Thursday, 8 July 2010

Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

Having had a minor operation a week ago, I think that I must have had rather a lot of anaesthetic, as I haven’t slept as much as I have during the last week since I was a teenager.

Anyway it seems to be wearing off a bit today, fortunately it’s my day off and I have got out taken a few pictures and spoken to a few people, so some old news and some new rumour.

First the Pleasurama surface drainage pipe is nearing completion and looks to be finished before the height of the summer season.

As you can see from the pictures it still looks as though sewage is leaking into the inner harbour, I have no way of confirming this

As I said before the main seafront car park has now been reduced to about twenty spaces, in the current economic situation I can’t think of anything more dreadful that could be done to bring the town to it’s knees.

Trading as I do in what I consider to be one of the worst sites in the town centre, in terms of economic viability for anything much I was concerned to see that The Portobello Restaurant in Harbour Parade Ramsgate has gone bust, I have always considered this to be one of the best trading sites in the town, I have to admit that I don’t see this as a good omen.

Word on the street is that the council have made moves towards granting The Preston Steam Trust security of tenure for The Clock House and are going to make the King George IV Maritime Heritage Pontoon available for heritage vessels again.

This is unsubstantiated and as ever with our council and matters that have an important effect on Ramsgate, it is always the people of Ramsgate that are the last to know anything.

Once again there are two boats being repaired on the numbers one and three slipways, something that seems to make a bit of a nonsense of the plans to close numbers two and three slipways.

Finally one of the late night takeaways a few doors down from my bookshop seems to have closed, I am not sure if this is for refurbishment or if it has gone.

Click on the link for the pictures


  1. Michael you can take heart from the 'Training in Thanet' post on Village Voice. At least the planning committee are receiving training. I am not sure whether they visited the high streets and see what an impact WX has had but I guesss they had no choice to allow it. I am sure you can suggest the itinery for their next training day trip.

    ps I hope the op did the trick.

  2. Michael, glad you are on the road to recovery.
    Any impact of Westwood X is because the 'Customers' want to go there. If the town centres can take trade from Westwood they will have proved themselves to be providing what the people want. If they lose trade to Westwood, they are obviously not. Why should town centre shops expect people to shop in them when they patently want to go elsewhere?

  3. 13.38, two words for you;

    "Free Parking"

    I think Michael, and the rest of Thanet towns small shopkeepers want a level playing field.

  4. A few thoughts on the comments, firstly yes I think the op has done the trick.

    With the bankruptcy on Harbour Parade, I would say a major factor here is the Pleasurama site, I would think that temporary use of this council owned prime site for parking and leisure, while the ongoing problems related to cliff stability and flood risk hang over it, would have made a difference to anyone trying to trade in this area.

    I don’t suppose the closure of the maritime museum, the absence of the events that the museum was going to hold there (but didn’t as the council wouldn’t give them security of tenure) helped, as I would think the evection of the historic vessels from harbour parade hardly boosted business there.

    There is also the ongoing drain smell there, something else that I don’t suppose helps people trading there.

    It’s a bit sad really, something that one would expect in one of the most backward under developed countries, the sewer leaking into the marina, local government supporting a development in a high risk flood zone without a flood risk assessment, repairs to the cliff that were obviously defective, paid for by the council that now seem to prefer some pretence that there were no defects.

    As far as the parking goes, I think that the days of free parking for shopping in Thanet, apart from supermarket parking are over, what I would like to see is properly managed traffic and parking both in the towns and at Westwood Cross.

    When I first started trading in this part of King Street I was surrounded by free on street parking, all now removed for apparent heath and safety reasons, perhaps with the new government we will get some of it back.

    Ironically I don’t think any of it was anything like as dangerous as the worst parts of the area around where the new Tesco will be in Ramsgate.

  5. i always bought the family down for the power boat racing and a visit to the maritime museum, extended family used to come down and enjoy it, and in the recent past for the spring festival and ships open days.
    There is nothing to come down for anymore, the town looks bedraggled and the harbour looks like an open sewer.

  6. I for one would like to to shop in town. But I rarely do. This is because I object to the overpriced parking.

  7. 'Free Parking'? what is that? Westwood Cross pays for their carparks with added business rates. If you have 'Free' parking in town centres it has to be policed to ensure that traders and their staff do not park all day. Result 'a cost' That cost would be payed for by the residents of Thanet on their rates. Why should we residents pay to subsidise shop keepers? Of course traders could offer to refund our parking costs, and put a couple of pence on their prices, which is what happens at westwood

  8. Oh, and incidentally, prices of parking in thanet are amongst the lowest in the south east !!! (just for clarity I do not work for the council)

  9. Whilst it has a long way to go still I was surprised at how well the regeneration of Hastings has progressed ... 7years ago it was a worse dive than Margate and now it is thriving. Its old town puts all our efforts in the shade no doubt helped by a new shopping centre placed centrally in the "new" town. It was a pleasure to walk around the old town, lovely restaurants and cafes, speciality shops, full of character and for a weekday exceptionally busy. Best of all it felt safe no yobs hanging about, no viscious looking dogs accompanying equally viscious looking owners. We spent several hours wandering, eating and appreciating what has been done to bring old architecture back to life. Why can other towns succeed when Thanet fails miserably?
    Glad you are now feeling better your presence was missed, local banter thats intelligent not cringe making!


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