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Modern-day Seaside Stories


margate people

art & culture

BUSINESS & Entrepreneurs


Meet the people who make their living from Margate's beaches

The Margate Makers Zoe Murphy and Boe Holder invite you into their studios

Word on the street your essential guide to the emerging Northdown Road

The best places to stay in Margate this summer


Margate Mercury




The Hotlist - The hottest events this summer


Summer News - The best openings and happenings this season Eggy Dave Encounters - One man’s quest to discover if Margate is ‘hip’


The Bay Pound - Meet the people who go to work at the beach


The Margate Makers - Zoe Murphy and Boe Holder invite you into their studios


A Stroll Along Northdown Road Your essential guide to the emerging Northdown Road


Summer Stays - The best places to stay in Margate this summer


Found in Margate - Vintage summer items sourced from Margate’s shops


What’s the Story? - The fascinating past, present and future of the Cliftonville Lido


Meg Reviews... Blogger Meg of Margate reviews vegan cupcake café, Seaside Cake Parlour


Humans at the Harbour Arms Sam from Samzine meets the colourful characters of the Harbour Arms pub


Give Something Back to Margate Find ways to help Margate and get involved in the community Classifieds Corner 'Hard Decisions in Margate' By Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

Issue One, Summer 2016 (June to August) margatemercury.com @margatemercury Founder & Editor : Clare Freeman Design : Lizzy Tweedale Sub-editor : Ros Anderson Front cover : Amy and Luke, owners of Margate Arts Club, by Jo Bridges Print : Mortons Print Advertising and distribution enquiries : info@margatemercury.com Published by Margate Mercury © All rights reserved. Copyright 2016 Margate Mercury

From the Editor Clare Freeman


Photography Grey Hutton

t may shock you to know that before eight months ago, I had never set foot in Margate. While this may seem puzzling and strange considering I’m the Editor of this magazine, I wanted to share it with you for one main reason: to show anyone who hasn’t yet visited Margate that it’s a place full of opportunity, one which can quickly and warmly welcome you. Like many DFLs (the local term for outsiders ‘Down From London’), I was drawn to Margate first for its affordable housing, but then charmed by its many other beautiful qualities: the jaw-dropping skies and sunsets, the beaches, the treasure-trove vintage shops, the unexplained mysteries beneath the ground. But most of all by its lovely, artistic and friendly residents. Before I moved here permanently I made regular visits to Margate over the winter (you may have seen me, a wet and wind-swept DFL with my backpack and beanie hat). I met and chatted to a whole cross section of people during these visits, from shopkeepers to builders, to DFLs, all with differing opinions of the town. For some it was a place of excitement, growth and change; for others a place of crime, drugs and litter. I found it fascinating that somewhere so small could contain such a diverse mix of people with different backgrounds, stories and views. It was a town of contrast, of light and dark, of despair and opportunity. As an entrepreneur I was hooked by what I could do. The constant media buzz about Margate only confirmed to me that now was the time to create a new magazine; a publication created here to not only show off what’s great about

the town but also hopefully contribute to its regeneration. I created the Margate Mercury to not only show you what we know and love about Margate – namely its art and culture (see page 8), fascinating history (see page 15), entrepreneurialism, people, events and natural beauty – but also to give you a very real look at life here. Margate still has its problems, so I hope this magazine not only entertains, informs and inspires, but helps the town too. That’s why, alongside the features, we have a regular Give Something Back to Margate section (page 18) in which you can find volunteer work or offer your skills to help the community. I’ve been fortunate to have incredible support to launch this magazine and I want to especially thank Lizzy Tweedale, the talented designer of this magazine; Ros Anderson, sub-editor; those who backed us in our crowdfunding campaign (see below), as well as our fantastic local contributors, our social media followers, and all the lovely Margate locals who made me feel so welcome here. If you have any comments, suggestions or ideas - or you just want to say hi - we’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email us on info@ margatemercury.com. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed creating it, Clare x



Writers Seb Reilly Twinkle Troughton Ros Anderson Ian Allen Dave McKenna Meg Molloy Sam Simmons

Jaime Bishop · Tom and Pippa Freeman · Toby McMillan · Juan Pablo Heredia · Zoe Verrion · Rat Race Margate · Caroline Eglinton · Christina Käss · Karen Sayers · Dave and Su Chapman from Melting Pot · Bernd and Rosanna Käss · Alexander Roarke from Terraprime Printing · Gary and Margit Pond from Smugglers Cottage · Lynn Goodfellow · Robert and Jill Freeman

“I hope this magazine not only entertains, informs and inspires, but helps the town too”

Photographers Jahel Guerra Roa Jo Bridges Gabrielle Hall Ben Bowles Illustrators Charlie Evaristo-Boyce Jade Spranklen


Margate Mercury


The Hotlist JUN 'Places, Faces Things' Exhibition launch 3 June 7 - 10pm Plinth, Margate plinthspace.com

Margate Mercury Launch Party 4 June 7pm - Midnight Margate Arts Club margateartsclub.co.uk

Whitstable Biennale 4 - 12 June Whitstable whitstablebiennale.com

Collectables Fair Small fair with crafts, artworks, books, vintage jewellery, glass & china 4 June 9 & 30 July, 27 & 29 August Broadstairs visitthanet.co.uk/ events/219252

Lovelys 125th Birthday Celebration Weekend 4 & 5 June Cliftonville, Margate lovelysgallery.co.uk

'My Beauty' A gathering of former Margate beauty queens 9 June 1 - 4pm Batchelors Patisserie Margate my-beauty.co.uk/events

'Shadows' by Conrad Armstrong & Emma Gibson Exhibition launch 9 June 7 - 10pm Resort Studios, Margate resortstudios.co.uk

The Garden Gate Project Open Day A day of activities and fun in a community garden 11 June 2 - 5pm The Garden Gate, Margate thegardengateproject.co.uk

Broadstairs Dickens Festival A festival with plays and concerts in honour of Charles Dickens 18 - 24 June Broadstairs broadstairsdickensfestival. co.uk

International Yoga Day Workshops 18 June 9:30am to 5pm Hawley House, Margate facebook.com/ YogaHealthWellness

Cliftonville Craft, Antiques & Collectables 19 June, 27 July, 14 August Cliftonville, Margate twitter.com/CliftonvilleFM

Cliftonville Farmers' Market

The Secret Drawing Club Hammer Horror Life Drawing An immersive life drawing salon experience 2 July Plinth, Margate plinthspace.com

Dinners from Blanch and Shock 6 & 7 July Hantverk & Found Margate blanchandshock.com/ projects

8 - 10 July Ramsgate jazzandjazz.com

16 July Plinth, Margate plinthspace.com

11 June 11 - 5pm Margate & Whitstable juliariddiough.com

29 June Cliftonville, Margate pettmans.com

13 June 7pm my-beauty.co.uk/events

Skagate Festival 60's ska, soul and reggae festival 1 - 3 July Margate skagate.com

20 & 27 July 17 & 24 August Broadstairs broadstairsfireworks.co.uk

Whitstable Oyster Festival 22 - 31 July Whitstable whitstableoysterfestival. co.uk

Resort Studios 3rd Birthday Party 16 July 7pm Cliftonville, Margate resortstudios.co.uk

5 - 12 August Broadstairs broadstairsfolkweek. org.uk

Margate Pride A parade along Margate's seafront and party at Dreamland to celebrate Thanet’s LGBT life. 13 August margatepride.org

Ramsgate Festival

23 - 31 July Ramsgate ramsgatearts.org

Pettmans Auction

A special film screening of Margate and Cliftonville beauty queens

A week of music, events and workshops all over town

A festival of traditional jazz

Artist-led walk and performance by Julia Riddiough


Firework display over Viking Bay with live music and entertainment

Art, theatre, music and more throughout the town

Alchemy Classes with The Unseen

'My Beauty' Film Screening

Broadstairs Folk Week

Seaside Shuffle Festival

26 June, 31 July, 28 August Cliftonville, Margate kfma.org.uk/Cliftonville


Summer Fireworks

AUG Launch party for Urchin Wines 5 August Urchin Wines Cliftonville, Margate instagram.com/ urchinwinesmargate

Margate Soul Festival A soul music festival with more than 50 DJs and 6 major live acts 5 - 7 August Margate Harbour margatesoulfestival.co.uk

Broadstairs Water Gala Beach and bandstand competitions, a family funfair and more 17 August Broadstairs broadstairswatergala.co.uk

David Troughton Paintings Exhibiton launch 19 August 7 - 10pm Plinth, Margate plinthspace.com

Margate Bookie A weekend litfest with authors, readings, booze, books, fresh crab and sea air 20 & 21 August Margate margatebookie.com

For up-to-date information on events this season please visit our online calendar at : margatemercury.com/#events-calendar

Margate Mercury




Clare Freeman



Helen Cathcart & The Bus Café

e’ve made it through the winter and Margate’s time in the sun is here (rejoice!). While you may be running to the beach or closest ice cream van, hold back a minute, as there’s plenty this season to keep you entertained in town. In Cliftonville, Margate’s first members’ club - Margate Arts Club (margateartsclub.co.uk) - will open its doors this June. Designed by owners Amy and Luke, this social space for the creative community of Thanet will host supper clubs, classes, workshops and weekly parties, all for a one-off membership fee of £20. Across town, Addington House (addingtonhouse. co.uk), a dog-friendly guest house off Hawley Square (opening in June) will support artist

The team behind Xiringuito residencies and events, as well as providing luxury accommodation, and Margate House (margatehouse.org) will be opening up new spaces on 31 July, hosting local, socially engaged artists, projects and talks. If you’re a foodie, the moveable restaurant ‘Xiringuito’ (pronounced chi-rin-gito - it’s taken from the Catalan name for a seasonal beach bar, xiringuito.co.uk) will be launching on Belgrave Road next to Dreamland from 1 June. The restaurant - by friends Conor Sheehan and chef Jackson Berg from London and designed by award-winning architect Asif Khan - will serve up ‘internationally influenced British dishes’ such as fish, crab burgers, fish offal and sea vegetables, as well as wines, cocktails, donuts and ice cream. For brunch in a very

The new Bus Café original setting head over to the new Bus Café (thebuscafe.co.uk) at Fort Road Yard - just opened in May - where you can enjoy hash browns with different toppings (named ‘hashmounds’) inside a converted double-decker bus, followed by a browse in the host of tiny galleries next door. And finally… the word ‘fondue’ may conjure up images of ski lodges and snow but Margate’s new Melting Pot (facebook.com/ meltingpotmargate, just opened in May) is bringing this indulgent sharing dish to the seaside. Head there for tasty savoury and sweet fondus (we like the sound of the Belgian chocolate fondue), craft beers and wines, as well, of course, as the opportunity to make new Margate friends while the sun shines.

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


Dave McKenna



Jade Spranklen

arlier this year I hit the streets of Margate caped in sheepskin, accompanied by my trusty cameraman Jack Rowe, and armed with an inappropriately shaped microphone. The aim was to pester strangers, and ask them if they thought Margate was hip. The rationale for potentially ruining these tourists', artists' and locals' otherwise splendid sunny day in Margate was to get a frontline response to an article published in The Times, titling Margate as the Fourth Hippest Place to Live in the UK. The overwhelming response was, of course, ‘Jesus that microphone’s ridiculous and way too close to my face... sorry did you say

hip? What does that mean then?’. To which I didn’t really know what to reply; Hip Hop is a good point of reference, however there are not too many rap battles, boom boxes and breakdancers at the seaside. The notion and image of the ‘Hipster’ is in the forefront of the western world’s consciousness at the moment. Although here in Margate we’re currently without a cereal café and most people do wear shoes, we’re definitely guilty of a few cracking beards and many a vegan. So hip? What does it really mean? We were as clueless as the interviewees were scared. So, we did what all men do when faced with an obstacle - we went to the pub. Well a few actually, but they were micro pubs, so technically a few micro pubs only really amounts to one normal pub. Agreed? (Yeah, that’s good logic). First, it was The Two Halves where Shaun, an absolute diamond geezer and Harry Redknapp look-alike, poured us a couple of lovely Kentish ales and I asked him what this enigmatic ‘hip’ meant to him. He replied with ‘four-nil up, cruising a game,

easy, that’s hip to me’. At that point I knew he’s really been told too many times he looks like Harry Redknapp. So we subbed off Harry for Phil, the landlord of Margate’s High Street micropub The Fez. He, like Harry, I mean Shaun, is a lovely bloke and welcomed us in with cinnamon ciders. We asked this server of the hop what hip meant and, as he sipped tea from his giant Bombay bad boy Pot Noodle cup, he told us the word’s origin. It derives from the word ‘Hepcat, which meant ‘in the know’, then it became HippyCat, and finally Hippie’. So there you have it: Margate is the fourth most ‘in the know’ place in the UK. What do they know that we don’t? The overwhelming consensus of the alarmed public that faced the full inappropriateness of my microphone, was that Margate is a pretty cool place at the moment. One woman said ‘It’s not too much of one thing, or the other. It’s both pretentious and down to earth’. Which I think is a bloody good description of the original seaside town. And also a potential mantra for my life.

“Although in Margate we're currently without a cereal café, we're definitely guilty of a few cracking beards”


Margate Mercury


THE  BAY POUND For most of us the beach is a place to have fun and unwind. But for some hardy souls Margate's shoreline is also a place of work. We meet the people for whom the beach is their office and the sea their livelihood Writer

Ros Anderson


Jahel Guerra Roa

THE COCKLE QUEEN Valarie Lamb Mannings Seafood Stall “My dad and his brother took over the running of the business in 1962 and it’s been in the family ever since. I come down first thing to open up. Then in the afternoon I go and get the whelks cooked and the crabs picked out ready for tomorrow. I’ve been brought up with the sea and my husband’s been a lifeboat man for 36 years, so we’re very much in tune with the weather. I call inside the stall my ‘room with a view’. When the tide is in I could just be on a boat, because water’s all I can see. And when it gets really windy and the waves come over the top of the harbour wall, the water comes running underneath the kiosk. It’s cracking when the sun sets. If you’ve got to work, then where better than this? My husband calls me the Queen of Margate, and working here is certainly sociable! My mum and dad never used to shut until 11 at night, it was that busy. But then gradually the town started to go down. A lot of people weren’t in agreement with the Turner gallery but it really has made a huge difference, and now the place is buzzing again. I’ve noticed a different range of customers coming. My dad would never have dreamed that we’d be selling oysters and champagne. But I think he’d be really proud.”

“My dad would never have dreamed that we’d be selling oysters and champagne. But I think he'd be really proud”

T H E F U N FA I R O P E R AT O R Adam Pegden Kiddies Corner “I’m in Factor 50 every day of the year. It’s lovely – there’s not many people with a panoramic beach view when they’re at work. We’re down here from the middle of March till the end of September, and on sunny days in May when there’s not many people about it’s very soothing. But in the peak of the summer it’s an 80-hour week. The mornings are my favourite times, and at dusk when it gets a bit cooler. Running a family business is important to me. We have Kiddie’s Corner, the crazy golf and the bungee trampolines. My brother’s got the deck chair concession. Dad’s 70 and retired now, but he still comes and sits in the sun, chats to everyone. You meet a lot of different people. These days a lot of them are talking about buying houses in Westbrook and Farrow & Ball paint. This is my seventeenth full summer since I left school. Over the winter I do some building work and a bit of carpentry. It’s nice to have a job where every six months it changes – six months on the beach, six months doing something else.”

Margate Mercury


“While we’re down there harvesting we’re picking up rubbish as we go, like magical beach fairies”



Kevin Castro The Endurance

Dom Bridges Haeckels

“There were about a dozen boats working when I started, aged 15. Now I’m the last fulltime commercial fisherman left. I work the boat on my own. I’m so busy I don’t get time to think about it. I did have two crew at one point but today I can’t earn enough money to pay the wages. I’m heavily restricted by fishing quotas. I’ll go out every day that the weather is reasonable. Netting and lifting the anchors is really physical. It’s like weightlifting. You’ve got to be a certain sort of person to do it. I fish for cod, sole, skate, bass, lobsters and crabs. I really enjoy it when I get back here with a full catch of fish. That is a good feeling. I’ll take a cod or a crab home for tea. When I get loads in, people on the harbour fight over them. I love the sea, just looking at it. My missus says to me “You always have to go home the seafront way.” I do get time to appreciate what’s around me when I’m bass fishing over the low water, the nets drifting... There’s hundreds of seals out on the sandbank and they’re very clever – on a bad day they can eat half the catch. I like what’s happening in the town. Ten years ago there was nothing here, but now it’s full of people again. And around the harbour is where it’s all happening. I have a sense of pride that I’m the last fisherman. And when I’ve gone…”

“We take our natural resource – the seaweed - straight off the chalk reef and bring it back to the lab before the day begins. The beach is a very magical place at that time in the morning, when the mist has rolled in and there’s no-one around. We’ve got to know every cranny, and where all the lobsters live. While we’re down there harvesting we’re picking up rubbish as we go, like magical beach fairies. It feels like we’re a presence down there now, as working people who have an opinion on what’s right and wrong. And that means a lot for this particular stretch of coast.

“There’s hundreds of seals out on the sandbank and they’re very clever – on a bad day they can eat half the catch”


We all play a role in improving the town. It’s like building bricks. Every shop, every gallery, every business. Hopefully we’ll start to see a huge change in Cliftonville. I’m just so proud of everyone I’ve met here. People are scraping a living but still find time to really love the town and do everything they can to push it forward. My whole business has come out of just sitting looking at the sea. The sea is the thing for deep thought. Your mind is free to meander. Out of our shop window it changes all the time, the texture, the colour. You can feel it without even having to look at it. Dad always said don’t walk into a room unless you know where the back door is. I guess that’s part of the draw - if you had to, you could actually strap some old doors together and just start paddling to somewhere else.”


Margate Mercury


the margate makers Writer

Twinkle Troughton

Photography Gabrielle Hall

Margate is a town which has seen a recent boom in artists taking up residence, but it’s also a place responsible for plenty of home-grown talent. Here writer Twinkle Troughton meets two Margate-based artists - one local and one newcomer - to learn more about their work ZOE MURPHY Furniture & Textile Designer


orn and raised in Margate, designer Zoe Murphy’s stunning two-floor studio is set in the heart of Margate’s Old Town. Zoe skillfully upcycles mid-century furniture with bright playful designs, often inspired by Margate itself. Pieces can be purchased from zoemurphy.com, as well as stockists such as Liberty in London and Margate’s Lombard Street Gallery. How did you become a recycler extraordinaire? Since my earliest memories I’ve always had a preoccupation with efficiency, waste, and its effects on the environment. It was when I was studying textiles at university that I found my hometown to be a perfect muse for all the feelings I had about re-use and regeneration. I started drawing with images and ideas of ‘loving what belongs to you’, and it lit a fire in my belly. What does Margate provide for you as a creative? There is a natural sense of nostalgia for me in Margate which pairs really well with the types of images and printmaking I work with. It’s a complete joy to walk around the town and see familiar friends outside of the studio; the sense of community here is immense! It has always been a great place to act out bright ideas and try new things. But my core love for the town comes from

Zoe in her Margate studio the colours and the patterns I unearth in just about every part of Margate. Who and what inspires you? I’ve had a longstanding love for Tracey Emin as a defiant and colourful girl from Margate. It meant much more being a girl from Margate after she became recognised for being an outspoken and emotional artist. I’m also inspired by anything with a clever use of colour; I tend to look for palettes in the unlikeliest of places. I recently visited Mexico for work and found myself taking a million pictures of the oddest things. In Oaxaca, homeowners had painted over graffiti tags on sun-bleached walls in slightly alternative shades. They were all over the town and I loved the patchworks they made. Which other fellow Margate creatives should we look out for? Rupert Blanchard and The Rag and Bone Man are top in the game when it comes to high-end recycling and commitment to authentic principles.

The creative team behind Crowther Plant, a Margate fashion label, are inspiring to spend any time with. And Dom of skincare and perfume brand Haeckels for his commitment to sustainability and rejuvenation.

Margate Mercury



Boe in her Cliftonville studio

BOE HOLDER Artist & Homeware Designer


oe Holder moved to Margate in January 2016 from West London. Boe works from her studio on the top floor of her home in the heart of Cliftonville, where she runs her business This Way to the Circus (thiswaytothecircus. co.uk), a highly successful venture in vibrant, hand-painted plant pots and adorable ceramic cacti. Why did you move to Margate? Like so many others my partner and I were completely disillusioned with London, a city that took everything and gave little back. We’d heard whisperings about Margate, came to visit in January and jumped on the bandwagon straight away. It’s such a relief to wake up to the sea, sky and the space.

What are your main inspirations? Shapes, colours and patterns that are pleasing and things that make me laugh. Someone did point out to me that a lot of the things I make look like they belong in a surreal children’s book! For instance, recently I made six ‘jungles’ for an art gallery and things did get a bit Dr. Seuss. I try very hard not to take too much notice of my contemporaries; originality is a fragile thing to hold onto when there’s so much creativity about and it’s all so easy to see.

liked them too and the collection is always expanding. I use Instagram as a sort of litmus test to gauge what people like. This Way To The Circus grew quite organically and I’m now able to make things that I like as well as things that pay the bills. I made the mini plants on a whim and now I can’t keep up with the orders; I am forever surrounded by cacti and covered in paint!

“I am forever surrounded by cacti and covered in paint!”

How did the plant pot creations come about? I started making the plant pots after a fruitless search for an alternative to terracotta (it’s my least favourite colour). It seemed crazy that there were no nice and affordable homes for plants - so I made some. Thankfully others

What does your studio tell us about you? It’s where I’m most at home, where no one gets to tell me what to do and (probably consequently) where I spend most of my time. I suppose it’s what the inside of my head would look like: full of plants and colours and sometimes a lot of mess! Boe’s pots are available to buy online or at Etcetera in Margate.


Margate Mercury



orthdown Road in Cliftonville was once a hive of activity, a roaring flame of retail and trade, yet over the past decade the embers all but died, save for a few businesses keeping the fire alive. However, like the proverbial pheonix it’s now rising from the ashes. No longer just second-hand stores, fast-food takeaways and estate agents, Northdown Road now features an eclectic and diverse range of shops and businesses. Here’s a small selection of the remarkable places this exciting and vibrant street has to offer.



A non-profit social enterprise, Clayspace is an authentic artist’s workshop offering ceramics and pottery classes, along with providing commissions and renting studio space. The owners, Ian and Bridget, have worked in art and ceramics their entire lives, and after visiting Margate decided to immediately sell their home and relocate here, wanting to become part of the change. Classes give the chance to create something tangible to take away whilst engaging in mindful and therapeutic activities such as sculpting and spinning. Clayspace is also actively involved in supporting the local community, working with the Garden Gate Project and Mencap to offer mental health rehabilitation through art and sculpture. clayspace.org.uk

When Dan, Jo, Emrys and Nick moved to Margate they struggled to find suitable studio space, so along with other like-minded creatives, they acquired the iconic Pettmans building in 2013 and made it their own. Resort Studios now hosts artists, photographers, writers, architects, fashion designers and printers, all within a community space designed to enable collaboration. Breakfast clubs encourage networking opportunities, and workshops provide training in using darkrooms, jewellery making and printing. The gallery space hosts curated shows and residencies, and outside events such as the Margate Bookie regularly utilise the facilities. Resort Studios also offer open days and workshop classes that are available to the public. resortstudios.co.uk

a stroll along...

THE GRAIN GROCER A passion for organic foods and family-friendly environments led Katherine and Wade to go into business together and launch The Grain Grocer. The company started in London's Crystal Palace farmers' market but has since grown and matured, and as a result The Grain Grocer café and store has recently opened, selling thoughtfully and locally-sourced organic food and ingredients. As well as striving for a minimal carbon footprint with initiatives such as a 5% discount to customers who bring in their own container for goods, their community focus and desire to give to the area is inspiring them to forge educational plans with local institutions and partnerships with nearby organisations including the Windmill Scheme. thegraingrocer.co.uk

TRANSMISSION With his extensive background working in record shops, Spencer and his partner Kimberley are perfectly suited to running a niche vinyl store targeting both listeners and collectors. The shop front has been restored to a design from 1952 and the interior customised with records, figures, posters and memorabilia. Priding themselves on fair pricing and a tasteful choice of vinyl, Spencer and Kimberley profess their love for Northdown Road and are working alongside many other local businesses to increase the sense of community. Transmission elicits a sense of childlike wonder with its retro feel, floor made from old vinyl records - nice touch - and varied selection of stock, and is a haven for anyone passionate about music. transmissionrecords.co.uk

Margate Mercury


Northdown road

CLIFFS Boasting an enormous amount of space and a diverse offering, Cliffs is uniquely a coffee bar, vintage record store, hair salon and yoga centre. On-site coffee bean roasting by Curve Roasters and a huge basement studio for community projects add further layers of variety. Owners Ed and Kier have played to their strengths; Ed has a background in vinyl and Kier is a yoga instructor, and their aim is to be as community-inclusive as possible. The studio space will be free to use for charities and non-profit organisations, and Cliffs will be partnering with local practitioners of Pilates and Reiki to offer a varied timetable of classes. Cliffs not only sells but buys old records and the jukebox and pinball machines add to the retro feel. cliffsmargate.com

BATCHELORS PATISSERIE Batchelors has been Northdown Road’s local café for the past half century and is still going strong. New owner Gillian took over not just the coffee shop and bakery, but the exclusive recipes that keep customers coming back. All food is made on the premises to the same recipes that have been passed down through the years and the café itself is a meeting place for people of all ages. Local art hangs on the walls, courtesy of Lovelys next door, and the atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and inviting. The recently refurbished interior reflects the building’s heritage with a recessed pink ceiling and wood panelling alongside quirky and fun touches, including vintage suitcases hanging from the walls and travel-inspired illustrated wallpaper. twitter.com/GillianT03


Seb Reilly

LOVELYS A stalwart of the street, Lovelys has existed since 1891 and this June celebrates its 125th birthday. Caroline, whose great grandfather started the business, proudly maintains the brand whilst readily adapting to the changing times with a new online shop. The original Margate gallery space that has endured no matter what, Lovelys holds curated exhibitions on its upper floor and is integral to the local art community with its impressive range of art supplies, excellent and friendly service and work with local artists. The interior is modern yet familiar, showcasing art and sculpture, packed with paint, brushes and tools of the trade, and with a popular specialist framing department that is hugely renowned. lovelysgallery.co.uk


Photography Jo Bridges

MARGATE ARTS CLUB Run as a non-profit community space by owners Luke and Amy, Margate Arts Club hosts artists-in-residence who work within the studio space, offers classes and exhibitions, and holds events. Members pay a one-time fee of £20 to join and can then attend the varied timetable on offer. A small, well-stocked bar provides refreshments, and the social enterprise aspect of the Margate Arts Club makes it a valuable resource for the local area. The space has been painstakingly restored with vintage French shutters, dramatic architectural details and some seriously glamorous decorative touches. You'll also find ample space for dancing and a sweet, secret courtyard garden out the back. See you there. margateartsclub.co.uk


Margate Mercury


summer stays Writer

Clare Freeman

ard aw nee mi no


f you’re planning a stay in Margate this summer then lucky you - Margate’s selection of accommodation is perfect for all budgets and tastes, with luxury hotels, stylish and quirky Airbnbs, cute cottages... and even a prison cell! Here’s our pick of the best for your next summer trip to Margate (or ‘staycation’ treat)

S M U G G L E RS C OT TAG E Surrounded by art galleries in the heart of the Old Town, this three-floor cottage dating from the 1600s has been lovingly transformed by owners Gary and Margit and local up-andcoming architect Sam Causer into a contemporary, light and luxurious abode. With a glass extension at the back, the kitchen and dining room is bathed in natural light and there’s a small walled garden at the rear for summer evening cocktails or morning coffee. From £238, minimum two-night stay smugglerscottage.co.uk

▲ ▼ Jo Bridges

For FAMILIES & GROUPS SWEET DREAMS If you’re lusting after sea views and have fun firmly on your agenda, this is the place to go. This light and colourful apartment, located in a Georgian building on the seafront, can sleep up to six people with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. There’s a few fun extras, including sweetie jars, a dressing-up box and juke box, plus a large copper bath for long, leisurely soaks. From £150 per night sweetdreamsinmargate.co.uk

with juke box

▼ Lizzie Orme

er rm ery o f ew br

O L D T OW N R E T R E AT This two-floor, two-bedroom luxury apartment is part of a Grade II Listed 18th century former brewery in Margate’s historic quarter, just a few minutes walk from the beach, Turner Contemporary and the town’s best shops and restaurants. The interior has been beautifully furnished by owner Lizzie Orme, an interiors photographer, with one-off pieces from Margate’s vintage shops and contemporary fixtures and furnishings. From £135 per night, minimum two-night stay oldtownretreat.co.uk

▲ Alex Hill

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OLD BARREL STORE This Grade II Listed two-bedroom flint cottage, part of the former Cobb Brewery in Margate’s historic quarter, has a light and warm interior and is ideal for families, with its large collection of toys, games, books and DVDs. There’s plenty of space inside and out, with a large courtyard garden and spacious rooms with high ceilings made from old wooden beams salvaged from ships. From £110 per night barrelstoremargate.com

Margate Mercury



FOR COUPLES SANDS HOTEL This design-led boutique hotel offers 20 contemporary and luxurious rooms, some with their own balconies overlooking the beach. Make sure to head to the private guest-only roof terrace to sunbathe and enjoy the bay views, or dine in the restaurant with its panoramic vista of the bay. There’s also a popular ‘gelateria’ next door, Melt - also owned by the hotel - serving a range of ice creams in innovative flavours. From £130 per night sandshotelmargate.co.uk

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► Courtesy of Sands Hotel

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▲ Clive Sax

Overlooking the attractive Hawley Square, this boutique B&B, set in a Grade II Listed Georgian townhouse, offers three vast rooms on each floor, each one elegantly adorned with period features. Owners Louise and Liam have designed it as an ‘indulgent getaway’ and it doesn’t disappoint, with luxury furnishings and breakfast served in your room on antique butler trays. Our tip? Book room three if you’re after a room with a view; you can see across Margate’s rooftops with the sea and boats in the distance. From £95 per night thereadingroomsmargate.co.uk

► Courtesy of Walpole Bay Hotel


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Sleeping in a prison cell may not seem like an attractive idea but this tiny underground room is fun, quirky and is a stone’s throw from the action of Northdown Road with its restaurants and shops. The room - created by friendly, artistic owners Polly and Claire - is located in the cellar annex at the front of their Grade II Listed house and includes books, tea and coffee-making facilities, bunk beds with luxury bed linen... and even handcuffs and a noose. And if you want to pretend to your friends you got locked up for the night in Margate you can: Polly and Claire are happy to snap a mug shot of you to take home as a souvenir. From £75 per night theboothmargate.webs.com/our-services

WA L P O L E B AY H O T E L This family-run, eclectic and historic hotel contains an impressive Aladdin’s cave of historical items, all donated from past guests, dotted throughout the hotel and filling rooms on the second floor. There’s a costume room, a room filled with ancient typewriters and we even spotted a sausage maker from 1880 and a Second World War baby’s gas mask. If that wasn’t enough visual pleasure, there’s also a vast ‘Napery’ art collection of 203 napkins on the walls, all illustrated, written, painted and drawn on by past guests. Tracey Emin has hosted many parties here over the years and the hotel is still known for its events, but it’s a fascinating and a warm place to stay too, perfect for a glimpse of Margate's grand past. From £75 per night walpolebayhotel.co.uk ▲ Dik Ng


Margate Mercury


FOUND IN M A R G AT E Wacky and wonderful vintage summer items sourced from Margate's shops (left to right) Wicker picnic basket Hunkydory-24, 24 High Street, £35 Safety matches Margate Retro, 16 King Street, £3 Vintage striped windbreak Mojo, 2a Dane Hill, £12 Philips radio Hunkydory-24, £25 Red hanging paraffin lamp Mojo, £22 Vintage folding striped deckchair Mojo, £23 1922 Oxford Rowing Club life ring Paraphernalia, King Street, £55 Striped wind break Margate Retro, £10 Vintage 1960s Thermos flask Just Jane Vintage, 28-30 King Street, £20

Photography Ben Bowles

Margate Mercury





Ian Allen


Courtesy of Margate local and family history

With its iconic orange chimney and fascinating history, the Cliftonville Lido is a muchloved Margate landmark; a place that has for generations been a destination for fun and enjoyment - not to mention the occasional illicit rave - but today is also a site of controversy and change


ormerly called The Clifton Baths, the Lido was built between 1820 and 1824 by John Boys at a cost of £15,000 to provide the ‘nobility and gentry’ with an opportunity to bathe in heated seawater. During this time Margate was expanding dramatically due to a great construction programme in Margate and Cliftonville. Grand new buildings were being built, roads were being laid out and new hotels were welcoming visitors. The Lido was a semi-circular concrete pool which could accommodate 1,000 bathers and was routinely packed to capacity throughout the summer.

The well known Bradshaw’s Guide of the time stated: “The Clifton Baths, by the Fort, cut out of the chalk cliffs, are unquestionably the most commodious, and have some interesting appendages in the shape of a library, winding passages, curious vaults, daily newspapers, and an organ.” In 1926 The Clifton Baths came under the ownership of John Henry Iles, who also owned the Dreamland amusement park. He remodelled the site, adding cafés, bars and restaurants on a series of terraces, as well as a large outdoor swimming pool built out into the sea. Cliftonville thrived until the Second World War which had a devastating effect on the area. In the late 1940s the private bathrooms at the southern end of the Lido were replaced by an aquarium and mini-zoo, a billiard hall and a puppet theatre. This venue grew in popularity in the 1950s as day trippers and residents flocked to the seaside. Taking advantage of the hospitality which Cliftonville now offered, the Lido began a programme of events which were to define it through the 1950s and 1960s. These events offered a classic slice of seaside glamour and included a Sports Girl Competition, Miss Lido and Mermaid Competitions. The Lido’s popularity continued into the 1970s when the theatre played host to popular entertainers including Charlie Drake and Norman Wisdom, as well as a variety of shows catering to all tastes, as shown in the 1974 Summer Programme which featured ‘The Amazing Penny Whistle Show’. Sadly, the great storm of 1978 caused

extensive damage to the site, heralding the beginning of the end of the Lido as an entertainment centre. Various performances and activities continued, but by the end of the century the Lido began to be regarded as a blot on the landscape, a place used only for the location of weekend boot-fairs. At the start of the millennium the future of the Lido began to look brighter as it was granted Grade II Listed status in 2008. One of the reasons for this was the circular chamber and bathing machine tunnel, the ‘only known examples of purpose-built structures built to store bathing machines and convey them to the beach.’ After controversial plans to change the site to a hotel and apartments were dropped, the site was put up for auction in 2014 for £650,000, but then withdrawn suddenly by the owners who secured a deal with a wealthy businessman who wanted to change it into a sealife centre. Today the Lido is mostly derelict apart from its private hire venue, Cliff Bar, and snooker hall, pool tables and weekly poker tournaments. However the popular gay drag party Sink the Pink is bringing its faded charms to a whole new crowd. This year in March the site was put up for sale again for a guide price of £600,000 in an auction, which was again cancelled last minute. As its owners declined to comment, the future of the Lido is still unfortunately unclear, but we hope the site can be revived to its former glory by owners who respect and love its fascinating history and structure.

“The Clifton Baths have a library, winding passages, curious vaults, and an organ”


Margate Mercury



Writer & Photographer Meg of Margate

Blogger Meg of Margate has an Alice in Wonderland moment at vegan cupcake café, Seaside Cake Parlour


t doesn’t take long for news of a new food establishment in town to reach me, and it was a joy to discover that the latest opening was cake-related! Located on Hawley Street on the edge of the Old Town, Seaside Cake Parlour has a bright and welcoming appearance with white floors and walls, wooden tables and chairs, gold frames, unusual objects and filled bookshelves. The menu is varied and includes a range of freshly-made produce, including bagels, waffles, scones and crepes. The most impressive thing about the menu though it that everything is vegan. Having only consumed vegan food at a few Glastonbury festivals, it’s safe to say I haven’t eaten a lot of it. However, I have eaten a fair amount of cake in my time, so I was keen to see how vegan ones would compare. Portion sizes are excellent at the Seaside Cake Parlour; I couldn’t resist a massive slice of mandarin cake, accompanied by a bucket (well, a large cup) of Earl Grey tea. If there’s anything more satisfying than being perched in a pink chair with tea and cake, I am yet to find it. It was delicious and, if I hadn’t been so full, I would have sampled more (oh look, an excuse to go back).

I learnt from chatting to owner Sarah Strickling that this wasn’t her first cake shop endeavour; she had also opened a cake and catering business in Germany and then in London. Eventually, wanting to live by the sea, she made her way to Margate. With 10 years of experience as a professional pastry chef, Sarah worked at the Sands Hotel before obtaining her own premises. With her business, she hopes to “show how simple it is to enjoy good food the vegan way” and told me how rewarding it is to “see the eyes of a lactose-intolerant child sparkle when choosing from all the options.” An extremely knowledgeable creative, Sarah has a talent for sugar art and also offers a custom cake service and event catering. Seaside Cake Parlour is an original, friendly and laid-back place to enjoy a sweet treat. It has personality too; its unique objects and oversized cups made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. Sarah’s impressive skills in baking and cake customisation are undeniable. On the future of her business, she would “love it to grow and work together with local shops and restaurants, to bring more vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free options to menus.” And of her time in Margate, she adds that she’s “looking forward to enjoying and celebrating this vibrant and quirky place even more.” Seaside Cake Parlour, 24 Hawley Street, Margate seasidecakeparlour.co.uk

Margate Mercury




Margate Mercury


Jade Spranklen

organisations seeking Oasis, a domestic abuse service, is looking for volunteers in a range of roles to support and help victims of abusive relationships, including volunteering in their boutique charity shop and helping out at their fundraising events. Visit oasisdaservice.org/time or contact recruitment@oasisdaservice.org for an application form. Thanet-based charity Beach Within Reach is seeking donations to help fund their free all-terrain wheelchairs, available at seven of Thanet’s beaches to people with a mobility impairment. Donations are needed to provide wheelchairs again in 2017. To donate simply text ‘BINR14’ followed by the amount to 70070. beachwithinreach.wordpress.com 07432 648275 / beachwithinreach@sky.com Zest Communities Thanet is looking for participants for their creative arts workshops for people with dementia/memory problems and their family/carers. Workshops, including art and dance, take place fortnightly on a Thursday 10am12pm or 1.30pm-3.30pm. They also run trips to cultural venues across Thanet for £2 per person and transport can be arranged free of charge. Aspirations Healthy Living Centre, Margate. Call 0300 102 8855 to book. brightshadow.org.uk Windmill Community Garden, a community food growing project based in Margate, is looking for volunteers in various roles to help build a stronger, healthier, more active community in Thanet. Visit windmillcommunitygardens. org or contact 01843 280 555 / windmill.project@surestartmillmead.org.uk. For the latest opportunities please visit : margatemercury.com/#help-margate

Locals offering Photographer Ben Bowles is offering free portrait photos for LinkedIn / CVs / social media to unemployed people seeking work in Margate. Contact benjaminfilmphotography@gmail.com Lana Vanzetta from Margate House in partnership with CAP is offering free photographic classes to adults with learning disabilities every Tuesday from 10.30am to 1.30pm until 12 July. Drop in basis. A small fee of £2.50 is required to cover the cost of refreshments. 39-41 High Street, Margate. facebook.com/creativeadultsproject Copywriter Clare Freeman is offering free help or visits to elderly people living in Margate, as well as help writing a CV and cover letter to unemployed people seeking work. Contact clare.freeman@hotmail.co.uk Sub-editor Ros Anderson is offering free sub-editing and proofreading of CVs or letters to unemployed people or migrants living in Margate. Contact ros-anderson@hotmail.com Writer and campaigner Rachel Bell is offering free 30 minute talks to parents, carers and educators on Challenging Gender Stereotypes and Building Resilience to Sexualisation with pre-school and primary age boys and girls. Email rachel@bettybandit.co.uk / bettybandit.co.uk Designer Lizzy Tweedale is offering advice to small businesses and students on how to design printed material, as well as general graphic design and illustration advice. Contact liztweedale92@hotmail.co.uk

CLASSIFIEDs corner SERVICES Illustrations, family portraits, pet portraits, invitations, cards, wedding packages sophiebelletaylor.com Thanet Based Graphic Designer delliottdesign.com - Logo Design, Brand Identity, Poster Design, Advertisement and more! Original, hand-signed personalised pieces of art of your home or business by illustrator Alex Foster. From £74 alex-foster.com/shop/personalisedillustrated-homeshop-portraits Yoga classes in Cliftonville and Westgate, Mon-Fri mornings and evenings from £7, contact Jill 07800501494 jillsyoga.jimdo.com Benjamin Film Photographycommercial photographer specialising in Thanet businesses. Contact me on 07731 769601, benjaminfilmphotography@ gmail.com or @benjaminfilm

Westgate Therapy: Powerful healing phone sessions bringing relief and resolution to depression, anxiety, addiction and related life-issues. For more info visit westgatetherapy.net Professional makeup artist with 12 years experience in TV, editorial, weddings and bespoke lessons. Contact: lucybakermakeup.com or facebook.com/lucybakermakeup

ITEMS Stitch Pigeon make cushions for all ages in different styles and sizes. Prices start from £7.00 (plus postage P&P applies outside the Thanet area). Contact: twitter.com/StitchPigeon Relite natural firelighters are handmade in Margate using wastepaper, beeswax and sawdust and come in tins of 6 or 12. Sold at plinthspace.com. garryburden45@googlemail.com To submit a classified advert, please visit margatemercury.com/#get-featured

By Charlie Evaristo-Boyce. Available to buy at : Margate's Most Medium Sized Gallery, Fort Road Yard


Margate Mercury

as you've never seen it before... Scandinavian coffee shop serving speciality coffee & home baked goods Harbour Arm, Margate Look out for the Swedish flag

Discover hundreds of unique, whacky and wonderful images of Britain's finest seaside town at

Margate Art

6 Duke Street ∙ CT9 1EP ∙ 07795 662864 info@margateart.uk ∙ www.margateart.uk

Smugglers Cottage A contemporary cottage in the heart of Margate Old Town For further details and to book, visit

Gallery & Shop


2 Lombard Street Margate Old Town CT9 1EJ 01843 292 779 www.lombardstreetgallery.co.uk Open Tue-Sat 11am-5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays 12-4pm

OPEN SPACE YOGA A new yoga studio in Hawley House, Margate, with a variety of classes to suit everyone. Enjoy your first class for free in June 2016. For further details, classes, timetables and prices please visit mouniraalmenoar.blogspot.co.uk

SEASIDE SIRENS Handmade and vintage niceties in Margate!

THE PALACE CINEMA BROADSTAIRS For people who love independent film


Find us on: Facebook Instagram @seasidesirens Twitter @seasidesirens

www.thepalacecinema.co.uk 01843 865726 @ThePalaceCinema

Harbour St Broadstairs CT10 1ET

Weekly exhibitions - pop in to see what's on or hire the space yourself. Find us at: 5-9 Broad Street Margate Old Town CT9 1EW hello@piefactorymargate.co.uk 01843 294 175 www.piefactorymargate.co.uk

Profile for The Margate Mercury

Margate Mercury – Summer 2016  

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

Margate Mercury – Summer 2016  

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