Picture note 1, the top two pictures show the second (the only one with two funnels) of the three tugs named Aid that served Ramsgate harbour, the first from 1885 to 1889, the second from 1890 to 1914, and the third from 1914 to 1938.
A Ramsgate tug was kept steamed up at all times and used to tow the lifeboat (rowed no engine) upwind of a potential rescue, often on the shallow Goodwin Sands.
I have just been onto the councils website and after a certain amount of searching found the allowances paid to the councillors in the last 2009 2010 financial year, at this point I had to change computers as it is in a pdf document that won’t even open on this ancient laptop, see http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/StdDataDocs/2/5/1/0/SD00000152/Finalproofofadvert200910.pdf the thing is locked too so you can’t copy figures and calculate using them. All a bit angry making unless you have an expensive IT set-up, so using my expensive IT set-up I unlocked the thing and republished it at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/311/id17.htm You can delve around on the council’s website yourself and depending on how recent and expensive your computer is and what your IT skills are like form your own conclusions, rather like the Hilton Hotel it’s open to everyone.
It does seem however that a councillor could get away with only turning up to four or five meetings and pocketing £4,359.96 I am not sure if this is the amount before or after tax, the council’s website doesn’t seem to say. Cabinet members seem to get well over £200 per week but have to attend more meetings with the leader getting about £500 per week, not perhaps huge sums but something one would probably notice doing without.
Picture note 2 this is the second Queens Head in Ramsgate, before it was demolished and the present one rebuilt in 1921. You will notice that at that time what is now harbour parade was a narrow street, opposite the pub is the back of the harbour trustees committee rooms demolished in 1890.
As far as I am concerned this is all fine and dandy if these people are doing things to improve the local area and if my ward councillors respond to me and the cabinet members respond to me about issues that are their remit. Over the past few years I have written to local councillors who I believe should have replied and received on numerous occasions no reply at all, this reached something of a climax last month when one of the cabinet members asked me not to write to him at all.
This is what he actually said; “In future Michael please put any requests for communication with me through the press office.” Obviously I asked the press office what they thought this could mean and I think they were as mystified as me.
Election As I think everyone knows here in Thanet there is going to be a local election on Thursday 5th May to chose the councillors for Thanet District council and the local parish or town councils, if you want to stand as a candidate you have until noon on 4th April to submit your application. There isn’t a deposit in local elections, so you wouldn’t lose any money if no one actually voted for you, so if you want to stand. The information you need is here http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/guidance/resources-for-those-we-regulate/candidates-and-agents/guidance-for-candidates-and-agents-standing-for-election/standing-for-local-government-elections-in-England More info on the council’s website at http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/cllrs_democracy__elections/elections_and_voting.aspx Surprisingly it is fairly difficult to tell what the main parties are standing for in terms of policy, the only people who seem so have set out a manifesto are the council themselves, see http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/2011/03/council-priorities-for-next-year.html presumably these are the council’s plans regardless of whoever gets elected. I am assuming at this election the internet will play an even greater part than ever before because more people have internet access, so I had a go at what the two main parties have to say on the internet. SOUTH THANET CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION website http://www.stca.org.uk/ NORTH THANET CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION http://ntca.org.uk/ SouthThanet Labour Party http://www.souththanetlabour.org.uk/ THANET LABOUR GROUP http://www.btinternet.com/~poole/ As you see things have got a bit out of date here and it’s hard to say which of the two main parties has made more of a mess of promoting themselves on the internet locally, bit of a no score draw there.
I will ramble on as the day progresses and I hope people will comment or email me to correct any mistakes I may have made.
Blogs and stuff Looking on the local internet sites it does look as though Eascliff Richard may be working up to posting again, he has been twittering away in the last few days, see https://twitter.com/eastcliffrichar and seems to be going critical on Facebook see http://www.facebook.com/richard.eastcliff so I would think a blog post seems likely. I suppose this would depend largely of what stopped him from posting on blogger.
Picture note three, the two above are of the buildings that were demolished in 1890, these were on what is now called Harbour Parade opposite the Queens Head.
We have just filled in our census form, which wasn’t too bad as forms go and I am starting on the local blogs on my sidebar. Don has a post that leads you to some old photographs of Thanet that I hadn’t seen before, see http://promotethanet.blogspot.com/2011/03/thanet-street-phography-1960s.html you have to fiddle with the search thing when you get to the site and although this site seems to about selling pictures many of which are not actually copyright, so they don’t appear very large it’s well worth a look. Bignews Margate, see http://bignewsmargate.blogspot.com/ has been mostly about the Labour spat this week, the sad and undemocratic means by which our local council leadership is chosen being at the forefront. I should stress here that doesn’t apply exclusively to the Labour group. After the rigging of the leadership election consultation where the Labour group, the Conservative group and the council’s senior officers conspired together to produce an unsatisfactory result. So ashamed do they appear to be about this consultation that it still doesn’t appear on their consultations webpage at http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/consultation.aspx
Thanet Coast Life has an optimistic post suggesting that Margate Museum may reopen see http://thanetcoastlife.blogspot.com/2011/03/full-steam-ahead-at-margate-museum.html god knows why the council is so slow over anything to do with our heritage, Ramsgate Maritime Museum is still closed, Margate Caves the subject of an andy bit of elf and safety, closed, Ramsgate Tunnels never opened. Ramsgate Motor Museum, owners gave up after lack of support from council, thank god the Powell Cotton museum isn’t council owned.
On to Thanet Life http://birchington.blogspot.com/ the latest post is a bit of a the peasants are revolting and we are shocked one, that could have come out of almost any period in English History http://birchington.blogspot.com/2011/03/all-about-twitter-in-town.html No separation between the 250,000 peaceful demonstrators, and the handful of rowdy trouble makers, that probably were not government employees, but taking advantage of the situation, perhaps that’s what blue-tinted means. Historically interesting a post mentioning The Battle of Margate see http://birchington.blogspot.com/2011/03/politics-aside.html not quite sure what this is about but think it is the thing Froissart mentions when English vessels carrying knights commanded by the Earl of Arundel captured part of the Flemish-Castillian convoy and made off with a quantity of wine and other goods. At this time the vessels involved would probably have been fortified at each end, high castellated decks, single mast with a square sail and oars in the middle, the battle would have been fought with archers and swords, with probably the main factor being what the sea did. There was no navy as such, the knights and their men at arms would have fought using the vessels and crews available, the plunder being a major incentive.
Onto Ken Read and In 2 Thanet or Inthanet blog see http://in2thanet.blogspot.com/ it would seem some people are intending to stand as independent candidates in the May elections, Ken is a bit cagey about where or how many, but I think he means in the district council elections, either as well as or instead of the parish town council elections. This has been tried in Thanet before without much success, the usual successful method being to pretend to be either Conservative or Labour to at least stand some chance of getting elected. Perhaps if enough independents stood across the whole of Thanet and pooled their publicity they would have some chance. Having said that if Ken stands in my ward I will definitely be voting for him as I will for Dave Green if he stands again, this has nothing whatsoever with party politics, but a great deal to do with people who have local interests at heart. I would say however that the most cost effective thing that any independent politically motivated group could do is to organise a mayoral referendum petition, they only have to get the signatures of 5% of the electorate to change the face of Thanet politics forever that way.
My Thanet Press Release bog see http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/ seems to be attracting a bit more traffic and even some comment, I think I will have to give it a bit of a makeover. This is where is publish stuff sent to me by other people, do feel free to use this facility, put please if you email MichaelChild@aol.com me posts, keep it to a few images and some text. I really don’t have the time to convert things that can’t just be inserted into blogger like pdf files. I was particularly pleased to get the associated photographs for one of the council’s press releases see http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/2011/03/team-greens-big-margate-clean.html as far as I can see these usually just vanish somewhere in the great council machine. The council don’t seem to realise what an important historical record they are concealing, we pay for them and they hide them, I have mentioned to them before if they send me the whole lot on a few disks I would be hapy to put them online for nothing.