Sunday, 6 May 2012

Ramsgate Maritime Museum is now open


If you are wondering what to do on this rather dismal bank holiday, the maritime museum is now open and well worth a visit, entrance is free.


Looking out for banana skins with this one, I think there may be some problems relating to the amount of time heritage vessels can remain on the heritage pontoon, I think the council have restricted this to two weeks, which may mean that some of the ones run by volunteers may find this time frame difficult.

On the same track I gather The New Britannic that was being restored there has been effectively evicted by the council and at Richborough at the moment, which is a very difficult place to continue the restoration.

There is also considerable restriction on the number of events that the museum can hold this year, although this is combined with the limitation of what they could hold given the time frame.

I think the trust’s decision to open immediately without lots of improvements to the museum is the right one, they also seem to very keen to involve local people, I think if you want to volunteer now is your chance.

Here are a few of the pictures I took yesterday http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop512/id3.htm


Both the mayor of Ramsgate and the soon to elected new mayor of Margate were there.

None of the Conservative councillors in sight and the messages I am getting from the Conservative group seem to be saying that they are still against the lease being signed, strange mutterings about pacts with the devil, the crazy talk of lost parking revenue of £40,000 per year, when the revenue for all the spaces in the car park for the six weekends it is to be used for event couldn’t reach a tenth of this figure.

It makes one wonder if the years of delay were actually due to misplacing the decimal point, what I can’t get from the Conservative group is any sensible reason, in terms of a potential banana skin, so it looks like we have got our museum back at virtually no cost to the council taxpayer.   

More pictures and thoughts to follow on this one, not sure when as I am a bit tied up with the bank holiday weekend.

51 comments:

  1. A pat on the back for all those who have worked hard and pushed to get this little gem reopened
    they can hold their heads up high and view this great visitor attraction,
    Stargazer.

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  2. Well done to all involved although I'm a bit puzzled why the Margate Mayor-elect was there; maybe he was lost.

    Shame even this can't feature in your blog without a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party

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    1. Tim, couple of thoughts here, Will wasn’t there in any official capacity, I guess most of the people there wanted to see the museum, obviously I did take the opportunity to get a shot of both mayors together.

      What does concern me though, is that this is a major milestone for Ramsgate, where we have lost three museums in recent years, getting one of them back again that is, and I am concerned that the Conservative group seem to be shunning the town.

      I am not sure what the reason is, and I am fairly certain that a similar event in Margate would have had a Conservative presence

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    2. Well I suppose one good reason for a lack of Conservative councillors would be that there are none representing Ramsgate. Even if they had turned up en masse you would still have found something negative to say about them.
      And don't even begin to try and convince me that Scobie Minor was there in an unofficial capacity - nothing he does is unofficial, even down to managing to convince you to take a smiling picture with a proper mayor. Just another day in the life of the local soundbite merchant, although he does have his work cut out competing with the Tinys. I can't begin to guess which picture will appear in the local press next week.

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    3. Tim I don’t think you really comprehend me at all, he didn’t convince me to take a smiling picture of him, I asked him and Dave Green to pose for me and that one is the best of 23. I don’t like to produce pictures that make locals of either party look stupid online, I take images seriously, am quick with the camera and the sketchpad, this combined with a high ranking Google presence, isn’t something that I would misuse on local politicians of either party.

      Yes if you do a Google image search for say “Emin Cameron” one of my cartoons comes up in the second line of images from the top, unkind caricatures, but top people on very high wages who have clever images of them used all the time.

      If I applied this to locals, the image would sit on the top of Goole permanently, I did a sketch of Bob Bayford a while ago, stick his name into Google image search and you will see what I mean. Obviously I could have done an unkind caricature, but would be wholly inappropriate for a minor local politician.

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    4. Pretty sure I don't understand your somewhat rambling answer.
      My main point was that Scobie Minor never does anything in public that isn't self-serving, and that includes turning up at this event. If you hadn't taken his picture than I'm sure one of Rebecca's snappers would have obliged.

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    5. Michael, I know you are not naive so stop pretending. Young Will is a councillor for Dane Valley and Margate's mayor elect yet he pops up everywhere from Broadstairs High Street to the Ramsgate Maritime Museum and everywhere he manages to get his photo taken. Coincidence, I think not!

      He is quite rare in Thanet Labour politics, having had a university education, and he is clearly being given the top PR treatment to raise his profile for bigger things ahead. So be it, but please, let's stop the pretence that some 22 year old just happens to rock up at the museum opening because that's what his peer group do. How many other 22 year olds did you count there.

      You are part of the team, Michael, so good luck to you, but give the rest of us credit for a bit a of grey matter even if we have not all got a masters, having found something more useful to do with our lives after college.

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  3. Tom,

    I think you'll find many of the Thanet Labour Group have degrees so why the snooty comment? Also for Tim, I think you forget about two Conservative TDC councillors plus one Ramsgate Town Councillor so hardly 'no Tory councillors in Ramsgate'.

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    1. Anon 4:22 - Please name the other Labour District Councillors with degrees rather than making a passing comment that suggests there might be some. There is also nothing snooty about education especially in a place like Thanet which still gives children from poorer backgrounds the chance, like Will had, of going to a grammar school.

      Also, from a purely personal choice, I would take real life experiences and success in career in preference to education in my council and parliamentary representatives everytime. Unfortunately, in this day and age too many simply follow university with party work and thence into elected office. That seems to be the direction Will is heading.

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  4. Tim, Tom, I guess what one wants to see is local councillors out and about and available to discuss local issues, I am also not that happy about both cabinet and shadow cabinet with an average age of about 65.

    Another factor here is that we seldom get councillors with high aptitude until they have retired and I doubt we will have Will’s abilities for long, my guess is that he will soon have climbed the political and career ladder beyond local councillor level.

    Frankly politicians seeking publicity is just one of those things, this is the normal way they get voted for, apart from standing in a ward where they can’t lose, where your comments about this supposed to be humorous? Something along the lines of having secret councillors perhaps.

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    1. Your last paragraph is lost on me, Michael, and my only reference to ward being meant to suggest that it is strange to find a Margate ward councillor popping up all over the place, but we both know why as you suggest with your moving up the ladder comment.

      There was in fact a Conservative Broadstairs town councillor at the museum but he, having no aspirations to grandeur, was happily looking round with his daughter rather than posing for mug shots and publicity.

      As to your comment about average age of the cabinets, I think it is fairly normal for councils to include a number of retired people, they having the time to give to public service. Heaven forbid that we should also get career politicians at local level as well as Westminster. Nonetheless, I think your average of 65 is on the high side, particularly on the shadow cabinet.

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    2. If you are correct, and I'm not sure that you are, I suspect that one of the reasons you don't get councillors of high aptitude before they retire is that, courtesy in part to the Great Chancellor Brown, no-one can afford to retire since he stole their pensions. Hence , people with any aptitude are staying in employment longer and certainly can't afford to sacrifice their earning years for the dubious honour of a council seat. I also agree with Tom's views on career politicians - you only need to look at who is in charge of the two main Parties to see how badly served the nation is when people with no experience of lifen outside the political bubble take charge.
      Tom is quite right. Stop treating us like idiots and acknowledge that Scobie Minor is just being subjected to a push up the political ladder from the rest of the group. He had better beware, remembering the fate that befell the last Labour councillor to aspire to higher things.

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  5. At last we have the Maritime Museum open again!

    It was lovely seeing you yesterday Michael, and I really enjoyed looking around the museum. Half of my undergraduate course was in history, and so I really appreciate local history and the maritime museum gives a great insight into Ramsgate's past. Some might think it odd for someone of my age to enjoy a museum, but I don't frankly care. The best bit was going on-board Cervia and Sundowner and learning about their respective stories.

    Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to get the museum open again, and I look forward to coming back another time to look around once more.

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    1. Especially is there is someone there with a camera!

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    2. Nice to see the new margate teletubbie there!

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  6. So if anyone was still in any doubt as to Michael's political leanings....................Endorsed by the Great Red Hope.

    And of course none of these artifacts have been available in the past 22 years for Hooray to look at. Cervia and Sundowner just popped up from nowhere on Saturday.

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  7. Well, Tim, they haven't been for the last four years or so since the museum closed despite a vigorous campaign by local residents including many in Broadstairs. It's great to see it open again so why not enjoy the facts and stop stirring.

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    1. You are absolutely right that it is great to see it open again, but a shame that someone has to use it as a photocall opportunity to elevate their profile. It is not so much Tim stirring it as a certain young man being thrust down the rest of our throats whether we like it or not. Having got the real mayor doing the opening, some shots of the exhibits might have been more appropriate.

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    2. Thanks Ren, exactly what I was trying to say

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  8. Look I will try saying this again another way, Dave Green was at the opening in his official position as mayor of Ramsgate, I happened to be in the freight container that houses the tunnels exhibition talking to Dave when Will wandered in, so asked them to pose for me.

    I took 23 stock shots, I used a Pentax K-r which will take 24 shots per second, so it didn’t take that long. If they had been Conservative Thanet mayors, or for that matter Thanet mayors of different political parties, ever the Monster Raving Loony Party Thanet mayors I would have taken their pictures.

    The photo opportunity was mine not theirs, oddly enough people are interested in the new mayor, I drew a cartoon of him in published in Tuesday’s post, are you suggesting he posed for it?

    Broadstairs town councillors don’t come into this equation, the Clock House, Dry dock and Heritage Pontoon belong to TDC.

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    1. And that's why several TDC Labour councillors were there at the opening day but it seems no Conservative TDC councillors were evident in the first few hours of the official opening. As a member of the public delighted to see the museum opening I went along and was pleased to spot various councillors chatting with other visitors who were equally delighted to mark the opening of an important visitor attraction. I spotted Will and his father there along with other councillors.

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    2. Michael, you are really pushing the bounds of credibility now. First you criticise the lack of Conservative councillors at the museum opening, yet trumpet a Dane Valley, Margate one's presence and then, when I point out that there was a Conservative councillor there quietly enjoying the exhibits, you claim he does not count because TDC own the Clock House. On that basis Ramsgate Town councillors should not count either. Your love of the left becomes more obvious with each comment you make.

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    3. Tom are you saying that Broadstairs town councillors have some sort of remit to decide on Ramsgate issues, in the way that TDC councillors do?

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    4. No, simply responding to the suggestion that there were no conservative councillors there. Nothing to do with remit, but simply showing an interest in and supporting a local attraction. Sadly Broadstairs town councillors seem to have less and less remit on anything, despite much heralded localism, as the new masters of Thanet impose there seemingly spiteful will on their little Tory town.

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  9. Nice to see things happening in Ramsgate now that Labour are in power (& I'm sure it's not just coincidental).

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    1. I am sure that certain ex cllr's MR & RL included who spent the last 6 years doing their level best to close the museum will be spitting feathers and gnashing their teeth.

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  10. eerr.. excuse me folks but the negotiations on the lease for the Maritime Museum were going on way before Labour took over in December. I should know because this lay within my remit. The delay was frustrating and the consequence of causes not dissimilar to other causes we see here in Thanet, where goalposts have a habit of moving around when the council attempts to discharge its duty in protecting the public interest.

    I will have been a councillor five years on Friday and if I have learned one very important lesson it's that nothing involving legacy buildings or interests is ever straightforward here in Thanet and things are rarely what they appear when some of our larger than life local personalities are involved.

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    1. A museum that closed under your lot Dr...

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    2. See old Peter still keeps popping up like a piece of dog poo, and about as welcome.

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    3. I see that those who don't like hearing the truth are resorting to insults instead of answers.

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    4. I think it is you that is blinded by your current dislike of Dr. M, who pointed out that the work towards reopening the museum has been ongoing for some time and has not just happened since Labour took over. You should be aware that nothing ever happens that quickly in local government.

      As to someone insulting you, Peter, your type of one liner, frequently snide and unqualified remark, is a bit like a magnet for uncouth reparteé. Perhaps you should try to build your case so that you invite debate rather than a swift foxtrot oscar in response.

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    5. So it was Labour's fault that it closed then?

      As for "Dr" Moores, he's been banned from my site for years, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the status of Ramsgate's museums...

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    6. No it was not Labour's fault it closed anymore than it is down to them entirely that it has reopened, but you know that anyway. As for Dr. Moores being banned from your site that is entirely irrelevant since that was not what we were discussing. See again you cannot resist the snide touch that is your hallmark with the inverted commas round the Dr title. Since we are in this childish frame what is the title for doorman, 'boy' perhaps?

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    7. Simon I think there are two points here, the main one being the ongoing situation and trying to get some support from the Conservative group for Ramsgate.

      Whether is it is a perceived or real situation, Ramsgate appeared to suffer badly under the eight years of Conservative rule at the council, particularly with respect to council assets in the town.

      Of course it could be just luck that a lot of these assets seem to be moving forward now we have a Labour administration, Albion House, old tourist information office, Westcliff Hall, Maritime Museum etc, the perception in Ramsgate however is that there was an element of spite towards the town.

      With the Maritime Museum, I have been getting, responses from Conservative councillors that suggest they think there was something wrong with the deal that the Labour group struck to get the museum reopened.

      Nothing that makes any sense, just a general feeling that the Conservative group don’t want to support the museum. Sooner or later we will go back to the Conservatives being in charge and I would like them to present a more positive attitude toward Ramsgate and the museum, or of course tell us what they think is wrong with the deal so we can seek to put it right and be on our guard for future banana skins.

      The other point is these deals relating to council owned real estate where the commercially sensitive details are used in a way that all of the other aspects of the deals take place in secret.

      This leaves us with the Maritime Museum, where you are saying that four years of delay and all of the consequential economic damage to Ramsgate was not the previous cabinet’s fault, but the fault of the people who were ostensibly were trying to get the museum open.

      You are also saying that the negotiation of this lease was your reemit, so perhaps you would like to expand a bit on this one.

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    8. I think TDC took nealy 4 years to negotiate a lease for the Museum to re-open. Maybe somebody can tell us why they dragged their feet an. I would like to know also what happened to the Butler legacy given to EKMT for Ramsgae museum. More than £260,000, much of which was still with EKMT when the trustees were removed in 2008.

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  11. Your logic, Michael, whilst admirable in its consistency, is, as ever, flawed. The original closure decision, as I understand it, related to the cost benefit analysis of what the museum may offer the town in relation to the around £70,000 subsidy from TDC. The re-opening relates to exactly the same issue, and relates to the detail of the new lease and contractual arrangements, which according to the decision notice on the TDC website are not in excess of £30,000; according to Clive Hart's statement at Council on 19 April are not in excess of £40,000; and best estimates suggest is around £45,000 direct subsidy, not including uncosted undertakings of officer time to assist with applications etc.

    Your reference to parking is a confusion of two issues. One the general parking policy, which is claimed as fair, but tilted in the direction of Birchington and Ramsgate to ensure votes to keep the minority Labour administration in power - totalling some £40,000 free parking between the two. Cliftonville and Broadstairs get around £2700 in comparison. Your continued refusal to address this inequality can only now be deliberate. Secondly, parking as it relates to the Museum itself, where the combination of regular parking for staff and events gift total around £9,000 per year. This is included in the £45,000 estimate of costs for the museum lease I believe; but must be added to the parking policy total because it is not included in the charging regime - bringing the free parking gifting to Ramsgate and Birchington to nearly £50,000; around 20 times the amount offered to Broadstairs and Cliftonville combined.

    It is great to see the Maritime Museum open - and just because Conservative Councillors did not flock to the opening PR fest does not mean they do not visit or care; however there is still the question of the cost benefit analysis of the overall value to Ramsgate of this reopened facility. If officer time given to help with applications for funding comes to £25,000 we are paying the same amount as the earlier decision to close thought did not qualify.

    Your assumptions are all about perceptions in Ramsgate of fair play. Like many other campaigners on many issues locally, your dedication to a particular cause may blind you to wider realities. Those arethe questions that are being asked. Is this an effective and tyransparent financial decision; or a quick political win with hidden costs? I believe that is a fair question to ask. Not a banana skin, just a real question of transparency in local government.

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    1. Chris I Can’t find the document you are talking about on the council’s website, but am unclear about the amounts here, do you mean that the £45k you are talking about was mostly the costs incurred by generating the lease, or are you saying that this is an ongoing annual cost and the council is paying the PST £45k pa to keep the museum open?

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  12. Another thing: why criticize young Will being there? Would you rather he lived in (say) Panama while getting paid by us (with his cronies "accidentally" signing him into meetings)? It's nice to see cllrs actually doing something.

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  13. So you are really digging the dirt on the Tories since Simon upset you, Peter. I am sure you will soon work kittens and drink driving into another of your witty responses. What is that old saying? "Hell hath no fury like a bisexual scorned" or words to that effect.

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    1. Good reminder Tom on the drink driving councillor. Has the ex leader resigned the tory whip yet?

      This is what Cllr Simon Moores said at the time of the drink driving councillor 18 montha ago:

      ‘Cllr Cameron has worked tirelessly for the people of Bradstowe ward in the time since he was elected as a District Councillor and has made an important contribution to council business, calling on his expert skills as an economist as a member of the council’s Finance & Audit Committee. However the charges he faces are serious and incompatible with his membership of the Conservative group. In such circumstances, Cllr Cameron has shown characteristic integrity and acted quite correctly in resigning the Conservative whip while he awaits the outcome of the legal process.’
      Maybe cllr Moores can give us his thoughts on his ex leader.

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    2. Moores has not upset me, any more than Worrow has. They both have overblown egos & are bad for Thanet. Ok?

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    3. But aren't you acting a bit like Worrow, Peter. He has gone all anti-Tory in everything he does, says and writes despite being elected as one and you have now gone equally catty since your spat with Simon. Prams and toys spring to mind.

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    4. You're the one who keeps bringing him up.

      Perhaps I should remind you again that I believe Roger Gale & Laura Sandys are quite possibly the best MPs in the country. Hardly anti-Tory.

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  14. Peter,

    As I have said elsewhere, if the Labour group believe that Will Scobie is the best person they have for the post so be it. Personally I will judge him by his actions not his age. In particular the fact that the Mayors post is and should be non political - which given the supporters of this move sell it on the concept of aiding his political career is interesting. I wish him luck, it is a role I have personally(mayor) I have never coveted or would take up. I admire the patience of those who do. I also am on record as saying he has a hard act to follow as Iris seems to me to have been an excellent mayor for the town. That said, I have heard comment around the towns of surprise given his age; again time will tell if he shows a maturity which surprises the critics or not.

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    1. I've heard some comments regarding his age too (though I've heard far more comments regarding the ex-leader's arrest / charge).

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    2. Well you would, wouldn't you, Peter?

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    3. Yes, because I actually go out and talk to people instead of spending all day on my computer. You should try it some time.

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    4. Think you pop up on blogs a lot more than me so how you find the time to go out and talk as well beats me.

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  15. I doubt it. I see your name everywhere.

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  16. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-17997446

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