Wednesday 30 September 2009

A Publishers Thoughts on Ripping off Authors.

As a small publisher with a fairly successful range of local books, authors often come to me either for advice on getting a book they have written published or asking me to publish it for them.

I only publish books that relate to East Kent, this is partly because of the limited amount of time I have and partly because I have neither the distribution nor the promotional facilities to deal with a national title.

Although I have to admit that recently I have been considering setting up a publishing business to produce books for a wider area, geared up to selling through the big national chains.

Anyway that aside and coming back to my existing publishing business, let us say that you write a book about some aspect of Thanet’s history and bring it to me for publication, what happens essentially is that I pay you money in the form of royalties not the other way around.

The normal deal is that I pay the authors who write the books I produce 10% of the cover price of the books I sell.

For example let us say that you write a book about Ramsgate Railways as Dave Richards did, now Dave isn’t computer savvy, so he came along with pictures of various aspects of our railways attached to sheets of text that he had typed out. This produced most of the makings of the book “Ramsgate all Change”, I then did the publishers bit, this varies from book to book, in this case it involved scanning the pictures into the computer, and finding some more to add to the ones he had already got, typing out the text into the computer, adding to some of it and rewriting some of it, taking a photograph of Ramsgate Station for the cover and putting the whole thing together in a form that my printers could turn into a book.

After various stages of proof reading by Dave me and several other people that happened along at the time the book was born.

The price of the book relates mostly to the cost of the materials, although I tend to make it a bit more expensive if I think a large proportion of the copies will be sold by post rather than in the shop. What came out was an 88 page A4 monochrome book with coloured cover selling for £7.99.

So if I sell 100 copies this means a combined selling price of about £800 this means I pay Dave £80 it’s not really rocket science and if you print 88 pages of A4 and an A3 coloured card wrap around cover and tot up the price of the materials, you will appreciate that there is no fortune to be made for anyone in this arrangement.

So where does the ripping off of the author come in you may wonder? This is when the author tells me that he has found a publisher that will publish his or her book for a price. By this I mean the author pays the publisher money and the publisher publishes the book, normally the book will be the authors first novel, by now my alarm bells are ringing.

I always tell the author concerned to go to a big chain bookshop like Watersones and look amongst their fiction for sale and see how many books published by the publisher concerned are actually for sale on their shelves, invariabley the answer is none.

Although there is nothing new in vanity publishing this is something altogether else where the publisher is giving the impression that that they can sell books, when on investigation they have nowhere where the would be likely in practice to sell them.

Monday 28 September 2009

Walmer Castle, pleasant places to go in easy reach of Thanet.

Wondering where to go yesterday afternoon with a limited amount of time it had to be in easy reach of Thanet I thought it about time to rejoin English Heritage and revisit some of the main local historical attractions.

Walmer Castle is one of a string of defences built by Henry VIII in 1540 apart from a three week siege in The English Civil War 1648 I don’t believe it ever came under attack.

Walmer Castle’s main use has been as the residence for he Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports since 1708 and over the last 300 years considerable modification has been made to turn a military structure in to a comfortable residence.

Photography isn’t allowed inside the building but is in the grounds. Click on the links for the pictures.


http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id12.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id13.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id14.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id15.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id16.htm

At this point I usually make some excuse about the volume of photographs in their unedited state and promise to go back when I have time and delete the worst of them. Recently however several people have asked me to carry on sticking them up ad hoc, so I won’t.

There is quite a lot memorabilia of past Lord Wardens, for instance a pair of Wellington boots belonging to the first Lord Wellington for me though it is the funny incongruities of history (for instance that Wellington resident of a castle designed to repel catholic invaders should as prime minister be responsible for the catholic reform bill) and the influences of past lord wardens.

As I walked the grounds I liked to feel that I was somehow closer to at least two notable characters that were once lord Wardens Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Saturday 26 September 2009

What to blog when there is not much to blog

I didn’t post anything yesterday, I would have done another East Kent Critic but had a minor technical problem so that will have to wait until next week.

I did get a copy of the Gazette the main stories that interested me were the lead “Turner Builder Fined” but I had covered that on Tuesday, “Museum May Shut Over Lease Wrangle” but I had covered that last Saturday, albeit I covered these things in my own way, so held back on the detail quite a bit as I assume my readers will work out much themselves.

The other story that did interest me was “Fast Boulougne ferry to launch mid-October” obviously we have nothing to lose here in Ramsgate and much to gain and I am always reluctant to say anything critical about the setting up of this service, which in the current economic climate must be next to impossible.

Rumours have reached me that the council haven’t been as helpful as the could have been over this one, I often wonder why there is so much enthusiasm for airport expansion and so little for the ferry expansion.

One of my main difficulties as a blogger is knowing how much to say about the various goings on within local government, as I don’t want to say things that would be to the detriment of various local projects, on the other hand I am getting some very clear messages that the way our council is handling important local projects is driving people who want to invest in Thanet to a point of desperation.

My understanding is that a mixture of lack of funds and a power vacuum among the top officers at TDC is causing problems here and I am seeing signs of indecisive leadership, combined with a confrontational situation developing between our elected leadership and our leading officers.

The question who is running TDC? Has come up in various conversations recently, suppose to be more honest what I hear is someone negotiating a major project finds either the senior council officer they were dealing with has left or can’t be contacted. This often seems to result in promises made by cabinet members not being upheld by council officers.

The museum is one case in point, the facts are that TDC doesn’t have charitable status and therefore doesn’t have the ability to get the grants that the Steam Museum Trust does. There are various areas where money is needed most notably to repair the clock house and the steam tug Cervia. Now a senior councillor promised the museum trust a long lease on the clock house 99 years has been mentioned and based on this promise the steam trust started investing money in work down there. Now the two senior council officers dealing with this, the deputy chief executive and the Leisure and Culture Manager have gone and the remaining officers that can be contacted no longer seem to wish to grant the lease. The problem being that without the long lease it is proving to be impossible for the steam trust to get the grant funding it needs.

This is not you understand an argument to do with the museum but a point to illustrate a problem within the council, which is that it doesn’t seem to be able to produce the continuity and clear cut decision making that other organisations need to deal with it.

The ferry is another case in point, I last looked into this about a month ago so what I am about to say should no longer be particularly sensitive.

The problem here is that the ferry needs a new link span (the bridge that goes between the quay and the ferry so that the cars can get on and off) but the problem is that the council has no money to provide one so an agreement was arrived at where the ferry operator would fund this and the money would be taken out of their port charges until this was paid off.

This was really a good deal for the council as without the ferry there would be no port charges. Anyway the plan was that the ferry company would put up the money for the link span up to a capped amount of, oh I think it was £240,000 but don’t quote me on the accuracy.

What I mean by this is that if say the link span cost £100,000 then the ferry operator would pay this and then wouldn’t have to pay port fees until the amount was paid off.

Anyway about a month ago the council decided that it would suddenly renege on the agreement and demand the full £240,000 up front.

Once again this is only by way of example, the ferry is now online again and I am not going to discuss the current agreement here for fear of prejudicing any progress.

I believe the problem here is fear of taking important decisions, especially those that involve a certain amount of risk, however the delays in making those decisions are making the projects involved riskier by the day.

The longer the delays go on the more chance of the Cervia sinking on her mooring and producing a huge expense or the ferry operator not surviving due to missing the summer business.

Having just written this and wondering if I was going a bit to far for some officers comfort, I have just spotted that Mark Nottingham appears to be saying on his blog that it is appropriate for the council premises to be used for satanic events, I quote:

“Several Christians have suggested to me that it is inappropriate for Council premises to be used for events with links to the occult and Satanism. I do not share their concerns.”Click on the link to read the whole post http://marknottingham.blogspot.com/2009/09/in-air-tonight.html oh well I suppose this sort of thing has all been well rehearsed within the member working group. Anyone interested in applying for the post of TDC satanic services officer should contact extension 666.



The YouTube clip is for all the Satanists at TDC.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Airport noise pollution and Steve Ladyman, is he missing the main point?



I see that our MP Steve Ladyman has entered the local internet Kent International Airport debate with an online survey click on the link to take part http://www.stephenladyman.info/ you have to scroll down the page a bit to find the survey.

I must admit to wondering if he is asking the right questions here with the Stour estuary coming up on the BBC news website as one of the most polluted in Europe see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8267686.stm the map above comes from the article.

An interesting point on internet copyright here as I haven’t copied the map but just pointed the blog to show it from where it is hosted on the BBC website, does this constitute an infringement of their copyright?

When people do this to me without asking I am inclined to change the image to The Lacedaemonian Ambasadors, although obviously a very rude Illustration it was done by Aubrey Beardsley for the 1896 edition of Lysistrata by Aristophanes so it is a bit difficult to criticise.

Sorry I digress, the latest figures from the Environment Agency show the River Stour to be one of the most polluted in Europe this is one source for our drinking and agricultural water needs and it flows into the internationally acclaimed wetland Pegwell Bay.

Kent International Airport is on top of another of our drinking water sources, the underground aquifer and drainage, that doesn’t comply with the most basic safety standards, from the airport flows into Pegwell Bay.

The problem here is that the airport doesn’t comply with the Environment Agency’s water pollution requirements click on the links for a few documents that confirm what I am saying here.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/drink/id53.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/drink/id52.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/drink/index.htm

My concern here is that we are meandering into a situation where badly regulated airport expansion combined with the multitude of other pollution problems here in Thanet could lead to an incident that could both put a considerable strain on out drinking water supply and make local agriculture including Thanet Earth a thing of the past.

Perhaps the question we should all be addressing is; should airport operation be allowed at all, until the airport conforms with basic environmental safeguards that the Environment Agency have been asking for, for a number of years.

Now I know noise at night is a serious concern although since the changes in the licensing of pubs and takeaways I can’t see that things could be much worse for us poor devils that have to live in the town centres. If you need any confirmation that our environment is now pretty much uninhabitable at night wander down Queen Street in Ramsgate, where you will see about 10 broken shop windows caused yet another bout of noisy and antisocial behaviour in the early hours of the morning.

Surely though the most important issue here is sustainable agriculture, fisheries and water supply, this issue should be our foremost priority when considering the airport and other commercial activities.

I find it hard to believe that the large and serious businesses that we so desperately need to invest in Thanet would even look at us twice while basic safety issues in the area have such a low priority.

Wednesday 23 September 2009

Baroness Scotland and employment law a different take.

I try not to get involved in national news stories on this blog, mainly as there is enough coverage anyway elsewhere on the web, however in this case it seems to me that the main point has been missed by other commentators.

Now the fuss here is about the fact that Baroness Scotland failed to make photocopies of documents that she didn’t know she should have photocopied and was fined £5,000 for this.

We had a similar situation occur in my family back in the days of the Thatcher government, so no knocking either party in this one. Before going any further I should point out the seriousness of this for the small employer in as much as a £5,000 fine could bankrupt many small employers, particularly in the current economic climate.

What happened to my father related to the employment of school Saturday people in his bookshop in Stevenage. As a family of booksellers we have always considered the employment of A level students on Saturday an important contribution to society, many of the people I have employed in this way over the years have commented on how useful the experience had been to them.

Now a 16 or 17 year old in full time education doesn’t earn enough working one day a week in a bookshop to go over the threshold for income tax or national insurance so apart from ensuring that they have no other income, that would push them over either threshold, the employer doesn’t have to fill out paye returns and so on.

Obviously my father kept detailed records of all of this, however what he didn’t know was that at some time between when he started in bookselling when he left the army after WW1 and 1989 the government had produced a form to record this information.

No one contacted him to tell him of the existence of this form and as all one had to do was fill it out keep it for 7 years and then throw it away no one at the tax office had anything to notice missing from his submissions.

As far as I know all of the paperwork relating to tax and employment has to be kept for 7 years apart from the certificate of employer liability that you have to keep for 40 years.

Anyway eventually the inevitable government inspector, the forms were found lacking and my father duly fined.

The point I am making here is that employing people should be a much more straightforward business, without these sort of risks, the government should supply simple documentation to every employer making it clear what paperwork they need to have to employ someone.

I believe that the fact that one of the people involved in creating a piece of employment legislation should fail to understand it properly only adds to the argument here.

I should add that as an employer this case is the first I have heard of the need to keep photocopies of documents that prove a persons legitimate right to work in this country.

Certainly with the unemployment figures rising as they are, employing people shouldn’t be a vague and risky gamble with a multitude of government departments with different powers to punish one for non-compliance with unknown regulations.

Gone for a Burton

Burton’s in Ramsgate High Street have closed.

Once again beware of big chains that are decamping and damaging our towns.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Turner Contemporary Builder R Durtnell & Sons fined £711,115 for rigging contract bids.

You can check this out on the Office of Fair Trading’s website see http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/general/parties-and-fines.pdf

The story is about building firms engaged in unfair trading practices se the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8268116.stm

Here on the KCC website conformation that it is this building firm http://www.kent.gov.uk/news/nover-turner-building-work.htm

Some of the questions begged here are:

Was KCC right to engage a building firm under investigation for rigging contract bids?

Was the contract rigged?

Will workers on the Turner Contemporary be laid off so the builder can afford to pay the fine?

Picture (click on it to enlarge) from my publication Ramsgate's Answer to Turner & Tracey by Bob Simmonds click on the link to view the book http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/id135.htm

Update I have been assured that the contract for the Turner Contemporary has at no time been the subject of an investigation into rigging.

I should like to make it clear that I haven’t suggested it was and that I am sure £17.5m is a fair and reasonable cost.

Monday 21 September 2009

Steak and chips in Deal

Looking at the local blogs this morning it is strange to find that Mark Nottingham was also looking for lunch in Deal recently.

We seldom eat out as we mostly have several children in tow and the expense racks up, however last Thursday with the children back at school and the inevitable busman’s holiday, book shopping in other bookshops in progress, a considerable urge for steak and chips came on in Deal.

We got an excellent meal at Café Narté just off the main pedestrianised shopping street click here for the pictures http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id8.htm

Please excuse the random short postings in between catching up on a mountain of things that I should have done recently, this sort of blogging is a useful displacement activity.

The last week has been very much tied up with family matters, I buried my father and my son went of to university, so a difficult week all round.

Another new blog this time from Eastcliff Richard

No problem adding this one to my sidebar http://whatsoninthanet.blogspot.com/ worked fine, I am wondering when I finally wake up today if I am going to find all of the prominent local bloggers have started new blogs.

Peter Checksfield starts new blog and gives me feeds trouble.

Monday mornings are never easy times to face errant internet problems, in fact it sometimes seems here that the computers that have had Sunday off have Monday morning problems of my own.

This morning I was pleased to notice that Peter Checksfield of Naked in Thanet fame had started a music blog and after a relaxing read about Jerry Lee Lewis I attempted to add it to the latest feeds on my sidebar thingy.

After several failed attempts and ever mindful of Mr Lewis’s piano flambé I had started showing the computer various bottles of inflammable solvents that I use for removing sticky labels from books.

Here is how to do it where it says “add by url” and you would expect to add http://themargatemusicman.blogspot.com/ you actually need to add http://themargatemusicman.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

Oh well now to add it to http://thanetblogs.blogspot.com/ as this has to be all written in Java perhaps I will leave it until later.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Ramsgate Maritime Museum, what’s gone wrong?

Up until this morning I had assumed that the future of our maritime museum was secured, however just now things don’t look so good.

My vague enquiries recently suggested that the amount of people visiting the museum has been much more than was expected and that there were even hopes for the museum staying open for the winter.

The museum’s largest project is the restoration of the steam tug “Cervia” something I have been watching progress on a daily basis, for some time now the Cervia has been open to the public offering a unique chance to see a major steam restoration project in action.

This coming Monday was to have been the day that the Cervia should have been pulled up onto the slipway to have the urgently needed work on her hull plating done but nothing appears to have happened.

There is a coaster on the slipway with work going on that looks like it wont be finished by the end of Monday and none of the pontoons have been moved that would let the Cervia get out from her mooring.

Click on the link for the pictures http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id9.htm

The publicity surrounding the reopening of the museum said that this was all to be a joint project between Preston Steam Trust and Thanet District Council and since the Cervia and the museum have been swarming with people from the steam trust and volunteers for months now and the council don’t seem to have had much to say about the museum I find my alarm bells are ringing.

I have always had my suspicions that the council isn’t to keen on Ramsgate having a museum or any other tourist attractions for that matter, most likely they have got the clock house earmarked for some bizarre project.

Please place suggestions as to what you think our own dear council would like the building for, I shall start the ball rolling with an outlandish one of my own, after a very pleasant and somewhat liquid lunch, here goes:

Meregate town council having been told of a new round of government cuts leaked by national government officers decided to sell their most saleable asset Remisgate, Remisgate being a rather large asset the officers decided to split it up into bite sized chunks.

They started by selling off what they thought was Remisgate’s main leisure site for a huge development with plans that contravened environment agency safety advice, working on the principle that this would give Meregate’s leisure industry a great boost.

This however they soon realised was just small fry and they had really missed the towns main leisure site Remisgate port and harbour and they devised a plan to get vacant position of all the buildings they leased out in the harbour and to get rid of all the staff to make the whole complex more desirable to a potential new owner.

Friday 18 September 2009

George Martin Hinds Ramsgate Cartographer.

I have just received the following information by email:

“George Martin Hinds was almost certainly the man who drew up 'The Hinds Map'; he was also my great-great grandfather.

He was born in Ramsgate in 1802 and became an Architect & Surveyor, joining the Ramsgate firm of the architect Collard. He married the boss's daughter, always a good career move, in 1829 and eventually took over the firm. He had several sons, one of whom, Brook Hinds, also became an architect, and another, Henry Hinds (1834-1924), who was my great-grandfather, became a surveyor. My grandfather, H.G.R.Hinds (1866-1956) was also a surveyor. The office of the family business was established at 57 Queen Street and remained there until the 1950s; the business records of the family firm from 1817-1950s are deposited in the East Kent Archive Office.

George Martin Hinds was a complex character; he was responsible for many buildings within Ramsgate, several of which are still present today, including the synagogue, which has been mentioned recently in the blogs; he was also involved in matters of the town, overseeing works for the poor. In addition he was much interested in maritime matters, as well as being chapel preacher, learning Hebrew so that he could understand the bible more thoroughly. The last member of the Hinds family to live in Ramsgate was my aunt, Mary Hinds, who died in the 1990s.

Alison Hinds”

Ed, I am in the middle of a difficult period at the moment and am just catching up on some of the correspondence I have had recently. One of the things I have been working on is a reprint of my 1849 map of Ramsgate, still not finished to my satifaction.

Below my reply to Alison Hinds.

Hi Alison this is very interesting indeed, I have often thought that Hinds’s 1849 map of Ramsgate was just too good to be a crib of Collard and Hurst’s 1822 map with revisions.

I am pretty much convinced by the similarity of style that they were both drawn by the same hand and as Hinds was working for Collard’s I think it fairly safe to assume that Hinds drew both maps.

The only surviving copy of the 1822 map that I know of was destroyed in Ramsgate library fire, various black and white copies of Hind’s 1849 map survive however I have the only known coloured one. These maps were coloured then cut into sections and mounted on linen, the quality of the colouring is such that I think it likely that it was done by Hinds.

If you didn’t find it this link will take you to a copy of the map http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/map1849/

My understanding was that the synagogue was designed by David Mocatta, a pupil of Sir John Soane and architect for railway stations on the Brighton Line, so I would be very interested in more information on Hinds involvement.

My 1849 directory lists George Martin Hinds as architect, surveyor, auctioneer, appraiser and agent to the Kent Mutual Fire Office, his address at that time being 37 Queen St. The numbering of Queen St was different at that time so it would be difficult to identify the actual building if it still exists today.

With his map of Thanet see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2008/01/map-madness.html I am fairly certain it was drawn in 1819 or earlier suggesting he was 17 or younger, this is consistent with its more primitive style.

It is interesting that three important Ramsgate history books date it as 1871 and the map they show includes additions made in 1895 when Hinds would have been 93 were he alive.

SHADOW UPDATE 17/09/09

Labour Shadow Team comments on Thursday evenings TDC Cabinet meeting.


Introduction

TDC Labour Group Leader Cllr. Clive Hart said "several items discussed on Thursday evening will kick-start start public consultations that will prove extremely interesting over the next few months. Labour councillors believe in open and comprehensive engagement with residents and we will be monitoring all consultations very closely indeed".

Cllr. Clive Hart - Phone: 01843 298770

Item 4 Budget Monitoring Report

Shadow Cabinet Member Cllr. Peter Campbell raised concern that the council was to repay £58.6K of ERDF grant which was due to recipients failing to meet their grant conditions.

Cllr. Peter Campbell - Phone: 01843 585738

Shadow Cabinet Member Cllr. Iris Johnston also raised the following issues from the report:
9.1 Concerns that there was £32k underspend on the HRA account through savings on supervision at a time she was raising concerns with officers on the performance of one particular contractor. She emphasised the need for even more monitoring not less.
9.2 Cllr. Johnston welcomed the Cabinet member’s agreed reduction of Council tenant’s rent increases be limited to 3.1% in line with the Labour Government’s recommendations. She had highlighted this need at Full Council as a necessity last Spring. (The Labour Government had insisted all councils must keep any increases to a minimum and Cllr. Johnston ensured TDC passed on this information to tenants at the earliest opportunity thus cutting the increase by almost half.)
9.3. Cllr. Johnston asked if officers had started the consultation process which ends on 27th October which changes original systems of redistributing revenue. A council officer admitted that TDC had a better than most arrangements at present and that work was commencing.
Page 18 Cllr Johnston asked if the 76k referred to in the report for Margate Connections and apparently earmarked for even more works outside the cafe G was remainder money from the original European funding for the Turner Way or TDC’s own money. She expressed concern that so much had been spent on the project which had had significant problems. Cllr. Ezekiel was unable to answer and asked his officer to advise.
Cllr Johnston also referred to the failed expensive purchase of the old Marks and Spencer site and the TDC land beside the Hairdressers which is now derelict She questioned if the 812.190K listed was SEEDa money which the officer confirmed was the case.( None of the promises made by the Conservatives on a major retail development with 86 flats and offices has been met and the 4.9 million expenditure appears as Labour suspected to have been a very foolish venture for TDC).
Cllr. Iris Johnston - Phone: 01843 299207
Item 7 Corporate Performance Pack
Margate renewal: Cllr. Johnston expressed grave concern that herself and Cllr. John Watkins who constantly are the first to raise issues in their Margate central Ward are not represented at Margate Renewal Partnership meetings. She referred to a specific meeting last week with the Chamber of Commerce.
Councillor Ezekiel was dismissive of her role as an elected representative and said as he was the Vice Chair of the Margate Renewal Partnership he saw no need for her involvement.
Cllr. Johnston, who has been a councillor since 1995 said when Labour Controlled TDC they always involved ward councillors and that she wanted a presentation on how monies were being spent in the ward.
( Councillor Johnston has specifically asked for Scrutiny to look at all grants handed out by the Margate Renewal Partnership but Conservative Chairman Bob Bayford has yet to confirm when this is likely to happen An Overview and Scrutiny meeting for 1st September was cancelled through lack of business)
Transport Links. Cllr. Johnston asked that any plans to develop transport links must include requests made in petitions with thousands of signatures on improved bus services which should include Sunday and other services. She referred to the latest petition due to be presented on 15th October and her disappointment that the Joint Transportation meeting due this month had been cancelled citing ‘lack of business’
Page 55. Cllr. Johnston raised issues on the absence of officers at a recent Margate Central PACT meeting. She said it was essential suitably qualified officers were in attendance.
P57. Cllr. Johnston said the 32% reduction in available man hours was evident in the poor state of some parts of Thanet. Lack of watering of gardens and street cleaning as well as the shelter at Primark proved the failures She had no answer to her request as to when the Schmit cleaner was to be repaired to clean the streets..
Page 61 Cllr. Johnston suggested the Council’s promise of ‘delivering a quality service as landlord to council tenants ‘ was not met in the production of a leaflet to Council tenants in East Kent which Thanet representatives had objected to at draft stage. Mr Brendan Ryan Housing officer dismissed her concerns by saying that it would nbe impossible to produce a leaflet and incorporate the tenants reprentative views. Councillor Johnston had no response to her question ‘Was the leaflet already printed when tenants said last week met with Mr Ryan and discussed their concerns?’
Cllr. Iris Johnston - Phone: 01843 299207

Item 8 Preferred Options for Local Development Framework Core Strategy

Speaking for the Labour Group Cllr. Clive Hart said "I have to say we do have some concerns with this document - mainly around the change of use of land at Eurokent Westwood where it is suggested employment land is given over to housing. The previous Labour administration at TDC had to fight long and hard to get this land designated for employment and following a group meeting on Tuesday that remains our position.

However, we firmly believe in engaging with local people to hear their views so we welcome a formal public consultation providing it is genuinely open and comprehensive. Employment must remain a firm priority for the council!

Now - speaking as a local councillor in Margate & Cliftonville - I also have concerns about suggestions to shorten Margate High Street as a shopping centre and the proposal to encourage businesses away from the top end is very questionable indeed - the natural free-market that exists at present is producing exactly the opposite effect with the lower half where the retail core is proposed in this document, is suffering badly".

Cllr. Clive Hart - Phone: 01843 298770

Cllr. Peter Campbell then asked about safeguarding and increasing the proportion of housing stock in Thanet as opposed to flats and a council officer assured him that the proposed core strategy would help in this regard. Indeed if the proposed policy was adopted there would be a clear emphasis on houses instead of flats on future developments sites. Cllr. Campbell also asked that all Planning Members be fully briefed on any changes to policy if and when they were adopted.

Cllr. Peter Campbell - Phone: 01843 585738

Item 13 Potential Asset Disposals 2010 - 2011

Cllr. Clive Hart raised concerns about land in Cliftonville that was on the schedule of TDC assets for potential disposal - the front strip of land at Palm Bay Recreation Ground that lies adjacent to Palm Bay School in Palm Bay Avenue.

Cllr. Hart told Cabinet "I'm informed by residents that details of a covenant should be in the Council's records, as years ago, when it was decided that the recreation site could not be developed, there had to be special permission sought to use a piece of the land for the school playing field. Indeed, I seem to recollect there was strong local opposition to Palm Bay school, especially from residents living in the close vicinity at the time".

In response Cllr. Ezekiel explained that he had indeed Chaired a residents 'Action Group' meeting at the time the school was being planned where objections were raised.

Cllr. Clive Hart - Phone: 01843 298770

Cllr. Johnston raised the issues of covenants on land at Hartsdown Park.
Councillor Ezekiel confirmed he had chaired meetings in the past on possible building on open space in Palm Bay and the officer said the legal department were looking in to covenants. Councillor Johnston said the old lavatory block in Westbrook had been part of a planning discussion with the owners of the Sea Bathing at the original Planning stage. She had had a commitment for their reopening using planning gain funds. KCC had also promised to repair the retaining wall since at least 2001 but had not done so despite her many requests.
Cllr. Iris Johnston - Phone: 01843 299207

A process of engagement and public consultation should now take place on potential asset disposal sites.

Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 2RW.

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Thanet Vision 2030

I just spotted this on the TDC website feed click on the link to read

http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/thanet_vision.aspx?lang=en-gb

It’s an interesting insight into how our local government hopes to direct the future of this area.

Monday 14 September 2009

The Bells the Bells, Health and Safety? Gone Mad in Birchington.

There is a long history of bells and bell ringing in Birchington going back well over 500 years, the earliest recorded mention of them in the parish records is in 1532.

Item ij new belroyps on to the grett bell and other to the small bell xviiid (1/6 in old money 7 ½ p in new money about £40 at today’s value)

Click here for more details from the book “A History of the Ville of Birchington 1893 by J P Barrett I produce a cheap reprint of this book from the best edition (1908 reprint with additional annals) click here should you wish to buy it.

Although the only connection with TV series and Waterloo tower that I know of is that it appeared in a 1978 Blakes7 episode, on arrival at Quex Park I was greeted by the device in the picture above, click on it to enlarge and was immediately reminded of the TV series The Prisoner.

I am ever mindful that Thanet is an island and with the steady increase of denizens combined with the advances in technology, every time I leave it I check that the exit road hasn’t turned into the entrance road and all escapes have been closed.

Anyway back to the surveillance point or whatever it is, looking at this thing, first impressions suggested that all would not be well with this visit and that the nasty modern world had invaded Amicus Kentis.

Last time I visited the bell tower there, an open day probably about 15 years ago, the most pleasant part of the visit was the viewing gallery, situated in the metal spire 77 feet above Quex Park the views are quite remarkable.

Now the only part of going up the tower (not the viewing gallery I could understand members of the public not being allowed up there) that could by any stretch of the imagination be considered dangerous is ascending the narrow spiral staircases inside one of the turrets.

On yesterdays visit I was told that now heath and safety regulations meant that one could only go up the tower as far as the first floor (nothing much there and you can’t see out of the windows), no one there seemed to know quite why this was the case, the spiral staircase between the other floors is just the same, equally safe or dangerous however you like to see it, all the bells were down, so no danger there.

So no photographs of either the bells or the view only, the only person I knew connected with Quex, who I am sure would have been quite happy to let me all the way up the tower, was Christopher Powell Cotton unfortunately he died in 2006.

Click here for the pictures I did take, I got a bit diverted into photographing various cracks that have appeared in the tower, these don’t seem to be consistent with stresses caused by ringing the bells and interested me.

Some notes on the tower, sources “The Waterloo Tower at Quex Park” by Hazel Basford (8 pages A5 50p published by The Quex park Society of Change ringers) and http://www.quexringers.org/pages/change-ringers.htm but mostly from my own researches.

Information about why John Powell Powell the local squire decided to build his own bell tower is scant.

Tradition has it that he offered various bells and to build a bell tower at the west end of Birchington church, there is no information now as to why his offers were spurned the Powle family have been at Quex since 1673 (vide Hasted vol X 1800), I am assuming the family is the same and the spelling only has changed.

John Powell Powell also built a second tower on his estate for another of his pleasures, the discharging of cannon (vide Ireland vol I 1828 who also points out that nearby is Plum-pudding island, a resort for pugilists exempt from the intrusion of constables &c.) so perhaps he didn’t need a reason.

I digress back to the bells, when completed in 1819 it was the first bell tower in Kent to have a ring of 12 bells the next to this being Canterbury cathedral having only 10 bells at that time.

The tenor bell is inscribed "This peal of bells was cast for John Powell Powell of Quex House, Isle of Thanet, by Thos. Mears of Whitechapel, London, for the amusement of himself and his friends". A truly secular peal!

The architect was William Fuller Pocock the cost of the tower was about £9,000 a considerable sum at that time. The height of the top of the metal spire is 124 ft the top of the brick tower being 60 ft 6 ins above ground.

Originally the bells were hung in two tiers on an oak frame, the bells were cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry and various recastings have been done by them over the years (people that build bell towers for their own amusement don’t expect to go back to the shop for repairs after a mere 200 years and find they no longer have the spare parts) the last being in 1989 the result of a freak accident when the wooden stopper became detached and jammed bringing the 9th bell to a dead stop and severely cracking it. This bell weighing I believe about 9cwt was then smashed up in the tower and thrown over the side of the tower, the shards being collected up for recasting on the floor of the ringing room. The recast bell was the hoisted up the tower with considerable difficulty and rehung without removing any of the other bells, an operation not without risk.

I should note here that there is an iron grating in the middle of the ringing room, on the ground floor of the tower, under this is a shallow well with short passages leading from it, they don’t go anywhere and are not worth ruining a perfectly good pair of trousers over.

The boards in the ringing room record various feats of campanology, the rules here are always the same, one band of ringers for the duration, no one is allowed a rest or to let go of their rope. If anything goes wrong the peal is considered lost and the ringing stops. As an example of what I mean, the boards record that in 1959 a long length of the Cambridge Surprise Major was rung 13,280 changes taking 8 hours 12 minutes.

Sunday 13 September 2009

Quex bell tower and Pugin’s Grange open today.

Just in case you were wondering what to do today a couple of local buildings that are normally closed are open to the public, as far as I know entry is free.

This is part of The 2009 Heritage Open Days see http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/laa/Thanet/

The Grange is well worth a look at click on the links for pictures (not very good) of previous open days
http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/grange/index.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/grange2008/

you may also find these pictures of the collapse of Pugin’s gallery in 1947 interesting.
http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/collapse/

It is some time since I went up the bell tower at Quex Park and if I have any pictures I can’t find them

Saturday 12 September 2009

Kent International Airport Night Flights and the Margate colour bar

The arguments over airport expansion seem to have split into two main arguments one being night flights and the other all of the rest.

I have made no secret of the fact that my main concerns over airport expansion relate to the water drainage and pollution issues. I believe that securing a safe and sustainable future for our water supply and agriculture see far overrides any noise considerations, I am not saying that the noise isn’t an issue, we are all pretty blurry today after being woken at 3am by noisy drunks arguing outside. I don’t know if to blame the crazy national government that introduced 24 hour drinking or the crazy local government that suddenly let the takeaways here open to 4am without any local consultation for that one.

Back to the aircraft noise issue, as an historian I should say that the first reference I can find to this was before commercial flights started at Manston, back in 1958 when the American flying officers found the aircraft noise too trying to live with and elected to live on the north side of the island.

My understanding is that they lived Mostly in the Margate area and the U.S.A.F authorities operated a form of apartheid banning "coloured American" airmen from the Margate area.

They considered Ramsgate with the aircraft noise only suitable for “coloured Americans” who they obviously considered to be second-class citizens.

You may well think I have lost the plot here with a black American president and a black chairman of the Ramsgate Society, if so click on the link the link to read the newspaper article http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts2/id71.htm

The question begged here is, do our councillors and council officers consider the people of Ramsgate to be second-class citizens now?

There has been some debate over what it is that KIA are asking for, reading the documentation it would appear they would like an unspecified amount of night flights, I would appreciate it if anyone refuting this could show their references, here are mine.

http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000144/M00001793/AI00003333/$AirportWorkingParty17September2009Draftconsultationpla.doc.htm

http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000144/M00001793/AI00003333/$Annex1DraftConsultationPlan_v1.doc.htm

http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000144/M00001793/AI00003332/$AirportWorkingParty17Septembnighttimeflyingpolicyappl.doc.htm

http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000144/M00001779/AI00003163/$AirportWorkingPartyMinutes19May2009.doc.htm


http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000144/M00001779/AI00003165/$19Aug09NighttimeflyingTDCNewsRelease_v1.doc.htm


http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000144/M00001779/AI00003165/$AirportWorkingParty26August2009NightTimeFlying.doc.htm

Airport Working PartyThursday, 17th September, 2009 5.00 pm
See http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=1793
As this information is published by our own dear council it neither tells us where the meeting is, who will be able to attend or if members of the public are allowed to speak.

I expect all of the usual contenders will be involved in both meetings and I expect a great deal of money will be expended however as the government have just announced that £16m was spent by them to find out that the Phoenix Four, had it away with £42 million this will be comparatively insignificant.

Picture from shows 109s at Manston.

The East Kent Critic September 1969

Back to Thanet forty years ago and more of this magazine for those of you that are interested, click on the link to read the whole issue http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/EastKentCritic/id5.htm

Reading through this edition I find it equates much more with my memory of the period than present day perceptions of the swinging 60s.

Friday 11 September 2009

Pleasurama, Royal Sands Ramsgate, Thanet’s largest residential development part 1 1997 to 2003.

Pleasurama, Royal Sands Ramsgate, Thanet’s largest residential development part 1 1997 to 2003.

Since the council press release announcing that work was about to start this month, I have been trying on and off to find out what’s going on.

This is a slow process with answers being cryptic, if you can get any at all, so as we are now on the fourth contractor, something like the seventh set of plans and the sixth definite start date, I thought I would put up a series of posts explaining what has happened with this site over the last eleven years since it burnt down.

I first became interested in this site about 12 years ago when the amusement arcade there closed, at the time we were told that it was going to reopen as a factory outlet.

The council altered the road layout ostensibly to fit in with this, in practical terms what they did was to remove nearly all of the main seafront car parking, how this factory outlet was to survive without any customer parking was never explained.

The more cynical among us decided that it was an attempt by our district council, based in our main rival leisure town, to bring our economy to its knees to their economic benefit. Rumour was that our EEC development grant had been used for this.

About 11 years ago the building burnt down as the result of an arson attack, a disaster for Ramsgate, there then ensued a long period of time when the council that owned the site tried to get back the leasehold interest from the tenant.

Somewhere around 2001 I think this was achieved although what happened to the insurance money claimed for the destroyed council owned building remains a mystery to me.

Early in 2002, I think it was, Whitbread the brewer came along with a proposal for a development on the site, it looked like a fairly good development and was in scale with other developments in the area. If I had to be critical of it, I would say that it wasn’t sympathetic to the surrounding architecture.

Some details from the documentation submitted to the council.

Developer Whitbread and SFP Venture Partners Ltd.

Architect PRC.

Building contractor Featherstone Construction Ltd.

The development was for two buildings, building 1 between the lift and the roundabout and building 2 between the roundabout and Augusta stairs.

Building 1 comprised 80 private flats, hotel Whitbread Brewers Fayre and commercial units. building 2 comprised 20 private flats.

Click on the link to view the documentation http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id5.htm as far as I understand it this was the documentation that most of the TDC councillors representing Ramsgate had seen and thought they were agreeing to when the plans for a much larger and taller building somehow got slipped in during the change of administration from Labour to Conservative.

I am doing my best here to present an accurate account of the saga of this development so far and would appreciate any corrections or additions as they come along.

Thursday 10 September 2009

12 new sites are being proposed, as part of the council’s Asset Management Plan

I noticed that no one has picked up on this one and wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the disposal of these sites.

Site: Land adjacent to 39 Nelson Place, Broadstairs (Bradstowe)
Proposal: Possible development for a single house.

Site: Open surfaced site to the rear of the supermarket, Hopeville Avenue, St. Peter’s, Broadstairs (St. Peter’s)
Proposal: Either seek planning permission for a small residential development, upgrade the car park to pay and display or leave as it is now. In all cases, the toilets would be retained.

Site: Land and buildings to the south of Hartsdown Sports Centre, Hartsdown Park, Margate (excludes leisure centre) (Garlinge)
Proposal: Either do nothing, partially redevelop the vacant parts of the site or a comprehensive redevelopment of the site, with income funding improvements to the sports centre and pavilion. As part of any development, community groups would be helped to relocate.

Site: Front strip of land to Palm Bay recreation ground, Palm Bay Avenue, Cliftonville (Cliftonville East)
Proposal: Keep as recreation ground only or carry out a small residential development, which would provide money to improve the facilities at the recreation ground, including changing facilities and football pitches.

Site: Former lodge, St. John’s Cemetery, Manston Road, Margate (Salmestone)
Proposal: Retain as a storage facility or dispose for residential refurbishment.

Site: Former promenade toilets, adjacent to Seaview Terrace, Westbrook (Westbrook)
Proposal: Either retain the building in its existing condition or redevelop for residential use.

Site: Land opposite the Tudor House, King Street, Margate (Margate Central)
Proposal: Either retain the site in its existing condition or sell for residential development.

Site: Staffordshire Street car park (public parking retained), Ramsgate (Eastcliff)
Proposal: Either keep as a car park or seek a full town centre commercial redevelopment of the site, retaining and incorporating public car parking.

Site: Land on Western Undercliff, west of tunnel access, including Chine access from Royal Esplanade (Cliffsend and Pegwell)
Proposal: Either do nothing or dispose of the site, with planning consent for either residential or leisure development.

Site: Car park, site of the former swimming pool, Marina Esplanade, Ramsgate (Sir Moses Montefiore)
Proposal: Either do nothing or a mixed residential/commercial scheme with on site parking.

Site: Open space land adjoining 33 and 35 Beech Grove, Cliffsend (Cliffsend and Pegwell)
Proposal: Either retain or sell to adjoining owners for garden land.

Site: Former railway line behind numbers 2-48 Highfield Road, Ramsgate (Northwood)
Proposal: Either leave as it is, set out formal parking or dispose for residential development, with alternative parking provided and some of the money used to improve facilities on Jackey Bakers.

Monday 7 September 2009

Reflections after a bad weekend

My father who had been very ill for some time died over the weekend so I am just catching up with local matters.

I have updated http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/ and notice one of the new documents listed is, Sep 8 2009 6:00PM, Standards Committee items 11 and12 appear to be so restricted that it is impossible to even find out what they are about.

I noticed the new fast train trial services from London to Ramsgate have started, this weekends brush with our rail services were a bit of non-starter for us.

My father lived in Hampshire and having heard how much worse his illness was, I, my wife and two youngest children decided to go there for the weekend, this is a 400 mile round car trip, about £70 worth of petrol for our large 7 seater family estate car.

The cheapest rail return fair for one adult is £140 so we took the less environmentally friendly route, something that makes me wonder where we are going in terms of the future of the planet.

With the Thanet District Council press releases as all the new ones I had received dated from the end of last week I wasn’t going to bother putting them up, however as Thanet’s Blooming Gardens hasn’t made it even now, mid afternoon on Monday I put them all up.

I went and had a look at the Pleasurama site early this morning, I notice the youf of today are converting it into some sort of stunt park, as the land still belongs to the council perhaps they will be claiming it as a leisure facility.

On a more serious note the cliff façade is still deteriorating badly, I would take a lot of persuading that building right next to this cliff is safe and sensible. However don’t take my word for it here are the pictures taken this morning http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id4.htm if you are wondering what happens to structures in front of cliff collapses click on this link http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/collapse/paragon.htm the bent things are steel girders.

I have taken this issue up with TDC and was told not to worry about it as it caused by vegetation growing on bird droppings, in view of the fact a small lilac tree is growing in one of the cracks that have recently appeared in the newly repaired cliff façade I should be interested to see the bird they have in mind particularly in flight.


Further down the pictures I took this morning you can see the tell tale cracks appearing in the road surface above the arches supporting the Marina Esplanade incline road click on the link to view tell tale cracks after the event http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/collapse/id2.htm

Friday 4 September 2009

Montefiore Synagogue and Mausoleum Open this Sunday from 9.30am to 2.00pm

I am reminding people that hats will need to be worn to go into the synagogue, this is a piece of Ramsgate’s heritage not to be missed if you can possibly go don’t miss it.

European Day of Jewish Heritage & Culture Montefiore Synagogue Open Day Sunday 6th. September 2009 Access from:
Honeysuckle Road, Ramsgate CT11 8AA or
Dumpton Park Drive, Ramsgate CT11 8AD; entrance east of the Montefiore Medical Centre.

Sponsored by B'nai B'rith UK: http://www.bbuk.org/ http://www.jewisheritage.org/

THE MONTEFIORE SYNAGOGUE AND MAUSOLEUM
Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) was a towering figure of Victorian England, renowned locally, nationally and internationally. The grandson of wealthy Sephardi London merchants originally from Livorno in Italy he retired from the Stock Exchange a rich man to devote his life to philanthropy. He gave generously locally: his mayoral gold chain is still worn by Ramsgate mayors. Nationally he worked for removal of disabilities for all dissenters; he helped establish the non-denominational University College London. Internationally he most famously fought for and helped financially his co-religionists abroad in times of persecution and established a new suburb and industries for impoverished Jews of Jerusalem and of the Holy Land.

He first came to Ramsgate in 1812 on his honeymoon with his wife Judith Cohen, sister-in-law to Nathan Rothschild. After his first visit to Jerusalem he bought, in 1831, East Cliff Lodge with its grounds, now George VI Park. The pious and observant Montefiores immediately expressed their intention to build a synagogue as a private `chapel' on their estate. David Mocatta, a cousin, was hired to design it. He was the first Anglo-Jewish architect, a pupil of Sir John Soane and architect for railway stations on the Brighton Line. Mocatta estimated the cost at between £1500 and £1600 exclusive of the interior which was to cost £300 and £400. The foundation stone was laid on the New Moon of Tammuz (Leo) 5691 anno mundi (1) or 9th. August 1831 in the presence of large numbers of the family; terra santa[sic](2) was placed where the Ark with its scrolls would eventually stand.

It was on Sunday the 16th. June 1833 that the dedication of the synagogue took place.
The Chief Rabbis of both the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities were present, leading a large and distinguished congregation from all over the United Kingdom.

`The simple building is based on a rectangular plan with canted corners plus a semicircular apse at the back to accommodate the Ark. It has whitewashed stucco walls and a lead roof. The clock on the façade, an unusual feature of synagogues (the most famous being that on Prague's baroque Jewish Town Hall) is inscribed in English with the motto TIME FLIES. VIRTUE ALONE REMAINS. The chiming clock is the only example in an English Synagogue.'(3)

This clock has marked the time for numerous Ramsgatonians, speeding many a schoolboy late for school. Sir Moses Montefiore's arms, by the side of the entrance, are from the now demolished Judith, Lady Montefiore College; they were placed there after 1960.

`The interior: Semicircular stone steps (at north) lead to a tiny vestibule with a marble washstand. The interior of the small prayer hall was originally dimly lit from above by an octagonal dome and lantern of clear and red glass, a feature typical of the Regency, and by a tiny window over the Ark now filled with a stained glass Decalogue. Only later were windows introduced at gallery level. The classicism of the tapering Ark is modified by the lotus-bud capitals, which give it a slightly Egyptian feel.

Other alterations to the interior have somewhat compromised the restrained neoclassicism: the cream, pink and grey granite and marble lining the walls (in 1912), replacement and rearrangement of furniture (by oak in 1933; the Reader's desk is now in the centre) and the introduction of iron gallery supports and stained glass (also 1933). The gallery faces the Ark along the west wall and has a traditional high latticework mehitsah (*). In 1933 the original timber Royal Family prayer board was replaced. It can now be seen at Bristol Synagogue'
(4)

The present Prayer for the Royal Family is for King George V and Queen Mary.
In the lobby there is a memorial to a member of the family who was killed on active service at Gallipoli during World War I.

The synagogue is lit by candles in their original brass chandeliers, as at its parent synagogue Bevis Marks in London. Sir Moses' own seat by the Ark is still to be seen as is that of Lady
Montefiore's in the women's gallery (no.3).
The Montefiores travelled widely and visited the Holy Land seven times. The suburb built outside the old walls of Jerusalem, `Yemin Moshe' (the Right Hand of Moses in honour of Sir Moses) had a distinctly English flavour, and one might say even a very Ramsgate flavour: the ironwork is from G S Culver's Ramsgate Metalwork factory and the windmill was based on the Hereson flour mill. It was built by Messrs. Holman, engineers and millwrights, of Canterbury.
The Mausoleum next to the Synagogue is a replica of Rachel's Tomb, on the road to Bethlehem, which Lady Montefiore had had repaired in 1839. David Mocatta was commissioned by Sir Moses to build this mausoleum for his childless wife who predeceased him.

`The Montefiores are laid to rest side by side in brick vaults covered by identical chest tombs of Aberdeen marble. As is traditional the tombs face east towards Jerusalem under a small stained-glass skylight. The floor is of Minton tile. The porch is filled with iron grilles in a Moresque fretwork pattern. The inscription is from the last verse of the Hebrew hymn `Adon Alom'' (5).

The translation from the Hebrew is:
Within Thy hand I lay my soul
Both when I sleep and when I wake
And with my soul my body too,
My Lord is close I shall not fear
Behind the mausoleum is a short stone pillar on a plinth brought back from the Holy Land by Sir Moses. It perhaps alludes to the tombstone erected by the patriarch Jacob over Rachel's grave.
These buildings may remind us of a 19th century link between these islands and the Holy Land and of a devoted couple who were steadfast in their faith, proud forerunners of multi-culturalism in this green and pleasant land.
1. anno mundi: the year of the world or from the creation, as in the Hebrew calendar; in Latin in Montefiore diaries.
2. Terra Santa [sic]: soil from the Holy Land; in Latin in the Montefiore diaries.
3. Jewish Heritage in England, An Architectural Guide by Sharman Kadish
Published 2006, English Heritage: ISBN-13 978 1 905624 28 7
4. Ibid; 5.Ibid; *.partition between men and women
Bibliography: Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore.
Memoirs of Ruth Sebag-Montefiore
Bible and Sword by Barbara Tuchman
The Cousinhood by Chaim Bermant
Quotes in italics Sharman Kadish , Jewish Heritage in England, An Architectural Guide; published by English Heritage, 2006. ISBN-13 978 1 905624 28 7
Here you have one of Ramsgate's architectural gems, sadly little used now, please if you have further information about it please send it to me and I will add it.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

1906 map of Thanet

Click on the image of the map to enlarge it. OK that didn’t work too well as blogger resized the image so click on the link to enlarge instead http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts3/id47.htm

Finally a proper job of this one, maps are one of the most difficult things to reproduce with enough detail to be really useful tools for the historian.

I have also added some pictures of Thanet from about the same date from the book I publish “Ramsgate & Broadstairs By Camera & Pen 1904–5” click on this link to look at them http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts3/id46.htm you can also click on the next link to buy it and look at even more pictures from it. http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/ramsgate___broadstairs_by_camera___pen_1904_1905.htm
I have also published the map of Ramsgate from “Ramsgate New Holiday Recipe Book 1939” another book I publish click on this link for sample pages http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/recipe/ and this one for the map http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts3/id48.htm

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Pick a Flamingo

I have just been glancing at the Thanet blogs and having been to the http://www.rarespeciesconservationcentre.org/ over the weekend I was reminded of the words from Alice in Wonderland.

“The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression ..........

Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure, she had not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew that it might happen any minute, `and then,' thought she, `what would become of me? They're dreadfully fond of beheading people here; the great wonder is, that there's any one left alive!'”

For the pictures of the Rare Species Conservation Centre which is on the Sandwich bypass click on the links.

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts3/id42.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts3/id43.htm

http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts3/id44.htm

Having spent the weekend in a field with no internet connection, even the village pub had closed, click on the link for pictures http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts3/id45.htm coming back to what looks like another round of Thanet blog wars is a tad depressing.

Pinch and a punch it’s the first of the month

I have just got back to work after the bank holiday break and will start with this one, below the web statistics for last month, for my two main blogs, these statistics are the nearest I can get to a Thanet blog popularity chart.

I haven’t bothered to explain them in detail, if any of you have difficulty understanding them please leave a comment saying what you don’t understand and I will do my best to explain.

http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/

5,194 Visits
8,568 Page Views
1.65 Pages/Visit 71.49% Bounce Rate
00:02:11 Avg. Time on Site
35.25% % New Visits

Source/Medium Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Time on Site % New Visits Bounce Rate
1. (direct) / (none) 1,189 1.57 00:02:29 26.49% 72.16%
2. google / organic 1,063 1.54 00:01:16 68.20% 76.29%
3. eastcliffrichard.blogspot.com / referral 734 1.71 00:01:41 15.94% 67.98%
4. blogger.com / referral 299 2.20 00:06:21 0.33% 63.88%
5. bignewsmargate.blogspot.com / referral 259 1.51 00:01:55 20.46% 76.83%
6. thanetstrife.blogspot.com / referral 166 1.97 00:03:28 6.02% 61.45%
7. yahoo / organic 166 2.01 00:02:58 65.66% 65.66%
8. thanetonline.com / referral 135 1.58 00:01:36 12.59% 72.59%
9. images.google.co.uk / referral 91 1.70 00:01:42 64.84% 67.03%
10. marknottingham.blogspot.com / referral 82 1.88 00:02:51 12.20% 70.73%
11. michaelsbookshop.com / referral 65 1.80 00:02:47 69.23% 63.08%
12. birchington.blogspot.com / referral 49 1.69 00:02:45 26.53% 67.35%
13. twitter.com / referral 48 1.15 00:00:22 25.00% 85.42%
14. google.com / referral 41 1.15 00:01:24 17.07% 87.80%
15. stopmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.com / referral 40 1.45 00:01:50 12.50% 72.50%
16. images.google.com / referral 39 1.56 00:01:05 84.62% 74.36%
17. thanetblogs.blogspot.com / referral 39 1.18 00:01:56 2.56% 87.18%
18. promotethanet.blogspot.com / referral 38 1.87 00:03:21 21.05% 68.42%
19. thanetcoastlife.blogspot.com / referral 37 2.19 00:04:10 13.51% 48.65%
20. eastclifframsgate.blogspot.com / referral 36 1.58 00:00:58 13.89% 72.22%
21. margatearchitecture.blogspot.com / referral 36 1.50 00:00:32 25.00% 72.22%
22. billowrights.blogspot.com / referral 35 1.34 00:01:17 0.00% 80.00%
23. aol / organic 34 1.71 00:01:06 70.59% 55.88%
24. yvonnes-jottings.blogspot.com / referral 33 1.76 00:02:30 6.06% 60.61%
25. thanetpress.blogspot.com / referral 30 1.60 00:01:25 23.33% 70.00%
26. thandotnet.blogspot.com / referral 27 1.15 00:01:43 11.11% 85.19%
27. thanetunderground.blogspot.com / referral 26 2.00 00:02:40 15.38% 46.15%
28. startmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.com / referral 25 1.44 00:01:28 32.00% 80.00%
29. jonathanansell.forums.umusic.co.uk / referral 24 1.25 00:01:23 83.33% 83.33%
30. facebook.com / referral 23 1.13 00:00:32 69.57% 86.96%
31. search / organic 21 1.67 00:00:24 90.48% 80.95%
32. nakedinthanet.blogspot.com / referral 20 1.60 00:01:25 30.00% 80.00%
33. bing / organic 13 1.92 00:00:56 53.85% 53.85%
34. google.co.uk / referral 13 1.85 00:00:41 38.46% 61.54%
35. ask / organic 9 1.44 00:00:13 88.89% 77.78%
36. villagevoices.blogspot.com / referral 9 1.67 00:05:46 22.22% 55.56%
37. kenthistoryforum.co.uk / referral 8 1.25 00:00:26 87.50% 75.00%
38. planesoverhernebay.blogspot.com / referral 8 1.00 00:00:00 0.00% 100.00%
39. search1.sky.com / referral 8 2.75 00:08:52 62.50% 37.50%
40. thanetobserver.blogspot.com / referral 7 1.71 00:00:11 42.86% 71.43%
41. thanetstar.com / referral 7 1.00 00:00:00 28.57% 100.00%
42. blogs.thanetfinder.com / referral 6 3.33 00:04:36 50.00% 33.33%
43. thegreatdaktari.blogspot.com / referral 6 1.00 00:00:00 0.00% 100.00%
44. tiscali.co.uk / referral 6 1.83 00:06:59 50.00% 50.00%
45. images.google.com.au / referral 5 2.20 00:00:22 100.00% 40.00%
46. images.google.de / referral 5 1.20 > 00:00:00 100.00% 80.00%
47. altavista / organic 4 1.25 00:02:47 100.00% 75.00%
48. images.google.es / referral 4 3.00 00:01:47 100.00% 25.00%
49. newingtonblogspot.blogspot.com / referral 4 1.25 00:00:32 50.00% 75.00%
50. search.yahoo.com / referral 4 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%

www.thanetpress.blogspot.com/

846 Visits
1,220 Page Views
1.44 Pages/Visit 74.59% Bounce Rate
00:00:49 Avg. Time on Site
49.05% % New Visits

Source/Medium Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Time on Site % New Visits Bounce Rate

1. eastcliffrichard.blogspot.com / referral 180 1.38 00:00:42 30.56% 81.67%
2. google / organic 171 1.50 00:00:40 91.81% 76.02%
3. (direct) / (none) 117 1.22 00:00:41 47.86% 85.47%
4. thanetonline.blogspot.com / referral 66 1.71 00:01:05 27.27% 60.61%
5. thanetstrife.blogspot.com / referral 60 1.52 00:00:58 23.33% 63.33%
6. marknottingham.blogspot.com / referral 30 1.10 00:00:26 33.33% 90.00%
7. twitter.com / referral 29 1.48 00:01:51 37.93% 72.41%
8. startmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.com / referral 25 1.48 00:00:43 20.00% 68.00%
9. eastclifframsgate.blogspot.com / referral 17 1.53 00:01:48 29.41% 58.82%
10. stopmanstonexpansiongroup.blogspot.com / referral 17 1.35 00:00:22 29.41% 70.59%
11. blogger.com / referral 15 1.73 00:00:38 20.00% 66.67%
12. thanetcoastlife.blogspot.com / referral 12 1.50 00:01:04 33.33% 66.67%
13. nakedinthanet.blogspot.com / referral 10 1.80 00:00:48 40.00% 50.00%
14. margatearchitecture.blogspot.com / referral 8 1.88 00:02:37 62.50% 50.00%
15. aol / organic 7 1.43 00:01:53 100.00% 85.71%
16. billowrights.blogspot.com / referral 7 1.71 00:02:12 0.00% 57.14%
17. thandotnet.blogspot.com / referral 7 1.14 00:00:10 42.86% 85.71%
18. thanetobserver.blogspot.com / referral 7 1.14 00:00:25 71.43% 85.71%
19. yahoo / organic 6 2.33 00:01:40 66.67% 16.67%
20. ademdjemil.co.uk / referral 5 1.40 00:00:19 80.00% 60.00%
21. thisfrenchlife.com / referral 4 1.75 00:00:45 100.00% 75.00%
22. blogs.thanetfinder.com / referral 3 1.33 00:00:26 66.67% 66.67%
23. giteinbrittany.blogspot.com / referral 3 1.67 00:00:50 100.00% 33.33%
24. images.google.co.uk / referral 3 1.33 00:00:08 100.00% 66.67%
25. uk.mg.bt.mail.yahoo.com / referral 3 1.33 00:00:01 100.00% 66.67%
26. villagevoices.blogspot.com / referral 3 1.00 00:00:00 66.67% 100.00%
27. google.co.uk / referral 2 3.50 00:01:11 0.00% 0.00%
28. images.google.com / referral 2 1.50 00:00:11 50.00% 50.00%
29. newingtonblogspot.blogspot.com / referral 2 1.00 00:00:00 0.00% 100.00%
30. ramsgatetourettes.blogspot.com / referral 2 1.00 00:00:00 50.00% 100.00%
31. search / organic 2 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%
32. 172.16.1.18:15871 / referral 1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%
33. ask / organic 1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%
34. birchington.blogspot.com / referral 1 2.00 00:01:28 0.00% 0.00%
35. by120w.bay120.mail.live.com / referral 1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%
36. co102w.col102.mail.live.com / referral 1 2.00 00:03:24 100.00% 0.00%
37. crawler.com / referral 1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%
38. crm.wikio.net / referral 1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%
39. facebook.com / referral 1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00%
40. gaddsbeershop.blogspot.com / referral 1 3.00 00:02:19 0.00% 0.00%