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Margate Live Webcam
'MARGATE' ... Looking North-East over 'The Oval Gardens'.
Get a webcam like this for your own website THE OVAL BANDSTAND & GARDENS ... The development of Cliftonville was marked in 1867 with the opening of the Cliftonville Hotel. Prior to this, Cliftonville was known as Peel Town, after Sir Robert Peel who owned land here. Permission for a temporary bandstand to be erected was granted in the spring of 1890 and the Red Viennese Band played during the summer months.

Local donkey keeper Benjamin Baker grazed his animals on the area, which kept the grass short. In 1926 improvements were made and an impressive opening ceremony was staged when the Prince of Wales, later Duke of Windsor, opened the Prince's Walk promenade. 
Between the wars many vocalists and comedians played at The Oval, some went on to fame and fortune. Between 1926 and 1927 Arthur Askey was the Star Attraction with the Oval Concert Party.

The Oval bands included a number of local musicians. Pianists included Alex Inman in 1959 and a year later Trombonist Jackie Wright, who later found fame in The Benny Hill Show : (The little fellow who Benny Hill would pat on the head.) Vocalists Carole Hayes and Dennis Stewart also appeared in the 1950's. In the late 1960's and 70's the public wanted a different type of seaside entertainment. It staged wrestling with the likes of Pat Roach and Big Daddy and songs were sung around an electric organ with Tony Savage.

Many thanks to Cliftonville Resident's Association for this article.

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