An Aldi distribution centre between Sittingbourne and Sheerness. It represents £50m of investment and employs 500 people. Aldi is in sharp competition with other UK supermarkets. It employs over 33,000 people in the UK and has a turnover of around £12bn.
The architecture (if it can be called that) of Tesco stores is terrible. But they are not in the business of architecture. Tesco is a global company with a turnover of between £52 – £62bn in 2020 (there is a great variation of figures available on the internet). It employs over 420,000 world wide, and around 250,000 in the UK. It has over 30 percent market share of UK supermarkets.
This is the branch at Sheerness. Tesco has over 3,500 stores in the UK. And branches in central Europe and Asia (it does not specify more exactly).
This was behind the sea wall, where I was sitting eating my lunch. A woman came along in a Tesco uniform smoking a cigarette. She stopped to talk to me. She was good fun.
Chiquita is the successor to the United Fruit Company which had a filthy and violent history against workers and democratic movements.
Shed 78 is one of the most important industrial buildings of the nineteenth century. It is described in the Pevsner (the original was written by John Newman) for North East and East Kent as:
‘… the earliest true multi-storey iron-framed building yet recorded, and the first to express its framing so logically’.
From this, Chicago, the great Atlantis of industrial building across North America and then, back to Europe to influence Bauhaus and modernism.
And here it is, falling to bits in a state of terminal decay. It is not even possible to visit.
The oil rig Prospector 1 which is laid up until its owners can find a new contract for it. More oil, more plastic, more pollution. I wanted to walk further along the beach but decided I didn’t want to walk under an oil rig while people were working on it.
Industrial capitalism, and its evil twin consumerism, creates masses of waste, much of it toxic. There is a great deal of ho-ha about recycling but in reality, masses of stuff just gets dumped into massive holes in the ground. Perhaps these land-fill sites should be next to shopping centres and in the middle of cities. And then the whole cycle would be clear.
The security guard explained that the containers are full of bananas and pineapples. They are waiting for lorry drivers to arrive to transport them to Scotland. ‘The port has been much quieter in the last twelve months’, he added. He told me that he comes from Gdansk in Poland. We had a long discussion about world affairs. Neither of us think much of the official view(s).
The ‘no photography’ sign isn’t working. Someone should tell the management.
I don’t care much for royal designations of architecture. I am not aware that any of the King George’s or Queen Victorian contributed anything at all to the field. Let’s call this early nineteenth century. These were built for naval officers and officials of an earlier version of the port. They have a fantastic aesthetic.
This is Blue Town. Even the walls contribute to the aesthetic and ambiance. The whole area is run down, anarchic, quirky and feels as if out of sight and out of mind of speculators, developers and people with regeneration plans. Long may it stay this way. I love it.
It has something that millions of tonnes of concrete, glass and steel never has. Character. The perfect place to start a revolution.
We live in a world where greater care is taken of commodities, in this case white vans, than is taken of people.