Everyone’s a Winner!

Whitstable Oyster Festival Best Dressed Shop Window Competition Awards

Words by Julie Wassmer

Photos by Gerry Atkinson (unless otherwise stated)

After a year’s break due to the Covid pandemic, the return of the Whitstable Oyster Festival was marked very visibly with 30 local shops in Whitstable and neighbouring Tankerton entering the festival’s Best Dressed Shop Window competition. 

I was invited to judge the competition because this year’s theme is Whitstable Pearl – the name of the Acorn TV series based on my crime novels – but once I had viewed the entries I realised it would be probably be easier for me to write another book, than to choose a winner, as the standard was so high.

I was therefore very grateful to Edwina Neal and Janet Clancy of the Whitstable Oyster Festival Association (WOFA) for helping me to make my choice…

Photo by Julie Wassmer

The Winning Shop award went to:-

The Fabric Shop in Harbour Street, Whitstable, for a fabulous mermaid design created by local artist, Anne Taylor.

Click on images to enlarge…

The Shop Runner Up was V.C. Jones, also in Harbour Street, for a unique display paying tribute to 35 members of our community who had proved themselves to be “pearls” during the pandemic for “soothing” the discomfort of others in the same way that an oyster makes a pearl from the grit in its shell.

Click on images to enlarge…

The Charity Shop Winner award went to Tankerton’s RSPCA shop.

Click on images to enlarge…

The smaller Pilgrims Hospice Shop on the corner of Terry’s Lane and Whitstable High Street was the Charity Shop Runner Up.

Click on images to enlarge…

Highly Commended certificates went to Bears Trading Company in Tankerton…

Click on images to enlarge…

Whites of Kent

Click on images to enlarge…

Nomad Pizza

And Gilberts.

Click on images to enlarge…

And in a break with tradition – due to the exceptionally high standard of entries this year, all charity shops received a Highly Commended certificate and all other shops received a Commended certificate.

Giving out the awards on Thursday 26th August was a huge pleasure – especially as they were so well received.

Photos of shops receiving awards:

(Photos by Edwina Neal)

Click on images to enlarge…

Finally, I can’t say it better than Lucy Eason of Whitstable Oyster Festival Association and our iconic Whitstable minimarket, George’s, who said: “The team at WOFA want to give a BIG heartfelt thank you to all the businesses and charities who made the time, at what is a busy period of the year, to get creative and produce some wonderful window displays. We hope they have enjoyed generating ideas and bringing them to life. By taking part they are not only helping to support the oyster festival but also generating a fabulous community spirit throughout Whitstable and Tankerton. Even though there are awards given out, the real winner is the whole town.  Everyone is invited to come and see what makes Whitstable wonderful!”

Julie Wassmer

Feelgood Factor: Edwina Neal, Julie Wassmer and Janet Clancy after handing out the awards:

Photo by Julie Wassmer

You can see more of Gerry Atkinson’s work here.

Whitstable Views: How You Can Help

  • Make sure you share and like our articles on Facebook and Twitter, and whatever other social-media platforms you use.
  • Follow the site to get regular updates about new articles when they appear. Press the “Follow” icon in the bottom right hand corner of your screen and that will take you to the option to sign up. (It disappears as you move the text down, then reappears as you move it back up again!)
  • Leave comments on the site rather than on Facebook. Let’s get a debate going. All of our contributors are willing to engage with you if you leave a comment.
  • To all writers out there, we would LOVE you to make a contribution. Read our submissions page for details on how to go about that: https://whitstableviews.com/submissions/
  • Finally you can donate. As little as £1 would help. Details on the donations page here: https://whitstableviews.com/donate/


  1. Julie Wassmer


    What a great team we are! We’ve got our own newspaper – and it’s better than the local one- it’s just that you’re the only one manning the printing press…. 😉

    I’ll get sharing!

    love Jxx ❤️


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s