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Report - The Lido, Margate 05/05/10

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by Rookinella, May 12, 2010.

  1. Rookinella

    Rookinella I should have danced all night
    28DL Full Member

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    Following in the footsteps of the great Mad Tracey from Margate, we explored this mighty decaying sea monster on the complete off-chance and thankfully, luck was on our side which paved the way for a great couple of hours sliding around the fetted floor of the locker rooms and taking in what was once one of Margate's main attractions.

    Tracey Emin is a bit of a hero of mine (yeah we've all got them) and spending just a day in Margate, you can see where she drew inspiration for all the stuff she has made. I met her a couple of years ago and epically failed to say anything cool :eek::gay

    Thanks once again to the Margate boys!

    In a recent article, she writes about the decline of Margate and mentions the Lido that she used to visit as a kid.

    THOUSANDS flocked to Margate in its Victorian heyday but now, with more than a quarter of its shops shut down, it has won the unenviable title of the country's No1 ghost town.Today famous British artist Tracey Emin unveils her latest work in the Kent seaside town as a tribute to where she grew up. And here she tells why the once bustling holiday haven deserves to return to its glory days...

    MARGATE. Margate, my beautiful Margate. Where have you gone?

    Every time I visit you there is something missing - something beautiful from a distant past has been removed, whether it's the scenic railway, the neon on the Golden Mile or Victorian wind shelters.

    As a child it seemed to me that every day from May to September was full of golden sunshine and beautiful emerald green seas.

    There was always something to do. We swam in the Lido - a giant art deco half-moon pool with an array of diving boards. We would listen to Tony Savage play the organ while old ladies would dance together to Tea For Two.

    There were hundreds and thousands of different coloured striped deckchairs always full, with people wearing newspaper hats.

    There were carnivals, Miss Margate, the weekly Butlins talent show, puppet theatres and real theatre. Danny La Rue, Norman Wisdom, Frankie Howerd - they all came to Margate.

    Back in the Seventies, Margate was far from the last resort. It was packed with tourists and day- trippers from April to October. The Golden Mile would be a siege of people walking eight-deep with candyfloss and kiss-me-quick hats.

    You would arrive off the train to be greeted by 1950s neon and Margate's glorious sands.

    The Victorians built a lot of Margate - wonderful piers and sundecks now nowhere to be seen, blown up or destroyed instead of being kept and looked after.

    So much of the amazing architecture has not been preserved, protected or listed. Grade II listed buildings have burned down - desolate car parks stand in their place. Dreamland, Margate's crowning glory, a wonderful old-fashioned funfair - gone.

    The big wheel, which stood high on Margate's skyline, sold for a pittance just as every other major city in the world built theirs. I cried and shook with anger at its disappearance.


    Margate always features heavily in her work especially the wall hangings. I'm sure I saw some monoprints of Dreamland but I can seem to find them again.

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