A secret postcard auction has raised £7,000 towards the reopening of the Margate Caves

One of the four postcards donated by artist Tracey Emin

A secret postcard auction has raised more than £7,000 towards the reopening of the Margate Caves.

Some 150 pieces of postcard art – with the creators’ names kept under wraps – went under the hammer at the Harbour Arm Gallery yesterday (September 16).

Some 80 artists donated, including Tracey Emin, comedian Mark Thomas, author and performer Stella Duffy, potter and TV presenter Keith Brymer Jones as well as well-known locals such as – Twinkle Troughton, Dawn Cole, Paul Hazelton and Tracey Thompson.

Tracey Emin, who exhibits her iconic and controversial installation My Bed at Turner Contemporary in October, donated four works.

Paul Hazelton has exhibited across the world, and had a recent work in a charity auction sell for £5000. His work is included in the late Robin Williams family collection;

Dawn Cole is currently Artist in Residence at Canterbury Cathedral and her work is in the V&A permanent print collection;

There was also a work by actor Montserrat Lombard, best known from Ashes To Ashes and the St Trinian’s remake and Kate Malone from the Great British Pottery Throw Down (pictured below).

Images ranged from pencil figures and  letterpress prints to a photo collage of Margate’s Maurice Morris.

The highest bid was four one of Tracey Emin’s four pieces – bringing in £1,100.

Local Tracey Thompson brought in the second highest amount with her artwork of a scene at the Lido (below).

The cash will support the underground work at the Margate Caves site in Northdown Road, which starts imminently.

Following a six-year campaign, The Margate Caves Community Education Trust secured £1.5million of funding to create a landmark building that includes community facilities, alongside a visitor centre that will provide access to the restored Caves, which were shut down in 2004.  It will sit in on the footprint of the old Bryan House/Northumberland House, which was destroyed during the Second World War.

How it will look

Designed by award-winning architects Kaner Olette, the building received planning permission in 2015 and is due to open in 2019.

Margate Caves trust spokesman Dan Thompson said: “The auction was a great success. We hit the targets we wanted and the money raised will be a huge help in the work going forward.

“What was also important was the event provoked a lot of good conversations about what we are doing.”

Click here for more about the Margate Caves project