Wednesday 31 October 2012

The Mary Portas cheap daytrip tickets to Margate

On the 22nd of Oct I wrote to South Eastern enquiring about the cheap weekend £10 day return ticket that had been organised by Mary Portas and announced shortly before the Margate Relaunch event on Oct 20th.

Don't get me wrong. Nothing against reducing train fairs to Margate. They are seriously too high.

I asked Thanet Council and Visit Kent if they had been contacted regarding this offer and surprisingly they said no they hadn't.

The Portas Pilot scheme is all about empowering communities. Yet no one from the Margate Town Team, Thanet Council, Kent County Council knew about it. 

for Southeastern Customer Relations, PO Box 63428, London, SE1P 5FD
Tel: 0845 000 2222

Ref: 564156 / 371584
Thank you for your email dated 22 October.

 I'm sorry that our Mary Portas special offer discounted tickets to Margate don't include the option to stay overnight. As you offer a bed and breakfast service in the area, I realise this must be disappointing for you.

Mary Portas was commissioned by the Government to aid regeneration in the high street. Together with the Local Government Minister, Grant Shapps, she launched a competition to choose 12 towns to become 'Portas Pilots'. The winners stood to benefit from a share of £1million to help turn around their 'unloved and unused' high streets. Margate is one of the towns selected by Mary Portas to be a 'Portas Pilot' town. More details about the project can be found on the Government website:

 We were first contacted by the Mary Portas project a few weeks ago. As part of the project, they wanted us to consider offering discounted rail tickets to Margate. Southeastern is pleased to support the initiative, and we agreed to offer 500 discounted day return tickets each weekend for the duration of the promotion to encourage day trips to the town. However, because the Mary Portas project are liaising with local authorities, we didn't feel it necessary to consult with local authorities or stakeholders about the offer before it was introduced.

 I'm sorry we don't include an open return option as part of this offer. However you'll be pleased to note that, as well as the special-offer Mary Portas tickets, we also offer discounted 'Weekender' tickets (from £31.20) and 'Open Return' tickets (from £36.60) for passengers from London who want to stay in Margate overnight. For our part, we hope that passengers who take the opportunity to use the day trip tickets to Margate will visit for a longer stay at a later date.

 I hope this information is helpful, and thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

 Yours sincerely

 Daniel Westlake
Customer Relations Officer

Thanet District Council - Latest Asset Disposal List

Annex 1
List of property and land for disposal
1. 470/1-1 - Old rose garden – Rose Gardens, Pysons Road, Broadstairs CT10 2YF
2. 42/2-2 - 41 Hawley Square, Margate, CT9 1NY
3. 213/1-1 - Ramsgate Swimming Pool site, Newington Road, Ramsgate, CT12
4. 364/1-1 - Mocketts Wood, Hopeville Avenue, St Peters Broadstairs CT10 2TR
5. 82/1-2 - Tivoli Road land, Margate CT9 5SE
6. 39/1-3 - 38 – 40 Grosvenor Place, Margate, CT9 1UW

Events: Turner Contemporary - What's on in November

Fresh in from Turner Contemporary for their events running in November.

Re their Late Night Live Christmas item, I'm sure there are some other shops in Margate that might be open too on the evening of Friday November 30th and not just Margate Old Town.

Tuesday to Sunday
and bank holidays
10am - 6pm
(Closed Mondays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve)
Join us on:

Alex Katz: Give Me Tomorrow
Until 13 Jan 2013
Free admission, upper galleries
Come and explore our current exhibition, full of paintings by one of America's most important living artists, Alex Katz. The exhibition features portraits, land and seascapes, figure studies and flowers. Alongside these works are Katz's personal selection of paintings from the Tate Collection.

#katz Alex Katz! Such colour! Reminded me of Italian frescos too. Loved curated works - esp Hockney & Hodgkin. Go on a dull winter day @danabouttown

Maria Nepomuceno:
Tempo para Respirar
(Breathing Time)
Until 17 March 2013
Free admission, Sunley Gallery
Immerse yourself in Brazilian artist Maria Nepomuceno's new commission for our Sunley Gallery, created with the help of local artists and makers and members of the public. Lie in the hammock, feel the textures of the coiled rope and handmade beads and listen to interesting sounds as you become part of the artwork.
Thu 1 Nov & Fri 2 Nov, 12 noon
Free, drop in
Inspired by Alex Katz's love of poetry, writers and graduate students from the Centre for Modern Poetry and Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Kent give lunchtime readings in the galleries of Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems.

Fri 9 & Fri 23 Nov, 3pm
Free, drop in
Join a member of our programming team for a spotlight talk in front of featured artworks:

9 Nov - Alex Katz, Coleman Pond / David Hockney, Man in Shower in Beverley Hills
23 Nov - Alex Katz, Road / Piet Mondrian, The Tree A / Arbre
22 Nov - special guest tour with Curator Holly Grange
A free guided tour of the exhibition takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 11am.

Alex Katz and the New York School 
Thu 1 Nov, 6pm
Tickets: £5 / £4 concessions
Poet and critic David Herd talks about the New York School poets that Alex Katz painted, their influence on his work, and reads from some of their key works.

Alex Katz and the American Dream
Thu 7 Nov, 6pm
Tickets: £5 / £4 concessions
Following the 2012 US presidential election, author and critic Bonnie Greer, writer on American culture Sarah Churchwell and painter Merlin James discuss the class politics of Katz's paintings and question whether the American Dream is still possible.

Curating Katz
Thu 29 Nov, 7pm
Tickets: £5 / £4 concessions
Artistic Director of Tate St Ives Martin Clark and Head of Exhibitions at Turner Contemporary Sarah Martin reflect on their curatorial approach to Katz's work for Give Me Tomorrow.

Easy Holidays: Story Portraits
Thu 1 Nov, 1- 4pm£3 per child / free for adults, under 3s and families living in CT9 postcode, drop in
Taking inspiration from Katz's portrait paintings in Give Me Tomorrow, adults and children can create their own collage story together, with help from artist Beccy McCray and the University for the Creative Arts.
Easy Sundays
Every week, 1- 4pm
£3 per child / free for adults, under 3s and families living in CT9 postcode, drop in
Help artist Luke Vandenberg to create theatre sets and props at Lights, Katz, Action! on 4 & 18 November, and make textile tunnels inspired by Nepomuceno's immersive installation on 11 & 25 November. 
Life Drawing classes with Roy Eastland
Tue 13, 20, 27 Nov, 6-8pm£8 / £7 concessions per session
Artist Roy Eastland returns to give a series of life drawing classes, in our Foyle Room which overlooks the sea.
Saturday Studio: 
Pouncing Portraits
Every week except Craft Club days
1-4pm, drop in
£3 per adult / children free
We have two activities for you to take part in - try Katz's pouncing technique when making your own portrait / make a wish to hang on our artist-made New Year tree, which will be in our Clore Learning Studio during the festive period.
Portraits day workshop
Sat 17 Nov, 10am - 4pm
£50 / £40 concessions
Artist Charles Williams takes inspiration from Katz's iconic painting style to help you create a watercolour portrait, from life.
Book online at booking code AY134 MAR-12-B
Craft Club
24 Nov, 1-4pm
Free, drop in
Learn craft techniques inspired by Nepomuceno's Sunley Gallery commission with our friendly volunteer craft enthusiasts. 

Fri 30 Nov, 6-9pm, free, drop inWe're getting the festive season started with our special late night event. Join us for the turning on of our Christmas tree lights, to sing carols, celebrate with craft activities and much more. We've got 10% discount in our shop and our neighbours in Margate Old Town are also staying open late - a great opportunity for some Christmas gift shopping.
Northern Ballet's Beauty & the Beast
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Tue 6 - Sat 10 Nov Be transported into an enchanting world of colour, inhabited by fairies, goblins and sprites, with an elaborate mirrored set, and haute couture-style costumes.  
Read more and book online at
Main image:
Alez Katz: Give Me Tomorrow, installation view at Turner Contemporary, 2012. Photo Manu Palomeque
- Alex Katz, Black Hat (Bettina) 2010, Oil on linen Private Collection, London © Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY Image courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris - Salzburg
Maria Nepomuceno, Tempo para Respirar (Breathing Time), installation view at Turner Contemporary, 2012.
Photo Stephen White.
Alez Katz: Give Me Tomorrow, installation view at Turner Contemporary, 2012. Photo Manu Palomeque
- Easy Holidays. Photo Carmen De Witt
Turner Contemporary
Kent CT9 1HG
Tel: +44 (0) 1843 233 000
Fax: +44 (0)1843 233029
Join us on: