The reasons behind a new welcome sign for visitors to Margate

The new welcome to Margate sign Photo John Horton

A new welcome to Margate sign has been installed on the Canterbury Road/Marine Terrace roundabout thanks to funding via county councillor Emma Dawson’s authority allowance.

The sign, which includes reference to Turner Contemporary and Margate’s status as one of the surviving limbs of the Cinque Ports Confederation, cost £1,020 including labour paid for out of Cllr Dawson’s combined member’s grant.

Cllr Dawson said: “I funded and requested it because I thought it would brighten up the seafront and welcome people in. Margate is an arm of the Cinque Ports of Dover and so I went through quite a few channels before this was agreed officially.

“Ian Russell is the cinque port registrar and he gave permission to use it on the sign. The history is very interesting for Margate. I personally feel it gives Margate a bit of historic prestige and looks great there.

“There are 5 cinque ports and Margate is one of the surviving seven limbs. The limbs were originally associated with the ports and joined in the confederation to help provide ships and crew. Margate is the limb of the cinque port of Dover.

“I chose that area for the sign because Westbrook has had no funding in the last two years and I felt that because of this the area could do with something to welcome people.

“I was really pleased to see it installed as it’s taken quite a while to look at the design, work out the size and what to put onto it. I thought putting the Home to Turner Contemporary was appropriate because we are hosting the Turner Prize being present here this year. It is an uplifting feature and I hope residents feel the same way.”

However, some issues – and eyebrows- have been raised, including the use of a museum symbol rather than an art gallery one, the use of ‘the’ before Turner Contemporary and displaying cinque ports without adding ‘limb.’

Cllr Dawson said KCC has templates for boards and the museum icon is also used for galleries and the space was too restrictive to add the limb explanation.

Find out more about the history of the Cinque Ports here


  1. I would have put the sign higher up as once the grass growing season starts with TDC doing the grass cutting you won’t see the sign in the uncut grass

  2. Whilst I applaud any initiative to brighten up Margate seafront, I completely disagree with this sign as Margate was not a Cinque Port – being a limb is very different and so the sign is completely misleading. Either the sign should specify that it was a Limb of the Confederation of Cinque Ports or it should be removed. And I also disagree with the sign saying Margate, the home of Turner Contemporary. Why should the Turner be singled out from all other attractions? When money is so desperately needed by so many, surely your KCC allowance could have been much better spent on a needy cause rather than a sign with incorrect information.
    From a Margate born resident

  3. Well done nice sign. Does anyone know what the multi coloured flag flying outside the new fire station in Newington Road Ramsgate means, it looks like the PRIDE FLAG which is fine by me just wondering if it is.

  4. Will the same be done for Ramsgate – also a Cinque Port (by the same definition) – and home to the only Royal Harbour in the UK?

    Our harbour is the only Royal Harbour in the UK. Just because it was not built recently with public funds (and therefore visitor counts are not calculated to justify the spend) does not mean that it should be overlooked.

    The image of the Royal Harbour was one of the top three images most shared and liked according to Visit Kent and the only one from Thanet.

    JMW Turner remarked that ‘the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe.’ Thanet not Margate.

    I am really tired of being let down by our councillors and MPs. Ramsgate was awarded Heritage Action Zone status. The only one in the South East.

    Action being one of the critical 3 words of that award not inaction.

  5. Ramsgate is also a limb of the Cinque Port. It is also the only Harbour with the tile Royal in the country. if not the world. Ramsgate Royal Harbour is more recognisable than Margate.

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