At 7 pm on Friday evening, the great and the good will be gathered outside The Droit House to witness Tracey Emin switching on her neon sculpture. There are more events and exhibitions going on in Margate than you can shake a stick at, and it should be a great opportunity to put Margate on the map. However, the tide will be out and the abiding memory of the event may well be the pong of rotting seaweed.
Some of the smell in the harbour is from the seaweed deposited on the surface and of course this ‘natural’ seaside smell is to be expected. The main problem at the moment is that TDC have a policy of tipping sand on top of seaweed as a short-term fix because they will not prioritise dealing with it properly. This traps the seaweed so that no air can get to it, so it turns into a horrible black sludge beneath the surface which gives off a stomach-turning stink.
There are lots of discussions which need to be had about harvesting the seaweed, dumping it out to sea, whether the sluice gate should be open, dredging the harbour, etc but TDC is not interested. I think it’s simply ridiculous to have a world-class gallery and a newly regenerated seafront, and for visitors to have walk around with hankies over their noses.
I hope that the smell is a major issue on Friday. Maybe then TDC will take on board how serious the issue is.