Sunday, 31 August 2014


A trip to the Kent coast, to the old resort of Margate. Famous for Dreamland, Hornby trains, Tracey Emin, and now the Turner Contemporary gallery (with current excellent exhibitions on Mondrian and Edmund De Waal).

The most obvious clock in the town is that of the clock tower, built to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

The clock tower was officially opened on 24 May 1889. The four clock faces are each 5 feet in diameter, and the clock itself is by Potts of Leeds. Loads more facts about the building and the clock (and indeed the time ball which sits on top of the tower) can be found in "Margate Clock Tower" by Mike Bundock, and published by Margate Civic Society (2013).

Margate railway station was opened in 1863 (originally being called Margate West), and is served by the domestic High Speed services from St Pancras. The modern trains look rather out of place in the station.

The current station building dates from 1926, and includes this interesting clock in the booking hall.

This next fine building in Market Place is the old town hall. 

The Pier and Harbour Company building of 1812 is located next to...well, the harbour. And also right next door to the Turner Contemporary. Turner may have love the light conditions in Margate, but I doubt he enjoyed the stench of the harbour mud when the tide is out. The building is now used as a tourist information centre.

The tower has two different styles of clock face. Oddly, the plainer version is the one which faces the entrance.

The building was destroyed by bombing in WWII, and was rebuilt to its old design in 1947. And it is apparently called Droit House.

A newer clock tower now, that of the College Square shopping centre. This fairly tacky piece of architecture sits on land that used to be Margate College.


A fairly uninspiring (and cheap looking) clock face, which show some considerable deterioration on the other side.

St John the Baptist church is at the top end of the High Street. There has been a church on the site since about 1050, and the current building was thoroughly restored during the 1870s.

More retail now. And not a bad attempt to provide a clock as gateway to the arcade, what with its bells and other sculptural features.

The minute hand has come in for a bit of damage - I assume it is vandalism, given the relative ease in which someone could climb up to it.

The clock on the other end of the arcade is stuck at two minutes to twelve.

No comments:

Post a Comment