The boss of VisitEngland has toured Margate to witness the developments since the arrival of Turner contemporary I myself did a similar thing today at lunchtime when I popped out to get a newspaper
Unlike the supremo from visit-England James Beresford I represent nobody but myself. That said I'm sure we are all equally important in this little world and my first impression of Margate today coming in from the Badlands of Cliftonville was that the place continues to be run down and probably more menacing than it ever has been.
My first impression was about as bad as it can be, coming into the old shopping centre round the back of the council offices desperate, I think is the word and desolate the area is empty apart from a lone dog tied up to the railings by the public toilets the shops mainly closed the bank empty for many a year.
Needing to use the toilet I was rather disconcerted to hear voices as I was taking a leak, emanating from the cubicle behind me, as you can imagine quite an unsettling atmosphere, God knows what was going on because I didn't wanna stay and listen but that seems nothing unusual in Margate, probably just sharing a needle.
All part of our diverse culture I suppose the High Street is as ever downhill with the recent addition of a burnt out building to complement other burnout buildings nearby.
Having time on my side, I thought I would buy a newspaper and some lunch, which I did and then went to the gardens, just above the clock tower and in front of Giorgio's to enjoy.
Unlike the Chief Executive of visit England I am already familiar with the wonderful new facilities that Margate has which range from the Turner Centre, the beach ball area and Dreamland rising from the ashes, so I concentrated on the people who presumably have taken advice and inspiration from the quality newspapers, like the Telegraph Guardian Times and Independent and decided to soak up the atmosphere along with a humble bloke such as myself in Margate
I cannot tell you how pleasing it is to wallow in the ambience exuding from our guests from the metropolis and further afield a real cosmopolitan crowd in Margate, I must say how surprising it is, to see these middle class readers guzzle strong larger, and I know Guardian readers are bound to be a bit scruffy but tattoes and "statement" dogs?
Slightly unnerving I seemed to attract the attention of Thanet Councils security cameras as I walked through the Centre, why me, why not those Bliming toffs, the council could surely photograph them enjoying booze and drugs.