Monday, July 13, 2009

Broadstairs 'Scruffy' Says Times

I'm indebted to reader and former town crier Paul Conyers Silverthorn for pointing me in the direction of Saturday's Times, where there's a review of Boredstares which describes it as oozing 'scruffy charm'. Paul writes:

In The Times on Saturday 11 July a full page article entitled 'The great British weekend' featured Broadstairs and urged people to go. 'Britain is blessed with its beaches and a weekend in Broadstairs gives you the best that we have to offer.' Splendid stuff. An article very strongly in the town's favour. Elsewhere in the article, however, one or two interesting comments emerged: 'scruffy charm', 'down-at-heel but genteel', and 'kiss-me-quick air'.

I have been urging TDC to freshen up Broadstairs for years. Perhaps now something might be done. I am very proud of Broadstairs and all positive press mentions feed that pride. However, I don't see how TDC and Broadstairs and St Peter's Town Council can ignore these stated shortcomings any longer. I thank the Times for such a supportive article. I thank them also for expressing what is blatantly obvious with a public voice.

We who love Broadstairs call for action on railings, on pavement, on the neglected spots on the undercliff, on litter. Let's make Broadstairs a much sought after holiday destination without the shabbiness. Pile on the pressure.

Well, whilst I applaud your pride in your town Paul, I must say there are shabbier and scruffier places on the island than Broadstairs. Try living with an arsonised eyesore on your front for a decade, or a derelict pavilion or concert hall. Personally I'd say the Dickensians have had it pretty good, probably because so many Tory councillors abide there and have left it unsullied. I seem to recall it was only a few years ago that the whole of the top prom was spruced up. And the Millennium lift was only installed, er, I'm guessing, nine years ago.

The Times mentions the lift: 'Almost my favourite thing is the ancient lift that whirrs you effortlessly up inside the cliff when the call to put your feet up becomes too much to resist.' Hang on! 'Inside the cliff?' Ah, well that explains it. She's only gone and muddled it up with Hastings!

Right, talking of shabby chic, I'm off to watch the Hotel Inspector do the Walpole Bay on Five!

Read the whole shabby article in the Times
Click here to watch Walpole Bay Hotel inspected on Demand Five


Anonymous said...

I can't get Channel 5 - can you tell me what they said about the Walpole please!

Eastcliff Richard said...

If you click on the link under 'Breaking News' in the top right hand corner you can read an item about it.

I've also added a link to Five's video-on-demand if you want to watch the show.

Personally I always did think the idea of a 'museum/hotel' was just another way of saying 'we haven't updated the rooms since 1926'!

Anonymous said...

Shit hotel, shit town, not the councils fault, just the people

Anonymous said...

Shit comment.

Anonymous said...

Thought the owner acted immaturely.

Anonymous said...

Lovely hotel...needed work doing to it. Thought the hotel lady was spot on and great to see it spruced up. Nice place for a cup of tea and a tea cake after work.

Anonymous said...

I thought the programme worked well for the hotel. I know Jane Bishop to be a determined,but very charming, lady and I wasn't surprised she was having difficulty letting go of the reins. If she wasn't the character she is, the place would probably have shut down years ago. Walpole deserves to thrive, and I hope it is at the moment, but yes it probably needed to modernise and be made more profitable. Still one hour of prime time viewing publicity ain't gonna hurt is it?

Anonymous said...

well said.we love the walpole bay hotel-it is unique,friendly with loads of charm,the creams tea's on the terrace are a real treat,unlike branded hotels..

Anonymous said...

Well I didn't see all the programme , but my last experience of attending a function at the Walpole Bay Hotel left me feeling what a waste of a good building. If you see (what I don't think was shown) wallpaper peeling off the dining room wall........ water stained ceilings, threadbare carpet etc....don't think I will go on. It really needs a lot of money on it and two bedrooms updated is not enough.

SBCR said...

I realise this is an old post and you probably know this now but in anycase for anyone who doesn't...

That Times article is old, Eleanor Mills was refering to the Edwardian cliff railway (lift) opened in 1910, which went through the chalk cliff. It was a very unique system and the 2nd steepest/shortest in Britain, following the Cliftonville Lido Lift.

Failure to restore it even back in the 60s essentially sealed it's fate early on and by 1990 it finally gave up, further struck by a thunderstorm in 1991 destroying the only mechanical restoration it ever received.

Sitting lonely for a decade, Osteria Possilipo removed the promenade station in 2004, and the derelict lower station is now due to be removed.

No clue to when the council plans to publicly release the proposal and concept for new development on the site. I tried to request opening the old shaft to document the surviving construction before the demo men move in, but there's just no answer.