Let’s move to Deal, Kent: these streets have tales to tellOct 5, 2018 16:30
It’s as racy, posh, cultured and seedy as Brighton at its best
What’s going for it? In his fierce part-memoir of Kentish oddballs, All The Devils Are Here, David Seabrook describes Charles Hawtrey in his dissolute dotage – during the long years after Carry On – living on Middle Street in old-town Deal, but “banned from nearly every pub... Reeling round town like an old wasted weasel turfed out of Toad Hall.” Deal is that kind of place, as racy, posh, cultured and seedy as Brighton at its best, only stuck out on the fat belly of Kent as far as possible from anywhere but Calais, without the hordes. “A villainous place... full of filthy people,” said professional Grinch William Cobbett. What better recommendation? Recent years have brought the inevitable artists and gentrifiers, with their Scandi-chic, fussiness about coffee and disdain for Harvesters. Perhaps they see in Deal the charm of times passed, without all the rickets and miseries that Seabrook still spied down its alleyways. But Deal can absorb such newcomers. It’s seen it all before. It has history. Three Tudor castles, Royal Marine barracks, Julius Caesar, sailors, coalminers, IRA bombs, Charles Hawtrey. Oh, yes, these streets have tales to tell.
The case against I see nothing. It’s a touch out on its own, and the local jobs scene is limited. Not everyone will like its bawdiness, raffishness and occasional tawdriness. Continue reading...