Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sunday ramble

It’s been a difficult week with the shop window being repaired so that I missed my day off, one has to move a great many books to gain access to the widow.

The low level antisocial behaviour is continuing 4 incidents in the last week here the last being yesterday when a passing cyclist hurled a road cone at the shop front.

Looking at the video footage of the police injuring demonstrators that keep appearing I am beginning to think that we are heading into some serious law and order problems in this country.

There was the curious incident when Simon Moores old blog about controlling Net Crime
last published to in February 2006 turned into a web page promoting Web Crime that he could neither control or delete, fortunately Google responded promptly and properly deleting it for him and giving him a new address for the legitimate blog.

I hope this never happens to me however if any of you notice anything of this nature on any of my web pages please let me know, I have hundreds of them some of which I haven’t looked at in years.

I notice that Simon is now referring to himself as the “Evil Hood” I imagine being a victim of this sort of thing will make him even better at tackling internet crime.

I have been concerned recently about the problems in nighttime Broadstairs and asked a few of the younger generation about it, the reply that Broadstairs wasn’t considered a safe place to go in the evening I found very alarming.

I believe the problem started with teenagers gathering there in the evenings to watch the weekly firework displays in the summer, when the fireworks stopped they still gathered but there was nothing for the to do so the trouble started.

I think much of these sort of problems lie in the lack of all weather leisure facilities for young people in Thanet, the problem being that nearly all of the remaining leisure facilities are funded by the sale of alcohol and with the overheads that relate to suitable buildings being so high we have a problem.

Oddly enough though there are a lot of large buildings in the Thanet towns that are not being used, I wonder if anything can be done.

The ongoing debate about the Turner Contemporary rumbles on, the problem for me has always been that the gallery space will be too small to make it of important national significance. How the hopes of regenerating Margate can be seen to hinge on the minority interest that is contemporary art baffles me completely.

We are looking at a town that is unable to support a bookshop, has no cinema where everything of a cultural nature that lasts for any length of time has to be subsidised.

Things seem to have gone very quiet on the Euroferries front, which is disappointing anyone know anything about any progress on this.

My concerns over Pleasurama are rumbling on and TDC don’t seem to be certain that they can legally accept money from the developer and be compliant with the money laundering act that came into force 15 December 2007 click on the link to view it it would certainly be a novel situation if once the development were built they were unable to accept payment for the site.

A great deal of the councils problems stem from national and European legislation being so complex so it is quite possible that they don’t really know the answer to that one.

Some of the things that the council are required to do by central government are so ludicrous and wasteful it beggars belief, for instance TDC have to employ an anti smoking officer, what a waste of resources.


  1. 'How the hopes of regenerating Margate can be seen to hinge on the minority interest that is contemporary art baffles me completely.'

    It's not on it's own the answer -you're right on that Michael. What it will be though is a catalyst for change.

    I saw a similar thing in Greenwich where I grew up. In the late 60's and early 70's the area consisted of an admittedly grand museum, a land-locked ship and yes, the home of GMT. In the summer months, the area thrived with primarily Americans and Japanese taking a day out of their 'London' tour to make the trip down. The rest of the year, the area was scruffy and run-down but with some beautiful and then affordable property (Georgian gems like we have here in Ramsgate and Margate).

    There's no specific event that turned Greenwich into the cosmopolitan-feeling place that it is today, rather a lot of dots started appearing that joined up to make the picture.

    The theatre's threatened closure galvanized the local community. Old buildings became recording studios and creative spaces. Cafe's opened to serve the new creative interests that were springing-up. Ad hoc markets selling everything from antiques to curios to (prob. Made in China) crafts appeared, and so on and so forth. Having played second-fiddle to Blackheath for so long you could feel the confidence flowing into the area.

    None of it was planned by the council, it just sort of happened.
    Taken in isolation, it's easy to see why many in Margate are sceptical about the Turner but I'll say this...give it time. At this point, I'd say Margate has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  2. West Cliff GB I think the problem here is that the council perceive it as a major solution to Margate’s problems so they only seem to want to find funding for art related leisure.

    This seems to have taken the focus off of history related leisure, which if bookshop sales are anything to go by is more than 100 times more popular than contemporary art.

    I suppose a very real problem for Margate the average person wanting an art gallery family day out living in the southeast is likely to find it quicker and easier to get to the London art galleries, especially now the rail service is much faster from Ashford.

    I think that both Ramsgate and Margate needs to offer some things that are radically different to other towns in the southeast, in Ramsgate using the tunnel system as a museum would probably do the trick, for Margate a heritage theme park could work if the rides were unusual enough.

    Greenwich has always been able to offer an all weather family day out and this is where Margate really falls down.

  3. Mind you, by the age of 11 I could probably name 99% of the exhibits at the Maritime Museum. It was an all-weather-attraction hell.

    It was free to get in - I'm not saying my father was mean but we spent so much time there the museum staff used to send me birthday cards.

    I do hear what you're saying but ultimately, what we've got to hope is that whilst the Gallery will initially be the focal point, the draw, in time it will be 'the vibe'around the town that starts pulling in the punters.

    I'm worried that the expectations are too high in terms of the Gallery itself.

  4. Forgot to mention - When I met Laura Sandys a while ago, she was talking about some sort of Thanet narrative - St Augustine to St Tracey of Emin, that sort of thing. Has that been mooted in public?

    Might shift both History and Art stock!

  5. If it's history and heritage that's needed then Thanet is the place. This island was, in the year 449, the first permanent settlement in what is now England of Germanic tribes who were some of the forebears of we present day Anglo Saxons.

  6. Hugin - you're right.

    This should be one of the dots that should create the bigger picture. If people have a range of choices about an area they'll create their own 'mind-map'.

    Nothing is proscribed but everything is available

  7. Micheal. Broadstairs is the place of choice for the younger element(less than 25yrs) as it has more bars than it needs, that and the supply of certain substances from those establishments just a short hop,skip and jump from SE train stations.

  8. Hugin Westcliff GB my understanding is that Laura has got a lot of people experts and amateurs together and there have been several meetings with progress well underway, if you want to take part in some way I recommend you contact her.

    It was the entry fee that did for the museum it went overnight from being a thriving set up that was part of the local community to being isolated and dead, I would say put a £1.50 entry fee on the Turner M&S set up and you would get a realistic idea of the local community’s interest in what is costing so much.

    History and art stock go pretty well as it is it is, the books about modern art that that is only identifiable as art because it is in an art gallery don’t sell, a well qualified professional local artist told me recently that he tried to get a small grant for an exhibition but couldn’t because it was paint on canvas, he said he could of got one for digging holes in the sand but not recognisable attractive paintings.

    22.18 The thought of Broadstairs being a no go area for ordinary people of any age who just want to enjoy themselves is appalling, there must be some sort of solution.


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