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Whitstable Moan: The Sign Outside The Old Neptune Pub

Updated on September 14, 2016
Whitstable Views profile image

CJ Stone is an author and columnist. He appears regularly in the British press. Currently he has a column in the Whitstable Gazette.

Marine Terrace
Marine Terrace

For the second year running this sign has appeared outside the Old Neptune pub in Whitstable. It basically tells drinkers not to sit on the landward side of the seawall with their drinks, but to sit on the beach instead.

It is only drinkers from the Neptune who are being asked not to sit on the seawall. The people who live on Marine Terrace often congregate on the seawall, and can regularly be seen with bottles of wine and glasses in their hands.

Also, anyone can go and buy some beer or a bottle of wine from Threshers on the High Street and sit on the seawall and drink if they like.

It is patrons of that great pub, the Old Neptune, who are being picked on here. Who by I wonder?

I don’t think we have to look far to figure that one out.

One of the things that has always annoyed me is people who buy property near pubs and who then spend inordinate amounts of time and energy complaining to the pub about the noise.

The Neptune isn’t the only pub to have been subject to this sort of pressure.

Listen, everyone: if you don’t like the noise of a pub, don’t move next door to one. It’s that simple. Go and buy a house somewhere else.

There ought to be a law that enshrines the right of public establishments to remain as they are.

Marine Terrace

Of course, in the case of the Old Neptune, there are other things to be taken into consideration. Like money for instance. It’s on Marine Terrace. We are looking at some of the most valuable and desirable property in North Kent here.

I just checked it out on the net. House prices on Marine Terrace can be anywhere up to £525,000. That’s half a million quid for what is basically a 2 bedroom weekend cottage.

I suspect that a number of people living on Marine Terrace own more than one property.

I wonder if the value of these properties has anything to do with the pressure being applied on the Neptune to keep drinkers off the sea wall?

The annoying thing is that people have been sitting on that seawall with drinks supplied by the pub for as long as the pub has been there. Since some time in the late Bronze Age, I suspect. Certainly for as long as I‘ve been in Whitstable, which feels almost that long at times.

I remember the first time I came down the beach and saw the pub there, with people sitting out on the wall, laughing and carousing, with drinks in their hands. “What a great place for a pub,” I thought.

I think if you did an archaeological dig of the area around the Neptune you would find evidence of several ancient cultures gathering there to do just what the current drinkers do in this spot: drinking and watching the sunset.

The Old Neptune is known around the world. It has its problems, of course. Personally I hate having to drink out of plastic glasses, though I can understand the reasoning behind this. Sometimes the service is a little slow, and it can get too crowded at time.

But - with a view like that - how can anyone complain?


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    • Whitstable Views profile imageAUTHOR

      Whitstable Views 

      9 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      No, this story has nothing to do with Dfls, or with drunks urinating on other people's property: it is about the sign outside the Old Neptune, that's all. But thanks for taking time to comment.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm split on this one. On the one hand, OK, you shouldn't buy a house near a pub and then complain afterward theoretically. What happens when a pub or club moves into your neighbourhood, though?

      I guess what throws me off is what your real issue is. I sense it is not really the actual issue you bring up, but rather your resentment of DfLs and I imagine the 'threat' or change they impose on the Whitstable way of life. I get this, but I also get that everyone is entitled to peaceful enjoyment of their own home regardless of whether a certain culture was there to begin with. I don't think it makes them wrong, though.

      Not wishing to throw a spanner in the special Whitstable works, but are people really blind to the kind of behaviour that goes on in this town - behaviour that DfLs and self-respecting Whitstable natives SHOULD be against? I'm not talking about those drinking on the other side of the wall. I am talking about the drunks urinating in private property and churchyards, intimidating people as they walk by with their verbal abuse, fighting and general lout behaviour. I suggest complaints have less to do with rich people with airs and grace buying up property than have to do with expecting behaviour that any normal person anywhere would expect. In this manner, with all due respect, I think that the DfL story is tired and just an excuse for not accepting responsibility for what perhaps has not been pointed out before. Should people really be ostracised and made the cause of every problem when perhaps all they have done is point out the obvious around unacceptable behaviour?

    • fen lander profile image

      fen lander 

      11 years ago from Whitstable

      Yeah... it would be annoying if the landlord ever felt obliged to insist on his patrons sitting on the beach-side of the wall, it's often either too windy, too packed or too damn hot on that side. As a regular (too regular methinks) I often disobey the sign (as does the landlord on occasion) and have never had the sign pointed out or any comment made about my naughtiness. A friend of mine was invited to a party in one of those houses along Marine Terrace, and took me along with him. The female who answered the door was one of the rudest individuals who has ever refused me anything- ever- in the universe. I think too much money has affected some of the residents brains (those that have such a thing). Some of them though I have to say are really, really nice people, I tend to think that it's, as Chris said, big-time property developers looking out for their investments- as if a drinker-or-two would put off anyone who wanted to live there/here.

    • bubblelass profile image


      11 years ago

      Do people actually obey this? Due to family commitments I haven't enjoyed an evening drinkypoo at the neppie for yonks, I'm a bit surprised we have given into this. I can understand the landlord not wanting to cause a stink, but this must be one of the oldest pubs (on the same site) in the county. I;m sure there are plenty of people who would LOVE to live that close to it! So many people must have happy memories of perching on that wall, enjoying a nice summer evening with friends.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Put up with the noise in the summer or move to some other overpriced former worker's cottage and find something else to complain about. Mind, you, it is as quiet as the grave along there in the winter months.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      11 years ago from UK

      I've sat on that very sea wall myself, as a wayward teenager. Pubs are noisy. As you so rightly say, if people have a problem with that, then they should move to somewhere quieter!

    • Whitstable Views profile imageAUTHOR

      Whitstable Views 

      11 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      Hi Paraglider, yes they're Victorian, that is, not quite as old as the pub. But the people who are complaining are generally new. It's a common problem this, people moving in next door to pubs and then making complaints. There are at least two other examples in the town: including the British Legion who had their sing-along nights stopped, would you believe?

      Hi Diogenes, make sure you contact me before your two-fingered visit. I'd love to be a witness.

      Hi GW: yes it is!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      11 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Pathetic, isn't it!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Makes you want to come and have a pint there with the other hand raised in a traditional salute involving two fingers. In fact, I will next visit to the area!

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      11 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Chris - I'm entirely with you on this. It's different if someone comes along and opens a night club in the middle of an established residential area. But these Marine Terrace houses look Victorian or even Edwardian. They're the new kids on the block. And at nigh-on half a million for a 2-up-2-down...


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