I have gone for walkabouts in Hempstead several times now, as well as my carrying of the Medway Millennium Torch through some of that area some years previously. I have never taken any photographs there or reported in any detail on my treks around the place. Why is this?
The truth is that I don't really like Hempstead very much: there's something about it that jars with me. It took me a while to work it out, including my most recent jaunt there last month; and it turns out that it is too hidden.
I first noticed this on an accidental diversion through there by a new driver of the Chatham Salvation Army minibus (we ended up arriving late as a consequence, that evening!) and have checked it out, on the ground, fairly extensively since then.
I have noticed that very little of the place is ever visible from any of the significant roads or places. It gives the impression that it is somewhat secretive – not in a hostile way, but more a matter of being very private. The design and construction of all the parts I have ever visited has borne this out, with no exception. Contrast this with, say, Princes Park, which is so much more open and visible, and there really is no contest.
Hempstead might well be 'posh' and almost certainly the safest Conservative area in Medway, but ir really isn't my kind of place. That said, it obviously appeals to many others who have chosen to live there; so this is not a poor reflection on Hempstead itself, merely my own tastes and feelings.
Within that context, I hope that readers here will thus understand the reasons why I have not felt inclined to report in detail after any of those walkabouts: it could well have been perceived, with some legitimacy, as an unfair commentary.
Note that this is hugely different from my findings at Twydall, which were valid and needed to be reported at the time of my visit, which I did. One day I might go back there, by the way, though not just yet...