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Concealed gems that can reveal town’s history

MANY of us may think we know Herne Bay inside out, but there are still a few hidden gems and stories that even those who were born and bred in the town might not know about. Victoria Colley has unearthed ten facts about this seaside gem that could well surprise you…

HEALTHY TOWN: Herne Bay’s health properties have long been celebrated
HEALTHY TOWN: Herne Bay’s health properties have long been celebrated
  1. WHILE many seem to believe that the name ‘Herne Bay’ originated from herons residing in the town, the name actually comes from the term ‘hearne’, meaning crook or bend in the road, as Herne village was formed in the bend of a minor Roman road.
  2. HERNE BAY is a popular destination for sailors. The town has its own club, which is blessed with its own slipway access, meaning members can launch and recover at most states of the tide.
  3. THE town has been believed to have had health-giving properties since 1540, when a Judge Finiox was advised to build a house at Herne by his physicians due to the beneficial effects of the sea air. In the 19th century, a report on the “health effects” of Herne Bay was released to encourage tourism to the area.
  4. THE BMX track in Broomfield is the only regional- standard racetrack in Kent; the next is in Middlesex.
  5. THE beaches along Reculver Cliffs are filled with prehistoric fossils and sharks’ teeth, which can be collected… especially when the tide is out!
  6. HERNE Bay clock tower was the world’s first freestanding clock tower and was built in 1837.
  7. RUSTY GOFFE, who played an aged Gringotts goblin in Harry Potter, as well as an oompa loompa in the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory film, was born and raised in Herne Bay.
  8. HERNE BAY and nearby Herne were a popular haunt for smugglers during the 18th and 19th centuries, with the North Kent Smugglers Gang famously shooting dead Midshipman Sydenham Snow in 1821. His body was laid to rest in St Martin’s Church, Herne.
  9. HERNE BAY United Roller Hockey Club was formed in 1924 and has won more NRHA Premier League championships than any other roller-hockey team.
  10. THE town frequently records the UK’s highest amount of sunshine in a day.

Herne Bay Times, February 4th 2015


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