I did manage to get out for a short walk yesterday and a very short one this morning so there are some pictures.
Looking at the pictures of the newly restored eastcliff bandstand you can see that nearly all of the copper band around it has now been stolen, a quick look on the web suggests you would probably get about a £1 a pound for copper from a scrap merchant.
I don’t know about anyone else but it seems pretty incredible to me that this should happen in such a prominent and overlooked site, it’s a depressing thought that our once proud town can’t even sport a copper strip round its bandstand.
I don’t really know what the solution is here, more CCTV, some sort of private police force like the one I encountered at Westwood Cross, using materials that have no scrap value.
I think much of the problem here in the eastcliff area of Ramsgate is that it is sliding into being an area of poor and very densely populated housing, some of this is due to the long term state of denial about what could be viably and safely built on the Pleasurama site and some down to poor planning control over residential conversions.
Weak policing and lax late night licensing means that the area is not so pleasant to live in and eventually it is going to wind up with a population of those who can’t get accommodation elsewhere.
I would imagine that if local government took decisive action now it would probably be possible to stop it from becoming a run down area without having to find massive funding.
On to the rest of the pictures, the very large shop opposite mine that was the Carpet Sale Centre, now empty and with planning permission is in for the upper floors to be converted to residential and the ground floor into smaller shops.
I hope that they have the funding to get on with this, I find that I am becoming surrounded by more and more empty and progressively derelict buildings.
The new carpet shop that opened further down the road is moving to where the cycle shop has recently closed.
Work is going on to restore more of the royal Parade balustrade which is good, however a fundamental problem with this structure is that when the major strengthening work was done to it, I think about 15 years ago the waterproofing wasn’t addressed properly.
This means that there are ongoing problems with bricks bursting due to the effect of freezing and many of the arches are either very damp or in some cases wet.
I was fascinated by the crane being used to lift the propellers from the slipway, as you see it sits on the back of a lorry and folds up very small, the operator controls it with a remote control, much like a TV.
Both of the chaps working on the cliff façade were wearing hard hats today, I suppose that’s probably a case of they will be cussing me right up to the point that something heavy falls on one of their heads, then perhaps contemplating the rest of ones life with severe brain damage will put a different flavour to their thoughts.
What worries me still though is that I don’t believe this was a quality repair and looking at the damp stains on the other panels it is obvious that there will be further problems of this nature.
Back to the bandstand for a moment it doesn’t look as though the restoration of the pillars that support the roof is lasting that well, a problem here is that people always seem to underestimate the problems associated with our exposed seafront conditions.
Here is the link to the pictures http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts110/id15.htm