7.3.10

Mr Solo in Margate

Margate has long been on my list of British sticky-out places to visit, so when I heard that Mr Solo was playing with This Happy Band at the Dead Season Live Art festival, I was straight on the train to Victoria (I could have gone via Ashford but figured it may have taken longer). The trip down to Thanet wasn't that interesting, apart from the bit around Rochester and where the line hugs the coast near Whitstable, and I couldn't work out why it took twice as long as the journey from London to Brighton.

Exiting the rather splendid station (Edwin Maxwell Fry, 1926), first stop was Arlington Square, by Dreamland, a place so mysterious it doesn't appear on Google maps. This Happy Band were warming up, but unfortunately there was a quad bike race taking place on the sands opposite, so were drowned out! Then it was on to Marine Drive Shelter where a slightly quieter funfair was in full swing. I nipped off to bag Ramsgate, seeing I was here. I caught the 34, rather than the Loop, which took me a circuitous and not very scenic route, via a shopping village at Westwood. Arriving eventually at Ramsgate harbour (very scenic), I popped into the splendidly tiled Queen's Head for a pint of London Pride (£2) and use of their facilities, then to Peter's Fish Factory. On special offer was saithe and chips for £1.90. I must confess I'd never heard of saithe, but it was very tasty and the chips were nice and brown, unlike the white soggy ones you get in lots of chippies, and I ate them on the sands watching the sea crash into the harbour breakwater. (I found out later that saithe is another name for pollock!).

So it was back on the Loop to Margate via Broadstairs (tho we didn't see much of that because of a diversion) and thence to the Substation, behind Burtons on the High Street. I thought I'd missed it all, but just caught the end of the Mr Solo set. Then it was free curry and macaroni cheese, an exhibition of Cabinets of Curiosity, a game of catch the rubber duck, and another song by Mr Solo (video on YouTube) to preface Daniel Lehan's artistic tour of Margate entitled 'Shine The Light'. Then it was back through the cold wind to the station and the long trip back to London.

As a bonus, on the way home I spotted Britannia pacific 70013 'Oliver Cromwell' at Haywards Heath, on its way back from Bristol and Bath.
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