22 February, 2006

Faversham and the Isle of Sheppey.

An unexpected visit to Faversham and the Isle of Sheppey to see coöp stores on the Island on a rainy day. I set out in the hope that I could take a few photos in Faversham before going on the outing as it is a medieval town but this was not possible owing to the rain. However the town of Faversham is very picturesque with lots of medieval buildings including half timbered houses and a market hall supported on wooden pillars which has a pump in front of it.

The Isle of Sheppey is an island in the Thames estuary reached by a lifting bridge which carries both road and railway. There is a new bridge, which is in the process of construction, to carry the road at a level where it will not need to lift, however the railway bridge will remain and will have to continue to lift. Therefore it seems as though the new bridge and associated infrastructure is a monstrous waste of money, not to mention labour and resources. The island is a popular tourist destination for Londoners as it is only an hour and a half outside London. However it does seem a bit bleak and not well developed. The seaside resort is Sheerness and it needs a lot of money spent on it. Probably only less discerning Londoners go there.

The coöp stores were worth visiting. On return to Faversham we had lunch in a pub called the Chimney Boy which had a lovely warm inglenook and decent food. After leaving there I looked round the town. Unfortunately most of the shops were closed at 4 o’clock in the afternoon! Some of the local shops were open so I don’t suppose it was half day closing. There was a campaign going on to ‘save our shops’ to ensure that local shops were able to stay open. I think they are slowly committing suicide, and therefore nothing can save them. Faversham is a commuter town and commuters will want to shop at six at night. I did not sign the petition to save our shops.

A good day spoiled by the rain.

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