Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The Selfish Crocodile at Nice things in Ramsgate, some pictures of the Pleasurama site and some sort of ramble about reflections and stuff.

An old print of Ramsgate so first a description for those who don’t quite follow what they are seeing.
Sorry if it bores those who know.  


My guess would be, if it was today, the artist is standing on the harbour wall by the slipways looking
towards Wetherspoons, he would have - back in the day - drawn a sketch which would have been
used to engrave or etch a printing plate.


You can’t see Wetherspoons because it wasn't there then, the building, The Royal Victoria Pavilion,
wasn’t built until 1903, so the artist was standing there before then, then.


There are two conspicuous arches along the horizontal middle of the picture. The one on the right
is the entrance to The Ramsgate Tunnels now, but back when the picture was drawn the entrance
to a main line railway tunnel. The one on the left, most recently the biggest part of the Pleasurama
Amusements, (called the main hall, back in the day, or at least one of the days) this burnt down
about 20 years ago. At that time it was empty awaiting conversion into a designer outlet by the
then leaseholder Mr Godden.


Back when the drawing was drawn it was one of Ramsgate’s mainline railway stations, meaning
you could get a train from London which arrived right by the main sands. Competition between
towns and railway companies back in the day was very tough.


Anyway as we know this the second of Ramsgate’s railway stations was built in 1860, we know
the picture was drawn after 1860, or it wouldn't be init.


If you zoom in on the picture by clicking on it a bit you can see the Punch and Judy, acrobats,
chairs (before the introduction of the deckchair on the beach)


A lot of people tell me that they date pictures from the 1800s by the ladies clothes and hats


I have quite a bit of difficulty with this one.


Obviously you can see Wellington Crescent and on the right of it Wellington house, but these
developments date from the 1820s the result of the first reliable paddle steamer service which
started in 1815.


As you can see none of this really helps, so like most end dates, it’s what you can’t see that
helps and in this case it’s the Granville, the eight large houses that later became The
Granville Hotel were built in 1867.


So I think the picture is between 1860 and 1867.


One difficulty with pictures behind glass is the reflection and you can see a bit on this one.


Recently I have been having difficulty photographing the art exhibition in Nice Things
in Harbour Street Ramsgate, yes there were quite a few reflections from the glass,
but the main problem was that most of my pictures were out of focus. I have now realised
that the distance sensor on my mobile phone’s camera was focusing on the reflection,
so slightly better results.

The exhibition there at the moment relates to the book The Selfish Crocodile illustrated
by Michael and written by Faustin Charles and well worth a look.



On to the Pleasurama site today
As you see the mountain is pretty much moved, rumour as to what is going on abounds on social
media.

My own take is still that building to the approved plans would be difficult and after built the
apartments would be difficult to get insurance for or to raise a loan on. This is mainly because
this is a high risk flood zone and the planing consent doesn't have a flood risk assessment.

The practical side of building so close to the cliff also has issues. I think the best we can hope
for is that the rumour saying the bit where the mountain was will be tarmacked and used for
a funfair.
On the bookshop front, one area of near desperation is new authors looking for support from
independent bookshops. Back in the day, perhaps real shopping our main shop was Stevenage
Bookshop and my father in particular a tremendous supporter of signing sessions etc meant
that we did lots of this.

Here in Ramsgate we do manage to have what is fast becoming one of the last viable bookshops
in Kent. My meaning of viable is that the range and quality of the books has to be high and the
prices have to compete, particularly with online prices. However the downside of this is no
signing or meet the author sessions, I just can't think of a way of doing this in what is
predominately a secondhand bookshop.

At the moment it is just impossible to sell the majority of books for more than £2.50 and on the
other side of the coin with a publisher supporting some sort of author event, it is highly unlikely
I would be able to buy the books for a trade price as low as £2.50.


Something I really don't understand is why our town centres are's brisling with boutiques and
independent clothes shops, the trade side of the rag trade seems to be very strong and prices
don't seem to be very high.

On the whole when they open they seem to fail fairly soon.

The last time we had a funfair on the pleasurama site was in August 2007 here are the links
to the pictures I took of it.


Here is the video footage which may be a bit like watching paint dry



Sorry about the word wrap not working when I put the post up, incompatibility between Google Drive Docs and Google Blogger, one of the more difficult computing periods this year

The digger has now gone from the Pleasurama site, here is the link to the photos on my camera card for the last couple of days, pretty average stuff


Sunday, 17 June 2018

Old Ramsgate Carnival photos, LL Margate postcards

 The one above was taken in 1968
I think from vehicles and clothes this one is around 1965

With the 2007 Carnival I took a camera, a Pentax dslr, and published the whole content of the camera's SD card to the internet as a series of linked pages - numbered links along the top of each page after you get to the first page this is the link to the photos

I am afraid my cut and paste attitude to the internet relates to having used computers as tools - perhaps misused is a better word, whatever it is, it gets more interesting (to me) as the pages get older.


 I think these two LL postcards would date from the early 1900s.
Someone recently asked me what the numbers on the cards, in both these cases number eleven, means, answers on a postcard?

Back to cameras for a bit, the one I normally carry around in my pocket at the moment is a Nikon Coolpix P90, which if you look on Ebay's sold and completed listings you can see sells for about £30.

The main word I would say that applies to cameras is compromise, size, weight, amount of light you can get in through the lens but for me the main factors are:- Cheap enough to leave lying around, will take photos that you can't take with a mobile phone, fits in my jacket pocket (they are large ones), overall user friendliness. 

I did it again today, left the CD card in the laptop and didn't realise until I looked in the camera, the camera in this case is user friendly and has about 50MB of internal memory, so it stores the last pictures you took. The message is, would you like to move files between internal memory and SD card.

Probably not interesting to anyone else, but the photos I would have lost today which relate to architectural restoration in Canterbury








 On the bookshop front this is the link to the books we put out on Saturday 

Advertising  or just useful information that my local readers want - I don't really know




Saturday, 16 June 2018

Ramsgate in the park, Margate in the dark, Pleasurama

Ellington Park with a strange shelter wrapped in Edwardian rustic I haven't seen it in this incarnation although the Victorian cast iron thing that may be a mini bandstand perhaps an inverted quarteto - well I ain't so sure.

 Postmarked August 1918 so I think after there was any realistic chance of Ramsgate being bombed WW1 was still going on but "having a nice time, quite a lot of visitors here" suggests Ramsgate has already started on pre post war tourism.

 I would think anything approaching night photography was a novelty in 1905, but who you sent it to and what you say on the back
a moonlight card no less

I am wondering about the significance of moving the mountain closer to the henge, could this perhaps have religious significance to pagans
It is still looking compatible with the most common rumour which is tarmac the Pav end for a funfair, build out the residential on the other end and hope the cliff is OK. The concrete cliff facade there is old 1936? but it seems to be the best constructed apart from the bit near the tunnel entrance which is 1860  and part of that bit has already collapsed.  

I think getting anything to happen there will involve a compromise of some sort.

I stood up on the cliff top trying to work out what is going on there and taking a few pictures of the boats out at sea this is the link to the pictures


Mike Samson at York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

 Mike Samson exhibition runs 13th Jun - 20th Jun

















Friday, 15 June 2018

Ramsgate guesthouse card speculation and stuff.

There are certain things in life that don’t really seem to go wrong much like the Sturmey Archer three speed gearbox on bicycles or the ordinary kitchen refrigerator which one assumes has roughly the same working parts as air conditioning which seems to go wrong rather a lot, particularly in cars.

Windows 10 seems to have moved into the world of something that doesn’t want to work properly, is not functioning well on several computers here, one of which is a laptop that is less than 6 months old.

At the moment the most unstable program on MS Windows 10 seems to be MS Word, so I have moved blog writing to Google Drive docs

This photo should expand if you click on it a bit. Back in the late 60s we had a guesthouse in Ramsgate not this one, if it was a guesthouse - it doesn't say but I think it probably was.

Date wise and off the top of my head, I think the hovercraft started from Ramsgate Harbour in around 1966 and moved to the dedicated hoverport at Pegwell in 1969.

Note the boats moored in trots (tied up side by side) in the inner basin, part of my life for a while, The Saratoga, Aquabelle both spring to mind.

By this time both the package holiday and guesthouse fire regulations were taking a toll, the holidaymaker's expectations, staffing costs - well things changed beyond anything the traditional seaside landlady could keep up with.

Anyway that was the last of the cards I bought last sunday

We ate in The Cinque Ports on Margate Seafront this evening, this comes recommended
£37ish food and drink for us and 2 children.

Some Margate photos not good as light was wrong this is the link

Sorry wrong post this should have gone to the bookshop blog

as I said sorry about this itc issues I will try to post something else later.

The Big Cats by Desmond Morris
"The city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo."  - Desmond Morris