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.

Frank’s Night­club

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.

Starlight Club

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.


Cliftonville Hotel

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.