Restored windows installed at Margate’s Sunshine Cafe

The cast iron windows of the Sunshine Café  on Margate seafront have been restored and are now installed.

As part of Thanet District Council’s Dreamland phase two development works, the windows now provide un-interrupted views of Margate Main Sands from the cinema building.

The windows, which were originally installed in 1934, have been restored by iron work specialists, Newton Forge. The work involved carefully restoring the cast iron frames and upgrading the inner widows to take double glazed units.

As well as the seafront facing windows, the side windows have also been replaced. These windows, which were believed to hve been removed in 1970, have been carefully replicated to the same design using old photographs.

The new windows add to the already completed work to the Sunshine Café led by the council, which has seen the building transformed into an ideal space for a destination restaurant. The one-of-a-kind space is currently advertised for rent with the announcement of a new operator on the cards soon.

Other repairs to the building have included restoration of the famous external neon lighting of the Dreamland ‘fin’ which will soon light up the sky on the seafront, as well as work to create an accurate replica of the bronze doors and fanlights to the entrance foyer of the building.

The doors, which have been recreated by historical metal work specialists Bassett and Findley, were also removed in approximately 1970. Alongside the new brass hand railings, replicas of the original bronze doors have been created, with panels which are set in oak frames. The originals date from the 1930’s.

Dreamland Trust

Rob Kenyon, Director of Community Services at Thanet District Council, said: “This is another significant step forward in our efforts to breathe new life into this iconic building on Margate’s seafront. In its heyday, the Sunshine Café was a premier eating destination known for its commanding views onto the beach and sunsets for which Margate is famous for, and we are delighted to have been able to restore the windows to their former glory for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

“Dreamland has been an essential part of Margate’s identity for nearly 100 years and this will further raise the profile of the district, provide jobs and bring more visitors and business opportunities to Thanet.”

Ian Ring, Director of iron work specialists, Newton Forge said:“It has been a tremendous honour to work on such huge windows for what will become a fantastic venue. It has been challenging to retain as much of the historic windows as possible without compromising the original features but we believe the updated windows will perform wonderfully and enhance the superior view of the promenade and sea”