Today’s image is of a stainless steel dinner knife, unearthed a few years ago in the topsoil overburden of an archaeological excavation in Ramsgate. When it was discovered a few years ago, Margate’s regeneration was in its infancy and the Dreamland theme park on Margate’s sea front was just a faded and fire damaged memory of the past.
For many years it has migrated around our store, finding refuge in the oubliettes that hold the collection of objects from sites that are on the margins of being archaeological. It has languished in desk top pen holders and among the plastic toy characters and other objects that couldn’t escape the magpie tendencies of archaeologists.
The knife was unremarkable except for the stamped inscription on the blade which reads “Dreamland Margate Ltd.” O.S’, Guaranteed Stainless.
Times change and our attention has begun to focus on things that have been lost and we try to find ways to bring back a sense of their value. Margate’s arts scene is having its moment in the spotlight, Vintage is the new Zeitgeist and Dreamland is returning to the Sea Front.
We are now interested in the minutiae of the recent past and suddenly our knife, which carries the memory of Margate’s former glories wakes from its slumber to become an object of interest: memorabilia, Vintage curio, exhibit?