Friday 7 September 2007

Why Margate?

Margate captivated me from my first visit. Driving in past the station, the bay suddenly opens out. The harbour arm in the distance next to the Droit House and the site of the future Turner Contemporary gallery, the golden sands, sea and sky, lots of sky.

I knew as soon as I started wandering the streets around the old town and beyond that this would be a place I'd like to live. The fact that much of the architecture (Georgian, Victorian, Regency, Art Deco...) has survived intact makes it a really special place. But this isn't a town set in aspic, there are changes afoot. Margate has had it's ups and downs as the fortunes of the British tourist industry changed and took a turn for the worse at the end of the 20th century. It started out as England's first tourist resort for wealthy visitors in the 18th century and fully embraced mass tourism in the 20th. There have been long hard years of decline from the 1970s onwards, but there have been changes afoot and the town is due for a renaissance.

I often find myself wandering around photographing buildings and anything that catches my eye as a newcomer to the town. This blog will serve as an archive and also to document the changes the town is undergoing as it moves through the 'regeneration' process. I have a personal interest in architecture and community development. I've moved from Hackney in east London where over the last 9 years I've seen the good and the bad from the regeneration process within my neighbourhood.

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