We went to Hastings yesterday. Neither of us had ever been before. It’s another seaside town living in faded glory. Despite it being a nice warm sunny the beaches were not that busy. Now saying that the top of the beaches at least are made up of shingles and not sand. It looked more sandy down towards the water’s edge though.
We stopped for lunch at a small and probably locally owned cafe that was very pleasant although definitely a little faded paint wise. What it lacked in new paint was definitely made up by the pleasant staff and the nice clientele. One of two ladies on a table near to us went over to a homeless man, came back and bought him a burger.
This cafe wasn’t very busy unlike Easy Cafe, Cafe Nero and Costa. Now it seems to me, that considering the state of the town’s finances, to ask do these chain and corporate owned cafes beneficial to the town? I don’t think so because what little money is in the town gets sucked out and into the corporate coffers and does not stay in the hands of the locals. I wonder what percentage of turnover is paid in tax by the corporate coffee shops compared to the woman running the local independent.
In addition chains just make everywhere look the same and stifle individuality. Hastings is a nice little town, a lady called out to us that it was OK to park as it was free on Sundays. I decided against the car park as it said that it had speed humps and we went there in the Chimaera.
Strangely enough Caroline saw some people who had been in Bar Bruno on Saturday when we were there. Spooky or six degrees of separation. If we are to revive the economies of places like Hastings we probably need to keep the money circulating in the local economy and not have it being siphoned off to some tax haven.