Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside ...

It was foggy when we woke up yesterday morning, but by 11.00am it had almost cleared and the sun was shining. Sue and I decided to take advantage of the good weather, and drove to Herne Bay in Kent for lunch and a walk along the seafront.

We arrived in Herne Bay just after 1.15pm, parked in the main car park, and walked down to the seafront.


We ate fish and chips for lunch in Makcaris ...


... and then went for a walk along the promenade.

The recently renovated clock tower dominates the sea front.


It is 'guarded' by two canons that were recovered from the sea by divers.


It also bears two commemorative plaques, one in memory of the local men who volunteered to served during the Second Boer War ...


... and to the memory of Edward Henry Griggs, who was killed by the clock's weight whilst he was repairing the clock in 1905.


A bit farther along the promenade we reached the Grand Bandstand, which houses another branch of Makcaris and an Indian Restaurant.



Just past the Grand Bandstand ...


... and close to the railings along the seaward side of the promenade is a recently erected statue of the famous British aviatrix, Amy Johnson.



Amy Johnson died when the aircraft she was flying crashed into the Thames Estuary just north of Herne Bay.

We then retraced our route back along the Promenade, and once we reached the human sundial ...


... we then turned inland so that we could walk along Mortimore Street, Herne Bay's vehicle-free shopping street. After a little retail therapy we returned to our car and drove home.

We had a wonderful day out, enjoying what may well be the last warm and sunny day of the year.

18 comments:

  1. Bob-
    The Café' and walk along the shore looks so inviting...very pretty place. Fish & Chips by the Sea- what could be better! Cheers. KEV.

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    1. Kev,

      The air temperature was 17C and there was no breeze ... so it felt wonderful on the seafront. The food was - as usual - excellent and it was a great way to reinvigorate ourselves before the onset of autumn.

      Sue and I would love to live by the sea or near water, but finding somewhere is not easy. Over the past few years we have found a couple of possible houses but as we have not put our house on the market, no one will take our interest seriously.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Bob,
      I too wanted to live by the sea- Our South-Coast of New South Wales is absolutely delightful - Last year I found a two year old Modern House- very nice Home not more than a kilometre from the Pacific Ocean- at the right price too- we could sell here at Sydney and move and be able to put money back into our pockets...alas, my Partner (Chris) did NOT want to go....so, that was the end of the dream. However, I am content where we are - some 33 Miles SW of Sydney...we've been here in our Bungalow now for 36 years- enjoying the Retirement era...though the Coast would have been grand! Cheers. KEV.

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    3. Kev,

      Over the years my wife and I have looked at several properties near to the sea or a river, and on a couple of occasions she has said turned them down after viewing them.

      Because of the way the housing market works in the UK, you are expected to have sold your house before anyone will take you seriously as a buyer. In addition, buyers now seem to either want you to 'dress' the house you are selling to suit their taste so that they can imagine themselves living there or to empty it so that they can see how they can rebuild it to their requirements.

      It is estimated that selling a largish house (3 to 4 bedrooms, a reasonably sized garden, and off-steet parking) in London costs the seller up to £50,000 in fees. (These include the selling estate agent's fees, solicitor's fees, and tax on the new home you are buying).

      We would love a bungalow by the sea ... but I somehow think that we will end up staying where we are ... unless, of course, we win the Lottery!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    4. Bob,
      Selling Homes in London sounds a pretty expensive exercise...the Fees alone sound as an extra unneeded burden on the Owner- forcing the Sale price upwards. I inquired about building a NEW 3 Bedroom House at a rather large Estate north of here...the Basic Model House was about $240,000 which sounds reasonable for an absolutely Standard Dwelling...However the LAND - small House Block- was a whopping $450,000...hence, a Young Couple just starting out would need to go into the red to the tune of some $700,000 +....Re-paying the Loan would be astronomical...yet, the Estate is going ahead and just about sold-out and built-out, as are other Estates about our Region in the South West. I'm certainly glad we started long ago with a reasonable Mortage- when we did!....Cheers. KEV.

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    5. Kev,

      I live in a cheap part of London ... and I could not now afford to buy the house my wife and I now live in. We were lucky; we bought at a time when we could afford the mortgage. Nowadays we would have to have an annual joint income of £200,000 to qualify for a mortgage to buy our house.

      It sounds as if the situation is slightly better in Australia ... but not a lot better. Just over a mile away from where we live there is a massive housing development taking place on the site of the old Woolwich Arsenal. A 'cheap' one-bed 'low cost' flat there costs £250,000, and a four bedroom house with a view of the River Thames can cost upwards of £1.25 million!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    6. Bob,
      Yes- it is incredible the asking price of to-day for New dwellings- seems the closer to the hub of the major cities the value has skyrocketed- even for older established homes too. The sad part is that to-days Modern Families necessarily have to have both Partners working in order to get by and keep up the re-payments. In decades past Parenting was more important- now, the children seem to spend the best part of the days, weeks and months at day-care centres whilst the Mother is out working just to pay the 'child-minding' weekly bill. Yes, indeed it is a strange world indeed - I'd prefer to go back to the 1960s and 70s where Dad worked and Mum looked after the children. Anyway - I won't say anymore. Cheers. KEV.

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    7. Kev,

      It seems to be an all-pervading problem in so-called 'civilised' countries; we work harder to pay for things that we think that we need rather than stepping back and thinking about what is actually best for ourselves and our families.

      I am extremely luck to have neighbours who work hard ... but who put their families first. They spend as much time with their children as they can, doing things with them rather than farming them off to someone else to look after. As a result their children are polite, respectful, well behaved, and academically successful. They also seem to be a lot happier than many of their friends. Their parents give them something that costs nothing - their time - but which is actually priceless as far as the child is concerned.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob,
    It was indeed a beautiful day yesterday, what I love about living on the coast is the smell of the sea when the wind conditions are right on an incoming tide, takes me back to childhood, that and the sound of the gulls.

    Interesting to see the plaque you photographed,it mentions The Buffs, East Kent Regiment. I only discovered three days ago that my Grandfather enlisted in the 8th Battalion of the Regiment in 1914 aged 23 for 3 years service, returned home to marry in 1917 and then re enlisted for a further 3 years. I'm now actively trying to find out more information about his service record, but it does seem that 8th Battalion were pretty well in the thick of things. Any pointers Bob? I'm new to this, but my subscription to Ancestry.com is already paying dividends :)

    All the best,

    Lee.

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    1. 'Lee,

      If only all autumn days could be so nice!

      There is something relaxing about just sitting in the warm (or wrapped up well if sitting outside) watching the sea and listening to the sounds of the waves and the gulls.

      Have you got hold of a copy of your grandfather's medal card? It should be available online via the National Archives website using your Ancestory subscription. That will give you a starting point. His actual service record might have survived the fire caused by a Second World War bombing attack, but quite a few were destroyed.

      Good luck with your search,

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Hello Bob,
      Thank you for your reply. I made an error in my first post in that my Grandfather actually married my Grandmother in October 1918, although he served until 1920. I have seen his enlistment papers from 1914 - quite a moving moment as he died 2 years before I was born. I have also seen a document that records that he was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. This seems to state that served from 1914 until 1920 in the Buffs and gives me his rank of Private and number. I'll certainly keep on digging! I remember my Nan telling me the story of his return home, how she put fresh sheets upon the bed and found he was still crawling with lice when he arrived, what a way to spoil a romantic home coming!

      Thanks Bob,

      Lee.

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    3. 'Lee,

      If your grandfather joined up in 1914, he might have qualified for the 1915 Star as well as the other medals.

      If he served until 1920 he might have served as part of the Army of Occupation, the Allied Intervention of Russia, or the Waziristan Campaign. It all depends what battalion he served with.

      Good luck,

      Bob

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  3. Replies
    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      It was ... and I can thoroughly recommend the fish and chips at Makcaris.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Replies
    1. Conrad Kinch,

      It was a great way to spend a Monday!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Never been there (I had to look it up on a map!) but I love our seaside towns and that Amy Johnson statue is magnificent!

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    1. Legatus Hedlius,

      Herne Bay is between Whitstable and Margate ... and until recently it was mainly inhabited by the elderly. Over the past twenty years, thanks to the building of the new Thanet Way, it has begun to develop into a commuter town. It has also benefited from EU funds to redevelop the seafront.

      The statue of Amy Johnson is relatively new, and I understand that the local museum has staged a small exhibition or display about her life.

      All the best,

      Bob

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