Sunday, 20 June 2010

Sunday Ramble

At this time of year, if the weather is ok, I just don’t get time for this but this morning with the forecast being rain and it being rather cold and windy first thing I didn’t venture out with my camera.

As it is Thanet’s microclimate seems to be producing much better was than forecast, but I am now on the roller coaster of getting up children for church and then later there will be a party to take them to, so the day is going to be fairly fragmented.

Last Sunday I was up early and having bought some plants and china at a boot fair, this left my son an me, at about 7am, somewhere inland near to Dover and Deal wondering where to get breakfast.

At that time on Sunday the only places we could think of were all in Ramsgate, so we headed back, English breakfast toast and coffee at the Belgian bar for two, just over £10, see pictures at

Rather an unusual sign in the loo too.

I also noticed that The Ramsgate Society have repainted the cast iron pillar at the landward end of the east pier, same page of pictures.

Followed by a walk around the harbour, same page of pictures, it was good to see the Sundowner nearly ready to go back in, but not so good to the King George IV Maritime Heritage Pontoons empty.

I then went in search of the last historic vessel to be chased off the pontoons by the council, The Cutter Emanuel, and eventually tracked her down on a quiet secure mooring in Sandwich, picture above click to enlarge.

This is realty a sad case of what happens when local government ceases to be local in any real sense and communication fails with the local community, so that the function of our elected representatives ceases to be ensuring that paid council officers produce policy that roughly coincided with local peoples wishes and instead one is governed by an elected cabinet with interests focused on other parts of the local area.

In all of this Ramsgate has become neglected, its residents misunderstood and the town’s assets appear to be regarded primarily as a source of funding for pet projects, in parts of the local area where interests are focused, these being located mostly either where cabinet members happen to either work or reside and on the area around the council chamber where they all have to meet.

Back in the days when interests were more focused around Ramsgate, The Cutter Emanuel’s owner was asked by the trust running the council funded museum to display this historic vessel in a prominent part of the harbour.

The deal was that a mooring that is difficult, lacks facilities, is subject to problems from late night revellers and is frankly useless for any commercial purpose, was offered – under various conditions – as a free mooring to historic vessels.

As far as I can see the owners of these vessels for the most part thought that they were doing local people a big favour by being there.

One an ex-lifeboat was also offered freely to the local sea cadets for their use, over a period of time council officers seem to have lost site of the limitations uses of this mooring and the benefits to the town of Ramsgate.

Eventually the council and councillors decided that these vessels would have to pay partial mooring fees, something that made this mooring one of the most expensive in the UK for them when one takes into account the moorings problems. All but one vessel, The Cutter Emanuel, left the mooring, other places were keen to have the attraction of the historic vessels and the Sea Cadets lost their main vessel.

The most recent act from the council was to tell the owner of Emanuel that he would have to pay what amounted almost to full mooring fees, so he has left and gone to a quiet cheap secure mooring, where no one can view his historic vessel.

The pontoon is of course now empty so the council are getting no fees at all from it, I don’t think there is any particular malice intended from the council here, just a complete failure to understand the situation, both in terms the problems and limitations relating to the pontoon or that the owners of the historic vessels were doing something benefice to the local community, that far exceeded anything that the council could get out of the pontoon, in terms of money to help fund their pet projects.

Anyway enough of that for a bit the next lot of pictures are of the abandoned hoverport at Pegwell, the way nature is taking back the large areas of tarmac and concrete is reminiscent of some futuristic movie where most of the world’s population have been killed by some catastrophe and nature is reasserting her grip pictures at

Then on to a few pictures of Ramsgate, some of them show the excellent work done by the council’s parks and gardens department.

Full circle now, where do you get breakfast at 8am on a Saturday morning in Broadstairs? More to the point as I had already had sufficient breakfast, good quality coffee and a croissant for my wife?

The answer is The Albion Hotel, pictures at two large very high quality coffees and croissant around £5, cooked breakfast also available from 7am weekdays and 8am weekends, something I will be sure to try soon.

No chance of Margate’s big event for me today and I know some of you think I put too many pictures on the internet, but if any of you know where I can find more than they ten or so I found of yesterday please let me know.


  1. Loss of "Emanuel" is a real tragedy for Ramsgate heritage waterfront.

    Its owner took seriously, the "display" aspect of the heritage mooring, provided a board of explanation for the boat and explained where it had gone if not moored up.

    How long before "Cervia" follows it?

  2. TDC has done its outmost to discourage any heritage boats in the harbour look at the debacle over the Sundowner and the New Brittanic. Unfortunately for the people of Thanet & Ramsgate it is all about money and how they can get their grubbly little hands on it to the detriment of everything else.


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