Hi. Welcome to my corner of the Internet…

Welcome to this virtual view of Herne Bay and Whitstable. My family has been here since 1965, when we moved down from Hampstead, London. This puts me under the category of “DFL” (Down From London, if you please). However, London is merely my place of birth. To me, Whitstable will always be home, rather than the Smoke. By contrast, my ex-wife and my daughters are all true-born “Maids of Kent”, born as they were east of the river Medway, Ness in Beltinge and the girls in K&C; Hospital.

Note: we parochial types further divide people born in Kent into “Men (or Maids) of Kent”, for those born east of the Medway and “Kentish Men/Maids” who are born on the west side. The Medway runs roughly south-north through Maidstone and meets the Thames Estuary at Chatham. Don’t ask me to define the logic of this division. I can only remember which way round it is by virtue of “The Man Of Kent” being the former name of a Canterbury pub.

The “DFL” label is, I believe, a relatively new term. I like to think it applies more to the “nouveaux riches” who buy beach huts (in particular) or housing here but come from (and indeed still work in) London. It may also be a media-conceived term, used to make the locals appear more provincial. Then again, I may just be a cynic. However, I recently came across the “DTS” and “HTS” labels, short for “Down To Stay” or “Here To Stay”. Whilst no more flattering, they are perhaps a little more appropriate.

About The Site

This site first came into being following a quiet period at the tail end of 2000. A work colleague, Simon, had written his own personal web page and one for the automotive project we were working on. Being vaguely interested in seeing how a site worked (and having some time on my hands), I asked him for some pointers.

I fiddled with simple code before coming across Joe Barta’s “So You Want To Make a Web Page” site. This site is packed with pretty well everything you need to get a site up and running, so, I printed hundreds of pages and got to work. Once I had gone through the “This is my site. More to follow…” stage, I had to decide what to write about. The natural choice seemed to be my locality.

I was originally going to concentrate on Whitstable (where I grew up) but I soon found a number of amateur Whitstable sites already doing a good job. Herne Bay, on the other hand, home from 1987 to 2002, seemed not to be so well represented. I couldn’t quite let go of the Whitstable tie, so the compromise “Steve’s Herne Bay and Whitstable Web Page” was born.

A number of tourist websites give an insight into, say, Canterbury but Herne Bay and Whitstable are not covered nearly as well, at least not by professional sites. Those (amateur) sites I have liked can be found in the “Links” page, under the “General” heading above. Generally though, pictures of our area tend to be limited to the Clock Tower, Castle, Reculver Towers or the Harbour.

This site does include photos of those places but also less well-known areas, too. I took most of the photos, supplemented by a few from my daughters Ami and Lara. You are welcome to download any of the images but please acknowledge the source. Conversely, if you have pictures of your own that you would be prepared to share, or scenes you would like me to include, please get in touch by clicking on the “Copyright Steve Male” link at the bottom of the page. Any pictures submitted will, of course, be duly acknowledged and copy-protected if required.

Many site visitors write about places they remember from the past. It would be good to hear from anyone who has any pictures of old Herne Bay or Whitstable. You’ll find a smattering of historical information that is either recalled or has been passed on. There is also local information, again part recall, part investigation. If anyone has any stories or information that they think may be relevant, send it in. The long-term aim remains as providing more comprehensive data for the site, both informative and trivial.