Sheerness has its bunting back after a desperate race against time.
When the original plastic flags had to be stripped from the streets after residents complained about the noise, it was feared the town would be left without any for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
But workers from Prime One blitzed the High Street on Sunday after the town council managed to source more traditional decorations following a ferocious backlash on social media.
Town clerk Zoe O’Brien admitted last week: “We took the decision to take the bunting down and order some new in time for the celebrations. We were hoping it would be here in time for the jubilee.”
She explained: “We bought plastic because we thought it was going to be a hardier material and last longer but people were saying it was too noisy when there was a lot of wind. Normally, we would not put it up until around this time but it had gone up early at the end of April because of St George’s Day.”
She added: “We never received official complaints, just complaints on Facebook.”
But shop owners slammed the original choice.
Alex Smith, 62, owner of Cuddles and Bubbles pet shop in the Broadway said: “For the residents round here, it constantly sounded like it was raining against the window. On a really windy day it was really bad. You couldn’t hear yourself talk, it was so loud.
“It was a horrid plastic. The council should have thought about using different material. It is a good job they have taken it down.”
Stanley Ward, 63, owner of Kent Fresh Food butchers said: “It was really noisy. I felt really sorry for the people living in the flats.
“It would flap all the time. I wondered what it was at first because I could not work it out at first. It had to be quite noisy for me to hear it because I am hard of hearing. The council should have foreseen that buying plastic would be noisy.”
Erika Drumstaite, 40, who works at Party Blitz Fancy Dress said: “It was loud every day. People really weren’t happy that the council put it up. Of course they should have used different ones.”
Carol Medhurst, 66, of Boyce’s Bakery added: “It was really noisy. They should have used a different type of material. The flags were only tiny but they made so much noise.”
One business owner who liked it was Stephen Jackson, 62, who runs Jacksonwood tea rooms.
He said: “It should never have been taken down. The bunting gave us something extra for the town. This is a holiday place.
“We should have some kind of flags up. It was only noisy on very windy days. I don’t know anyone who was concerned about it.
"A flapping flag is to be expected. It is beneficial to make a bit of noise. Maybe it annoyed some people but no one ever said anything to me about it.”