If you go down to the town today you’re in for a big surprise. There’s lots of marvellous things to see and a bloke in an Elvis disguise. For every Chav that ever there was has been banished from here forever because today’s the day that Maidstone attempts to disassociate itself with its past and looks to the future with a revamped high street.
I’ll admit it’s hardly going to be a playground hit, it’s quite hard to slim down the transformation of Maidstone’s centre into something that rhymes with “picnic”. Today was the grand opening of the new pedestrian area, which, though lots of people have criticised the venture, actually looks rather nice and European. If the borough council can convince a coffee shop to open in one of the empty shops that’ll be marvellous.
As for the celebration? A jubilant mix of Elvis (see above), jazz and bagpipes. The music has been going on for about 4 hours now, and Elvis still hasn’t run out of rock’n’roll classics. His fingers must be bleeding by now, there’s been so much Bill Haley and Chuck Berry. All good fun though. The town cryer has been out, we’ve had the national anthem – all of this I’ve heard through the window of the fifth floor office I’m working in! It’s been great to listen to, though my only complaint is that the retro burger bar held a lot of promise until I saw that it had been hollowed out and turned into a photo booth. Not cool.
Still, never seen Maidstone jumping quite this high before!