I've been aware for some time now that Herne Bay has an enormous amount of volunteer groups. Even with this knowledge, when I attended the Business & Regeneration exhibition at The Kings Hall on Wednesday, I was really overwhelmed by the amount of effort individuals and groups of people put in for the benefit of the town.
I have lived in various places since leaving London in the 1980s and have always taken a keen interest in the area I had adopted as home over the years. Maison Classique was created in 2010 and I have seen a gradual, but dramatic change in the town since I began to trade and live here. When I first arrived, this little place was much maligned and was seemingly considered extremely lowly by outsiders, in comparison with the trendy Whitstable (from whence I came before moving here) and the historic Canterbury. Local apathy also contributed to the impression that we were second rate. 'That won't work in Herne Bay' and 'The Council are only interested in Whitstsble and Canterbury' were just a couple of examples of remarks I heard on a regular basis. Well look at us now is what I say! The Herne Bay renaissance is well and truly under-way.
I don't want to name names because I may offend if I leave anyone out, but those marvellous people who have given their time tirelessly and consistently (you guys know who I mean) should give themselves a huge pat on the back. I am one retailer, I suspect amongst many, who acknowledge and am grateful for their tremendous efforts in helping to put Herne Bay back on the map for all the right reasons, making it a more attractive and interesting place to visit, which in turn creates more footfall into the shops, thereby improving the local economy and creating a lovely place for people to work, live and prosper.
Hopefully, all those other lovely non volunteering exhibitors at The Kings Hall on Wednesday appreciate the sentiments behind this blog.