Cripes! It's been a bad couple of days for our septic isle! On Saturday, a restaurant review in the Independent described Ramsgate as 'blighted'. Today it's Margate's turn to get kicked in the proverbials by the Guardian.
Writing about his quest to find the muse of T S Eliot in the Nayland Rock shelter, which was recently listed by English Heritage for being the place where the poet wrote part of his epic The Waste Land, Stephen Moss writes:
I had hoped that coming here to pay homage might move me to write my own state-of-the-nation epic as part of my stuttering campaign to be Oxford professor of poetry. But the words will not come. It doesn't help that I had three pints of Kronenbourg in a forlorn bar on the front last night, and that my head is spinning. The cars on the roundabout next to the shelter sound like . . . damn, I can't even manage a simile in my befuddled state.
Perhaps I can blame the town itself rather than the lager? Almost every shop on the front is boarded up; even the potentially inspiring store selling racy lingerie is closed; and Dreamland, the town's nightmarish leisure park, is derelict. Margate desperately needs a new attraction, and this shelter could surely be it. I can see it now: the Eliot Trail, Waste Land Walks, the Ezra Pound Shop. I may not have written a poem, but I think I have the makings of an urban regeneration plan.
Mind you, he's got a point. Perhaps he should ask Margate's Tory MP Roger Gale, who's presided over more than 25 years of dereliction in the town, what he's done to improve things? After all, him and his missus seem to be getting no end of publicity now that her £40K a year job as his secretary might be at stake. Has he ever put the same effort into hauling his constituency off its knees? I think not!