Home   Sittingbourne   News   Article

Recreating viral YouTube video from 1984 Sittingbourne

A video following a driver through the streets of a Kent town in 1984 has fascinated people since it was first uploaded eight years ago.

Viewed more than 56,000 times, “A drive through Sittingbourne” takes viewers on a trip down memory lane.

Uploaded to YouTube by Caroline Gower, the film shows what has changed in and around the town centre in the past 39 years.

Interested by the video, KentOnline reporter Ben Austin decided to recreate the route as best as he could to give readers a view of then and now.

His journey started much like the original at the turn off from Cromer Road into Woodstock Road near the Kent Science Park.

Not much has changed here but one thing which instantly became apparent was the sheer number of cars compared to 1984 – something which becomes ever more obvious throughout the video.

The original film sits at just over 11 minutes – while Ben’s was almost four times that at 46 minutes, all thanks to the amount of traffic he had to contend with.

It was while approaching Bell Road, he got to the first major change to infrastructure with the turning being converted into a mini roundabout.

He then spotted the once iconic Bell Centre near the bottom of the High Street was no longer there.

Back then the High Street was a normal road, allowing people to drive along it both ways, but now it is a one-way street meaning Ben had to change his route to best fit the original video.

Instead he drove straight ahead from the lights into Crown Quay Lane and past the Swale council building – newly-built in 1984 – following the A2 round to Dover Street to re join the main high street at the other end.

This in itself added far more time to the original video having to sit through around four different sets of lights but eventually he was driving back on the same path heading towards the King’s Head pub on the corner of Chalkwell Road.

Ben Austin took the drive through Sittingbourne 40 years later
Ben Austin took the drive through Sittingbourne 40 years later

Other than that minor detour, the rest of the journey was pretty much identical showing little had changed to the Sittingbourne infrastructure.

The most significant changes in town are the Travelodge and cinema opposite the Forum shopping centre and train station.

Everywhere seemed familiar, but a lot busier and more crowded as the number of cars, driving or parked along the road, has increased massively.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More