Sheerness is the end of the line… literally. The end of a small branch line from Sittingbourne to the Isle of Dirt. A sticky-floored tube train that smells of stale piss, Stella Artois, Amber Leaf and misanthropy. If you don’t have a car and you want to get out of the place back to the mainland, the majesty of one of the great train journeys of the world awaits. You could also swim across the estuary like one of many unpublicised escapees from the 3 prisons on the island.
Sheerness used to have a cancerous choking chemical fog that used to envelop parts of the town from the now decommissioned steel mill. On some days you could almost taste it in Tesco’s car park, knowing that it was mutating the cells in your body as you had to breathe it in or expire in probably the most dispiriting place in the South East. The air is now clean-ish and the only smell is that of McDonalds and desperation.
Add to that the claustrophobia you get in a inbred small town where there is absolutely f*ck all to do, so everyone whiles away their time gossiping about everyone else and getting outraged about bullshit that doesn’t concern them, but they make it their business. All just to gain a single solitary ounce of entertainment in the tedium that is life in this insular sh*thole. Think I’m exaggerating? Check out the various Facebook pages these knee-jerk knuckle-dragging bobs-your-uncle-and-your-dad ESN f*ckwits frequent like The Gossip Board – Sheppey and laugh at small provincial Britain at its cringeworthy finest… then realise they know no better and NEVER WILL DO!
The good news is with the development of Neats Court Retail Park in Queenborough, the average Sheernesian never has to leave the island ever again, with such shopping marvels as B&M Bargains, Iceland, Poundland, Sports direct and not forgetting a flat roof pub without a flat roof. Oh I almost forgot, they now have what they have been hankering for, for so long… their very own ‘drive-thru’ KFC (Koo-ff-sss). There was once a Facebook page to pressure the company or a franchisee to bring the fried chicken outlet to the Island. It got more likes than people who voted in the local elections. I’ll let you ponder that as I sign off.