19th May, 2023
Keeping a photographic record of change is an ongoing process. Whitstable visitors often say that it’s good there are not many empty shops in town. Looking through my photo library reminds me of what has disappeared. ‘The Flying Pig’ gallery is closed, Herbacious is now a Barber shop, ‘Around the Clock’ restaurant used to be a bank, and the old Visitor Information Centre is ‘Jane at Graham Greener’ florist. Artist Bruce Williams has moved from Keams Yard to a new venue that was ‘The Black Dog’ and Wetherspoon’s ‘The Peter Cushing’ used to be the ‘Oxford Bingo Club’. ‘Taking the Plunge’ giftshop is now a café and ‘Betty Loves Bryan’, M & Co, Front Jewellery and Pink Flamingo have gone. The second-hand bookshop has moved to Whitstable station and ‘Light and Imagination’ photographers Andreea and Matt, run small group photo tours. ‘Joules’ clothes shop has recently opened as ‘Weird Fish’ and Elliot’s Café is now ‘No 1 Whitstable’.
‘The Clothes Horse’, ‘Whiting Post’ and ‘Ruskin’ Clothes shops remain along with a variety of charity shops. Hubbard’s bakery is always busy, The Rock Lodge has a new roof terrace upstairs and Wareham Antiques and Garden Furniture has eye-catching displays which attract attention. It’s fitting that Graffiti Artist known as ‘Catman’ has painted a Diver with ‘SHOP LOCAL’ above it on the railway bridge to greet visitors to town.