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The Lido The Best Place On Earth! - a Memory of Margate.

Two of my aunts had guest houses in Cliftonville and every year we ventured from Berkshire by train or by coach via Victoria coach station for our annual holiday in Margate.

My memories are simple and straightforward, to me it was the happiest place on earth.

From the time I saw the noticeboard in Birchington advertising 'What's On' at the Winter Gardens to the time we rolled out 2 weeks later, it was a very special place.

Wandering around the empty, virtual derelict Lido recently, my heart sank when I recalled the scramble for deck chairs to hear Tony Savage and his Organ. Sitting on the ledge outside the Tropical bar I badgered my parents for pennies or even a threepenny bit to play the slot machines down below.
I also remember standing in the queue to take the cable car down to the beach. You can still just see the old tracks.

Timing was essential if you wanted to see the 'Royal Sovereign' or 'Queen of the South' docking at Margate Pier through the penny telescopes.
Special Lido occasions were seeing Jimmy Wheeler at the Lido Theatre followed by a plate of cockles down by the harbour.

My mother would take me to the puppet show and wow, how I thought that was so magical. 'Where did they find all those reptiles in the aquarium?' I asked, and 'Why does Gran want to play bingo even in the rain?'. My father would always wake up early and we would wander down from Arthur Road to get the papers from the open stall by the entrance to the Lido and, if I was lucky, we would be the first on the grassed putting green at 8 a.m!

Life was so simple, so innocent but I wouldn't change those memories for the world.


A memory shared by Tony Wimbush on Apr 3rd, 2009. Send Tony Wimbush a message

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