Monday 17 December 2012

Rough Guide publish their reasons why Margate deserves to be on their travel hot list for 2013

Rough Guides' travel editor Rachel Mills: 
"Just to set the record straight, we're not saying it's one of the top ten travel destinations in the world. We're not claiming it's a chocolate box resort to rival those in Dorset or a landscape to equal Lancashire's wild coastline. The list is our pick of places we think deserve a visit in the coming year. We do however think that the seaside resort is unique and special, and we feel it deserves a spotlight shone on it in 2013."

No one is saying Margate is perfect. But that it is an interesting place to visit. There is much more to do in terms of turning the town around. That's for sure. And any of those lining up to complain about the town's woes are I'm sure the same people turning up to volunteer to help things improve? 

Underscore's view on Margate's success

London based brand consultants, Underscore, were hired to rebrand Margate. They produced "The Original Seaside' slogan that has since appeared on bins, hoardings and some literature.

They've now said the following about the reaction to Margate being included on The Rough Guide's must see destination list for 2013.

"When Underscore took on the task of re-branding Margate, we never thought it would rocket the seaside town up to Number 7 on The Rough Guide’s must see destinations for 2013! 
Margate, described as ‘the gem on the Isle of Thanet’ is the only British destination on the list, amongst cities in Sweden, Cyprus and Puerto Rico. At Underscore we decided the town needed to shed its clich├ęd image of a British seaside town past its best, and focus on its positives – beautiful sandy beaches, character filled streets and the ever-increasing art scene. 
A brand new, £17.5m Turner Art Gallery opened in Margate last year, brining in thousands of art fans to view art by the likes of Tracy Emin. The town has developed a whole host of new indie art spaces, galleries and vintage shops to add to its cute cafes and help make it one of the top destinations in the world. 
It seems now, the only people who need convincing are the locals! Branded as ‘the original seaside’ Margate residents responded to the Rough Guide’s lists saying they thought visitors would be ‘very, very disappointed’ in what they found. 
We cant help but suspect our great re-brand for the town had everything to do with Margate’s new position as a must see destination for 2013! Donkey ride along the beach anyone?!"

Tuesday 11 December 2012

When will Margate Town Team have a meeting the public can go to?

I asked Margate Town Team if the meeting tonight was open to the public. This is in addition to asking who is on the actual Town Team Committee, details of the budget, expenditure and minutes from the meetings since August.

This is the reply I got:

---------- Forwarded message ----------Date: 11 December 2012 14:15
There is definitely NO PUBLIC MEETING this evening - I fail to understand why certain individuals spread rumours that are completely untrue and cause unnecessary grief.   Please spread the word to quash this rumour.  
We are having a normal MTT meeting with Exec Committee and TT Members only.  If there had been a public meeting this would have been widely promoted, of course, and definitely sent out to all my contacts and local traders informed.  
With Christmas pending, this is not a suitable time for a Public Meeting, so when one is organised sometime in the New Year, I will definitely inform everyone as I always do and will give plenty of notice, which is important to involve all interested parties.  
Hard copies of the past minutes are now available for inspection in the MTT Office. Wanda will be attaching copies of these also to the Margate Town website.    
Sorry to dash - if anything else, I will respond tomorrow.  
Kind regards P

[Ed.] By the way, I didn't add the red 'NO PUBLIC MEETING' that was in the reply email!

Now, call me crazy, but really is it odd to expect that 7 months in to a 12 month Central Government backed pilot scheme that members of the public would be able to come to a meeting?

Never mind the fact that there is still no confirmation of who is on the Town Team Committee and how they got on there. No minutes in digital format, other than a hard copy in 'the office', and no details of budget expenditure.

We've heard nothing of anything organised for Christmas for the High Street. Nada. 

Monday 10 December 2012

Margate Sinners! Repent! Satan's Grotto is here for 1 more day

The brilliant Satan's Grotto in the basement at Parade Gallery Margate is, well, just a brilliant concept.  It's a beautifully creative use of a pop up space. I think the best Christmas event I've seen in ages. It seems to have captivated people. Plus they get an original Nick Morely gift too. Nick's page:

Follow #satansgrotto on Twitter @parademargate @Hazeleigh89 @Linocutboy

My second good Margate thing this weekend was Dan Bass' annual Christmas Party for freelancers and freeloaders. Genius. Around 50 people turned up to Barnacles on Friday night. The event has become an institution and shows how much the Margate creative community has grown over the last few years. Those of us without a company do to go have a place to be!

Satan's Grotto is open for one extra day today, Monday 10th. I can think of a good few Margate big wigs who could well do with a confessional in the basement. But that's another thing. You know who you are!

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Kent Creative Workshop - Thursday December 6th

Calling all creatives!

Come to a workshop to help Kent County Council understand the needs of creative people and businesses across the county.

Thursday December 6th, 4pm-6pm: Margate Media Centre, 11-13 King Street, Margate, CT9 1DD.

The full range of workshop dates are in the invitation PDF.

On behalf of Kent County Council, Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy ( is carrying out research into Kent’s Creative Hotspots – those places where the creative sector has the greatest potential for growth and where investment in workspace and 'wrap-around' infrastructure will deliver the enabling conditions for a vibrant and value-adding creative sector. In doing this we hope to understand the current provision of workspace for creative businesses, forecast what future demand and potential gaps in provision will be, as well as identify those places which represent the biggest opportunity for growth.
Each workshop will focus on three main questions:
1. What are the current strengths and weaknesses of Kent as a location for creative practitioners and businesses?
2. What are the biggest barriers to success faced by creative practitioners and businesses in the County?
3. What should be the priorities for investment in the future for public and private sector organisations?

Monday 3 December 2012

Tonight is Hydropathe Film Club night at the Tom Thumb Theatre

Tonight is Monday night and this means it's the Hydropathe film club night at the delightful Tom Thumb Theatre. I'm not always clever enough to get the clues, but this week I reckon I've cracked it. 

Housed within one of Margate and Cliftonville treasures, the Tom Thumb Theatre, Hydropathe is fast becoming a ritual. 

They release clues in the week before as to what the film will be. But actually, I really like the surprise element of not knowing. Entry costs £2.50. There's a bar for drinks and of course popcorn. Doors open at 6.30 and the film starts at 7.30. 

The audience can suggets films and at some point they might be lucky to have a screening. But it's all a surprise. 

This is one of the exciting little gems of an event to spring up in the area that make Margate so special. Have an idea? Try it out. 

They publish clues on their facebook page. 

This week's clues:
CLUE 1: this week's film features an actor who also featured in the first film we played at Club Hydropathe ...
CLUE 2: I'll show you the life of the mind!
CLUE THREE: a box, a hotel, a type-writer.

Councillor Shirley Tomlinson banned from driving for drink driving

The Thanet Gazette have reported that Thanet Councillor, Shirley Tomlinson who is Shadow Member for Housing and Planning and whose committee appointments also list the Licensing Committee, has been banned from driving for 21 months after being found guilty of driving over twice the legal limit on November 12th. 

"COUNCILLOR Shirley Tomlinson was banned from driving today after she was stopped more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system.
The Conservative former shadow cabinet member for housing was pulled over by police early on Monday, November 12 near her home in Nash Court Road, Margate.
The former Margate mayoress had 84mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, in excess of the legal 35mg limit when behind the wheel of her Toyota people carrier.
Mrs Tomlinson received a 21-month driving ban which can be reduced to 16 months on completion of a rehabilitation course.
She was also ordered to pay a £360 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
For more details, see Friday's Isle of Thanet Gazette."