Thursday, 25 August 2016

Lyn Langley & Lesley Scott at York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

The current exhibition is by Lyn Langley & Lesley Scott

Exhibition - 24 Aug - 31 Aug

Exhibitions change weekly on Wednesdays.

Mostly painting Ramsgate and Canterbury today, also a few photos

I did a it more on my Ramsgate watercolour painting from The Oak Hotel this morning, it was a very blocked by white van experience as would be expected early in the morning and in the middle of the café culture.

After that we went to Canterbury, I found a spot in the shade, under the air con but in the downstairs window of Chocolate Café in Canterbury. Changing my table meant starting a new painting, so some progress photos.

Also a few Canterbury photos

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Minor Manston Airport RiverOak CPO update and Ramsgate Asylum Harbour.

Considerable sums and resources have gone into ideas for improved transport facilities in the Ramsgate area over the years, this one from 1842 is an example.

It’s a big sheet to photograph with a mobile phone, so a few detail shots that may expand if clicked on.

You may remember my posts about emails to RiverOak and the DFT

Reply from George Yerrall

From: George Yerrall <>
To: michaelchild <>
CC: consultationresponses <>; Susannah.guest <>; Niall Lawlor <>; Tony Freudmann <>
Sent: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:16
Subject: RE: Manston DCO

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your patience in awaiting my response.  I was away on vacation with my family and I try to “unplug” when I am away.

Your list of questions is hard for me to process as it contains numerous requests to respond to something said to you by a “RiverOak rep” as well as a number of assumptions you have made that seem factually difficult to understand such as your assumption that the airport would be “classified brownfield and that the cpo land compensation will be based on an open market valuation for brownfield land in southeast England., plus blight compensation.”

However, as you know, the PINS consultation process is very transparent and all of your issues will be addressed and published in due time.  I understand that waiting for answers can be frustrating and that is not my intent.

Thank you again for your patience and I look forward to addressing all of your concerns in the near future.

Best regards,


My reply to George

-----Original Message-----
From: michaelchild
To: g.yerrall
CC: consultationresponses ; Susannah.guest ; n.lawlor ; t.freudmann
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:56
Subject: Re: Manston DCO

Hi George, I know just where you’re coming from, I have three children in full time education and holidays are very precious.

Assuming that you are now reconnected I would appreciate it if you could answer the questions to the best of your best ability.

I do appreciate that there will be a statutory consultation stage but as DCOs are front loaded, I consider issues resolved at this early stage to be very important.   

To clarify the brownfield aspect. Brownfield land is defined, for the purpose of national planning policy prior to and in the National Planning Policy Framework, as land that has been previously developed. Airfields, as land that has been previously developed, are therefore regarded as brownfield land.
Best regards Michael

Reply from Susannah Guest at DFT

From: Susannah Guest <>
To: michaelchild <>
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:36
Subject: RE: Manston Airport

Dear Mr Child

Thank you for your email below and we have noted your concerns about the lack of response from RiverOak to your previous emails.  I see that George Yerrall has now responded to your earlier email (via email dated 23.08.16) and in his reply states that all your issues will be addressed and published in due time.  To that end I continue to strongly encourage you to share all your detailed points below directly with RiverOak so that they too can be taken into account and addressed.

Kind regards

My reply to Susannah

-----Original Message-----
From: michaelchild
To: Susannah.guest
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:59
Subject: Re: Manston Airport

Hi Susannah I telephoned (17.08.1016) Oliver Gardner who is one of RiverOak’s environment advisers and discussed the main issues, particulate air pollution with regard to the existing high levels in Thanet, noise pollution with respect to the unusually large number of listed buildings under the runway approach and water pollution as related to the source protection zones and the RAMSAR Pegwell Bay, intended discharge location.

We discussed these issues for some time, but as he didn’t have all of the information to hand he asked me to send my questions to him by email, so he could find answers and send them back to me.



Further to our call you can send your query to me at this email.



Oliver Gardner
Senior Consultant, Environmental Assessment
Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Limited

Floor 4, 60 London Wall
London, EC2M 5TQ

Frankly while I am happy to try and respond to the RiverOak consultation I am fairly busy at the moment, so I forwarded the email to him, that I sent to you 24.08.2016 with a covering note.

As yet I haven’t had a response from him.

I will take your advice and send my queries to RiverOak.

As you see my engagement in the DCO process continues, however my bookshop is very busy despite the hot weather, this lot went out on the shelves today

I was a bit late up this morning so very little progress with my watercolour painting of Ramsgate.  

Update, further correspondence this evening

From: George Yerrall <>
To: michaelchild <>
CC: consultationresponses <>; Susannah.guest <>; Niall Lawlor <>; Tony Freudmann <>; Angus Walker
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:42
Subject: RE: Manston DCO

Hi again Michael,
Your questions are fully noted.  With the consultation not closing until September 5th and pending further review from our legal team and master planners among others, I can only tell you that your questions will be answered in due course.
I appreciate your interest and I don’t mean to be obtuse.  We just want to do everything we need to do before we engage in the kind of specific answers you are requesting.
I look forward to corresponding with you again.
Best regards,

 Hi George, Thanks for the prompt reply I will add it to my blog post about it as it clarifies your position, I look forward to receiving your answers.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Susannah Guest <>
To: michaelchild <>
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 19:49
Subject: RE: Manston Airport

Dear Mr Child
Thank you for the update on the contact you’ve had with RiverOak, or more specifically with Oliver Gardner.  Whilst I understand the frustrations you have expressed in getting to this point, I am glad to hear that you have been able to speak with a representative of RiverOak and put your detailed questions to them (both via email and via Mr Gardner) for consideration.
Kind regards

From: michaelchild
To: Susannah.guest
CC: oliver.gardner
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:36
Subject: Re: Manston Airport

Hi Susannah
A difficulty with environmental issues is that they tend to be complex and really require a dialogue with either a person or people who fully comprehend all of the aspects.
To achieve this dialogue one needs to have replies that are timely in relation to the deadline for resolution.
The air pollution issue in Thanet is a good example, ironically the local media are warning Thanet residents of level 8 tomorrow, see note the map in the article and the particularly high levels in Thanet. This means that even normal healthy people should probably stay indoors, the RiverOak plan seems to be to burn 33 tonnes of avgas in the middle of this.


From: michaelchild
To: g.yerrall
CC: consultationresponses ; Susannah.guest ; n.lawlor ; t.freudmann ; AngusWALKER ; oliver.gardner 
Sent: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:38
Subject: Re: Manston DCO

Apologies all I made an error in one of my previous emails the level 8 air pollution  forecast for Thanet is for Saturday and not tomorrow, accurate? Perhaps. Information from enlarged image of map attached.
I do know that it seems strange that a small area like Thanet pointing out into the sea should have both very high pollution and an annual average of particulates over NHO guidelines, possibly the map will help to clarify the problem.



Monday, 22 August 2016

Rainbow watercolour painting en plein air, in Ramsgate this morning

Ramsgate rainbow painting this morning, not something you expect to get when just going to start doing the sky.

OK I own up I did move it a bit to the right, the thing with watercolour is you can't paint light on dark so rainbows before skies

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Save Manston Airport, some sort of update and today’s sketching in Canterbury

Back when Manston Airport closed over two years ago and long before any alternative plans for the site, a group formed to save the airport as an airport.

As with many protest/pressure/support/groups, the main focal point was the Facebook group “Save Manston Airport”. Obviously writing this blog I joined this group so that when I posted about the Manston Airport issue I did so having read the posts there.

I first realised that something was up about a week ago when I was removed from the group, I sent them a message pointing out that I never abused my membership, but as this blog gets about 1,000 hits a day they may prefer me to read their point of view.

I was told that the SMA moderation committee had asked the following:-

“Does he support the reinstatement and development of the airport?

Does he support the scale of enhancement that RiverOak seek to obtain through the DCO process?

Is he prepared to support the Committee's judgment that RO deserve SMA's support?”

Obviously this Orwellian mantra wasn’t something I signed up to when I joined and I came to conclusion that doublethink was beyond my intellect.

As George Orwell said “If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics - a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage - surely that proves that you are in the right?”

Anyway out of the flames of SMA, SMAA is born

"Save Manston Airport association shared a group.
August 19 at 6:50pm ·
In a dramatic turn of events during the afternoon of 18th August 2016 the Founder of the Save Manston Airport association unlawfully stripped the Management Committee of its social media powers and assumed sole control of the Facebook page. All bar one of the administrators of the site, as well as the moderators, who devote so many hours keeping it "clean", were blocked and this was followed by a “cull” of existing members.

It is important to stress that this does not affect the Save Manston Airport association. The Facebook page, following the adoption of the Constitution in 2014, was merely a means of communication. The Management Committee are still in full control and have established;
• a Facebook presence at
• a Twitter feed at
• a YouTube channel at

The main WordPress site still under the control of the Committee.
If you have not signed up on there yet, please go to the Membership tab and sign up so we have your details for SMAa reach-out and emails.

As can be imagined a great deal of discussion took place within the organisation, following this development. Committee members and activists were involved and agreed the following;

1. That the actions of the Founder merely disassociated his Facebook page from the Save Manston Airport association. This was reinforced when the owner of the intellectual rights to the SMA logo insisted that it be removed from the Founder's Facebook page.

2. That the existing SMA Management Committee would continue in post until the next Annual General Meeting. One Committee member has been party to the Founder's actions and has therefore removed herself from the Committee as a result of her own actions.

3. The Management Committee also have a scheduled bi-monthly meeting within the next week. The situation will be reviewed at this meeting.

4. That a Special General Meeting of the Association will be called in the very near future, when a new Constitution will be presented for approval.

Dr. Beau Webber
Chairman, Save Manston Airport association"

My own take from the beginning has been to support local employment on the site provided that the environmental affects don’t produce significant problems.

At the moment I think that plans by RiverOak for an airfreight hub may produce levels of particulate air pollution that would result in a significant reduction in life expectancy.

I had a fairly protracted telephone conversation with RiverOak’s environmental consultant’s last week and am awaiting their promised email reply to me, so as they say I am on it.

I don’t think it matters very much what you support or don’t support at Manston the DCO is a front loaded process and problems have to be sought and addressed at an early stage.

On to today and painting.

The main thing I addressed was trying to sketch people looking down on them again, here is today’s attempt

The problem here is not so much an artistic one as a philosophical one, so here we go.

There was this guy called Emanuel Kant, and he was the first person to work out that for the most part what we perceive when we see something, isn’t so much what our eyes actually see, but a combination of what they see and what they expect to see, based on what they have already seen.

So for instance if you go into a kitchen, part of what you see is based on your mind’s previous experience of kitchens. A stone age man or woman would see something completely different and were they to see someone flying they would assume it was magic – type of kidney.

Anyway this kitchen, hang glider, wosisname in the head is particularly strong in terms of what a human face should look like, meaning that if you sketch people’s heads looking down on them from an upstairs window, the brain converts this into perceiving it a looking across at them.

a few photos taken today next

Friday, 19 August 2016

Progress on the Ramsgate watercolour painting, drains, planes and politics

First the watercolour, only progress this morning, rain for lunch.

I think the drains in Harbour Parade are getting blocked up again, see

What with the niff of them and the niff of the fertiliser blowing off one of the local farms, air pollution is cumulative and eventually it adds up to the point where you run away which I did this morning.

UKIP have done it again, so it seems Thanet are still backing the current administration at TDC

The DFT have published a new letter about the RiverOak DCO consultations  reading between the lines it looks like RiverOak are going to need to get a bit more responsive.   

I still haven’t had a reply to my emails to RiverOak although I had a long chat on the phone with their environmental specialist, more about that soon as I hope to get a written response to some of the points I made. 

New footpath sign I guess it's only a cycle path coming the other way, especialy on days when the gate is locked.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Pat Carlton at York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

The current exhibition is by Wildlife Artist Pat Carlton

Exhibition - 17 Aug - 24 Aug

Exhibitions change weekly on Wednesdays.