We could have picked a warmer, less windy day, but it was probably for the best that we experienced Margate under the most unfavourable conditions. Gales force 11, hanging onto our hats, smiles frozen in the process of exploring town. I loved it. And it can only get better in summer.
Most shops were closed, and being the last Bank Holiday before the return to work, the streets were pretty much deserted. I loved peeping into the windows of closed, but very promising, shops.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not planning to join the flow of Londoners / artists that are colonising the place, but I do see how they are pumping a new stream of excitement into this town.
Reading local magazine The Margate Mercury (whilst enjoying a lovely cuppa and choc brownie), I realised that the topic of gentrification is very much open among the locals (old and new), something that unfortunately didn’t happen in Peckham when I was living there. Whether gentrification is a good or bad thing it’s not for me to debate here, but as long as there is dialogue within a community it can definitely bring positive change.
Where am I going with this?
Margate immediately felt like a place buzzing with ideas, opportunities and fun to have.
The moment I stepped into the Turner Contemporary I felt inspired, stimulated, like I would do in London at the Tate Modern, but with SPACE around me to walk and think.
From an arts and crafts perspective, Margate is like Peckham on speed, a London shrunk in the washing machine, St. Ives with a bleeding edge.
Perhaps I exaggerate, but the signs were all there. Quirky shops, independent cafes, regeneration projects in progress, a lovely old town, and a beautiful art gallery by the sea.
I’m still not planning a move, but definitely a wkend or two in summer for a ride at Dreamland, and to discover some local artists.