Tuesday, 25 March 2008


I missed it earlier in the Thanet Times, but YATESs is the latest victim of a dying Margate.

As my taxi brought me home from the fracture clinic, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that the normal gang of afternoon drinkers were not in place in YATESs on the corner of Cecil Square.

According to Richard Spillet's report, staff were given a week's notice and yesterday was the last day at work for 12 staff. YATESs web site already shows Margate is no longer a venue.

I suspect that the smoking ban and Margate's declining night life are the prime causes. Not only has Margate now ceased to be a busy town during the day but its night- life is fast imploding. When a 'chain' like YATESs is looking at its own declining sales and profitability it has to make hard choices and closing at Margate after 8 years in the town is the result.

It now joins The Cottage and The Wellington (in the up and coming artistic old quarter!) as closed watering holes in Margate since Christmas. I predicted last year on another site( that has now been closed/suspended or whatever) that crunch time for Margate businesses would be Jan/Feb/Mar 2008 and that prediction is now proving too correct.

Westwood was bad enough as a characterless shopping precinct but also allowing bingo, casino, eateries and a multi-plex cinema to open up at that depressing site has made sure that Margate's night-life will now die as well as many of its High Street shops. The decline is proving remorseless and the callous deliberate demise of Dreamland aided and abetted by TDC ignoring an Independent Planning Inspectors recommendations has hastened it.

I am afraid that I believe we have reached the point where further decline is now inevitable and that closures will accelerate. The problems shared by all 'sea-side' towns has been exacerbated by our own Council as they followed the 'Holy Grail' of The TC , made the ghastly mistake of allowing Dreamland to be half residential and Westwood to be a 'new town'. If Margate has collapsed in the past 3 years so dramatically during the 'economic ' good times, how can we really expect it to improve, now the cold winds of recession are gathering force.?

Are there any optimists out there still?


Anonymous said...

I am sad to say that I have to agree with you. I have tried by email to inform a couple of councillors that they are not listening to Thanet people but it as usual fell on deaf ears.
I have lived here for over 60 years and I have never seen Margate in such an awful state of decay. With the economic outlook at the moment so weak it does not bode well. I feel for the young.

Michael Child said...

I have decided that since I want Ramsgate to remain a town, I am going to stop out of town spending wherever possible. I can only recommend that Margate people do the same. Don’t know what the rest of you think but I would have thought it worth some personal inconvenience to halt the wanton destruction of our towns. The big chain retailers need to get a clear message that everyone travelling to them is environmentally unsustainable, the bottom line here is it’s down to us to support what remains.

bertie biggles said...

No optmists here,sadly but you do have a valid point, Michael, about doing as much as we can to support the surviving traders in our town centres.

Anonymous said...

Did you support the miners back when it was their turn ?

The Southall Sikhs gave more charitable gifts of food for the starving Kent mining families than did the locals.

So now you squeal but only because now it is you being nipped.

Market forces. You can't buck the market. There is no such thing as society.

If your business cannot stand up to opposition then your business must adapt or die.

We are all Thatcherites now. Rejoice.

bertie biggles said...

A fair market requires a level playing field 20.40 and giving, effectively, out of town 'green-field' sites to multi-nationals and large chains, is not a level playing field.

Anonymous said...

It would be fine to visit Margate if there were any shops worth visiting, since they have all up sticks and left!

We also have the nonsense of free parking at Westwood Crass, and increased parking charges for visiting Margate ghost town!

The sense of this is? The Council wanting us to pay through the nose to visit a bunch of empty shops, and a fully staffed Art Gallery that does not actually exist!

You could not write this as a tv farce that anyone would think plausible, even in the deepest depths of satire!!!!

bertie biggles said...

Couldn't agree more 23.11!

Anonymous said...

The main reason Margate is dying.


Don't get me wrong the ones that pay their way work and pay taxes I support them, but round here in Cliftonvile I feel like im in a diffrent country, and I moved down from a sydenham, a mainly black community in SE London.

If they ain't working, kick them out!

Anonymous said...

People, take time out and for them top-up items you need, go to the Greengrocer or Butcher or Fishmonger. Its almost an education visiting the small shops as you do see things you don't in the supermarkets. I know people want to save time but what do you do with it all? Watch another crap property programme, or chav chat show?

bertie biggles said...

18.49, I have to disagree with you even while I understand what your frustrations might be.
I think Margate, in particular, has been the victim of its own Councils' folly for a number of years now and I suspect that there are quite a few Councillors past and present who are privately admitting that 'we got it all wrong'. Nothing to do with our immigrants at all.
Any depressed area with the natural assets we have in Thanet, is bound to attract immigrants into vacant and cheap flats and houses of multiple occupancy. I take the view that we should be tolerant of all residents whatever their background. As the NOW article last Sunday highlighted, our own 'scroungers' are more numerous and as equally a drain on their fellow citizens pockets and goodwill as our immigrant citizens. The chances , if previous immigration patterns are followed, are that immigrants will be working their way out of dependancy whilst our 'home-grown' scroungers are still sitting in their bedsits being a drain.

Anonymous said...

I have to kinda agree with the immagrant comment that could be part of the reason things are happening the way they are, but who are we to judge, I moved here from london but i remember when i used to visit Margate as a child n rather enjoyed the weekends here, I moved here hoping the best for my own child but it seems i am mistaken as things are closing down like mad, and soon there shall be no enjoyment left to share with families. And even the nightlife is dissapearing too. but is there really anything we can do if we are not being taken seriously in this matter?..