At the end of last year, we decided to give ourselves a well-earned breather. After rushing out an election special and our Christmas edition in quick succession, we felt we deserved a few weeks off before starting on Issue 8.
Well...so much for that. Instead of treating our poor eyeballs to an extended screen break, we just wrote more stories, making this our biggest issue yet. It also happens to mark our first anniversary. Yes, that's right: The Faversham Eye has been telling you stuff someone would prefer you didn't know for an entire year.
In marked contrast, the Faversham News has been busy cranking up its ongoing promotional campaign for local Conservative MP Helen Whately. Take its recent staged photo of Helen of cutting a ribbon to open the new temporary creek bridge: The 'opening ceremony' came as quite the surprise to local people who had campaigned for a replacement crossing for decades and were not told it was taking place.
To balance our MP's PR efforts with some actual journalism, we've taken a thorough look at Helen's career with McKinsey, the giant American management consultancy carving up our health service. (For the benefit of the Faversham News, journalism is a thing that tells you whether powerful people are telling you the truth or trying to hoodwink you in order to, say, get a better-paid job or take away something that belongs to you without you noticing. It's kind of old-fashioned nowadays, but some people still really like it.)
We've also investigated Bensted's Charity, the mysterious organisation behind Faversham's controversial war memorial project, Brexit's impact on local fruit farmers and, with the Government's decision deadline looming, the latest revelations about Cleve Hill solar power station and its life-threatening megabattery. We've asked the Town Council to explain its ambitious spending plans for the next year and dug up some interesting information on plans to build yet another new housing estate at Abbeyfields.
In her first story for the Eye, our new young reporter Ruby Bishop examines how students are affected by the Abbey School's controversial new behaviour rules. Ruby has produced some comprehensively-researched, seriously good journalism and her teachers should be proud.
With help from promising young writers from Canterbury College, we report extensively on this year's impressive Faversham Literary Festival with four pages of reviews. And we're pleased to feature the outstanding work of photographer Steve Bloom and sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor.
And if you've ever wondered who makes the best curry in town, we've got that covered too as Tastes of Faversham lifts the lid on local Indian cuisine.
Finally, we would like to thank Martin Rowson, one of Britain's greatest living satirical artists, for letting us use his wonderful McKinsey cartoon for free. The Daily Mail once denounced Martin as “disgusting, deranged... sick and offensive.” So, as you can imagine, we feel genuinely honoured to publish his work. You can see more of it at: www.martinrowson.com.
In the last issue of the Faversham Eye, we showed you the powerful 'Pride of Brexit' lion sculptures created by Faversham-based Jason deCaires Taylor. Jason is world famous for inventing and pioneering the genre of underwater sculpture. Dive into his subaquatic dreamworld on pages 14-15.