Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not all of the seaside towns are dead.

Yesterday was the official opening of HerneBay Festival.Undaunted by our recent experiences at Margate, Ramsgate and Whitstable I phoned up mum and dad and they agreed to come with me (Martin being at golf). Dad was a little reluctant - Whitstable really had been a sad affair - but agreed to come pick me up.

An aside while we wait for him to turn up LOL - Whitstable local papers had been full of complaints about how the Oyster Festival and Regatta had been handled. It appeared that it had been decided somewhere to double up the two events and the result was

  • Overcrowding, there simply was no where to park, literally, making the whole town a nightmare. Many more popular pubs had no room at the inn, etc etc
  • Tankerton (where the regatta is held) got left off all publicity and no one knew there were events going on up there. Everything was centered around the town
  • Many traders said trade was down because visitors to the town would have come twice or those who normally come for the regatta didnt come as they didnt know about the move of date - true since my cousin who lives in Dartford was one of them, who phoned me up a week later to see if the regatta was on
  • The carnival ended up getting left out of the mix altogether and with no planned events on carnival day many traders had no extra trade
Anyway back to HerneBay. We parked on the seafront, no problem with parking as Herne Bay has 4 big car parks and plenty of off street availablilty. We walked along the sea front. There was obviously going to be lots going on but we had arrived a little early as the planned events all started after the Parade of the Giants. In the town the Classic cars and bikes were parked available for all the guys to have a squint at, so we whiled away a pleasant 20 mins remembering the ones my dad had first driven when I was a kid.

The one we owned when I was small,

The one dad admired (because he is in to Mercs at the mo)

And the one I wish I had had (although I really wanted a Triumph spitfire or MGB GT)

The town was packed but there was nothing that looked like the official route so it took us a bit of time to choose the ideal spot to stand. In the end we watched from the very beginning. It wasnt a long parade, only 3 giants and a couple of bands - this is a recent event and I guess its to make up for the fact that we cant have street walkers at the carnivals any more (Health and Safety dont 'cha know). But it did look like all were having a great time and there was a good community atmosphere.
Herne Bay's giantess

The biggish bloke at the back is Whitstable's town giant.

Music to dance to

Sea creatures

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