Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Midweek Ramble

Truth is I am a bit sleepy.

Too sleepy for my blog?

Too sleepy for my blog.

I don’t know really so we will see, the children are very loud too.

I have decided to produce artistic pictures to head the blog this week, I think this is due to the influence of the Turner Contemporary, so apologies.

The internet has been being a bit difficult this week, quite a few of the 100,000 or so images that I have published online have become corrupted, so apologies again.

Some problems with the blog too, people’s comments have been vanishing or not appearing I think I have managed to reinstate them pretty quickly, but apologies again.

The Pleasurama cliff façade has been a nuisance and has consumed a lot of time, this is like some sort of comic saga, where you get the feeling that if you don’t keep your eye on the situation there may be a nasty accident.

The whole thing needs looking at by an independent civil engineer, nothing to do with any part of government or any one who has had any part in it so far.

At the moment the contractor is digging the ground away at the bottom of the thing, fortunately along the bit that appears to have been most professionally built and built in the 1930s as far as I can tell from studying old photographs.

I am seeing this as a trial run for the next bit that looks Jerry-built and I expect to give much more in the way of problems.

Anyway the problem is that the as the council have spent so much of our money on this structure, they are saying to the contractor that it’s fine to dig around its foundations, build residential accommodation next to it and so on.

I don’t think the council or the council’s consulting engineers have reached a stage where they really understand how it is constructed yet and this despite spending £1m on it.

At the moment we are on the arched part of the façade and the council appear to think that the panels are concrete block walls. They must be the report prepared by their engineers says they are see

Well after a few brushes about this structure with the HSE recently, I started to come to the conclusion that their prime directive was to make sure that any other part of government didn’t get into trouble, with safety somewhat further down the line.

After a bad start apparently the HSE didn’t do foi, this is what they had to say:
“Thus it would not be appropriate for HSE to release any material that has been obtained as part of our regulatory functions.
However in respect of FOI – it may be appropriate for you to direct that request to Thanet Council and Cardy – who as the originators of relevant information may be able to make it available to you if it meets the relevant FOI criteria.”

It came to light that they had a whole foi department just waiting to take about two moths to send me the information I asked for.

So here are the plans that they based their judgment on  funny thing though the fifth sheet down, the council seem to have supplied the plans for a completely different structure.

Drawing sheet 3437 502 shows properly constructed block infills to an arched façade, with cantilever foundations cut into the chalk cliff, the blocks are tied both to the cliff and the and the support pillars, the blocks are all tied together using reinforcing rods, drain holes with shingle bed surrounds, in fact everything one would hope for.

So what has really happened with this arched bit, I think this is the original design for the arched part  and that to start with the bits between the arches were bare chalk, apart from a bit of concrete going up about six feet.

I think that the top plan on this page  shows a modification, which is a six inch thick poured concrete panel, reinforced with steel mesh, no blocks at all.

I am pretty sure that it is fairly safe, however I am not a civil engineer and it seems that all of the civil engineers that said it was safe based their assumptions on it being a block wall, does this inspire confidence?

Enough of that, I just wanted my blog readers to understand some of the difficulties involved here.

One of things that interests me in the way reflections work, hence the picture above, the brain sees something containing a reflection and somehow turns it into something that makes sense.

Obviously if you click on the picture above to enlarge it and try and follow the line between reality and reflected reality you will encounter some problems, you may even think I have engaged in some sort of trickery and moved things around.

All I did was invert it and turn it into a mirror image, however a mirror image of a mirror image is beyond our normal visual faculties.  

A step further than fooling some of the people some of the time.

This is only because you can’t of course see the reflective surface, so under normal circumstances your brain invents it, as I normally do I have published the contents of my camera card and the pictures I took with the intention of inverting are near the bottom of the page

I suppose what I am trying to get across with my series of artistic pictures is to do with the Turner Contemporary and how local people are looking at it.

There is much comment about it on most of the blogs, all of this seems to be missing anything relating to the exhibitions that are on there, I am assuming that the intention is to provide visual art, and as this is contemporary art, to provide something beyond the normal visual experience.

I didn’t think that the exhibitions there quite managed to achieve this, particularly in terms of opening local peoples eyes to this, perhaps the exhibitions there were too advanced for us, so I have been trying to achieve something along theses lines with the series of blog header pictures.

We now have an art gallery in our midst, as entry is free not going to see inside it is about as daft as living in Thanet and not ever going to see Ramsgate Harbour.

Like it or not contemporary art is now part of Thanet, and one thing we have to get good at is making sure the contemporary art we get is good contemporary art, if local people don’t start looking at the art exhibits more than twice, talking about them, trying to understand them then I don’t think it will be successful.

Oh and I have a complaint about taking children paddling in the sea, jelly shoes seem to have been uninvented and don’t even talk about crocks that falloff and float away.


  1. Michael, the reason why your header picture confuses the brain is because the perspective view point, after your image trickery is in fact about 2 metres below water level.

  2. Readit, lets get the obvious out of the way as half the blog commentators will be looking for political motivation, are you trying to court the scuba vote?

  3. Michael, either my political career has sunk without trace, or it is a stealth submarine attack on the existing establishment, only time will tell:-)

    Anyway there is more to life than politics, the sun is shining.

  4. WOT no Jellie shoes how will children manage to go rockpooling?


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