Articles in the Elsewhere Category
The Brutalist Sixties’ block that towers over the Helter Skelter, Big Wheel and Scenic Railway of Margate’s Dreamland makes for a distinctly British seaside scene. And a fitting backdrop to a pleasure park that takes its theme from the good, bad and ugly of its own social history.
Inspired by American amusement parks, the ‘UK’s original pleasure park’ dates back to the early 1920s and has seen as many ups and downs as its Grade-II listed railway ride.
Requisitioned to treat injured troops evacuated from Dunkirk in the Forties, a hangout for teenage Teddy Boys and Girls in the Fifties and top music venue throughout the swinging Sixties, it changed hands, names and directions several times before slowing to a grinding halt at the end of the 20th century.
In the early Noughties the Save Dreamland Campaign was founded to combat commercial redevelopment, only to suffer more setbacks in the form to two devastating fires. Yet after successful Lottery and Government funding bids its upward trajectory was back on track by 2010, and given a turbo boost as Wayne Hemingway MBE took the helm of the rebrand in 2012.
As is his MO, Midcentury-mad Hemingway has drawn on the optimism of post-war era Dreamland to inject the project with Festival of Britain-inspired positivity.
A 15 minute train ride along the coast and at under £5 for an off-peak adult return, the estuary town of Shoreham-by-Sea is a must-visit for lovers of vintage, stunning scenery and interesting architecture. See what we got up to on our visit in this visual diary…
The new footbridge allows easy access over the River Adur to the coastal side of the town, where mid-century beach-front houses sit streets away from an eclectic collection of houseboats and you can enjoy views over to the imposing Lancing College.
This side of the estuary is also home to Shoreham’s Art Deco Airport, the oldest licensed airfield in the UK.
As well as a 1960s German minesweeper, concrete barge and landing crafts, the community of houseboats includes those transformed by their handy owners, such as this sculptural pair – modified with parts of an old bus, three-wheeler and bath among other salvaged items.
As all good small towns should, Shoreham boasts several charity shops, with three large stores on the central East Street alone. Vintage-lovers should make a beeline for Cancer Research, which has a dedicated section of men’s and women’s vintage, as well as interesting books, crockery and accessories.
There’s nothing quite like chancing upon a little-known gem of a café on a day trip – especially when out-of-town bargain hunting leaves you in desperate need of cake. We were so taken with Mid-Century inspired vegan hotspot Moose’s Kitchen on a recent visit to St. Leonards that we had to track down manager Maresa Bossano, aka Moose, for a chat.
Why did you choose to open a café in St. Leonards?
The property in St. Leonards is cheaper than in Hastings and ours is a great location –right by the train station and lots of good shops and art galleries including our friends at The Kave Gallery, Claremont Studios and 20 Kings Road. As well as interesting quirky second-hand and charity shops, St Leonards also has lots other nice cafes and pubs and music venues, gardens and the beach to attract visitors.
How would you describe the style of the cafe?
I wanted to go for earthy and natural but with splashes of colour, I was eating jerusalem artichoke and mushroom soup one day and decided I wanted the walls the same colour! The style is very reflective of my personal tastes, indeed many of the pieces came from my house, which is a mixture of second-hand, hand-made, Fairtrade items and things I’ve picked up on my travels.