Broadstairs Town Team mural

More Brilliant Broadstairs

Sometimes, living in furthest East Kent is frustrating.  We are nearly 100 miles from the media hub and excitement of London and there never seems to be quite the draw of the West country.  Both areas seem to be hotbeds of parent blogger activity and so it feels a bit lonely down here at times.

Then, things happen that remind me why this is a great place to live.  And this week it’s been thanks to the Broadstairs Town Team.  Many moons ago we mooted an idea to tidy up some of the less pretty spaces in the town, under the banner of Brush Up Broadstairs.  The first event involved a team of volunteers painting the breakwater on the jetty over the course of an evening.  Bitumen is black, so while not pretty, it certainly looks a lot better from their hard work.

Broadstairs Town Team mural

The mural before and after (after photo credits to Broadstairs Town Team)

Next, we ran a competition to design some murals that could be painted onto the hoardings of some empty shops that had been left derelict and blighting a prettier end of the High Street.  We received some fantastic entries from school children and adults alike and within days of announcing the winners, work began to transfer the designs onto the shop fronts.  We began by painting the hoardings white and even this garnered compliments from passers by, fed up with the ugly black facade that went before it.  Then a grid was placed onto the white background and some painting by numbers work began.  With some patience and lots of elbow grease, the volunteers achieved the impossible and transformed a bleak part of the High Street into something fun and cheerful.  It’s got people talking. It’s got the Town Team’s name out there and we’ve made a small but positive change to our town.

Broadstairs Town Team Summer Proms

Vintage jazz at the Bandstand

Then this week, we had the first of the Summer Proms, again organised by the Town Team as a free event to encourage people to come out and have an evening together.  It started with a concert at the local bandstand, on the clifftop, overlooking the sea and Viking Bay with vintage jazz and a chilled vibe as families, visitors and residents sat, danced, ate, drank and caught up with one another.  We bumped into friends we’d not seen in ages and others we knew well. The setting sun shone a spotlight onto the event, highlighting its success.

As Folk Week begins, and the town really comes alive, this marked a wonderful start to what is always a fun and sociable week in Broadstairs. There are two more planned in the weeks after Folk Week and I hope that the buzz from the first will be enough to encourage more people out to enjoy and support a great free event that segues well into the other annual events of the summer.

Well done to everyone that’s worked hard to make these small wins happen.  Broadstairs is a very special place to live and with the passion and dedication of those that live here, we can keep it that way.