Unique Margate mural wall being demolished to make way for development

The unique wall is coming down Photo by Sandra Bellingham

Despite a campaign and fundraisers, regulars at the Northern Belle in Margate have not been able to save the art mural wall in Mansion Street which is now being demolished.

In 2017 the campaigners enlisted the help of celebrities who had their photo taken at the wall. The art was created in Summer 2016 and depicted life-sized figures of landlord Ray Summers and several regular patrons at the Northern Belle, which is Margate’s oldest pub dating back to 1680.

Libertines singer Pete Doherty, who now, with band mates, owns the Palm Court Hotel in Cliftonville, Bad Manners frontman, and former Cliftonville Fatty Towers hotel owner, Buster Bloodvessel and radio DJ, presenter, author and Margate girl Gemma Cairney were all contacted to ask them to throw their weight behind the campaign.

Each of them has visited the wall in Mansion Street and had their photo taken with the mural.

Photo Dean Fragile

Northern Belle landlords Ray and Sharon Summers, Margate author Terry Maynard and pub neighbour Sandra Bellingham were some of the campaigners hoping to stop developers from demolishing the wall as part of plans for between 10 and 11 flats and a shop at the site.

Among those painted were two people who have now passed away, including Margate resident Debbie Murray who was only 53 when she died.

Application to demolish the site

Plans to demolish existing buildings and construct a block of 11 flats at the site were refused permission in August 2017. The application was also dismissed at appeal.

However, plans for 10 flats at the site were given the go ahead in 2016 and the wall is now being  knocked down and is expected to be the site of a planned bin area.

The wall, which features an array of Mods and Skins in the montage, was left unfinished by the original artist.

Landlady Sharon is now keeping the heads from the mural as a memento.

Campaigner Sandra branded the demolition as a “destruction of Margate art,” adding: “This is demolition at its worst and we lose a bit of Margate heritage artwork.”


  1. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to incorporate the existing wall into any new wall due to be constructed.It just needed a bit of architectural drawing.

    But…no… the developer’s ideas come first. Nothing else matters. Arch businessman, Henry Ford said “History is bunk!” as he couldn’t find a way of making money out of it. And as he had no real talent of his own, he ignored it and got others to earn his money for him.

  2. All the filming and campaigning didn’t help, a tourist attraction gone the amount of visitors who use to come into the Northern Belle to ask about it, such a pitty but not supprised.

  3. Would of been nice to announce this a few weeks before so we can pop in Ray’s pub, have a drink and toast the wall. Typical attitude. The People Dont Matter bunch of swan ship and anchors

  4. Typical developer’s mentality.
    An absolute disgrace.
    A local artwork with a lot of local characters destroyed for a quick buck.
    Have to paint a new one won’t we!

  5. I was lucky enough to have been on the wall. All those on it were mates and also a couple of dear departed friends. The wall was a unique part of Margate and many had their photos taken with it. It would have been easy to include the wall in the new build.
    They have pulled down and destroyed a part of history, a part of Margate….

  6. We gave every opportunity for this mural to be saved, since 2016. As seen in the 1st photo it was badly degenerating anyway. No permission was requested before (or after)it was painted, of the lessee of our building. A full-size vinyl could be made from good photos. TDC would not allow a replacement, even if it could (practically) be incorporated by our architects into their building design.
    We would agree to its resurrection on the nearby flank wall to The Old Kent Market, but Listed Building Consent and our Lessee Mr Andy Barrett`s agreement would have to be obtained (first)

    • Chris B – if you’ve given ”every opportunity for this mural to be saved” then why hasn’t it been saved….?

    • So Chris B you own this then?
      are you happy while we’re all trying to self isolate that I’ve got a listen to your kangos 6 days a week! 1 cars already been damaged with barely any health and safety, fencing, signage etc and our private car park in sandpiper court is permanently blocked by the contractors vehicles ….

  7. I wonder how trivial you would find it if you had building work right outside your house all week while we’ll have to stay in!

  8. You could’ve made more profit if you retained the wall. People pay more for to live in unique properties!

  9. Surprised the developers have not been reported for Health and Safety violations.
    Photos clearly show:
    Man working at height with live edge & no guard rail.
    No PPE ie boots gloves goggles.
    Road not cordoned off/signage to prevent vehicles and pedestrians being struck by flying debris.
    Hapless workman has placed ladder against weakened wall he is demolishing, Comic gold!
    Little or no regard to health and safety of workers or passers by. Cowboy builders are in town so let the council check their health and safety policy and method statements.

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