The Bungalow

Cliftonville, Kent, UK

Burned 1975

The Disappointed Tourist: The Bungalow, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Originally the Koh-i-noor Tea Gardens, Harold Page’s Bungalow Café was feature of the Palm Bay site until it caught fire in 1975. There was also an aquarium on this site. By 1993, the remaining structures were demolished. The painting is based on what appears to be an old uncredited postcard.

The place I miss most is the aquarium in Cliftonville that I visited when I was a child holidaying in the town from east London. I can’t even properly remember it – I think it smelled a bit damp and had flaky paint but I do know it is what I looked forward to more than the thought of a week at the beach at Walpole Bay (we used the lift to the beach which was the highlight of the day!). I’d love to see this magical building which seemed to be full of live colour TVs (we had B&W at home) recreated to see what my old self thinks of the building that was a wonder to me when I was young. Joanne U.