Margate Pier

Margate, Kent, England, UK

Destroyed in a storm 1978

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

Margate Pier, also known as Margate Jetty, was designed by Eugenius Birch in 1856. Between 1875 and 1878, the structure was expanded and a pavilion was added. The pier had to be closed in 1976 for reasons of safety after the structure was allowed to deteriorate. It was destroyed in a storm on January 11, 1978. This is the second painting that I made of the pier, the first one was mysteriously “lost” by Fedex returning from Milwaukee. I ended up having to buy that first painting back after Fedex then sold it from overstock. Both paintings were based on an uncredited photograph of the pier that I bought on Ebay.

 Every year from 1964 to 1969 I came on holiday to Thanet, down from the Midlands with four other families. In August 1965 I went on a boat trip from Margate pier with my family and friends, I was 7 years old and when I got back to school in September, I told my mates that I had seen France, the first time I had ever seen another country. However, I now I realize that it was probably the Goodwin Sands. 17 years ago, I was drawn back to live in Broadstairs, but the Pier was long gone in a storm in January 1978. Strangely, Antony Gormley’s “Another Time” is fixed into the foundations of that pier. Anon.