Thursday, 6 August 2009

Pictures of Northdown Road Cliftonville taken this morning

These were all taken between about 8.30 am and about 9.30 am today, frankly there didn’t appear to be as many shops closed as I expected which is a good thing.

On the minus side it seems to be just on the edge of a place you can definitely call a shopping centre and one you can’t. By this I mean once you discount shops that are not selling tangible goods, by this I mean, estate agents, insurance brokers, solicitors etc there is not that much left.

Click on the links to look at the pictures.


  1. Nice piccie of Saint Pauls I havent got round to taking one in three years I might pinch that for the website..... Loads of shops scraping a living and lots empty shops wonder how the council plan to help them

  2. Help yourself Donald clicking on the one on the blog and copying the enlarged image should give you the best result.

    Where I parked it was free and restricted to an hour, which is about the best one can hope for from the shopkeepers point of view.

    I am certain that the key to what is going wrong in Cliftonville and Margate is to work out why Ramsgate is going right.

    The two local councils KCC and TDC seem to have thrown the most money at Margate and that has the worst problem.

    There were more people on Botany Bay beach this morning at 7.30 than on Margate main sands when I passed at 9.45.

  3. At 07.30 it wasnt Ross's Bacon sarnies they were after the holiday makers turn up about ten onwards and he is there ready and waiting its been a good season so far

  4. Thanks for all these recent pics / threads Michael, wonderful stuff!

    Hope you get to cover the more seldom seen smaller towns & villages in the north & west of Thanet. Some places (Acol, Manston, Monkton) are little more than a few houses & a pub, but Westgate, Birchington, Minnis Bay, Minster & St. Nicholas are all well worth a visit.

  5. Don the usual mix of joggers, dog walkers, people fishing probably not part of the bacon sarni crowd.

    Peter it was the Margate one that started me off, it would never have occurred to me to photograph the town centres had I not been so stunned by the number of shops closed in Margate.

    I noticed in the KM extra this week that it’s supposed to be 25% closed but it looked to me more like 75%, a couple of council officers dropped in for a chat yesterday evening and the three of us sat out in my garden nattering about various Thanet issues. They both concurred with me that it seemed to be a lot more than 25% we speculated that the figures are probably generated in some bizarre way that makes them pretty much meaningless.

    Northdown Road is the first one I have done systematically and I now realise that I will have to revisit Margate and Ramsgate and do them in the same systematical way, it is also my intention to do the other towns and villages.

    It’s something you can only really do early in the morning, as later on there are too many vehicles and people in the way, this morning in Northdown Road it was really quite difficult to tell with some of the shops if they are trading or not.

    For me this is not so much a Thanet issue as a national one, for most of us towns and villages are where we live i.e. the human environment and that environment is changing drastically.

    As an historian I am wondering if I am recording the end of the town and what one could call a town without shops and leisure facilities.

    I am pretty certain that there isn’t much a district council can now do about this, I am coming to the conclusion that many of the big retail chains have acted as parasites on our towns and now they are deserting the host.

    To me the reversal of this trend in Ramsgate is just plain weird.

  6. I agree with you Michael, 25% seems far to low when walking through the town centre these days, I would've estimated at least 50-60% myself.

    I don't think Ramsgate is the only town in Thanet that's bucking the trend though, take a look at Birchington when you get the chance. There's not even the usual one supermarket dominating, with Somerfield & the Co-op seeming pretty equal (fortunately Tesco has never come to the town), & unlike Westgate & Westbrook it still has a couple of banks + choice of greengrocers / chemists / bakers, etc. Amazing for such a small town.


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