Sunday 22 November 2009

Royal Sands Development how dangerous can you get.

The picture above is of a bulge in the concrete block work of the cliff façade above the Pleasurama site, the crack has appeared recently i.e. since it was painted.

I would ask you to consider the pressure of the weight of the chalk behind needed to crack concrete blocks.

You can also see clearly where the whole of the block work infill has been pushed out relative to the adjacent buttress.

Also consider that I recently saw a fire appliance parked above, obviously a fire appliance weighs several tons and obviously I emailed Kent Fire and Rescue about this.

I find it quite extraordinary that they didn’t bother to reply to me, particularly as at the same time there were men working below painting the skirting for the hoardings.
This next picture shows something quite extraordinary, you may remember I took a picture here before showing a gap under the foundations here, both of the block work and of the supporting buttress, as you can see some concrete has been applied to cover this defect up.

I don’t mean that the foundation has been repaired with concrete, but that some concrete has been put on top in a most amateurish way leaving a gap between the top of the concrete and the bottom of the block work and buttress.

You may be interested in photographing and accessing the site, as technically this was trespass, I got a very well known local businessman and property owner to accompany me.

This was both to help substantiate with the police, if they turned up that I had no malicious intent and so wasn’t committing a criminal act and also to provide a respected witness to the absence of foundations, should the need arise.
This next picture is of me poking a stick under the foundations further along, in some places the cliff façade sits directly on the chalk and in others on muddy topsoil.
The picture above shows where a supporting butress sits directly on chalk, the design drawings show that there should be metre wide foundations here to spread the load, they simply do not exist.

I have had a response from the council to some of my questions about this cliff façade, which essentially says that it is quite safe.

In fact aspects of the councils reply are so strange and contain errors that are so glaring, that I haven’t published it as I want to give the officer that made it a chance to modify it tomorrow before I do so.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them and click on this link to look at the rest of them

I also took some pictures of Ramsgate on my walk this morning, to give a little mild relief to what is an otherwise rather depressing post.

Something I found interesting is that there are now very few empty shops left in the pedestrian part of the High Street, I photographed all of them, three I think.

I was also a bit more adventurous with my use of the camera than usual, this was because being Sunday morning I had considerably more time than usual.

I stayed fairly close to the café culture so I could shelter during the showers, I feel I should mention once again what a pleasant environment the Belgian Café is and that it has free internet access, both a strong Wi-Fi signal and free computers if you don’t have your laptop with you.

There should be at least one picture of the inside of the café click on the links below for the pictures, the computer is automatically publishing them to the internet as I write so you may have to wait a little bit for some of them to appear.

I will try to go through and delete the worst of them when I get a chance to view them on a large enough screen.


  1. Keep the good work up. Only a matter of time before the whole cliff falls down. Ben Kelly

  2. Is it usual for you to trespass onto private property, let alone such a dangerous location as your photos suggest. Building sites can be extremely hazardous places and adult trespassing hardly sets a good standard for the local youngsters…..

  3. Anonymous 15.03 ...

    Nothing dangerous about the site - our local counsel are allowing a residential development there, so it must be OK!!!

  4. 15.03 Usually in good company and to good purpose see in that case the local priest, yes I would say if this stops people being killed when the cliff collapses or that allows people to view unusual items of our heritage, it is just the sort of example I wish to set the local youth.

  5. I borrowed your crack and Photoshopped it up a bit to get a clearer view. Looks bloody atrocious!

  6. Help yourself Richard let me know if you want any of the picts in high definition.

  7. 15:03

    Over the summer, this site was used to park the vans for the people running the fair. I assume it must have been safe then, otherwise they wouldn't have been allowed to stay there.

    As far as I can see, looking from the top, the only difference between the site then and its state now appears to be some wood and some paint tins left over from building the new fence.

  8. Michael,

    The evidence you present suggests that the cliffs are in a parlous state. TDC have chosen to ignore this evidence. It is therefore possible that some time in the future someone on TDC will be facing a manslaughter charge.

  9. To Anonymous at 1503,

    Your fatuous comment does not help.

  10. To Fred,

    You are dead right. After all the Titanic was too far South to worry about a danger from icebergs. Everyone said so at the time. Otherwise they would not have let the ship sail in those waters. People simply do not appreciate that the authorities always know best.

  11. Let us hope someone starts behaving responsibly soon.If not,and the worst happens,let us hope to see someone or ones in prison.

  12. Perhaps TDC are doing something about it....the inexplicable new hoarding position allows a greater free area into which the chalk /rubble can fall and by deferring any building works for 12 months ensures (almost) that no one will be underneath when it does.
    Just a cynical thought.

  13. What has been reassuring is that the once in 1000 year floods that have raged the rest of the country have not had any effect on Ramsgate seafront! Despite Michael Child's concerns!

  14. To JH,

    I'm afraid my post was rather ambiguous. My point was that any danger to Michael from ongoing building work (deep holes, dangerous plant etc) hadn't changed significantly since the summer, as there wasn't any work in progress at the moment.

    Michael's discoveries regarding the state of the cliff face worry me and I wonder how close to the cliff face any new excavation work will be.

    I tend to consider myself to be a sceptic, when it comes down to having faith in the authorities.

  15. Michael, if my youngsters had a bulge in their trousers at 18 months, as big as the bulging and cracking on this covered chalk face of similar age, I would be seriously worried!
    Time for TDC to call in their contractors (paid £1,000,000?) to explain why specs of 230mm and foundations were not met?

    TDC has a problem now and the sooner it realises that your free monitoring and inspection service is potential evidence to be drawn on when the inevitable happens, the better. Unless it does something to address the problem,it seems as if it is only a question of when, not if, a collapse occurs.

  16. My concern Micheal is your scaremongering. It is all well and good suggesting problems but what evidence (apart from your Sherlock impressions)do you have. Put out a collection box and get a structural engineers report, then I might take a bit of notice!

  17. To Fred,

    My sincere apologies. I misunderstood you.

  18. To anonymous at 2333,

    It is not you that Michael is trying to convince. It is TDC. Whether or not you take notice will not affect the outcome.

  19. re anonymous at 19:46,

    Your comment does not make sense, You are conflating the events.

    Besides the one in a thousand year floods only affected Cumbria and not the rest of the country as you imagine.

  20. Well thats all you get for a few squillion quid from TDC bean counters. What crack on the east cliff get some new double glazing in the margate offices that's what we really need.

  21. JH oh great defender of Micheal. Let me assure you that Micheal is perfectly capable of defending himself, although I appreciate your concern.

    If Micheal was only trying to persuad TDC that there is a problem, then why would he put his information on a blog inviting readers comments.

  22. to the annonymouse at 00:25,

    And who are you trying to defend? Perhaps it is some vested interest?

    My intention was not to defend Michael, but rather to dispose of your unhelpful and uninformed argument.

  23. to the anonymous at 00:25,

    Can you not see that there are too many 'anonymous' on this blog and that it therefore confusing?

    Do you not have the wit to think up a unique id?

    Are you not the person that I renamed as 'annonymouse' a few weeks ago.

    In future I will ignore your anonymous blogs. Which is something that I should have done in the first place.

  24. JH said 'Do you not have the wit to think up a unique id?'

    Pot and kettle!

  25. Fred it wasn’t last summer the fair was there see sorry the pictures go sideways, this was before the work started on the façade and the absence of foundations was exposed.

    19.36 click on the link to pictures of another cliff collapse in Ramsgate it gives you some idea of how far the concrete façade is likely to go out from the cliff if it falls down. 19.46 you may wish to consider the effects of all the rain that hits the cliff façade running down it on to the exposed ground that it is sitting on.

    This would be particularly bad where the poor attempt to conceal the problem has left a gap where the water runs in and intensifies the problem.
    Bertie what worries me most on the financial front is that I told them about the problem right at the beginning of the work that cost £1m, something along the lines of; don’t paint the wall until you have mended the foundations.

    23.33 this link takes you to some of the engineers report on the cliff you can always pop into my bookshop if you want to look at the rest.

    I last spoke to the engineer who wrote it last week, primarily to check with him that I wasn’t writing anything inaccurate and therefore scaremongering.

    You have to appreciate that the engineers who work for firms that contract to the council have to be fairly careful about what they say.

    00.25 I started asking the council about the stability of the cliff façade a considerable time before they commissioned the engineers report on it, once they had the report they then sat on it for nearly three years before I was aware of its existence. One of my councillors obtained it under the foi act and gave it to me. I then pressed the council to do something about it as I thought otherwise the derelict site would remain forever.

    I believe it is important to post the information here for two reasons, one being that people are interested in what is a huge project, much larges than The Turner Contemporary and on a more prominent site, the other is that I hope the publicity will help get things moving along.

    JH thanks for fielding some of my balls I didn’t have a chance to look at the blog last night as we had family round for a meal.

  26. to anonymous at 11:17,

    Clearly, the meaning of the word 'unique' escapes you.

  27. To JH - 23 November 2009 09:54

    Oh dear JH, you're still having trouble with your anonymous postings. It wasn't me, honest!! I'm the real Annonymouse you named a while ago!!

    It may help you to know that there's more than one anonymous person on the internet. I guess that's because they don't have the wit to think up something as outstanding as JH.

    P.S. Could you explain to me why you named me Annonymouse? Your explaination may be very revealing!

  28. Michael,

    I was referring to the fun fair *this summer* that was held in the harbour parade / harbour area.

    The people running the fair parked their vans up overnight on the pleasurama site. I can remember looking down on this from the cliff tops and watching them drive in.

  29. Sorry Fred read what you said again, properly this time, I parked down there quite a lot this summer too but not under the bulging bit. I can tell you that it is one bit I didn’t stand too close to when I took the pictures.

  30. To Annonymouse,

    My apologies for having falsely accused you.

    I named you 'Annonymouse' to poke fun at you. Did you not spot that?

    It was my intention to trigger a reaction that would cause you to change your blog ID.

    I agree that 'Annonymouse' is much more fun than my prosaic 'JH'. I wish now that I had kept 'annonymouse' for myself rather than donating it to you.

    I trust you have found my explanation revealing.

  31. Very revealing thank you JH. There was me thinking you were taking a swipe at me because I dared to not agree with you. I’ve obviously missed the significance of the word Annonymouse as it appears it has some comical undertone. Anyway, just to show there’s no hard feelings … Ha Ha!

  32. Funny thing here chaps, it’s the aggressive trait that shows your gender nowt sexist here, the gals do it slightly different, you both know I am only a shop assistant however I have a passing interest in trickcyclology perhaps you would like my input.

  33. to those who belittle michael and his attempts to get this abomination in the public domain;

    The council have spent £1m of our money having a collapsing wall with no foundations painted.

    before pouring scorn on his postings, contact your councillor and get them to start questioning those in authority.

    I see 102 people work in regeneration at TDC. Why could they not have been given a tin of sandtex and a paintbrush each?

  34. 22.01 so so naive the people in regeneration don't actually get out and do anything apart from Derick in Margate, they are paper shufflers and box tickers not brush wielders.
    As they say name and nature perhaps a local estate agent could do it.

  35. not naive, but perplexed at 102 people assigned to a regeneration budget where everything managed by the council is degenerating.

    perhaps the budget should be reassigned to real workers


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.