individual achievements people make for themselves and their loved ones, and overcoming social isolation by visiting this beautiful space is a wonderful thing. The garden itself, its seasonal splendours and the wildlife that graces it are a massive inspiration to keep going, as is seeing the enjoyment people get from learning here. Whether it’s carefully tending delicate seedlings or turning the compost heap with great gusto, everyone finds their own way to relish the garden.”


“I was born and bred in Thanet and raised in a hard working fishing family. I’m a mum of three, ‘Nanny Cake’ to one grandson, and I manage two large projects. My partner and family are very understanding when work takes over my life! The Intergenerational Project’s aim is to break down the barriers between the generations and build trust and friendship. It brings together people aged 7 to 19 years (up to 25 if they have additional needs) with people aged 50 plus, including those living with the early stages of dementia. In October 2016 we took a large group on a Memory Walk at Leeds Castle, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. Our youngest walker was seven, our eldest was Ivy, 96. Ivy was determined to walk the balloonlined route in memory of her late husband and when she began to really tire, walkers of all ages came to clap and chant her name to the finish line. The atmosphere was electric! It was a perfect show of understanding each other’s needs and team work at its best. The project recently won two wonderful awards – Best Intergenerational Project in

Kent from the Dementia Action Alliance and we got second place in the Heart of the Community awards a few weeks ago. I love grass-roots work, real people, real influence. And it’s the people that inspire me. Seeing the wonderful volunteers for the Active Citizenship Project give up their own valuable time to reach those aged 50 plus that are lonely and isolated is very humbling. I feel that every person, regardless of age, needs a purpose. I love bringing things to life for people, supporting them to be part of the community around them, inspiring them to find ‘what makes them tick’.”

Margate Mercury



“I moved here from London in 2011 and joined ABC because I wanted to support a resident-led group and contribute positively to where I lived. ABC’s vision is for a happy, healthy, safe and more harmonious area through listening to residents and supporting their needs and aspirations. We are concerned with every issue that affects our environment, from beach and clifftop litter picks to helping individuals access the right support and welfare. We worked with Thanet District Council (TDC) to get a recycling service in areas of Cliftonville that did not have it. Our ‘Pick up after your dog’ campaign has reduced dog fouling. We work with landlords, TDC and Margate Task Force on clamping down on dumped and fly-tipped waste, as well as tackling the issue of litter in general – a huge contributor to people’s morale. We try to save important sites, such as the Walpole Bay Lift. ABC and the Cliftonville Waste Forum is an amazing collective effort, everyone chips in with flyering, social media etc and some amazing women, and men, sit on the committee, from Kay Byatt, who is Project Co-ordinator for Active Citizenship Projects at Age UK Thanet, to Betty Ward at GRASS (Gordon Road Area Street Scheme) who set up the annual Cliftonville Games, to all the resident members and volunteers who do beach cleans and litter picks. We have great connections and experience to tap into.

ABC works so well because of its direct links and relationships with local service providers and agency members, some of whom form part of our committee. This means that we can directly feed into and from the front line service providers including TDC, housing, welfare services, waste, NHS and the fire services, being just a few.

“ABC’s vision is for a happy, healthy, safe and more harmonious area through listening to residents and supporting their needs and aspirations” From campaigning and shouting about things that the community feel are wrong locally to just listening to one person, it’s all equally important. I live here, I care about the people and how our environment can make people feel both good, and bad. Just a simple ‘hello’ to a stranger or neighbour can open up a dialogue that can lead to so many positive things. Being connected to your community and seeing improvement, big or small, to the lives of residents, is the reward.” A Better Cliftonville is seeking new members. If you would like to become one please email

The Chamomile Clinic Discover a Naturally Healthier and Happier You!

Spring 2017 Workshops & Classes Hypnobirthing, Baby Shiatsu, Nutrition & Herbs for Health, Pilates, Meditation.


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Herbal Medicine, Aromatherapy, Massage, Hypnotherapy, Pilates, Body Balancing, Pregnancy Massage, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Nutritional Therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki, Shamanic Healing.

60 Harold Road, Margate, CT9 2HS • 01843 299439 •


Margate Mercury



POW!erfoufl Women Thanet


Seb Reilly


Courtesy of POW! Thanet

Every year for over a century, 8 March has heralded International Women’s Day; an opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate progress. What began as strikes, marches and demonstrations has grown into a multicultural, worldwide day of unity and forward-thinking, with events marking the occasion and calling for action held all over the globe

POW! Thanet runs from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 March 2017. Further information is available at

Members of the POW! Thanet team


n Thanet, the first major marking of this day was last year, after a group of artists, curators, performers, writers and directors got together and worked hard to form POW! Thanet, an isle-wide festival over six days to celebrate and explore issues around feminism, women and girls. POW! Thanet bought excitement, positivity, and a tangible sense of passion and empowerment to the area. The event was put on by a large team led by Kent-based Arts Manager Christina ClarkMcQuaid, who had the initial idea in 2014. The all-female collective that formed brought their own talents and skillsets to the table. Together they secured Arts Council funding and built a large and hugely successful festival in a matter of months. The festival gained enormous local interest, press coverage, and support from across the community for the 38 events that took place in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Since its creation, POW! Thanet has worked to promote feminism, and explore issues relating to women and girls, both through events and gatherings, but also online via an accomplished and wellmanaged social media presence. There is a community spirit to the festival and its endeavours, and it welcomes all. This is a group about empowerment, equality and celebration, and there is much to be learnt from their approach to their projects, and to life. This year, POW! Thanet promises to be even better than the last, with the festival running over four days and 50 events, including performance, interaction, debate, art and culture throughout Thanet. Dreamland and Turner Contemporary are both backing the festival and providing venue space, as are a large selection of individuals and local groups who are keen to participate and support this worthy and exciting event.

“POW! Thanet 2017 will put the work of women on the map both locally and regionally. Not only is Turner Contemporary’s ‘Entangled’ – featuring the work of over 40 international female artists – taking place during POW!, but venues across Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs will be bursting with exhibitions, talks and performances; from jazz to hip-hop, from pop-up events to productions from established companies. POW! Thanet is here to stay as an important component of Thanet’s festival calendar” -

Jan Ryan, Founding Director of UK Arts International

“I believe wholeheartedly in the power of the arts to celebrate and empower the community, especially those who face challenging circumstances, and see POW! as a great vehicle to enable this. My role within POW! is to facilitate the young people’s programme, so keep an eye out for some incredible events this year for young people across the festival” -

Steph Dickinson Managing Director of Pie Factory Music





Margate Food Served Daily till 7pm

Enjoy Spectacular Views from our Restaurant 1 Albert Terrace, Margate. CT9 1UJ 01843 229420


Fresh Coffee Available

Margate Mercury




Charlie first moved to Whitstable last September “testing the sea waters”, in his words. A wedding in Margate gave him a taster of something exciting in the air, “beyond the fish and chips.” The pull of being able to see into the distance, Turner’s famous sunsets and a new arrival on the way sealed the deal and Charlie moved to Margate early this year. You’ll find him not only hosting events and festivals but throwing himself into performing locally as well as around the country with a beatboxing and storytelling show using loop pedals, coming to Cliffs and hopefully the Margate Arts Club soon. Charlie is also in cahoots with Libby Northedge, also featured here, working on an improvised show for which they are seeking a permanent home.

D N A ST S P U Writer

Anna Willatt



Stefanie Maurer

What do you get when a clutch of comedians converge on a seaside town? The answer is... we’re about to find out. We meet four new locals - and stand-up comedians - to find out what’s so funny about Margate?


ANDRÉ VINCENT André has been visiting Margate since childhood; for a south east London kid this was the seaside escape that dreams were made of. Three years ago after a trip to the Turner Contemporary he and his partner fell in love with a place behind the Tudor House and this year they moved here full time. André believes that comedy today is all about celebrity and playing it safe and he’s keen to bring something new to the scene. His love of the history of comedy, chronicled on his website, has lead him to rediscover Margate’s illustrious links to it. He’s now working on a project with Andy Hollingworth, a renowned comedy photographer, to bring comedic icons back to their place of origin, including bringing Eric Morecambe’s Rolls Royce to outside The Bull’s Head in Margate - the venue where Morecambe held his wedding reception on 11 December 1952.

Karl moved to Margate from London following a challenging 1,000 mile walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats which gave him a craving for new adventures. He also felt London was like “living in a fart. By which I mean the air, not just the leftie bubble, which also came to feel stale.” A character comedian, Karl’s dream is to introduce everyone in comedy to the Margate community with a Field of Dreams’ ‘build it and they will come’ business plan. He’s already started a comedy night at Cliffs and booked in nights at the Tom Thumb Theatre (3 and 25 March). Outside of these regular soirees, Karl is also preparing for the Edinburgh preview season. Look out for Karl and his surreal alter-ego, Matthew Kelly, who will be adding to Margate’s comedy scene over the coming months.

LIBBY NORTHEDGE Libby moved to Margate on New Years’ Eve, wanting to wake up for 2017 in a new place with more opportunities and an expanded horizon. Often out touring the world (currently the US) with her group show, Graham of Thrones, she is excited about getting stuck into the comedy scene here and putting on nights with Charlie Partridge, featured above. In between baking banana bread and attempting DIY using YouTube videos, Libby has plans for a comedic pub quiz, teaching classes and putting on local shows. While she is out and about she’s keen to get to know her Margate neighbours - those who are ‘fresh’ and the families who have been living here for decades; watch this space for a street party and bake-off soon!

top margate comedy venues Cliffs - Duke Street Basement Bar - Tom Thumb Theatre Theatre Royal - Margate Winter Gardens - Roost



Margate Mercury


spring stays

Visiting Margate for a weekend break? Or want to treat yourself to a Thanet ‘staycation’? Margate welcomes three new stylish and luxurious places to stay this season sea view s

Clare Freeman

MÔR AIRBNB ► This stylish abode - from the owners of the popular gift shop Môr - is located above their shop on Fort Hill opposite the Turner Contemporary. Spread out over three floors the apartment comprises of two spacious bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom, as well as an open-plan kitchen and living area on the top floor with exposed wooden beams and stunning views of the sea and across the Old Town to Dreamland. Owners Clare and Michael have tastefully decorated the interior with items from the shop, so expect to see beautiful hand-picked vintage and limited-edition pieces throughout. From £120 per night llro p to s h bat

◄ CLIF TONVILLE TOWNHOUSE This boutique B&B is located in a quiet square in the heart of Cliftonville, just a short walk to the sea and the lively Northdown Road. The guest house is owned by Simon Bell and Stephen Darrer who have - with their strong background in hospitality and design - furnished the interior beautifully with luxury furnishings, local artwork and stunning mid-century modern furniture. Inside, high ceilings and large bay windows create light, welcoming spaces. Each of the ensuite bedrooms - spread out over three floors - has its own contemporary design, with four-poster beds and luxury bathrooms with roll-top baths. Guests are treated to not only the amenities of a hotel, including luxury toiletries, in-room Nespresso coffee machines and plush bathrobes, but to the owners’ warm and friendly hospitality and their helpful tips to direct you to the best places in town. From £85 per night

1 2 A RT H U R ROA D ► This striking building on Arthur Road in Cliftonville - a former townhouse and 1950s hotel - will open as a luxury guest house for group stays and visits this spring/summer. The property is owned by brothers Mark and Chris who - with architect Sam Causer and funding support from the Townscape Heritage Initiative - are transforming the interior while honouring the character and heritage of the building. Hence, the original stained-glass windows, ornate fireplaces and decorative plaster ceilings have been kept, alongside modern, high-end fittings and furnishings. The guest house will accommodate groups of up to 10 with three reception rooms, five huge ensuite bedrooms, as well as a kitchen and walled garden. fo gro r u sta p ys

Green Rooms is the UK’s first arts hotel, a social enterprise that offers affordable accommodation aimed at people working in the arts.

Special offer for Margate Mercury readers. Book online and insert voucher code MM17 before checkout


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Margate Mercury


Taste The World Along Northdown Road THANET EXPRESS


No. 77-79

No. 109-111




TEMPLAR SAUSAGE FROM SLOVAKIA, £4.99 Owner Mohanram is Sri Lankan, but many of the items on his shelves are geared towards his Eastern European customers. This means a standout section of baking supplies - think fresh yeasts, vanilla sugar, organic cocoa powder and patisserie jelly fillings - along with Romanian cheeses and a dazzling variety of Polish and Czech chocolate and snack bars under the counter. But it’s the cured meats that Mohanram considers his favourite edible discovery since he started running Thanet Express. “I still eat traditional Sri Lankan hoppers for breakfast, but it’s good to try new foods from different countries, and the salamis and cured hams we get from Eastern Europe are excellent.”


FRESH JACKFRUIT FROM SOUTH ASIA, APPROX. £4.99 PER KG Don’t be fooled by the chainstore-like exterior; this Sri Lankan-run supermarket has a fantastic selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, plus Pan-Asian essentials like Thai curry pastes, Japanese condiments and snacks and Caribbean canned goods. For shopkeeper Siva, it’s the shelves heaving with tropical fruits like papaya, pomelo, pineapple and mango that makes Days special. “There’s a traditional Sri Lankan dessert called Panchamirtham - or ‘five foods’ - made with banana, mango, dates, jackfruit (below), plus brown sugar,” says Siva. “We have all the ingredients, so try it!” Thursday is market day, when the shelves are crammed with tropical fruit and vegetables fresh from the market in Leyton that morning.




SMALL FRESH PEPPERS, £9.99 PER KG, AND AUBERGINES, £3.99 PER KG Proprietor Asghar arrived in the UK from Pakistan as a professional cricketer and ran his own brokerage firm before leaving London for Margate to fulfil a lifelong dream of running a halal butcher’s. As the first international supermarket on the road, the Khan family were soon supplying Vietnamese, AfroCaribbean, Bangladeshi, Turkish and many other nationalities of chefs across Thanet, and they still boast the most international stock on the street. The halal meat is scrupulously sourced and slaughtered (locally) by Asghar himself, and the fish and seafood freezer sees a lot of traffic from local chefs. Don’t miss the Narnia-like walk-in cooler at the back of the shop, for endless varieties of aubergines, bell peppers and fresh herbs.

Margate Mercury




orthdown Road has the sort of grand, melodramatic history that other streets can only dream of. Once lined with glamorous boutiques such as Russell & Bromley and formidable Victorian department stores like Bobby’s, in 2017 Northdown Road offers us riches of a different sort: a wonderful array of fresh produce, baked delicacies and specialist ingredients from around the globe. The Margate Mercury met the people behind Cliftonville’s most delicious counters - and discovered some new items for our shopping baskets along the way. Because in Cliftonville, you should never judge a Costcutter by its cover…

KAMILA No. 125a





Anna Hart

Compiled by

Anna Hart & Clare Freeman


Stefanie Maurer












A relative newcomer to Northdown Road, Kamila opened its doors in December 2016, and this small but stylish Polish delicatessen sells freshly-made pierogi (filled dumplings), sweet pastries, bread and ready-to-eat Polish delicacies like golabki (stuffed cabbage leaves), bigos (sausage and cabbage stew) and zupa fasalowa (lima bean soup). Owner Seweryn wanted to open a dedicated Polish deli rather than a grocery store, and carefully chooses the contents of the counter every week. “I’ve always felt that Polish Village Bread was the best,” says owner Seweryn. “And now they’ve started making fresh pierogi, krokiety and ready-made bigos and gulasz.” Perfect if you want a grab-and-go dinner, or fresh pierogi without the hassle of rolling it yourself.

“For Eastern Europeans, eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures,” says owner Darien. “What’s the point of living if you don’t fill it with good food?” Perhaps this is why Nasza Biedronka (which translates as “ladybird”) has a meat counter that wouldn’t look out of place in the Harrods foodhall. “We probably have around two hundred different cured meats here,” Darien says, pointing at the strings of smoked sausage and legs of ham that hang from the ceiling. “Czech, Latvian, Polish, Romanian - we have it all.” Nasza Biedronka is the big-hitter supermarket of Northdown Road, with fresh Polish breads (including a gluten free variety), a vast dairy chilled section and a frankly bewildering array of delicious jams, honeys and tinned goods.

Meryem and her family are Turkish, and while this brilliantly-stocked and super-friendly supermarket has a thoroughly international stock, it really excels at Mediterranean foodstuffs. This is where to come for a wide selection of tahinis, dates, olives and tapas stalwarts like stuffed vine leaves and roasted aubergine. “I’m really proud of our variety of cheeses, though, and stocking both fresh and frozen börek pastry makes it really easy to prepare traditional Turkish meals,” says Meryem. But perhaps most exciting to those with a sweet tooth is the separate baklava counter; Meryem suggests paying a visit on Thursday afternoons, when these honeyand-pistachio sweet treats are still gooey and warm, fresh from the bakery.


Margate Mercury



ausheena Khan is a local teacher and co-owner of Thanet Quality Foods on Northdown Road. Originally from Pakistan, of Indian parents, Nausheena is a very talented cook. Recently artist and cookery writer Annie Nichols ( was shown how to cook her family’s favourite, Yogurt Curry, a special dish that she says you won’t find in any restaurants or takeaways. The dish serves eight people and is a simple, yet unusual aromatic curry with crispy fritters (pakoras) cooked alongside and then dropped in to soak up the sauce. Both the curry and pakoras are made using gram flour (ground chickpeas), so it’s a perfect dish for the gluten-intolerant or gluten-wary. The ingredient list may look intimidating but most of the ingredients are easy to find and you’ll be able to purchase everything in Thanet Quality Foods on Northdown Road including the more unusual aromatic curry leaves and the gram flour. It’s an easy recipe to follow that takes only about an hour to prepare.


INGREDIENTS Preparation time - approx 1 hour Serves - about 8



For the curry 1 kg low-fat yogurt, see note below 500 g gram (chickpea) flour, sieved 2 tsp salt, or to taste 1 tsp chilli powder, or to taste ¾ tsp ground turmeric 3 heaped teaspoons ground coriander 2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin 2 tsp mixed ginger and garlic paste 1 tsp cumin seeds 8 whole small green chillies Small handful of curry leaves 1 large onion, medium sliced

2 3

For the pakora batter Pinch bicarbonate of soda 1 ½ tsp salt, or to taste ¾ tsp chilli powder, or to taste ½ tsp turmeric 2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin 1 tsp mixed ginger and garlic paste Small bunch coriander leaves, washed and chopped, optional Vegetable oil for deep frying

For tempering 12 whole cloves of garlic, peeled 8 small dried red chillies 3 tsp cumin seeds

Boiled rice to serve

NOTE: Nausheena says it’s important that you use smooth low-fat yogurt and not ‘set’, or Greek yogurt for example as this will make the curry grainy. She also uses ready-mixed crushed ginger and garlic paste (that comes in a jar) but you could of course use crushed fresh ginger

4 5 6 7 8 9

To make the curry, pour the yogurt into a large pan, add 6-7 heaped tablespoons of the gram flour, the salt, chilli powder, ground cumin, turmeric, coriander, the ginger, garlic paste, and the cumin seeds. Beat well until very smooth, with no lumps, then gradually stir in 2 litres of water. For the pakora batter, beat the remaining gram flour in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and enough water to make a thick paste. It needs to be thick, like the consistency of thick cream. Set aside. Place the pan of yogurt mix over a high heat, stirring constantly. Add the whole chillies, curry leaves and sliced onion, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 40-50 minutes, allowing the spices to cook and until the curry has thickened. While the curry is cooking, add the remaining ingredients to the pakora batter and stir well. Heat about an inch of oil in the base of a deep pan (a wok is good for this) and test a teaspoon of the batter to check the heat of the oil. This is also a good time to check the thickness of the batter and beat in a little more flour to thicken, or water to thin. Taste the cooked mixture for seasoning, adding more salt or chilli to taste. If the mixture browns in the oil within 15 seconds or so, carefully lower a few more separate spoonfuls of the batter mixture into the hot oil using a tablespoon. Cook for a few minutes, then turn and cook until puffed and golden on both sides. As they become ready, use a slotted spoon to lift the pakoras into the yogurt curry. Continue with the rest of the batter, in batches, until it’s all used up. At this point the curry should have thickened and some of the pakoras will have softened. Remove from the heat or continue cooking for a while longer if not. Check for seasoning, then prepare the mixture for tempering. Using four to five tablespoons of the frying oil, heat the mixture gently in a small pan, then add the garlic cloves and whole red chillies and cook for a few minutes until they start to brown. Then add the cumin seeds and continue cooking for a minute or two more. With a pan lid at the ready, tip the tempering mixture into the curry and put the lid on immediately. Nausheena calls the process of tempering, ‘crackling’ as this is the sound of the mixture as it hits the curry. It’s now ready to serve.




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Margate Mercury


T H E S E A FA R I N G S A M A R I TA N Writer

Clare Freeman



Yoakley Care & Margate Museum

ith the population of Thanet and the world - ageing rapidly the topic of how we care for and treat the elderly is becoming increasingly important and relevant. With different models for communal and sheltered living for the elderly becoming an increasing priority, we were intrigued to hear about one that not only offers exemplary care but has a intriguing past. It involves a successful and charitable Margate businessman and ship captain, Michael Yoakley, who devoted his money to creating almshouses for the elderly and poor. Driving out of Margate, these almshouses can still be seen, out of place with their modern surroundings of terraced housing and a hospital. The story of how they were created is fascinating and one which starts with one man, Michael Yoakley. Michael Yoakley was born in Margate in May 1631 to parents Michael and Joanna. He started his life as a shepherd boy on Drapers Farm earning two shillings a week. Devoted to his widowed elderly mother, he made it his aim, if the opportunity ever arose, to build almshouses for the ‘deserving’, aged poor. A description of him in a letter from William Borham in 1870 says “Michael Yoakley was of poor parentage...He was deeply impressed with the idea that some day Drapers Farm would be his own and then he would keep his mother comfortably, and make her happy, and would also try and help other poor persons, and make them more comfortable.” Although he started work as a farm boy, he later left agricultural life for the sea when he was invited to join the crew of a small boat on a chance meeting with a hoy captain. The boats were used to ship produce from Margate to London; a journey which normally took several days. Michael agreed to join the crew on condition that he had his mother’s consent and could also pay her two shillings

a week. Over time the captain of the boat began to treat Michael as his own son. When he suddenly died on board, Michael became commander of the boat and managed to bring the boat safely home. Because the owners of the hoy were so impressed by his initiative and sense of responsibility, he was then made captain. In time Michael then moved into the world of merchant trade and relocated to London. He became a Quaker in the middle of the seventeenth century and married a widow, Mary Munday, in 1685. Michael built up a very successful business in overseas trade with his partner John Petit and owned a number of properties in London. A few years before his death, Michael returned to Margate and found that Drapers Farm - where he had worked as a boy - was for sale. He purchased the farm in 1701 and in his will requested that almshouses should be built on the site using the proceeds from his estate. The will stated: “with some honest ingenious and experience workman erect and build nine or ten strong and substantial houses or rooms of good brick flint stone and timber with all other materials for an hospital or almshouses.” When he died in 1708, aged 77 years old, work began on the first nine almshouses and a superintendent’s house. This cost £875 to build and opened in 1710. The construction of the buildings was undertaken by Vincent Barber, a carpenter, and Thomas Pierce, a bricklayer. The first occupants of the almshouses were aged poor women who were welcomed to the almshouses by Mary Yoakley - Michael’s widow - and Robert Diamond, one of the trustees. During this time there was was no water and heating and water had to be drawn from a well which was situated under the gardener’s lodge. The residents were not supposed to bring any children with them. However, in the Yoakley Trustees’

minutes it shows that at times some of the residents did. In 1735, for example, a Widow Mocket allowed her two daughters to stay in her room who were said to behave “disorderly and scandalously.” She was instructed to move them out but a few months later it was reported that one of her daughters stayed with her again. For the first forty years or so there were no new buildings added to the site. However, in 1750 one of the houses was converted into a Quaker Meeting House which is still regularly used today for worship by residents and local Quakers. In 1831 the almshouses were given running water with the installation of tanks with spouts and pumps to collect rainwater. In 1848 four new cottages were built and two years later, four more were added. From 1861 to 1882 20 more cottages were added as well as a Gardener’s Lodge in 1883. Not long after the First World War, gas was installed and thanks to donations from Barrow Cadbury and his wife Geraldine - the wireless in 1927 and electricity in the 1930s. All the buildings are still used and are listed buildings. From the 1950s there was extensive modernisation of the cottages with new bathrooms added, gas central heating and electricity throughout. In 1980 perhaps the most important building - the residential care home - was built enabling full care for the residents as well as respite care. East and West wings were added in 1983 and it also received a Town Pride Award in 1983 / 85 and an architectural award in 1984. Yoakley House now comprises of 48 almshouse cottages and bungalows and a residential care home of 31 ensuite rooms, five for respite care. It is twinned with a residential care home in Outreau, France ‘Les Mouettes’ with biannual visits between the organisations.

“In 1735 a Widow Mocket allowed her two daughters to stay in her room who were said to have behaved ‘disorderly and scandalously’”

Oakwood homes


putting people first

Are we running out of houses..? Why does the property market keep going around in circles...? As an agent, this is a question that I am constantly asked. We seem to drift from one bubble to another recession with the expectation that prices will rise overall and it will all come out in the wash...! Well, to some degree that is true as every market makes a market and the Government see the housing sector as something that not only fuels so many other trades and business, but will also be something that continues to be a uniquely quirky appeal in the UK when compared to other similar countries. After all - has anyone really lost out on property long term? Sure - short term a recession can seriously affect your wealth, but long term property will always prove to be a sound investment for discerning buyers.

And why are we now seeing such a lack of available stock when so many people need and want to move..? The simple truth is that we are not (and never have been in the last 50 years) building enough new homes. Take a look at this graph which demonstrates the problem in a nutshell.

It shows that in the 1980’s, as the construction of new council houses shrank to almost nothing, there was a slight rise in the number of private homes being built, peaking at around 200,000 homes a year at the end of the decade. Then it fell back – and stayed fallen. Between the early 1990’s and the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, supposedly a boom time in Britain, the number of new private homes built each year didn’t go up. It barely budged from the 150,000 a year mark. The market failed. There was increasing demand without increasing supply. Mid-boom, as the imbalance between the number of people chasing a house and the supply of new homes reached a tipping point, average house prices took off like a rocket, trebling between Tony Blair’s accession and the 2008 crash.

So what’s the answer..? There is no quick fix. It is a problem that has been brewing for decades, despite the various Governments being totally aware - yet still we have antiquated planning laws and a generally obstructive system that does nothing to actively encourage strategic and high volume building to help relieve the problem. And until we do the truth remains that basically we are out growing the supply of homes available in UK - whether that is buying or renting - and the consequence will be continual rising prices as demand outstrips supply. Only an economic disaster quells the growth (as we saw in 2007), but as sure as eggs are eggs, the property market bounces back and we start the cycle once again... Are you thinking of moving? It is a great time to do it! If you are up-sizing - get in quick as the gap will only get bigger and while mortgage rates are at an all-time low improving affordability, if you can minimize your exposure it has to be good all round. Whatever your housing need, Oakwood homes are here to help. Sales, lettings, mortgages, Land & New Homes, conveyancing or even just some sound advice - you can call us on 08456 44 7070 or visit your local office in East Kent.

Happy house hunting...!

Andrew Dickinson

Managing director | Oakwood homes

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Margate Mercury






Meg of Margate

Courtesy of SEAS photography

Dr Karen Shepherson Dr Karen Shepherson is a photographer and reader in photography at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is also Director of the South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography, a fascinating organisation which offers new and exciting perspectives on British seaside photography and our coastal communities. The images of Margate that the Archive has collected are extraordinary and offer a real insight into the history of the town. In a time where Margate is undergoing so much change, it seems fitting to find out more about the Archive’s processes and to remember the area’s iconic and significant past

Can you tell me about the work the Archive does and how it came about? “The Archive began in 2012 with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was established after we were alerted about an amazing collection of glass plate and film negatives which were being stored at Margate Museum. This initial find was predominantly images taken by the photographic company Sunbeam who, until the 1970s, had been based in Cliftonville’s Sweyn Road. With more than 30,000 images it was proving an impossible task for the Museum to catalogue and audit this ageing photographic stock. In addition, there was nowhere to store the negatives securely in an environmentally-safe condition and, perhaps most importantly, to transform the images from inaccessible fragile negatives into viewable photographs that could be accessed easily by people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Our aim in setting up the Archive has been to provide an accessible, safe place for the Sunbeam and similar photographic collections. The photographs in these collections repeatedly show the population at 'play' and, because so much of this imagetaking was undertaken by technically-skilled professional photographers, the quality is very often outstanding. The collections have cultural significance, reflecting back the seaside heritage of our place and space.” Where do the images come from? “The Archive is predominantly made up of the Sunbeam collection but we have also made public calls for other commerciallytaken seaside photographs, the most common

being the ‘Walkie’. Walkies are pictures taken as people promenaded on the clifftops or lounged or played on the beach. These postcard-sized images were printed in their hundreds of thousands and then sold by commercial photographic companies as cheap seaside keepsakes. What is most evident is how precious they remain to the families who possess them.” If you had to select one quintessential image of Margate, what would it be? (see image above) “This Margate image was found in a pack of glass plates we opened in 2012. The pack was inside a stack of dusty cardboard boxes and was the very first pack of glass plates we opened. We didn’t have a clue what we would find, so it was great to find this image which reveals the realities of 1950s coastal living. While we can’t see Margate Main Sands in this image, you can quickly recognise the location as Margate’s seafront with the arcade and the iconic Dreamland building in the background. We also have local children unchaperoned by adults, which is common in many of these pictures. The children here are seen queuing for free ice-creams and the café banner even tells us the date: 3 April 1958. Whilst the girls wait in line the boys, having been served first, now look to the camera with attitude. They’re lean and their trousers hang off their non-existent hips, held by elasticated ‘snake’ belts. One of the boy’s shoes are so tight they are split to reveal bare feet within.”       The Archive is based at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Broadstairs campus


Margate Mercury








Francesca Wright


cliftonville community singers

Weekly meetings for this choir are held on Tuesdays from 7.45 pm to 9.15 pm at Cliftonville Community Centre in Margate. Don’t let the fact that they are led by professional singers scare you away; they pride themselves on being a friendly, accessible choir open to everyone, regardless of experience.


yo street zone

This is the first club of its kind in the UK and is leading the way in a fresh and creative new take on football – street football. It’s open to boys and girls of all levels of experience, the only requirement is enthusiasm. To get involved, join a coaching session, held every Wednesday from 6 pm to 7.30 pm at the Youth and Leisure Centre in Broadstairs. ​£5 per session.


Cliftonville Community Singers

As we head out of hibernation and in to sunnier times spring is the best time to get out and active by joining a club or society. Here’s our pick of the best Margate and Thanet has to offer


the marine studios society

This activity-based society for adults (minimum age 18) endeavors to establish long-lasting friendship between members and bring those in the community with shared interests closer together. With bake-offs, book clubs and needlework nights, the society has a myriad of activities on offer. Membership is £5 per month or you can pay £1 for each activity you attend.


If you want to learn Spanish but don’t fancy delving into textbooks, Café Spanish provides an informal, social environment and a great alternative to the classroom. The meetings aim to improve conversational ability for all levels and are held in cafes across East Kent. An hour session with a maximum of eight people in the group costs £7.

margate w.i.

The Margate Women’s Institute is the local branch of the National Federation by the same name. The charity was formed in the interest of furthering women’s quality of life, empowerment and education. They meet on the second Thursday of each month at 7.30 pm at The Britannia restaurant and pub in Margate. A year’s membership is £37.50 and everyone is welcome to join.

Café Spanish Meet-Up


brazilian jiu jitsu club

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of martial arts and Margate BJJ offers classes in two different styles: GI and no GI. Both promise to push you to your physical and mental limits. Various classes run at the PEJ Boxing Club in Margate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and last around 90 minutes. Anyone can join regardless of experience. £5 per class.


cafÉ spanish meet-up

Walpole Bay Swimmers

drawing club at Resort studios

Held on the first Wednesday of each month from 7 pm to 9 pm, this drawing club focuses on experimental drawing and themes vary according to the designer/artist who is leading the session. Past themes have included drawing with sound and drawing on the beach. It’s £2.50 to participate, or £1.50 if you are a member of Resort Studios. All materials are provided.

Margate Mercury


Yo Street Zone


margate bowling club

This club has been located at its current home on Northdown Avenue in Margate since 1922. At ÂŁ100 for an annual membership - with the first two months free for a new bowler - you can join the team to compete against other clubs and enjoy their social activities.


walpole bay swimmers


Margate Art

6 Duke Street . CT9 1EP 07795 662864

Dick Smith Dick Smith 5-String Bluegrass Dick Smith 5-String Bluegrass Dick Smith Banjo Tuition Dick Smith 5-String Bluegrass Banjo Tuition Dick Smith 5-String Bluegrass 5-String Bluegrass Banjo Tuition 5-String Banjo Bluegrass Tuition Banjo Tuition Banjo Tuition

Ever been swimming in a Grade II-listed tidal pool? Now is your chance with this group of swimmers who organise group dips at the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool, a four-acre seawater pool in Cliftonville, Margate, which is 80 years old this year. The group was set up for anyone who enjoys outdoor swimming, and they run free social events throughout the summer.


margate theatre club

This club organises a monthly discussion after shows at either Theatre Royal or the Tom Thumb Theatre. It aims to provide members with a chance to socialise with other theatre-goers, share opinions and discover more cultural things to do in the area. It’s free to attend and is open to everyone.

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Margate Mercury



Twinkle Troughton

Photographer Gabrielle Hall

Artists living in Margate are never short of inspiration. It’s a small town whose size is deceptive, encompassing a whirlpool of innovation and nostalgia, and people from all walks of life. Here we meet two such artists living in Margate whose drawings and paintings reveal differing responses to their surroundings

J I L L PA N T O N Y Painter


orking from the Hazelwood studio at her home in Cliftonville, Jill Pantony explores a familiar sight on the fringes of Margate, that of caravans both abandoned and in use. Playfully observed, Jill uses paint, etching and screen printing among other techniques to create her endearing caravan scenes. Her work can be viewed at and she will be exhibiting in a group show, ‘POW, a Celebration of Women Artists’ at the New Kent Art Gallery in Broadstairs and at The Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable with Earthbound Women in October this year. Visits to Jill’s studio can also be arranged by contacting her directly via her website.

What drives you as an artist? “My work is always a response to where I am, something I have seen or somewhere I have been. Be it on holiday, walking my dogs or intentional wanderings into the landscape. I am drawn to empty, abandoned spaces where there is evidence of previous human occupation. And then discovering which process best communicates my experience.” How do caravans inspire you? “I have never owned or stayed in a caravan. I get the same excitement from finding a caravan that people get finding a bargain in a charity shop. I like to go off exploring and this is usually when I find a caravan, then my imagination goes wild. Who owns it? Why don’t they love it anymore? Is there a dead

body? Human-trafficking? Clients who buy the caravan paintings find them evocative and express a strong personal attachment to the imagery.” How is life as an artist in Margate? “I’m not sure it’s any different to being an artist elsewhere; I respond to my environment, keeping my eyes open and my senses alert. I have used Margate as inspiration for my work: as a direct source; collecting people’s rubbish from the pavements and parks, along with beach finds to create an installation of lights in 2011. I get a bit panicky because Margate is changing so quickly and some of my favourite spots are disappearing fast. Such a rate of change in Margate brings you sharply into the present.”

Margate Mercury



“Margate is entering a new phase of life and the creative culture is changing rapidly for the better”

DARREN LEWIS Landscape Painter


over and over would eventually lose its appeal, but every time I embark on a new Margate Harbour painting I meet different challenges to create the mood and atmosphere laid out before me.”

How does Margate’s landscape inspire you? “I am compelled by Margate Harbour’s varied and reflected light throughout the seasons. You would think painting the same subject

What does Margate provide for you as an artist? “Margate is entering a new phase of life and the creative culture is changing rapidly for the better. Turner Contemporary has introduced an international audience to my hometown. My recent exhibition ‘Sand, Sea and Light’ at the Pie Factory Gallery attracted many visitors from near and far, giving me the opportunity to share my love of Margate with others. I relish the opportunity to portray Margate and its natural beauty through my art.”

arren Lewis grew up in Thanet and describes himself as ‘a painter from, and a painter of, Margate’. Working with oil paints in a large garage in his Cliftonville garden, Darren’s focus on light, skies and coastline results in striking depictions of Thanet’s landscapes. His work can be viewed at darrenlewispaintings. and purchased at Lovely’s Gallery in Cliftonville ( He also has joint and solo exhibitions in 2017 at Pie Factory Margate ( and New Kent Art (

How are you finding the recent influx of artists to the town? “The rise in artists setting up a base in Margate increases positive exposure for the town and strengthens the town as a creative hub. International artists such as Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry exhibiting here indicate how far the town has progressed. Networking at exhibitions with like-minded people opens doors to both artists and admirers alike. Last year I had the opportunity to exhibit with an ‘extreme photographer’ I met at a previous exhibition. Inspired by the same subject matter as me, he came from a completely different perspective and discipline. New galleries and exhibition spaces are opening, giving artists further opportunities to network and showcase their work.”

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Margate Mercury


Jade Spranklen

organisations seeking Ageless Thanet is looking for volunteer Community Champions to be the eyes, ears, and voice of older people in their local community. From signposting people to services and organisations, to setting up small community groups and organising local events, our Champions are embedded in the heart of the community, volunteering their time to help make Thanet a great place to grow older. For more information call 07951 633 110 or email

Windmill Community Gardens is actively searching for the following volunteers: Handy Person, Gardening Mentor, Seasonal Lunchtime Cook, Market Garden Help and a volunteer for their parent/carer and toddler group. / / 01843 280 555

Need some motivation to get those New Year’s resolutions back on track? Why not sign up to a challenge, increase your motivation and raise funds for Oasis along the way? How about ‘The Major’, a run with an army-style assault course, or an abseil off the UK’s tallest sculpture, Arcelor Mittal in London? To get more ideas or to sign up go to

YouCan, a Kent-based charity who offer support to young people impacted by cancer, is seeking volunteers and donations for a new house they are opening in Westgate-on-Sea where young people whose lives have been affected by cancer, and their families and friends, will be able to enjoy a seaside break. The money will help to equip the house to get it ready for their first family in the spring. To donate or offer your services as a volunteer please go to or email them at

Local charity, East Kent Mencap, needs volunteers for its Getting On with Learning Disabilities (GOLD) project. The GOLD team are setting up clubs for people with a learning disability to meet new people and try new things, and are looking for sociable people to volunteer. If you are interested in accompanying people with a learning disability to go and see the latest film, play a game of snooker, or have a pub lunch, then contact Suzanne Derham at or phone 01845 004 1876

YouCan is also reaching out to young people in the area who may need support on their cancer journey. If you know someone between the age of 10 and 30 who would benefit from the services on offer, which include wellness breaks and workshops on fitness, nutrition and building self-esteem, email them on hello@

Dane Valley Woods is run by volunteers on a former landfill in Margate. They raise funds and engage local people in creating a community green space, allowing participation in developing and managing the 13 acre site for enjoyment, learning, health and wildlife. Regular practical task days each month; for more details visit or contact them via Facebook or Twitter

Margate Museum is looking for voluntary museum assistants to help out on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Bank Holidays. The museum is responsible for the Margate Collection, including caring for its permanent displays and preparing new seasonal exhibitions. Contact Ian Dickie, Museums Coordinator on 01843 231213 / For the latest opportunities please visit:

CLASSIFIEDs corner Feeling anxious, depressed or just need to talk? If life’s events seem overwhelming right now, you might find having a place to be heard, supported and understood can help. Qualified counsellor Laura McCarthy MBACP, based in central Ramsgate, offers confidential, non-judgemental counselling and psychotherapy in a non-discriminatory practice for individual and couples. Learn Spanish in a fun and dynamic way. Personalised teaching, max. 8 people in a group, focus on conversation, led by a qualified teacher (native speaker). Groups for all levels in Thanet. For more information contact William Hughes Renovations. Kitchen and bathroom fitting. Remodelling work. Decorating. /

Hannah Clark - local freelance illustrator: specialising in pet portraits, home and business portraits and anything to do with food and florals. Cards and prints for sale - see for more. Contact 07783384725 or mail@

ITEMS Oneleh evil eye bracelets, handmade in Margate. These bracelets protect against the evil eye, a look believed by many cultures to cause bad luck for the person at whom it is directed, for reasons of envy or dislike. Free gift wrapping. Free delivery.

OTHER Good Food Store. Passionate about juicing. Coffee, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, hot soups, hearty salads, organic grocery. Happy to accommodate small exhibitions too! 52 Canterbury Road, Westbrook, CT9 5BG. 07776444049 @goodfoodmargate

By Charlie Cameron



Margate Mercury

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Margate Mercury – Spring 2017  

The Margate Mercury is a free quarterly magazine about modern-day life and culture in the up-and-coming British seaside town of Margate. We...

Margate Mercury – Spring 2017  

The Margate Mercury is a free quarterly magazine about modern-day life and culture in the up-and-coming British seaside town of Margate. We...