Sunday, 23 January 2011

Cliftonville Lido, Margate

There are times that you can look back on and remember how truly happy you were at particular stages in your life. One of these such times has been on my mind recently and prompted a visit to Margate this afternoon.
On a really rather warm sunny day in June 2002, I convinced my husband that it wasn't that far to walk from Herne Bay to Margate along the coast and we spent the day, walking, making plans for our future and celebrating our second anniversary. I was so excited about going to Margate and so sad to discover what a sorry looking place it had become. The magnificent buildings were still there but no longer in all their splendor as they crumbled and clearly reflected the neglect they had endured. The rust stained paint work, exasperated by the salty air gave the impression of being tear stained, longing for the days when the town was loved and a British seaside institution. We ate in a pub which had old photos of Margate all over the walls. It was on this day that we planned to move to Kent, which we did in July 2004.

The first summer we lived in Kent, I discovered the derelict Cliftonville Lido, which for some reason stuck in my mind.  Perhaps I could just imagine how beautiful it must have once been. I love the postcards that can be found on the  Thanet Coastal Life Blog and could only dream of swimming there on a glorious British summer day.

Sadly today it is looking quite desolate. Following a storm in January 1978, the Lido was damaged and left to rot along with the pier that disappeared altogether. I think the Lido may well be beyond repair now, but there is still hope for Margate. The The Turner Contemporary  is due to open in April 2011 and work has already began on the 1920's cinema, as part of Save Dreamland Campaign.

The plans my husband and I made on our first visit to Margate have all come to light so I do hope that Margate claims back some of that glory it deserves.


  1. I only just read this and think it's beautifully written. I wish I got notifications of your blog so I didn't miss your installments. How can I set that up?

    1. I do have a 'follow by email' at the top of my links on the right of my blog, you could try that and if that doesn't work, I'll try and set up something else. And thank you for the lovely comment x


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