Monday 28 February 2011

Thanet District Council and the Internet a Review part one searching the council’s main website.

If you are reading this blog then it is obvious that you are an internet user and it is likely that you will try to use the council’s website to access information, if you do this you will probably realise that the council seems to have a number of different websites.

There may be more I don’t really know.

The big difference between the council’s websites and the other local websites like this one is that we all contribute towards paying for the council’s websites.

The other big difference is that you may be using the council’s websites for official information, rather than just searching the internet in general to find out about something, like a local development or a local issue, so you may wish to search the council’s sites only.

I think the idea of the council’s website is to save them money by making information available without using up officer’s time, the trouble is that it doesn’t always work this way.

I have tried to get the council to cooperate with me on my intention to review various aspects of their websites, so far I would say that no one wants to.

My last major attempt to get the council to improve their website related to its search facility, what I tried to was to get them to use the free Google one like the one on the sidebar of this blog. I have moved it up to the top while I am doing this review.

After my comments they decided to replace the search facility that they had, this was the one that didn’t really work at all, with one the purchased from Microsoft, so I will start by giving this a go to see if it works.

I will use the search term Pleasurama.

First the council’s old search box that still appears at the top of the majority of the council’s webpages including the start page of their documents site This returns an error page.

Next the council’s new one, this appears on their main homepage and some other council webpages and I believe they are paying Microsoft for this. This search facility returns 11 results for Pleasurama.

Next the free one on the sidebar of this blog this returns 47 results for Pleasurama.

Next I suppose one has to assume that here in Thanet some people may not be able to spell and some may produce the occasional typo, I can lay claim to both of these problems.

So lets choose Hartsdown for this test, I think it fair to assume Heartsdown is a miss spelling that some people could use, you get no results for the councils search box and none for the Google one on this blog. There is however a big difference the council’s one just leaves you out of options whereas the one on this blog says. “did you mean Hartsdown” and then goes on to give you 118 matches.

I suppose one could say that the council have made some progress on this issue.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Sunday Ramble

I wouldn’t expect anything too coherent today, I have been out on various book buying missions and don’t have that much time to sort out my thoughts, so expect this to be a bit jumbled. I will add to it on and off today if the mood takes me.

Thanet District Council Election Purdah in One Month and open questions to councillors.

We all have one month before the council officers and the councillors will say they either can’t do it or they can’t say it because they are in purdah.

Looking at the local blogs you would be forgiven for thinking that local election fever has already started, this doesn’t have much to do with election promises, but does have a great deal to do with one party saying what’s wrong with the other party.
There is a strange aside with the local Conservatives here that is a bit bizarre, for the past few months we have had a new cabinet, ruled by Bob and this group of “New Conservatives”? seem to be saying that they are, what, different, better, than the old Conservatives, Ruled by Sandy, that have governed Thanet for most of the past eight years.

There is a strange aside with local Labour, which seems to revolve around the deselection of Mark Nottingham and even be moving into the higher county of the imagination, about who it that replaces Steve Ladyman.

This then begs the question of who to chose, I am a floating voter and when it comes to Thanet and Ramsgate in particular I will be ignoring the great national concerns, mostly where did all the money go, and will be selfishly voting for whoever I think can deal with Ramsgate’s and to a lesser degree Thanet’s problems.
Most fundamental of these is how to stay in business while the shops all around me close, the value of shops in this part of Ramsgate plummets, road, pavement, cleaning, general behaviour, parking, in fact anything conducive to running a shop goes out of the window.

In a broader sense there is Ramsgate itself, the main blights on the town as a tourist destination being the way previous councils have handled the high profile council owned assets that dominate the seafront, the bit the tourists come for.

The main blight among many of these blights being the council owned Pleasurama site that dominates the main sands part of the town. This site has come to another of the many deadlines that have been agreed with the council over the last eight years, by this I mean the current development agreement states that the structural frame of the hotel part of the site shall be substantially and materially commenced by 1st March 2011. Apart from six concrete posts right at the other end of the site, no work has happened there.
It also says about the pile driving that that should be substantially and materially commenced by 31st January 2010 and complete by 31st August 2010.

Don’t take my word for it, here’s the agreement, page ten I think

Ask a councillor what is going on and you may not get an answer, ask a council officer, as I did this week and you will be told that the information may or may not be supplied within 20 council days, this means a month.

Don’t get me wrong here if someone could assure me that a safe and sensible development was actually going on there, then I would be happy to support it.
Like the other main council owned assets in the town, Westcliff Hall, Eagle Café, Clock House, Pavillion, Albion House, I would like to vote for a party that has some sort of plan and a party that would at least just tell us just what is going on with these major assets.

So any to councillors please tell us if you have any thing to say, before going into purdah. I am afraid your thoughts about what is wrong with the other party, your concerns about how they may mismanage the finances don’t interest me very much, what I would like to know is what you intend to do, if you manage to get elected?

With Margate and the gamble on art, the council seem to be doing its best to tidy the place up a bit prior to Turner and this does show some sign of an effort, I sincerely hope the gamble pays off.

With Margate once again I looks as though the rules are going to applied fairly over the football club planning application, and frankly Simon Moores is making a very good job of showing how a councillor can use the internet to explain the process.
But then why with the major Pleasurama planning application can’t the rules be applied properly and fairly? Is it because it is Ramsgate? There is no question that the developer is once again outside of their agreement. This is a new agreement entered into with the council on 3rd September 2009, do any of the councillors want to discuss this issue?

Sorry about that I will get off this hobby horse.
Looking at the local blogs:

I see Mark Nottingham has returned with a post I really don’t know what to say about this, all that fuss, the post saying what he thought about deselection then deleting it so it’s now only available at even more annoying deleting all the comments that people had bothered to leave.

Then this post as though nothing has happened, what I mean here is what happens if he gets into some position of power and there is some major issue, would he just suddenly decide he didn’t like it anymore and rub out everyone’s thoughts and then just try to carry on as though nothing has happened?
Turner Contemporary TV this comes from a post on Thanet Waves the Turner Contemporary now has its own video site, here it is and it is interesting to see what a big budget set-up like this van achieve, you will also notice that each of the pages with a video on has viewing statistics, giving you some idea of the popularity of what they are doing.

This sort of thing leaves me just lost for words.
Margate Architecture has a post about putting a big buoy on Margate seafront, see this certainly made me chuckle. What with painting stripes on the lighthouse, that once there will have to be repainted over and over, I do wonder if people on Margate seafront need reminding they are in a marine environment. Perhaps a large illuminated plastic duck will be next.

Mustn’t leave out Tony Bignews Margate as he has been known to get fractious, his funniest post this week is directed at Clive Harts twittering I have to admit to trying twitter and what I achieved was if anything worse.

You either come up with something that looks as though you live a very important life, something along the lines of, 9.46 has audience with pope, 10.40 chaired committee on disarmament or it goes along the lines of Woke up, fell out of bed, Dragged a comb across my head, Found my way downstairs and drank a cup, And looking up I noticed I was late. Obviously nothing with any potential meaningful interest. Here is the link to Clive’s tweets

Friday 25 February 2011

Royal Sands Pleasurama Development, first part definitely going up and early Tombstoning in the Ramsgate Harbour.

A barmy February day in Ramsgate I have just received an assurance from the developer that the columns for the superstructure are going up, so I went to have a look.
As you can see they are, not pile driven as we first thought, not pile bored as we heard later, but poured concrete foundations.

There have been so many sets of plans that I am not entirely certain which they are going to build it to, this looks like the ones that have a very narrow two way road at the back.
This is a detail from this set of plans.
Thanks to one of my readers for adding extra lorries to show the problems manoeuvring right next to the cliff façade support pillars that project out from the cliff.

As the building will be about the same height as the cliff I also see some problems gaining access for cliff maintenance.
There was also one of those "only in Ramsgate" funny scenarios, as you can see from the picture people were jumping into the harbour, and when I turned round after taking the pictures, there were the two inevitable security guards heading up the harbour arm to stop them. Both the security guards were eating ice creams and I am pretty sure that one of them was a chap who not so long ago was jumping of the harbour wall himself.

Here are the rest of the pictures

Pigeon problem? Lazy cat? Large building? An illustrated Canterbury tale.

My day off yesterday and Canterbury seemed an appropriate pilgrimage, what with having children in tow due to the half term holiday.
The cathedral’s cat seemed a bit sleepy or possible contemplative, I suppose the position of feline apostolic delegate for the Church of England requires some thought.
The solution to the cathedral’s pigeon problem is regularly fly the type of bird that may give pigeons second thoughts about defecatingly decorating statuary, this is an old but apparently effective solution.
As you see the cathedrals graffiti problem extends back further than most
Although obviously the Dean and Chapter have made the logical assumption that anyone writing graffiti, unlike a pigeon will be able to read as well as write, so they have a sign.

I did take some pictures, most of these were taken without flash and although I tried to hold the camera steady in some places it wasn’t really light enough so excuse the shaky ones, the links take you to the rest of the pictures taken yesterday

The children were provided with sheets to help them notice things, tomb spotting being the most important task and that of The Black Price being a priority, they soon acquired a helper in the form of a minor Cannon and set about the task in very thorough fashion.

The tombs of the Knights alerted me to an earlier time politically possibly simpler and I wonder if some of the more pressing political problems locally would be better solved by the simpler expedient of trial by battle.
I will continue this tale if I get time

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Broadstairs Tree Massacre and other stuff in the news

Some of you have probably seen the tree massacre posts on the Thanet Press Release Blog and wondered what this is all about see and

Obviously I don’t live in Broadstairs so I don’t think the council are obliged to tell me what’s going on there, so I tried looking at the council’s planning website this is a very bizarre website so I can’t link to the various applications on it, the way to get to the applications is to click on the letter P in the street name part of the page and then click on PIERREMONT AVENUE the are 5 park applications dated in 2005 described as current and 2 2008 ones described as decided.
I don’t make these things up, they presumably emanate from some sort of Parkinson’s Law in a world gone mad.
I tried very hard to work out from the various documents there what trees they intend to massacre, unfortunately the definition of the document detailing this was to low for me to tell.
What I can’t tell also, is if this is development that Broadstairs people want or not.

The local blogs and today’s Your Thanet are a bit thin on local news at the moment, or perhaps it’s just my interpretation.

I tried asking the council’s press department about what’s going on with the Royal Sands Pleasurama Development, but they kept saying they would tell me tomorrow, which never came, so I have finally and in desperation put in an official request to the council, something that will be time consuming for them.
The trouble is with this sort of request is they have to answer them in ten council days, this translates into a fortnight in real time, needless to say they wait until the last day to respond in the spirit of open government. This means that you have to ask all your questions at once, instead of engaging in some sort of dialogue. Here is what I asked, I hope I didn’t leave anything out:

"Please treat this as an official customer feedback request.

This is essentially a general enquiry about the Royal Sands Development on the old Pleasurama site in Ramsgate.

1 Please send me any addition information about this development that I haven’t requested below, because I am unaware of its existence.

It would appear that some work has occurred on the site during the last month, but obviously this work doesn’t relate to the development agreement schedules and conditions of the various leases contained in it.

2 Does this mean that the leases are now invalid and the development agreement is to be determined?

3 Or does it mean that there has been an updated agreement with new schedules?

If the development is going ahead, either to a new schedule or is being allowed under some other flexible arrangement:

4 Can you please supply me with a revised building schedule?

5 Can you please tell me which of the approved plans the development is to be built to and if these plans are published on the council’s planning website?

6 Can you please send me details of the public information sessions that were promised once work started on the site?

7 Can you please send me any updated information on the cliff safety issue? Details and dates of the promised cliff top weight limit, correspondence between the council, the HSE, the developer, cliff survey and maintenance schedule, any cliff survey reports, any agreements for cliff maintenance between the council and the developer.

8 Can you please send me details of any flood, storm or emergency escapes incorporated in the development as a result of the EA recommendations 8th Feb 2008.

9 If the artists impressions, details of roof material and other building materials for the building to be built, are different to those described on the councils planning website, due to the various different plans and in consequence plans being used that no longer relate to the ancillary details, can you please send me the details of these changes?

10 If the plans that are to be used no longer relate to all of the planning and design statement, can you please send me revisions to the planning and design statement?
Please confirm your receipt of this request?

Best regards Michael"

Another thing I have been trying to find out about is what has happened about The Restaurant at the End of the Pier, this went up for tender some time ago and I asked if anyone had taken it.

It is the sort of thing people in Ramsgate want to know about, but the council just telling me, well that seems to easy, it certainly seems pretty crazy to have to turn a question like that into a series of cast iron requests.

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Rupert Bear Annuals

As all of the grownups that have children will have noticed it’s half term and on behalf of my children here is a children’s book post.
I started by just photographing the Rupert annuals in the bookshop, but was instructed to spread them out a bit, so that people can see the covers.
With older Rupert annuals this is the only coloured bit, so arguably the best bit, and apart from the first one that had a dust wrapper the very early ones have red spines without even part of the picture on them.
I expect many bloggers will be surprised to learn that people collect Rupert annuals and Rupert book collectors cover a large age range as do Rupert annuals.
Some Rupert annuals are expensive and some are not, if they are in nice condition prices start from about £4 and go up to very expensive indeed, but a lot of collectors do swaps with us and don’t use money at all, so that’s alright.
Nice condition is called fine by book collectors, it’s the best condition for books, it means like new and that no one has written their name in the book or cut the price off.
The next condition down is called very good and this means that it isn’t fine, the next one down is called good and that means, not very good.
As this is a children’s post I am going to tell you some of the ways to spot a very expensive Rupert annual without having to remember lots of difficult things.
Some Rupert annuals are worth more than £100 and quite a good way of spotting the more valuable ones is that they don’t have the date on them.
You have to look carefully though as some of the oldest ones were done again, this is called a facsimile and it looks like an old Rupert annual apart from on the very last page where it tells you it isn’t.
Some Rupert annuals had magic painting pictures on some of the pages, when you got these pages wet the pictures went coloured, the ones where the magic paintings haven’t been done are very expensive.
The first Rupert annual was published in 1936 and most of the ones published in the 1940s were published as big floppy paperbacks because of the paper shortage during the war.
Another way of telling the more expensive Rupert annuals is that the covers aren’t shiny.
Now some thoughts about buying Rupert books, first you can’t buy most of them in new bookshops, because they don’t make them anymore, so you might find them at boot fairs or in charity shops.

The main place you will find them is in secondhand bookshops, because Rupert annuals are collectable the older ones and the ones in fine condition probably won’t be out on the shelves, where you can see them.

It is a good idea to ask the shop assistant about collectable books like Rupert annuals, he or she will probably look to see if you have clean hands and if you have dirty hands then they will say they haven’t got any.

Lots of grownups make the big mistake of thinking that the shop assistants like me, in secondhand bookshops want to sell collectable books, it’s a big misunderstanding that causes all sorts of problems.
The people in new bookshops are called sales assistants and I think this is where the misunderstanding came from.

Monday 21 February 2011

Pugin’s Abbey Church St Augustine’s Ramsgate secures £100,000 from lottery fund

The first phase of the repair and restoration scheme is about to commence now the funding is available.

The church is open for tours Wednesdays and Sundays 2pm to 4pm and Saterdays 1pm to 4pm, these are revised opening hours starting from 25th February and I am not sure about the opening times this Wednesday.

Pictures of the church at

Sunday 20 February 2011

Pleasurama Royal Sands Cliff, a conspiracy or a conundrum and other Sunday Rambles.

A long old ramble about Pleasurama first
The cliff behind the Pleasurama site in Ramsgate has become something of a local joke to those of us living in Ramsgate, we all saw the extensive and expensive works to repair it, about £1m of TDC money was expended on these.

After that we all saw the weeds growing out from the cracks between the new paintwork, the weedings the repairs to the repairs, the bits dropping off and at the moment we can all see the rather dodgy looking bits where parts of the bottom of the cliff has been exposed.
Having made various fusses about Pleasurama for years now extending back before this blog see or even as far back as seven years, see and more on this blog see

With the cliff safety issues relating to the Pleasurama site I genuinely thought that I had made my point and that the council, The HSE and the developer had taken what I have been saying seriously and had some sort of “make safe the way of the cliff” plan.
Then Simon Moores reacted rather oddly to one of my comments, with a comment on his blog.

“So please no more conspiracy theories of this kind on my weblog if you will and the same with the cliff. You are starting to sound like Rick banging on forever with allegations that the IRA had some loose connection to Thanet councillors” see
That was last Sunday and I thought I ought to check the situation i.e. to make sure that my concerns are being addressed properly. There are all sorts of concerns related to this cliff, most of which are open to doubt and my banging on about them will eventually either show me up to be a bit of a nut, or there will be a cliff collapse there and, what, I will be able to say, I told you so, or something.

One concern that I thought every one agreed with me about, is that there needs to be a weight limit for service vehicles driving along the cliff top footpath, next to the edge of the cliff.
I am not naming names here, I am not Rick and certainly not invulnerable to libel, even if what I am saying is the truth, nor do I want to put people in the awkward position of having their name googled as an exact phrase and coming up associated to something like this, maybe years later, when they are applying for a job or something.

Anyway the senior engineer at the civil engineering consultants that the council use, agrees with me and the council’s own civil engineer agrees with me, that driving heavy vehicles along the edge of the cliff is a bad idea.
If you are an engineer there isn’t much else you can do, you see although the concrete cliff wall looks impressively strong, to people who are not engineers, it doesn’t actually do anything to hold up the cliff and wasn’t designed to do so.

What you are looking at, although you can’t really see this, is an unsupported chalk cliff and I don’t suppose you would drive your car too close to the edge of one of these, were it just grass and chalk.
In fact chalk cliffs from an engineering point of view are generally much stronger than they look and a lot of Thanet roads go within about 2 metres of the edge without much in the way of worries.

It’s the last few feet next the edge that’s best avoided, for something very heavy as I am sure most people can work out for themselves.
The added problems with this particular bit of cliff relate to different things that have happened to it over the years, tunnelling, navel guns mounted there during the world wars, long periods of bad surface maintenance, that sort of thing.

Anyway after Simon’s comment I wondered just how seriously the health and safety people had taken my concerns, so I wrote to them and it seems that the council may have been a little economical with the truth when talking to the HSE about the cliff.
There are several documents that I have relating to the cliff, they were obtained via the freedom of information act, they may seem a bit dull but click on the links if you want to read them.

are the ones that the I think the council may have forgotten to send the HSE and
the one they definitely did send the HSE.
I don’t really know what is with the council and Pleasurama, the EA sent them a letter three years ago, saying that they should insist on some basic safety modifications to the deign see

The senior council officer, who is to be the new chief executive of the council, advised the cabinet to terminate the development agreement and they ignored her, I don’t think I should publish confidential internal council documents, but do have the documentary evidence supporting this if pushed.
Then all this business about the cliff safety, I don’t think that anyone reading the developer’s contractor’s report about the condition of the façade could reasonably disagree with my contention that some sort of further investigation should be made.

Then the business of the recently issued 199 year lease, I haven’t enquired about this one, but do wonder in the light of the Hartsdown application and all the delays over the Maritime Museum lease, why the Pleasurama one didn’t go to consultation, or perhaps it went to a secret public consultation like the leadership one.
I know people probably think that I bang on about this consultation that I consider to have been rigged, but if you are one of them you may ponder for a moment, why it hasn’t appeared on the council’s consultations page, see perhaps they are in a state of denial about this, see no evil who knows.

The trouble is that if I make a complaint about this again, they may think I am being vexatious, as it is they haven’t yet answered the feedback I made about this consultation when it was on.

Anyway back to the dodgy cliff and Pleasurama, the bit that worries me the most is the bit where the drain has blocked at the top of the cliff, this caused a puddle on the footpath, this froze and thawed causing the surface of the footpath to come away, this caused water to get behind the cliff façade, this caused bits of the façade to drop off.

The council say that some of this is wrong I think, I a not quite sure which bits they think are wrong, the last link in this chain of events was when the council put up a barrier at the bottom of the cliff and I thanked the only to get a reply from them, saying that the barrier wasn’t to protect people from being hit by the lumps of cliff that had been falling off.

Obviously there is work going on down on the Pleasurama site at the moment and having joined the church of responsible blogging, I emailed the council’s press department saying that I was going to do a post about Pleasurama, they emailed back saying that there was going to be a meeting about this at the end of last week. So I emailed them back saying I would delay the post until then. I made it very clear that a lot of people including myself would like to know what is going on after all this time.

The current development agreement says that the metal cage that forms the structure of the building should have appeared by now, so with the development agreement having been thrown out the window again, what is going on is anybody’s guess.

As yet I haven’t heard from the council, so this is a sort of partial post.

A look at some of the other Thanet blogs over the last week.

I will start with the one that I publish but don’t write this is where I publish press releases that people send me and new council documents, frankly it isn’t a very popular blog, only about a third of the number of people that read this one, read it. Quite a lot of blogs don’t even have links to it, including Bignews Margate that links to the other main Thanet blogs.

Pageviews today 147 Pageviews yesterday 180 Pageviews last month 5,431 is what the stats say for this blog but two recent posts there have been getting some comment.

One has the emotive title GO-AHEAD GIVEN FOR TREE MASSACRE see I have to admit to being a bit unclear about this one and have been reading the comments with interest.

The other is about the Pfizer closure.

Starting at the top of my sidebar today Thanet Life the latest post has video of a pilot’s eye view of the approach to the Runway at Manston over Ramsgate.
As Simon points out there really isn’t an alternative to overflying Ramsgate when landing and taking off in this direction.
Manston expansion is one of those strange Thanet mysteries that seem a bit odd given the economic climate, the latest episode being the Parkway railway station, despite government being Conservative all the way up and a promised reign of common sense it would seem that despite the desperate need for money to sort some of Thanet’s problems, the only big lump of future government money seems to be for this station.
If comment is anything to go by Simon’s post last Sunday was very popular and is about the Margate Football Club plans at Hartsdown Park.
Next Ken Read’s blog with an informative post on the development of Ramsgate Harbour
Next to one of the local news pros Isle of Thanet Gazette's Saul Leese who started his own YouTube channel yesterday, see this is called Mind Boggles.

I tuned in, waited for mind to boggle, and, yes, it boggled.
Publishing 6 vids to YouTube since yesterday suggests that Saul may have gone critical.
I have just returned after taking the children to Morelli's in Broadstairs for an ice cream and notice that Simon has put up a very encouraging post about the undercliff in Westgate, it really does sound like some sort of cooperation between residents and the council, see

I also notice that Simon is getting the same problem when you try to expand some of his pictures by clicking on them if you are using Internet Explorer, you get a virus warning instead of a bigger picture.
I think someone must have reported Blogger to Microsoft as being a malicious website. A bit like those spam emails saying you have a malicious file in your computer, they give you instructions to delete it, the only problem being that the file you delete is vital to the running of your computer.
Tony Bignews Margate had a post with a lot of comment on it last week, see even quick comments from Cllr Chris Wells. `What is it you want to ask, Tony? Reminded me of an oft parodied or plagiarised thing in literature that I am not sure of its origins, you know the one where the computer asks the questions.
I will endeavour to ramble on as the day progresses.

Saturday 19 February 2011

I Would Like Some History Books, Would You Like Some Money?

One question that I am often asked as a secondhand bookseller is, what type of books do you buy? As I have a general bookshop with somewhere around 25,000 titles on the shelves, this can be a difficult question to answer.

Additional note if you are viewing this with Internet explorer you may get a message when you try to click on some of the pictures to enlarge them saying that is a dodgy site.

As this is one of the web addresses that blogger uses to host images and therefore about as likely to be a dodgy website as Amazon, eBay or indeed Microsoft there isn’t much I can do about this.

Good ones, isn’t necessarily helpful, this suggests a group of bad bokos that face the great paper recycling plant never to be read again and this is a sort of half truth.
Anyway I am going to do answering this one with lots of pictures, that should expand if you click on them, I hope this will make it easier to understand.
For the most part the problem isn’t so much one of bad books, but one of books that there are more copies of, than people to buy them
This used to be less of a problem when most people bought their books from independent bookshops, most people had different titles and the only area where one had a glut of the same titles was where people had joined book clubs.

As I am using history as an example here, then the history book club is a good example although it would serve for other subjects, in a year when about 10,000 history titles came out about 400 of these were available through the history book club, as these were cheaper lots of people bought them and in subsequent years these titles were a lot more common, bad books if you like.
In the book trade at that time one mostly overcame the problem by not buying history book club titles, for the most part the club editions were inferior quality – suck together instead of stitched together, linson instead of bookcloth ,type of job – saving the extra embarrassment of having them fall apart on the shelf.
Now of course we live in a world gone mad and proper independent new bookshops have for the most part gone, so selecting the good books, the ones that people will want to buy is a lot trickier.
If you go round the charity shops and bootfairs looking say for books on The Gunpowder Plot, the various wives and mistresses of Henry VIII, or some such thing, you probably won’t get very far.
If you are looking for a large general book on British history you will probably find one, the problem here is that if you once mentioned that you were interested in history, then large general books on the history of the world or the history of Britain turn up in droves on your birthday and at Christmas.
I do get, in the course of buying large history book collections usually after someone has died, a lot of very general history books far more that I can sell and for the most part they go in the 10p sale and if they don’t sell there they go off for pulp.
I should add here that if you go off to the large chain booksellers, you can probably get your Gunpowder Plot book or whatnot at a price and of course or you can buy one off the internet without seeing it first, this can have unexpected results.
The greatest demand for history in Ramsgate is the history of Ramsgate itself and as you can see from this area I have overcome this problem mostly by printing local history books myself.
This works up to a point and does mean that we usually have something suitable about Thanet in stock.
Some of you probably knew Mr Kemp who used to run Albion Secondhand bookshop in Broadstairs but unfortunately died last year, not long before he died we were speculating about where all the Isle of Thanet history books go to.
At that point I had more that 100 Thanet books in print and he had hardly managed buy any of them secondhand even from probate, he suggested that people were possibly taking them with them. As you can see from three shelves of Kent history books published by other people I could certainly do with some more.
History doesn’t just extend to British history, I didn’t put my world history books in as it would have been too many pictures, there is also military history.
And more military history.
Maritime history, I am always short of this because of the harbour, although not usually The Big Book of Ships.
Aviation history this also sells well, maybe because of Manston.

Transport history especially books on individual makes of car and motorbike

Incidentally the pictures are of books on the selves in my bookshop today, so if you see one you want to buy, email me or ring me up 01843 589500 if you want me to reserve any of them for you.