Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Open F-All Hours

Presumably some joker has erected this 'Businesses Open As Usual' sign during the ongoing, er, improvements to Margate's Lower High Street. Probably the same joker who's put a stuffed dodo in the window of the defunct M&S, now rebranded the Turnip Contemporary Project Space, along with what look like a few nostalgic pairs of undies, tastefully tarted up with neon lights.

Actually, this shot is very similar to one that appeared in last week's Gazunder under the headline 'Traders Fight To Save Town Centre Shops', about a petition to completely pedestrianise the street, which you will have read about here first (natch). The story also reveals how Margate Renewal Partnership has set up a new website aimed at getting developers to invest in the town.

A quick eyeball of the new site reveals that Margate is 'about to boom', and that the Old Town is 'becoming hip and fashionable'. The Turner Contemporary will, according to the fantasists at MRP, be 'an international art gallery of world class design celebrating the life and work of one of Britain’s best loved artists, JMW Turner'. No mention of stuffed dodos or illuminated pants. Or the fact that none of JMW Turner's works are likely to get within 100 miles to the place.

Of course, here in the Millionaires' Playground we're reduced to our now inevitable, council-inspired role as a port/landing strip/lorry park. The website crows: 'Major investment to radar and lighting at Kent International Airport by new owners Infratil to improve the longest and widest runway outside London, — one of the few capable of landing Jumbo 777's' (sic) — says we are ready for take-off.' It's enough to make you airsick!

Click here to go to This Is Margate website

37 comments:

sue said...

Given the view of modern art held by most Thanetians, a Dodo seems completely appropriate. Nail on the head if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Actually there will indeed be JMW Turners in the gallery...

Anonymous said...

What - have they dug up a pair of his undercrackers?

Amy Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Jones said...

That assumes 2.57, that the TC will actually be built.

Anonymous said...

Look the turner will be built and it will have turner paintings in it.How i agree with you Sue it seems the people of thanet are indeed Dodo's.Regeneration IS starting to work and the harbour arm devolpment is well under way.Bring it on....

Anonymous said...

last post sounds like a ewen cameron offering.

Anonymous said...

Naieve people tend to defend a subject on the basis of their view of its intrinsic worth.

IE Modern Art is good and people who do not appreciate it are Dodos.

Planet Earth calling. Nature (and economics) imposes priorities.

We need to eat, to drink (!), to be warm, to be safe, to be sheltered.

We live in the age of internal combustion and three phase distributed elecricity. yet we have an education system which teaches people (how to be useless) subjects like "Drama Studies", "Media Studies", "Sociology" etc.

There is a madness gripping this land.

A symptom of it is that anyone could believe that an Art Centre should receive any sort of funding from public funds. But they also believe such funding should enjoy priority and publioc approbation.

We live in a country which has more "Counsellors" than it does members of the British Army. A mad country.

A country in which there are more students of drama studies than of electrical engineering. A country increasingly looking to Poland for plumbers and electricians. Looking to Rumania and Phillipines for railway signalling techs.

A mad mad country. Turner Centre in Margate if built will be a testament to the grip insanity has in this land.

Anonymous said...

OK then - tell us where we can read confirmation that it will have Turners in it. And which insurance company is going to be daft enough to cover them sitting in the middle of the North Sea? Not to mention Margate.

Anonymous said...

And what about the train times? Didn't the MRP go on about it being just over an hour from 2009? 98 mins is over an hour but not just.

sue said...

So Anon 5.17, who is going to decide what Public money be spent on? You?
I am a member of the public and I say an Art Centre is a good use of my money.
So rasp!

Gomer Pyle said...

So what do anti-art centre critics propose....? All they ever suggest is defaulting to old seaside amusements....erm the ones that were so succesful that from the end of WW2 to the 1990s the trend for their appreciation went ever down......i.e. the area never got richer, always poorer. Where are all the brave people? There are some setting up businesses in the old town area of Margate, others are redeveloping old hospitals, theatres and jetties. I hope they all succeed. I hope the whingers clear out.

Millicent said...

I had a quick look at the Margate website - when i clicked on the "Kiss me quick" section on rhe right hand side I saw a photo of Ramsgate marina - since when has that been part of Margate?

Bertie Biggles said...

Doesn't any one think it odd that with the new regeneration conceived by TDC based on the cafe culture with a sophisticated 'Old Town Artistic Quarter' that the blurbfrom the Regeration Team is based on 'kiss me quick' slogans?

Anonymous said...

Gomer mate, you obviously haven't been in Thanet long. We love whinging!

Dr Selby Whittingham said...

It seems that Turner's name has once again been taken in vain - as with the Turner Prize. Meanwhile Turner's own wishes, for which he left his works and money, for a Turner Gallery, Turner Medal, Turner Pensions etc. are being flagrantly ignored by the National Gallery, Tate and Royal Academy.

sue said...

I think Kiss Me Quick and Beside the Sea and all that is rather fun.
Can't I have a stick of rock AND a capuccino then?

Anonymous said...

Here here Sue!

Brenda Stuka said...

Good to hear there'll be Turner's in the gallery, after ten years waiting to see anything materialise it's good to see the pipe dream lives.

These paving works in the High St were planned to have finished by the Easter Bank Holiday, maybe we've got to wait ten years for these too?

Just how anyone can be called "anti-art centre" escapes me. There is no art center, just plenty of well paid staff running a gallery which doesn't exist.

Regeneration via Arts isn't a proven technique, it's a gamble. After ten years and more than ten million it's time to drag the regenerators out of William Hills and into the real world.

At 20k+ a week how could anyone make such a hash of regenerating such a small town?

Lucy Mail said...

We used to have a perfectly good turner center in the middle of the big wheel, in Dreamland.
Quite why they felt the need to remove it and then spend millions to replace it (without the big wheel this time), beats me!

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can find on the internet which categorically states there will be 'Turner exhibits' in the Turner Contemporary (note it does not say 'Turner paintings') is Thanet Council's own press release announcing the thing has been granted planning permission by them.

Anonymous said...

Picking up on earlier comment about hospital redevelopment, anyone confirm the rumour that the company behind the sea bath project and the lido project has gone belly-up?

Anonymous said...

Paigle have been reported in the local papers as having had some difficulties with their contractors but seem to be promising that things will get back on track once that's sorted out. They have also been reported as applying for planning permission for more flats on the RSBH site so that would not suggest they are going away. But I agree it all sounds like there's something fishy going on and I hear that although last year they were in the frame to buy the Dreamland site off Jimmy's mob it's now going to a South African company.

Anonymous said...

South african company! i do hope Mark thatcher is involved.

Anonymous said...

Victoria Pommery has stated time and time again, there WILL be artworks by Turner at TC. Indeed, the past few talks by David Chipperfield and the rest of the TC staff have all repeated this fact. The top floor of the centre is being designed as a 'Turner Sanctuary' - not sure what more they can do to assure people that there WILL be work by the man himself.

Theres alot about this, including audio recordings of these meetings at Turneroundmargate.com

Anonymous said...

So where are they going to come from? Most of them are in the Tate are they not?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, strike a light, they are in the Tate! and there was everyone thinking they were in Bar 26 what were they thinking... I guess the plan is Victoria and co will march into the Tate, shotguns blazing and the motor running out front (well she has been in Margate a while now) flipping heck...

Brenda Stuka said...

As "any fule kno" just because TC staff repeated say something doesn't make it a FACT.

TC staff have repeated stated a wide range of dates for the building work to start, all have passed without event.

TC staff have repeated claimed they'll engage both local artistic talent and the local population, no such engagement has happened.

If pulling facts from thin air based on what TC staff say the forerunner is surely "Whatever TC staff repeatedly claim isn't going to happen."

Anonymous said...

Well Brenda.Turner has been running workshops for the local community(children and Adults)for years now.I have been taking my children and we have had great fun art workshops on the beach in Droit House etc and they have involved local schools and colleges including King Ethelberts in Birchington The Beaney and Stour Arts.All the events are free so accessable by all.

Boris said...

I can get good Turners for you good price pay in dollars. Good Rolex and Omega also.

Michael Child said...

The real question here is, given the options in the southeast is Margate a place where anyone would want to go to for a day out, with or without Tate Turner or Turners? Having looked at the plans for the Turner what struck me most is that the actual gallery space doesn’t appear to be any bigger than the existing Marks and Spencer.

Eastcliff Richard said...

That's not the only question Michael. I'll have more to say on this later in the week. Keep your minces peeled!

steve said...

michael, people would have travelled to Margate if there was anything to do on an old fashoned beano. As soon as dreamland dissappeared, so did a shed load of visitors.

All of our councillors think Ramsgate, Margate Broadstairs cannot surive as seaside towns. I think they are right - they willbe commuter towns for london as well by the end of next year.

Anonymous said...

everyone - KCC and TDC are talking about KIA airport "masterplans" in 2008 , up to a million passengers, and 5,000 jobs.

are they mental? what point is ANY development apart from warehouses if we are going to be the new stanstead? How often is a baggage handler going to view some snide Turners?

steve said...

sorry. last post was me

Anonymous said...

Yates's have pulled the plug on their Margate pub this week according to the local rag. What on earth is going on and who is going to stop the rot?

Lucy Mail said...

I expect it'll be a bunch of whingers on some obscure backwater blog that effect the changes you seek, any-old-mouse.

In the immortal (immoral?) words of The Thanet Blog List, "keep up the good work!"