Customer Interview – Mick

Memories of VC Jones Whitstable
‘My mum always used to call it ‘black and whites’. The black and white fish and chip shop. You’ve still got the black and white decor. If you want fish and chips in Whitstable, you come here’.

Whitstable People
‘When you’re born here, you grow up with your family, you go to school here, you get to notice the Whitstable community. You’re walking down Whitstable High Street and see people. For me, it’s the local Whitstable people. Gossip does spread. It’s like a wild fire. You say something and it goes right through the town’.

Black Dog
‘I drink Black Dog. It’s a mild. I like mild beer. I like Guinness. I like Shepherd Neame Master Brew. If I go to the Duke of Cumberland, I drink Master Brew’.

Whitstable Parking
‘It’s a double-edged sword. On a saturday, you know Whitstable High Street’s going to be busy. Because you’re local, you know all the short cuts, Whitstable alleys. If you want to walk about in Whitstable, I usually park in Down’s Avenue, go through Stream Walk and before I know it, I’m here at V C Jones’.

Whitstable’s Popularity
‘It doesn’t really affect me. It’s nice to see Whitstable busy. When my son was young, I used to take him on Sunday afternoons to Mr Gamball’s confectionist to get some chocolate or something and there would be no one in Whitstable High Street. You could shoot a gun up Whitstable High Street and you wouldn’t hit anything. Along Island Wall in Whitstable, there were a lot of dilapidated properties but the owners spent money on them, built them up and they’re nice looking Whitstable properties a lot of which are used as Whitstable holiday homes’.

London Olympics 2012
‘I enjoyed ’66 and I enjoyed Euro ’96. It’s a big thing. You’ll suddenly see all the crosses of St. George on people’s cars. People seem to come together. Once it starts, you can’t help it, you’re into it’.

Whitstable Oysters
‘I prefer Whitstable oysters cooked. Raw, they’re like a ‘mouth full of sea water’. I like steak and oyster pie and I like them cooked with bacon. They shrivel up like little mushrooms. Delia and Mark at Wheelers Oyster Bar in Whitstable, put them in a Guinness batter. Everyone says they’re quite nice like that’.

The ‘Peter Cushing’
‘I don’t like the name because Peter Cushing was a local Whitstable celebrity and character but he frequented tea rooms and cafes, particularly the Tudor Tea Rooms in Whitstable. I don’t think anybody saw him in a pub. I suppose it being an old cinema, I can see the connection. It is a bit of a ‘mouth full’. They’ve got an old projection camera at the front. I like the beer. They do a good selection of beer at a reasonable price. You can get a pint for £1.90. Now I find you get more Whitstable locals in there’.

Uncharted Waters, Europe and the Euro
‘For Whitstable it might have a knock-on effect as properties have ‘over-heated’. It might bring prices down to an affordable level. For first time buyers it’s an ideal time to get a mortgage. In the late 1970’s, when the property crash hit, I was paying 15% interest rate on my mortgage. We are living in ‘uncharted waters’. I like Europe but just for trading. I don’t like all these European directives they bring over, changing our lifestyle. I like euros, I never change them back. I put them in the draw for the next holiday. I like Spain and Greece. I think it should just be like a ‘common market’, just use it for trading. I don’t want us to become a sort of ‘United States of Europe’. We might lose our identity.