Bikers told not to come to Margate for unofficial Meltdown with possible enforcement action as ‘last resort’

Unofficial Meltdown 2021 Photo Carl Hudson

Bikers are being told by Thanet council not to take part in any unofficial Meltdown rides to Margate – with the authority saying enforcement action could be taken “as a last resort.”

Last week the official Ace Cafe Margate Meltdown scheduled for June 2 was cancelled after paperwork for road closures was not submitted in time.

An announcement  posted to the Ace Cafe London facebook page said: “Margate Meltdown is unable to go ahead this year as planned as Ace Cafe London were unable to secure the required road closures within the specified time limit.

“We can only apologise – and look forward to instead seeing you at the Ace for the Queens 70th Jubilee Celebration.”

However, unofficial events remained and many bikers said they would make the trip, just as they did last year when the event did not go ahead due to covid.

Unofficial Meltdown 2021 Photo Carl Hudson

But now the unofficial events also appear to be cancelled after Thanet council contacted organisers to say enforcement action could be taken.

Public safety, due to the road closures not being in place, and a lack of parking, were among reasons given.

One letter says “hundreds of bikes arriving unauthorised with no road closure” would “affect the town significantly.”

It also states: “Enforcement action will be taken on large groups who are gathering in Margate for an unorganised event.”

Unofficial Meltdown 2021 Photo Carl Hudson

A spokesperson for Thanet District Council said: “Margate Meltdown is a popular annual feature of the local events calendar and we share the disappointment that it won’t be going ahead this year.

“All events held in Thanet, and any other district, have to follow a set time scale to ensure they are safely and appropriately managed. We ask for all applications to be submitted 14 weeks before the event date.

“Unfortunately, despite supporting the organiser with the application process – liaising with them right up until the legal deadline to seal the order for the suspension of bays and road closures, we did not receive the submission in time. As a result the organisers had to take the decision to cancel the event.

“This time limit is a legal deadline for road closures and due to this, we were not in a position to provide an extension or to make alternative arrangements.

“An unofficial event, which could see potentially hundreds of motorbikes arrive in the area, without the necessary road closures, would mean that steps are not in place to appropriately manage public safety.

“The council is encouraging regulars of the event not to coordinate an unofficial gathering. Doing so could have a significant impact on residents, road users and visitors in the area especially without the level of support in place to ensure it operates safely.

“We anticipate that those who usually attend and do so in a respectful and safe manner will understand the potential risks. We would only expect to have to take enforcement action as a last resort, if public safety were being compromised.

“We look forward to welcoming the Margate Meltdown back in 2023.”

Unofficial Meltdown in Margate Photo Carl Hudson

A ‘Meltdown’ run being organised from Folkestone will now miss out Margate but stop at other Thanet locations.

The ‘Coastal Boyz’ run will visit Palm Bay, Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Deal and Dover.

Last year more than 2,000 bikers visited Margate despite the official event being cancelled.


  1. So several small groups of friends with bikes are not allowed to visit Margate for the day. Therefore will this be the same for groups of friends who hire busses to bring them to Margit for the day or Groups of friends who decide to travel to Margate by train will also be discouraged. ? or even groups of friends who decide to come by car or even peddle cyclist.

    My goodness won’t the enforcement officer be busy at home having a picnic with family and friends. Oooops have TDC got an enforcement officer especially one that works on public holidays and weekends.

  2. WOW …JUST WOW….TDC trying to stop lawful movement of citizens.
    Absolutely incredible to think this is the state of them. NEVER again will the citizens of this country be dictated to on how and when we will move about.
    ALL BIKERS welcome please come en masse the more the better. Love it.

    • The noise of one motorbike is bad enough. Clearly “all bikers” are not particularly welcome.

    • TSC isn’t trying to stop anything. If you read the piece, you’ll see that TDC did everything it legally could to facilitate this event, but the Ace cafe people failed to get the (legally required) paperwork in in time
      What TDC is now concerned about is that all the visitors and day trippers who arrive by bus, train and so on will be overwhelmed and possible put in danger by hundreds of motorbikes tearing up and down the town.

    • Completely agree Andrew, although I prefer the term ‘motorcyclist’ please, as it’s a gentlemanly pursuit.

  3. These idiots will deter people coming to Thanet, so keep them out! They are noise and air polluting anti social, numpties, that need to get a life! I suppose its all that power thrusting away between their legs thats the attraction for people who should grow a pair instead!

  4. They have been told not to come .. so DONT come … but they will I guess as no respect for authority.. plus don’t care about the environment impact their pollutants they ride will cause … no teaching some people.. shame on you !

    • It’s once a year. The the TDC know this happens every year and should support it. I’m sure the bikers will also be asking the police why they can’t police bike theft but try and stop legal bikers doing nothing illegal

      • If you read the piece you’ll see that TDC do support the event. It’s not the Council’s fault if the organisers can’t get their act together.

        • Dear Phyllis
          I am a local mature ‘biker’ and a veteran of this event. Firstly, the bikers have never torn up and down the sea front or parked on pavements, my experience of this event has always been that the bikers are calm, considerate and a huge proportion over 60!! Save the fact that I don’t know the detail about this delay by Ace Cafe, I think it’s sad that such rigour has been applied, when TDC know this is an annual event, surely they could given a bit of latitude here? I hope you and TDC will be kind and engaging and facilitate a new date soon?

          • So much for not parking on pavements. Some were inaccessible to pedestrians this year because of all the bikes on them. TDC are all mouth and no trousers too as no evidence of any enforcement officers as they stated, but that is nothing new, they often tell porkies.

    • There is nothing TDC can do about thousands of bikers coming to Margate. But they give them tickets for parking on the pavements. Also the Police can fine them for speeding up and down the Seafront.

  5. I’m not a biker or ever will be but I have no objection to bike riders coming down to margate to money into shops which will be much needed after the last few years of hardship and it will be margate shops not westwood cross who will get it. They will attract residents and visitors alike to the area to see some really well looked after machines, I hope they do come down as I for one would like to see them,

      • Numpty so they won’t be buying drinks or something to eat either a meal /sweets /crisps or even a takeaway, not talking about clothes or the likes of its your local shops which will reap the rewards for a change, bikers will not be interested in big shopping, they are or will be having a day trip to the seaside and the beach also as the Irish say for the crack.

  6. obviouly these lads and the money they bring to the area dont fit in with thanets ” arts ” obsession ! the rotten old barge in ramsgate harbour looks ready to sink ( hopefully ) i have never seen anyone looking at those ridiculous lolipops on ramsgates east cliff , and the sooner they go the better , but a group of people trying to enjoy a trip to the coast are banned , and i bet there will be plenty of police around to enforce this

    • We can only hope for a LARGE police presents as the event is officially cancelled.. it will be a long day I fear .. some people amaze me with their attitude towards authority.. a sad day for thanet and margate..

  7. we are coming, this is discrimination against bikers who have always come to Margate and other seaside towns without problems bank holidays ,what next cant come on the train or in cars, think people this is as bad as it can get .

    • I’m with Peter. The people of Margate will welcome you. Last year when the bikers came down unofficially it was a great spectacle with the vast majority behaving themselves. I loved it 😁

    • You’re very welcome Ian, hope you have a great day. Please ride up to Cliftonville so we can see your machines.

  8. TDC totally ok with the sea front being shut day after day for filming which was a nightmare for residents. But hey they were lovies that paid them and they cant monetize private citizens whom all chose individually to arrive at the same town on the same day, as last time i looked Margate does not have an entrance fee….there was / is a bike show in Dreamland charging £25 i think to enter. ok with that of course.
    I have lived all over and TDC are the worst council EVER.

  9. Well if Boris can have a party in lockdown I’m sure thousands of bikers can go to the seafront for the day. TDC can’t stop this event so make it safe. The town will get money back in local shops pubs and restaurants. These are people who love riding bikes. This is discrimination at its best

  10. I work. I have a day off on Thursday. I like Margate. I ride a motorcycle. Are you telling me that I can’t visit and enjoy Margate on Thursday (on my day off), spend my money in local shops and restaurants because I ride a motorcycle?

  11. Absolutely disgusting behavior from TDC (no doubt with support from the local “art” community). These “unwanted” would add more to Margate’s economy than weeks of road closures to make a movie!

    • Did you read the article Peter? It states for legal reasons. Not TDC’s fault on this occasion. Please keep up.

    • If you read the article, Peter, you would have seen that TDC did it’s very best to help the Ace cafe people to get the road closure request forms done in a timely way.
      But the Ace cafe couldn’t get its act together, the forms weren’t done, so that was that.
      No artists were involved.

  12. Count me in – since when is riding a bike along Margate seafront illegal when a car isn’t? Hastings seafront was awash with bikes and people enjoying themselves last bank holiday and it was a fine sight to see.

  13. Anti social TDC I have just contacted my daughter who is a journalist on the daily telegraph to expose Thanet Council for their sheer incompetence. They don’t want the lights donated by a film company for free they don’t want day trippers they don’t want anything except pay themselves inflated pay for being lazy.

    • Bill: several people have pointed out that it’s not TDC’s fault that the Ace Cafe people failed to get the forms completed on time.
      If you’ve got a gripe, raise it with the Ace Cafe people (the ones who didn’t fill in the forms) rather than TDC (who did their best to help)

  14. Couldnt these bikers say they were visiting the Turner Centre ?

    Disgraceful that TDC are tell law abiding citizens not to come to margate. Unbelievable

  15. Numpty so they won’t be buying drinks or something to eat either a meal /sweets /crisps or even a takeaway, not talking about clothes or the likes of its your local shops which will reap the rewards for a change, bikers will not be interested in big shopping, they are or will be having a day trip to the seaside and the beach also as the Irish say for the crack.

  16. Does these mean that every weekend TDC will be employing someone to count the number of bikers coming in. Once the TDC number has been met stopping the rest ?

    Will TDC being doing this at the train station counting people of the train etc. Than stopping them ? We dont want to many pissed up day trippers when we dont allow sober bikers.

    Not sure how you can just pick on bikers.

    As an ex biker we would often go for days out. Rye harbour area would be packed with bikers and still is.

    TDC sending out a clear statement that bikers aren’t welcome in thanet.

      • Peter

        British press/media are a disgrace to busy trying to defend the dippers behaviour in Paris.

        Dippers jibbing in, fake tickets in there 1000’s tens of thousands without tickets.

        Yet our press/media defend the dippers a disgrace.

        PS kathy is a shinning light 🙂

    • Confused .. the bikers are NOT welcome due to the official event being cancelled.. it says in the article they will be welcomed in 2023 … I won’t be anywhere near margate that day .. but the police will 👏

        • Yes Sue I fear this but if Any trouble with locals then they should step in .. just move the bikes along .. that’s all we need .. its a shame the environment will suffer but one day peolpe will laugh in an ‘ I can’t believe these people couldn’t see the harm they are causing ‘ way…. one day ..

  17. I’m a police officer and I’ll be attending with my police only motorcycle club the Blue Knights. Absolutely nothing wrong with riding to Margate as long as the bike your riding is legal, and you abide by the laws. Also as a local resident I personally know people who work in the areas who are looking forward to the money the bikers will spend in their shops. Drinks, snacks, ice creams etc…

    • Ttt79
      Exactly what I have said.
      I’m hoping that you have a great day and weather is fine.
      There is nothing to stop anyone bikers or car drivers from coming to margate or anywhere they want to go as long as they are legal as there is no actual ban on vehicle’s. Hoping some of the bexley & Sidcup old boys come down be great to see them again.

    • I really can not see the problem with any problem with any number of Motor bikes coming to Margate. As long as they are parked legally, and not parked on pavements etc. Or causing any obstruction on the highway. In the past as in 2021 pictures from the unofficial show.

  18. Oh God how exciting I suggest all the bikers from all over the UK Europe and anywhere else that can make their way to Margate do so on the celebration of her Majesty the Queen and just to make the day extra interesting for THANET district Council it would be lovely it’s about 10,000 mods could also come down on their scooters like they did with making the recent film that really would give Thanet council and some miserable residents something to think about, bring it on!!!

  19. TDC yet again shooting themselves in the foot. These people will come anyway as individuals as is their right. TDC has now made it a confrontation instead of helping and organising parking and loos. These people spend more than the day trippers who descend on the beaches and leave their rubbish for others to clean up.

  20. Bikers not welcome, but coachloads of barely toilet trained revellers are?

    What’s wrong? Are the bikers too white and male?

  21. A low grade local celeb is that praise or an insult? To be Frank or even Peter, I prefer anonymity to notoriety, dressed up as celebrity.I have always been one of life’s spear carriers or lowly toilers, and long may I stay that way.But,in this case Marva is wrong.
    The queens highway is open to all and unless motorcyclists break the law in some way, they should be left alone, to enjoy (if that’s the word) Margate, and all its works.
    By the look of some featured in the photographs,it looks like a grandads/grandmas day out, so I am sure all will be well, if they take their medication.
    As for TDC, they can always be relied on to deliver an inexhaustible supply of boneheads, to say the wrong thing. They should shut up and let people enjoy themselves.

    • Agree totally about the grandads day out .. re living their youth.. ‘it was much better in 1968 when Terry was here with the Rider Boyz.. never been the same ‘ .. type people .. lol 😆 .. grandads day out !!! 😄

  22. Well i welcome the bikers, they may point and laugh at the tdc inspired local spongers but thats life.

    The bikers are not here to purchase (from county line dealers, local dealers and the rest.

    Why are tdc not much good at things ?

    Hopefully the bikers were not inspired by the festoon lights, as a council tax payer i am appalled !

  23. Oh well nevermind. If the council don’t want the event to go ahead and threaten people who do go they don’t deserve the revenue. Guess I’ll take my money down to Hastings/Rye instead along with hundreds of others.

  24. The council screwed up the Ramsgate Sprint Revival. They can’t ban motorcycles from riding to Margate. Personally I am looking forward to looking at all the cool bikes. Let’s hope for a sunny day. I hear the Council Enforcement Officer is working from home.

  25. Jesus wept this has been so blown out of proportion. TDC isn’t to blame for the lack of Road Closure, the Ace Cafe is. They failed to get the appropriate paperwork completed and sent off for approval in time.

    TDC are now suggesting motorcyclists don’t turn up because there is a huge number that attend every year without the need to worry about parking restrictions. The roads won’t be closed, and normal parking restrictions will be in play. Its impossible to accommodate such a large number of bikes parked whilst abiding by said parking restrictions with the lack of a road closure.

    You won’t get penalised for turning up, you’ll get penalised for turning up assuming you can park how we all have every year previous.

    Stop making a drama out of nothing.

    • Bored

      Has it been blown out of all portion ?

      Since when have TDC had the power to tell some sections of the community to stay away ?

      The bikers have every right to visit margate the same as anyone else.

      Do the Turner Centre turn people away ?

      As others have said hastings and rye seem to welcome bikers and their money.
      Perhaps the bikers should sod margate off and leave it to the art community

      • The Turner center is the only good thing margate has .. don’t knock it ! … a few bikers buying a few ice creams won’t make margate the new UK stock exchange… if they rode electric bikes I’d applaud them.. but they DONT ! So DO NOT COME TO MARGATE

  26. It’s all very well if they stay in Margate and don’t go screaming too fast all round the coast of Thanet on the narrow roads in hundreds. There’s a 30 mph speed limit and it’s extremely dangerous for walkers and cyclists on these roads, not too mention the intolerable noise of so many bikes one after the other. Have some respect for the people who live here. I hope the Police will actually be patrolling and making sure the law is upheld.

  27. Hospitality has been hit so hard the last two years, can’t TDC see what these events bring to the town – like much needed cash.
    TDC haven’t even organised anything apart from a firework display for the Jubilee in Margate, maybe they didn’t get the road closure sorted in time.

  28. These people have been coming here for years!! They never cause any trouble and I can never remember them drag racing anywhere!! The ones I’ve met are all very nice hard working people who like motorbikes!! There always happy to show you around there bikes and chat about them and They do lots of things for children’s charities!! The question I’d ask is why you wanna come to miserable thanet!! With it miserable council and soap box warriors!! I mean you people would moan about anything!! If you won the lottery you’d moan about it!!

  29. Why do you all think that bikers are trouble, there from all walks of life. Judges, doctors, solicitors,even policeman/woman,etc. As for racing around town, you’ll be lucky to see them, that’s not the interest. As for TDC helping out?????? When has that ever happened.
    They can’t even keep the lights on

  30. We have 8 police officers for Thanet and how many TDC informers. We don’t have the man power to enforce this so back off and get health and safety in order. I work for a volunteer first aider and we can arrange cover if needs be for this to go ahead. Come on TDC the Queen ride a bike and it’s Jubilee time. Celebrations in England should take place everywhere. Any problems them sort road closures I have friends who can do this

  31. Well there has been no mention that the mods and 60’s event is still officially happening. Which I will be looking forward to. So there will be plenty of scooters here. Even though I have been a biker all my life. I will be in Margate on my motorbike. Or do people want me to bring my more poluting car, that takes up more parking?

  32. The council did not bother about giving parking tickets to all the cars illegally parked at Kingsgate and Palm Bay. During covid, but I bet they have plenty of people there to give tickets this bank holiday to motorbikes. Council has not approved road closure, however will they be giving tickets to people at the bucket and spade car run to Ramsgate, these people will be causing more pution in cars. There will be many cars there for 2 days, not one. Also some motorbikes. I have no problem with this event at all and I will be there at some time. Maybe on my bike, maybe in my more polluting car, taking more space. So moaners get a life we will not be at Margate drag racing down the seafront. Our bikes will be legal, unlike the many electric scooters that Police ignore.

  33. This is the start….

    Taking back control of Thanet borders…

    We don’t want out of towners coming here on their bikes. Spending money. Having fun.

    It’s high time we cultivate a Thanet only culture on the island. We didn’t elect the bureaucrats in Westminster. We voted for Craig and he should be the PM of Thanet.

    I support taking back control.

    You know how much tax we send to Westminster and do we see it spent here??? No they close our Stroke centre.


    We want independence and less out of towners. Less DFLs and certainly less foriegners.

    We are a proud island and should stand alone.

    (Sounds ridiculous you are right – but is exactly the same as Brexit)

    You can’t ban bikers you bunch of melons. They are a great bunch and raise loads for charity.

  34. Veiled threats to the organisers are nothing as the council do not have any enforcement officers for the rest of the year so why would they have them on this occasion? Threats of enforcement on litter bugs on beaches, cars and bikes parked on pavements, jet skies tearing around and launching from promenade and harbour ramps, large parties on the beach, etc, etc, but never any enforcement or fines. TDC is a joke and the public know it so there is no fooling them.

    • TDC is “us”. We voted for the councillors who constitute the Council.
      If TDC is a joke, then the joke is on us.

      • We’ve had Tory, Labour and UKIP run councils, and they have ALL been useless. Who do you suggest next? Green? Lib-Dem? BNP? If only Screaming Lord Sutch was still alive…

        • As useless as the residents that voted for them (does that include you)? The unjustified comments (abuse) made towards elected Councillors, does it surprise you that few want to stand and give in most cases many hours of their time? Can we surmise that may affect the quality of those that DO come forward? There maybe another cause for their pertained uselessness, a Government that in TDC’s case (and Nationally) has had £30 (thirty million £) stripped from their budget WAKE UP SMEEL THE SEAWEED!!

  35. Councillors are peolpe who want to make a difference.. they do in their own little world but as they can’t see the bigger picture then they will never succeed..

  36. I’m coming in my noisy V8 and lookin for a fight and a noise off with those girly so called motorcyclists. What a ridiculous argument around people enjoying their leisure time the same way they have for the last 50 years.

  37. WoW reading most of these comments im shocked. For Margate and Thanet get over yourselves most of these bikers have more money than you..they spend a fortune on their bikes, they are not your, gangster bikers you see on TV jeez, they are just the same as you, some of you keep referring to them like their a different species! its their hobby yours is obviously complaining! You only live once! people need to start realising that things like this will put back into the community, via charity’s, cafes and yes they do even buy clothes as they do have such thing as panniers!

  38. Should the question not be, why does it require 14 weeks notice for an event that has successfully been held for many years orevious. It’s just a case of ticking the boxes surely. If it was a new event that’s different. I’ll bet if Boris or Liz wanted to come down at short notice the roads would be shut at very short notice. Common sense….nah, paperwork has to be done, rules observed. Absurd

  39. It’s busy down Margate the sun out and my big bike out .Im outside having a nice Ice cream helping your area .

  40. Thanks for buying the ice cream .. 🍦.. shame about the environment though .. maybe buy a second ice cream 🍦..

  41. Horrible farty noises and noxious smells up and down the seafront all day, and that’s just the people ON the bikes. I’m sure the noise/smell drove more customers away than the number of ice creams they bought for themselves.

    • Day Trippier you clearly have never been, you must have been tripping somewhere else. apart from attracting crowds, “bikers” (for those unable to comprehend that riders are real and normal people) do actually eat food and drink fluids bought in local outlets.
      they probably bring more income the the area in one weekend than the Turder does in a year.

    • I agree with you .. their small amount of ice creams they eat will hardly notice .. noise , smell , anti environmental event .. of a by gone era .. should be in museum.. save the thanet ! …

  42. @frank, looks to me like they aren’t the only thing that needs to be in a museum lol.
    “The Turner center is the only good thing margate has .. don’t knock it”

    you are referring to the (to quote a Royal as its jubilee weekend) monstrous carbuncle spoiling the sea view? that interests…. well no one!!

    “a few bikers buying a few ice creams won’t make margate the new UK stock exchange… if they rode electric bikes I’d applaud them.. but they DONT ! So DO NOT COME TO MARGATE”

    no it won’t make it a new stock exchange but it will bring money in. I take it you don’t rely on local income to fund your lifestyle frank.
    I’m guessing you own a car?
    anyway your best bet to help margate avoid pollution rather than waste energy typing on your keyboard, which if you hadn’t noticed used energy to make, is to stand outside the Nayland and stop them riding in and order their return to pollute somewhere else, just not your yard.

  43. This amusing and interesting thread (in places) makes me realise that the Turner Gallery should host a ‘vintage & exotic motorcycle museum week’ … Ace Cafe members could lend their bike to the gallery for one week, proceeds to Margate town: I reckon about a hundred bikes… There would need to be some special ice creams on sale of course: Ace Cafe Coffee delight, Harley Davidson Chrome Supreme, Vincent Blackshadow Blueberry Treat,(other suggestions welcome!). The motor museum in Southampton does roaring trade and everyone could come and see these beautiful bikes and some of the incredible art work!

    • David you missed a couple especially for Frank. Triumph Tailpipe Trifle, Puch Petroleum Pique, Francis Barnett Fume Flambé, all 4 stars. and not forgetting Suzuki Sour Grape.

  44. @Johnny
    “Should the question not be, why does it require 14 weeks notice for an event that has successfully been held for many years” 

    yes! that one is for the local electorate.

  45. Quite frankly, it is so sad to read that the official Ace Cafe Margate Meltdown scheduled for June 2 was cancelled, but it was rational and reasonable to make such a decision because safety is a priority. It is really important that all security measures are observed. No matter what, i think that if there is the slightest risk that something could go wrong, it is necessary to cancel such events. In my opinion, it is important to stick to common sense and calculate everything to the smallest detail in every situation because it is the only way not to put people in danger. Also, I am really glad that Thanet council approached organizing the official Ace Cafe Margate Meltdown with such seriousness and responsibility because it indicates that everything is controlled at a high level. I really hope that it will be possible to hold Margate Meltdown in 2023 in a favorable way and that there will be no possibility that bikers will face such problems again.

    • Marina
      Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion, and thank God. However, given what I’m hearing on the ground, I don’t believe you actually have a clue why this was really cancelled, personally I find your rhetoric is niave and frankly patronising. I’ve yet to see any official statement, but in any event I seriously question whether the decision was completely non-political, knowing the wasp nest-like and frequently juvenile behaviour of some councils. Time may tell.

  46. @ Marina
    yes, if it had been a new venture but it isn’t.
    TDC have shown themselves to be inept, inefficient and uninterested in facilitating a historically regular event. they allowed red tape bureaucracy to deprive the local community of income.

Comments are closed.