As the sun was so brightly shining yesterday, I packed up my satchel and set off in the direction of Margate once more. When I arrived, the beach was beautifully deserted but I could hear the echoes of childhoods spent there and imagined a future where it could be restored to its former glory as the sweetheart of Britain's beach resorts.
From the tacky to the twee, all ensconced by blue British waters, I just love the potential that is here, just waiting to be reignited by the passion of those in the community who care.
I listened with desperate sadness in a charity shop as a small group of women discussed how very much they wished Margate was how it used to be and that now they almost wished they could go somewhere else. I felt like stomping my feet and saying 'No ladies! Everything you need is here. It's just been neglected and needs to be loved. You need to get together and make things grow!'
But I didn't. Perhaps I should have done? Although we all know that shouting solves nothing. I ought to send them a piece of paper with a brainstorm waiting to be filled that begs the question:
'How can I make Margate a better place?'
Sailing along my way, I stopped for a coffee at the Greedy Cow and was warmed to discover their 'Disloyalty Card' by which they actually encourage you to visit the three other independent coffee shops in town including Fort's, Proper Coffee and Shore Coffee. Speaking to the pretty lady behind the counter, she told me how they were all the best of buds and wanted their customers to stay independent and to help the growth of smaller, more personal places like this. More so, because they all loved hanging out in each other's gaffs and especially because they love Margate and simply want to see it flourish.
The message of community spirit here is delicious. And so was the coffee and the lunch.
If you look around Margate, you will see everywhere the most incredible buildings. When people curl their lip at the place, I almost feel like bopping them on the head with a giant spoon (that I likely bought from Scott's Junk Emporium).
Are you mad?? Look at what it has to offer. The place is so insanely brimming with opportunity. It is absolutely begging to be loved, to be seen and to be admired but with any run down place, it is swallowed by misconceptions.
Even if you look underground, you'll find the most beautiful treasures. I was the only soul at the Shell Grotto. and yet this place is astounding and with an admission fee of only £3.50, I'll certainly be calling again. Historic records show no evidence of why it was built or even really the truth of how it was discovered. The mystery hangs in the dimly lit air, under the grounds of a residential street, drowned in millions of shells.
It just seems to me that Margate has all the right ingredients. From spirit, to beautiful architecture, to downright weirdness with a splash of seaside seediness. Projects are in place, plans for refurbishment are piling high but it is a slow crawl uphill. So for now, I'm wondering how we can all put forth our hands to push it upwards? And the answer is simple.