When I was young (ha!) it was known as ‘Farthing Corner’ and we’d sit up there with a filter coffee for hours, passing the time and feeling like we were miles away or ‘en route’ to or from a long road trip somewhere far away.
The magic hasn’t gone, but it has changed. Moto now manage the site and they are doing a grand job (for the consumer anyway) with the arrival of Marks & Spencer, Greggs and Costa. WH Smith, Burger King and the slot machine areas are still there and the outside area has new facias and a huge screen outside the main entrance (Southbound).
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This was a random act of kindness (RAK) from one busker to another. Firstly, here’s a bit of background about our local Banjo Man.
Banjo Man entertains Medway
Most people local to Gillingham and Chatham will have heard the slow finger-picking sound of who we affectionately call ‘Banjo Man’ strumming away in the high streets of Medway.
Many a time I’ve found myself wandering along with some ‘plinker plink’ finger-picking tune in my head. On a good day, you can see him in his full glory standing there like Elvis Presley in his black leather ’68 comeback special’ suit, banjo astride of him while he struts around drawing attention from all around. Mostly though, he’s sat in a doorway hoping for a little change from a sympathetic passer by.
The set doesn’t change much but he is very consistent, coming out to play in all weathers. We’ve even seen him out with the revellers in Rochester and always draws a crowd of people wanting a ‘selfie’ with the musician we all see so often around the Medway Towns.
Random act of kindness for Medway Banjo Man
The day this RAK happened was a Saturday (August 1st 2015) and I was sitting outside Costa Coffee in Gillingham High Street enjoying a large latte with my wife.
Across the road, outside the Nationwide was Banjo Man having a gentle strum on his banjo. He was standing when we first arrived but it was late in the afternoon so there were not that many people in the high street.
Another guy carrying an instrument walked past and was heading for the station. We overheard him saying that he was heading up to London to catch the partygoers and busk where the people are in abundance. For this article, we’ll call him ‘London Busker’.
When he noticed Banjo Man playing, he acknowledged him and they exchanged a few words. He then continued on his way. We thought it was nice to see him stop and share a few words and we continued to enjoy our coffee, content that there were still a few kind-hearted people in Medway. I jest 🙂
London Busker returns with a box
A few minutes later we saw the London Busker return and stop outside the Nationwide near where Banjo Man was sitting. He had a box of (what looked like) Magnum ice cream lollies. We were surprised to see him offer one to the Banjo Man and when he accepted, his face lit up and he looked to be thoroughly enjoying the gesture.
He then give the best gift of all – his time.
Going back to the beginning when we first saw the London Busker, I want to note that he was not meandering along taking in the sights on the way to the station. He was on a mission to catch a train to London to earn his living and was walking at quite a pace with his guitar strapped to his back and bag packed ready for the journey.
Not only did he give the Banjo Man an ice cream, he then chose to sit with him and share both his treats and his time. We observed them both chatting away and the joy he passed on was evident. Banjo Man was smiling and chatting along as if he was hanging out in the high street with his best pal – and just for that moment he was.
It was fantastic to see one human being extend such brotherly love for another human being with absolutely no personal gain whatsoever. He was there for at least 20 minutes, if not longer – and he seemed genuinely happy to be there.
It certainly restored our faith in humanity. I just had to get a picture and share this truly humbling experience. I’m grateful to have personally witnessed it.
Time costs nothing when it means that much to another person.
If you have any further information about Banjo Man or the London Busker and would like to share it with us, please contact us
Do you know where to get Costa Coffee 24 hours a day in Medway?
Here’s where to get Costa Coffee 24 hours a day in Medway…Moto services on the M2. Known to old school locals as Farthing Corner, I think the official term these days is ‘Moto Medway Services’ but whatever it’s called, it’s a great place to get coffee made by professional barista’s – any time of the day or night!
For those who know the site but may not have been there in a while, here’s how it looks now:
As part of the ongoing works to introduce M&S to the list of major brands on the site, the Costa unit has now moved. Don’t worry, it’s just been moved to the old seating area over the bridge walkway and it now has it’s very own seating area. It is a little smaller but there are other areas to sit. Things have changed and we now have Greggs the bakers to compliment the WH Smiths that has always been there. You know they do Krispy Kremes in there right?
My wife and I have been unashamedly addicted to Costa Coffee since we lived in London back in 2008. We’ve visited most of the Costa’s in South East London and Kent and this is by far the best in terms of coffee consistency. Dockside is a close second and the quality has improved tenfold since they opened a few months back.
Should you choose to visit Moto Medway Services in the early hours, you can still be assured that you will receive a top quality drink. It’s not like the old days, the current night staff are all friendly and really do excel at making drinks!
Being self-employed means that I work strange hours. To know that I can work through to finish a project until 2am and STILL be able to have a coffee break in tru Costa style is of huge value to me as a businessman.
Personally I go there to do business and chill at the same time. Where else can you do that 24 hours a day?
I am currently working on a project with our good friend (and fellow ex-employee of Costa) Shakira to offer lead generation jobs to driven people looking to generate income through real-life business opportunities. More information can be found here: KW Systems (Feel free to contact, you know where we can meet!)
Another bonus – 20% off your Costa Coffee 24 hours a day in Medway
Here’s where you can get the app: http://www.moto-way.com/app check it everytime you go because 20% off is on offer every few days. My wife and I spend £7 on a round of coffee. When the app is on, that’s reduced to £5.60. It’s a big difference when you visit as much as we do!
Click the link to download the app – I’m an iPhone user but I’m pretty sure it’s available on most mobile platforms!
OK, now here’s exactly where to get Costa Coffee 24 hours a day in Medway