Council to discuss application for extensive repairs to vandalised Nayland Rock shelter

Fire damage at the Nayland shelter last March Photo Peter Hasted

An application to carry out repairs to the Victorian Nayland Rock shelter in Margate will be discussed by councillors next week.

The Grade II listed shelter, off the Canterbury Road, suffered damage from bonfires, seating set alight and ripped out arm rests, in the early part of last year.

It is described by Historic England as “a good and particularly large example of a late Victorian/Edwardian seaside structure” and noted for its special literary association with TS Eliot and  ‘The Waste Land’ poem which was published in 1922.

Photo Peter Hasted

It was constructed in 1900 and restored in 1998, although the first shelter was recorded at the site between 1872 and 1896.

Repairs needed include the replacement of the ornate timber benches to the front and rear, the central screen, support framework between benches and the floor which was damaged by fire.

Photo John Horton

The central section facing the beach has three ornate timber armrests and three central panels behind the benches which have been affected by the fire; the opposite section facing inland towards Margate Station also has three ornate timber armrests affected. Eight central panels have been destroyed and three steps immediately in front leading to the fire damaged section.

The Nayland Rock Shelter Photo TDC

A report to councillors says: “Repairs and installation of 6 new armrests and 11 central panels will bring the Victorian Shelter back to its original condition which will enhance the significance of this designated heritage asset and the surrounding area.”

The application, which is submitted by the council, will be discussed at a planning committee meeting on March 13.


  1. it does seem to me that it utterly pointless restoring this building , as when you look at the previous damage caused by local vermin , it will only happen again.

  2. This wouldn’t have happened in Victorian times when vagrants were put in work houses! Surely this was better for everyone?

  3. Maybe Historic England will pay for the restoration. Then put it under CCTV and try and catch the brainless imbeciles who cause that sort of damage.

    • I remember when it was refurbished previously for a large sum, around 15-20 years ago. About two weeks after it reopened, a drunk man collapsed in the road near my (then) Westbrook home. The police were called, who got him on his feet, and told him to sleep it off in the shelter! So, unless police drastically change their policy and start locking drunks up in cells, this sort of thing will continue… and will put both locals and day trippers off from visiting the place.

  4. Very sadly I do not think it is worth repairing as with the number of mindless people around nowadays, it would soon be vandalised again, so it would be a complete waste of money. It would be far better to just tear down the current shelter and put in metal seats which can’t be as easily damaged but still provides eating for those who want to enjoy the view without actually going on the sand, can do.

  5. Oh yes! Only cast iron seats would be in order; forged by the mighty Red Bull fuelled strong arms our own local illiterati!

    And hopefully monitored and reported by nascent DFL Margatians wracked with fake pride, and incensed by the wonton destruction of such erstwhile period adornments of our beach facade.

  6. Trashed by the substance dependent ne’er do wells that took it over (2 years ago?) as base from which to try and get money from passers by.
    No point in councillors discussing it, being one of the first things you see as you enter margate and as just about anyone having stroll along therom will see it, it’ll have to be done. ( and hopefully properly, ie will the rest of it get painted at the same time? )
    Any chance the “rough sleeper “ fund can pay for it, about time the miscreants were made responsible for their deeds in some way.

  7. Rough sleepers will not be rejoicing once their humble wood pillows are suddenly supplanted with the cold steel of longevity. We are to be thankful that the war against petty defacings, orchestrated by the feeble minded and those devoid of civic concern, is slowly being won by virtue of long-standing robust materials.

    I seek solace in knowing that such ne’er-do-wells will be rightly displaced. Displaced to the next council; another unfortunate council with depleting resources, but at least a cheap and disposable Poundland bucket and brush to sweep up the vomit.

  8. As always we received the well thought out and considered thoughts,and I use that term advisedly,from our eminent Victorians, who consider flogging and imprisonment as they way forward to a happy society.Unfortunately, if you read social history from 1800 to now, you will see that society was not all crinolines and sense and sensibility.It was violent,uncomfortable and unequal,the inequality drove the violence.
    We have people who have little to do and little money to do it with.That’s no excuse for their actions,but if we want to reduce vandalism, we need to open community hubs, not close them.
    If this shelter is so important from its literary links why not relocate it to somewhere where it can be defended more easily.CCTV only records crime not prevent it.Vandals are not silly unless drunk, and they will either disable the CCTV or mask accordingly.

    • However these days we have a pretty well all encompassing welfare state, where just about only those who choose not to engage with it are left with bothing over their heads.
      Wouldn’t be quite so bad if it were not for the way tdc will go about having the works done , i’ll stick my finger innthe air and say £75k for the works stated and £125k if it gets a proper redecoaration at same time.

      Inequality didn’t drive what happened to the shelter it was a life of substance abuse and no inclination to change their ways. And personally i’d have state provision of “shooting galleries” where junkies and drunks could take ( on the premises) their state provided substance of choice , open 24/7. Dormitory accomodation to go with it.
      The flipside to this would be any incidents of crime or antisocial behaviour ,results in an instant custodial sentence. The cost of provision i’d guess would be covered by the reduced aquisitive crime , less antisocial behaviour etc to larger society.
      Though quite how you’d deal with the large numbers of drug dealers who’d no longer have customers is another thing as they’re unlikely to suddenly decide to get real jobs.

    • Indeed, Mr. Nokes, the lack of understanding and of – to put it bluntly- pity for those who are drug- or alcohol-addicted and/or homeless is quite astonishing, not to mention depressing.

      • Having being burgled twice by junkies, seen the effects of habitual cannabis use turn aome into total muppets, watched the endless drug dealing in cliftonville, no i don’t have much pity for those involved.
        When the Limes was my GP surgery those idiots effectively made it impossible to get an appointment unless it was a nice sunny day when very few would bother turning up and you could get a “ no show”.

        As for TDC now considering provision of homeless accommodation for those with pets, words fail me, extra costs incurred for the tax payer to indulge those that can’t prioritse their lives.

        I’ve cleared a flat , where junkies had managed to get a tenancy, they nicked the boiler, dirty syringes stuck in skirting boards to keep the needle open, place was utterly filthy, prostitution and endless complaints from neighbours. The only tidy thing in the place was a stack of search warrants, like some perverse badge of honour. Council, police nor health service would give any details or assistance in tracing the tenants, so their lives went in a skip, apart from a tin full of dirty needles which we dropped at the nearest gp surgery for disposal.
        The council and housing associations won’t deal with problematic drug taking in their properties choosing the easy way out of letting the police deal with things when it gets out of hand, so very little to persuade the drug addled to change their ways.
        Enough negative experiences, time wasted and expense from the substance abusing section of society for me thank you, i feel no compunction to make their lives easier.

          • I don’t , but i’m quite happy to stand my ground based on personal experience as against the idealistic opinions of detached do gooders. It’s bad enough socialists spending everyone elses money on what they believe to be the “right thing” but to then choose to ignore the effects their actions have on local residents just adds insult to injury, especially given that it’s often lower income areas that the miscreants are decanted into and the residents work hard enough to get on in life as it is.
            A zero tolerance approach to those that abuse facilities provided for them , would help keep things in balance and lead to less resistance to having those in need living near by.

  9. As always we received the poorly thought out and ill considered thoughts, and I use that term correctly,from our eminent bleeding heart socialist.

    • My personal opinion is that not all drug/alcohol addicts lead chaotic lives. I have known several who have been in work, and not lived in squalor, for decades.

      • And they’re not a problem, TDC has had a couple of notable alcoholics amongst its staff over the years, they were pretyy hopeless at their jobs and just moved from department to department as time passed and their colleagues despaired.
        The discussion is not about functioning alcoholics and junkies its about the problematic ones.

        If we applied the same logic to violent crime we could say “most of the people i know have never hurt anyone” and so declare it not a problem, ( which of course you often do or similar) but that argument is of no help to society in general and certainly not grieving parents of a child stabbed to death for no real reason.

  10. This is a shelter of historical significance and should be restored and protected. The unfortunate people that used it for shelter and ultimately used parts of it to keep warm are not to blame. The government/ council need to look at the bigger picture to home people that find themselves on the streets. There is currently a tented community in the shelter next to the old Primark….why is there? Whatever work is done on the Nayland Rock shelter needs to be protected to avoid it being wrecked again 😐

  11. Looks like damage from the local homeless trying to keep out the wind and rain and cook themselves something to eat?
    Surely a marquee for rough sleeping and BBQ area fenced off away from the tourist and sea front with security 24/7 would be the answer?
    We can allocate land for the traveling community at Garlinge and supply temp housing for the illegal immigrants at the Broadstairs campus but it seems our homeless are at the back of the queue, why?

    • They aren’t at the back of the queue, if you read other articles on the subject the council has an intervention team it works with that actively seek out and try to help the homeless, but there are a hardcore who decline to be involved, reasons given include inability to take pets with them , restrictions on drugs /alcohol that they don’t wish to abide by.
      It has to be accepted that there a very tiny number who are beyond help unless you wish to just let them live as they choose in accomodation you can afford to have trashed and don’t care about the neighbours. TDC use Paramount for some of their emergency housing need, they did/do have property in the St.Johns area of margate, the grief those living around it were subjected to a couple of years back was beyond belief, as was the behavious associated with some of those that used the facility at the Old British Legion, TDC also tirned a blind eye to the appalling state of the building next door and the endless issues that were left to the police to deal with until the drug disputes escalated to firebombing of the common areas. The “Green Shop” was a local landmark for the areas junkies who congregated there to meet their dealers. Must be said its improved in the last 18 months, but locals had around 4 years of misery,
      ( idiots urinating on /down their steps, people passed out on the path, multiple incidents of violence ( including a machete attack) endless screaming and shouting, loads of dumped rubbish in Ventnor Lane, junkies knocking on your door in the late hours with their absurd stories asking for money ( you had to go out the back to checkit was’nt a distraction whislt another lowlife was trying to get in the back) , cars regularly interfered with ( hoping to find a door open and some change / easily sold items inside) )
      The council have the easy job of spending others money on these people, locals living near by are the ones that pay rhe real price. If you complain the usual refrain is “everyone has to live somewhere” to which the response – move them in next door to you then- is just batted off.
      If you’re a long term thanet resident you’ll know of the infamous Lesley Hotel that was in Surrey road, used to house some of the Isles least desirable , made that end of cliftonville an utter mess, eventually closed down and demolished.
      A bit of first hand experience, tends to colour the views of those on the receiving end , but of course the hand wringing “modern thinkers” don’t generally see beyond their rose tinted specs.

  12. Yep ‘junkies’ as you call them are a pest and nuisance, but they gather in places like Thanet because they are either put there or because it is relatively cheap.That’s the inequality bit, because deprived communities receive the brunt of drug dealing and antisocial behaviour.
    How do we sort it? Well for a start not listening to faint heart facists like Pink and her other old moaner allies.
    I recommend better policing, more treatment centres, active rehabilitation and a determined approach to cleaning them up and persuading them that a life well lived is better than constant arrest and incarceration.
    Of course that means delivering a less dysfunctional economy with secure well paid work, lower housing costs and something to aspire to. Not easy and so far not even attempted.
    The alternative of course is shouting at them, threatening them with state violence and feeling self righteous and virtuous.
    As always with the Pink squad there are no solutions only slogans.

    • It could ne argued jobs are too well paid and state support too generous , when you look at the numbers who are not in gainful full time employment, this has set up an endless spiral of the easy option of importing ever more people into the country to supply labour, that in turn places greater pressures on services and resources ( housing being the most obvious) so we end up needingg more cash to meet those needs from what is a reducing per capita production, which can only mean higher taxes on those that do work , balanced with reduced public services and less left for discretionary spending.
      A mess for sure and the two maxims

      The trouble with socialism is you run out of pther peoples money
      If ypu pay people to be poor some will choose to be poor ( as it represents a huge return for the hours put in)

      The issues of drink and drugs are surging largely on a back of a complacent society choosing to believe that the damage isn’t that bad and is limited.

      True thanet has been a dumping ground for lifes least fortunate ever since the holiday heydays started to decline in the 70’s and there was plenty of cheap accomodation that needed filling, the glasweigan alcoholics were a prime example but they’ve died off now, the housing association that offered troubled souls from pther parts of the country a new start in thanet ( in reality just a new place to do as they always had) .
      And ot continues today, with the decanting of wealthier boroughs housing lists into new builds all over east kent, these councils are we would hope making sure that social service and health funding follows them ( but that is probably wishful thinking)
      Housing is expensive because of the standards required ( though often not met ) and the cost of land and labour, along with the ( you’d hope well intentioned) policy interventions to encourage house purchases that did little more than boost house prices ever higher, the low interest rate environment meaning people bought on the basis of what they could borrow rather than a homes worth.
      My guess is we’ll keep on the same road to self destruction until the system collapses and we go cap in hand to the IMF, it’ll happen under either the tories or labour , just a bit quicker under labour.
      In the meantime the 20-80% ish percentile of peolple by wealth/income will go backwards no matter how hard they peddle and many will give up.
      An eventual day of reckoning is beckoning, it’s been held at bay so far by the reaction to the financial crisis and covid. Both of which allowed measures never seen before that enabled the can to be kicked down the road , hopefully stoking conflict in far flung parts isn’t being seen as the next excuse for new interventionary measures.

  13. Outrageous comments from all of you.

    Lock drunks up
    Cctv it
    Blame police

    Shame on the lot of you.

    You could not care lesd if they died there

  14. T.S. Eliot was visiting Margate as part of his recuperation from acute depression. “The Waste Land” is not about Margate. It is a long and complex poem. There are several articles about it – there’s probably one on Wikipedia.

      • You really must get your Pre Menstrual Tension (PMT) sorted Ms Pink. If areas in Thanet like Dumpton depress you, then get help. Clearly your HRT isn’t working, so ask your GP for a review.

  15. Don’t give in to the addicted or the vandals , catch them and lock them away, clear away the tents ban drinking in public byways , start demolishing the ghettos of Cliftonville and clear out the scum of the earth and their goody goody friends.

  16. Ok …so “Fred” would like to clear out “the scum of the earth and their goody-goody friends”? Soihe wants the kind of thing the Nazis went in for? Is that right Fred?
    Or are you just- if utterly tastelessly and very offensively “having a laugh”?

  17. All what I said I mean, it’s the only way to make Thanet a clean and safe place for decent people to live in, sorry if that sounds harsh but that’s the way it is.

  18. Just get it fixed up. It is not as bad as it looks here. A lot is superficial damage where a few coats of paint will do. A nice little job for a chippie here that could be done in a few days. Same for the other shelter near the clocktower. Get the damaged seating fixed again and lets stop allowing the destruction of our architecture because of fools and drunks.
    Leaving them homeless on the streets through the Winter was the reason for this.
    Why has it taken over a year for TDC to decide they need a meeting over it?

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