Kent: Let’s Get Ready to Grumble

‘Kent moves with the times in its role as the Garden of England, filled as it is today with small trampolines, piles of old leaves and illegally dumped white goods.’

County map of Kent

The first port of call for invading armies, and therefore the first place where the grouchiest soldiers would stop to demand a rest, Kent has been fightin’ and moanin’ since the eleventh century.

A station stop on the last occasion England found itself conquered by a foreign invader who wasn’t dressed as a clown and brandishing McNuggets, Kent’s ports have since been relied upon to provide warships for all of the country’s naval excursions. The county has also been on the frontline of numerous internal conflicts. Kent’s defences served with honour during the Battle of Britain in the Second World War, where the country’s right to fight exclusively with itself was defended heroically.

During peacetime, Kent had to refocus its energies away from armed conflict towards more acceptable forms of squabbling. A cauldron of rebellion ever since the Peasant’s Revolt saw pitchforks supplant the shitty stick as a weapon of choice for the discerning serf, Kent today prefers to articulate its constant disappointment with all possible states of affairs via the strongly worded letter.

Feted as the Garden of England for its abundance of orchards and hop gardens, Kent’s abundance of pleasant greenery has failed to discourage neighbouring counties from prodding its endlessly touchy residents into a fresh vein of peeved complaint. Kent MPs recently made calls in Parliament for swift action to penalise Dorset, after mocking gardeners blocked all of the county’s sunlight by planting 40-foot Leylandii along the length of the western border.


  • IMPORTS: Invading troops
  • MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: Didn’t realise Channel Tunnel would allow people to go both ways
  • TRADITIONAL DRESS: Sackcloth and ashes
  • COMMUNICATIONS: Complaint letters; complaint emails; complaining
  • TRADITIONAL GREETING: The frustrated sigh
  • ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: Coastal erosion; Slipping moral standards; Tidal waves of immigration
  • LANGUAGE: English spoken loudly (to natives); English spoken more loudly (to visitors)


597St Augustine founds an episcopal see in Canterbury and becomes the city’s first Archbishop. The office suffers an early hit to its authority after Augustine calls upon the people to “get a load of this damn episcopal see, motherfuckahs.”

1300 to 1700 – Mostly fighting.

1931 – Mahatma Gandhi visits Canterbury, partly to honour an invitation from the Archbishop, but mostly because he wants to visit the Rupert Bear Museum.

2003 – The hamlet of Brogdale experiences the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom of 101°F, though the record is annulled after it is found the local meteorologist was taking his readings from an electronic darts scoreboard.

2007 – An earthquake with an epicentre just a kilometre east of Folkestone is registered at 4.2 on the Richter scale and lasts for up to 15 seconds. It was the first time in 44 years that the Earth had moved for anyone in Kent.

Did You Know?

Dover is one of a handful of places in Britain – London and Cornwall being other examples – to have a corresponding name in the French language.

Along with other Kentish seaside towns, Margate became infamous for gang violence between mods and rockers in the 1960s, mods and skinheads in the 1980s and mods and rockers on their lucrative comeback tour in the 2000s.

The town motto of Royal Tunbridge Wells is: ‘We don’t hate gay people, we’re just angry with the ones that turn us on.’

Jimmy Hill, majestically chinned footballer and presenter, was stationed at Folkestone during the Second World War, during which Jimmy entertained troops by wearing an excited expression.

Fun time

Complaint letter


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