Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Welcome to Margate, maybe

I watched the Channel 4 programme “Mary Queen of High Streets” and was dismayed by the poor welcome given to Mary Portas. Margate was privileged to be chosen as one of three places in the UK where television programmes were made in support of the Portas Pilot schemes.

It was obvious from the television programme that Mary was visibly upset by the negative reception and publicity given to herself and her camera team. Perhaps some members of the Margate community did not want to be filmed in case it affected their benefit claims

One serious lesson which needs to be learned from the screening of this television programme is, if Margate wants to succeed as a 21st Century seaside town, it has to re-learn the meaning of “WELCOME".


  1. I suspect there's been some clever editing, and it's not quite as one-sided as it looks... not that I've seen it yet: I got rid of my TV licence a few months back so I look forward to watching it online tomorrow! : )

  2. Louise Oldfield via twitter:

    Saddened by @maryportas Margate #maryhighstreet programme. Will issue press release tomorrow and head over to OFCOM. Truth will out.

    1. Well you got the "Inland Pier", "Billy the confectionery willy purveyor" and "50% of Chas n Dave"

      And Tracey Emin with a genius message to scrawl on a mug.

      I think I will commission some mugs for Billy to flog "Margate Miss me Quick"

      Louise there was no faking the body language. Mary Portas was having the Thanet experience. The life force drained out of her. Best of luck with OFCOM but you cannot get a result out of this.

      I am still laughing about the attempt for a Guiness World Record. The chap who now has Thanet Council covering up an expose' of a cover up of an expose' of a cover up of a cover up of planning enforcement malpractice.


      This follows a comment I sent which said:-
      "You would need to expand on that comment, when I heard a member of Margate community saying "switch off the cameras etc". What is there to hide?"

      Anyone is welcome to continue the conversation on this blog.

    3. Seems like a case of too many inflated egos (from all sides)...

      To be fair on Chas (& Dave), Dave Peacock had officially retired at the time following a farewell tour, but has since been persuaded to do another tour.

    4. Peter, If you read "A peacock riding a toboggan" on Margate Architecture, it is obvious there is so much in fighting within Margate Town Team, that they only have themselves to blame for this fiasco.

      I think OFCOM will tell them that the progamme is a true record of the meeting. And Margate continues to suffer until these idiots get over their inflated egos and learn to work as a "real" team.

    5. I think you're right that they're wasting their time, such a shame they can't all just try to get along for the good of the area.

  3. Allan Mallinson15 May 2013 at 08:27

    Sadly would we expect any better from the Nimbys of Thanet generally. What enterprise has ever been welcomed and even the Turner which has done wonders for Margate Old Town area was lampasted by the objectors who would have preferred an ice rink. Mind you, if it had started out as an ice rink proposal they would have objected to that.

    The indigenous Thanet population, descended from smugglers, wreckers and fisher folk are not without enterprise, even turning to a bit of arson when the need arises, but too many of the incomers are retired just looking for no disturbance or on the benefits by the sea jolly. Enterprise, activity and jobs is the last thing that latter group want.

    Even our councillors, conditioned by years of protest, tend to take the do nothing so we cannot offend approach and have become masters of deferring every decision for the perpetual next meeting.

  4. OK, I've just watched it! 3 brief observations:

    (1) They made it look as if The Winter Gardens is long gone, when it's in fact very much thriving and still attracts some big names.

    (2) Are those that were complaining about the presence of cameras the same people that are currently campaigning FOR council meetings to be filmed? Certainly looks like it.

    (3) It's the first time I've ever seen Mary Portas in anything (I don't watch much TV) and I quite liked her, certainly better than the impression I got in the local press including Isle of Thanet Gazette!