Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Royal Sands Development Ramsgate, more on the most dangerous bit.

The cliff in the Wellington Crescent area of Ramsgate is particularly unstable and dangerous for a number of reasons, the poor maintenance record of the cliff top surfaces, the maze of tunnels and caves inside them, the various façades that have often been badly constructed, the vibration caused by the guns mounted there during the two world, wars all are factors in this.

Over the years there have been a number collapses and with the help of other local historians I am endeavouring to gather as much information about them as I can.

I have been trying to persuade the various people involved in the Royal Sands Development that building 4 metres away from a 22 metre high unsupported chalk cliff that is in poor condition, isn’t an engineering solution but just madness.

Frankly I am finding this an uphill struggle and am becoming inclined to pull my punches less and less, the picture above is of the 1957 collapse and this link leads you to the newspaper articles about it http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts11/id14.htm

Make no mistake about this the cliff behind where the new development is supposed to be going to happen in the next few weeks is an unsupported chalk cliff, it is in poor condition and riddled with caves and tunnels.

Unsupported chalk cliffs collapse in random and unpredictable ways and when this one next collapses it is highly likely to demolish part of the new development, maiming and killing people inside.

There are engineering solutions to building residential accommodation on this site, they are however unlikely to be popular as they involve both the council and the developer admitting that they have already wasted a considerable sum of money.


  1. Igf nobody believes you not so long ago (2001) it happened at Brighton where the Asda supperstore is built just in front of cliffs and these are some way from the seafront.
    A cliff fall behind a supermarket today just missed workers and shoppers and plunged the store into darkness.

    Staff at Asda in Brighton Marina had to run for cover when rocks and debris fell into the yard.

    They watched in horror as a water tanker, used to supply the store's sprinkler system, was bowled over and an electricity generator was knocked out by flying rocks.

    More than 20 shoppers and 75 members of staff were evacuated from the area at about 8.30am and the store was closed.

    Fire crews and police were on standby and a 300-metre area around the fall was cordoned off.


  2. Thanks 16.04 and Rick I believe I should point out that the geology of the Brighton cliff that collapsed is very different from that on our Eastcliff, the Brighton cliff it is not made entirely of chalk but is made up of an ancient beach material, sand, chalk and fossils.

  3. But the same gravity applied Michael ?

    I was going to email you as it happens. Completely off thread but what are blogs for when no one else is commenting ?

    Book the Giant of Oldbourne.

    I found it mentioned on the Newbourn Church site. My late Grandmother (Waldringfield) and her family were visited as part of the author research in the 1920s.

    Grandma's recall was that the author thought her Great Grandfather (or Great great grandfather reputedly seven feet tall) was an ancestor of the Page brothers (Seven foot seven and seven foot four)

    There are apparently some questions whether the Pages shared common ancestry with Robert Hales the Norfolk giant (seven feet eight) whose mothers relatives Mary and Ann Laskey were 7 feet tall. Hales sister Mary was seven feet two.

    I will email you a piccie of my grandson aged seven months Michael from which you will see how the above research is fueliing a good old wind up of my daughter. He is in clothes for a two to three year old already. Daughter now wondering if a giant gene from her great Grandmother Suffolk side has emerged again ... the food bills !!!

  4. Back to thread

    We have had record summer rainfall again ?

    But we may be fortunate (in sudden chalk cliff collapse terms) in the wet summers being followed by warm winters ?

    But no sane developer would base a risk prognosis on the global warming theory ?

  5. Indeed Richard - but then again TDC is not sane decision making authority...is it???????

  6. No record rainfall Richard, well not around here anyway. Long term average 71mm, 2009 average 35mm (source: southern water).


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.