Customer Interview – Ted

V C Jones Whitstable
‘We used to go to V C Jones of Whitstable for a ‘penneth’ of scratchings. All these bits of flour and dripping. A penneth was a treat for us kids!’.

Harbour Street Whitstable
‘That’s what the tourists come for. I see people with their cameras out, taking pictures of, not only Wheelers Oyster Bar, they come from all over the World to take pictures of Wheelers and go in there but all the Whitstable shops’.

Whitstable and Arthur Smith
‘Eating an oyster, I’m on record, I’ve been on film with Arthur Smith, the comedian. He was in Whitstable doing an article for some television programme, Country File I think it was. The Whitstable Oyster Company knew me and of me and they sent him along with a camera and a film crew. So there’s me explaining about the benefits of Whitstable oysters. I hate the bloody things! Well, I think, personally, oysters are better cooked. You need a bit of flavour because all you can taste is the shallot vinegar or the tabasco, that’s all you can taste as it goes down. Salt water, yes, you can taste that but as far as I can see, if you do something with them, they hardly take any cooking, it’s just warming them through really’.

Samba Pelo Mar
‘I’m with the local Whitstable Samba band, ‘Samba Pelo Mar’. That’s been going for five years. We start the Whitstable Oyster Festival ceremony on Whitstable beach. It’s a fifty piece percussion band. We do various styles and tunes we call them. One is called, ‘A -ra-bbit-on-a-mo-tor-bike’. There’s the basic rhythm of that one. Funky rhythm. We do ‘Jazzy-gin’. Names we’ve made up ourselves out of the phonetic understanding of what rhythm we’re creating. I joined ‘Samba Pelo Mar’ because way back I was in Whitstable Sea Cadets’.

Manchester City win the title
‘I’ve never seen a match like it. I’m not a great football fan but I thought I must watch this one beacuse it’s all in point on. What a finish. You wouldn’t write a script like that would you. Unbelievable, the tension in that ground, God dear. Last year I made money on Man City’.

Cruising around the World
‘I do a lot of cruising. That’s good fun, you meet people, I’m still in touch with, people I’ve met on board some of the ships. I’ve been around the world. Not in one hit. I couldn’t afford it in one go and that’s three or four months. I’ve been one part one year, then fly home, then fly out there and carry on and the only part I haven’t been is the Indian Ocean but they tell me that can be boring as there’s not many islands there to stop off at’.

The Whitstable flood
‘The first we knew about the Whitstable flood was my uncle Don, it was a saturday night. He had gone to the Marine Hotel, tried to get home and he couldn’t. The water was coming over. This was 1′ o clock in the morning. I found a canoe and got this canoe out, down Nelson road, I’m going to get my auntie Ethel out because they were in the top room. They all scampered upstairs, although when I got there it was inadequate, this canoe. Eventually we did get out with a rowing boat. I’ve still got a mental picture of my auntie Ethel coming down a ladder into the boat which is now sliding away from her. Her legs were akimbo, she was screaming!’.

Whitstable Sea Cadets
‘I was in the Whitstable Sea Cadets from 1950 to 1957 when I went in the Air Force. I’m one of the last national servicemen. I went in as a cook and did three years, came back out and went back to my old job at the House of Commons, so I’ve got that on my CV. Happy days with the local sea cadets and I’ve carried on playing drums afterwards, bought my first full kit in 1960 and I’m still doing it with a local rhythm and blues band. We do all the pubs. Just to prove a point I’ll do a little bit of what we used to do in those good old days. Two threes and in’.