It is with some trepidation that I ask this question as the response to my last comments about the 'hype' at Margate Harbour Arm on May Bank Holiday week-end received this comment from Fiona Sherriff, (Margate Harbour Arm Ltd/ Ramsgate Properties/ Pineapple Properties (Kent) Ltd), whom I hope has invested in a stronger front door and has realised that keeping £20,000 in loose change around the house is not a good idea as 'Kent's Finest' have probably advised her already:
" Your comments illustrate your utter stupidity and lack of imagination. Go and sit in a hole and take some more vallium. If you need some razor blades I can arrange it. "
I suppose, given the circumstances of a wrecked home/credit squeeze/ falling property prices and other developers in Thanet ceasing work on projects, things haven't been too good for Fiona and Graham recently.
Anyway, back to the title. I went along on a June Sunday afternoon at the end of the Summer Half Term week to savour the delights of The Harbour Arm. As I passed the broken/incomplete flag pole and piles of wood, I actually came across a mum and two children on The Harbour Arm; "How nasty" said one toddler, exiting from and describing the mobile loo followed by a cry from Mum , " Jason, get off that wood it has nails sticking out". They were the only people Bertie saw in 30 minutes on the Harbour Arm.
What's my point? We have about 12 weeks of summer left and as the picture above shows, English weather in the summer is not always conducive to a brisk trade on seaside Harbour Arms based in a town that is quietly dying without a major all weather attraction. Granted, the doors and windows were painted in pretty colours that matched the flags and IOTA Gallery looked suitably arty-farty even when closed. The roofs had a nice covering of pitch except on an exposed corner at the start of the sheds and the little signs saying what each unit 'might be' looked very tasteful.
The real question is ' Is it not too late this season for any business to set up here and be viable?' To cover the outlay and staff costs in setting up, is there really time for Harbour Arm to attract viable businesses this summer? The footfall along the Harbour Arm seems inadequate to maintain businesses in profit in the short season ahead and before the weather will turn in September. The 'hype' surrounding The Harbour Arm is good but reminds me of the same 'oohs' and 'aahs' that greeted A Big Wheel stuck in Godden's Gap in the summer of 2006 as commentators greeted the 'revival' of Dreamland. It soon wheeled off to Manchester.
Maybe some brave souls will attempt to run a business before the equi-noctal gales treat The Harbour Arm to a soaking as the picture below illustrates. I wish them luck if they do.
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