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Dover District Council, 13th November 2018
Please note that the café toilets and entrance lobby to the café will be closed on Wednesday 14th, Thursday 15th and Friday 16th November. This is to allow for essential cleaning of the entrance lobby. The nearest public toilets are located at King Street and South Street. Dover District Council apologises for any inconvenience this closure may cause.
Rhiannon Curry, The Independent, 3rd November 2018
Is Deal the new Margate? Rhiannon Curry spends a weekend on the Kent coast
You've heard of Margate. Everybody's heard of Margate. But what about its quieter, quainter neighbour, Deal? Just a few miles along the spectacular Kentish coastline, this little seaside town is giving Margs a run for its money as the new staycation for London's movers and shakers.
Just like Margate, the town has changed in recent years as visitors flock to its antiques shops, independent boutiques and a new breed of fancy restaurants. What used to be down-at-heel now feels rather swish and there's plenty to do on a weekend break. Plus, it's only 80 minutes by train from St Pancras.
For somewhere to stay, book yourself into 'The Rose', a newly refurbished pub/boutique hotel on the high street. Owners Alex Bagner and Christopher Hicks have overhauled this former dodgy boozer into a chic, highly Instagrammable bolthole. The bedrooms are decorated in bright hues and have an eclectic mix of Victorian and mid-century furniture, while vintage bathroom suites with organic toiletries are perfect for a relaxing getaway.
Downstairs, the restaurant is winning plaudits for its food. The veggie-friendly menu majors on local ingredients and nice touches are made in-house: a standout dish was hake served win creamy dhal, as well as smoked duck with chicory. Cocktails, including some made with locally-foraged ingredients, are chalked up on a board behind the bar daily.
To start the day you can choose from a simple menu featuring dishes such as a Scandi breakfast plate with smoked salmon and pickles, roasted mushrooms on toast, and a hearty bacon bap, all washed down with Climpson & Sons coffee. Breakfast is included in the room rate but is also available à la carte to non-guests.
Saturday mornings in Deal are a lively affair: the weekly farmers' market has so far managed to avoid total gentrification and is a pleasing mix of bric-à-brac and stalls selling handmade pasta. Spend some time browsing in Mileage for antique homewares, or head to Smuggler's Records, an independent record label that became a shop, for vinyls.
Elsewhere, 'Dunlin & Diver' focuses on clothing, gifts and homeware made by local artisans, while 'Hoxton Store' and 'Will & Yates' stock beautiful art and interiors pieces.
Deal also has a number of independent art galleries including 'Don't Walk Walk', which has a more punk aesthetic. And despite the town having no cinema, the new Kent 'Museum of the Moving Image' is also worth a visit, if only to ogle the original poster art.
There is no shortage of places to grab the makings of a picnic for lunch: French deli 'No Name Shop' or 'Filberts Foods' sell all manner of delicious local products to fuel you for an afternoon's walk along the seafront. The cheese fridge at 'Filberts' is the stuff of dreams.
Deal's pier, an impressively brash concrete structure, is set to get a new occupier in 2019 in the shape of a revamped café. For now it remains a good spot to begin a stroll along the coast. If you head south, past Deal Castle, you'll come to 'Hut 55', a glorified shack on the footpath serving delicious cakes, pastries, enormous scotch eggs and coffee. It shares its space with 'Mike's Bikes' - the man himself will hire you two wheels for the afternoon if you fancy seeing the area at a faster pace.
Like many seaside resorts, Deal is packed on a sunny day, but during the winter it has to fight to attract visitors. Local restaurant 'Frog and Scot' has just started offering a £10 'dish of the day' deal - a glass of wine or beer included - to attract regulars through its doors. This bustling establishment is run by Benoit Dezecot and his partner Sarah Ross - the eponymous Frog and Scot. They opened two years ago and business is brisk, with tables squeezed into the cosy bistro and a constant flurry of new customers. Chef David Gadd, who spent six years at Michelin-starred Whitstable eatery 'The Sportsman', heads up the kitchen. The food is unpretentious but delicious: gorgeous plump scallops with boudin noir, and cod with a silky crab bisque both nodding to Deal's maritime location.
Dezecot and Ross also own 'Le Pinardier', a gorgeous wine bar a few doors down which often has live music at the weekend.
It would be easy to dismiss Deal as a destination beloved of the locally scorned 'down-from-London' types. But there are plenty of reasons to love this place, not least a certain rakish charm stemming from its days as a smuggling hub, and later a bohemian enclave. Come in the winter, when it's empty and cheap … but always welcoming.
'Embracing the Sea'
1998-2018 … the first 20 years
'Embracing the Sea', located at the Pier Approach, is three metres tall, weighs 3 tonnes and is cast in bronze. It depicts the figure of a fisherman in a boat cast in the rôle of guardian of the ocean and its ecology. The sculpture was commissioned by Dover District Council's Charity Committee and was funded by a bequest from a former Deal solicitor Frank Kennett. Over the years it has become an emblem for the town and its inhabitants and in 1999 it was awarded the Rouse Kent Award for Public Art.
The New Year will mark a new beginning for the café at the end of the Pier. The establishment, formerly Jasin's restaurant, will reopen as Deal Pier Kitchen on Friday, 4th January 4 - almost exactly a year to the date it closed. The announcement comes in the same week new occupants Tim Biggs, 29, and Rebecca Hodson, 27, have commenced their refurbishment.
Work includes the installation of a new kitchen and bar area from which they'll be serving an all-day dining menu. The friends who previously worked together at Canterbury wedding venue Winters Barns say they will also be holding five soft openings throughout December.
The ticket-only events will be a chance for residents to catch a first glimpse of the modern café and will be sold on a first-come first-served basis via their social media pages. Their vision is to create an all year round venue catering for all needs with communal benches for interactivity, high speed wi-fi for workers and upholstered furnishings to add warmth. Mr Biggs said:
""The stunning location and the premises are awe inspiring and we feel it deserves a high-quality product to match. We want it to be community focused as well as commercial. Our soft openings will give people an idea of the quality of food we'll be serving."
The duo beat off strong competition to secure the 20-year lease from Dover District Council (DDC). During a one-hour interview during the summer, they won over a committee at DDC with their business plan and samples from the menu such as yoghurt granola pots, sausage rolls, carrot cake and a takeaway style superfood salads. They were announced as the new occupiers in September and are now looking to recruit a new team including a head chef, up to two sous chefs and 10 front of house staff. It will offer table service and be dog friendly. Miss Hodson said:
"We were so pleased, elated to been chosen. It's a huge opportunity. "We'd like there to be colour so we've commissioned some blue recycled sea plastic tables. We're looking to be as 'green' as possible with what we do. We'd also like to make it more winter focused so on a cold day people come in for two to three hours rather than just coming in for a coffee and leaving."
Mr Biggs from Canterbury has more than 10 years of experience working in pubs and bars across the county. While studying his sport science degree at Christchurch University, the soon-to-be dad ran Alberry's Wine Bar and also worked at city pub The Foundry. He currently owns TB Bars Limited which provides a beverage and bar service to Winters Barn but the contract will cease at the end of 2018.
Miss Hodson from Sissinghurst is the director of The Farm Street Kitchen, a street food truck based in London. She is also a professional singer. Future plans include hosting ticketed evening events such as aprons and hammers nights - where guests get involved with the cooking - and steak and lobster suppers. They'd also like to exhibit work by local artist and photographers.
Find out more at 'Deal Pier Kitchen' on Facebook and Instagram.
Guardian, 25th October 2018
This Sunday, 28th October at 2am, the UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by going back one hour, to 1am. This marks the official end of British summertime. A useful way to remember the hour-change rule is "Spring forward, Fall back".
KentOnline, Sunday 21st October 2018
Old timbers from the benches of Deal Pier are being given away for upcycling. As part of the landmark's half a million pound refurbishment, Dover District Council is replacing 640 linear metres of benching. Rather than throw the old wood away, the authority is offering members of the public the chance to use it to create a new garden bench or another artistic creation.
The timber will be available to collect from Tuesday until Friday from the Pier Approach, between the hours of 9am and 11.30am, subject to availability. People are reminded to take gloves and not park or drive their vehicles on the Pier or Pier Approach.
Original, 1957 benches …
Dover District Council has been undertaking an extensive programme of works to refurbish the 60-year-old Pier which featured in ITV hit drama 'Liar'. It has included the installation of more than 300 metres of new gas main, railing repainting or replacement, resurfacing and drainage improvements. Contracts for the final phase of the revamp have been awarded, and include the installation of new seating and repairs to the lower deck. The new benches are being manufactured and installed by a local company, Hipperson.
Kent Life Monday, 15th October 2018
Walmer's 'Goose on the Green' (27 The Strand) last night won the "Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year" category of the 2018 Kent Life Food & Drink Awards. The other category winners and finalists were:
|Newcomer of the Year: Fuggles Beer Café, Tonbridge (winner); Ponga Foods at Drakes, Maidstone; The Parade Room, Canterbury
Late night …
|Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year: Goose on the Green, Walmer (winner); HatHats Coffee Company, Reculver; The Plant Base, Tunbridge Wells
|Farm Shop of the Year: Hadlow, Cranbrook; Haywards Farmshop, Hadlow (winner); MB Farms, Stockbury
|Farmers' Market of the Year: Capel-le-Ferne Farmers' Market; Offham Farmers' Market, Spadework; Shipbourne Farmers' Market (winner)
|Best Independent Food & Drink Retailer: Fudge Kitchen, Canterbury; The Kentish Pantry, Margate; The Wild Bread Bakehouse, Faversham (winner)
|Producer/Product of the Year: Chapel Down, Tenterden (winner); Kentish Pip, Canterbury; Marshmallow Heaven, Faversham
|Family Dining Award: Roost Restaurant, Margate (winner); The Bears Trading Company, Whitstable; The Hungry Guest, West Malling
|Outstanding Customer Service: Goose on the Green, Walmer; Houdini's Magic Bar, Broadstairs (winner); Whits of Walmer, Walmer
|Pub of the Year: Four Fathoms, Herne Bay (winner); The George Restaurant & Bar, Molash; The White Horse, Dover
|Restaurant of the Year: Thackeray's, Tunbridge Wells; The Salutation, Sandwich; The West House, Biddenden (winner)
|Chef of the Year: Daniel Smith, The Fordwich Arms, Fordwich; Robert Taylor, The Compasses Inn, Crundale; Will Devlin, The Small Holding, Kilndown (winner)
|Kent Life Food and Drink Hero: Matthew Kearsey-Lawson of Kent Fine Foods
Dover District Council, Thursday 4th October 2018
Work is set to start on the installation of new seating on Deal Pier during week commencing 22nd October, with work on repairs to the lower deck to begin the week before. Hipperson, based in Walmer, have already started making the new seating, using sustainably sourced iroko, matching the timber used for the café. Initially the colour is a rich russet but, quickly, this will oxidise to the colour of the café timbers.
Teignmouth Maritime Services are currently making replacement grilles for the areas of the lower deck damaged by storms earlier in the year. Grilles are being installed, which will last many years, rather than replacing the timber planks, which are being damaged more and more frequently by storms.
The Pier stem will remain open during the works, but the lower deck will be closed until the replacement grilles have been fitted. We apologise for any inconvenience during these works.
Previous update from Dover District Council
Deal Pier (stem deck) re-opened to the public on Saturday 11th August 2018. We have carried out the following work (to the stem deck):
- installation of over 300 metres of new gas main (problems with the Pier's gas supply were discovered during enabling work prior to the refurbishment of the café)
- repair/replacement of sections of railing
- a major overhaul of the pumped drainage system
- painted the railings and entrance gates
- contracts for the final phase of the revamp of Deal Pier have been awarded, and include the installation of new seating and repairs to the lower deck
An announcement concerning the new café operator will be made once contractual arrangements have been completed.
KentOnline, 17th September 2018
The new occupiers of the café at the end of Deal Pier have been announced following a nine-month closure. The award-winning structure which featured in hit ITV drama 'Liar' will be taken over by Tim Biggs and Rebecca Hodson. To be known as Deal Pier Kitchen, the building will now undergo a refurbishment before reopening as a modern café offering an all-day dining menu and featuring a baby grand piano. Mr Biggs, who has signed a 20-year lease, said:
"Deal Pier Kitchen firmly believe that the best restaurants are borne out of a true partnership with the community. Our aim is to build such a partnership with Deal's community by working together to create a highly successful, enjoyable and welcoming environment that proudly reflects and enhances the reputation of Deal. We were drawn to this particular property due to its irresistible and individual views, which we hope to capitalise on with the design of the interior."
The unit has been closed since January 1 after former occupant Jasin Kaplan's lease was terminated by mutual agreement with DDC. It followed an alleged disagreement between them over opening hours of the Pier. Mr Biggs continued:
"We are intent on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with a unique menu to meet the needs of the Deal residents. We are passionate about great quality, healthy and locally sourced produce, with a focus on reducing the journey from farm/sea to plate. Our main offering will be an exciting mix of brunch and lunch dishes accompanied by interesting drink and dessert options and we hope to expand our evening offering as the summer nights get longer in 2019."
Last year the structure celebrated its 60th anniversary and a £500,000 refurbishment was announced. Ongoing works include resurfacing and new benches. Cllr Trevor Bartlett, DDC cabinet member for property management, said:
"We're delighted that the Deal Pier Kitchen is bringing a new, fresh offer to the café at the end of the Pier which is enjoyed by local people and visitors to Deal alike as a place to sit and enjoy the magnificent views out across the English Channel. Having been opened in November 2008 by the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Admiral The Lord Boyce, the Deal Pier café is an iconic and award-winning part of the seascape. Designed by Niall McClaughlin Associates the timber framed café features on the Chalk Up 21 trail celebrating contemporary coastal architecture on the stretch of coastline from Capel-le-Ferne to Deal."
Simon Bland of leisure property specialist Fleurets, who sold the lease to Deal Pier Kitchen on behalf of DDC, said interest in the building was "exceptionally strong". He said:
"I'm excited to see the Deal Pier Kitchen open and serving customers very soon and adding something special to the vibrant local food and drink scene."
Deal Angling Club (1919)
Pirates fishing competition, Deal Pier, 11am-3pm on Sunday, 9th September.
An open event for all the family, with prizes for the top man, woman and youngster, plus those in nautical fancy dress. Entry fee: £2 (pay on the Pier). Organised by Deal Angling Club (1919). More information from Pat Heath (01304 361248).
Dover District Council, 5th September 2018
The 62nd South Coast Rowing Championship Regatta and Open Regatta and the 13th South Coast Rowing Championship Junior Regatta will be held on Saturday, 8th September, 2018 at Deal. Full details are available from Peter Darlington (Regatta Secretary), DWKARC, 16-18 The Marina, Deal, Kent CT14 6NG (tel: 01304 373409; email: email@example.com) or visit the club web site at https://dealrowingclub.co.uk/
"Due to the annual South Coast Rowing Championship Regatta taking place in and around the Pier on Saturday, 8th September 2018, fishing will not be permitted for the day due to health and safety reasons. If an event is cancelled due to weather conditions, or a course is revised not requiring the use of the Pier, fishing will be permitted as usual and the event will be scheduled for Sunday, 9th September with the same conditions applying."
"Dover District Council would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."
Walmer's 'Goose on the Green' (27 The Strand) is a finalist nominee in two categories - "Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year" and "Outstanding Customer Service" - of the 2018 Kent Life Food & Drink awards. This year's winners will be announced at a black tie dinner hosted by the Ashford International Hotel on 15th October.
"The prestigious awards, which launched in 2013, are designed to champion, highlight and offer a showcase to the good and the great from the region's food and drink industry, including local producers and suppliers, small farming businesses, chefs, restaurants, pubs and hoteliers. All the finalists will be people who care about the countryside and the future of our local environment."
"The companies included are all nominated by you, our wonderful Kent Life and Kent on Sunday readers. You must let us know when you receive a fantastic meal at your local pub or are impressed by the produce and service at your neighbourhood Farmers' Market or farm shop."
"Our handpicked panel of high-profile judges, who all live and work in Kent, will visit and interview finalists to determine a worthy winner in each category. The judging panel are looking for quality over quantity, focusing on good comments rather than simply the number of nominations received."
"The finalists will be invited to the prestigious awards ceremony where they will indulge in a drinks reception and three-course meal before the winners are announced."
"This is our sixth Kent Life and Kent on Sunday Food & Drink Awards and we are immensely proud of all the businesses and individuals within our local food and drink industry that go above and beyond expectations. We hope to celebrate with you at the awards."
The 2018 finalists and categories are:
- Newcomer of the Year: Fuggles Beer Café, Tonbridge; Ponga Foods at Drakes, Maidstone; The Parade Room, Canterbury
- Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year: Goose on the Green, Walmer; HatHats Coffee Company, Reculver; The Plant Base, Tunbridge Wells
- Farm Shop of the Year: Hartley Dyke Farm Shop, Cranbrook; Haywards Farmshop, Tonbridge; MB Farm Shop, Sittingbourne
- Farmers' Market of the Year: Capel-le-Ferne Farmers' Market; Offham Farmers' Market, Spadework; Shipbourne Farmers' Market
- Best Independent Food & Drink Retailer: Fudge Kitchen, Canterbury; The Kentish Pantry, Margate; The Wild Bread Bakehouse, Faversham
- Producer/Product of the Year: Chapel Down, Tenterden; Kentish Pip, Canterbury; Marshmallow Heaven, Faversham
- Family Dining Award: Roost, Margate; The Bears Trading Company, Whitstable; The Hungry Guest, West Malling
- Outstanding Customer Service: Goose on the Green, Walmer; Houdini's Magic Bar, Broadstairs; Whits of Walmer, Walmer
- Pub of the Year: Four Fathoms, Herne Bay; The George Restaurant & Bar, Molash; The White Horse, Dover
- Restaurant of the Year: Thackeray's, Tunbridge Wells; The Salutation, Sandwich; The West House, Biddenden
- Chef of the Year: Daniel Smith, The Fordwich Arms, Canterbury; Robert Taylor, The Compasses Inn, Canterbury; Will Devlin, The Small Holding, Cranbrook
- Kent Life Food and Drink Hero: To be announced on the evening …
UK to 'take charge' of its own fishing waters after Brexit
Encouraging news for the UK fishing industry emerged this month after a government paper was published which promised a better deal for UK fishermen after the country leaves the European Union. Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations was published at the start of the month and set out plans for the UK to have control of its own territorial waters and set quotas for UK based vessels. The white paper stated that UK fishermen currently have a "poor deal" and would get a "fairer share" of fish stocks after Brexit. The paper also outlined be measures to eliminate the wasteful and destructive practice of discarding fish, as well as annual reviews of fish stocks to ensure they were being fished within sustainable limits. However, in cases UK fishermen would have to enter annual negotiations with the EU to work out who gains the quota for fish in shared fishing grounds. The news was welcomed by the chief executives of the National association of Fisherman's Federations and the Scottish Fishermen's Federation. The white paper is now subject to a consultation period. Read more by clicking here.
Overfishing is turning the Mediterranean into another Dead Sea
The Mediterranean is officially the world's most overfished sea and there are now fears that the level of depletion may turn it into a new Dead Sea. EU studies have shown that around 90% of fish stock in the Mediterranean are overfished and an increasing number of fish species could join shark and ray species in becoming locally extinct in the Mediterranean. It is feared that the overfishing of the Mediterranean could lead to serious issues over food security in the future and only major action such as cutting bottom trawling, imposing catch limits in line with scientific advice and creating protected zones where no fishing can take place will help turn the situation around. Read more by clicking here.
Commercial fishing gear, not plastic straws, is the major source of marine plastic pollution
An article on Lifehacker (a website which covers computer related issues as well as 'life hacks') has argued that plastic straws are not as much of a threat to the marine environment as they are made out to be, and it is commercial fishing gear which causes the majority of pollution. Pointing out that 46% of the famous Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of commercial fishing gear the article highlights how little of the total marine plastic pollution is made up of plastic straws. The article states that in many cases it is easier for commercial fishermen to simply dump unwanted or worn out fishing gear at sea, rather than dispose of it properly. However, the issue of abandoned fishing gear is becoming the focus of attention. There are take-back station across the US where fishing gear can be recycled, and pressure is growing on companies to ensure that the fish they sell has been caught by sustainable methods and with fishing gear which is used responsibly. Click here to read more.
Deal is a finalist in the Royal Horticultural Society's 'Britain in Bloom' 2018 campaign.
Now in its 54th year, the nationwide competition pits rural villages, urban corners and city centres against one another across a range of criteria that includes horticultural know-how, community engagement, efforts to bolster biodiversity and climate change adaptation. Finalists are put forward to the national finals based on their progress locally and will be scored by a team of RHS judges this summer.
The RHS Britain in Bloom judges will visit the finalists in August with the winners of each category, ranging from gold to bronze, announced at an awards ceremony in Belfast on 19 October. Check out the full list of 2018 Britain in Bloom finalists.
Deal was a silver gilt finalist in 2017 … and is a silver gilt finalist again in 2018.
East Kent Mercury, Wednesday 22nd August 2018
(Labour) Councillors have joined in the criticism of Deal Pier's new surface.
Dover District Council (DDC) appointed contractors earlier this year to lay the new flooring as part of the structure's 60th diamond anniversary celebrations.
But since the Grade II listed landmark reopened on Saturday, August 11 - after more than two months - visitors have noted scratches, bumps and oil stains.
For the record (ed.):
- only the promenade deck has reopened, the lower deck and café remain closed;
- the Pier is not a listed structure;
- the Pier's upper deck was closed to the public for 4 months, while the lower deck and café have been closed for 8 months (which closure continues).
Now Bill Gardner, district councillor for North Deal (and Labour's deputy leader of the opposition group on the DDC - ed.), has joined Deal Society Chairman David White in slamming its finished appearance. He said:
"People are telling me that it is a disgrace and I see no reason to disprove them. I've visited it several times during the closure and since the re-opening. It looks bad and the project has been mismanaged. I will be writing to the council with some serious questions for them about the state of the work done."
Mike Eddy, Labour's leader of the opposition group on the DDC said:
"It looks as bad as before. One person said to me that if their driveway had been tarmacked like this, they'd want their money back. I think that sums it up."
In addition to resurfacing concerns, Deal mayor Cllr Nick Tomaszewski (Labour party councillor for Middle Deal Ward - ed.) thinks the site is worthy of a health and safety assessment. He referred to an electrical box which hangs loosely (pictured), splintered wood on seating and missing boards on the lower tier. He said:
"The contractors have left our town's finest asset in a disgusting state. The pier looks unloved and the town deserves better."
Labour's parliamentary candidate, Charlotte Cornell, has since written to the councillor in charge of the work, Cllr Trevor Bartlett - (Conservative party councillor for Little Stour and Ashstone and DDC Portfolio Holder for Property Management and Environmental Health - ed.) - to voice people's concerns. She said:
"It's caused much concern among residents and business owners. It is of great importance to me that public money is spent well by Dover District Council on quality work (which) will last many years into the future."
A DDC spokesman said:
"The council's contractor has undertaken significant works at his expense to the asphalt surfacing to improve the quality of finish. The main aim has, of course, been to get the pier open as quickly as possible. Final approval of the works is subject to further checks over the next few weeks once the finish has weathered, and if further localised repair work is needed this will be instructed."
Above from left to right: Mike Eddy (Labour party councillor), Nick Tomaszewski (Labour party councillor)
Charlotte Cornell (Labour parliamentary candidate), Bill Gardner (Labour party councillor) and Peter Wallace (Labour party councillor)
KentOnline, Tuesday, 14th August 2018
Scratch marks and brightly coloured drains have led to criticism of the new surface of Deal Pier. The landmark reopened on Saturday after more than a month following completion of a new gas main stretching 300 metres. The gas works were required in addition to ongoing work which is part of the Pier's £500,000 refurbishment. (Ed: the Pier's upper deck has been closed to the public for four months, the lower deck for 7½ months and the café for 8 months).
But eagle-eyed residents are not pleased with the standard on show and have taken to social media blasting it "unattractive" and "a waste of money". Chairman of the Deal Society, David White, agrees. He said:
"It's got scratch marks on it which appear to be from the contractors removing their machinery and the drain covers are a bizarre colour. They're very garish. It does need some rectification but I think that should be done after the tourist season because we've lost use of the Pier for quite long enough."
The concerns have been voiced to cabinet member for corporate property, Cllr Trevor Bartlett, who has confirmed he is looking into the matter. A DDC spokesman said:
"The council's contractor has undertaken significant works at his expense to the asphalt surfacing to improve the quality of finish. The main aim has of course been to get the Pier open as quickly as possible. Final approval of the works is subject to further checks over the next few weeks once the finish has weathered, and if further localised repair work is needed this will be instructed."
KentOnline, Thursday 9th August 2018
Deal Pier re-opens to the public on Saturday following completion of works to install over 300 metres of gas main to the town's most iconic landmark. Problems with the Pier's gas supply were discovered during enabling work prior to the refurbishment of the café. It resulted in the closure of the Pier which has lasted more than a month. (Ed: the Pier's upper deck has been closed to the public for four months, the lower deck for 7 months and the café for 8 months). A spokesman for Dover District Council said:
"An announcement concerning the new café operator will be made once contractual arrangements have been completed."
During the Pier's closure, works were also undertaken to complete the resurfacing, repair and replace sections of railing, complete a major overhaul of the pumped drainage system, and paint the railings and entrance gates.
Contracts for the final phase of the revamp of Deal Pier have been awarded, and include the installation of new seating and repairs to the lower deck which is a popular fishing venue. It followed complaints from the public over the shabby state of the benches. This was last year in what was the Pier's 60th anniversary year. Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Cabinet Member for Corporate Property, said:
"We'd like to thank everyone for bearing with us whilst we completed these urgent works to the Pier's gas supply. We're delighted to be re-opening the Pier this weekend and look forward to sharing some exciting news soon about the new café operator."
Robin McKie, Observer science editor, 22nd July 2018
A spectacular blood moon will be visible from dusk on Friday, 27th July, until Saturday morning.
Britain will witness a spectacular and rare celestial spectacle this week. At dusk on Friday, the full moon will rise and reveal itself coloured a deep red. The nation will then experience a blood moon or, as astronomers term it, a total lunar eclipse. And this week promises to be a special one, for it will be the longest-lasting total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. After it rises in the south-east - at around 8.50pm in London - the moon's eclipse will continue until early on Saturday. "Weather permitting, it should give Friday evening a special, exciting edge," said Sheila Kanani of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Blood moons have only recently been welcomed on Earth. Their deep red colour has usually been seen as an omen of terrible events. The Book of Joel in the Hebrew Bible warns that "the sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes."
Today scientists have a more prosaic explanation for the moon's crimson transformation. It is caused when the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. However, its disc does not go completely dark because some sunlight - mainly the longer-wavelength, redder end of the spectrum - passes through our atmosphere and is bent around the edge of our planet so that it falls on to the moon's surface. In effect, it is the light of sunrise and sunset on the Earth that will give the moon its red glow on Friday.
Unlike total solar eclipses, which occur when the moon's disc passes in front of the sun and completely blots out sunlight for only a few minutes, a blood moon is a fairly leisurely affair. "It will last several hours - when you get a real feeling of the Earth and moon shifting in space," said astronomer Tom Kerss, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, which plans to stream live pictures of the event on Friday. "You get a true sense of the solar system moving - and that in itself is a really dramatic experience."
For good measure, there is no need to wear goggles or filters to watch a blood moon as is necessary with solar eclipses. "It is safe to watch with the naked eye," said Kerss. "You could use a telescope but, to be frank, it will be just as dramatic to watch it without aids as the red moon slowly rises in the sky over Britain and the shadow of the Earth passes from its surface."
Martin Leggatt, Dover District Council, 15th July 2018
"As I am sure you know events on the pier have conspired so that much work is being done over a short period this summer."
"Late spring storms wreaked extensive damage to the lower deck. The contract to remediate the damage has just been awarded and DDC have taken the opportunity to replace the timber with metal grilles to reduce the risk of future damage. This is a fairly extensive project and will take some weeks to complete."
"Preparatory work for the new tenant led to the discovery of a gas leak and the closure of the pier. In order to minimise the risk of future closures DDC have taken the opportunity to bring forward other planned maintenance, including replacing the boiler in the cafe, relining the sewage attenuation tank and painting the railings of the stem. These together with the resurfacing of the stem are all programmed to be completed in time for the new tenant to begin the restaurant fit out works without delay. It is currently expected that the pier will reopen in early August and the restaurant shortly after that. The seating will be replaced once the pier is re-open. The timing of the replacement seating, which is bespoke, will be dependent on the speed with which the contractor can produce the seat units."
"With regards the new tenant I am expecting to be able to announce soon that the lease has been signed."
Editor's note: the Pier remains closed to the public and will remain closed pending completion of the resurfacing and gas main works. For the latest news regarding opening please call the Pier Attendant's office - 01304 363815.
The attraction was shut indefinitely on Monday, 25th June.
Deal Pier was closed on Monday, 25th June to allow for major gas supply works and it is not yet known how long the attraction will be out of action for. Dover District Council has been undertaking an extensive programme of works to refurbish the Pier which celebrated its diamond anniversary in 2017. When questioned about how long the attraction is expected to be closed for, a spokesman for the council explained:
"We don't know at this stage. As soon as we know, we will let people know but we don't want to give a date yet until we know for certain."
The gas works are part of the preparation to let the contract for the café at the end of the Pier after former owner of Jasin's - Jasin Kaplan - gave up his 15 year lease on 1st January, 2018.
The marketing of the Pier café comes as a wider £500,000 refurbishment of Deal Pier which began on 16th April following the award of a contract to resurface the entire length of the Pier. Cllr Trevor Bartlett, cabinet member for property management, said:
"As we prepare to let the contract for the café at the end of the Ppier we are installing a new gas main, and replacing the gas pipes which run in ducts under the seating. This work requires us to close the Pier but we aim to have it re-opened as quickly as possible. At the same time our contractors are resolving some issues with the resurfacing. The closure of the Pier for these works also allows us to move the equipment onto the Pier, clear of the promenade."
The Pier is to close for major gas supply works from Monday, 25th June. Cllr Trevor Bartlett, cabinet member for property management, said:
"As we prepare to let the contract for the café at the end of the Pier, we are installing a new gas main and replacing the gas pipes which run in ducts under the seating. This work requires us to close the Pier (for four weeks - Ed.) but we aim to have it re-opened as quickly as possible. At the same time our contractors are resolving some issues with the resurfacing. The closure of the Pier for these works also allows us to move the equipment onto the Pier, clear of the promenade."
Gas works will cause Pier's temporary closure
East Kent Mercury, 20th June 2018
Deal Pier temporarily closes from Monday for gas supply works. But it will otherwise stay open during a major programme of refurbishment. A spokesman for owners Dover District Council said:
"The existing contractors are working on the resurfacing but it will be different contractors for the gas main works. There have been issues with some sections of the resurfacing not meeting our specifications and the contractor is currently making arrangements to amend these sections. The cost is being met by the contractors."
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, cabinet member for property management said:
"As we prepare to let the contract for the café at the end of the Pier, we are installing a new gas main and replacing the gas pipes that run in ducts under the seating. This work requires us to close the Pier (for four weeks - Ed.) but we aim to have it re-opened as quickly as possible. At the same time our contractors are resolving some issues with the resurfacing. The closure of the Pier for these works also allows us to move the equipment onto the Pier, clear of the promenade."
Dover District Council has otherwise been undertaking an extensive programme of works to refurbish the Pier, which marked its diamond anniversary last year.
The present Pier was opened in 1957 but there have been two previous constructions at the same site, the first in 1838.
Kent-based contractor, HTR Building Services Ltd., won the tender to lay a new asphalt surface to the pedestrian Pier in the first stage of the refurbishments.
Jane Dunford, Guardian Travel editor, 10th June 2017
There's something about the concrete simplicity of the pier at Deal that I've always found appealing. Unlike boisterous Brighton-style piers with their noisy arcades and helter-skelters, there's a quiet elegance to it - just a simple café at the end and anglers patiently trying their luck.
The beach may be pebbly, but it's long and uncrowded, with France visible across the Channel on a clear day. I remember playing in the sea here as a child - it always felt more exciting than the smaller cove at St Margaret's Bay, where my grandparents lived, just a few miles west along the coast.
Perhaps back then I didn't really notice the rest of the town, the quaint narrow alleyways and well-preserved, handsome Georgian houses that lend Deal a more refined air than your average seaside town (Middle Street became the first conservation area in Kent, back in 1968).
Today it's a place I love to go back to for the arty vibe and sense of history. There's a twice-weekly market, plenty of independent shops and antique stores and great cafés and restaurants. Try the boho Black Douglas Café for brunch or tea and cake; for bistro fare and a lively atmosphere, the owners also run Le Pinardier, a cute wine bar and shop up the road. For a proper Kent micropub that serves local craft beers, there's The Just Reproach: "no television, no fruit machines, no juke box, no food, no spirits and no lager".
Deal's past includes tales of smuggling and Admiral Nelson, and there's an impressive castle, the largest of a chain of coastal forts built by Henry VIII, with round bastions and great views.
Visitors can walk or cycle a couple of miles south along the coastal path to Walmer, another childhood favourite of mine for its free paddling pool on the seafront and Tudor castle.
Trade Mark UK00001011465 "Red Gill" (note the spelling) was first registered to Swift Fishing Tackle (Kingstainton) Ltd on 21st May 1973 in NICE class 28 - Fishing tackle and appliances (other than nets). Its renewal date is today, Monday, 21st May 2018.
The Red Gill Sandeel lure is a true classic and the first real artificial sandeel of its kind. Its unique tail action provides a life-like imitation of an injured sandeel making it irresistible to predatory species - bass, pollack, wrasse, mackerel and garfish. Several sizes are available and you can choose a size to suit both the baitfish in the water and the size of the fish you expect to catch.
Effective from shore when casting over clean and rough ground, estuary eddies and creek mouths and also superb when trolled freeline from a boat on a long flowing trace using just a big swivel to get the Red Gill below the surface. Top colours are white, black, red and even luminous orange at times. Black is the best all round colour especially in low light levels at it gives a big silhouette for fish to see, but the white also works well in bright light conditions and shallow water.
Artificial Sea Baits, Flies &c
The lure was first recorded in "Guide to Sea Fishing and the rivers of south Devon and descriptive catalogue of their prize river and sea fishing tackle, cricket, archery, croquet, umbrellas, parasols &c" (1875 - 7th edition, first published 1800) J. N. Hearder & Son
It's a bank holiday this weekend and while the weather may not be particularly cheerful, the good news is that it is due to brighten up by the time Saturday rolls around. For those that live in London, making it through the week is the main goal - tumbling through life in a coffee-fuelled haze. This often means that there's not much time to think about how the most can be made of this blessed extra day until the weekend is upon you.
But for Londoners with a love of sand, sun(ish) and salty sea air, a last-minute day out at the seaside is within easy grasp. Inviting readers to swap the Tube for a helter-skelter, a hastily-grabbed sandwich for some mouth-wateringly delicious vinegar-smothered fish and chips, and a brisk commuter walk along smoggy, busy streets for a leisurely stroll atop breezy clifftops, Sarah Guy's London on Sea: 50 capital days out on the coast has landed on our desks - just in the nick of time.
Packed with suggestions ranging from star beaches such as Camber and West Wittering, to traditional breaks like Felixstowe and Worthing, and more obscure destinations such as Leigh-on-Sea and Dungeness where you would only, perhaps, go once, it's filled with plenty of inspiration for those on whom the light is only just dawning that it's a long weekend in just a couple of days.
Here are seven of our favourite destinations.
Deal is the perfect destination for a grown-up, stress-free break: charming, easily accessible by train and with a fine selection of pubs. The compact town centre resembles a film set, with rows of Georgian houses and fishermen's cottages leading to a shingle beach lined with boats. No wonder legions of Londoners have snapped up sea-view properties and the DFL (Down From London) influence can be seen in the growing number of upmarket shops and restaurants.
There's little that's garish here – even the amusement arcade is low-key, and the must-visit fish and chip shop, Middle Street Fish Bar, is tucked away on one of Deal's prettiest streets. The Pier is similarly unshowy, with nothing on it except fishermen and a no-nonsense café at the end.
You're spoilt for choice when it comes to drinking haunts, from the Hoy (for wood-fired pizza) to the trad vibe of the The Ship, but it's hard to resist the siren call of The Bohemian. Close to the sea front, this is a laid-back, late-opening pub with a tucked-away beer garden and generous plates of food.
Deal runs seamlessly into Walmer; both have castles, though Walmer's is rather grander than Deal's, with lovely gardens and an ace tea room (check out the sausage rolls). It's an easy, scenic stroll along the Saxon Shore Way, with the shingle beach, dotted with wild fennel and sea kale, only yards away.
The Deal Classic Motor Show will be held on Walmer Green, Deal CT14 7DY on Saturday 26th May 2018, 10am – 4.30pm. Included in the show will be interesting static displays, classic music show & entertainment, retro market and more. The show will be opened by Vic Reeves and his wife Nancy Sorrell. For further information call 07841 598076.
East Kent Mercury, 2nd May 2018
Dover District Council says it is working "as quickly as possible" to select a new operator for the café on Deal Pier. A decision will be made in a matter of days, the authority claims. DDC appointed Fleurets, an agency specialising in the hospitality and leisure sector, to market potential opportunities for a new 20-year lease of the café which has been shut since January.
Over the last month two open days have been held at the site with at least 15 businesses showing an interest. A DDC spokesman said:
"We are moving forward as quickly as possible to get the right tenant in as soon as possible, to provide the right service for residents and visitors. The café building is to be let on a 20-year lease, the terms of which are still to be finalised. There has been strong interest and there was an open day on Thursday, April 19, where 10-15 interested businesses were shown around. There was also an open day on Wednesday, April 4. The tenders will be assessed by the portfolio holder, Cllr Trevor Bartlett, who will be assisted in making his decision by local ward member, Cllr Bob Frost, and appropriate officers. The offer to the successful bidder is due to take place in early May."
The council say once an offer is made, the final lease negotiations can take place and the necessary legal work can be undertaken. A spokesman added:
"The final opening date will depend on a number of factors, for example, whether the new operator wants to make any physical changes to the building prior to opening. However, it is expected the tenant will open in the summer."
The unit has been closed since January 1 after former occupant Jasin Kaplan's lease was terminated by mutual agreement with DDC. It followed an alleged disagreement between them over opening hours of the Pier. Since then, a number of residents including chairman of the Deal Society, David White, have called for it to be reopened for the benefit of tourism.
In the meantime, resurfacing of the Pier as part of its half a million pound Diamond anniversary refurbishment continues. Kent-based contractor, HTR Building Services Ltd., who also carried out the resurfacing of Southend Pier - which at 1.34 miles is the longest pleasure pier in the world - is carrying out the work which began on Monday, 16 April and could take up to six weeks with the Pier remaining open to the public. Once the resurfacing work is complete, new benches made of iroko, a hard wood which is ideal for coastal environments, will be installed.
What nicer way to spend the weekend than relaxing in one of Kent's gorgeous beer gardens ? You could even go one better and pick one on the stunning Kent coast, giving you not only unrivaled views of the seaside, but also some stunning foliage as the backdrop to your supping. And with summer just getting started, you may want to start thinking about where you'll spend your sunny days this year - and which beer gardens you'll be visiting. Kent has a number of seaside pubs with relaxing beer gardens, allowing you to unwind with a cold drink while enjoying the stunning scenery around you. Here are 4 of the 13 best:
The Zetland Arms, Kingsdown. The Zetland Arms offers beautifully cooked fresh seafood dishes accompanied by an unrivalled location right on the beach. What could be more enjoyable on a hot summer's day than a walk along the promenade up from Deal to Kingsdown swiftly followed by a refreshing drink at the ideally located Zetland Arms. Locals and visitors alike make full use of the ample seating at the front of the pub restaurant overlooking the sea, and in the chillier months there is a suntrap walled garden to the rear.
The King's Head and The Port Arms, Deal. Overlooking the sea and only a quick stroll from the town centre of Deal. The King's Head and The Port Arms offer a large joint patio area just a stone's throw away from the main beach which gives amazing views of the Deal coastline and you won't even need to relocate when the sun fades away as there are plenty of patio heaters on hand to keep you toasty as night draws in.
The Royal Hotel, Deal. Regally positioned on the seafront in Deal, The Royal Hotel gracefully combines charming period features with 21st century comfort, making it the perfect destination for a seaside escape. The Boathouse bar and terrace along with the landscaped seashore garden offer the perfect opportunity to take in glorious sea views and enjoy a range of tempting dishes created using the finest, locally-sourced ingredients including fresh seafood from the surrounding shores. Menus are complemented by an extensive range of both local and international wines and beers.
KentOnline 16 April 2018
At its cabinet meeting on 16 April, Dover District Council agreed to scrap Sunday car parking charges at at all car parks in Deal except Middle Street.
Car parks in Deal which will remain free (on Sunday) are:
||Distance from Pier (miles)
|Beach Street South
|Co-Op, Park Street
|Town Hall, George's Road
|Sainsbury's, West Street
|Co-Op, West Street
Doug Pettit, Sunday, 15th April 2018
There have been four severe storm events in the first three months of this year causing extensive damage to the Deal & Walmer Angling Association cabin and 72 boards on the lower deck. The cabin damage includes destruction of the rear cladding, lifting of the floor, extensive water damage to the interior and destruction of the cabin step. In addition to this recent storm damage, the concrete steps at the Pier Head still require repair.
On the basis of a recent survey of the lower deck commissioned by Dover District Council it has been decided to remove and replace the damaged boards with 40-45 metal grilles which will be the subject of an invitation to tender for their design, fabrication, supply and installation. The Pier's lower deck will have to be closed during the tendering process and installation works.
Pier lighting (upper deck)
The council is considering appointing a consultant to advise in connection with the improvement of Pier lighting to include directed lighting of the structure to enhance the Pier's aesthetic appeal to residents and visitors. Improved lighting would also attract fish and anglers. Further progress with improvements to the Pier lighting is unlikely in the short to medium term unless there are spare funds available in the budget for the first phase of the stem resurfacing works.
Pier benches (upper deck)
The original benches on the Pier's upper (stem) deck, installed when the Pier was rebuilt in 1957, are to be removed and replaced with new iroko benches (to match the Pier's 2007 café) separated by gaps which encourage use of this shared space by anglers, tourists and visitors. Of the two prototypes erected on the Pier, the council has chosen the "rounded" model. Start and completion dates for the bench replacement works have yet to be decided.
Resurfacing of the stem deck is long overdue, having been abandoned in 2007 when the final account for the new café - which included this work - exceeded the budget by the amount of the contractor's claims. A condition inspection of the existing wearing surface and concrete structure has provided the basis for resurfacing works which will start, weather permitting, on Monday, 16th April 2018. The contractor, HTR Building Services, has agreed six weeks to carry out and complete these works and is confident that completion can be achieved within four weeks.
The works comprise the removal and replacement of the existing asphalt wearing surface with black asphalt and installation of flexible expansion joints to connect each section. The council has asked the contractor to carry out the works in such a way as to ensure, so far as is possible, that half the stem deck remains open to Pier visitors (but not, due to health and safety concerns, to anglers) for the duration of the works. The purpose of this methodology is to allow (a) uninterrupted shared use of the stem by visitors, and (b) anglers to use the north side of the lower deck.
It is unclear whether the scope of the contractor's works includes renovation of the ironwork at the Pier Approach. However, the council is currently investigating the suitability of 'glass flake epoxy paint' which creates a chemical bond in three layers to provide 25+ years of weather protection.
Pier head concrete steps
The concrete steps at the Pier Head joining the stem and lower decks are to be repaired on a date yet to be decided. The council anticipates that, in order to allow the Pier's lower deck to be used as a landing stage for cruise ships, repairs must be completed in time for the start of the 149th British Open - to be hosted by Royal St George's Golf Club, Sandwich - on Sunday, 12th July 2020. During the sequencing of this repair work the council will seek to arrange for continuity of access to the lower deck.
The council is to arrange for a condition survey of the Deal & Walmer Angling Association cabin on the lower deck to assess the nature and extent of the storm damage (cladding, concrete lintel, flooring) and scope of necessary repairs.
Fish of the month competitions
As recently reported in the East Kent Mercury:
"Great news for pier anglers. DDC will now be giving two free £11 day/night tickets to fish Deal Pier to the best catch in the popular 'fish-of-the-month' competition. The rules are that the fish is weighed and witnessed by the pier attendant who will give the angler a written receipt. If, at the end of the month, the fish is not beaten, he/she will receive the prize."
The contractor responsible for resurfacing the world's longest pleasure pier will now refurbish Deal's iconic concrete structure. Dover District Council announced a half a million pound refurbishment for the landmark last November during its Diamond anniversary year. Kent-based contractor, HTR Building Services Ltd, has since won a competitive tender to lay a new asphalt surface with work due to start on Monday, April 16.
It will mark the first stage of the work's programme which will also include new seating. Gary Judd, managing director of HTR Building Services, said:
"Having worked on the resurfacing of Southend Pier - at 2.16 km the longest pleasure pier in the world - it's exciting to be involved with a shorter but nonetheless great pier in Deal."
The resurfacing of the 300 metre long pier is expected to take five to six weeks to complete, depending on the weather conditions. The Pier will remain open throughout the refurbishment although fishing will be restricted to the lower deck during the resurfacing. Cllr Trevor Bartlett, portfolio holder for corporate assets, said:
"Deal Pier is the jewel in the crown of Deal seafront and we are delighted to be investing to upgrade this popular public amenity to make it fit for the next 60 years."
Dover District Council has also appointed Fleurets, an agency specialising in the hospitality and leisure sector, to market potential opportunities for the new long-term lease of the café at the end of the Pier. The unit has been closed since January 1 after former occupant Jasin Kaplan's lease was terminated by mutual agreement with DDC. It followed an alleged disagreement between them over opening hours of the Pier.
Chairman of the Deal Society, David White, said:
"Whilst we are pleased to see the resurfacing going ahead, we are disappointed that the café is still empty. With Easter this weekend, we need it to be open. The Pier is an important attraction to visitors and residents. We are particularly concerned that DDC has admitted the small kitchen may be a problem in attracting an operator and we are urging them to treat the appointment of a new operator for the café as an urgent matter."
The landmark and restaurant were used for filming of ITV's hit drama 'Liar'.
Quirky architecture, a bustling high street, a beautiful seafront and a buzzing nightlife, what more could you want?
One of Kent's best kept secrets is starting to get out - Deal is a phenomenal place to live and work. The people who call Deal their home have always known this, but this week it was made 'official' when the Sunday Times Best Places To Live 2018 survey ranked the town as one of the best places to live in Britain. The survey assessed a wide range of factors, from jobs, schools and broadband speed to culture, community spirit, local shops and their own on-the-ground experience to compile the top locations.
Key judge Tim Palmer said:
"I really like Deal. Compared with Margate, which is either super-trendy or a bit rough around the edges in parts, Deal has a proper independent character all of its own. It's a Goldilocks location that's got lots of great independent shops and beautiful houses, especially in the Middle Street Conservation Area. It also has an amazing view of the sea-front from the Pier and really good modern restaurants."
But what do the people of Deal like about the town ?
- Award winning High Street. Largely untouched by big chains and bursting with charming independent shops, it's not hard to see why the Daily Telegraph decided to award Deal High Street of the Year 2013. The bustling High Street has remained a hidden gem for tourists and down-from-London types for decades, due to its location slightly off the main road between Dover and Sandwich. This secrecy makes Deal so special - and you are always rewarded for seeking out its secrets. From more than 500 nominations, a panel of judges, chaired by the minister for the high streets, Brandon Lewis MP, choose Deal from a shortlist as part of a year-long 'Reinventing the High Street' campaign. "Deal is", the judges said, "a very good example to other struggling high streets of how an engaged local community, with support from local and national government, can match enthusiasm for their high street with good and innovative practice." The report added: "There are plenty of charity shops and discount-brand chains, along with the likes of Marks and Spencer, Iceland, and a Sainsbury's a short walk away, up by the station where high street shoppers can leave their cars. Yet woven in and out between them in as seamless and eye-catching a pattern … of small, local and one-off retailers." Couldn't have said it better ourselves.
- Thriving foodie scene. For a small town Deal certainly packs a punch in the culinary scene. If you want a huge full English breakfast you'll head to the 'Sea Café' on the Green in Walmer, or perhaps 'The Lane' in South Court. Some chips from 'Walmer Fish & Chips' in the summertime while watching the ever-popular performances on the bandstand are also a must. And the food at the 'Middle Street chippy' is famous in its own right in the town. There are plenty of upmarket places to eat too, including 'Victuals & Co.', '81 Beach Street', 'Salentino's' and 'The Courtyard' (to name just a few), which all offer memorable dining experiences for special occasions, date nights and family get togethers. Put simply, people in Deal are blessed to have such a choice of foodie havens where they can indulge in pretty much whatever takes their fancy.
- Buzzing nightlife. There's nothing better than a summer's evening at the pub in the beer garden, right ? And nowhere takes this English tradition more seriously than Deal. In the summer months - and sometimes bravely in the winter - locals pack out the outside seating area on Beach Street, creating a buzz around pubs such as 'The King's Head' and 'The Port Arms'. Even former Ukip leader Nigel Farage was pictured outside the Kings Head in the run up to the 2015 elections, proudly holding his pint, followed by former Labour candidate Ed Milliband just months afterwards. In Deal the relatively new Wetherspoon 'The Norman Wisdom' co-exists peacefully with the independent wine bars, cocktail bars and pubs which can be found in abundance not only in the High Street, but in the more rural parts of town too. Heading a little further out of town, 'The Freed Man' micropub on the Dover Road is a beacon of the future of drinking out - quizzes, local ales, beers and spirits in a cosy space where you can bring your own nibbles in from the chippy next door. These scenes are for many other places in the UK reminiscent of a more thriving time, a lost hey day of public houses, but Deal's nightlife is proudly living as it declines elsewhere. We'll drink to that!
- Beautiful seafront. Deal's stunningly photogenic seafront offers unrivaled views guaranteed to take your breath away. And Deal Pier - the town's third, opened in 1957 by the Duke of Edinburgh - is undergoing an extensive half a million pound refurbishment to celebrate its diamond anniversary. The landmark is already one of the town's most famous attractions, popular with residents for a leisurely stroll and with fishermen. And the injection of cash is set to make it even more attractive. And it's not just the views from the Pier, but the events that take over the beach front that make the area so great, turning it into a thriving, family friendly arena. The annual Royal Marines concerts on the bandstand are always packed to the rafters and the popular carnival never fails to draw crowds.
- Not one, but two stunning castles. One castle brimming with history would be more than enough to shout about. But those who live in Deal have two to explore. Built by the order of King Henry VIII Deal Castle is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England, and among the earliest and most elaborate of a chain of coastal forts, which also includes Calshot, Camber, Walmer and Pendennis Castles. Today you can explore the whole of the castle, from the storerooms to the first-floor captain's residence. A new permanent exhibition is on display, revealing how Henry VIII's fears for the safety and security of his realm shaped the country's defences and his own married life. With new displays, audio and children's activities supported by contemporary artefacts, the whole family can now explore the rich and varied history of the castle alongside the stories of the people who lived and worked there for over four hundred years. A pleasant cycle and footpath path links Deal and Walmer Castles along the beachfront. Just a short walk away Walmer Castle, along with its gardens, has evolved into a homely residence for many well-known names from the Duke of Wellington to the Queen Mother. Inside you can explore Wellington's career, the story of his life and death and even see the original Wellington Boots. Outside, discover majestic the sea view and eight acres of magnificent gardens and woodland, now home to the Lord Warden.
- A state-of-the-art country park. On the outskirts of Deal is Betteshanger Coutry Park, where visitors can enjoy walking, cycling, fossil hunting and various other activities in its picturesque setting. It also hosts big local events such as inflatable obstacle courses and outdoor cinemas. And not only is it a cracking place to take the kids over the school holidays and an excellent facility for outdoor sports, it's also investing a lot into the local area too. Work on the first phase Visitor Centre, encompassing a Green Energy Centre and the Kent Mining Museum has now commenced and is due to open this year. The new £9.5 million state-of-the-art facility will be an architectural icon boasting Kent's best EPC rating and have BREEAM Excellent certification. It will provide retail, cycling facilities, education, conferencing, events, gardens and public spaces, as well as offering an outstanding entrance to the 250-acre country park and its exceptional leisure and recreation facilities.
- It's famous. Deal came under the national spotlight last year when controversial ITV drama 'Liar' used the town as its primary spot for filiming. Panoramic views of the town and seafront were shared with millions of viewers as they tuned in each week to follow the gripping storyline. Twitter was inundated with people dying to know where the series had been filmed, while locals proudly chatted about their hometown attracting so much interest from the rest of the country.
- And celebrities love it too. Not only is the town essentially famous in its own right now, it's also a magnet for the rich and famous types. The people of Deal frequently walk among celebrities including Paul O'Grady, Geoff Bell, Jan Leeming and Mark Wingett who all live nearby. Others often visit the town and rave about it when they do so. Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine visited Deal last May, heading down to the coast for a friend's wedding. The radio host travelled to the Kent coast to watch food author Rosie Birkett and Jamie Wellock tie the knot and she could not stop uploading her scenic snaps to photo sharing website Instagram. The 30-year-old uploaded an incredible image of the seafront, which depicted rolling clouds dominating the skyline and hoards of seagulls bathing in the sun. She captioned the photo: "I can't cope with how beautiful Deal is - perfect wedding weather for R&J." She even chose to pose beside the town's famous pink house, writing: "I do like to be beside the seaside! Pier walk to blow away the cobwebs / wine ?!" Other celebrities recently spotted in the town include Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding, model Kelly Brook, comedian Vic Reeves and James Nesbitt. Rumours Johnny Depp and Sir Roger Moore have been spied in the past exploring the town are also rife - but, of course, they remain unverified. Not a bad advert or recommendation for Deal at all, is it ?
- People are proud of their town. In 2017 Deal was named the best place to live by the sea, two years after it came 23rd in that same list. The Times also listed Deal as one of the top 30 best places to visit for a weekend retreat in April 2014, when it was commended for its quirky 1950s vibe as well as its eclectic mix of locals and visiting artistes. The Telegraph has also recently branded Deal as one of the top 20 towns in the UK to consider relocating to. But it's not just outsiders that love Deal, the people who live there are very proud of the quaint seaside town. And the numerous accolades from the London-centric media only serves to bolster that pride, boosting the local economy and allowing independent businesses to flourish and grow.
… and it could end up being a high class restaurant. Dreams of a high class eatery on one of Deal's most popular landmarks could become a reality.
Fans of ITV drama 'Liar' have been pining for a fine dining establishment at the end of Deal Pier since scenes showing the venue's potential aired last year. Now those dreams of a high class eatery on one of Deal's most popular landmarks could become a reality, after Dover District Council put the building up to let. The council has appointed Fleurets, a leisure property specialist, to market potential opportunities for the new long-term lease of the café at the end of the Pier.
This means the building could remain as a café, or be converted to become any number of leisure or retail destintions. The site was home to Jasin's, which first opened on the Pier in November 2008 but former owner Jasin Kaplan gave up his 15 year lease at the beginning of this year, on 1st January 2018.
The marketing of the Pier café comes as a wider £500,000 refurbishment of Deal Pier is geared up to begin on 16th April 2018, following the award of a contract to resurface the entire length of the Pier. Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Assets, said:
"Deal Pier is the jewel in the crown of Deal seafront and we are delighted to be investing to upgrade this popular public amenity to make it fit for the next 60 years. We're also pleased to be working with Fleurets to help us deliver a new offer for the café at the end of the Pier."
Kent-based contractor, HTR Building Services Ltd, won a competitive tender to lay a new asphalt surface to the Pier's promenade deck in the first stage of a programme of refurbishment works that will also include new seating. Gary Judd, Managing Director of HTR Building Services, said:
"Having worked on the resurfacing of Southend Pier, at 2.16km the longest pleasure pier in the world, it's exciting to be involved with a shorter but nonetheless great pier in Deal."
The resurfacing of the 300 metre long Pier, which celebrated its Diamond anniversary in November 2017, is expected to take five to six weeks to complete. The Pier will remain open throughout the refurbishment although fishing will be restricted to the lower deck during the resurfacing.
"Seaside for the sensible" The Sunday Times, March 2018
The flight of a certain kind of cool to the Kent coast continues. While Margate has taken over from Whitstable as the official hotspot, with an art gallery, a sandy beach and a few charming shopping streets, it also has a little too much edge. Deal, just down the coast, is a pretty, quietly contented little place that's growing in popularity.
It's a sea change from 25 years ago, when the closure of the coalfields and the Royal Marines barracks left it forlorn. Today, its historic houses and independent shops (J.C. Rook butchers; Jenkins fishmonger) are a reminder that flashy or desperate aren't the only options for a seaside town.
The 80-minute train journey to the capital makes it the perfect spot for the non-daily commuter looking to surround the family with the tang of sea air, rather than diesel fumes. Deal's star turn is the Georgian conservation area near the pebbly beach, and Sir Roger Manwood's School, a grammar in nearby Sandwich that features in The Sunday Times Parent Power guide, is a further draw. There's a cluster of fine bars, restaurants and cafes, too: head to Le Pinardier or Bloody Mary's for a drink, and Frog and Scot or Victuals & Co for dinner.
Best address: Georgian cottages in the conservation area; Victorian terraces on Archery Square.
- House price growth = 2.6%
- Homeowner turnover = 8%
- 7 sports centres
- 7 bookshops
This year the clocks go forward by an hour on Sunday, 25th March, marking the start of British Summer Time (BST). BST will begin at 01:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), meaning that people in the UK will have one hour less sleep as 1am becomes 2am. The reasoning behind switching to BST is to have more daylight in the evenings. GMT resumes in autumn, on Sunday, 28th October. At 02:00 BST, the clocks will go back an hour to become 01:00 GMT again. This is so there is more daylight hours during the winter months. An easy way to remember how clocks change is the phrase: 'Clocks spring forward in spring and fall back in the fall'.
Sunday, 4th February 2018
Strong north-easterly winds on Saturday night have caused further damage to the lower deck which remains closed to the public until further notice.
Lower deck storm damage (picture by Kevin Spencer)
Friday, 12th January 2018
Strong north-easterly winds over the weekend damaged 42 boards on the lower deck and caused extensive damage to the D&WAA cabin. Both the lower deck and cabin remain closed to the public until further notice. For news of progress with repairs to the storm-damaged decking and cabin call 01304 363815.
KentLive Friday, 29th December 2017
A filthy public loo in Deal may get a spruce up after a business offered to step in and clean it. Channel Facilities Management will be providing a deep clean in early January.
A public toilet in Deal which is arguably one of the filthiest in Kent is about to get the spruce up it so desperately needs. The King Street loos were originally condemned as "filthy" by a parent who, after taking her son in there to use the toilet, walked away in disgust. The grimy toilets had a broken light fitting, no toilet roll and empty cans of lager on the floor, as well as a dirt-covered baby-changing table with the words "Would you put a baby on here? I wouldn't. It's disgusting", scrawled on it. Its poor state was reported by Labour Cllr Ann Napier.
After reading Kent Live's article, the owners of Channel Facilities Management, a Deal firm specialising in cleaning, security, grounds maintenance and pest control, felt compelled to lend their services. They got in contact with Dover District Council and agreed to provide a one-off deep clean, free of charge, to the King Street and Pier toilet blocks. From 7.30am onwards on Thursday, 4th January 2018, workers from the firm will tackle the toilets to bring them back up to a respectable standard.
Joe Gregory-Foster, one of the owners of the company, said:
"We read the article regarding the King Street public toilets in Deal and how the community are really dissatisfied with the cleanliness. The reaction on Facebook really caused a huge stir within the community with more and more complaints being made to the council. We will be giving both sets of toilets a complete deep clean free of charge. We want to showcase that just because these public conveniences are old, they can still be left in a clean and tidy state."
Mr Gregory-Foster also stressed that as well as making sure the toilets are clean, they will make sure the job is handled in an environmentally friendly way, as with all their cleaning work. He said:
"As a cleaning company we use no harmful chemicals. All of our products are enzyme-based which means they are safe for the environment, humans and animals. We are a very green company that are trying to change the way commercial cleaning harms the planet."
The council has not yet confirmed that the toilets will receive more cleaning attention in the future.