Saturday, 29 August 2009

East Kent Critic August 1979

More of The East Kent Critic the radical local newspaper that first started in 1947 and ran until 1948 was restarted in 1963 and ran until 1985.
It was edited by the Labour councillor Derrick Molock and partly funded by the Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken from 1980.

It is a mixture of local history and politics, something akin perhaps to today’s Thanet blogging scene.I have just received permission to reprint it and have most issues from June 1969 to 1985 but am missing many of the earlier issues.
I have just published the whole issue from 30 years ago on the internet click here to read it
If you don’t hear all that much from me over the weekend I am a bit tied up with the family.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Simon Moores Doctor Doctored?

Over the last few weeks there has been an ongoing campaign to discredit Cllr Simon Moores online, as another a local businessman I don’t like this very much, for one thing it could spread to other local businessmen including me.

Before I get going on this there are a few things that I should like to make clear so here goes:

1 I don’t agree with all of Simon’s views political or otherwise, in fact I can’t think of anyone whose views I agree with completely, on or of the internet.

2 Simon’s business activities that relate to IT bring a net benefit to Thanet, by this I mean that when he makes money for consultancy and media work outside of Thanet he is likely to spend that money in Thanet, in much the same way that when I post a book of to some other part of the world I am likely to spend the money I receive for it in Thanet.

3 I am likely to come to the defence of any prominent local, regardless of their political affinities, race, religion, etc.

Most of the online criticism here comes from fellow councillor Mark Nottingham’s Blog and anonymous comment on it, see:

http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/2009/08/dont-call-me-doctor.html

http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/2009/08/whats-going-on.html

http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/2009/08/simon-moores-slams-incompetent-lazy.html

http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/2009/08/simon-moores-straw-man_12.html

I hasten to add here that I would come to Mark’s defence were the roles reversed.

At some point the political banter on the blogs between Mark and Simon that I was enjoying seemed to change to something much less pleasant.

Anyway questions have been raised both about the validity of Simon’s qualifications and credentials as an IT expert and about his Wikipedia entry, so I have done some research, concentrating on his doctorate and Wikipedia, here are the results.

First the doctorate.

It isn’t a bad rule of thumb to assume the higher the educational level attained the harder it is to quantify, (matters become more subjective and less objective) although this is easier in the sciences than the arts, as on the whole in the sciences the proof of the pudding is usually having something that works. With IT this is often easy for the end user to spot, by this I mean if you type Charles Dickens into a book search facility on your computer you don’t expect the Harry Potter books to come up, if they do regardless of the supposed qualifications of IT expert involved you don’t really need many qualifications to judge their worth.

Doctorates are generally awarded to those who have published academic works of some merit, with a fair amount of work it is possible to get an academic book published by a reputable publisher. Simon’s doctorate is mostly based on the following publications.

The Journal of The Institute of Information Scientists (IIS) journal Vol.2. No#2 ISSN 0969-9325 1994

And

Title details: Using Lotus 1-2-3 : Release 3.0 / Simon Moores.

Published: New York ; London : Prentice Hall, 1989.

Physical desc.: x,210p. : ill. ; 24cm. Identifier: ISBN: 0135405017 (pbk)

Subject: Lotus 1-2-3 (Computer program)
Microcomputer systems — Spreadsheet packages — Lotus 123

Copies held by: British Library.

For those of you unfamiliar with this world Simon was awarded a doctorate by Pacific Western University in 1994 based on his thesis about computing published in “The Journal of The Institute of Information Scientists” this work then progressed into a mainstream publishers book on the same subject.

As far as I can tell at this time there would have been no reason for Simon to assume this university was better or worse than any other, it offered a stage in Simon’s education in a way that fitted in with his life.

Pacific Western University was founded in 1977 it is still functioning as an accredited university under the name of California Miramar University, it had a bit of a bumpy ride between 2002 and 2005 when the authenticity of some of the qualifications it had provided was questioned.

This culminated in a newspaper article in The Irish Independent the following is from the Wikipedia article on the subject:

“It was reported in the Irish Independent on 9 October 2005 that the Chief Science Advisor to the government of Ireland, Barry McSweeney, had been found to have advanced his career using a degree obtained from Pacific Western University.

The newspaper report stated that McSweeney had obtained his Ph.D. in biotechnology and biochemistry from PWU in 1994 after just 12 months of study. The article went on to say "There is no question that Mr McSweeney has anything other than a distinguished track record in business. He has a degree in biochemistry from UCC and a Masters degree in clinical biochemistry from TCD. He was also in charge of the Marie Curie Fellowships, an EU-wide programme which has been credited with helping more than 35,000 scientists develop their careers. Mr McSweeney has been widely praised for his role in expanding this programme." It further described PWU as having "no merit or standing in the academic world" and having been "the subject of numerous official investigations, state bans and media exposés" during its 28 years of operation. McSweeney was forced to resign his position as a result although the article stated that McSweeney had made no attempt to conceal the details of his education and that he was "proud" of his doctorate and "stood over it" and that he considered PWU California to be a "respected" and recognized body." Mr McSweeny's spokesperson went on to add: "Barry stands over his doctorate.....He has a degree from UCC, significant life experience, and was the director-general of the Joint Research Institute. I can't believe you're writing this."”

So there you have it Simon did the work, thesis and book were published along the way a university handed him a doctorate, he went on to a career in IT advising governments appearing on the BBC and channel 4, from a more professional standpoint his work was held in high regard by companies like Lotus and IBM so more publications came along.

Looking on the web at Simon’s recent articles, something that you can all do if you want, he is obviously moving on from IT something he describes as no fun anymore and I am inclined to agree with him.

I have spoken to various people I know in the academic world about the legitimacy of doctorates issued by various universities, the consensus being that all is not well even in the most famous universities, my attention was drawn to a Euronews article at http://www.euronews.net/2009/08/23/bribes-scandal-hits-german-universities/ copied below in case they delete it:

“Germany’s famed reputation for educational excellence has been hit by a scandal over degrees for sale. Prosecutors are investigating up to one hundred professors suspected of taking bribes to help students get their doctorates. It’s claimed some students paid an intermediary up to 20,000 euros for their Ph.Ds.

“All disciplines are involved, including the so-called classics: law, medicine and philosophy, as well as technical faculties,” said prosecutor Gunther Feld.

A company near Cologne allegedly acted as a go-between. The impressive-sounding Institute for Scientific Consulting is said to have funnelled students’ cash to professors in exchange for degrees. Most of the professors under suspicion work under contract rather than as full-time teachers. Some are even accused of improving students’ work themselves if it was not up to scratch.

“For several years now we have proposed adding new rules obliging students to declare that they haven’t accepted outside help in writing their thesis,” said Bernhard Kempen from the German Universities’ Association.

The latest investigation was sparked by the jailing last year of a professor at Hannover University who took bribes worth 180,000 euros from the Cologne institute to organise degrees for allegedly unworthy students.”

Now we come to Wikipedia.

For their recently deleted article about Simon click on the link http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/simon/ as far as I can see back in the early days of Wikipedia Simon like many other prominent characters put his potted biography on it and as this was early days when Wikipedia was looking for content the editors were quite happy about this.

Simon was quite transparent about this being autobiographical and I would imagine having added to Wikipedia both with the information about himself and various other subjects like the rest of us who add to the internet he forgot about it and got on with something else.

The problem with Wikipedia is that anyone could become an editor, by this I mean that I could for example sign on as editor "Mickey Mouse" and list Robbie Williams as “eating hamsters for a living in and around Stoke" or sign on as editor "Alan Titchmarsh", the green-fingered TV personality, write an update of the Kama Sutra.

I could also add that the teenage Tony Blair had posters of Hitler on his bedroom wall.

Not only people have been victims one editor of Wikipedia described the village of Denshaw in Greater Manchester as "the home to an obese population of sun-starved, sheep-hurling yokels with a brothel for a pub and a lingering tapeworm infection".

All of these hoaxes actually happened, I should like to point out that I wasn’t guilty and despite the temptation I haven’t edited any of the entries on any of the local towns or people.

The senior editors of Wikipedia have made efforts to make the whole thing more, dignified, accountable I don’t really know the right word here, things were not helped much when senior editor Ryan Jordan, who had edited more than 20,000 pages of information and had claimed to be a professor of theology was exposed as a 24-year-old college dropout from Kentucky.

What they did was try and make the whole thing link to provable facts, I think what they meant here was links to other internet pages that said the same thing, frankly it didn’t work that well.

Anyway the bottom line here is that anyone can quite legitimately go over almost any Wikipedia article flooding it with things like “citation required” and make a perfectly normal article look like a pack of lies.

This is what happened to Simon’s entry prior to its deletion something, which I would imagine, was a considerable relief to Simon

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

East Kent Critic August 1969

The East Kent Critic was a radical local newspaper that first started in 1947 and ran until 1948 was restarted in 1963 and ran until 1985. It was edited by the Labour councillor Derrick Molock and partly funded by the Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken from 1980.

It is a mixture of local history and politics, something akin perhaps to today’s Thanet blogging scene.

I have just received permission to reprint it and have most issues from June 1969 to 1985 but am missing many of the earlier issues.

I have just published the whole issue from 40 years ago on the internet click here to read it I am curious to know what people make of it, do you want me to publish what I can online as well as the printed version?

Ramsgate Westcliff walk this morning.

A few photographs of the westcliff this morning, not quite sure about what happened over the mayors summer party the stage has gone, unfortunately I missed it.

Anyway the main thing is that the westcliff is looking fairly smart and is a very pleasant place for a walk click here for the pictures

Monday, 24 August 2009

August 24th 1940 a day for Ramsgate to remember.

Today is the anniversary of the worst of Ramsgate’s raids during World War 2, I publish a book about this I have published most of its content on the internet click her to look at it, since the book was published there have been a few additions and corrections which would not have been easy to convert into web pages, the web page I have published comes from the original uncorrected file.

When Ramsgate suffered its first air raids during the First World War, what stands out from all of the accounts is how shocked local people were that the ordinary civilians in the town were being targeted and killed by the enemy’s armed forces.

By 1940 Ramsgate’s mayor and corporation under the technical supervision of the borough engineer Dick Brimmel had made preparations from the lessons we learnt.

During the Second World War although Ramsgate was heavily bombed again civilian casualties were kept to a minimum because we had the most comprehensive civilian tunnel shelter system in the country.

RAMSGATE SATURDAY 24th AUGUST. 1940 A collection of contemporary pictures and newspaper articles Edited By D. T. Richards click here to buy the book

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ramsgate first class town second-class support, Sunday ramble.

For me top of this list is the airport and before I continue here I should make it clear that I am not against airport expansion, nor am I for it as frankly I feel I have never been informed enough or engaged with to hold a proper opinion.

Most of what the airport operator has to say just doesn’t make sense, the level of expansion that KIA are talking about is so massive that it appears to be completely beyond anything that could feasibly happen.

If any town other than Ramsgate faced this sort of proposed increase in over flying the matter would be the subject of a public enquiry and considerable TV media coverage.

My own investigations appear to reveal that the airport isn’t operating with proper environmental safeguards in place and although I have published plenty of information about this no one has come forward and refuted the information.

Most alarmingly is the problem that the airport is operating on top of our drinking water reservoir without an interceptor for the main runway or any apparent contingency plan for a fuel spillage on the grass part of the airport.

Next having read yesterdays Gazette article about the pavilion I gather Rank offered to return it to the council without charging them any premium and the council turned them down without any local consultation.

When all is said and done the pavilion should in my opinion be Ramsgate’s main arts and leisure building and should be a venue for music and other forms of entertainment.

I assume that if the pavilion returned to public ownership it should be possible to get grant money to sort it out so it can be used for what it was designed for, the towns main leisure venue.

I will add to this post during the day if time allows.

Having done some more research on the pavilion I gather that the repairs estimate is about £2,000,000 and as far as I can see Rank have to pick up this tab due to the tenancy agreement.

When one thinks that they kept most of the building unused and allowed it to deteriorate to its present uninhabitable condition perhaps they do after all owe a fair bit to repair the damage they have done to Ramsgate’s leisure facilities.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

WANTSUM JAZZ 09 AIMS TO BEAT THE CREDIT CRUNCH

The fifth annual jazz festival organised by the Thanet Jazz Festival Trust is scheduled to take place on the Regency Lawns, Ramsgate between 2pm and 9pm on Sunday 30 August.

This year, in spite of being hit by a shortage of funding, we plan to have Dana Gillespie (pictured) as our headline singer. Dana has been dedicated to the blues from an early age, and was invited by Bob Dylan to support him on his 1997 UK tour, including a sell-out show at Wembley. She was also voted ‘Top British Female Blues Vocalist’ by the British Blues Connection and Blueprint Magazine between 1992 and 1996. Her backing group will include local artists, David Malin and Duncan Mackay.

And local talent will be prominently on show throughout the day. The events start with the Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra who played to great acclaim two years ago. We follow this with the up and coming rock/funk musician Henry Johnson who has already developed a significant local following and is currently on the edge of signing a major record deal.
Our headline band will be the ever popular Westcoast Band from Margate who can guarantee to get the crowd swinging.
As in previous years, we shall have associated events in the Churchill Tavern, including the ever popular Electric Arquestra on Monday. Watch out for posters, and enjoy the blues over the August Bank Holiday weekend

Friday, 21 August 2009

1906 Map of Thanet

This is a fairly rough copy of my 1906 map of Thanet that various people have asked me to make available. I have dated it based on the pavilion built in 1906 being shown and the lift opened in 1908 not being shown.

I will endeavour to do a bit better than just a photo if the map in the fullness of time, click here to view the map.

Sunset Strip and the crazy hexagons.

It’s been a week of car problems and map problems most of which are pretty much resolved now, the car has a complicated air-conditioning and cooling system and in this weather some degree of fiddling about getting the inside of the car cool and keeping the coolant in the engine was required.

The map on the other hand, the 1849 coloured map of Ramsgate, click on the link to view http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/map1849/ is something fo a task in tems of an affordable reprint that wont fade.

I went over to the north part of the isle on Wednesday evening and spent a fair amount of time trying to capture the sunset with the camera, for the results click on the links.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/sunset/id4.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/sunset/id3.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/sunset/index.htm

I will delete the worst of them when I get around to it, for some reason my camera would like to make the sun hexagonal, possibly something to do with the lens aperture.
No wonder Turner liked our sunsets, this one was not particularly spectacular as sunsets here go but still amazing enough.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The mayor is in the monkey house shifting all the chairs. TV media in Ramsgate today.

Seaside SOS are filming at Ramsgate’s westcliff boating pool today.

MAYOR OF RAMSGATE’S
SUMMER PARTY
Friday 21st August 2009
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In association with the TV programme ‘Seaside SOS’
to celebrate the re-launch of the Westcliff Leisure Park

In the company of Duncan Bannatyne (of Dragons’ Den fame)
and other celebrity guests

Live music and entertainment throughout the afternoon.

Click here for the pictures taken this morning.

Pretty major stuff this even the boating pool has been cleaned out.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Kent International Airport apply to Thanet District Council for night flights.

I have just received the following from Clive Heart:

I am informed Infratil made an application to TDC for a NIGHT FLYING POLICY for Manston Airport on 17th August.

For the TDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee Airport Working Party Chairman comment please contact Cllr. Mike Harrison on 01843 590119 or email Cllr-mike.harrison@thanet.gov.uk

Cllr. Clive Hart - Leader of the Oppostion TDC.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Rubbish seaweed seagulls oh no what have I descended into?

This first video shows the amount of rubbish deposited on the eastcliff the other morning, it goes on to show the free beach parking which is a side effect of the ongoing Pleasurama drama.





This next one goes on to show the cleanup operation.





The blog is a bit difficult for what I want to say as it needs a lot of pictures, so click here to continue reading.

A quick look at the other Thanet blogs.



The latest posts on other blogs seems to be working properly again, so from the top on my sidebar.

Thanet Life

http://birchington.blogspot.com/

A pretty depressing piece on the unemployment figures from Simon and unfortunately a quick perusal of the internet appears to confirm what he says, which is 6 million of the potential 37 million working age members of our population are out of work and living on state benefits.

Also Simon reflects on the high standard of beach cleaning in Thanet and on this I have to admit I have to agree with him. I am often up early in the morning wandering around Thanet and see the before and after both with the shopping centres and the beaches. I have quite a few pictures and videos about this and will do a post about it in the fullness of time.

Plenty from Tim Garbutt as ever.

http://lovekentloveramsgate.blogspot.com/

Tim has sent me some figures on council expenses and one or two other documents that he has obtained through the FOIA and I will publish them up on ordinary web pages later today.

One of the things Tim has been looking into is the financing of the Pleasurama project another the council’s wages and expenses.

ECR

http://eastcliffrichard.blogspot.com/

Richard is very much on form everything from Thanet UFOs to trainspotting, all come recommended.

Naked in Thanet

http://nakedinthanet.blogspot.com/

It looks like Peter is making some headway with his battle to get an official Thanet nudist beach, as a local businessman I would like to see one of Ramsgate’s three beaches designated as such. In Ramsgate we could very do with the nude pound or any other sort of currency at the moment.

It is not just the facility but the publicity associated with anything to do with nudism that would help the town, we really need to get a much higher media profile.

Bignews Margate

http://bignewsmargate.blogspot.com/

Tony as on form as ever, for me his observations that the Labour party has deserted the ordinary working people are the most thought provoking, in terms of voting for House of Commons politicians, for us Thanet Residents the choices are somewhat limited.

Come decision day Tony’s constituency is pretty much bound to return Roger Gale, the Thanet North Labour candidate seems to have gone into hiding, leaving the options rather limited.

Thanet Press Releases

http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/

At the moment pretty much every other TDC press release seems to be about Dippers and Dunkers while ignoring all the other events in Thanet.

My main objectives with producing this blog were to get TDCIT to improve the way it makes information available to us.

I was hoping by now I could dispense with this blog but progress at TDCIT seems rather slow.

From One End of Kent

http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/

It is a bit hard to see what Mark is trying to achieve here half of his blog seems to be a vendetta against Simon of Thanet Life, I can’t really seem to be able to determine if this is personal, political or what. In fact it is becoming so extreme as to be verging on the edge of humorous. Strange really both Simon and Mark seem to dedicated to improving Thanet and they are both councillors that are very quick to respond to communications and problems.

Stop Manston Expansion Group

http://stopmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.com/

At the moment there seems to be some discussion based around antiquarian cartography I hope the 1830 map above that does show Manston goes some way to help resolve this (click on it to enlarge).

I can never see myself supporting airport expansion unless they go a very long way to resolve the basic environmental safety issues, most particularly those related to protecting the water supply.

I also feel that while Kent International Airport’s expansion targets are so far from any that seem in any way realistic it is very difficult to take them seriously as a company that could have long term benefits for the area.

Margate Historical society.

http://margatehistory.blogspot.com/

This blog comes highly recommended and has been giving a lot of pleasure hwping to fill in my limited understanding of Margate’s history.

Thanet Strife.

http://thanetstrife.blogspot.com/

It looks like Bertie is as miffed as I am by recent blog hostilities, not sure if these are salvoes in some sort of blog wars or something completely different that I don’t understand at all.

Neither am I sure that the quest for absent councillors has much point, from experience if one writes to them all individually one is lucky to get six to eight replies.

Well that seems to be all of the recent postings covered, certainly working through all of this I am lead to the question, why do people do it? Blog I mean, I think I know where I stand on this one, firstly working in the bookshop lends itself to bogging and it certainly helps to promote my business.

The historical ones I can understand too as it is a good way of preserving information pretty much all of Thanet Coast Life http://thanetcoastlife.blogspot.com/ must be saved to numerous peoples hard drives, so if Tony has some sort of computing disaster and loses them he can easily get them back.

Thanet Offshore Windfarm video

An interesting video visit to the windfarm from Your Thanet.



Monday, 17 August 2009

Dangerous Coastline – 1939-1945 a wartime childhood in Birchington, Kent

This book by Derek Hart was first published in 2003as the original printing has run out and I have done a reprint. The following is from the introduction.

Derek Hart wrote this book after he retired from the Post Office in 1992. Having attended a seminar for newly retired staff, he was attracted to the idea of writing the story of his wartime childhood. He realised that his experiences were unusual because so few of Birchington’s children remained in the village during the war. When the schools closed in 1940, the majority of local children were evacuated to Staffordshire, with most of the five to eleven year-olds being billeted in the Tamworth area.

Derek went to great lengths to check the accuracy of his memories and spent many hours at local libraries and checking other sources of reference. He tried to find a publisher for his work, but none was interested at that time. Sadly, he died very suddenly on the 28th May 2003, without seeing his dream realised. His widow, Maureen, and his two sons, Jason and Justin, felt that the work was of real significance and ought, somehow, to reach a local audience, so they approached the Birchington Heritage Trust.

As soon as I began to read it, I felt sure that it was of immense value to local readers, because so little information has survived from this period. Between 1940 and 1945 we only have a handful of Parish magazines, usually one of the most fruitful sources of information. The local press holds some information, but it seldom covered the ordinary day-to-day events in Birchington that Derek has so expertly captured. The manuscript has been slightly edited, but only so that it will read more easily for young and old alike. The older generation will know what all the wartime ‘jargon’ means, so we hope they will forgive some of what, to them, may seem like obvious explanations.

Derek’s family are so pleased to see this work in print and feel it is a fitting memorial to a loving husband, father and grandfather, as well as a worthy contribution to our local knowledge of a most amazing period in our island’s history, or as Churchill so aptly called it, “our finest hour”.


Jennie Burgess
Parish Archivist
Birchington: November 2003
Reprinted 2009

Click here to buy the book

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Euroferries Bonanza Express makes U turn.

Eascliff Richard would probably head this post something like “Ferry Odd” but I d id notice that Bonanza Express seems to be heading back to Las Palmas.

With Euroferries website http://www.euroferries.co.uk/index.html?_ret_=return announcing the new service due to start later this month and no obvious sign of anything happening in Port Ramsgate I wonder what is going on.

Obviously Ramsgate has nothing to lose and everything to gain from the new ferry service and obviously the fact that Bonanza Express is running and has a crew can only be a good sign.


Click on the link to track Bonanza Express MarineTraffic.com

Sunday morning ramble.

First a few blog problems, the latest posts on other blogs doesn’t seem to be updating as quickly as usual, so if you are having difficulty catching up I can recommend http://thanetblogs.blogspot.com/ which seems to update in less than a second.
It’s Ramsgate Lifeboat today Sunday august 16th Sunday despite the poster saying August 17th, with a fishing boat race at 2pm.
The link takes you to the Ramsgate Lifeboat website http://www.ramsgatelifeboat.org.uk/
I was looking at Wellington Crescent yesterday, sprouting masses of "to let" and "for sale" boards with various uncoordinated attempts at restoration it is looking a bit sad.
When it was first built in about 1820 plots were sold to different people on the understanding that the fronts of the houses were all built to the same design, so as to form a uniform crescent not so the back, which to my mind has always looked more interesting.

No results for Ramsgate week yesterday as they didn’t turn up, sorry if you were following it as I don’t know where else they appear on the web.

I am still trying to come to terms with the terrorcotta at Madeira Walk, judging from the comment on yesterdays post I am not the only one.
More of this later if I get a chance click on the link for yesterdays pictures http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id15.htm
And as promised a bit more, just a few pictures of this afternoon’s walk mostly taking the children to “Lark in the Park” another Ramsgate event not featured on the council’s website click here for them
Strange how Margate’s “Dunkers and Dippers” seems to be getting several council press releases a week.


The final day Ramsgate Week results have just arrived here they are.
The final day of Vattenfall Ramsgate Week was sponsored by Icom and incorporated Ramsgate Week's IRC Series, the SailEAST Ramsgate Series and the prestigious Gold Cup. Also, the Cruiser Classes completed their sixth day of Vattenfall Ramsgate Week Cruiser Series'. The biggest fleet of the week was greeted with perfect sailing conditions of 15 to23 knots from the South East, calm seas and beautiful sunshine. It doesn't get much better than this!
IRC Class 1
It was a day for the Europeans in the IRC Class 1 fleet, with foreign boats winning all three of the races sailed in very close and competitive sailing.
The first race was won by Belgium boat, Alegria, with a one second lead on the local boat, Icom Assassin, once corrected time had been taken into consideration. Third place went to another Belgium boat, Oxygen.
The next race was won by the French IMX 38, Milo, with Alegria second and the local First 45, Carronade taking third place.
The final race for Vattenfall Ramsgate Week was won with a four second lead by Axel De Cock's Oxygen, with Alegria second and Milo third. There was only an eleven second gap between the first and the third boat, with only three minutes between the entire fleet.
IRC Class 2
Phillipe Boureois' Marine Diffusion Dunkerque led the way throughout the first race in the IRC Class 2 fleet, taking line honours to win the race. The Impala 28 Reaction took second place, with Medway boat Big Zipper taking third place.
The second race started in a slightly lighter breeze. Once again, Marine Diffusion Dunkerque established a convincing lead, but was beaten on handicap by Paul Glover and Malcolm Flory's Volante, who had a two second lead. Peter Pearson and Barry Smith's Scallywag II took third place.
In the final race, Marine Diffusion Dunkerque took line honours again to win the race, with the Dehler 34, Big Zipper taking second place John Allen's X302 Antix taking third.
Gold Cup
The Belgium Grand Soleil 40, Alegria, were the historical winners of the coveted Gold Cup, awarded to the overall winner from all three races. This is the first time the cup has been awarded to a foreign boat, since it was first presented in 1903. Congratulations to the Carl Sabbe and his crew.
Cruiser Class 5 & 6
Conditions were the same as yesterday; force 4 to 5, south westerly, with a short, steep sea. The Race Officer set the course down to Deal Bank with a dog leg from West Goodwin to Deal Dolphin. As usual the start, Lance Stevens' Grand Soleil 50, Sydney II powered away and was first to round Stonar with Surprise, Toucan, Jazz, Sunbird and Rush following. These positions stayed largely the same through the rest of the race. The fleet enjoyed a marvellous sail in the sunshine.
In Class 5, Sydney II took line honours, with Frank Martin's Surprise second and Hugh Cripps Sunbird third.
In Class 6, Mirage took line honours, but was beaten on handicap by Mallard, with Richard Hoppers Mystic Sky taking third place.

Watch out for a final round up and results coming soon.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Pulhamite or pink cement? Ramsgate Madeira Walk.

I suppose one doesn’t really qualify for full Ramsgate residency unless at some time in ones life one has engaged in some of the towns traditional minor acts of civil disobedience, actually in today’s beleaguered times these are now probably criminal acts so I should probably be careful about what I say.

OK you may not have your name amongst the graffiti in the Ramsgate Tunnels or have committed the felony of tombstoning, although in my time this was just diving off the fish quay and didn’t attract any notoriety at all, but few who spent their youth in the town can claim never to have put washing up liquid in the waterfall.
There was some talk a while ago about restoration work on this whole area and certainly the shrubs have been cut back much more to the levels that they had reached back in the days when the local youth first discovered the pulhamite outcrops, this was before the days of fairy liquid, when the only mythological creatures in bottles were genies, so the had to make do with grated soap, washing soda and glycerine to create the desired amount of foam.
My understanding has always been that James Pulham took the secret of pulhamite to the grave with him when he died in 1898 and restoration was impossible without the help of a medium, so on hearing about the restoration I assumed that TDC had overcome the barrier of death and had acquired the recipe.
Such restoration work as has been completed owes much to the prosthetic limb school of pink with the sculpting appearing to take much from the school of over enthusiastic beginners in pottery. Staying with the occult theme, you just would not want to meet the golem.

All of the restoration work seems to be to the waterfall part, interestingly the parts of it that get wet seem to have been coated with some sort of shiny material, patent leather shoe polish, varnish, fibreglass, polymer, your guess is as good as mine.

Click here for the pictures taken this morning

Ramsgate Week - Day 5

Today was the second day of the IRC Series for Vattenfall Ramsgate Week and was sponsored by Apollo and Uniware. The IRC fleets were racing for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, with two races to count. Yesterday's postponed race was also sailed. The Cruiser Classes continued their series for the week with one race.

IRC Class 1
Today was a champagne day for Belgium Carl Sabbe's Grand Soleil 40, Alegria, winning all three races in the increasingly boisterous conditions.
The first race was the closest, winning by three seconds from David Pinner's Haven Ports based Kiss, with Peter Jackson's Stimson 42 Icom Assassin third.
The second was a more comfortable win from the Frenchman, George Blondel's, Milo, with Dave Kemp's Burnham based The Geek! making an appearance in third after Icom Assassin trawled their kite and disappeared from the running.
The last win was from Peter Jackson's Stimson 42 Icom Assassin, who took line honours, but was beaten on handicap by less than half a minute by Alegria. David Pinner's X-35 Kiss took third place.

IRC Class 2
Race one in started blue skies with light, shifty wind, which increased to 21 knots by the end of the first beat; the most successful boats picking the wind shifts. One the start line, Marine Diffusion Dunkerque was ahead of Who's to No, followed by Xpedite and then Antix. The rest of the race was perfect sailing, testing the crews sailing ability. The Impala's fought for positions with Volante in the lead and Reaction trying to keep up in the stiff breeze. The course took the fleet into the bay and then back out to the Vattenfall racing mark. A lengthy spinnaker run finished the race with Richard Sparrow's J92, Who's to No, taking line honours to win, with the Impala's Volante taking second place and Scallywag II third.

The second race for the QEII cup in Class 2 started in winds of 22 to 24 knots. Who's to No got off to a good start and held the lead, with Antix and Marine Diffusion Dunkerque following closely behind. Reaction, Scallywag II and Volante were swapping positions throughout the race. The was an exciting spinnaker run to finish with Phillipe Bourgeois' Marine Diffusion Dunkerque taking line honours to win the race, Who's to No crossed second, with Xpedite and Antix crossing the line together. Final placings, after handicap, were Marine Diffusion Dunkerque first, John Allen's X302 Antix second and Paul Glover and Malcolm Flory's Volante third.

The final race of the day saw Marine Diffusion Dunkerque and Xpedite over the line with a black flag flying; therefore forcing them to retire. Antix was first to the windward mark, with Who's to No following closely behind, and then overtaking them on the tight spinnaker reach. Who's to No led the fleet for the rest of the race, taking line honours, but was beaten on handicap by Antix who took first place with Reaction, sailed by John Barrett and Paul Woodward, second.

Cruiser Class 5 & 6
Class 5 & 6 had close fetch from the start line to Stonar in a force 2 to 3. The fleet rounded Stonar and had a close reach past the West Quern buoy, and then up to Mercedes-Benz racing mark, during which time the wind veered and increased to 20 knots. The next leg was a fetch to the West Goodwin in quite choppy seas. From West Goodwin there was a beat to Deal Dolphin and a broad reach and a run to B2, Stonar, with a broad reach to bring the fleet home.

In Class 5, Lance Steven's Grand Soleil 50 Sydney II took line honours to win the race, Frank Martin's Dynamic 37 Surprise was second, beating Arthur Freeman's J92 Jazz on handicap, who came third.

Howard Bates' Westerly Fulmar Mallard won today's race in Class 6, beating S Jones' Mirage, who came second with Paul Parsons Sadler 32, Lady Jane, third.
The Apollo prize giving and a free raffle, sponsored by Harken, took place at the Royal Temple Yacht Club.
Best wishes,

The Vattenfall Ramsgate Week Committee Royal Temple Yacht Club, 6 Westcliff Mansions, Ramsgate, CT11 9HY, United Kingdom.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Tombstoning in Thanet

The youth of Thanet has dived off of our piers for as long as anyone I know can remember and although the harbour authority here in Ramsgate are employing several security guards to try and stop this it doesn’t seem to be working very well.

Of course at one time we had the marina swimming pool with associated diving facilities, the other picture is of the diving board at Herne Bay in which is how towns that didn’t have a marina solved the problem. Well at the moment we are spending a great deal of taxpayers money inadequately policing our youth, who after all only want to engage in a healthy sporting activity.

My question here is why not pay people to operate proper diving stations instead?

The video is of Broadstairs last week.





Click here for today’s BBC news report about this.

Click here for a few pictures of Ramsgate Harbour taken today, it was far too early for the youth of today to be about, I also noticed that the BBC article seems to have changed its emphasis from Thanet to Folkestone.

Vattenfall Ramsgate Week - Day 4

The first day of the Vattenfall Ramsgate Week's IRC Series was sailed in conjunction with the forth Cruiser Class Series race and was sponsored by Hornby. The two IRC fleets and two enthusiastic Cruiser fleets faced the challenge of variable winds dominated by a high pressure weather system.

Only one of the two scheduled IRC fleet races was possible, with the second race postponed until tomorrow, giving the prospect of a demanding three race day on both Friday and Saturday.

IRC Class 1
Icom Assassin started at the pin end of the line, Koko Kai in the middle and the rest of the IRC 1 fleet near the committee boat. Icom Assassin and Koko Kai had a good start, with good boat speed. Carl Sabbe's Grand Soleil 40 Alegria had to duck to stay below the line, with the X-35's, Kiss and Xwaves, being on course side at the committee end. On the windward leg, Koko Kai tacked on a long starboard tack towards the North Quern, followed by Kiss and Xwaves. Icom Assassin chose to short tack in the middle of the course with the remainder of the fleet following. Icom Assassin was first round the windward mark; Koko Kai, Xwaves and Kiss fought for the next position, with Kiss rounding first followed by Xwaves and then Koko Kai. The four leading boats caught the tidal gate and stayed in these placings until the finish. The remainder of the IRC 1 fleet tried valiantly to round the windward mark in light winds and against strong tides. Icom Assassin took line honours, with David Pinner's Kiss second and Xwaves third.
IRC Class 2
Richard Sparrow's J92 Who's to No, Antix, Marine Diffusion Dunkerque and Xpedite were able to break free from the start line which was difficult to leave behind against the tide and light winds. Xpedite rounded the weather mark first, with a close fought battle between Antix and Marine Diffusion Dunkerque to round second. The boats then sailed on a short spinnaker reach to the leeward mark. The final leg was hard on the wind with Julian Poupard's X-99 Xpedite taking line honours, John Allen's X-302 Antix second and Phillipe Bourgeois' First 34.7 Marine Diffusion Dunkerque third.

Cruiser Class 5 & 6
The race began with a northerly start to North Quern and then out to the No. 2 Channel buoy. There was an adverse tide up to the Channel buoy, with Jazz, Sydney II, Toucan, Rush deciding to go up the coast. The rest of the fleet tried to make it round the Channel buoy, but struggled to make it. The wind died, with the fleet sat between the Channel buoy and Pearson Gore. After a two hour wait, the wind filed in to 5 or 6 knots, taking the fleet to the Broadstairs Knoll buoy. Jazz was the first boat to round the mark, followed by Sydney II, Toucan, Rush, Surprise and Sunbird with the rest of the fleet following behind. There was a tidal gate, and those who hadn't made it round Broadstairs Knoll found it difficult to get back on the long reach to the North Quern. The early boats managed to finish with the tide.

In Class 5 Arthur Freeman's J92 Jazz took line honours, but was beaten by two seconds on handicap by Hugh Cripps' Impala 28 Sunbird, helmed by Frank Curtis from Crouch Yacht Club who took first place, with M Moorhead's Hunter Delta 25 Karana coming third.
In Class 6, S Jones' Mirage took line honours and the overall win for the race, with Kenneth Lees' Rush second place.

Best wishes,

The Vattenfall Ramsgate


Royal Temple Yacht Club, 6 Westcliff Mansions, Ramsgate, CT11 9HY, United Kingdom.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Thanet District Council’s Protocol on Blogging

Some of you will probably have noticed if you keep an eye on http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/ or regularly delve the TDC website that back on Thursday, 18th June there was an item about blogging on the standards committee meeting see http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000117/M00001611/$$$Agenda.doc.htm item 11. is a Draft Protocol on Blogging, it says “Report to follow” apparently it hasn’t followed yet, however councils are not noted for their speed of action so I will let that pass.

The “Minutes of the Standards Committee18 June 2009” have just appeared at http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000117/M00001611/$$$Minutes.doc.htm and here is what they have to say.

“R74 Draft Protocol on Blogging
The Monitoring Officer reported that a draft protocol was with Group Leaders. The protocol would be for guidance only. If a Councillor byeline is used on a blog then the code is engaged; so advice is required to blog within the Code of Conduct. A protocol will be produced after consultation with councillors.

Miriam Sarrafan reported that Harlow LA has produced a protocol which is in the public domain.

Resolved: the Monitoring Officer would report on progress at the next meeting in September.”

Anyway following the true Thanet spirit of plagiarism I suspect when they eventually appear there will be some similarities with what Harlow Council have produced, so here is what Harlow have to say, I should warn you that the following link takes you to a pdf file that may not agree with your computer’s digestion.

At http://www.harlow.gov.uk/pdf/communications%20protocol%20revised%20-%20item%209.pdf where they they say:

“2.4.4 Blogs
Staff are reminded that blogs are governed by the provisions of this protocol as they are any other medium of communication. Consequently any communication in work time regarding the Council or an individual’s role as an officer through the blog will be regarded as being a statement to the press or general public. Also Officers must consider whether any blog updated in a private capacity (that is in an Officer’s own time) contains information that could be considered to bring the Council (including Members and colleagues) into disrepute or divulging confidential information.

Members are entitled to maintain their own blogs and are responsible for their content. Any blog that is linked to the Council website must comply with the Council’s Code of Publicity Practice and media related legislation. During the purdah period prior to normal elections these blogs will be disconnected from the Council website. However at times of by-elections such connection may be retained depending on the individuals non-engagement in the election process. The blog author is responsible for ensuring compliance and for moderating comments posted on to the blog.”

I suppose my point here is that with the Labour group saying that this is a ploy to gag Labour councillors and the Conservative group saying it isn’t, why don’t they just publish the draft protocol on the internet so everyone knows where they stand.

Ramsgate Lifeboat open day this Sunday August 17th

As you see from the banner there is also a fishing boat race at 2pm, I will endeavour to get down there with my camera.

Vattenfall Ramsgate Week - Day 3

Today's racing was sponsored by Ramsgate Week's title sponsors, Vattenfall, the company responsible for the Thanet Wind Farm. The IRC fleet were treated to a long, 30 mile race, which took them on a ten mile run to a cardinal mark off the wind farm. All IRC fleets were competing for the Noot Cup. Once again, the wind was variable, ranging from five to fifteen knots and shifted in direction frequently.


IRC Class 1
In Class 1, Xwaves got off to a good start at the committee boat end of the line, with X-Tatic close behind. Peter Jackson's Icom Assassin started towards the pin end, with Koko Kai taking their start in the middle of the line. Icom Assassin rounded the first mark, two boat lengths ahead of Xwaves and Koko Kai, with the rest of the fleet following. The next leg was a ten mile run to South Thanet, a cardinal mark south of the Vattenfall wind farm. Icom Assassin and Xwaves went high and KoKo Kai lost some ground by sailing a deeper, more direct track. Icom Assassin got a new breeze, taking a horizon lead on the rest of the fleet. Xwaves extended their lead over Koko Kai, but two miles from the South Thanet Vattenfall Wind Farm mark, Koko Kai found the breeze and overtook Xwaves. Positions remained this way, with Icom Assassin's early lead further extended by a tidal gate to take line honours and the Link Cup. Xwaves took second place, with Ian Langston & Partners The Geek taking third place.


IRC Class 2
After a short beat to the Icom racing mark, the fleet set off on a ten mile downwind run to the South Thanet cardinal buoy, off the Vattenfall Wind Farm. The first Class 2 boat to round the mark was Richard Sparrow's J92 Who's to No, closely followed by, amongst others, Marine Diffusion Dunkerque, Expedite and Antix. Who's to No was first to the windward mark. A closely fought race between the Impala's Reaction and Scallywag II finally resulted in Reaction taking first place for the Shepherd Neame Trophy, followed by Who's to No second and Scallywag II third.


Noot Cup
The Noot Cup was the overall placing between the two IRC fleets. Peter Jackson's Icom Assassin (the fastest boat in the fleet) took first place, with Reaction, (one of the lowest rated boats in the fleet) sailed by John Barrett and Paul Woodward second and Mike and Jo Brand's X-35 Xwaves third.


IRC Mid Week Series Class Winners


IRC Class 1
Icom Assassin (Peter Jackson & Gary Shaffer)
Xwaves (Mike & Jo Brand)
Koko Kai (Alan Page)
IRC Class 2
Reaction (John Barrett & Paul Woodward)
Scallywag II (Peter Pearson & Barry Smith)
Antix (John Allen)


Cruiser Class 5 & 6
The Race Officer set a running start course down to Broadstairs Knoll, then to East Brake, down to Stonar and finish. At the start, the fleet split in two, with Magnum, Surprise, Toucan and Sunbird taking the inshore course, with Sydney II and the rest of the fleet going offshore. In the event, the offshore course paid off as they had more wind and Sydney 2 rounded Broadstairs Knoll first with the rest of the fleet following closely behind. Positions did not really change with a shy reach to East Break and a beat to Stonar. As the fleet was approaching Stonar, the tide changed making life difficult for the back end of the fleet.
In Class 5, Sydney II took line honours, but was beaten on handicap by Frank Martin's Surprise to win the Broadstairs Knoll trophy. Sydney II was second, followed by Arthur Freeman's J92 Jazz


In Class 6, Mirage took first place to win the Penguin Trophy with Rush in second place and Mallard third.


Trophies for the day and for the IRC Mid Week Series were presented at the Royal Temple Yacht Club by Mandy Broughton from Vattenfall.


Royal Temple Yacht Club, 6 Westcliff Mansions, Ramsgate, CT11 9HY, United Kingdom.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Vattenfall Ramsgate Week - Day 2

The second day of Vattenfall Ramsgate Week was sponsored by Jentex and attracted a competitive fleet of local and visiting boats.


The two IRC fleets sailed a short course. The race started in light north easterly winds, which became variable throughout the race until a southerly breeze filled in to bring the fleet home in glorious sunshine. The variable conditions and strong tides led to interesting racing and many boats had a share of the lead during the course of the race.


IRC Class 1
Peter Jackson's Icom Assassin had a good start in the Class 1 fleet. Kokokai launched their spinnaker out on the first leg and the rest of the fleet followed suit, but Mike Brand's Xwaves managed to get ahead and was first to the windward mark. The next leg started on a spinnaker run, with Icom Assassin and Tim Grigsby's X-Treme 25, X-Tatic carrying their asymmetrics. Xwaves sailed into a hole, with Icom Assassin overtaking and beating them to the next mark to lead the fleet home. The rest of the fleet suffered no wind and the placings remained the same for the remainder of the afternoon. X-Tatic caught Kokokai when the wind filled in at the end of the race, but didn't manage to catch up. Icom Assassin took line honours with Xwaves second and Kokokai third.


IRC Class 2
In Class 2, the Impala 28 Scallywag II was first to the weather mark, closely followed by Antix. Xpedite, Volante and Reaction reaching the mark at the same time. The next leg belonged to Antix and Expedite, both sailing well to Mark X. Volante, being the weather boat, skilfully managed to pick up the first of the south easterly breeze. Xpedite took line honours. It was a pleasure to see Phillipe Bourgeois 's Marine Diffusion Dunqurkue on the water, who had sailed from France the previous night and despite some slick sail handling, were unfortunate with the unpredictable wind early in the race. It was the Impala's that stole the day, with Volante (Paul Glover and Malcolm Flory) coming first on handicap, and Scallywag II and Reaction taking second and third place respectively.


Cruiser Class 5 & 6
The weather forecast today gave the race officer a difficult task; the wind was forecast to begin northerly, diminish and then swing round to the south. Knowing this, the race officer for the Cruiser fleet set a course down to B2, then to Rally Design and back via B2 with a loop to finish. His intention being to get round B2 before the tide and wind changed. This however was not to be, and the fleet arrived at B2 with only a few boats - Sydney II, Surprise and Magnum - managing to creep onto the bank before the tide changed. The fleet was stationary for two hours, but eventually the wind set in from the south and all boats got out of the tidal stream, either along the coast or the bank. By now Sydney II, Surprise and Toucan had rounded Rally Design and were heading home. The fleet then enjoyed some good racing for the remainder of the afternoon.


In Cruiser Class 5, Lance Stevens' Grand Soleil 50, Sydney II, took line honours, but was beaten on handicap by Surprise (Frank Martin), who took first place, with Arthur Freeman's J92, Jazz taking second place and Mick Ward's First 31.7, Toucan taking third.
S Jones' First Class 10, Mirage, took line honours in Cruiser Class 6, winning the race with Rush (Kenneth Lees) second and Mallard (Howard Bates) third.


Royal Temple Yacht Club, 6 Westcliff Mansions, Ramsgate, CT11 9HY, United Kingdom.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Birchington in the spot light.

I took a few snaps of Birchington this morning about 8am I now realise that I should have got there much earlier as there were far too many people and vehicles about getting in the way of the buildings.

I have a reprint of a Birchington book published by me for the first time coming out this week, more about that later, so I have Birchington very much on my mind at the moment.

Having just read my last post which seems to me in retrospect to be a bit of a chaotic ramble induced by trying to use the council’s website to some purpose, I can honestly say the pictures of Birchington aren’t much better, things getting I my way got on my nerves, here are the links to them.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id11.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id12.htm

Ha, but at least I finally got the crud out of my camera, broke all the rules and used methanol at first I thought I had finished it off as I used too much, but eventually discovered a very small amount that evaporates really quickly did the trick.

TDCIT and a few minor political spats on the blogs.

Cllr Clive Heart and Cllr Simon Moores have been making their views felt here http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2009/08/labour-shadow-team-comments-questions.html and here http://birchington.blogspot.com/2009/08/true-cost-of-it.html#comments about the cost of council IT.

All a bit party political, which from the point of view of the ordinary floating voter like myself it is a bit hard to grasp.

It usually boils down to all of Thanet’s problems are blamed on the local Tory administration by the Labour lot and the national Labour administration by the Tory lot.

When it comes to IT I think between them successive local and national administrations have stitched together so many rules and regulations as to make use of the internet as a means of communicating information to us, the local electorate, well nigh impossible.

They have also made it almost impossible to use recent assets that are available free to both business and private users.

As a Ramsgate shopkeeper the internet is petty much the only way I can access the council, when they are open so am I and their office in Ramsgate only allows me telephone access to officers that I could more easily phone from home.

This means that over the last few years I have used the council’s website and email server as a primary means of trying to find out what they are up to, frankly the experience hasn’t been a good one. If they had been a business I was trying to use, once I had discovered just how dreadful their IT was, I would have just used one of their competitors.

I suppose it was about 1998 that the minimum IT skills for anyone in my business moved from being able to send an email to being able to publish text and images to the internet.

It seems to have been at about this time that council officers outgoing internet activities were restricted to sending emails.

Delving the TDC website this morning one doesn’t start with a good impression, the search box, that doesn’t work properly, doesn’t display as it should in IE8 but floats on top of the council’s logo.

The youf of today had asked me about the night bus recently, I noticed an article about this on the TDC homepage. The article says the bus runs from 11pm to 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. The youf’s question being the latest one could get from Margate to Ramsgate, for a couple of quid, post party.

I clicked on the article to find out more about the night bus scheme, the link in it which takes you to a page on the TDC website that shows the timetable from 11 pm to midnight, not to 3 am as expected however there is a link there to the bus operators site for more info however if the info is there it certainly eluded me.

This is just an example of what I mean it equates to going onto my website clicking on a buy it now button and finding nowhere to pay.

I put this sort of thing down to the council officer that wrote the article not being able to post it directly, instead it goes of to the TDCIT department, gets posted with missing information, no one checks it as no one in the IT department would know what was wrong with it anyway.

Another example is that here we are with two major events this week Ramsgate week and Broadstairs Folk Week, information that is well hidden on the TDC website instead of splashed all over their homepage as one would expect.

At some point in the last ten years we passed, probably without knowing it, the point where the office worker that couldn’t use the internet reasonably well became unemployable.

In commerce and industry the goal posts are moving all the time, I speak from the relatively dated world of secondhand bookselling, in the shop this morning, the shops email accounts have been checked for spam, customers emails have been answered, Ebay, Amazon and ABE orders have been processed as have those from our own website.

Customers using the internet to buy books have used, credit cards, paypal, ABE, cheques and Amazon to pay us, all of this has been checked and the book orders packed for posting.

A new local title has been added to our website and linked up to a paypal “buy it now button” the fact of the matter is that were we not internet savvy the bookshop would have gone bust years ago.

Vattenfall Ramsgate Week - Day 1



Sunshine and a steady 15 knots of breeze greeted the competitors for the first day of Vattenfall Ramsgate Week. The week began with a mini coastal series, taking place from Monday to Wednesday for IRC Classes 1 and 2, with one race per day. Cruiser Classes are treated to one coastal race a day from Monday to Saturday, with courses taking them along the scenic coastline stretching from Sandwich to Botany Bay. Sponsors for the day are Aktrion and Business Computer Solutions

IRC Class 1

IRC Class 1 got off to a good start. Peter Jackson on Assassin took the seaward route and was first to the Deal Bank mark. Kokokai, the First 44.7, was four boat lengths behind. Deal Bank was a bare away and set, by which time the breeze was up to 20 knots, gusting 25 South Westerly. It was an exciting close reach from Deal Bank to Deal Dolphin and a broad reach spinnaker run from Deal Dolphin to Rally Design. After the Rally Design mark, the X35 Xwaves was the only boat that managed to hold their spinnaker to the next mark. It was a close reach to finish where Xwaves flew their spinnaker and closed the gap with Kokokai. By this time the wind was up to 30 knots. Kokokai took line honours in the three hour race. Kokokai won the race, with Xwaves coming a close second on corrected time and Assassin third.

IRC Class 2

IRC Class 2 began the race with a six mile foul tide beat. The first boat to round the windward mark was John Allen's X302 Antix, closely followed by the X99 Xpedite, with Reaction third. Class 2 enjoyed a long spinnaker run along the Sandwich Coast line. The race was won on corrected time by the Impala 28, Reaction sailed by Paul Woodward and John Barratt. Antix was second, with Scallywag II third.

Cruiser Classes 5 & 6

Both Cruiser Class 5 with the use of spinnakers prohibited and Class 6 with no sail restriction sailed the same course for the first day of Vattenfall Ramsgate Week. The course took them inshore to Stonar, before heading south down to Deal Dolphin. The wise half of the fleet decided to take inshore to take advantage of the slacker tide, splitting the fleet. There was a three knot tide at the Downs, and some boats round it hard to round the mark. The final leg took the fleet the inshore route to Rally Design, back down to Stonar and finish. The wind, at times, was up gusting up to 25 knots, which was more than forecast and there were some breakages in the fleet.

In Class 5 Lance Stevens' Grand Soleil 50 Sydney II took line honours to win the race, with Frank Martin's Dynamic 37 Suprise taking second place and Hugh Cripps Impala 28 Sunbird taking third.

Class 6 was won by Kenneth Lees Sigma 35 Rush, with Mirage and Mallard taking second and third respectively.

Competitors can enjoy the Happy Hour everyday in the club house from 18:00 to 19:00, courtesy of Shepherd Neame. There's live music tonight in the with 'One Love'.
Best wishes,

The Vattenfall Ramsgate Week Committee

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Broadstairs Folk Week Thanet District Council miss web publicity again and a few other thoughts for today.

Folk Week stared yesterday and nothing on the council’s homepage, I am sure the council will have loads of reasons and excuses as to why it isn’t there, my own thoughts are perhaps because it isn’t in Margate.

Here is the link to The Broadstairs Folk Week website www.broadstairsfolkweek.org.uk it was all a bit quiet when I went over there earlier this morning, I will try and take some pictures over the weekend.
I tried to take a few of the market in Ramsgate yesterday but it was just too busy.

Talking to one of the chaps that clean the seafront and streets in Ramsgate this morning he raised a couple points that interested me. One was that there were several broken bottles in the pavilion area and the other was that several people had lit bar-b-cues under the part of the pavilion that faces the sea and is an open shelter.
Obviously both things are dangerous and need addressing in some way.



Labour Shadow Team comments & questions at Thursday evenings TDC Cabinet meeting.

INTRODUCTION - LABOUR GROUP LEADER - Cllr CLIVE HART

It was quite a short agenda at Thursday evenings TDC Cabinet meeting but I was pleased to see an excellent turn out by our Shadow Cabinet team. We were also joined by a very conscientious Cllr. Alan Poole who had serious concerns about open space in his Moses Montifiore ward. As always our members were ready to both assist and challenge whenever each proved necessary.

Cllr. Clive Hart - Phone: 01843 298770

Item 5 POTENTIAL ASSET DISPOSALS FOR 2009/2010 - Cllr. PETER CAMPBELL & Cllr. ALAN POOLE
Cllr. Campbell raised concerns about the substance and structure of a proposed report on the 99 year lease for Ramsgate Maritime Museum that would cover legal issues around the long length of time and whether it actually amounted to disposal.

Cllr. Campbell also raised concerns about land at Effingham Street in Ramsgate in relation to access for the fire service and provision of possible disabled parking for residents using local facilities.

Cllr. Peter Campbell - Phone: 01843 585738

Cllr. Alan Poole said he was pleased that TDC had finally seen sense and removed land at Montefiore from the process whilst the village green application was being discussed. He said it was green open space used by the community who had not only clearly spoken but also produced several petitions. Cllr. Poole was insistent that TDC should have withdrawn the open space from the list as soon as the village green application was made and that it will have to remove it completely when village green status is finally given.

Cllr. Alan Poole - Phone: 01843 602594

Item 6 SELF FINANCING CAPITAL INVESTMENT AT HARTSDOWN LEISURE CENTRE - Cllr. IRIS JOHNSTON

Cllr. Iris Johnston pointed to earlier plans to create such a facility back at the beginning of the decade and said she was concerned at how long it had taken to get to this stage and that it would now presumably cost considerably more.

Cllr. Johnston also asked about consultants costs which were reported to be £3,960 shared equally by TDC and Thanet Leisure Force and she also asked for a joint presentation to members from Leisure Force and Alliance Leisure.

Most importantly, Cllr. Johnston raised serious concerns about TDC being the guarantor for a Thanet Leisure Force loan of £1.62 million. There was a long debate between council officers concerning a previous legal case but eventually members were finally assured that all was in order as far as the Hartsdown project was concerned.

Cllr. Iris Johnston - Phone: 01843 299207
Item 8 UPDATED ICT STRATEGY & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY - Cllr. PETER CAMPBELLDespite promising to be brief, Conservative Cabinet member Cllr. Simon Moores gave a long and very laborious speech on this item. In it he also tried to make a political point about Government and the mismanagement of costs concerning IT systems.

Cllr. Peter Campbell also promised to be brief and he was. He simply pointed to 4.1.1 in the report being discussed which said 'The details of associated costs of the ICT Strategy have yet to be identified'.

Cllr. Campbell asked if Cllr. Moores had anything to say about a report which clearly showed his scheme was as yet uncosted?

There was a very long silence before Cllr. Moores fumbled together a feeble excuse of a reply!

Cllr. Peter Campbell - Phone: 01843 585738


Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 2RW.

Ed as I said the other picture of St Michael & St Bishoy Coptic Church in Northdown Road, I know this is a bit of a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour group and I have asked the Conservative group to come up with something on these meetings but no luck so far.

SUPERB RENOVATION of St Michael & St Bishoy Coptic Church in Northdown Road

The outstanding renovation of this building was achieved with funding from English Heritage.

The church building now looks absolutely marvelous. The standard of workmanship appears very high and the end result is a gleaming newly renovated asset for Cliftonville. All credit to the church for giving us a wonderfully refurbished backdrop to Northdown Road.

Cllr. Clive Hart

Please find attached 2 x pictures of St Michael & St Bishoy Coptic Church in Northdown Road, Cliftonville (formerly St Stephen's).

Ed I got a bit behind yesterday two emails for publication from Clive Heart this is the first as he sent two pictures I will use one for each post.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Pictures of Northdown Road Cliftonville taken this morning

These were all taken between about 8.30 am and about 9.30 am today, frankly there didn’t appear to be as many shops closed as I expected which is a good thing.

On the minus side it seems to be just on the edge of a place you can definitely call a shopping centre and one you can’t. By this I mean once you discount shops that are not selling tangible goods, by this I mean, estate agents, insurance brokers, solicitors etc there is not that much left.

Click on the links to look at the pictures.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/northdownroad

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/northdownroad/id3.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/northdownroad/id4.htm

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

A few hundred pictures of Ramsgate thaken this morning and the traditional English seaside coffee ceremony.


I tried to do what I did in Margate yesterday wander round the main part of the town centre and the seafront taking snaps, I was about 10 mins later starting at 6.40 and I am afraid when I got to the Belgium Bar I succumbed to a cup of coffee at 7.35.

You have to appreciate they import, roast and grind their own coffee beans, I am afraid sitting chatting to a few people also having their coffee it was 8.10 when I got going again.

So yes I did finish later, I say in my own defence that had I found a decent coffee in a pleasant part of Margate yesterday at around that time, the same would have happened.

The pictures are published in chronological order and I have marked 8.30 the time I left Margate yesterday.

I thought today would be the fairest on Margate as our part of the town centre where I started has its residential rubbish collection this morning so always looks at its worst.

As far as the empty shops in Ramsgate go they are fast running out, I will explain more about this later in the day when I add to this post.

What I am most interested in here is trying to discover why Ramsgate is improving so rapidly while businesses in Margate seem to be closing at such an alarming rate.

My bookshop is right on the edge of Ramsgate town centre i.e. the worst part of the town from a trading point of view, I have spent most of the last two years trading with the large shop next door now Costcutter, empty, the shop on the other side of me was empty for about 10 years until fairly recently, as you can see from the pictures this is no longer the case and I wonder why.
Click on the links to look at the pictures I will try and get round to deleting the worst ones.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts5/

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts5/id3.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts5/id4.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts5/id5.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts5/id6.htm

As usual the pictures were pasted directly into an automatic web-publishing program, Trellix web, manufactured in 2000 it is now rather dated software, but at least I know roughly how to use it, the whole publishing exercise took me less than 5 mins.

The camera used was the same one as yesterday a Ricoh Caplio GX manufactured in 2004, it is now a rather dated piece of equipment, but at least I know what most of the buttons on it do.
The things I find most useful about this particular camera is that it is very small so it fits in the pocket and it looks pretty innocuous, more like an old 35mm compact bought from the charity shop than a digital camera.
Some info about some of the closed shops that I have gleaned recently click on the link to view http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts5/id8.htm

Wind farm and dingy sailing.

Sorry some of the pictures are a little hazy but they are of things that are a long way away, they were taken at the weekend click on the link to view.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id9.htm

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Traditional English tea ceremony in Margate and a few hundred pictures of the town this morning.


The loud rattling of a roadwork’s generator in Margate High Street attracted my attention, as someone with a background in engineering I can assure you that the only thing connected to this large diesel generator is the electric kettle on top of it.

The workmen are engaged in the traditional English tea making ceremony, an important part of which consists of watching the kettle so as to delay the water in it from boiling.
Click on the picture above to enlarge it and you will see what I mean.

Click on the links for the pictures of Margate all taken this morning between 6.30 am an 8.30 am.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id3.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id4.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id5.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id6.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts4/id7.htm

I will endeavour to delete the worst of them later, please feel free to use any you like in any way you like I would appreciate a mention of http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/ so others get a chance to view them but this is in no way compulsory.