As the people to try find a way out of and recovery from the Covid19 pandemic, Faith In Strangers hopes for a full relaunch in Late Spring/Early Summer. The rest of the year promises to be a tentative but exciting period of re-establishing friendships and communities in Margate and beyond.
At the turn of the year, our hearts were full of positivity — watching the workspace grow and setting up the bar for its full launch in May. In March, the UK entered its first full lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we spent the rest of the year trying to ensure that the business survived such a heavy body blow.
January through to September, was a whirlwind of fabrication and building. From electrics, AC, ventilation, soundproofing, audio, networking to soundproofing, carpentry, plumbing, plastering, decorating and more — we DIY’ed what we could and worked with some great people where we couldn’t. There were too many names to thank, but Techno Timber, Colin ‘The Colonel’ Jones, Andrew Blake, Phil Gooby, Anna Sbokou, EnVisio and F1 Sound all deserve special thanks for their amazing efforts.
Faith In Strangers was formed in 2018, after we stumbled upon a beautiful derelict building, with a special history and an awe inspiring view. The rest of the year was spent talking to future customers about what we should do with it, conceptualising Faith In Strangers and designing. We spent the latter part of the year working on site, gutting out the remnants of Frank’s nightclub that had been subject to 10 years of leaks and decay.
Initially opened in 1989 as ‘Thorley’s Free House’, it was owned and operated by local publican Frank Thorely, with the pub on the ground floor and nightclub on the 1st floor. In the 90’s the premises was closed for a full refurbishment and the venue was reborn as Frank’s Nightclub. The seaview windows were bricked up, mirrors, flamboyant décor and an elaborate lighting system was installed. Frank’s continued until around 2009 when it closed down.
Opening in 1964, the modernist building called ‘Cliftonville Leisure Complex’, was built to host a restaurant, bowling alley, pub, nightclub and petrol station, with residential apartments added above. What is now, Faith In Strangers, was then Starlight Club, a members club with a reputation for well dressed patrons and pricey drinks. It attracted people from all over but was known to be one of the more swanky venues in Margate.
Sat on the same plot that Faith In Strangers is today and built in 1868, the Cliftonville Hotel served the affluent classes of the Victorian era, who would typically flock from London to enjoy their holidays and second homes in Margate. It had views across a public garden populated with statues and beautiful seascape, the Cliftonville Hotel was a landmark in Kent. After a few decades of declining popularity, the hotel sadly burnt down in 1952.