Margate’s Northern Belle gets ready to welcome back customers

Ray and Sharon with their mural photo created by Paul Brown

Northern Belle landlords Ray and Sharon Summers will be opening the doors to welcome back customers on Friday, August 7.

The pair, who have been at the helm of the town’s oldest ale house, had announced they would be staying shut until next year because building works opposite had made social distancing impossible and created a health and safety risk for punters.

But now agreement has been reached to put hoardings in place at the site of a 10-flat development.

Ray, 68, and Sharon, 60, initially feared they would have to starting job hunting to keep afloat but talks between the site developer and pub owner Shepherd Neame have resulted in the compromise.

A Shepherd Neame spokesperson said: “The developers have now agreed to erect hoardings around the building site which will allow the pub to trade. We hope that it will be open from Friday, August 7.”

Sharon said: “We had planned to reopen on July 30 but then were told there would be heavy machinery on-site which would make social distancing difficult and would have been a safety worry.

“But Shepherd Neame got involved and now we will be giving it a go.”

The duo, who previously ran the Bellevue in Cliftonville and prior to that the Ruby Lounge, were behind the campaign to save the mural wall at the development site in Mansion Street.

Sadly, the wall has been demolished although the pair managed to persuade workmen to save some of the bricks with faces on.

The art was created in Summer 2016 and depicted life-sized figures of landlord Ray Summers and several regular patrons at the Northern Belle.

The couple now have a photo of the wall mural created by a talented regular Paul Brown.


  1. With the amount of irresponsible and arrogant pub landlords in Thanet, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a pub that is truly being responsible.

    Good luck in your reopening.

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