Friday, 13 November 2009
A man of the moment.
Reading the Isle of Thanet Gazette report on the budget problems Thanet District Council is facing makes grim reading and my first thoughts were have things ever been this bad before. Well in fact they have.
In late May1940 Margate had its own town council, the seafront was boarded up and the hotels and guesthouses were closed. The towns economic lifeblood , tourism had been abruptly cut off. Many people had left the town as the threat of invasion became a reality and the revenues to the town council had plummeted as Margate like all coastal towns became the front line. To make matters worse troops from the Dunkirk evacuation were arriving in the town and the local town council had a very serious dilemma on its hand running local government as it faced bankruptcy.
Someone had to take responsibility and make the tough decisions. This responsibility fell on the shoulders of Cllr George Hoare a local businessman who had a photography business and ran a milk bar along the seafront. Somehow through beg, steal or borrow he managed to keep local government running during those dark days which was nothing short of a miracle. Unfortunately he died lateron during the war and was buried in Margate Cemetary.
There is a file on him in the Margate Museum and his name is on the roll of honour in the old town hall when he became Mayor. George Hoare's achievements are not widely known except in a file in the Margate Museum, but Margate really has a lot to thank him for.