The history of Manston Airport as a commercial airport goes
back to the 1960s and frankly it hasn’t been a good history from a commercial
point of view, the first commercial operator there Air Ferries floundered in
1968, the picture above is of a DC 4 loading at Manston, Air Ferries operated
several out of Manston and most of them left Manston and arrived on runways at
other airports, apart from Oscar Golf that flew into some trees on the approach
at Frankfurt killing everyone onboard, and Kilo Yankee that flew into a
mountain killing everyone onboard.
One of the main snags with Manston is that most air
accidents take place near the runway and with Manston the town of Ramsgate sits
at the end of the main runway.
The other large snag with Manston in terms safety is that it
sits on to of the underground drinking water reservoir.
The main commercial snag for the airport is that it is
mostly surrounded by sea so it is a disadvantage in terms of catchment area compared with rival airports in southeast England.
Obviously no one would build a commercial airport with the disadvantages
that Manston has and I think in the past there have been cases where airport operators
have bought Manston Airport without understanding these problems.
I think the main difference this time around is that
the new airport buyer Ann Gloag has most likely bought the airport while being
fully aware of its problems.
I am inclined to look at this sort of deal along the lines
of – if I wasn’t a shop assistant – whether I would consider doing the deal
In this insistence I can’t see how it would be
possible to lose money on the deal, in the first instance the southeastern UK
is entering a period of major hub airport expansion, either this will involve
expanding one of the existing airports or building a new hub airport. This is
likely to lead to periods when the existing airports can’t cope with the
traffic, so there is a fair chance that in the short to medium term of if not
making a profit then at least minimising losses. And in the second instance if she can’t make it succeed,
either selling it on or splitting the assets and selling must result in a
More to come on this one, basically dependent on how
busy my bookshop is today.
I guess the underlying question for us locals is would
having a successful airport be beneficial to the area?
Obviously as the airport has never been a successful commercial
airport, there is a sense that we don’t really know the answer.
Certainly one of the most difficult problems economically
is having a large business in the area with one key aspect being total uncertainty
about the direction it is going in.
An interesting exhibition this one, portrait sketching with
cotton is something I have never tried but will aim to have a go at.
Here is the bumph: “NOVEMBER 2013: my first ever solo
exhibition in my home town. 'Past Present' will be on display at York St
Gallery 27th Nov - 4th Dec. Gallery will be open daily and I will be there
every day stitching away! be lovely if you came by and said hi.” And the link
to her website http://emilytull.co.uk/
which I had some technical difficulties with.
Pictures will expand if clicked on compulsively, I guess there is an interesting factor in sketching with cotton and that is that you can see a line before you make it, whereas with a brush, pen or pencil, you don't see the line until you have made it.
I went to the town of Deal yesterday, one I compare with
Ramsgate, on the whole Deal seems to have fared better being governed from
Dover, than Ramsgate has being governed from Margate.
It’s a sad historical fact that from medieval times Ramsgate
was governed from Sandwich and suffered as a result until Victorian times when
Ramsgate gained the right to govern itself and seemed to do very well until in
the 1970s from which time it was governed from Margate. When a town is governed
from its main rival town then it would appear that often that town suffers as
one would expect.
As you see from the pictures Deal is getting
another dose of publicly funded sea defences and Margate has, as most of you
will know, just had theirs completed, yet here in Ramsgate we don’t seem to
have been part of any of the major surveys, let alone had any of the sea
defence work done. I think this is probably because of the council’s desire to
balance some of their budget with proceeds from selling the Pleasurama site. I guess
with a major foreshore site with a history of tidal storm flooding and no
investigation into what sea defence work needs doing, along with The Royal
Sands developer still failing to come up with the readies the council will soon
be looking out for a developer who is a bit of a gambler.
Ramsgate town centre today seemed to be about
ten times busier than Deal town centre was yesterday, taking these photos
involved holding the camera above my head and waiting for a gap between people.
Market day today, with the rubbish and recycling changes
having a considerable impact on pedestrian flow in the town centre, I wonder if
this is some sort of deliberate ploy by TDC and whether any other towns in the
UK have this sort of thing occur at midday on their busiest shopping day. I
guess the photo taken today says it all really.
I will ramble on, but had better get the first lot with its
associated photos published or I will get more than a little confused.
Onto the various surveys, starting with “Is TDC fit for
purpose?” which is all about the Thanet District Councillors shooting the
messenger. I was talking to a long term labour voter yesterday who was trying
to express his frustration with the current Labour cabinet. Apart from this
being most reminiscent of long term Tory voters talking about the council’s
Conservative cabinet, particularly around the time Steve Ladyman got elected,
here is what he had to say to a member of the current Labour cabinet. “Don’t go
out and ask a dozen people on the street if the think the council is fit for
purpose or corrupt, just go out and ask what they think of the council and tell
me how many of them tell you it’s unfit for purpose or corrupt”