Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Some old pictures of Ramsgate and Margate to cheer what for some is a bit of a glum day.

Why do we do it? Let the people decide who is to be the leader of the free world, that is. Perhaps it would be better if we first selected only the sensible people and then let them vote? Some are more equal than others.

Time to bring out Winston Churchill

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

It was a funny old thing you know, two candidates both aged around 70, with about half the electorate not so much voting for who they wanted to win, but voting against who they didn’t. You can tell the Americans got their system from us British.

Here in the bookshop it looks like we could be going to have a record bad day and I am putting it down to the American election and not down to the forecast for rain all day or the actual rain itself.

Political effects on bookshops are strange – the recent Brexit one caused the pound to crash which made our book exports rise, mind you if the Trump effect is that the dollar crashes then I suppose that will be reversed.   


Local pictures next and oh yes sorry about that you didn’t really want my thoughts on the American election did you. I promise to try and stick to East Kent local issues.


 There is a local story related to this picture, which may be only a half truth.

This building was for a telescope, which may have been Pugin’s as it was next to his house or it may have belonged to the monastery – for viewing the heavens. It was situated on the middle of what now, is the entrance to the duel carriageway road on top of the Westcliffe here in Ramsgate.

Now if it wasn’t us British who invented elections then it was the Roman Catholic Church, they started electing popes about a thousand years ago and here in Ramsgate they also – the monks that is elected and abbot – probably like the Americans, that is by choosing which of the monks aged around 70, that most of them didn’t like much, should be their leader.

I think in the senior end of the god bothering world, you would need a certain type of individual to handle any big red buttons that suddenly turned up.

The abbot of the monastery, Erkonwald (?) Egan, installed the war memorial on the wall of the Pugin? observatory in the early 1920's. As you can see, this included a crucifix, which was vandalized one night. A letter was then sent anonymously to a local newspaper, stating that "local protestants" objected to the "public idolatry" of the crucifix. Apparently the abbot replied, saying that he would replace the crucifix (he never did).

There are two rumours attached to this. One, the abbot already knew that the Westcliff Promenade was going to be built, and hoped to stop work on this by putting the war memorial in the way. Two, those who were going to benefit financially from the Westgate development arranged for the vandalism, not any Protestants (who were never traced, apparently, neither could anybody guess who they could have been).

There was a strong feeling back then that the Westgate development involved serious collusion and corruption between the then town council and developers, but all those in the know must now be dead.
 This one is of J W Gurney Poulterer and Pork Butcher 1 Hawley Street Margate C1900


  John Henry Iles bought the site in November 1919. JH Iles took over the existing Hall By The Sea, a seafront dance hall and pleasure garden, originally opened in the 1860s by circus showman ‘Lord’ George Sanger, initially renaming it Dreamland Hall before opening the famous amusement park to the public on July 3 1920.

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