Dreamland ? This is England

Thirty minutes in Margate. Just me and my iPhone in between trains. A quintessentially English seaside town. Fish & chips. Amusement arcades. Boarded up shop fronts. Closed down decaying funfair. Rising poverty and unemployment. Austerity and reality bites. A land of opportunities ? Dreamland ? This is England.

CLICK HERE for gallery of images of Dreamland ?

I first visited Margate 30 years ago. I didn’t enjoy it then either. But then I didn’t enjoy much of that time. Back then Dreamland amusement park was in full working order with The Looping Star, The Mary Rose and the Scenic Railway roller coaster inspired by Coney Island that now lies rotting and broken like a bad stain on this seaside town that they forgot to shut down. My thirty minutes in between trains didn’t allow me far enough to wander beyond the seafront where I ‘m sure there is life, but then again surely the seafront in a town like this is where the life is supposed to be? The only life I came across depressed me even more than the memories of all those years ago. Young mums with pushchairs. Teenage boys drinking cider on the beach (no chance of a photo as I was told to fuck off). Businesses lost. Quintessential England or a result of city suits that have wreaked havoc in the economy? Maybe I was able to leave having exorcised some ghosts from years gone by, but I left wondering what the hoards of young teenage students from France and Spain could possibly make of this little part of this country that is forever England and proud. Maybe like me they were just wandering around killing time, waiting for their train to arrive.

(Hipstamatic: James M Lens, BlacKeys Supergrain Film)