Before the First World War Ramsgate had no sands at high tide, the shape formed by the promenade and the harbour wall causes some build up of sand but not enough to reach above the high tide mark.
During both world wars there was a threat of invasion so a mixture of concrete and barbed wire defences were put on Ramsgate Sands to deter the enemy.
During the early 1980s most of the sand and associated wartime defences that held it in place was removed from the beach and used for the infill to build Port Ramsgate.
This is the situation today, as you can see we lost a lot of sand during the winter.
With very few exceptions the sea defences around are coast are modern concrete structures built during the last fifty years and maintained by the environment agency.
During this time the council have no record of any sea defence maintenance there and at some point they managed to lose the construction drawings.
The recent concrete steps, seats and coloured promenade sits on the sand held in place by the 1860 sea defence as do the recent Pleasurama foundations.
I will ramble on here about the possible implications for the Pleasurama site and The Royal Victoria Pavillion, if I get time, though I doubt I will need to draw a diagram to get most people to understand that we have a problem. If as much sand goes as went last winter the sea will once again be smashing against the sea defences.
The progression suggests that the Pleasurama site will be at serious risk within two or three years as it has the earliest sea defence made of slabs laid on the side of the chalk spoil from the railway tunnel that was used to elevate the site enough for the railway station.
The pavillion appears to sit on a more solid concrete defence and the sand in front of it should be the last to go, perhaps five to ten years.
I went down there today and the situation with the sand seems to have turned some sort of critical point where it eroding more rapidly, as you see the non tidal area has nearly reached the Pavillion.
A further update this picture was taken today 18.04.2014