"Trust me," writes the distinguished local journalist, who lives in Westgate, "it's East Germany with wind farms."
McKinstry quotes the poet, TS Elliot ‘On Margate sands, I can connect nothing with nothing, ’from the poem, ‘The Waste Land’ and adds: "Anyone inspired by the Rough Guide to visit Margate may be in for disappointment. I should know because for the past six years my wife and I have lived on the outskirts of the resort. In a fit of inexplicable folly, for which I must entirely carry the blame, we decided to buy a house there in late 2006."
Like the review of the town from Lisa Richards, which provoked an outraged protest from Ramsgate councillor, Ian Driver, McKinstry's account in the Daily Mail is in dark contrast to the Rough Guide review, and bound to ruffle more than a few local feathers. I tried to illustrate Margate's charm in some photographs on a fabulous Saturday afternoon walk to the Turner Contemporary, a week ago. If I had tried to do the same today, the results might have been very different, given the awful weather.
This morning I was in the Old Town and heard that footfall is down; dragged along to Westwood Cross as the days count-down towards Christmas. I also listened to what I thought was an excellent suggestion, which was that the Council should act proactively to encourage and attract small businesses to develop the High Street as offices, alongside boutique-style shops, as regeneration in the conventional sense, is seen by many as a pipe dream in the present economic crisis.
While this may sound like a jaundiced quote from the art critic, Brian Sewell, we need to recognise that regardless of architecture or artistic taste, the Turner has been a great success and a catalyst in moving the struggling seaside town forward and while I respect my constituent's cynicism and his opinions, I don't necessarily have to agree with his pessimism.
|Turner Contemporary Opening|
PS.. Westgate residents, just to remind you of the micro-pub Bake & Ale House 'Christmas lights extravaganza' which will take place at approx 7.00pm, tomorrow,Saturday 15th Dec behind the Carlton Cinema. As I'm walking home this time, I may try a little 'Ravening Wolf' and a bag of Quex crisps.