Sunday, 1 June 2014

Bucket and Spade Classic Car Run Ramsgate 2014 photos and Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley

Sorry I couldn’t get to the Ramsgate Tunnels opening too book buying for my bookshop this morning and yes I really did buy Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley then very limited time. 


  1. In a total absence of comments over the last 48 hours or so, thought I would just pop up with a well done on the photographs of the classic cars. Was not able to get over to Ramsgate for either the tunnel opening or the Bucket & Spade run, but it seems like it went well. Certainly hope so as some cheer is desirable with an abandoned port and airfield. Add that cringe making fly on the wall documentary 'Meet the Commissioner' and all does not seem to bode well for Kent in general and Thanet in particular at the moment.

    Michael, question I have long had at the back of my mind, did that Yellow Pages advertising campaign, with J R Hartley ringing round to try and find a copy of his book, come before or after the book was published and, if the latter, did it massively enhance its sales and value?

    1. William this is what happens when I turn anonymous comments off, essentially the blog gets no comments, frankly at the moment I am just too busy to deal with bonkers comment so have left it turned off.

      The port and airport issue always comes back to the aspirations of those who support them, which as far as I can see relates to trying to make transport hubs in Thanet where most of the wheel is sea. I think it would have been quite reasonable in both cases to get something boat and aeroplane related on these sites just not hub based operations. Now the port seems to have become something no one wishes really face dealing with as it obvious that it hasn’t a future as a transport hub, but I think it will be some time before the council really looks at viable alternatives. The airport seems to have the reverse problem with so much public interest it has become something of a political football, where any local politician on the make seems to hope supporting saving it will do them some good. First there was the RiverOak offer and I still haven’t found anything to support RiverOak being anything other than what their website says they are. Five real estate hedge fund operators, working from a small office, with no connection to aviation and a strong track record of financing, housing, shopping malls and private medical centres. Now we have the idea that TDC should cpo the Manston Airport site, something that could be fine if they had adequate funds but this doesn’t seem to be the case. My take here is that it would need to be KCC or the national government and I am wondering if the TDC cpo isn’t something of a political smokescreen in this respect. I have always supported a small regional airport there with a strong historic aircraft factor, but the hub idea has frankly never made any real sense to me in the same way that a sea fishing industry wouldn’t make sense in Biggleswade.

      On to your question, the book came after the advertising campaign and was actually written by Michael Russell the scriptwriter of several famous TV dramas. You may find it interesting to put “fly fishing Hartley” into Ebay and dot the sold listings which will show you how many copies sold there in the last three months and for how much.

    2. Michael, there was little or no activity around the Thanet blogs over the same 48 hours with the exception of the same Anonymous punter talking to himself on ECR.

      I agree with you on the small regional airport with an aviation history element and it might still come round to that when people realise that there is actually no great demand for industrial, commercial or housing land in Thanet. The port was always going to depend on a ferry operator and, without one, difficult to see where it goes other than leisure. On Riveroak we will probably never know what they might have done and as for the political mileage, I am not convinced. Danger with high publicity campaigning is that if it doesn't achieve the objective you can finish up with egg on your face.

      Thanks for the info on the Hartley book.

    3. William I guess with the blogs it is genuinely very difficult to see where to go when it comes to comment. The Save Manston Airport has been pretty much a facebook group with a pretty much non-active at least in terms of comments wordpress blog and some fairly wonky use of twitter

      I had been considering expanding my use of facebook and rather cutting back on this blog, but seeing how out of control things get for Save Manston, I guess I will stick with the blog.

    4. Twitter is where it's at for me these days. Local blogs are as good as finished thanks to anonymous trolls, and Facebook tends to get too argumentative.

    5. Peter I have just had a look at your Twitter activities and I can’t say that I’m bowled over.

      With me and the blog you have to remember that it is partly a business activity and so what I write has to have a reasonable Google presence, so it has to be Google hosted Blogger.

    6. I don't expect you to be impressed, as my two main themes are saving Manston Airport and improving rights for cyclists... but that's the great thing about Twitter, one can choose who to follow and who to target.

    7. Yes I noticed a sort of antipathy of pilots rights and saving the penny farthing, I wasn’t looking to be impressed however there is always something interesting abut the mutually exclusive, don’t you think?

    8. Michael,

      Please excuse me for butting in. I do not understand your point about being mutually exclusive. When I was in the RAF I knew a pilot who used to cycle to and from work. Though not I confess on a peny farthing.

    9. The vast majority of adult cyclists are also motorists (I'm very much the exception rather than the rule).

      I'm also sometimes a pedestrian.

    10. John, Peter, I guess the problem for me with the efforts to save the airport is not so much one of disagreeing with people travelling by plane but one of disagreeing with any aviation use of the site and any impossible solution.

      To me the exclusively freight hub, financed by a real estate hedge fund looks like an impossible solution mooted entirely for political ends. With no fuel pipeline and pretty much all of the freight having to be driven about a hundred miles where it will pass a major hub airport before it reaches its destination, we are entering the world of the surreal.

      Just as ludicrous is the notion that the airport should be the subject of a cpo by TDC a council that has neither the money to buy or run it, a cpo by KCC I could understand but once again this looks like an impossible solution for exclusively political ends.

      So for me this all fits in very well with pilots rights or perhaps pilot’s rites and saving the penny farthing and frankly make about as much sense.

    11. Michael (@10:13 am)

      I'm afraid your final paragraph is all bit too clever for me. I have no idea what you're on about. Even though I do know the difference between right & rite.

      Maybe you should get on to Roger Gale and the Save Manston Group to explain why they are misguided, in your view.

    12. I guess you prefer a huge housing estate with the disappearance of the villages of Acol, Minster, Cliffsend and Manston villages then? Because this seems to be the most likely alternative.

    13. There are plans to build 70 more homes in St. Nicholas over the next few years too, which should see it pushing onto the boundaries of Monkton and / or Sarre. We'll have no open land left in Thanet in 20 years time.

    14. Peter,

      Only if it has the touch of Labour on it and is populated by fanatical book buyers.

    15. In all this clamour for housing, gents, just take a look above the shops around Margate, Cliftonville, Broadstairs High Street, Ramsgate numerous streets and Westgate into Birchington. Loads of often two floor accommodation used for nothing or a bit of storage. Add empty shops, unoccupied flats and the lower than SE Thanet property prices. Where is the demand which could not be met in the shorter term from conversion or improvement of existing stock.

      Historically man has arrived in a place because it offered opportunities to make a living. A natural harbour, a source of minerals or raw materials, good farming country all adding up to work and income. Then come the houses and the infrastructure, but here in Thanet we seem to have many clamouring for housing despite there being no jobs. What kind of bizarre economy is that?

    16. My guess is that however it comes down to the problems associated with having a 700 acre brownfield site where there are not going to have easy solutions.

      As I said my preferred option would be a regional airport that people could actually fly from with a strong emphasis on historic aircraft. My guess is that a very big factor in any compulsory purchase would be that Manson never managed to become compliant with the normal environmental standards that other airports are subject to and so failed to ever get a planning consent as an airport.

      I don’t see that arguments along the lines of all housing is bad and all aircraft activity is good will take anyone very far, we all know that we have to have aircraft activity and housing some of which is good and some of which is bad.

      At some point I think the need to separate viable solutions from political posturing has to come and the real questions addressed which relate to having a huge brownfield site in the middle of Thanet, and is there much local residents can do to influence the future use of the site towards something more rather than less beneficial to the area.

    17. Brownfield or not, Michael, to be viable there has to be demand. Already we have seen there is no demand for industrial usage and housing would only be an option if the developers could see a good profit in the resales. That is an unknown question in Thanet and the preferred option for many of the big names, those capable of handling a site of that size, would be the land likely to be available on the Hoo Peninsula, being much closer to London for commuting. Whatever the perceived demand, no company wants to build houses they cannot sell.

      Ultimately market forces are more likely to dictate the future of Manston rather than political posturing, especially as all the politicians from red to blue to Green to TIG seem to be now posturing, as you put it, on the same side.

    18. Could someone explain to me the difference between Gloagsville and Riveroak real estate. To me they are the same. Pleasurama had lots of promises which turned out to be lies. There are no guarantees that Riveroak will do anything except build Riveroaks Ville

    19. Only if there is a market for Riveroaks Ville, Barry. My point is that there is no guarantee that anyone will actually build anything, much like Pleasurama in fact.


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