Blog post from BB1's Nick Bateman for Kent online:
"Many years ago in fact as far back as 1264 there was a town called Meregate, which later became known as Margate. Steeped in maritime history it also became a very popular holiday resort for both rich and poor.
Inventions such as the bathing machine a contraption that was wheeled out to sea for both men and women to change into their costumes, made the experience of swimming ‘proper’ and drew more and more holidaymakers.
Margate was on the rise and both the famous and not so famous made a beeline for the stunning beaches, warm sunshine and good old Kentish beer. Songs and poems and films were made about Margate and families enjoyed each other’s company. Life was good for Margate. Well, if we ignore the mods and rockers having a pop at each other in the 1960s…
But in a cruel twist of fate Margate fell out of vogue. Gone were the wealthy tourists, and instead, Margate became home to desperadoes’, and many economic migrants, as well as many disenchanted Londoners sent to Margate by the various councils of London to enjoy the town and live free. Well almost.
The Victorian pier was largely decimated by a storm in 1978, mysterious fires destroyed buildings, unemployment started to climb and property prices headed south. The UK was in financial turmoil in the 1980s, and Margate began to suffer more than most. One newspaper called Margate ‘Britain’s Top Ghost Town’ and they didn’t mean of the spooky kind.
But hey presto, a glimmer of hope was there in the Noughties. But some evil landowners, it was said, decided to offer ‘incentives’ or might have been ‘bribes’ to some land and estate agents and not to pass on offers from buyers to sellers. It was so they could buy them on the cheap! Boo I hear you say, and you would be right. Allegedly.
Huge government grants became available and suddenly the money was gone and some evil people might have trousered the lot. Allegedly.
Humble shopkeepers were asked for more rent and when they could not pay, they were chased to the end of the globe for the funds. Allegedly.
A huge gallery then appeared in 2011 with much acclaim, and with the gallery came the crowds. Many coming down to Margate yet again in mechanically propelled vehicles, as well as something called HS1.
With the crowds came the sunshine, but beneath Margate’s rebirth, a few of those who felt wronged and a few with morals decided to start to expose those people, which they thought were responsible. Their aim is to make Margate the great place it deserves to be, without the alleged corruption. Like all good stories, there is bound to be a happy ending…"