Saturday, 29 June 2013

25 ton fire engine on unsupported chalk cliff.

Over the last few years I have had various promises from the council’s engineer that heavy vehicles will be prevented from going onto the footpath above what they agree is an unsupported chalk cliff in poor condition.

I guess this old newspaper article says it all.  

I guess this old newspaper article says it all.  

Report from The East Kent Times January 11th 1936.
Two more rides wrecked at "Merrie England."
With a crack like the report of a cannon, another huge fall of cliff occured in the neighbourhood of "Merrie England," Ramsgate yesterday (Friday 10th) afternoon. The huge thrill ride the "Coaster" has been wrecked, and part of the "Brooklands" miniature motor racing track is buried under several feet of chalk. This is the second big cliff fall at the same place within ten days, and over a thousand tons have fallen on the fun city, wrecking first the "Ghost Train."
Miraculously enough no one was hurt. The top part of the Promenade, which has a concrete retaining wall remained intact, but underneath the fall has cut into the cliff face to a depth of several feet. The fall occurred only twenty yards from the spot where a gang of men were working, clearing away the debris from the fall on December 31st. The management of "Merrie England" were advised last Tuesday that it might be well to dismantle the "Coaster" ride to avoid possible future falls, but the inclement weather made this impossible at the time. To dismantle the "Coaster" takes some ten - twelve days, and if the men had been working on the ride on Friday afternoon they must surely have been buried beneath this latest fall of cliff.
Mr F. Price the Manager of "Merrie England" who was walking past the "Coaster" at the time, said he heard a sharp report like that of a cannon, followed by an ear-splitting rumble as ton upon ton of chalk fell upon the ride. The "Coaster" was flung sideways and the whole structure trembled violently and you can see where the retaining blocks have been forced out. These rides are balanced perfectly; now that the ride has been knocked sideways like this, a strong wind may well bring it down into the roadway. We had been advised that this piece of cliff would be the next to go and intended to dismantle the "Coaster" but the weather has been too bad. It takes some considerable time to take down a structure like this and if we had gone ahead with the work about a dozen men would have been working right where you see that chalk.

 They should expand if clicked on

I have added a picture of firemen digging out to see if anyone was buried after one of the 1967 collapses, as it would seem the 1936 article was insufficient to convince some people that it is pretty stupid to let a 25 ton fire engine up there.


  1. Not sure what you've done to your post Michael, but the text spills over onto the links (on the right) and is virtually unreadable.

  2. 25 ton? 2.5 ton? Well said though Michael. You can see the cracks in the unrepaired Bandstand floor too. And a bit of a distraction for any event having a fire engine and ambulance right next to it? Shambolic as usual but better than the skateboarders. Well said: very dangerous and the usual incompetence from TDC.

  3. 5.45 the surveys have already occurred click here for them and the weight restriction is a result of them.

    Peter I hope that has fixed it, if not you may need to use a different browser as the fault didn’t happen in mine.

    25 tons is what the chaps with the fire engine said when I spoke to them 6.16, I didn’t weigh it to make sure but it certainly looked heavy.

  4. There you go 6.16

    The Charmichael Unipower RE6D 6x6 MFV2 (Major Foam Vehicle), index number RY 92 AA, belongs to the Defence Fire Risk Management Organisation. The Defence Fire Training and Development Centre at former RAF Manston

    Chassis: Unipower 6x6
    Engine: Detroit diesel 8V92TA 2 stroke turbo 585bhp
    Gearbox: Twin disc TD61-1172 automatic
    Performance: 67mph (107kph) 0-50 mph (80 kph) in 27 seconds
    Water tank: 1500 gallons (6825 litres)
    Foam tank: 180 gallons (820 Litres)
    Pump: Godiva output 5300 Litres per min
    Roof Monitor: 3000 Litres per minute at 14 Bar
    Bumper Monitor: 1000 Litres per minute at 14 bar
    Sidelines: 1100 Litres per minute
    2 x 50kg Monnex dry powder cylinders
    High pressure hose reel
    Length 10.5m
    Width 2.8m
    Height 3.28m
    Turning Circle 21m
    Weight 26,460kg

    1. so the cliff is safe up to at least 26 tonnes then?

  5. I don't think the Cardy survey was into pore pressure and flow type ?

    The council electricians who used to work on the Marina Pool were told that the foundations were being weakened by an "Underground spring".

    We all know with chalk cliffs the question is not if they will collapse but when they will collapse.

    It is a specialist area. It seems that anything relying on friction to hold can find itself without friction and thus fail. Rainfall, drainage, loading. I think pile driving foundations for the build would have got stronger over time. Strange stuff chalk.

    1. Nope the links you want are the ones further along the top of the page Jacobs 2005 and so on.

  6. 25 tons indeed, and 180 gallons of chemical foam, do they still foam the runway etc?

  7. The Fire idiots could have just parked on the road. Looks like a car driven onto and parked on a Grade 2 listed concrete floor bandstand.

  8. SO dangerous, and with a terrible history of collapses, 2 in 77YEARS! I am stunned 100's weren't killed in a rockfall of biblical proportions!

    1. Strawman argument.

      It appears that, somewhere within your bombast, you have arrived at a cliff collapse frequency of one every 38.5 years.

      The frequency and, probably, severity, of occurrence will increase with climate change.

      And the responsibility (cost) is down to TDC I think.

      TDC should offer the freehold to Shaun and Co with them owning land extending on to the cliff top by a metre or so. Would Shaun say "Oooh yes please" ?

    2. Sizewell and insuring Suffolk farmland

      If you scroll down the comments you find Roger Stearn. What he did was test the insurance position from a hazard not on his own property.

      Why, JH, don't you urge Shaun and Terry to carry out a similar test on behalf of prospective purchasers at Pleasurama ?

      I suppose that the reflected position is that Sizewell would be unable to insure against liability for damage to the surrounding county ?

      Akin to dwellings near power lines and sub stations it is certain that a Building Society survey would warn against betting on its resale value.

      What you fail to weigh JH is "Precautionary principle".

      That is the situation in which the burden is to prove something is safe. The opposite of your position which is always to challenge others to prove it is unsafe or that wrong doing has occurred.

      I hope a few others will enjoy this now. JH you have no proof the cliff is safe.

      JH where is your proof ?

      JH How should the precautionary principle be applied ?

      JH has TDC been complaint with its own standards set out in Proceeds of Crime Act guidelines ? (A different question to has there been wrong doing. This is a question of due diligence to edtect wrongdoing. Proof of a lack of a inquiry.)

      JH you are a tedious type. Proof ? I cite your blog contributions.

    3. I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding here, the cliff itself was formed by cliff collapses, this is how our costal chalk cliffs are made.

      The concrete wall on the front of it, isn’t there to hold the cliff up, but to prevent weathering which on the good side slows the process down, but on the bad side means that when we do get a collapse it is much bigger and contains lumps of concrete.

      The last big collapses on the Pleasurama site, 2 of them, were in 1967, to be honest most of our chalk cliffs are fairly stable for years, but the bit behind Pleasurama is a different kettle of fish because of what we did to it during both world wars.

      Not only has it been extensively tunnelled but it also had huge naval guns there, which shook it up, hence the surveys the pinning of the weak part and the engineer’s instruction to the council not to let anything heaver within 22 metres of the edge.

      So John that is four big ones in 77 years, by a big one I mean thousands of tons, which does make the odds a bit fine.

      To me though (with my engineering hat on) the main worry is the part of the cliff wall that is showing visible signs of lots of water getting behind it, some thing the new cliff top surface and drainage holes was supposed to prevent.

      Anyway John I think you have hit the nail on the head with your 100s killed, the point being that in the past when thousands of tons of chalk and concrete fell there, no one was underneath, however the Royal Sands development would ensure there are always 100 underneath the cliff.

    4. Water AND salt. The facing may protect from salt which weakens chalk cliff in addition to the various effect of water. This is a complex subject. It is sometimes a mechanical effect of water (Freezing, drying etc) but it is also a drainage lubricant effect that weakens friction between masses either side of a fault.

      You have done sterling work Michael.

      The key questions for Shaun Keegan and his local agent Terry Painter are can they sell buildings built to existing planning consent interpretation. Would you buy one ? Could you insure one ? Would a lender survey sanction mortgage against it ?

      Someone commented that everything comes back to TDC. I take it that the contributor wouldn't buy on the Pleasurama site knowing that the cliff safety is the responsibility of the council ?

      And even if the cliff was made a developer responsibility erosion would move the face back to being local authority responsibility in the course of time.

    5. I suspect Colin Hill will be concerned enough that he stipulated the Council retained responsibility for the Cliff Face something for years was the job of the leaseholder. Colin Hill for people that do not know is the money behind SFP Ventures (UK) ltd.
      Strangely Michael I have always wondered why the retaining wall was never bonded into the cliff face as currently if the cliff collapses it will just push the blocks onto the development.

    6. There was also a fairly large cliff collapse at Dumpton Gap a few months ago - the landslide is still visible. Who at TDC is in charge of the cliffs and flood defences? The cliffs are protected from sea erosion/faster collapse by the promenades around Thanet except for the gap at Dumpton Gap.

    7. There have been recent falls opposite seimans along the miltary road and that is a long way from the sea

    8. I suggest you go for a cycle ride or long walk anon 6:26, as there's quite a few other places on the Thanet coast that's not protected by promenades (Between Epple Bay & West Bay, several miles between Palm Bay & Stone Bay, between Ramsgate West Cliff & Pegwell Bay)...

    9. Peter,of course, and the unprotected cliffs regularly checked by TDC etc for erosion/floods?

    10. Why trst an insurance position is clearly available, how ridiculous.

      As for presenting 2 chalkfalls as 4 major rockfalls is not only laughable, but to claim that the development is under ut is mistaken at best when it's clearly in front of the cliff, unlike the fairy tale park , promoted by the poor deluded people at FORS.

      Just another example of scaremongering along with water bourne cranes caused dea and destruction.

  9. Isn't it good to see the bandstand with a band in it - for a change.

    1. Yes: zero for effort for RTC and TDC for events as it's now July. We pay them, and they spend it on their salaries and pensions and excuses. And I certainly wouldn't want that fire engine hosing chemicals over the runway and training fires. How often does that go on?

    2. What chemicals? You mean foam used to put out fuel fires. Hardly toxic in fact you might even use it yourself in the shower. If you know better tell us what these polluting chemicals are.

    3. Anon, 8:21, councillors do not get salaries or pensions. Just an allowance while in office.

    4. Salaries? Pensions? Allowances? that's perhaps only slightly duller than the history of cliffs since the Cretaceous period form 12:45 below.

      Although 8:26 saying that Manston fuel foam isn't toxic is very special. How is it not toxic?

    5. Soap suds, toxic? You must be having a laugh, but perhaps you know something the rest of us don't. Nlw that is funny, the thought of old aquifer actually knowing something rather than just asking fool questions all the time.

    6. These foams could have an environmental impact if not handled correctly. But they are not intrinsically toxic. Full deatils can be found via this link -----

    7. 10:38 says they're not toxic just mere soap suds. As harmless as shampoo which is reassuring. What would would be the environmental impact in your view John?

    8. Anonymous, 9:41 am,

      Follow the link that I have given to you above. This will lead you to the paper 'Environmental Impacts Of Firefighting Foam". Study it, form your own opinion, discuss it with writers and stop bothering me.

      If you do not know how to use the link then get someone to show you. Here it is again:

    9. Allan MallinsonJuly 01, 2013 10:41 am

      Careful, John, or you will tax the poor old chap's tiny brain. You do realise who you are trying to talk to? Nothing you can say will change his view that Manston and the MOD Fire School pollute, for he wants both closed for his own selfish purposes regardless of the loss of jobs and impact on the local economy.

    10. Now Corruption Mallinson has popped up so this looks like the tag-team for RAF Manston in 1963.

      There are no jobs at Manston - certainly not in the longterm or without heavy tax subsidies. Infratil aren't coy about reducing staff and that can only increase with the airport up for sale.

      Perhaps Mallinson and Holyer will be recruiting though.

      Neither seem concerned about pollution at Manston but more worryingly deny it's happening at all. Safe as soap suds apparently.

    11. Allan MallinsonJuly 01, 2013 11:22 am

      Between the airport and MOD there are quite a few jobs, but don't let facts spoil your case, Anon. By the way, I was never at RAF Manston and neither was John Holyer.

    12. Mr Holyer's link on fire foams refers to their toxicity and contaminating ground water. So they are intrinsically toxic aren't they?

    13. Not if they are used properly. Read the link thoroughly before you spout, 11:23.

    14. Mallinson, as with your corruption claims you're exaggerating. Nobody said you were at RAF Manston in 1963 or subsequently.

      Just that you're stuck in the past of when it was subsidised by the RAF/taxpayer. There are no long-term jobs at Manston (and very few now) and certainly without tax subsidy. That's why Infratil aren't hesitating to sell it off.

      Presumably Holyer is happy for you to tagteam with him as two rather foolish characters in your RAF Manston 1963, jobs for the future fantasies. Infratil forecast several thousand although that was partly based on including the little old ladies volunteering at the Spitfire Museum.

      How many jobs at MOD? Safe as soap suds?

    15. Manston Aquifer Man posting as assorted anonymice,

      Go away and read the link that I gave to you. If you have problems with this task then get someone to read it to you.

      For your information, I served in the RAF when Pontius was a pilot.

    16. 11:23 the report says the foams are toxic. Especially if used in large quantities. As you'd expect the contamination builds up in water or body fat etc. That is correct isn't it?

    17. What did you do in the RAF and where/when did you serve John?

    18. Anonymous 12:00pm,
      Email me, tell me who you are and I will be happy to answer your questions.

    19. It's a blog discussion John. What was your RAF role? At Manston?

    20. Anonymous 11:59am,

      Your reading of the paper is selective. Go back and study it properly. Then you should address any concerns you may have to the:

      I have taken the liberty of advising them about you and they are expecting your call. Let me know how you get on.

      Here are their contact details: incident hotline - to report an incident on 0800 807060 (Freephone, 24 hour service); Telephone: 03708 506 506* (Mon-Fri, 8am - 6pm); and National Customer Contact Centre
      PO Box 544
      S60 1BY

      Keyboard Warriors such as you are hard to find these days. Consequently, please do not hesitate to contact me if you think I can be of further assistance in your crusade against Manston.

      Here are their contact details: incident hotline to report an incident on 0800 807060 (Freephone, 24 hour service)

    21. Anonymouse 12:35pm,

      As you say, it a blog discussion. So give me your name and email me.

    22. Anonymouse 12:35pm,

      I can tell you this much. I was a Night Fighter in the WRAF lines.

    23. The report you've raised details the toxicity of the fire foam John and the dangers of contaminating water etc. Why do you think it doesn't? It's certainly not as safe as soap suds is it?

      Your Environment Agency comments are just you trying to be awkward, especially if there is no contamination.

    24. John Holyer, all the time you feed this brain dead little old twit, even now adding foam to his pollutants, he is going to continue and meaningful exchange on these blogs will die. I am usually with you, but, as far as the aquifer wally is concerned, for God's and sanity's sake, give it a rest.

    25. Anonymous 1:30 pm,

      I take your point and agree. But I like to play with him sometimes just to relieve his lonliness.

      Now I'm off to watch Laura Robson.

    26. Yes John it is a blog discussion so emails are irrelevant. That's the point of a blog discussion. Where were you in the RAF: Manston? I doubt you were in the WRAF but if you say so.

    27. There is little meaningful exchange on these blogs only Holyer's dull jokes and sundry stale duffers reminiscing on RAF Manston.

      I'd like to hear of his RAF career.

    28. His obsession is not at all helpful to the real aquifer concerns that have been published on Michael's blog. The EA responses to FOI applications made by Richard Card about Sericol and Thor. Ian Driver has been asked to take up, as a ward issue, direct abstraction licences and if they are still in use at Northwood close to the ground contamination that the EA says will be a problem for the foreseeable future. And this pretty much non-popular cause has not even attracted a reply from the cllr who, in my opinion, tends to poach causes that have gained popular support.

      I thought a while back Michael published the settling pond etc plans to trap Manston pollution and that represented a reasonable environment plan ?

      What is clear, from legal advice and the history, is that when a chalk face (In Thanet) retreats then responsibility for its safety is with the landowner where the precipice is. In the case of the chalk quarry gun range at Birchington the quarry freeholder and the neighbouring landowners used surveyors who agreed that the chalk face was 12 feet across the boundary of the two properties. It had become the responsibility of the neighbour.

      Since using an OS survey of 1992 established that the face retreated 12 feet in just 3 years (and with no spoil at its base!) the question arose how had the quarry been extended twelve feet ?

      Nonetheless the immediate responsibility for ensuring safety of the chalk face was with its new owner, the neighbour.

      The relevance of this case to Pleasurama is that clearly making a developer responsible for the chalk face could become fraught with transferred liability if the face somehow retreated back on to council ownership. It would be open to the developers to engineer the face "As they deem fit" to safeguard their site.

      The neighbour to the gun range "As he deemed fit" graded down the height of the quarry rim and graded back the gun range target end which was actually on his land. The range was shooting across his boundary and into a chalk face on his property. Result he got the gun range licence withdrawn.

    29. Holyer was no doubt drummed out of the RAF for drinking the fire foam. An elderly chump stuck in the past.

    30. The other lesson, if you will, of the chalk quarry edge history is this. That Shaun Keegan would gain a cause of action if the cliff collapses. Against TDC for wopping damages. And Michael's comprehensive public spirited history of raising concerns with TDC would be most useful to Mr Keegan's cause in such an event.

      I suspect that the man and his son in law are streets ahead in weighing the contingencies.

      Heads we win tails we win. If the coin isn't tossed at all we win. Clever lads.

      Silly silly TDC.

    31. Oh dear Anon 2.38. If the foam is as toxic as you claim then how come Holyer, who you claim imbibed it decades ago, is still with us ?

      Thanet has seen Thor have a fire of fire retardant chemicals. That seems a bit strange.

      Divert your fire and chemicals interest to explaining that one.

    32. Anonymouth 2:38pm et al,

      Clearly, your mouth is working overtime, but your brain is on holiday.

    33. Good joke Mr Holyer gives us another one! But we were talking about your RAF roles and the firefoam you say say is not toxic yet your own report cites that it is.

      2:44, Holyer is barely with us. Maybe a few glasses of firefoam would liven him up. It's as safe as soap suds you know. Thor did indeed have a chemical fire although presumably not the fire retardent ones initially. It was a closed site though so explain that. I don't live there so not my concern.

    34. Anonymouth 5:47 pm,

      Correction, it's you who is talking about the RAF and talking and talking and talking .....

      You don't hesitate to speak your mind because you have nothing to lose.

    35. Anon 5:47, you really do not get it do you? Holyer, Mallinson, Barnard and sundry anons taker the mickey out of you. Others like Hamilton, Checksfield and James simply ignore you. Nobody takes any notice of your stupid points yet you prattle on. You are a joke, man, beneath contempt and only fit for pity. Is that what you really want out of live.

    36. So Holyer produces a document that says the exact opposite of his firefoam view then produces dull jokes to mask his idiocy until this blog sinks into a pensioners playground territory of you said it first, no I didn't name calling. He should be on the council, there must be dozens of them doing this kind of circular drivel.

      Firefoam is toxic - as in your report - isn't it John?

      And it contaminates the aquifer at Manston doesn't it John?

      And you mentioned were in the RAF years ago, and was it at Manston?

      These are not difficult questions to discuss - otherwise there's your own blog for your own random views and we can all hasten over there to join in.

    37. Anonymouth 6:56 pm,

      I've told you before, stop using the pronoun 'we'. You know as well as I do that there is no 'we' as far as you are concerned. I talk to you on this blog because I know that you are a lonely old man. Old you are, but you've got the brain of a four year old boy and I'll bet he was glad to get rid of it.

      If you wish to discuss careers then email me, with your name, if you can remember it. You will find it written on that label tied around your neck.

    38. I'm only a humble chemist so I am bemused as to how anyone could think that the foam produced by a fire extinguisher is no different from soap suds. There are a number of different foams but the one commonly used for aircraft fires contains fluoro-tensides. It is known that these chemicals can be accumulated in the human body but their effects have not yet been fully determined. Most proper airports have to take measures to ensure that these chemicals don't get into the water table. I guess the chief protection we have at Manston is that there are hardly any flights and so the chances of needing to extinguish an aircraft fire is much reduced.

    39. You are only a humble chemist, 7:28, what a laugh. Bet you were on the counter in Boots asking old folk if the paracetamol was for themselves.

    40. Anonymous 7:28 pm,

      Thank you, what you say is interesting and reassuring. I recall that some years ago
      ox blood was used to make foam. My father used to bring it home from Manston and put it on the garden as a fertilizer.

    41. Anonymouth 7:32 pm,

      Do not keep us in suspense, was the paracetamol for yourself?

      I might as well tell you - I was stationed at RAF Much Bunding In the Marsh.

    42. Surely you mean Much Binding in the Marsh?

    43. Anonymous 5:51 pm,

      Oops, sorry. You're right. I meant to say Much Binding In The Marsh. Thank you.

    44. 7:28 it is astonishing that some numpty thinks firefoam is like soap suds. Probably works at the airport. Holyer is special though confirming that's it not toxic but providing a report that confirms it is toxic. He should post here more often.

      The concern you have is valid over the use of the fire chemicals as they aren't used on a plane crash as such - but used on training fires ie some numpty is actually lighting fires on the aquifer to then put them out with the foam.

      Anyone know how many fires a week?

    45. I don't know how many fires now at manston but there was at least one a week previously?

  10. It is also good to see some informed posts on the subject of cliff collapse. It was this level of discussion that drew me to Michael's blog in the first place, several years ago.

  11. I didn't think that the cliff was formed by cliff collapses. I thought that chalk was a carbonate deposit exuded by microorganisms during the late cretaceous period (100 million years ago). I agree with the comments about the danger of water getting in. Chalk has both a macroporous and microporous structure which allows water both to filter through it and to be retained by it. Chalk has very limited solubility in water but it dissolves readily in acids. Even without the effects of acid-rain, rainwater is naturally slightly acidic because of the carbon dioxide which dissolves in it. Consequently, over prolonged periods of time rainwater will dissolve chalk and produce holes. This is how large networks of limestone caves are formed and it is why holes often appear across Thanet.

    The erosion of chalk cliff faces is a natural phenomenon. Without erosion the white cliffs of Dover would look very grubby indeed. Attempts to stop it from happening are expensive and temporary. Take a walk along the beach between Ramsgate and Broadstairs where you will see evidence that the cliffs have receded by some 10m over the last 100 years. My view is that you shouldn't build anything under chalk cliffs and you should move any path back from the edge. If people who live on clifftops want to pay to try to prevent erosion that's their business but I don't think the general taxpayer should be involved in playing Canute.

  12. Anonymouth 2:22pm,

    I'll tell you about my career if you tell me about your carer.

  13. John Holyer... a career indeed! Holyer John Arrival Date: 1962
    Message: My name is John Holyer. I served on Akrotiri with the RAF from June 1962 till December 1964. I spent my spare time as an announcer on BBS. In truth I spent most of my time there; and good job too because they were some of the happiest years of my life. I would love to hear from my contemporaries and hopefully see their photos.

    1. anonymouth 9:16 pm,

      And your point is?

      The word happy was used and I do understand how this would annoy you. For happiness is a condition beyond your experience.

      But in the event you have found the wrong John Holyer. There are others with that name and the one you quote is not me.

      You are not very good at research, are you. In fact you are so stupid that you couldn't find two St Bernards if they were in the same telephone kiosk as you.

    2. John Holyer, whilst I appreciate you derive some pleasure from taking the mickey out of the aquifer man, he is far too thick to realise that is what you are doing and he draws succour from your constant responses. Allan Mallinson and Barry James have both asked you to stop yet you persist.

      The troll is destroying this blog. Many who used to comment have left and virtually every thread now is reduced to the subjects of aquifer man's choosing with you, in the main, providing the feedback he craves. Please do give it a break. Just ignores the unpleasant little vermin.

    3. Thank you anon! It really is getting ridiculous now.

    4. Anonymous 8:55 pm,

      I tend to discount lectures from those who will not reveal their name, especially when they adopt a slightly pompous and accusing tone albeit unintentional. After all, for all I know anonymous you may be the Aquifer Man. Having said that your point is valid and I will give what you say serious thought.

      There is a reason why I indulge the Aquifer Man, that I will not discuss here. However, if you email me with your real name then I will willingly tell you what it is. You may even agree with me.

      The Aquifier Man is not thick, he is something else. As you may have realised.

      Peter, you may wish to email me.

      If Michael E-Mails me to stop then I will do so without hesitation.

    5. No, I don't wish to email you. My only wish is that you both take it elsewhere.

    6. Peter,

      Your reply does not surprise me. However, I hope you will not be offended when I remind you that your wish is not my command.

      I suggest, Peter, that you are being naive if you conclude that ignoring Aquifer Man will stop him posting. It will not. You do not appear to understand why he needs to post. I do.

      The sure way to stop him is for Michael to block all anonymous posts. Personally, I would welcome this.

    7. John, there are many reasons why people choose to post anonymously and, indeed, the aquifer man could well be one of them. Show him a councillor by name and he is instantly snapping at their heels like a demented terrier until, and as he has, he drives them away.

      My own view is that simply because a person chooses to be anonymous is not reason to discount their opinion. On the other hand, people like the aquifer man are simply destructive and do the blogging world no favours. I have not commented myself for some time because of his hijacking of every thread and insulting behaviour towards others.

      Can I therefore join the others in asking you to assist get this site back to something worthwhile. At the rate it is going it will soon be just you and aquifer and I think you are better than that.

    8. Ren Wood,

      I have already explained why I believe that ignoring the Aquifer Man will not succeed in making him go away. It will not do so because he has a driven need to post and insult; and I know why. However, from now on I will not rise to his bait. Though somebody else undoubtedly will. AM is patient and practiced at what he does.

      Rightly or wrongly, I cannot respect an opinion from someone who seeks to remain anonymous, for whatever reason.

      Furthermore, if a politician gets a fit of the vapours every time someone snaps at his heels then he should seek another profession. In public a politician should put his name to what he says, and if he does not mean what he says then he should say so.
      [For he also read she]

    9. John, let me join in this debate for I share the view of others that he, known as the aquifer man, is destroying this blogsite and I also feel he needs response. If he was totally ignored he would eventually tire and, in any event, it should be possible to hold a debate on the thread of the posting around his ridiculous comments without acknowledging them.

      I see you place much store by identity and in my case that is not a problem. You can even email me if you wish as my details are a matter of public record on the Broadstairs Town Council website.

    10. William,

      Thank you. I've sent you an email.

    11. Peter, I don’t really know the solution, I suppose the off subject comment (aquifer, firing ranges and so on) is essentially non-commercial spam.

      To me it’s a pity that it detracts from the subject of the post, which is an important issue, something I would address if I had time at the moment.

      For the most part I manage the comments from my mobile, zapping commercial spam, ones that look as though they could be libellous, ones containing obscenities, ones that look like someone is impersonating a real person and so on. It isn’t an exact science, this is a popular blog and it attracts a lot of commercial spam.

      I guess if I had the time I could moderate the comment but even if I wanted to I have other things to do, shop, children and so on to deal with.

      Assuming the way off subject comment was left by a sane person, then one looks for their motives related to the effect, the effect is clear enough; detracting from the real issue, stifling rational comment, making bloggers like me consider jacking blogging in and so on.

    12. Whether they're spam / insane / whatever, my question is should John Holyer and others (a) Ridicule them, or (b) Ignore them?

    13. Don’t really know the answer there Peter as I said, within Thanet I suppose if you want to write something on the internet and have a lot of people read it, then I guess commenting here fits the bill. For those with the problem of only having something boring to say, they don’t really have the option of starting their own blog as no one would read it. I guess one thing is to assume it is non commercial spam and just ignore it and the other is to assume the comment is made by someone insane and try to amuse them.

    14. Michael,

      As you have indicated, it was always my intention to amuse him. Which I believe I did. But it has stopped now.

    15. John in the circumstances I think you did your best, if it’s any consolation.

    16. Peter Checksfield,

      I am certain that it was an unintentional slip on your part; but I should be grateful if you would not talk about me to others within my earshot. If you have something to say about me then say it to me direct. If only to be well mannered. As I am sure you appreciate.

    17. John Holyer: Who nicked all those years? I was at RAF Western Hill from '62 to '68. How dare my contemporaries show their age - not so the ladies who of course remain timelessly young.

      And that's not you either.

    18. Peter Checksfield,

      I realise that. I was merely being polite. The thrust of my post stands. I can infer that you were deliberately talking behind my back, for reasons that please you. So be it. But I suggest that you should be wary in future of criticising others for their acerbic comments.

    19. How was I "talking behind your back" on a blog that you seemingly constantly read??? We were ALL debating your stupid squabbles with others, so please do us all a favour and go and get a life!

    20. Just ignore him Peter. Everyone else does, even Aquifier Man now.

    21. Peter Checksfield,

      And your off. You admonish me to get a life. Well if I do it will not be from the same place that you got yours.

      I say again, if you wish to discuss me then do it with me direct. Do not bandy my name about to others. You say that you did this intentionally. You must have a had a reason for this. Can you tell me what it was?

      Reply if you wish and how you wish. For I grow tired of this. I do not wish to get myself into another Aquifer Man situation.

    22. Just ignore Holyer, Peter: he's a tedious pensioner with old-fashioned and discredited views trying to appear clever in his twilight years.

  14. Anon 5 47. Thor would be of no concern to you if you don't care about the bogus WMD case made to invade Iraq.

    The HSE closed down Thor Margate and it then set up at Cato Ridge.

    Good question what operations were still going on at the Margate plant years later when the fire occurred

    The remediation project there (Kept secret until Richard Card's FOI to Environment Agency revealed the truth) may have been ongoing at the time of the fire. The contaminants are mercury and mixed solvents.

    Alan Kidger murder

    Nothing to be concerned about then. Carry on talking about fire extinguishing foam.

    When Thor was operating fully at Margate they used to have a "Gardener" whose job involved telling mums and their school kids that the site had strong weedkiller on the paths and people must stay out.

    The TV documentary in UK about the Kidger murder and the possibly mythical "Red mercury" featured ex employee(s) of Thor Margate who had developed Parkinson like illnesses leaving them long term incapacity benefits.

    You may not care because you don't live there. But the sad fact is Thanetians don't care either and they do live there. All they do is moan (Nowadays on blogs) The usually attention seeking Cllr Driver won't touch the aquifer contamination issues arising from Thor and Sericol. What question Blair and Campbell over their WMD case ?

  15. Having had the same issue on my blog and discussed it with Michael, I will not allow off topic postings by either his anon or his own name. The problem for Michael is the volume of postings at times when he cannot monitor them consistently.
    The volume of postings on Pleasurama means I can moderate all postings and remove all that are off topic.

  16. JH isn't quite getting the support he expected! : )

  17. I don't have a problem with "the aquifer man". His postings may be off topic but he is clearly campaigning on a serious issue and one which should concern us all. In my opinion it is the likes of John Hamilton and John Holyer who are destroying the blog. They insist on dominating discussions and having the last word. However, worse than that, they become abusive whenever anybody posts a point of view they don't like. They are like a couple feral cats, spitting and snarling at anyone who goes near them.

  18. I agree entirely with 5.57pm. On one occasion I posted a comment, only to be abused by J. Holyer and wrongly accused of being the Aquifer Man (whoever that may be!), which is hardly encouragement to join in any further debates.

    1. The last two comments were the Aquifer Man. He thinks we are all as stupid as him.

  19. Hi 7:35. I posted the posting at 5:57 and I am not the aquifer man. You cannot be so stupid as to believe that the aquifer man is the only one who is fed up with the way that you two ruin the blog for everybody else?

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. I am the Aquifer Man and I have not posted the above comments. This blog is now simply a few stale pensioners pretending that there is no pollution in the aquifer at Manston to justify their elderly fantasies of RAF Manston c.1962.

    Your children and grandchildren will be contaminated and the cleanup will not be done when Infratil leaves.

    The same with MOD Fire station and Thor.

    Neither the councillors nor MP's nor Environment Agency nor TDC are doing anything except taking their salaries and pensions and keeping quiet for as long as possible.

    The Aquifer Man. Accept no substitutes or pollution.

  22. Holyer should leave Peter alone. We've already had the tagteam of Holyer and Mallinson bullying others and denying Manston pollution and TDC corruption. And of course JH-BS. These people should post once a day if they have anything relevant or interesting to say. I doubt it. They're the worst of Thanet.


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.