Margate’s Queen of the High Street

RoxAs Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915) said: ‘If you want something done ask a busy person. The other kind has no time.’ I’ve not met as busy a person as Margate’s Roxana Tesla. Rox, as she’s known, has quietly kickstarted more things than anybody else, and kept them going here in Margate without many people noticing.

The weekly street market, Margate Bazaar in the Old Town, the collaborative trading space, Rough Trade Margate, founding member of Margate’s winning £100,000 Portas Pilot bid team and now Chairman of Streets Ahead Margate a community group with a ‘let’s do it!’ attitude. All this while managing to run her fine teas emporium in Margate Old Town, Lady Tesla’s Loose Leaves and Mud.

Rox has come a long way since starting her working life on London Underground, where she became one of the youngest Station Managers. She then cut her teeth as a highly skilled multi-tasker as a prop-maker for the infamous Mutoid Waste co. and later in films. She’s not a woman afraid of power tools. Visitors to her shop will often find she’s built something new from salvaged furniture and oddities put together into something beautiful.

I’ve worked with Rox for a couple of years now, and have found her to have given more time and effort into making things work here in Margate than anyone I know. She has the qualities of a great community organiser. She leads by example. Just getting on and doing things, trying things out. Usually, at the heart of it is friendship and collaboration. Bringing people on board and letting them try things out. Many of the stall holders from her market and Rough Trade have gone on to have their own shops. Rox is a loyal friend and ardent supporter of her community. It’s for these reasons I’d like to nominate Rox to be included on the Queen of the High Street blog.

Rox was nominated for the Queen of the High Street blog by Louise Oldfield, who many would consider to be a Queen of the High Street herself. Louise runs the acclaimed The Reading Rooms b&b.


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