Margate, The Old Town, the Turner Contemporary and Camp Granada

You know that song by Allan Sherman from 1963. “Hello Muddah, Hello Farder, here I am at Camp Granada’

You know, the one, where the camp looks terrible, it’s wet and vile. Then the sun comes out and it all looks beautiful again. You know, this one.

Well that’s what has happened in Margate. I wrote a piece in August 2009 here. And then later in 2009, I suggested that Margate Councillors should be more creative in the way they attracted retailers here.

Well, the alternative was to build a huge great new Turner Contemporary instead. Which they did.

The new Turner Contemporary in Margate
The new Turner Contemporary in Margate

And what a difference it has made. It’s like the clouds have cleared and the games have started. The Old Town, which had potential, has delivered. A little market was a start point, but the retail space is lovely.

Margate Old Town - What a beautiful place
Margate Old Town - What a beautiful place

And whilst this picture doesn’t do it justice, the cafes are bustling on a Sunday morning and people are landing to see the Turner and spreading out through the town.

Cupcakes and coffee in Margate old town
Cupcakes and coffee in Margate old town

Margate looked lovely for the first time in years. It looks a little loved, as though the money spent on it has finally been well spent. The future for Margate has to be more than pie and mash and jellied eels, it has to have some culture in it too. Hopefully the Turner and it’s crowd of visitors can deliver this too.

I just hope the growth continues back into the rest of the town too….

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