Thanet Star

To the Sea

There is a strange psychological effect on people who grew up by the sea. Not in every case; but for many, the idea of living away from an edge is something they struggle with. I definitely fall into this category.

Seaside people need the land to end. They need that boundary, a cut-off point. Rolling hills, lush forests, fields and meadows are all lovely. Cities full of people and bustle are exciting and vibrant. But we seasiders require water. We need the waves to lap against the shore of our home; the horizon to exist at the point where the sea meets the sky.

I love living by the sea, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I could move anywhere in the world, as long as it was on the coast. Thanet, though, has the great benefit of being surrounded on three sides by water. We have the mainland to the west which prevents us getting claustrophobic on this little isle; but the north, east, and south all lead to the oceans. This is a truly remarkable place, an island that is not an island.

The water is something we often take for granted. It is there every day, and we sometimes ignore it, yet when we leave and go inland its absence is notable. Whenever I am away from the coast I can tell – the air smells and tastes different. The lack of salt in the atmosphere, the silence normally filled with the cries of gulls and the crash of waves, the sun descending into the land instead of the water, it feels off. I love the sea, and the closer I am to it whilst remaining on solid ground, the more I am at home.

It even inspires me, every now and again, to express my connection with it through words. I have written poetry, prose, articles, stories; all about the sea. I am drawn to it and I cannot look away.

Sunset #poem #poetry

A photo posted by Seb Reilly (@seb_reilly) on

This week I indulged the water by submerging myself in the ocean. I walked out into it, as far as I could, then laid back and let myself float as the sun was setting. The view was incredible; the sinking sun from the water's surface is a stunning sight. Afterwards I returned to the beach to watch the final moments of the sunset, and as the glowing orb slipped beneath the ocean a green flash appeared from the refraction of the light. That is something you would not see inland, and a memory I will cherish for years to come.

The ocean, to me, is a comfort. It is my environment. It is home.

Waves #poem #poetry

A photo posted by Seb Reilly (@seb_reilly) on

About Seb: When he is not writing guest posts for Thanet Star Seb Reilly is a fiction writer and occasional musician from Thanet. Seb maintains a website at
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When will KCC take action on dangerous junction?

At least once a year there is a nasty prang in the same part of Dane Valley. Always it is when a car is making a right hand turn out of Tenterden Way onto Millmead road.

The accidents are all, as far as I can tell, caused by the same thing - the complete invisibility of traffic to the right of the junction. The oncoming traffic may be invisible but so too is the turning. I have to tell people who give me a lift, a surprise turning is coming up and they still sometimes miss it.

The total invisibility is caused by people parking on Millmead Road combined with the hill and the slight curve in the road.

There are two schools on Tenterden Way and traffic can get pretty heavy there twice a day. Surely, it can only be a matter of time until someone, possibly a child, is killed in one of these accidents.

My two sisters and mother were hurt in a crash at that junction. The doctors were very worried about youngest sister as she was pregnant at the time. Her belly was purple from bruising and they wondered if she would lose her baby.

Post-crash baby-belly

That story has a happy ending and this Wednesday saw my niece's sixth birthday. We got lucky but luck should not be what keeps us safe on the roads.

After that, I wrote to KCC and asked for a mirror to be put up. They said no because of health and safety. If that makes sense to you, would you please explain it to me.

Next, I took the issue to TDC. At the time TDC was run by Labour who promised double yellow lines. This is far from the best solution as yellow lines are only going to make life harder for the people who live by the junction and own cars and do nothing to physically prevent people from parking there. The double yellow lines order has been stuck in development hell ever since. UKIP led TDC seem deeply unwilling to chase up on it. Here's the 2013 order from TDC to KCC which says The order was made 11th December, 2013, and its provisions will come into effect on 16th December, 2013.

So I am back at it again. KCC could put up a mirror; they could paint the junction to raise awareness of it (like they did in the lead up to the Victoria Road traffic lights); they could lower the speed limit, or they could come up with some other plan. KCC could do any one of a number of low-cost things and yet - nothing.

So I started a petition to force KCC to take action. For the petition to work it needs at least a few hundred signatures.

Last week I was featured in the local paper because of this petition ("Activist demands action at 'terrifying' junction"). The journalist reporting the story confirmed what I had seen - a litany of injuries and nasty accidents at that junction.

How long before we read of a fatality there?

It does not take long to sign the petition all you need to give is your name, postcode, and email address. I'd also appreciate it if you could share it on social media and tell your friends. KCC needs to act before someone is killed.

Sign the Petition Here

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It's a bit hot out there

It's that time of year again when everyone seems surprised by the weather. Summer has well and truly come to Thanet and we're panicking like it's the end of days. I saw a notice at the train station reminding us to keep a bottle of water with us at all times. Don't get me wrong, it is jolly warm out there, but it's summer, it's supposed to be jolly warm.

The same as every year that I can remember, warnings are being broadcast everywhere that they can get them. Drink lots. Wear sunscreen. Stay out of the sun between 11 and 3 because that's when the sun is the strongest. Surely we know this at this point? I understand that this weather is dangerous to some, and they should follow that advice, but, honestly, do we need to get told every year that the sun is trying to kill us? News sites are littered with heat wave warnings. Those same reporters will tell us how cold it is in December, too. It being hot in July isn't news.

So, if, like me, you're tired of hearing about how hot it is, let's just enjoy the sun why we've got it. It won't last long but at least we'll be getting a load of Vitamin D in our system for healthy bones, right?

Perhaps while enjoying the sun you could try and catch some Pokémon? (I had to get that in here, didn't I?) Feel free to let me know any good spots, I'm sick of Pidgeys.

David Chitty is a local fiction writer who spends far too much time tending to his beard. He can be found on or you can like him on Facebook.
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Post-Brexit Thanet

The dust is settling, to some degree, after the referendum results were announced. We have a new Prime Minister, the Cabinet has been changed, and now people are left wondering how the result will affect them. So what does all this mean for Thanet?

Unfortunately, the answer is money. A lot less of it.

Between 2000 and 2006, Thanet directly received £26m in EU funding, including: £3.2m for a new electricity sub-station and improved electricity infrastructure to increase capacity and support industrial development within the area; £700,000 for the Thanet Campus Phase 2, with a bias on business and technology; and £1.3m for the Thanet Innovation Centre.

Thanet has also benefited from EU grants worth millions for the High Speed 1 rail link which runs between Margate and London; improved energy efficiency and lighting within Kent schools; investment into nature reserves; Chamber of Commerce, the promotion of business and enterprise, Business Link, and self-employment training for those starting businesses; funding to support and help 5000 'at risk' teenagers across Kent and Medway; English, Maths and IT training to Level 2 for adults who did not achieve qualifications in school; supporting the tourism industry throughout Kent; preserving archaeological heritage and local history; Sure Start centres throughout Thanet; grants for the harbour and refurbishment of the historic arches in Ramsgate, Viking Bay in Broadstairs, the Turner Contemporary and the Creative Quarter in Margate.

As of now, we need to look at how we are going to move forward as a community without financial support like that in the future. Infrastructure, new businesses, arts and culture, coastlines, tourism; somehow we need to continue supporting these areas, as without them Thanet is doomed to slump.

Whatever way I try and write this piece, I cannot offer good news. Both sides, Leave and Remain, have had to acknowledge that the promises made during the referendum campaign were hollow and without substance, and now we all face a new reality together that we have made. The big changes in government are just the start, and so much more is going to happen over the coming months and years it is almost impossible to predict the outcome, other than places like Thanet will once again be side-lined.

We need to pull together to prevent Thanet drifting back into the gloom. This vibrant area is a wonderful place to live, and the positivity and proactivity of the residents will surely prevail, no matter what challenges come our way. Simply put, we need to cast our differences aside and unite to save Thanet.

About Seb: When he is not writing guest posts for Thanet Star Seb Reilly is a fiction writer and occasional musician from Thanet. Seb maintains a website at
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Thanet Writers Launch Education Policy

Thanet-based writing collective Thanet Writers have launched an Education Policy, allowing some of their content to be used by educational establishments for free. This is another positive, community-based step from the group, who already offer two writers' groups a week for authors and poets to gain a critique of their work.

Having reviewed the policy, it is clear that schools, colleges, universities, and adult learning facilities (providing free courses) will all benefit from this. The content made available under the policy is mainly what Thanet Writers call 'Essays' - non-fiction articles about writing, along with book reviews and some videos.

Thanet Writers are proving to be a resourceful and forward-thinking group (three of our regular contributors also write for Thanet Writers), and Thanet Star has learned that the group are planning more community-based projects for the future. The content on is also incredibly interesting, featuring short stories and poetry alongside non-fiction articles. It is definitely worth checking out, so head over and take a look!

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For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

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Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

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Did you know

MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

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Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

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Too popular

On Wednesday 28th May the article The staggering truth about Gloag's Manston deal was so popular that it was briefly unreachable as the server could not supply pages fast enough.

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Did Labour Lie?

Who actually believes TDCs Health and Safety line? Comment now on Thanet Star.

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MRP Minutes

All of the Margate Renewal Partnership Board Meeting Minutes (Via FOI)

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Manston Airport

Two weeks to find Manston Airport buyer says North Thanet MP (via BBC)


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