Friday, 22 April 2011

Britain is a country with a county called Kent, a town called Sheerness and a seafront where old men remember when they were boys

I've been to the old naval town of Sheereness on the coast of Kent with my friend D.B. He was brought up on the Isle of Sheppey and is one of the little boys in this black and white postcard from the 1950's.

And here he is today, standing in the same place over half a century later.

While we walked along this stretch of sea wall another old gent came along who recognised D.B. and had been to the same school as him over half a century ago. He proceeded to tell D.B. what he had done with his life and asked not a single question about what D.B. had done with his. He does, however, stand forgiven because, unlike D.B., the old chap had spent his entire life living and working on the Isle of Sheppey and had obviously become cut off from the rest of the world.

It was a balmy afternoon and families were enjoying the sun and water with their kids.

D.B. used this photo to point out the open air swimming pool he had used as a boy.

Our next port of call was 'The Blue Town Heritage Centre which was owned and run with a small charge for admission by Jenny and occupied the building which had once been 'The Criterion Music Hall'.

Jenny produced an old school photo showing the kids who had been at the school at the same time as D.B.which allowed him to reminsce about the teachers he remembered.

Jenny's Centre was filled with a collection of memorabilia given to her by the residents of the Isle of Sheppey
including this yellow 'frigidaire' refridgerator from the 1930's, which was still working.
Jenny used the theatre to show films to local elderly residents. That afternoon they had been treated to the black and white 'Billy Liar' from the 1960's and a cup of tea.

The Blue Town Heritage Centre :


Blue Town takes its name from the collection of timber cabins built by dockyard workmen in the open area around the docks and stores and the blue-grey naval paint they used to paint them.

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