Wednesday, 30 July 2008

China Gateway Update

I have had another reply from the environment agency relating to the questions I asked Doug Brown earlier this month, I have published it and the related correspondence for those of you that wish to read it click here to do so

As you can see the developer is still pushing for septic tanks that drain into our drinking water supply and other nasties.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Property Business Recession

I was going to do a reflections from the book trade post and as a lot of this comes from talking to customers when I should be working, not gossiping.

The bookshop is doing much better at the moment which I put down the worsening economic climate, people who a month ago were happy to go to Westwood Cross and pay £30 for a large format illustrated book are now making the extra effort to come here, where they know it will be considerably cheaper.

One customer a landscape gardener told me that his customers, who for the most part are extremely wealthy, are cutting back on the work they are having done, many have lost large sums as the value of their shares has fallen others don’t have confidence in their economic future.

Another customer who is a contractor to the building trade said that many of the building firms are weatherproofing and securing partly finished developments with the intention of leaving them until the situation improves.

The big “real estate” problem is although lots of people have made a considerable amount of money out of property one way and another, mostly benefiting from the huge increase in prices, however for most ordinary working people this means that too large a proportion of the money they have made from producing goods and services goes into paying for their home, we are effectively engaged in buying our own country. For us in the retail trade, it means that because the values of the buildings we trade in have increased considerably, increasing rents absorbs a very large proportion of profit; this situation is particularly bad in Thanet at the moment where most shop’s sales have been reduced by the effect of Westwood Cross.


There is always a lot of talk of ip addresses and weblogs when things get tough on the blogs, frankly they are something I seldom look at, I put a counter on this blog some time ago and readers increase slowly at the moment there are a bit over 1,000 counts registering a week. I can’t tell how this compares with the other local blogs as they don’t have counters on them, however curiosity being what it is I am always interested I one statistic that I do get and that is how many people come to my blog by clicking on the link on another blog. The odd men out here are Strife as there is no link on the sidebar so the 28 comes from links in posts and Bignews that hasn’t had a link for very long.

All traffic sources sent 3,002 visits via 51 sources and mediums

30.58% Direct traffic

53.10% Referring sites

16.32% Search engines

Eastcliff Richard 787

Thanet Bloglist 132

Thanet Strife 28

Village Voices 21

Bignews Margate 16

Margate Architecture 6

Villeviews 5

Ramsgaterants 2

Thanet Star 2

Ramsgate Mitch 1

I don’t know what these statistics really mean they don’t relate to what the counter says nor the fact that I have often used the link on all of these sites to get back to my own, perhaps they only count one ip address once.

However I suspect the roughly relate to the popularity of the various local blogs.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Teddy Bears Picnic

Ramsgate is Stepping Back in Time this summer with the Ramsgate Historical Festival 26th July— 3rd August 2008 we just managed to fit in part of today’s most important event, the teddy bears picnic in Albion Gardens.

Click here for the pictures

Ramsgate Carnival 2008

I have published a few pages of pictures of this years carnival click here to look at them as always I will eventually get around to deleting the worst ones.

Friday, 25 July 2008

The Crack in the Eastcliff

The picture shows the part of the cliff façade that remains unrepaired and on and off I have tried to find out how the work is going, as it was supposed to be all finished by now I expect it is something fairly serious and may wind costing us all a fair amount of money.

The survey that was undertaken in 2005 mentions horizontal movement both at the level of the crack and at the base in this part of the cliff façade so I imagine this bit will either need rebuilt or anchored to the chalk behind.

I have also noticed that they seem reluctant to expose the foundations, probably because the only place where they have exposed them they appear to be no existent.
So if anyone knows what’s going on please let me know?

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ramsgate Carnival

Just a reminder that Ramsgate carnival is this Sunday

The video is Ramsgate carnival in 1969

Click here for pictures of Ramsgate carnival in 1968

Click here for pictures of last year’s carnival sorry the web pages go sideways on these I had an eliterate moment.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Vacant Lot

The developer of the Pleasurama site has announced that work will not begin on the site until the end of the summer holidays, on the 15th of this month I emailed the most likely councillors asking if we could have the site used for some sort of leisure purpose or even a car park for the summer season. Something I have done every year since the plans were passed to build on it.

Only once out of all the years the site has been empty have I been successful, due mainly to the cooperation of David Green and Roger Latchford, which shows that when the party differences that are pretty much pointless at a local level are dropped real benefits for Thanet can be achieved.

I also wrote to the chief executive on the 11th of this month saying.

“It would also be highly beneficial to the town and the councils credibility here if the site was used for a leisure purpose or even a car park until work begins, as the developer appears to have engaged in none of the promised consultation here in Ramsgate, we are all unaware of what the timescale is likely to be, have you any ideas on this one?”

None of them has actually replied to me so of course I can’t tell if these are diligent people beavering away for our benefit or if I’m just being ignored. As is so often the case with TDC they seem to have very poor PR and communications.

Once again it’s a case of Ramsgate asking for a small slice of the cake, however this year with so many people holidaying in British resorts, for Ramsgate’s main leisure site to be a deserted building site instead of a leisure site is appalling.

The pictures are from two stages of the Pleasurama plans and show the architects attempts to fit a five story building into a space only large enough for a four story building. Rather like the ugly sisters trying to fit Cinderella’s glass slipper on by cutting of their toes, in the first picture you will see that lowering the ceiling has resulted in the top of the lorry being shown ghosting through the concrete. In the second picture the architect has resolved this issue by using a shorter lorry, yep the same architects being used for China Gateway, the same mentality that digs the toilet near the well? Click here to enlarge the pictures

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The crew of The New Moss Rose

Many thanks to Sheila who emailed me this picture of the crew of The New Moss Rose to join the other one I put up the other day below). It will go into volume four of my series of Ramsgate postcard books, when I finally get there, it is proving more and more difficult to avoid duplications because of the large number of images of Ramsgate I have already published, so it’s taking longer than I expected to get into print.

Pollution incident at Richborough recycling plant

One of the items that caught my eye in the local news this morning was that there has been a major pollution incident at Richborough recycling plant click here to read the story

Monday, 21 July 2008

The sad story of the loss of one of Ramsgate’s leisure facilities

I have just heard about the council blunder that damaged Ramsgate marina swimming pool so badly it could never be used again, and pieced together by talking one of the then councillors, the resulting cover up where the councillors were told that the damage was caused bomb during WW2 that had weakened the structure.

Some bright council officer who decided to take the running of it from the borough engineers and give it to the councils leisure department caused it in the first instance.

The sceptical engineers handed it to the leisure department with a set of instructions about running and maintaining it, one of which was never to empty it without supporting the seaward facing side. This was because it was designed so the weight of the water inside counteracted the forces of the sea battering against it.

The first thing the leisure department did when they took it over was to empty it unsupported!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Westgate-on-Sea Guide

We have just finished this little Westgate-on-Sea Guide (circa 1923) it’s coming out of the printer now and should be ready on Monday.

The original is owned by Julian Smith and was scanned by James Brazier who then sent it to me as a computer file, for publication, many thanks to them for their kindness, enabling us all to have a copy.

As with many of these guides the advertisements, that funded the original publication, have now become important documents for those of interested in the history of the Isle of Thanet.

I am afraid due to my own incompetence I don’t have the contact details of Julian Smith and James Brazier, so I am unable to send them some free copies of the book.

So if either of you read this please email me

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Environmental considerations

Here in Thanet there are three big environmental issues, the biggest being the decision not to hold the line on the north coast Wantsum sea defences, followed by a relaxation of the regulations that protect our drinking water supplies and relatively minor in comparison the Pleasurama development.

The first could quite literally wipe a large part of southeast Kent off the map, the second could result in poisoning of our drinking water supply and the third over a thousand people being trapped between the sea and the cliff in a collapsing building.

These are all worst-case scenarios and of course with all of these issues one of my concerns is that I have misunderstood something and am engaged in unnecessary scaremongering.

For the most part all of the issues are controlled by the environment agency and until I became involved in them, I had reasonable confidence that they knew what they were doing.

Now with the China gateway development, the environment agency officer in charge of the case has admitted to me in writing, that he hadn’t read the planning application properly.

“Regrettably the level of resourcing available to assess the flood risk implications of planning applications does not permit the scrutiny of all 271 pages of the flood risk assessment appendices”

As this came from a civil servant, and they don’t normally admit things like that in writing to a member of the public, I take it as a clear signal that something has gone very wrong, it begs a very important question, which is.

“Are the officers making decisions of huge environmental impact on our future, properly qualified and resourced?”

The picture of Ramsgate harbour wall, which is made of granite and is at a higher level above sea level than Pleasurama is an indicator of what happens when we get an easterly gale combined with a high tide.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Pleasurama again

Terence Painter is quoted in yesterdays Extra, as saying the development is still going ahead, but has been delayed due to problems with the cliff repairs and work won't start until the end of the summer.

Last I heard from TDC planning department was that they are waiting for a set of plans that address some of the environment agency’s concerns, however my understanding is that the developer has no intention of doing the flood risk assessment, as strongly recommended by the environment agency, so if built it would be blighted.

If you look at what they are having to do as a result of the flood risk assessment for the Turner Centre you can see why they don’t want to do it, they would definitely lose a story and the roadworks they have already done would all be at the wrong level.

Funny really that a dangerous building can be allowed to be built, against the rules, the environment agency tell me that if they received the plans today a flood risk assessment would be mandatory, as the planning application was submitted before this was the case, everyone has abided by the rules.
The picture is from the approved plans and shows where the architect’s efforts to address the height issue have embedded the heads of the people shown in the concrete ceiling.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Thanet district Council’s Internet Collapse?

Language dates, as in Enid Blyton’s famous phrase “Bigears went out on his bicycle and felt a little queer” one always assumes that no one would write like that today, the exception as I found out is our own dear councils IT department, the phrase below comes from a reply to one of my previous attempts to communicate with the council by email.

“The issues of Councillors using their 'personal' addresses was well rehearsed within the Member Working Group. Clearly there is a balance to be drawn with the arrangements that Members themselves feel are right for them.”

I would have liked to illustrate this post with Aubrey Beardsley’s picture of The Lacedaemonian Ambassadors, the image that comes unbidden into my mind when I consider rehearsing within the Member Working Group, however she who must be obeyed says it’s far too rude to put on my blog and I am sure you will all be too polite to Google it.

I have however taken the unusual step of publishing my correspondence with senior council officers about my recent complaint click here to read it as a member of the public who contributes both by council tax and business rates to these peoples large salaries, I expect the courtesy of replies to my correspondence and after writing to customer services, I can only infer from their rather vague reply, that the senior officers had in fact received my emails and ignored my requests for confirmation of their receipt.

Mr Child,Thank you for your e-mail, to Customer Services.We are currently looking into the issues you have raised. If in the meantime I can be of assistance please do not hesitate to let me know.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Immigration Control

Here in the bookshop today we had a visit from immigration control, apparently to see if we were letting out parts of the building to house illegal immigrants. They are apparently visiting all the shops and asking who lives in the flats above them, just telling them that we lived in the flat satisfied them, however after they went it did occur to me that perhaps not the people with flats full of illegal immigrants would admit to it.

It says on the back of the photo, Driver C Crow nigger mistral A Kirby 1920, I believe the location to be Minster as it’s part of a set of a Ramsgate charabanc operators pictures, that are going into the book Postcards of Ramsgate volume 4 that I am working on at the moment.

Meanderings of a confused shopkeeper

I have published some pictures of shops and shopping in Ramsgate for you all to enjoy, they come from one of my reprints of old guides, Ramsgate and Broadstairs by Camera and Pen 1904-05 you can of course buy it post free from the website or come into the shop (closed Thursdays and Sundays) browse buy, as is your inclination.

I was talking recently to one of the local surveyors part of his job is to assess shop rents in Thanet and obviously we discussed the situation in Ramsgate and particularly Margate town centres, where there are too many empty shops at the moment. Now at the moment shop rentals are assessed on the position of the shop and the area of the shop part of the building, business rates are calculated from average the shop rental values per square meter in any given part of the towns.

For the most part this is all sill being calculated as though Westwood Cross hadn’t happened, this is also not helped by the fact that most shop leases stipulate that rentals can only rise at rent reviews.

It is obvious that something has got to give, pretty much the only thing that can survive and afford the current rents and rates are the bars and restaurants that make up our emerging café culture. However there is a big problem here, that is the café culture is dependent on the towns having interesting shops, both in terms of the shops attracting their customers and also a lively town centre having a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

My feelings are that both local and national government need to act on this issue, however I am really uncertain how, we currently have a situation where a betting shop, late night takeaway etc has the same overheads a towns bookshop while the libraries art galleries theatres are heavily subsidised. Now the bookshops in Broadstairs and Margate are closing so what is the solution?

Our society has got into a situation where a very large proportion of our earned income is spent paying for buildings and land, and another large and increasing proportion is being taken in taxation. We are, as it were spending too much buying our own country. All of this hangs on the small proportion of people engaged in the production and distribution of the goods and services that we all need.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Thanet Farms Archive

Thanet Farms Archive was formed in the Autumn of 2006, by Alan and Anita Hardcastle of Birchington, to assist in the preservation of the farming heritage of the Isle of Thanet. It draws on Alan's experience as a local historian in Croydon, and his experience as having served as Archivist and Trustee of The British Ancestors in India Society; and was founded in response to the ever increasing encrouchment of urban development on the Isles farm land.

The archive collates material from private sources, and has a programme of interviewing those once connected to local agricultural industries. In addition it has a collection of 18th- early 20th century agricultural hand tools from throughout the world, and of indentures relating to farming sites throughout Kent.

Eventually, it is planned, that the archive will be handed on to Kent Archives; who have expressed an interest in housing it.

As it is impossible to give public access to the material held by the archive, a series of publications are planned in order to disseminate as much information as possible. In the light of the fire at Ramsgate Library, It is felt that the best way of ensurring the survival of
information, is to publish it.

Ed. The other day I posted about a new book, about Thanet farms, I have now received some sample pages and pictures and the above explanation about what they are doing.

Click here for the sample pages and pictures

The first local writer to write about Thanet’s agriculture, John Lewis in his History of the Isle of Tenet, published in the early 1700s and now available in a cheap reprint, caused considerable criticism both from some learned historians and local farmers; “Some it seems have thought I have descended too low as to take Notice of Husbandry, and give an account of the manner of Dungmixen…… by others I have been accused…… out of envy at the prosperity of the farmers, and with an ill-natured design to raise their rents. I am wondering if this new venture will cause any such excitement.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Reflections from the book trade

There are real signs of recession starting to bite, this is most evident in that lots ordinary people are selling their paperback fiction to raise money. This is a bit of a two edged sword really, with supply exceeding demand I have reduced book prices considerably and still we have a better range of fiction than I ever remember. Sales are up for the simple economics of reading are the average price of a new paperback seems to be about £6 to £8, although when you go into a big chain bookshop, it looks as though from the gaudy signs everything is on special offer, somehow it usually transpires that the book I want isn’t, so average read costs about £7. Here in the secondhand bookshop most of the paperbacks are priced between £2 and £3 and in many cases we will take them back in part exchange against the next one bought, bringing the cost of an average read down to below £2. Although for the really hard up we have a sale section where all the paperbacks are 5p and all the hardbacks 10p interestingly some people seem quite sheepish about spending such a small amount.

There are of course the libraries, but with the high cost of library fines unless you are very efficient this is the read cost equivalent to roulette.
The picture is Ramsgate in 1817

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Ramsgate High Street

This picture of Ramsgate High Street circa 1910 on the right the building with the decretive lamps outside is Sanger’s Amphitheatre and Hotel opened in 1883 and was later in 1908 converted to The Royal Palace Theatre by the famous theatre architect Frank Matcham it was later used as a cinema, it was mostly demolished in 1961 to make way for Fine Fare, now Argos, what an act of vandalism.

Designed by A. Latham of Margate and erected by Denne Bros. of Walmer, the amphitheatre could seat 1,620.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Reflections on Thanet Life

It was my day off yesterday as one of the self employed this mostly involved paperwork, however a few things came up that have been posted about elsewhere mostly.

The company behind the China Gateway proposal had their shares drop by over 13% yesterday, which is a lot in one day, having read the environment agency’s views on the drainage situation, the new polluter pays legislation and the new corporate manslaughter laws, I suppose putting an industrial estate in a drinking water reservoir didn’t seem such a good investment.

There is a rumour going round that the bankers have pulled the funding for the new Pleasurama development, once again I suppose having read the environment agency’s views on the on the flood and storm situation and the new corporate manslaughter laws, building so low as to be at risk in a tidal surge storm, with inadequate escapes for the people who would be trapped inside didn’t seem such a good investment.

Simon Moores put up a post on Thanet Life and already there is flack from anonymous posters on other blogs so a couple of thoughts on that one.

Firstly he holds no senior post in the current administration, nor is he in the cabinet, so is in no way responsible for our deplorable and bankrupt council, now selling off our assets to pay its running costs.

Secondly if he or any of the other of the new able councillors is ever to get into a position where they can do any good, they can’t actively publicly criticise their own party.

We get many of these decent honourable people who offer their skills for the benefit of the local community, we like their ideas and vote for them and they are elected to represent us.

They then find that here the local government has been organised in such a way to ensure they have no power to improve anything and their specialist skills that would benefit us all are refused.

Look up a planning application on the internet in Thanet and then in Canterbury, compare the two experiences, consider Simon Moores is an expert in IT and ponder why he isn’t the cabinet member in charge of sorting out Thanet District Council’s IT problems.

It’s rather like the veteran BBC foreign affairs correspondent, Charles Wheeler, who recounted how the BBC, on discovering that he spoke fluent German, sent him to Madrid.

The picture is of Ramsgate’s PC Jordan engaged in a fund raising event and the video the youth of today playing about with our piano, both for a little light relief, among the sad and serious woes of Thanet.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

South Eastern Road Ramsgate

Having spent a large part of yesterday trying to make sense of and reply to the correspondence relating to my TDC complaint, see pervious post. I am now wondering how long it will take them to have courtesy to confirm they received it as I asked them to do, I copied the email to the chief executive and the leader so one would expect something.

Anyway what annoys me most is that it is time I could have spent working on local history publications and publishing local pictures online. There is an irony in that while the council are wasting so much money figuring out peculiar responses to such a simple complaint they are also doing there best to destroy two of the most cost effective local historic tourist attractions, Crampton Tower and the historic ships in Ramsgate Harbour.

One of the scarcest and most useful types of local pictures are those that show ordinary streets and buildings around the town, like the one above, the ones of the harbour and seafront outnumber them by hundreds to one.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Complaint to Thanet District Council

I have just received a response to my complaint about the Thanet planning website and published it with my reply for anyone who wishes to read it.

Simple complaint really, I complained that Thanet District Council has chosen to restrict access to comments on the UKPlanning website, that is on the public facing part of the website only.

You wouldn’t expect a complicated reply click here to read it.

Incidentally if you ever have occasion to complain to the council it’s most important to ensure that it is officially registered with the council and that you have a complaint reference number, otherwise you can’t up the anti to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Natural England's comments on China Gateway

Well another statutory consultee has submitted their comments and I have published them on the web click here to read even great crested newts are mentioned.

My complaint to Thanet District Council, that this information is not appearing on the Thanet planning website, reaches the 10 working days tomorrow, after which I can escalate it to the local government ombudsman.

What a ridiculous way to have to approach such a basic requirement, I have been told that I could study the hundreds of pages of the complete planning folder at Thanet Gateway, barmy!

Elected Mayor of Thanet

There has been some comment in the last few days on Thanet Strife and Eastcliff Richard blogs (links on sidebar) about a mayor of Thanet, so I have set out my understanding of the situation and would appreciate any corrections or additions.

Since I posted about this in May I have been sounding out the people I know, customers in the shop and local politicians on this one.

It is important to understand this is not another tier of government but a different method of organising the government we have already got.

At the moment both Labour and Conservatives have a core of most experienced councillors who make up the cabinet members when they are elected and the two party safe seat system means they are pretty much always elected.

All of the council elect a leader, who then selects the cabinet, effectively these tend to be one-candidate elections because of the two party system we have, so it is normally not possible for any of the councillors outside of the core group to be elected leader.

The leader of course makes sure that the cabinet is formed mostly from the core group, who will support his decisions, if we are lucky and get a good leader he selects the most able councillors if we are unlucky he selects the most malleable, usually it seems to be somewhere in between.

Within these core groups great store is set in phrase experienced councillor, however I believe it possible that by experience in this instance, what they are talking about is experience at running a badly organised costly and ineffective administration that they have created.

It is possible to set up a council where delegation and selection of councillors and senor officers can produce an administration to swamp the new councillors with masses unsorted and irrelevant bureaucracy to the point where they become virtually ineffective.

This of course creates a situation where the most able councillors outside of the core group, having wasted their skills that put forward for the benefit of the local community are unlikely to stand for re-election.

It is also possible to have so many reorganisations of truly qualified and experienced officers to arrive at a situation were those remaining have such a large workload that they are unable to do their jobs properly and officers who lack qualifications and experience are trying to do jobs that they are incapable of.

With the mayoral system the mayor is elected by us so he owes no old favours to the other councillors, he can select the most able, qualified and experienced council officer as his advising chief executive and decide which of the councillors is most suitable for each job, he knows that if he fails to do so he wont get re-elected in four years time.

The elected mayor has a choice of operating a cabinet system as we have now or giving each councillor he deems competent a brief, with supporting officers and operating decision making at full council.

Once they understand how it works, virtually every one I have spoken to seems to prefer the idea of the mayoral system as a solution to getting away from the rut we have got into, both under Labour and Conservative administrations.

The exception to this being some senior councillors of both parties, who put forward the rather peculiar argument that although the electorate was competent to vote for them, they would not be competent to select a leader.

At the moment we have a situation where the colour of our local government is pretty much caused by dissatisfaction in the opposite colour of national government, electoral choice at local level is not as democratic as it should be.

With the government of Thanet at the moment, where so many people seem so dissatisfied with what they have, it is most important to seek solutions rather than just to apportion blame and I think it possible that a mayor could be a solution.

The picture above is of A B C Kempe mayor of Ramsgate.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Manston Airport noise and fuel pollution

Tim has sent me some information about noise and other pollution from Manston Airport that he has asked me to publish before the kiacc meeting tomorrow click here to view

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Thanet Councils Battle to destroy our historic tourist attractions

Looking through this weeks Gazette I was shocked by the councils shortsighted penny pinching, they intend to take away the £5,000 a year rent subsidy to The Crampton Tower Museum in Broadstairs, this is a volunteer run museum that contributes considerably to Thanet’s tourist industry and all for less than £100 per week that means it costs us council tax payers about 4p a year each.

And in Ramsgate one of the star attractions right in the middle of the café culture The Baltic Trader Kommandoren has gone and is unlikely to return, because of the council’s unhelpful attitude. As far as I can see allowing quality historic ships to moor cheaply or for free in inner basin next to the café culture, must be one of the most cost effective methods of boosting tourism available.

This certainly must be properly managed to avoid people leaving rotting hulks there that they can’t afford to maintain, the ideal place to display those vessels that are no longer seaworthy is the first part of the old main line railway tunnel adjacent to the Pleasurama site.

A B C Kempe the Top Hat Mayor of Ramsgate

It has been pointed out to me what a dour lot some of Ramsgate’s town councillors and officers look in some of the photographs I have published recently. So I thought to publish this little bit to correct the record.

Arthur Bloomfield Courtenay Kempe became Mayor of Ramsgate on November 9th 1938 he dressed like one too, top hat and frock coat.

He was only a peacetime mayor for a short time before the outbreak of World War Two, he set out to make Ramsgate into a holiday camp of a town. He managed to sell the towns holidays to Coventry with "All in holidays" at £3.17.6d the slogan, with his charisma keeping what a wonderful place Ramsgate was for a holiday on the front pages of the national press.

When war broke out in September 1939 of came the top hat and on went the tin hat and he put all of his efforts into looking after the population of Ramsgate.

He and the borough engineer Dick Brimmell were responsible for the network of airraid shelter tunnels under the town that saved so many lives, I publish a book about the tunnels, The Ramsgate Tunnels by Nick Catford, they are a truly remarkable achievement.

In 1946 he produced a book, Midst bands and Bombs about Ramsgate both as a premier holiday resort and as a front line town, I also publish a reprint of this book.

In 1950 he was made a Freemen of the Borough of Ramsgate.

Click here for more pictures of A B C Kempe

Click here for sample pages from Midst bands and Bombs

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Making a Splash at Ramsgate

I have put a recent posts on other blogs thingy on the sidebar, I have tried to restrict it to people who post often and hope I haven’t missed any out. I couldn’t get Naked in Thanet to work as blogger said it couldn’t detect a feed, I hadn’t in fact even realised it was hungry.

I have also put up my last letter to Doug Brown about water it’s a bit confused, because I am click here should you wish to read it.

The Crew of the New Moss Rose

There are many pictures of the Moss Rose and the New Moss Rose in Ramsgate harbour from where they took people for pleasure trips, however this is the first one I have come across of the crew.

Friday, 4 July 2008

How to make friends and influence people

Malcolm has sent me some interesting correspondence he is having with the Environment Agency that leads me to believe they may not always be, creating a better place, like it says on their logo.

They have believe it or not refused point blank two answer 8 of his 10 reasonable questions about local pollution and said the want £100 and an unreasonable ammout of time to answer the others.

The King is Dead Long Live the King

22nd January 1936 the proclamation proclaiming King Edward 8 from top or old town hall, well that’s what it says on the back and I see no reason to disbelieve it.

I get the feeling looking at our local leaders in the picture that they were selected for being most able rather than most malleable, what do you think?

Looking at these people I suspect a developer wishing to asset strip Dreamland and Pleasurama for personal profit, or one wishing to build a sewage farm run by the
Chinese on top of our drinking water reservoir, would have met with some resistance.

It really is ridiculous you know, I live in one of the most beautiful towns in the world and here I am not discussing the improvements for this summer season with the council, but asking questions like:

How many people do the estimate will die of poisoning if a foreign lorry driver doesn’t realise that the drains in a lorry car park on an industrial estate leads not to the public sewer but to our drinking water supply?

How will the 1,500 people in the Pleasurama development escape if it collapses in the next tidal surge storm with the cliff behind and the storm in front?

How many fatalities would they estimate if several loaded busses brake at once in an emergency, on top of the frail old arches of the Marina Esplanade incline?

Summer Season

Couple of American tourists in the shop just now, presumably they came through a wormhole in the space-time continuum or something, speculating on the practically deserted beach. They bought The Picturesque Pocket Companion To Margate Ramsgate Broadstairs & Parts Adjacent 1831 an 1849 Isle of Thanet Directory and Pictures of Ramsgate in the 1800s. They are apparently staying in an hotel with a view across the harbour and can’t quite understand why an equally attractive Ramsgate isn’t as busy as San Tropez. I won’t put the links to the books on this post as I am having a bad printer week with stock running a bit low it seems best to discourage sales while I do battle with the errant technology.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Independent Member wanted

Are you interested in playing a key role in enhancing local democracy and maintaining and enhancing standards and ethics in your local area?

If so, you are invited to apply for the position as the fourth independent member of the Standards Committee.

The Committee currently comprises of fourteen members. Four are independent and three represent Parish Councils within the district. The remaining seven members are elected Members of the Council.

Ellison’s Entertainers

First called The Highwaymen, later known as Ellison’s Entertainers this troupe entertained at Ramsgate and Brighton that I know of.

Any more info would be appreciated click here for the pictures

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Your Thanet

I have just been reading Your Thanet and can recommend today’s edition, big article on China Gateway and several other issues that have been of concern locally are covered.

Of special interest to bloggers this weeks yourthanetblogger is Bertie Biggles and Simon Moores gets some pretty heated responses to his yourthanetbloggering on the letters pages.

The Brenan Rest

The Vale Square hostel women and girls over 15 years old who needed rest and sea air for a limited time.

Unusual card however what to write about it on this post eludes me.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Farming Isle

New book out today, not published by me however I have stock of it, Farming Isle by Anita and Alan Hardcastle, price £8.95. It is an history of the farms in the Isle of Thanet, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet however a first glance shows it to be a detailed well researched book that quotes its sources.

This from the preface:

Some three years ago we bought a pencil and sepia wash sketch in auction, dated August, 1814, and entitled, ‘A Farmhouse at Manston, near Ramsgate’, by an H.Scott. Believing it would be a relatively easy task to research the location where this had been drawn, we set out to identify it through local archives. We drew a complete blank. Not only couldn’t we easily uncover the identity of this farm, but it also became apparent that so little information regarding the history of farming in Thanet had survived. We felt this to be major loss to the history of the Isle, considering the importance of the industry to the past economy of the district. Therefore, we decided to form our own archive to pass on to future generations wishing to research the subject. We set about interviewing those who had been connected to farming locally. Not only those whose families had once run farms in the area, but also former, farm labourers, in order to form a balanced perspective of past events. Photographs, genealogical material and other documentation began to pour in to swell the archive we were collating.

Read on

More China Gateway

I have just published follow up letter to the Council for the Protection of Rural England objection click here to read it

Personally I am horrified that we should even be contemplating building an industrial estate on top of our underground drinking water reservoir, where the operators of the site would be responsible for processing their own industrial waste and sewage, which would then be pumped into soakaways.

I am also appalled that the drainage from the lorry parks will go untreated into soakaways on top of our drinking water supply, it would take only one lorry driver to flush out a contaminated tanker into the drains for our water supply to be poisoned.

Should you wish to you can now object to the building of the China Gateway online by using the comments link on the application, feel free to copy any bits of my objection, to find the application online you need to go to the Thanet planning website and put the planning application number TH/08/0400 in the search box.

There are other sites in the area, that would be sutable, that are neither on agricultural land nor on top of the porous chalk that hold and collects our drinking water, the most obvious being Richborough power station.