Nestled in the heart of Margate’s Old Town, our beautiful double fronted store had many a story of its own to tell before we started our journey together this year on the 1st of June. It is located on the historical King Street leading from Dane Park to Margate harbour and home to the Tudor House, flint fronted residential dwellings and a growing number of independent shops and restaurants.
Across the road from our new home at number 34, stands a grand Georgian Town House marked by a blue plaque inscribed with the words,
‘Francis “King” Cobb, 1726-1802 Banker & Brewer “King of Margate” lived here.’
During this time Cobb owned a large part of King Street, buying up the buildings to house his brewery and all the essentials needed by an 18th Century gent including his personal hatter, tailor, stables and even his own bank (now a community space and wonderful gallery).
Many a story
The first registered shop at No.34 was a bicycle boutique opened by J.G.Jebb at the turn of the 20th century, a mosaic at the entrance way to the store still bears his name. In the 1960’s the premises became a fishing tackle shop, aptly named “Kingfisheries”.
In the 1990’s a second floor was built onto the premises. On first encounter with this calm, bright, upstairs space we thought immediately how perfect it would be for exhibitions and events. Deciding to name it the ‘Kingfisher Room’ as a nod to its previous life, this freshly painted space will become our community venue above the Artisans & Adventurers store, hosting regular art exhibitions, yoga classes, talks and events.
On visiting the premises for the first time we were immediately taken by the green and gold tiled exterior and colourful stained glass windows. Inside, aged wooden beams that once propped up the Kings Steps that led down to the sea from Margate harbor, rise sentinel from floor to ceiling. Continuing the maritime theme a tall ships mast stands proud in the back right corner of the shop. When restoring the premises we wanted to enhance all of these features, so we spent hours stripping back and varnishing floorboards, giving fresh coats of paint to peeling bricks and colouring new life into woodwork in a sympathetic palette of greens and pinks.
Artisans & Adventurers first exhibition at The Kingfisher Room will tell the story of our own history up to this point, alongside the work of local and London artists on the subject of travel and adventure.
We would love to see you there next Friday 7th July from 5 pm for an evening of art, chat and ethical nibbles by the sea. Are you coming?
The new Margate store is located on 34 Kings Street, Margate, Kent. CT9 1DA