Wednesday 31 December 2008

New year predictions.

Looking at what I was saying on this blog at the end of last year I see that my predictions were wrong. I predicted that work on the repairs to the cliff façade behind Pleasurama would start on 7th January and take about a year to complete, well they haven’t even started the most difficult bit, anchoring the unpainted area of concrete to the cliff, so I am going to have to revise that one to March at the earliest.

I was also predicting cliff collapses most particularly to the Marina Esplanade incline road, after WW2 the borough engineer decided the only proper course of action for this incline was to make it one way only, allowing traffic to go up the hill only. The reason for this is that when a series of arches is built as in a viaduct the effect of an incline is to weaken the structure to a lateral force pushing down the incline. He considered that a train of busses or lorries going down the hill that had to brake suddenly in an emergency could cause the whole structure to collapse.

The council and their experts that have allowed the road to become two way as part of the access for the new Pleasurama development assure me that this is quite safe and that no weight limit is required, anyway it hasn’t collapsed yet so I was wrong.

Click on the link to look at the arches and tell me how many lorries and busses breaking hard down the incline from 30 mph, you think this can support.

I am hoping to persuade the council to try it with half a dozen HGVs before it is tried with half a dozen busses full of people.

I don’t appear to be much of a soothsayer so I won’t try and predict anything for this year coming.

Ramsgate Model Village

I think these two pictures click here to view were taken in the 1970s many thanks to Mr Holborn for letting me copy them.

Tuesday 30 December 2008

Margate Football Club and the medical Centre

Perusing the various online Thanet news sources I noticed the a story on the site about TDC turning down plans for a medical centre at Margate Football Club click here to read it.

The planning reference is TH/08/1186 click here to go to the planning website, they are fairly unusual plans showing the medical centre and football stands as one integrated building.

I have to admit to not being aware of this development or quite what is going on here, does anyone know.

Monday 29 December 2008

The New Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs Guide 1809

The picture is from The New Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs Guide 1809, I published a paper reprint of it some time ago, click here to buy it, if however you have this cold that’s doing the rounds and can’t handle anything so complex click here for a fair amount of the book online.

Saturday 27 December 2008

John Lewis on Margate writing in 1736

John Lewis was vicar of Margate and the Margate section is quite long I have published some of it on the internet click here to read I will endeavour to put some more up later, the computer doesn’t seem to like these Gif files copied from Word, so I make no guarantees.

John Lewis on Ramsgate writing in 1736

When I first started producing local books back in 2005 I used much more primitive techniques than I do now, which makes it far more difficult to put all or part of them on the web.

The History and Antiquities as well Ecclesiastical as Civil of the Isle of Tenet, in Kent The Second Edition, With Additions. 1736 by John Lewis is one of these early reprints, as it is very quiet in the shop today I have extracted the part about Ramsgate and published it on the web for you to share click here to do so.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas

One of our best selling books about Ramsgate this Christmas has been John Huddelstone’s 400 Facts and Curiosities of Ramsgate. It was originally published in 1932 click here for the text from the book, a small Christmas present to readers of the blog.

I have been trying to find local Christmas curiosities I have only managed to come up with the following so far.

Here in Thanet there used to be a tradition of people dressing up at Christmas, 1828 a young woman was so frightened on seeing a man dressed as a bear that she died.

Some Ramsgate Carnival pictures turned up today click here to look at them.
Click here for pictures of this years carnival
Click here for 1968 and 1969 carnival.

A Very Happy Christmas to you and your family

Laura Sandys press release

A Very Happy Christmas to you and your family

With all our very best wishes for the New Year

Laura and Randolph
Instead of sending Christmas Cards we have donated funds to two leading local charities

Tuesday 23 December 2008

The Ducking Chair at Fordwich

In ancient times the village of Fordwich was a town governed by a mayor and Jurats, they administered a very tough form of justice condemned evildoers being put to death by drowning.

Scolding wives were strapped to the ducking chair and lowered to the bottom of the river, after which they were put into a specially designed loft over the prison to dry out.

Local history produces these little gems of information that I feel duty bound to share with you all

Interim ASBOs granted

Thanet district Council press release

Nine interim ASBOs have been granted against people believed to be responsible for numerous acts of anti-social behaviour in Newington.

The nine appeared before Magistrates yesterday (Monday 22 December) in a civil case brought by the Thanet District Council and supported by Kent Police, on behalf of the Thanet Community Safety Partnership.

The partnership have been gathering evidence in recent months from CCTV footage, along with statements from witnesses, who include police officers, police community support officers and the council’s community wardens.

The nine, suspected of being members of a gang on the Newington estate, were told that they would be subject to the interim anti-social behaviour orders between now and court hearings at the end of January. These mean that they cannot congregate together in groups of three or more or go near any of the witnesses in the case. Insulting or offensive behaviour or behaviour likely to cause harassment is also covered by the interim orders.

In agreeing the interim ASBOs, the court stated that it was “just and urgent that these matters are addressed”.

Community Safety Officer Jess Bailey said: “We’re determined to tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour in Newington and that’s why we’ve taken this action. issuing interim ASBOs should help prevent some of the problems that residents on the estate have been suffering from over the past few months until we have the full hearing. It’s not a route that the Community Safety Partnership has gone down lightly. We have tried to help this group to change their behaviour and we will be continuing to do that. We’re looking at increasing both education and sporting provision for them as ways of diverting them away from anti-social behaviour, but it’s up to them to take up these opportunities to change their behaviour.”

Inspector Terry Chuter from Kent Police said: ''This is an excellent example of the work of the council, the Newington neighbourhood police team and, most importantly, the Newington community. It sends a clear message out to those who flaunt the law and make the lives of people who live on the estate a misery, that this sort of behaviour won't be tolerated and we will do everything in our power to stop anti-social behaviour. In particular, the residents who took a stand against these youths deserve our praise and will continue to have the support of the partners whilst this process goes through the courts.''

The court hearings are due to take place between Monday 26 and Thursday 29 January 2009.

New way of tackling graffiti

Thanet district Council press release

A new way of tackling graffiti is being taken into secondary schools and colleges in Thanet by the Thanet Community Safety Partnership.

A Community Safety Officer has been visiting schools to highlight the penalties for criminal damage and to promote the other activities that are available to young people.

This has led to a community project by students at King Ethelbert School in Birchington, who are looking at how they can get across the voice of today’s young people as part of their GCSE Citizenship course.

Joseph Andrews, Shipona Akthar and Jade Duggan, all aged 15, volunteered and worked with Street Art Studio, a local art group, to complete a mural which promotes the message “look beyond the image… see the real person”.

Other students came up with the design, which shows a person in a hooded top on one side of the mural, while the other side shows the person underneath the hoodie, an ordinary young person. They also completed a survey about the perceptions of young people.

Jospeh said: “We wanted to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The idea behind the design is to get the message out that you shouldn’t stereotype young people. Just because we wear hoodies doesn’t mean we cause trouble.”

Community Safety Officer Jessica Bailey said: “We want to get the message across that young people care about the community. From the work we’ve done with young people, it’s become very apparent that far from what is often perceived, that young people aren’t interested in their community, many have exactly the same concerns as older generations. They’re also worried about anti-social behaviour and community safety, as well as being frustrated that perceptions of young people are sometimes negative.''

It is hoped that the art work can be exhibited in the new year.

Jail for Margate fraudster

Thanet district Council press release

A Margate man has been jailed for 16 months, after fraudulently claiming more than £50,000 in benefits.

Michael Prior (39) from Hatfeild Road was arrested in December 2007, along with his wife Julie (44), for living together and not declaring it, dating back to 2003. During that time, he was overpaid £27,446.95 in Income Support, £23,378.55 in Housing Benefit and £2,659.62 in Council Tax Benefit.

Mr. Prior faced seven charges in total, five of failing to declare a change in his circumstances and two under the Theft Act, while his wife was charged with three offences of knowingly allowing him to claim benefits.

Both pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced yesterday (Monday 22 December) at Canterbury Crown Court.

Mr. Prior was sentenced to eight months plus another eight months to run consecutively and was told he would have to serve at least eight months. His wife received a 20 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and a supervision order for 12 months.

They were told by Judge Nash, presiding, that they were “both in the dock because of their dishonesty with taxpayers’ money” and that “as a taxpayer, I feel aggrieved and insulted.”

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Finance, Improvement and Customer Service, said: “This case sends out a strong message to anyone tempted to try and cheat the system. This fraud had been going on for a number of years and had resulted in massive overpayments, which come out of our pockets as taxpayers. It’s never pleasant to see someone sent to prison just before Christmas, but it’s clear that the courts took this case exceptionally seriously in light of the amount of money that had been fraudulently claimed.”

To advise of any changes to your circumstances if you are claiming benefits, call 01843 577369.

Street trading restrictions extended

Thanet district Council press release

Restrictions on street trading have been extended to another six streets in Thanet.

The decision was taken at a meeting of full council on Thursday (19 December) and applies to Dumpton Park Drive in Broadstairs and Ramsgate, Church Street and Vicarage Street in St. Peter’s, St. Mildred’s Road in Westgate and Waverley Road in Westbrook.

The council first introduced such restrictions in 1998, when street trading was banned on more than 200 streets, with a further 21 streets added in May 2005.

The majority of complaints are about cars for sale on the highway and these usually focus on the nuisance the trade causes and the fact that purchasers don’t have the usual legal protection that they would have if they went to legitimate motor traders. The council also receives a number of complaints about mobile catering units in the street.

Cllr. Jo Gideon, Cabinet Member for Safer Neighbourhoods, Health and Communities, said: “This is all about responding to concerns that local people have raised about street trading. We’re aware that there have been problems on some of the roads not covered by the existing ban and, by adding these six streets in, we can tackle the problems in these areas. We know that there’s a chance that the sale of vehicles on the highway could just be displaced into other roads, but a district-wide ban isn’t appropriate. We’ve got a number of narrower streets with terraced housing and, if we extend the ban into these streets, then this will affect residents who live there.”

Shops that operate in these streets and display their goods outside their premises will be able to continue to do this.

Beware of Christmas Debt: Do not follow the Government’s lead

Laura Sandys press release

This year so many residents in South Thanet have faced some real financial difficulties. Whether that be from those whose jobs are at risk – all those who work at Woolworths in particular; those whose homes are at risk and also pensioners whose income have dropped significantly.

However this is not a time to take the lead from the Government who will be borrowing £118 million – a national debt that will be the highest for more than 40 years.

I am again warning local people to beware of the Christmas credit temptation. Whether that be interest free offers that kick in hard when they need to be repaid, or home loan companies that offer money with very high interest rates.

For our part the Conservatives would

· Prevent people being ripped off by introducing a cap on store card interest rates.

Freeze council tax for two years, in partnership with local councils. Paid for by reducing unnecessary Government spending on consultants and advertising.

Cut payroll taxes for small businesses securing more jobs for more families

Reduce energy bills for millions of people by enabling them to set up direct debits through their post office accounts.

Help first-time buyers facing higher mortgage costs by taking 9 out of 10 out of stamp duty altogether. A boost to the housing market at this time!

I have always been concerned about the levels of debt and find that many people are struggling. Do please be careful about more debt!

Townley house and Townley Castle

This History provided by Paul Nettleingham of Blackburns of Broadstairs following his two decades of years of working inside Townley House.
Townley House must surely rate as Ramsgate's finest architectural masterpiece, an outstanding memorial to the design ability of Mrs. Mary Townley.

Click here to read on

Ed. Fool that I am I now realise that Townley House and Townley Castle are two different buildings.

Monday 22 December 2008

Townley House Ladies Boarding School

Townley Castle, an annexe of Chatham House used for disabled men.
Also bombed on the 22nd August 1917. A photo showing a demolished ward.

I got the question below to answer last week and have drawn a blank as to how someone’s Grandfather could have attended this school, so any help would be appreciated.

"I would like to know something about the school. My wife’s grandfather attended circa 1891. Are you aware of any history of the place from that time. Am I correct in assuming that Townley Castle might have been used for the school?

The school in which I am interested is, presumably, a Jewish school. The head of the household was a Rev? H Harris ‘Jewish minister and school principal’ "

The closest Kelly’s Directory I have to it is 1891 is showing it as Townley House Young Ladies School, Kennet the misses.

I know it was an annexe of Chatham House before WW1 as there are pictures of the bomb damage there in Siminson's book that I publish, I will try to dig out some more info when I get time.

I have discovered a bit more for you Lynette Hallett's book fragments of the Ramsgate Schools available at £4.99 which calls it Townley House Lady's Boarding School circa 1836 to 1919.

It's not one of my publications so I Can't scan it for you for copyright reasons. I do have it in stock however it has about an A4 page on the school.

There must be an error here though as it was used as hospital during WW1, probably due to the 1919 Kelly’s Directory not being updated.

I have checked with an expert in local Jewish history and he says he knows of no Jewish connection and thinks it unlikely as is doesn’t appear in the Montefiore legacy.

Update I thought I would look through my own publications to see if there was an advert for the school, click here to see what I came up with its from Ramsgate Illustrated 1895. it only goes to show that local history isn’t a precise art.

This Indenture made the Sixth day of Aprill in ye third Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lady Anne by the grace of God Queen of....

Another updated transcription thanks to Gerald click here to read it

Sunday 21 December 2008


Laura Sandys press release

A message on the shortest day of the year!

How about brightening up your winter! I am calling for the Government to shift the clocks in winter one hour forward. While this has always been seen as a trivial issue statistics show it to be something that we should campaign for particularly over the dark Christmas evenings (that start at 4.00!)…
The case for Lighter Evenings is compelling:
° An annual reduction of up to 450 deaths and major injuries caused by road accidents. (RoSPA 2007).
° Energy Saving of up to 2% reduction in peak time electricity usage leading to a reduction in carbon emission of up to 1.2 million tonnes per annum. (Cambridge University 2008).

° Tourism earnings increased by £2.5b - £3.5b per annum resulting in 60,000 – 80,000 new jobs.(* Policy Studies Institute October 2008)

° Lighter evenings providing increased opportunity for outdoor activity and exercise to assist in the battle against childhood obesity.

° The elderly feel more vulnerable in hours of darkness with a consequent reduction in their effort to engage in activity outside their homes.

° Commerce will benefit from more light for late afternoon shopping.
I believe that it is miserable in winter evenings – don’t you? Why not call for a change!

Sunday ramble

It’s been a busy week, keeping up with the Christmas demand for local books, with 120 titles in print and manufacturing them as I go it gets a bit complicated.

Internet wise Christopher Scott’s book The Ripper in Ramsgate has sold better than any of the others, I hadn’t considered the international demand from Jack the Ripper collectors.

Shop wise the most demand has been for two quite old titles, Dave Richards book Ramsgate August 1940 and John Huddlestone’s 400 Facts and Curiosities About Ramsgate, I think that price is a major factor here as they are £3.99 and £2.99 respectively.

As far as general shop sales go we are having a fairly good December, the recession means that I can buy better quality books cheaper than usual and I don’t have to engage in all the discounting that is going on at the moment, as our prices are still lower than the other bookshops in the area.

I went and had a quick look at Westwood Cross on Thursday it really is a parking and traffic nightmare and it’s difficult to see an obvious solution, even if the roads were improved considerably there are far too few parking spaces. Perhaps by charging for the parking there at a variable rate to help even out peak times, combined with a scheme where retailers could refund parking charges when one purchased something could help.

It certainly looks like it needs some sort of scheme to maximise the sales there, within the restraints of an inadequate infrastructure.

The share price of Commercial Group Properties the company behind China Gateway has fallen from £2.10 a year ago to 20p now, so it seems unlikely that anything will happen there for a while. The whole thing has always struck me as decidedly odd as the experts consulted produced a drainage plan that they must have known from the outset would be wholly unacceptable, both to Southern Water and the Environment Agency. I do wonder sometimes whether they ever intended to build anything and I still can’t see that there is any way that they could deal with the surface runoff water in a way that will be acceptable.

I wonder what has happened to the work on the cliff façade behind the Pleasurama site that was due to start this December, perhaps the half a million of our money put aside for the repairs has run out, or they have encountered some other difficulty.

It is of course the same architect as the one used for China Gateway, again with no explanation as to how plans that defy the laws of nature could actually be built.

My in house expert has reconditioned my colour laser printer, which was getting a bit stripy, this means that I can put together a booklet of the 1849 map of Ramsgate click here to look at it, the intention being that people can cut the sections out and stick them on the wall or get them framed.

Laser printing doesn’t fade like inkjet, and as the original is paper sections pasted onto linen, the assembled reprint will look pretty much identical.

One of our old Dell computers died of leaky electrolytic capacitors this week and my in house expert seemed very dubious at my suggestion that soldering replacement capacitors onto the mother board would be a better bet, both financially and environmentally, than replacing the whole board. Frankly he seemed amazed when the computer booted up again with no problems. These capacitors are a bit like batteries that only hold their charge for a fraction of a second and are used in all electronic equipment.

It’s strange really you could see these capacitors were no good because they had swollen up, so no technical expertise was needed apart from the ability to use a soldering iron, obviously it is also necessary to wear an antistatic bracelet. As they only cost a few pence there is nothing much to lose if the cure doesn’t work either.

It’s an odd reflection on today’s throw away society, a few years ago had it been a radio the option of replacement rather than repair would probably never have been considered.

My new website still won’t show the latest comments on some of the local blogs although I don’t know why yet I promise to try and get it right in the end.

Saturday 20 December 2008

To all christian people to whome this present writing shall come Nicholas Spencer of Ramsgate

Gerald has finished transcribing the package of documents relating to The Rising Sun in Ramsgate. He told me that there have been minor corrections to the ones already published, so I am putting the first 3 up on the web again and will do the rest in the fullness of time.

Click here to read

Deed 1: Nicholas Spencer granting land to his son and future daughter in law, 1641

I feel it is very important to put them onto the internet as this will help people trying to unravel their family’s history, as the search engines find the all important names.


For some peculiar reason part of a post on Guido Fawkes blog is coming out of Dave Green’s feed is it a ghost in the machine?

Eastcliff Matters
blogging - It is certainly expensive in time, every morning Guido deletes a load of comments which have, in his rather arbitrary judgement, just gone too far. Some blo...
2 hours ago

Ramsgate Then and Now

A new book by Vincent Runacre reviewed in this weeks Isle of Thanet Gazette, 96 pages, published by Tempus at £12.99 below the blurb from the back cover.

The seaside resort and well-known fishing port of Ramsgate has seen many changes over the last century. In this book the town's busy maritime centre, seafront and stunning architecture have been captured in a myriad of images depicting scenes of yesteryear along with contrasting images of contemporary views from over 100 years later. Archive postcards are compared with the same scene photographed by the author. Local landmarks such as Ramsgate Harbour and St Augustine's Abbey are included alongside seafront views and snapshots of everyday life, combining scenes reminiscing Ramsgate's heritage whilst celebrating the improvements that have taken place over time. As well as delighting the many tourists who have visited the town over the years, Ramsgate Then & Now will provide present occupants with an insight of how the town used to be, in addition to awakening nostalgic memories for those who used to live here.

Many thanks to the Gazette for telling me that they were going to review it so I could order extra copies in time.

Friday 19 December 2008

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This is just to let anyone who wants to know that I have got my new blog that collects local blog comment mostly working properly at

Tesco rip-off

One of the problems when dealing with big companies is one often comes up against a total lack of common sense.

Tesco is one of the firms I normally boycott because of the damage they have done to Ramsgate both by building a hideous supermarket in the town, which caused a lot of small shops to close and then by closing and decamping out of town, once again damaging our town centre.

As a family we spend about £10,000 a year on shopping that we deliberately don’t do there and as over the years this builds up, my contention is that every little helps.

With the bookshop and the children it’s very difficult for us to go anywhere over Christmas so the rest of the family come to us, and it’s a large family.

We always have Tunis Cake at Christmas which none of the shops in Ramsgate sell so my wife ordered four from Tesco online, she also ordered tomato ketchup value £1.92 which we happened to be out of.

A cheery Tesco delivery man arrived today with the ketchup and said they were out of Tunis Cake but not to worry about the £6 delivery charge, he said just phone them and they are bound to see that it’s a stupid mistake and refund the delivery charge.

In the end they offered a £3 refund, one lives and learns.

Iraq Withdrawal: Inquiry Needed!

Laura Sandys press release

As someone who was publicly against the invasion in Iraq I am pleased on one level that we are withdrawing from an adventure that we should never have been involved with.
My concern for the Iraq War however does nothing to detract from my admiration and pride in what our troops have done in very difficult circumstances – and my deep regrets at those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The government is now promising us a public inquiry in the how we ended up at war with the Americans in Iraq. This is not before time with all the “phoney” inquiries that have been conducted; we now need a real in-depth analysis of why and how we were taken into Iraq.
I would also very much like to ensure that the inquiry covers one additional point that has been lost in the midst of time and in my view needs total clarification.
What powers over the British military did the British Government under Tony Blair relinquish to the Americans? Whether explicit or implicit it appeared from the front line that Blair allowed Rumsfeld to take decisions that impacted our military and their conduct. I know of a British officer who was in reality fired by the Pentagon; there were many examples of British military commanders’ decisions being over-ridden by the American high command. Even in the Ministry of Defence in London, decisions taken in the interests of our armed forces were frequently “checked” by the Pentagon. The fundamental question is was the British Military an autonomous force able to put its own interests first or had Blair handed our men over to Americans command. I would like to hear what Rumsfeld says about that!

Thursday 18 December 2008

Planning Website 14 Days Behind

One of the worst websites I have occasion to use is the one that hosts TDCs planning applications, I have a fairly busy life and don’t have time to get to Margate to look at the important local planning applications, so this site really is a pain.

You need to have a PDF viewer installed on your computer to view the applications, the plans appear with no scale on them so it is very difficult to judge the size of anything. You can’t view the latest plans, there is no map showing where planning applications are, very trying as it often uses different addresses for the same place.

This is an issue that TDC are addressing, they tell me they will be hosting the planning applications on their own site, I made some recommendations for the new site, however if it is any better remains to be seen.
Now I gather that the planning website has a 14 day delay publishing applications, presumably this means some of the applications will be passed before we have had time to look at them properly.

Providing sports opportunities in Newington

Thanet district Council press release

Young people in Newington have been braving the freezing cold temperatures to attend weekly sports sessions, organised by Sport 4 NRG.

The sessions have been held at Dame Janet Primary School on Monday evenings between 5.30pm and 7.30pm for more than two years, with the next one due to take place on Monday 12 January 2009. The sessions are free of charge and have been attracting, on average, around 25 young people each week, including a number of promising female footballers.

Sport 4 NRG, run by Thanet District Council, aims to provide sporting opportunities for young people in Thanet and keep them occupied.

James Gregory from Sport 4 NRG said: “The football sessions are all about adding structure and routine for young people through regular free sports provision. We listen to the young people who come along to the sessions and take the time to treat each of them as an individual and not just a group of “kids”. That means we’ve built up a lot of mutual respect over the years we’ve been running these sessions. If we’re willing to run around with them in the cold each week, which we do, then we gain their respect and then leads to appropriate behaviour from the young people. There’s every chance that behaviour will then follow through into other aspects of their life, such as school and at home.”

More fines for littering and dog fouling

Thanet district Council press release

Four people have received hefty fines for littering and allowing their dogs to foul in Thanet, as part of the council’s “Drop It and Cop It” campaign.

Sophie Page, from Northdown Road, Cliftonville, was fined £165 for dropping litter in Northdown Road, while Mr. Watson from Godwin Road, Cliftonville was fined the same amount for allowing his dog to foul in Trinity Square, Margate.

Dropping a cigarette butt in Margate High Street left Jonathan Cottrill of Royal Crescent, Margate with a £165 fine, while Terry Chittenden from Godwin Road, Cliftonville received a £140 fine for dropping a cigarette butt in Margate High Street.

The fines are the latest results from the council’s zero tolerance campaign on litter, “Drop It and Cop It”, which warns people they will face fines if they are caught littering or allowing their dogs to foul.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Commercial and Environmental Services, said: “Local people wanted zero tolerance on littering, including cigarette butts, and dog fouling and we’re doing exactly what residents asked for. We know it’s a popular campaign, with the majority of our residents’ panel telling us that Drop It and Cop It is important for Thanet. We are determined to do what we can to stamp out litter and sadly, the only way of getting the message across to some people, is by taking action and issuing fines. As these cases show, if people fail to pay up, then they could land up in court with much higher fines.”

Court in Act

Thanet district Council press release

Nine adults have been served with summons to appear in court on Monday 22 December by Thanet District Council for severe incidents of anti-social behavior.

Over the past five months the nine ringleaders of a gang have been investigated by Thanet Community Safety Partnership for numerous acts of anti-social behaviour in Newington and evidence has been gathered from CCTV footage and statements from professional witnesses such as police, PCSO’s and council community wardens.

Thanet District Council is leading the enforcement action on behalf of the partnership and is supported by Kent Police.

Mark Richardson, Community Safety Manager said: "This is one of the biggest enforcement cases being undertaken by Thanet District Council in partnership with Kent Police to stamp out quite a severe case of anti-social behaviour by a gang in Newington.

“We are actively pursuing anti-social behaviour orders for all ring leaders of this gang to ensure that the behaviour that we have evidenced stops. Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and the council will continue with this legal action on behalf of overwhelming support from the community to put an end to any anti-social behaviour and gang culture in Newington."

Chief Inspector Rob Vinson, Kent Police said: "We are working in partnership with Thanet District Council to take this course of action for what we can see is quite clearly a serious case of intimidation and anti-social behaviour by a minority in newington. We are taking this action for the wider community and will aim to work with them to get rid of this behaviour from the neighbourhood"

Wednesday 17 December 2008

The History of Deal

Full title: The History of Deal, and its Neighbourhood, From the Invasion of Britain, on the Shore of Deal, by Julius Caesar, B.C. 55, to the Present Time. Including a Short Sketch of the Life and Death of Colonel Hutchinson; also the Diary of Thomas Powell, Mayor of Deal, in the Years 1703 and 1708; Interspersed with Many Original Articles Never Before Published, by Stephen Pritchard first published in 1864.

I am close to completing the reprint of this book and am looking for a copy of a coloured print of deal in the mid 1800s or before for the cover, any help would be appreciated.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Internet Explorer security threat

Microsoft have just announced that there is a major security threat that they are working on a patch for, in the meantime the advice is to be very careful which websites you go on or use a different browser.

Personally I would recommend right clocking on the internet explorer icon on your desk top going down to properties and on the options tab click on delete, then delete all in the box that comes up tick delete files and settings stored by add-ons, and clicking yes. That should at least get any stored passwords out of it.

Congratulations to TDC planning department

Many thanks to the planning department for turning down the plans for the hideous extension to the restoration of the Granville Marina Restaurant in Ramsgate, the application number is L/TH/08/1197 click here to go to the government planning website.

Restoration work on this grade 2 listed building got off to a bad start, as you can see from the picture click here for more pictures of the restoration work in progress.

Roger Gale’s Christmas Visits

Continuing with my policy of publishing the press releases that come my way click here to view Roger Gale’s Christmas visiting timetable.

I published this list in my own website as I can’t find it on Roger’s to link to click here to go to his website.

I don’t have to put Steve Ladyman’s up as his website has feeds so they automatically appear on the sidebar with the other blog posts.

While on the subject of local politicians does anyone know the email address or website address for the Thanet North Labour candidate.

Monday 15 December 2008

Jack The Ripper

I have published the introduction and the first chapter of the Ripper in Ramsgate, as I promised in my previous post, last Friday when I published the book. Sorry about the delay the computer was feeling unkind.

Success for Street Hoops

Thanet district Council press release
More than 30 young people have taken part in the second Street Hoops event, organised by the Sport Matters team.

The monthly freestyle basketball event has been running since October at Ramsgate Sports Centre, with tournaments for three age groups, 11 – 13 years old, 14 – 17 years old and 18 plus.

Music was supplied by Pie Factory Music, with a dance freestyler also showing off some of his skills and the award winning Trinity cheerleading group attending to support all those who took part.

Sports Development Officer, Martyn Cassell, said: “Once again, Street Hoops was a great success and the event showed off some fantastic skills and talent. In particular, in the 11 to 13 year old category, our overall winners were called, suitably enough, the Champions and they turned up in their own kit that they’d purchased themselves. That’s what you call dedication! However, Street Hoops is very much about taking part and having fun, rather than competing. We look forward to seeing all ages coming along to our next event in January.”

The next Street Hoops event is due to take place at Ramsgate Sports Centre on Sunday 25 January between 5pm and 7pm. Entry is £1.50 and people can turn up on the night, either as an individual player or a team, without having to pre-register.

VAT reductions announced by council

Thanet district Council press release
The reduced VAT rates, announced in the government’s Pre-Budget Report of 24 November, will be passed on to local people by Thanet District Council from 1 April 2009.

The council’s announcement will cover the 2009/10 financial year, meaning that the reduction will be in place until 31 March 2010, despite the fact that the VAT rate is reverting to 17.5% from the current 15% from 1 January 2010. The council’s fees and charges schedule for 2009/10, which will be published as part of the budget setting process, will reflect this reduction.

The only exception to this will be car parking charges, because these have to be set at round amounts, as the car parking machines are not programmed to take 1p and 2p coins. The cost of changing these machines would be excessive and therefore a decision has been taken to keep car parking charges at their current level.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Finance, Improvement and Customer Services, said: “We’ve looked carefully at the implications of the government’s reduction in VAT and, keeping in mind our priority of providing value for money for our residents, we’ve taken the decision to implement the charges for the whole of the next financial year. If we had tried to implement them from now onwards, amendments would have been needed to the approved fees and charges schedule we agreed earlier this year. That’s why we’re going to implement it instead from April. People will still get the reduction, it will just be a couple of months in coming, but equally they will be able to enjoy the benefit for longer into 2010.”

County award for Sport 4 NRG volunteer

Thanet district Council press release
A Margate teenager, nominated by Sport 4 NRG for his volunteering work with the scheme, has taken a top prize at a county wide competition.

Michael Dodson (16), who attends King Ethelbert school, was put forward for the Volunteering Excellence Awards 2008, organised by Kent County Council and one of three winners in the Kent Sports Development Awards section. He was presented with £400 to donate to a charity of his choice, which will be going to the NSPCC.

Michael started attending sessions with Thanet District Council’s Sport 4 NRG programme in 2006 and was keen to get involved with delivering the sessions, which aim to provide sporting opportunities for young people in Thanet and keep them occupied.. He then went on to attend a community sports course and gained his first aid certificate. He completed his “V” 50 hour award over the summer, but has now completed more than 200 hours with Sport 4 NRG.

He was described by the judges as being a “positive role model to troubled young people, showing patience, kindness and a willingness to listen. He is proof of the benefit of the scheme, as before becoming a volunteer, he was one of the young people for whom Sport 4 NRG was set up.”

James Gregory from Sport 4 NRG said: “For Michael to get this recognition is a real positive for him, as well as for all young people looking to volunteer. The skills that Michael has acquired through volunteering have led to further success in other aspects of his life. He’s gone on to enter further education and the volunteering work he’s done has given him the confidence to leave his comfort zone. Michael is evidence of what volunteering can achieve and shows why Sport 4 NRG is committed to offering further volunteering opportunities for its young people.”

Becky Stotesbury from VSU said: ‘Michael has been a fantastic ‘v’ volunteer, helping at a really wide range of events. I hope he will use his experiences on his CV in the future. Well done Michael!

People have their say on Northdown House

Thanet district Council press release
More than 100 local people have turned out to discuss future options for Northdown House at a drop in session at the property.

The session, held last night (Wednesday 10 December), gave people the chance to have a look around the building, highlighting the difficult layout of the accommodation on the upper floors and the extent of repairs required to it.

Following responses from the council’s consultation earlier this year and subsequent legal advice, residents were given two options for the future use of the building. The first option is for public use, which could include education, health services, community or charitable usage. The second option is for transfer of Northdown House, with additional covenants, to the community itself.

Officers explained the detail of each proposal to local people and the fact that funding will need to be found for repairs to the building and to ensure that it is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act.

The session was attended by the Leader of the Council, Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel. He said: “It was really encouraging to see so many people turning out to give their views on the future of Northdown House. We’re aware that people don’t want the building to close and the council has listened to that. Having said that, unfortunately, the council doesn’t have the resources to meet the high cost of outstanding repairs, so we do need to find a use that will address these issues. Whether that’s use by the community themselves or another public body is what we still need to consider and the session was very useful in giving us local people’s views on that issue.”

A decision on the future of Northdown House will be made by the council’s Cabinet early in 2009.

The Big Christmas Cliftonville event

Thanet district Council press release
A community event has been held in Cliftonville to bring people together and encourage people to shop locally in the run-up to Christmas.

The event, held on Saturday (6 December), was organised by the Cliftonville Partnership’s Community Development Support Worker, Pamela Pople, who is funded by the Safer Stronger Communities Fund (SSCF). Its aim was to promote businesses in Northdown Road and provide a community event for everyone to enjoy.

A range of different activities were put on during the day, including Santa’s grotto and his elves at the Belle Vue pub, with face painting and activities for children provided by the Cliftonville Children’s Centre. Traditional carols were provided by the Holy Trinity and St. John’s Church of England Primary School, with performances by the Thanet Concert Brass Band and a DJ Workshop provided by Pie Factory Music at Cash Maker. The St. John’s Street Dance Group, made up of 18 teenagers, made their first public performance during the event and street theatre was provided in the afternoon by the Starose Theatre Company.

An arts and crafts stall was organised by the St. Paul’s Community Centre and Kent Refugee Minority Support Group, with entertainment from Kidzone Singing Group. Christmas stalls were also organised by Mencap, Sue Ryder and the Pilgrims’ Hospice Shop.

Pamela said: “The Cliftonville Partnership organised the Christmas Community Event for Northdown Road to bring a bit of festive cheer to the community and to support local businesses in the lead up to Christmas. We wanted to raise spirits at this difficult time and I am very grateful to everyone who contributed to this event. It was a great example of the community coming together.”

Sunday 14 December 2008

The Sunday ramblings of a deranged shop assistant

Local history considerations this week, first the future of Ramsgate Maritime Museum, as some of you will know there was a court hearing relating to the Cervia steam tug and the liability of the East Kent Maritime Trust trustees.

I phoned up the chap who owns the tug and asked him what he wanted, a lot of his answerer was what he didn’t want, so lets get that out of the way first. He said he doesn’t want to step in and take over Maritime museum, he doesn’t want to take away the collection, he doesn’t even want to take his tug back.

So what does he want that is going to annoy some people? His contention is that neither the museum or the tug are significant enough to be tourist attractions on their own and he wants both to be run in conjunction as a tourist attraction.

What he says that he would like to do is meet with the councillors and work out a solution, as he said they hold all the keys, he says he won’t ask for anything that they can’t afford and that he has volunteers ready who want to help with the problem.

He very much stressed that he didn’t want to be seen to be taking over what was the people of Ramsgate’s and didn’t want to play a day to day part in running our maritime heritage.

He also told me that he had heard the some of the windows at the maritime museum had been broken in the last few days and asked me if anyone was looking after it, I had to say I didn’t know.

I told him that I doubted he would get much help and cooperation from the council as it was Ramsgate and they were mostly interested in putting their resources into arts projects in Margate, indeed IOTA the arts group in Ramsgate had recently been told that they wouldn’t get any support from the council unless they moved to Margate.

My own feelings are whatever the ins and outs and the legal niceties of the situation, sooner or later the tug will have to be towed out put on the slipway and assessed, we can’t just leave it there to sink, it’s too damned big.

As far as I am aware the councillor in charge of harbour related things is councillor Latchford, the last time I wrote to him was at the beginning of this year, to ask if we could have some temporary leisure and or parking use, for the Pleasurama site for the summer that has just passed. He didn’t bother to reply to me however as I believe he reads this blog I am hoping that he will at least speak to the owner of the Cervia.

Now I go on to another local history issue Aldred’s Minster, you may remember Gerald has been transcribing a pile of old documents relating to the Rising Sun public house in Ramsgate, the earliest of these dates back to the 1600s, when it comes to transcribing and understanding these old documents Gerald is an expert.

He has just finished transcribing the whole bundle, no small task I can assure you, he said that the some most difficult ones were the more recent ones as they used so many abbreviations.

Aldred’s Minster is a local history book that is almost entirely made up from these old documents, pretty much all of our local history that predates Lewis’s history of the Isle of Thanet comes from these old documents and the inscriptions on gravestones. They are not however at all easy for the layman to understand.

With its help quite a few people descended from local families ought to be able to trace their ancestors back further than was previously possible, so it is worth persevering with.

Aldred is writing for an audience of Victorian genealogists and historians and pulls no punches when it comes to an inexpert audience, he even leaves abbreviations in, and unusual writing from the early-confused period before spelling. Leaving us with cases where yn ye means than the, names are often rendered as Wm, Ric, Thos, Hy, Ph, and so on which I think may be Aldred’s way of saving space.

So while the book is a valuable resource it is transcribed documents for the historian and being such is fairly heavy going, it is also fairly difficult to see how the documents inter relate, so I have asked Gerald to have a look at it and see if he can write and introduction for those of us who are comparative novices to this type document and don’t know all about gravelkind reversion and inheritance.

In the meantime I have published it on the web complete for other bloggers to contemplate and will run off a paper version without Gerald’s introduction, for those who don’t need it click here to read it.

I would also be grateful for any biographical information about Aldred he doesn’t appear in The Dictionary of National Biography, which is the main resource for biographical information about people in this country.

Next my son taught me how to peel an onion this week, I had been going through life assuming I knew, peel it from the top down and then cut off the ends, it really is a great deal easier and doesn’t make your eyes water.

I am working on a reprint of a Victorian local history book about the town of Deal at the moment and if anyone can send me copies of pictures suitable to illustrate it with it will be the better book.

Saturday 13 December 2008

The Ripper in Ramsgate

I am just printing a new book about The Ripper in Ramsgate A5 50 pages £3.99 post free in the UK.

In the autumn of 1888 a series of brutal murders gained lasting fame and will be forever associated with the name of "Jack the Ripper." This infamous and unidentified killer has passed into folklore and myth as the most notorious murderer in history. The Whitechapel murders became a cause celebre which spread suspicion and speculation to all parts of the country. This book examines some of the connections between these infamous killings in the East End of London and a seaside town in the East of Kent, our very own Ramsgate.
Who was the mysterious lodger who stayed in Ramsgate two years after the murders?
Why did the brother of one of the main suspects come to live in Ramsgate?
Who was the eccentric artist who lived and taught in Thanet, believed by some to be Jack the Ripper?
What was the connection between Ramsgate and a former lover of the Ripper's last victim?

Click here to buy the book and for sample pages.

Friday 12 December 2008

Thanet Blogs

I am fiddling about with a new blog that shows comment on other Thanet blogs, it’s not finished yet and I don’t seem to be able to make comment on Eastcliff Matters work, any geeky types out there know why?

I don’t quite know what I will use it for yet, maybe I will put all the press releases on it instead of putting them here, once again any ideas appreciated.

Click on the link to have look

Manchester Congestion Charge

The government offered the people £3bn to vote for what it thought was good for them and the people turned them down.

Here in Thanet we have created our own congestion by centralising all the large new retail and leisure developments in one place, based on the assumption that people will use public transport to get to them.

Now there just isn’t good enough road infrastructure or parking to cope with this situation.

The turnover and hence the profitability of the businesses at Westwood Cross is limited by the parking and infrastructure.

The sensible solution to people not wanting to use public transport is to keep the shopping and leisure facilities in the towns where most people live.

We haven’t so where do we go from here?

Ramsgate Renaissance Site, an idea for Cardy Construction Limited?

Adem commented on the previous post that he had forgotten about the plans for Pleasurama that included sports facilities.

Above is an artists impression of it, as I remember the developer was to have been Westcliff Park Estates who have produced the very attractive development opposite the boating pool on the westcliff in Ramsgate.

Part of the offer was to have been a swimming pool on the ground floor, this would have been given to the town on completion.

The council turned down the developer on the grounds that they were financially unsound and opted instead for an offshore company whose accounts were a secret.

You will notice the most important factor about this development is that it is only four stories high, this means that it would have fitted in the space available, between the high tilde mark and the cliff top.

The main problem with the plans that the council have approved is that the building is five stories tall and therefore just wont fit in the available space.
It would seem very unlikely that there will be any progress until the developer acts on the EAs letter click here to read it.

Thursday 11 December 2008

Pleasurama Royal sands development in Ramsgate another headache?

SFP Ventures have announced a new builder for the Pleasurama development this will be the third that I know of, the last one has decamped after laying lose slabs on sand on top of the sea defences, so one way or another at least things could be worse.

This time its Cardy Construction Limited of Canterbury I wonder how long they will last given the approved plans with people’s heads embedded in the ceiling and the inside bigger than the outside.

They look like a reputable firm and I don’t expect they will go ahead without a flood assessment and emergency escapes onto the cliff top, as strongly recommended by the environment agency, the new corporate manslaughter legislation would certainly put off any sensible company from doing so.

The picture above is a detail from the approved plans as you can see the architects attempts to fit a 5 story building into the space for a four story building have caused something or a headache.

Wednesday 10 December 2008


Press release from IMS Bertie has already covered this in considerable detail on Thanet Strife (link on sidebar) but I thought I should put it up to add support.

Commercial Group Properties don’t exactly seem to be going out of their way to win friends and influence people, if you had invested £100 in their shares a year ago today it would now be worth less than £20, I wonder how much of this is due to their failure to engage with local people.

If you look at the stock exchanger site you can see this doesn’t have much to do with the recession, I put it down to badly thought out plans for their development here.

I also noticed in today’s Your Thanet Roger Latchford’s interview, in which he mentions all of the major regeneration and renewal projects with the notable omission of china Gateway, which I thought interesting.

11 Grosvenor Rd, Broadstairs CT10 2BT
Tel 01843 604 253




Developers behind the controversial China Gateway project have been accused of a “show of power” and “bullying” by people living near the site of the proposed development.

The development company, Commercial Group Properties, have
fenced off part of the road verge near Pouces Cottages with barbed wire – going to the legal limit of their newly acquired land for China Gateway and making parking impossible for local people.

Amy Murray of Pouces Cottages said: “It’s made it very hazardous for pedestrians and other road users, and made parking impossible for visitors to the cottages.”

“It is their land, I understand that, but this is just a show of power.”

Local people believe the fence has been erected to “punish” them for campaigning against China Gateway, a proposal to build a huge warehousing complex for Chinese electronic goods on farmland in Manston.

CGP received planning permission for phase one of the China Gateway project on October 9th, and a CGP employee has told local people that the application for phases two and three of China Gateway, both on grade one farmland, is going in early in the New Year.

But Amy said that if the developers are trying to warn them off campaigning against the new application, they’re wrong.

She said: “It’s made the residents even more determined. We might be the little people in all this but we won’t be walked over. This is a show of power by CGP but we won’t be intimidated.”

CGP’s tactics and the campaign to stop the developers will be discussed at an “emergency environmental” meeting in Ramsgate at 7.30pm on Friday December 12th at St George’s Hall, Broad Street. Key speaker will be Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party and Member of the European Parliament for Kent.

For more information ring Christine Tongue of IMS on 01843 604253 or email Amy Murray on

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Kent Cinemas Revisited

I have just received stock of a new book, published by the author Martin Tapsell, “Kent Cinemas Revisited.” Priced £7.95 84 pages A5 col, B&W pictures and text.

Below the blurb from the back of the book, it looks like a useful Christmas present for the cinematically inclined local.

Martin Tapsell was born in Dartford General Hospital in the middle of World War 2. He left for Canada on the ‘Queen Mary’ in 1947, but returned to the family market garden in Staple in 1948. He fell in love with the two cinemas in Canterbury, even lunching in Mr. Perry’s Talisman restaurant — a former cinema, with his school house.

A librarian for 31 years, Martin worked throughout the UK before resettling in Kent. After writing about Kent cinemas in 1987, he felt it was time for a fresh look at developments in the county. Kent Cinemas Revisited is the result. The appeal of the buildings, and sometimes the films, have never palled for the author — this is his way of saying thanks’

Newington redevelopment plans move forward

Thanet district Council press release.

Plans to redevelop one part of Newington have taken a major step forward with a formal decision to redevelop the site.

Cabinet Members were last night (Thursday 4 December) told that the scheme for the Centre at Newington will help to tackle anti-social behaviour by redeveloping the housing and shopping facilities there. The work will be carried out by Town and Country Housing, one of the council’s preferred partner Registered Social Landlords.

The current proposals are to demolish the Centre and replace it with a mixed scheme of new houses of various sizes and six flats, which meet the needs of the community. There is also the possibility of including a medical centre.

Residents are being kept updated with progress on the plans, with the most recent event held in November, which covered the estimated timescales for development, how tenants would be moved out and what housing choices they would have.

Cllr. Zita Wiltshire, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is an important project, as we know that there are problems at the Centre in Newington and much of that is down to the design of the buildings. Things have changed since they were constructed in the 1960s and they are now attracting anti-social behaviour, which we are determined to put a stop to. This scheme will help to redevelop the area with the sort of homes and facilities that the community needs.”

A planning application is expected in spring 2009

Bank managers clean up

Thanet District Council press release.

A total of 20 bags of rubbish have been collected by volunteer managers from HSBC out on a recent beach clean at Pegwell Bay, Cliffsend.

The clean up, which was organised by the Thanet Coast Project in conjunction with HSBC, was additional to the public beach cleans and enhanced the recent work by the Thanet Coast Project’s dedicated local volunteer wardens, who have spent a lot of their own time helping to clean up the bay.

Alan Hopkins, Head of Commercial for HSBC in East Kent, organised a team building day, which aimed to do something different for the community, in which the managers work. Alan had seen details of recent beach cleans and thought it was a good opportunity for his team of 10 commercial managers to support the work undertaken by other local people.

Bev Edwards, Commercial Manager at HSBC, said: “It was a very enjoyable afternoon and I would encourage others to volunteer in a similar way. The team appreciated the opportunity to get outside and do something different. We were amazed at the amount of litter there was when, at first glance, the beach looked quite tidy.”

Tony Child, Thanet Coast Project Manager, said: “We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers to help with the ongoing task of keeping our beaches beautiful and clean. I’d like to thank the volunteers from HSBC for their help. It’s made a real difference to the appearance of Pegwell Bay. If there are any other groups or businesses who would like to get involved with beach cleans, then please contact the Thanet Coast Project.”

More information about the Thanet Coast Project can be found at or by calling 01843 577672.

Monday 8 December 2008

Minster in Thanet

I am working on a reprint of a little book about Minster at the moment I hope to have it out in the next week or so, I haven’t got many pictures of Minster that I know of so have been asking around for some attractive ones for the cover.

Many thanks to Dave who came up with these click here to look at them.

As I spend a great deal of my time trying to find the answers to local history questions for people, and don’t charge anything for doing this, so I was quite surprised when of my customers today said that he wanted to access some information in the Kent local studies archive at Maidstone, they told him he would have to pay £27.40 per hour for the archivists time.

Assuming the archivist works a 40 hour week that means wages of over 1,000 per week, which all seems a bit excessive to me

Sunday 7 December 2008

Sunday morning reflections

A bit of a strange and rather nonsensical story going around relating to Edinburgh Woollen Mill Gate this morning, this was about the conduct of Sandy Ezekiel and Roger Latchford towards Iris Johnston at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

I would seem that the protagonists have got it into their heads that it was me who arranged for this incident to be witnessed by two local paper’s journalists, this was certainly news to me.

I also gather that there have been some attempts to discredit at least one of the journalists who gave evidence to the solicitor acting for the standards monitoring officer at TDC, by calling him devious. I wouldn’t have thought a journalist who wasn’t devious would be much good at his job, nor would I think many people would be bothering to read this if I wasn’t at least a bit.

I understand the full report that has been published and was considered at a standards committee meeting of TDC on Tuesday night makes interesting reading.

ECR put a bit up on Eastcliff Richard blog (link on sidebar) about the need for bloggers to put feeds from other blogs like the ones on my sidebar, under the title of Recent Posts on Other Blogs.

One interesting aspect of this is you can determine the relative popularity of local blogs from the traffic (the number of people who click on the link on another blog to get to this one) you get from them, below is a list of the traffic from other blogs during November. 970 234 190 96 90 83 50 13 12 6 6

Links are very important on any website, because without them search engines like google tend to ignore it, and if you are going to write something presumably you want people to read it.

There is an interesting post on Thanet Life about the fantasy economy we have been living in where a very high proportion of jobs generated over the last few years have been in the public sector click here to read it.

Quite a lot of my dealings with the public sector recently have been far from satisfactory, and when you look at the salaries and pensions of civil servants it begs some questions over value for money.

Click here to read about some obtained by Tim under the freedom of information act.

Click here for some more old pictures of Ramsgate

I have also just noticed that Thanet Underground has added considerably to the post about Wellington Caves (aka HMS Fervent) it really is a most interesting post and comes highly recommended click here to go there.

Saturday 6 December 2008

Plans for converting part of Albion House into flats

TDC have applied for planning permission to make most of Albion House into residential accommodation, to view the plans you have to put the application numbers F/TH/08/1376 and L/TH/08/1377 into the search box on the TDC planning website click here to go there.

You also have to have a pdf viewing program installed on your computer.#

Thanks to Gerald for pointing this one out to me.

Empire Day Ramsgate 1912

Many thanks to Mrs Knight who sent me the picture to include in my next book of old Ramsgate pictures.

Friday 5 December 2008

Tudor Christmas returns to Margate

Thanet district Council Press Release

Authentic Tudor Christmas celebrations return to Margate for the third year running, with an expanded programme of events due to its growing popularity.

This year, the Tudor House in King Street will be throwing open its doors over two consecutive weekends from midday until 5pm on Saturday 6, Sunday 7, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 December.

Built in the early 16th century, during the reign of King Henry VIII, it’s thought the Tudor House originally belonged to a wealthy farmer or brewer. This year, there is a wide variety of arts and crafts to purchase, all with origins in the Tudor period, along with period costumes from Hampton Court Palace. Visitors can also pick up information sheets on how to make pomanders, kissing boughs and Tudor biscuits and an exhibition upstairs focuses on ale making, historically a core Margate industry, which is mentioned by Samuel Pepys in his diary.

Entertainment is planned on all four days, with Emily Parrish sharing short traditional folk and ghostly stories for Christmas on Saturday 6 December, with adults of a nervous disposition accompanied by a child over the age of seven. The next day, Theatre of the Small – Devil’s Tales, a puppet and model theatre with stories from Medieval times will be entertaining everyone. On Saturday 13 December, Robert Poulter’s Model Theatre will have renditions of Henry VIII I am and Baroque Opera for the whole family. On the final day, Apple Squires will have medieval music, including bagpipes, woodwind and percussion, winter poetry and celebratory frolics.

Cllr. Roger Latchford, Cabinet Member for Culture and Economy, said: “The Tudor Christmas is a huge success every year and is an event that visitors have very much taken to their hearts. It’s a mark of its popularity that, this year, it’s been extended from just the one weekend to two weekends, giving people more chances to step back in time to Tudor days and experience life from 500 years ago. With the entertainment being planned for this year, there’s more to see and do at the Tudor Christmas than ever before.”

All events are free, although donations are welcome.

Housing plans go for further scrutiny

Thanet district Council Press Release

Plans to establish a shared service organisation to manage all council housing in East Kent are set for closer scrutiny.

The proposals, which would see the establishment of a management company, jointly owned by Canterbury City, Ashford Borough and Thanet, Dover and Shepway District Councils to manage the 21,000 homes owned by the five councils, have been detailed to the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

A Working Party has now been set up to look at the issue in more detail, which will report back to the Panel’s next meeting on Tuesday 27 January.

It’s hoped that the new way of working would lead to improvements in service, cost reductions and efficiencies. Under the plans, the 300 staff who currently deliver the housing service at each council would transfer over to the new organisation, which would be accountable to its board.

Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “This is an incredibly important issue, which is set to affect thousands of tenants and leaseholders and a number of this council’s staff. The panel felt that it was important to give this issue the right amount of time and that’s why we’re bringing it back to our next meeting to look at it in more detail.”

Council Christmas opening hours

Thanet district Council Press Release

Details of Thanet District Council’s opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period have been announced.

The council offices and telephone switchboard will close at 4pm on Wednesday 24 December and will re-open at 8.45am on Friday 2 January 2009. During this time, if you have an emergency, please listen to the automated message and follow the instructions given.

The Ramsgate District Office will close at 12.30pm on Wednesday 24 December and will re-open at 8.45am on Friday 2 January 2009.

Thanet’s Gateway Plus in Cecil Street will close at 6pm on Tuesday 23 December and re-open at 9am on Saturday 27 December.

The Gateway will close for the New Year holiday at 4pm on Wednesday 31 December and re-open on Friday 2 January.

More airport visits for working party

Thanet district Council Press Release

A working group, set up to consider the draft masterplan for Kent International Airport at Manston, will be visiting more airports in the new year, as they help to draw up the council’s response to the document.

The Manston Airport Working Party was set up in May 2008 to help prepare the council for Infratil’s draft masterplan for the future development of the airport, which was published in October.

Since the working party was established, it has carried out a series of visits to other airports around the country, including Prestwick Airport, which is also owned by Infratil, the owners of Kent International Airport. In January, they will be visiting more airports, including Bristol and Bournemouth, to speak to airport operators and local councils.

The Chief Executive of Kent International Airport, Matt Clarke, will also be speaking to the Working Party at their next meeting, with the Chairman of the Kent International Airport Consultative Committee, Paul Twyman due to be invited to a future meeting.

Cllr. Mike Harrison is chairing the Manston Airport Working Party. He said: “The work we’re doing is giving us some really useful background information, which will undoubtedly help when the council responds to the draft master plan. It’s important that we look at how other airports around the country of a similar size to Manston operate and how they relate to their communities. There are always lessons you can learn from others and that’s why we’re carrying out these visits.”

Another working party is looking at the council’s approach to developing its budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy and how the council’s priorities have been determined. Their suggestions have already been incorporated into the budget survey, which is currently out to consultation until Friday 19 December.

A watching brief is also being kept by the Asset Management Working Party, who are overseeing the disposal process of council properties and land, which is currently at the consultation stage.

Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “Looking at the big issues, such as the future of the airport, the council’s budget, which affects everyone, and the process of disposing of council property, is exactly what scrutiny should be doing. We’re pulling together information that will help to inform the council when it considers the airport master plan. It’s all about ensuring that we provide a robust challenge to those in charge and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Thursday 4 December 2008

Last Chance to Save Ramsgate Maritime Museum

Tomorrow is the deadline for making your submissions about Thanet District Council’s asset disposal program click here to see what they want to dispose of.

The main two assets for disposal being Northdown House and Ramsgate Maritime Museum, I have just made my submission relating to the Maritime museum below and will be working on the rest later.

The council tell me that their main concerns relate to the expense of repairing and maintaining the building, so this should be considered when making submissions.

I would urge all of you who wish to maintain any of the assets to email your submission to

I should like make a submission about the future use of Ramsgate Clock House now part of the councils asset disposal program, I gather that the deadline for this is tomorrow.

I am asking that the building be retained as a museum and that the tourist information office also be housed there.

Below are various points for your consideration.

1 The current intention to house the tourist information office in the library, which is not in a prominent position in the town, would mean that most tourists would be unlikely to find it.

2 The Maritime Museum’s collection is an important collection of particular significance to Ramsgate which would probably be lost to another part of the country without the building to house it.

3 Ramsgate has already lost its only other museum due to the library fire and I gather that this museum will non be reinstated when the library reopens.

4 While considerable investment is being made in Margate harbour arm, this area is perceived as Ramsgate’s equivalent and there is a perception of considerable disparity between investment in the two places.

5 The building is of considerable architectural importance and would be eligible for grant funding to carry out the necessary repairs.

6 Ramsgate’s maritime heritage, Royal Harbour, Clock House, Smeaton’s dry dock and the historic vessels are a poorly exploited resource, which could play a considerable part in regenerating the town. The council should be finding grant money and supporting an holistic approach to utilising these assets as they are supporting Margate’s regeneration through the arts.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Laura Sandys on the Damien Green Arrest

Thanet South’s Conservative candidate has an interesting personal take on the Damien green arrest, it relates to when her father Duncan Sandys was put in a somewhat similar position when he was an MP.

Click here to read what she has to say.

I also gather that when one of her ancestors famed for coining the name “Bloody Mary” was our MP the king had him locked in The Tower of London.

I have once again put in the video clip of Gordon Brown being interviewed about his mole, it’s still making me laugh.

Old Thanet Family? Is your name Mentioned in; The History and Antiquities of the Church and Parish of St. Laurence.

Following the publication of “The History and Antiquities of the Church and Parish of St. Laurence” by Charles Cotton, several people have emailed me asking if their family is mentioned in it.

I have published the index of names from it click here to read it I am sorry it didn’t come out on the web in quite the format I expected, my web publishing program is more out of date than the version of MS Word I am using.

I have also now got a buy it now button configured for it click here to go there.

Copies of the book have gone off to addresses all over the world and despite the books small print I have been getting very encouraging feedback.

Kent County Council Bank

As KCC has announced it is considering forming a bank and in light if its recent losses in the Icelandic banking system, I wondered what people thought about this.

Would you trust them with your money?

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Northdown House and Ramsgate maritime Museum.

Of TDCs asset disposal program the two assets that I have found people to be most interested in are Northdown House and Ramsgate Maritime Museum.

TDC know that a lot of people in Ramsgate wish to retain the Maritime Museum and frankly we only seem to have lost it because the trustees forgot to renew the lease.

With Northdown house however probably a similar amount of people wishing to keep it as a public venue and according to the press release below the council actually listend to them..

With Northdown house the council are implying that that they have capitulated due to popular demand so why not the Maritime Museum too, perhaps I am being cynical here, but could it be that they are only extending the consultation period and even considering transferring it to the community itself (whatever that means) because they can’t get round the legal covenants that say it must be used for the benefit of the local community.

Buying books as Christmas presents

Customer feed back is suggesting that quite a lot of people coming into the shop would like books that I have in stock for Christmas.

Quite a lot of people would like local history books, either those published by me or those published by others that we have in stock and I am trying to think of ways to make this easier. Obviously people don’t want to buy a present for someone that has already got it.

I have published an up to date list of my own publications, so you can print it out and tick what you already have, click here for it after some experimentation I have found that it is easier to print out if you paste it into word first.

I don’t take conventional Book Tokens, which are the province of the full price bookshop world, I do however issue my own which can make useful presents.


IMS Press Release

Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, and Kent’s Green MEP, will call for a radical “green new deal” for Thanet when she speaks at a public meeting in Ramsgate on Friday December 12th.

Thanet, she says, should turn away from developments such as the controversial China Gateway plan and the destruction of greenfield sites, and instead pursue an alternative, more sustainable, economic strategy.

She said: “We must take action to stop the area being developed to death. Thanet needs a green new deal with a range of social and environmental measures to deal with the recession and create a more just and sustainable economy.”

Her plan for action for the isle includes:

--abandoning Manston Airport and turning it into a centre for leisure

--the transformation of Margate seafront and the rebuilding of Dreamland

--a growth in Thanet’s further and higher education opportunities

--the expansion of organic farming.

The meeting, called by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, will discuss the biggest environmental issues facing the isle including Thanet Earth, the China Gateway proposal, the giant greenhousing development Thanet Earth and the plans for Manston Airport.

Film-maker Norman Thomas who is chairing the meeting said the meeting is even more critical given the current economic situation. “We face the prospect of a terrible slump. But this is going to be all the worse because we have political leaders in Thanet who have pinned all our hopes of employment on things which are going to be the most badly affected -- like property development, warehouses and the airport.

“We in Thanet need to do a huge rethink and ask where are the real jobs of the future are going to come from. Otherwise we’re on the road to catastrophe.

“Anyone who is concerned about the future of the area should come and put their point of view.”

The meeting will be held at St George’s Hall, Broad Street, Ramsgate at 7.30 pm on Friday December 12th. For more details telephone Christine Tongue on 01843 604253 or email Picture attached of Caroline Lucas.

For information about Caroline Lucas please ring
Melissa Freeman Media Officer to Caroline Lucas MEP Suite 58 The Hop Exchange 24 Southwark Street London SE1 1TY
Office: 020 7407 9935 Mobile: 07950 382149