The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe is probably the best known of titles of the books, and in some cases the films that comprise C S Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.
Putting my bookselling hat on for a moment, this is one of those series where the order the books were written in isn’t necessarily the order you read them in, in fact like so many things that seem simple, in this case the order to read a series of children’s books in, the subject is open to dispute, see the Wikipedia article about it, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Narnia
Anyway the third or the fifth book in this series and the third film is called “The Voyage of The Dawn Treader” and The Dawn Treader is a sailing ship that will be in Ramsgate Harbour for most of next week.
Well actually this is not exactly the case, the ship is really a replica of “The Matthew” that first sailed to America in 1497, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_(ship) this, the replica sailed to America in 1997 and was later modified to being the “The Dawn Treader” and was used for the film.
Well I suppose you are beginning to get the idea here, I think the point here is that a ship of international significance will be in Ramsgate Harbour for most of next week.
In some places the council would have made a big fuss about this, it would have been a major tourist event, however looking at the council’s various tourism related websites, they seem to have missed, forgotten about this event, perhaps it has been the subject of a government cut.
I have been trying to get across this problem to councillor Simon Moores by commenting on his blog, see http://birchington.blogspot.com/2011/03/beach-races-2011.html I think the difficulty here is about making the best of what you have actually got.
In other words we are already paying for the council, to either have or contract out numerous websites to promote Thanet events. We are also paying for a whole tourism department in the council and because of this, these various websites, are the obvious place that anyone looking for an event in this area would look for it. This produces a situation where if an event doesn’t appear there prominently then people are inclined to think that there is no event.
This is partly about trust, a difficult commodity to find on the internet, where there are so many rouges already promoting things that don’t exist, something that makes people cautious and inclined to believe official websites like the council’s.
The most prominent of the council’s various webpages is their main homepage and this has a section called “Events”, now a normal person could be forgiven for thinking that the main Thanet events would be listed there and as the three of the ten events listed there are walks round one of the local churchyards in April, May and June most people I think would consider that things in Thanet are going to be a bit, well dead, for the next few months.
The fact that today there are beach motorcycle races in Margate isn’t mentioned there, nor is next weeks Dawn Treader visit, suggests an element of confusion within the council.
Staying with Thanet Life for a mo, Simon’s latest post is about the earthquake in Japan, see http://birchington.blogspot.com/2011/03/high-tide.html and as I am forbidden mention of the P word there I will add some thoughts here. The major loss of life in Japan because of the earthquake, has actually been caused by the resultant tidal wave and not the earthquake itself.
Here in Kent we have a history of occasional earthquakes, fortunately much less significant or frequent than those in Japan, I think the last Kent earthquake of any significance was in 2007.
Historically we have had larger earthquakes and when one delves back into the early-confused period there is mention of catastrophe from associated tidal waves, legend has it that Isle of Lomea destroyed by earthquake, the remains of this fertile island part of the estate of the Earl of Goodwin is thought now to be the Goodwin Sands.
What we do most certainly have in this part of Kent is a history of catastrophic sea damage by tidal surge storms, the last big one of these was about 60 years ago and the loss of life was counted in the hundreds not the thousands. Update, please excuse the error 2,400 people were killed in the 1953 tidal surge storm.
All of the subsequent buildings on the foreshore take this into account and have to have flood risk assessments, this results in the Turner Contemporary, or the new building on Granville Marina in Ramsgate being raised up and behind more substantial sea defences than one would expect.
You can’t predict what will happen on any given part of our foreshore without a flood risk assessment, the exception to this rule is the Royal Sands Development on the old Pleasurama site in Ramsgate.
The Environment Agency say there should be a flood risk assessment, see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/ea/ but the council say they have ticked the boxes and there won’t be one, as though fulfilling a series of bureaucratic rules will somehow hold back the sea.
One of this week’s great spats in the council that has leaked out onto the local blogs, has been about sandwich’s and drinks after full council meetings. For those of us with an interest in the Thanet Labour Group’s internal battle and what Labour councillors would do to improve Thanet if they get elected in May, this is something of a comedown.
Anyway two posts about this on From One End of Kent, see http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/ and a response on Thanet Life http://birchington.blogspot.com/2011/03/curled-up-at-edges.html
Talk about fiddling while Rome burns, oh well they will probably soon be saying that they can’t tell us what their polices for the next four years governing Thanet are because of the pre-election purdah. Vote Labour for less sandwiches or vote Conservative for more, sounds about like what we will actually get, after four years of wasted mismanaged assets, incomprehensible websites, etc. one side will be able to say. “At lest we had more/less sandwiches.”
The Big Bignews post this week is about Margate Caves, see http://bignewsmargate.blogspot.com/2011/03/thanet-council-caves-in-on-misleading.html this is a bit of a weird scenario, when viewed from outside, it looks like a comedy of errors.
Obviously from the outside one can’t really tell what has happened here, so here is a little work of fiction about what could have happened.
The council of Spamit owns some caves and these are held by Mr Bloggs on a long lease, provided Mr Bloggs pays the rent then the lease can be renewed indefinitely, being a tourist attraction the caves produce very little in terms of money for anyone.
The land with the entrance on would produce some money if sold to a developer and ultimately if that development was residential even some council tax from the people living in it.
So Spamit council arrange for a health and safety inspection, dangerous places caves, underground gasses, think Davy Lamp, firedamp could be a problem venturing into tunnels, particularly as for over a hundred years of flatulent tourists have been there before you.
Expensive solutions caves closed no money to pay the rent, mysterious figures about the cost of gas inspectors, extra portions of beans and beer after council meetings.
More health and safety now caused by the caves being closed, dodgy people have been getting in there, so the council blocks up the entrance by filling it with rubble, how will the tourists get in, no problem say council, we have found an imaginary entrance in the wardrobe.
Sorry I got a bit carried away there it wasn't like that at all.
An interesting post on my press release blog about the closing to Ramsgate Age Concern, see http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/2011/03/closure-of-ramsgate-age-concern.html it sound a bit as though Thanet District Council may be on another of their bizarre schemes to save money. In this case charging the charity to use one of the halls in Ramsgate to look after the old people in Ramsgate.
I expect that it’s another tangled Thanet web with Ramsgate being the eventual loser.
Several local blogs have mentioned the article in the Independent saying that Margate is now a cultural hotspot, see http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/ten-topcultural-hotspots-2233435.html this seems to be due to The Turner Contemporary, below one of the videos The Turner Contemporary has posted online, just to give you a feel of what this new arts culture encompasses.
I will ramble on as the day progresses