Man who sold Herne Bay on eBay for £1.04 says it was for good of the town
Herne Bay was 'sold' on eBay to
encourage support for the town
by Chris Price
Selling Herne Bay was for the good of the town, according to the
man who sold it on eBay for £1.04.
Barry Field, who runs the Sofa King second-hand shop in the High
Street, said his tongue-in-cheek stunt was designed to
galvanise residents into action.
"I tried to do it in a light-hearted way," said the
59-year-old, who lives in Sea Street.
"I like Herne Bay but it needs something. The council have
washed their hands of it. People need firing up to do
"We were disgusted with the Christmas lights and we need to
improve footfall for shops and the image of Herne Bay.
"There are a few action groups in the town – more than enough to
get the job done but people need to work together and not against
"I put Herne Bay on eBay for a laugh but it was in the interests
of the town."
Mr Field has taken action in Herne Bay before, forming a group
with fellow independent shop keepers to improve the Christmas
So far 88 stores have pledged £50 to spruce up the illuminations
for next year.
Yet he stressed a lot more has to be done to put Herne Bay back
on the map.
Described as "in desperate need of TLC" on the auction
site, the town was won by Gerald McCarthy of the Herne Bay Promo
Team, set up last year to promote the town.
"If I had known it was him, I would have put in a few bids
myself to up the price," said Mr Field of his friend.
"I would have liked to have gone for more but I will
leave it to the promo team now.
"They have bought the town so they can do what they like with
"Hopefully they can brighten it up and resell it for a lot more
when they have improved its image."
The new owner of Herne Bay, Mr McCarthy, 41, right, said:
"It was an opportunity not to be missed."
Having set up the promo team nearly a year ago, Mr McCarthy, of
Spenser Road, is passionate about the town having lived there all
He said: "Herne Bay has a lot of value and a lot to offer. Now
we own it, the first thing we would like to do is restore some
pride in the place.
"That starts with getting residents to believe Herne Bay is a
nice place to live.
"What Barry said in the description was right and he got people
talking about the town.
"For many years it has been called ‘Hernia Bay’ and people have
said there is nothing to do, but we think the opposite is true.
"People who knock it should try to get involved with some of the
groups who support the town."
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