Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Northdown Road a bleak future

northdown gap2

Not sure if Northdown road will reopen today but wouldn’t it be marvellous if Northdown road’s, problems could be resolved as quickly as the new scaffold is going up on the buildings facade.

Just on the opposite side of the road is the grim reminded of the state of Britain's economy, Martell Press who’ve been a feature in Northdown Road for many years are holding a closing down Sale.northdown gap

Northdown Road has probably been as lively as Margate High Street in recent times till Woolies closed still its difficult to imagine this thriving again, I remember Northdown Road shops in the sixities and seventies were probably better than Margate High Street, Bobbys Departmant Store, Moylers, W H Smithes, Munro Cobb, Albion Bookshop with Boots being one of the few survivors from that time.

Northdown Road’s heyday is long over, and the hotels that helped fuel Cliftonville have mostly been replaced with “luxury” flats, filled with Margate’s transient population. 

Since Northdown Road is never likely to regain the prosperity it once had it would be interesting to know what planners have in mind for this area of town if anything.


  1. I lived my school holidays in Clifftonville staying at my nan's in Godwin road.

    Between the mid 80's through to the early 90's it was brilliant but my god how it's now changed...such a shame.

  2. Very sad to see. Even the Albion bookshop has closed down.

  3. I moved to Thanet in 1990 from London. I was mildly amused that there were shops that "Closed for Lunch". But, if I wanted anything decent, or just a ramble round the shops I would always go to Northdown Road (because Margate was pants, although less pants than it is now). Proper shops ! I was really saddened when Padgetts closed. You could get ANYTHING in there that you could get in B&Q, and you didn't have to buy huge quantities. And then Northdown Road Woolies (which was better than the Margate one by far) closed. A fiver to spend in Martell Press was a treat for my kids and Albion books was my treat.
    There was a huge lighting shop, a few "natty gents clothing" type shops, who kept their merchandise in little wooden drawers,and a high quality cookware shop as well. And an independent Chemist (Boots are fine, but what woman doesn't love investigating a Chemist that doesn't just sell the generic brands we see in all the supermarkets etc ?). We won't see shops like those again, and it actually makes me feel really sad. The Woolies end has now actually got more estate agents than you can realistically shake a stick at.

  4. Yesterday I spent a few hours in Peckham in south-east London for the first time in 24 years (I spent much of my life up until the age of 22 there). I expected to see a sad run-down place similar to Margate & Cliftonville but far worse, but I was really shocked at how thriving it is! The main shopping street (Rye Lane) was far busier on a sunday than any of Thanet's high streets are on a saturday; most of the residential areas are looking far more suburban (semi-pedestrianised & with well-kept open spaces, small parks etc); & because the ethinic minorities (who are no longer minorities) have lived there for generations the races / cultures seem to mix freely or live comfortably side by side (Thanet is like the 1950's in comparison, with the locals & eastern Europeans eyeing each other with suspicion & rarely mixing)....

    Maybe it's unfair to compare the two, but if Peckham can largely transform itself for the better then surely Margate / Cliftonville can...can't it?