On 3 August 2016 Margate Winter Gardens celebrated 105 years of providing the best entertainment and hospitality in East-Kent.
First opened in 1911, by the then Mayor Alderman W.B. Reeve, the grand Victorian venue has stood proudly overlooking the sea from its stunning location of Fort Crescent, Margate. In that time the famous white building has firmly cemented its place in music and comedy history, with bands such as The Beatles wowing local audiences and true legends of the entertainment world, from Norman Wisdom to Frankie Howard, heading ‘down to Margate’.
Margate Winter Gardens has also had the pleasure and privilege in welcoming HRH The Queen Mother in 1986 and past prime ministers including Sir Winston Churchill.
Steve Davis, Managing Director – Your Leisure, said “The Winter Gardens continues to provide the local community and visitors to the area with an opportunity to enjoy top class entertainment or celebrate that special occasion at the many events held within the complex every year.
“It has continually adapted over the last 105 years to ensure it remains an important asset for the area and will support the ongoing regeneration of Margate – its own refurbishment will allow this to continue for many years to come”.
As well as hosting a diverse programme of entertainment – from national comedy tours and pop concerts to lavish local productions and talent shows – Margate Winter Gardens has been a significant part of the local community. During the Second World War the Winter Gardens acted as a receiving station for some of the 40,000 troops landed at Margate during the Dunkirk evacuation. On 7th July 1941 a bomb shattered the east wing. In 1946 the war damage was repaired and a new stage constructed.
Margate Winter Gardens’ Team Members enjoy a vibrant and friendly working environment. Long-standing usherette Jean has worked at the venue for over fifty years; welcoming new colleagues and sharing her experiences.
So whether you have been to see a show, worked there during the summer of ‘69 or spent an evening watching the sun go down as you enjoyed a wedding, there is no denying the legacy of Kent’s premier venue.