Snow outside today, much to my children’s delight and yes we are warm enough indoors, have enough to eat, a reasonable internet connection provides more indoor media/leisure activates than we have ever had before.
Apart from now on the laptop my leisure has mostly been reading, my airship comparisons last week caused me to revisit the author Nevil Shute whose autobiography “Slide Rule” covers the construction of the R100 and the R101, he was the stress calculator for the R100 team so this is very much an inside view.
His novels, now a bit dated, were some of the first grown up books I read, so the reread is as much a glimpse at my own past through his books as the enjoyment of reading them.
I have just done one of my minor chores, putting up the recent planning applications on my press release site, I couldn’t put up the council’s recent documents as this part of their website isn’t working at the moment.
Still on the subject of the council, there is a new press release on their website about the new Ramsgate swimming pool, see http://www.thanet.gov.uk/news/latest_press_releases/new_swimming_pool_plans.aspx
I can’t find the new plans for the pool on the council’s website, this may be because they are on the bit of the council’s website that isn’t working at the moment or it may be that they just haven’t published them.
It is quite likely that this important document about a major Ramsgate project is only available if you go to Margate if you want to view it.
I don’t seem to have got many of the council’s press releases for publication this week, there is another one in their website saying that work has been completed on the Royal Victoria Pavilion, see http://www.thanet.gov.uk/news/latest_press_releases/pavilion_work_finishes.aspx
This is another of those cryptic messages that come out of the council as the outside of the building has been repaired and painted but no mention is made of the inside.
I think one is supposed to assume that the inside is in someway usable and ready for a new tenant, I suppose this could be the case, but this isn’t what I think. My understanding is that the inside is mostly a semi derelict mess.
The council leased this building back in the 60s on a long lease to one of the firms that was eventually swallowed up by the Rank Organisation, what has happened to the inside over the years, when you consider that it is a grade 2 listed building is pretty bad.
I can’t find any planning history for the building, so I don’t know if what has happened to it over the years was done with or without the council’s consent.
The council has obviously come to some agreement with the Rank Organisation about repairs to the pavilion, perhaps only to decorate the outside, it is often difficult to know with the council.
I think though the underlying problem here is not about scoring points off the council but trying to find some sort of way forward with the building, much of this revolves around what would work in this part of Ramsgate.
At the moment I think another bar, café, restaurant complex would probably only put pressure on the existing ones, in what are difficult trading times, I suppose our best hope here is for some sort of part grant funded leisure complex, based around either, sport, arts or history, very difficult when Margate seems to be at the front of the queue for this sort of funding.
Pleasurama is still progressing slowly, the HSE have now conceded that there are some problems with the cliff façade and intend to investigate them, once again I find myself in the vague situation that occurs with government departments.
By this I mean you make a series of efforts to get them to take some sort of action about a problem but it is not possible to extract any sort of time frame for when these actions will occur or any accurate details about what those actions will be.
I think that probably the main danger with the work on the Pleasurama site relates to what work is done before the condition of the cliff is properly determined. The worst situation, I think, would be to get part of the building there and then for the cliff to be examined and for it to be discovered to be in a condition where the building can’t be built economically.
If this happens we could be in for another thirteen years of a derelict site, what I can’t understand is why the developer is prepared to continue to spend money on this site without first determining both the flood risk and the risk of the cliff collapsing.
The whole business of empty council owned sites is a problem in Ramsgate that causes the town considerable problems, this is made so very much worse by the council’s reluctance to say what is being done about these sites.
The Maritime Museum, pavilion, Pleasurama, Westcliff Hall, Albion House, Eagle Café, tourist information office, town partnership office are the obvious ones, perhaps there are many others, unfortunately it is not easy to tell.
Harvey’s fish restaurant has reopened as Jack's Cantina see picture above, unusual external colours.