Saturday, 15 October 2011

Fire at The Royal Victoria Pavillion Ramsgate Today

This is endemic of the council owned iconic sites in Ramsgate, years of neglect, in this case a failure to implement the terms of the lease, meaning that what should be a major tourist attraction is just boarded up and derelict. 

The dreadful condition of the inside of the pavillion or pavilion – don’t know which is right – The Pav, is beyond anything I could describe so I took some pictures last November, see


  1. I guess there won't be any CCTV to see what / who caused it as there never is in these cases...

  2. Sure it would all be different under Labour - in your dreams!

  3. I remember the Pav as a thriving Cinema and Theatre, as no doubt do many others. This casual neglect of a fine building is one of the reasons why I tend to despise Local Government, whatever their hue.

  4. So right, John, for the problem invariably lies in the fact that local government appears to have the responsibility but never the cash to fulfill it.

  5. Westcliff Hall, The Eagle Café, The Clock House, Albion House, The Royal Victoria Pavilion, Neros, The Marina Swimming Pool, The Tourist Information Office, Pleasurama, one would could be unfortunate, two could look like carelessness, what would you call nine.

    In most towns these assets would be producing income for the council.

  6. Please when something goes wrong can you stop blaming the council.

    You blame the council for so many buildings not being around anymore or in a state of disrepair but please Neros! Yes it was a great night club but I can just imagine the headlines - Local Authority puts money into saving a nightclub, and then the uproar!

    As for the rest, Please can someone tell me where all the money is to save all these buildings, In an ideal world it would be wonderful, it is so easy to blame TDC for everything. Why shouldn't Ramsgate Town Council do something. I pay more Council Tax because Gerry wanted a town council - please can someone tell me what benefit they are giving the town.

    you seem to have the answers to everything in Ramsgate - if it was that simple why dont you stand for election and wave your magic wand produce £'s out of thin air and create a wonderful Ramsgate for us all.

  7. Anon 21.37 - 100% agree. Here here.

  8. Well TDC Tory councillor aka 2137 Anon and your mate dogs dinner. If TDC had exercised control of their lease properly then the RVP would not be in the state that it is. I'm a private landlord and believe me no tenant of mine is allowed to drive such a coach and horses through their tenancy agreement as Rank did with the one for RVP.

  9. To anonymous at 2137 & Dogs Dinner (an apt name by the way for someone supporting the council),

    You are floating around the surface of the matter.

    Your defence, "Local Authority puts money into saving a nightclub, and then the uproar!" is not germane to the issue. You are missing the point. Which is that Neros was housed in a fine building that was one of the oldest Music Halls in the land. But you do not care. Neither do you care that some clown decided that this fine building would better serve the taxpayer as a car park. Then if that were not enough the council destroyed an Olympic sized pool and built us another car park.

    You ask where the money is coming from? Well, we could start by reducing some of the inflated salaries paid to the senior staff in local government.

    And for heavens sake why do you say stop blaming the council? Pray, who else should we blame. The council owns the buildings. Presumably you would not object to someone praising the council.

    I remained convinced that all local government is in the main incompetent.

    It has been suggested on here that you are in truth a Local Councillor. If so, why are you afraid to add your name to your comments?

    Or maybe you are a TDC official and understandably dare not reveal your identity. In which case I suggest that you steer clear of blogs.

    If neither is the case then blast away at those of us that have the temerity to criticise TDC.

  10. John, criticism is indeed valid but I also must query where it is directed. In the last decade we have had a large Labour majority council, a large Conservative majority council and now, efectively, a Tory led hung council. Frankly what difference have any of these changes made.

    Amongst the councillors serving over that time their have been at least some with molecule or two of intelligence and we must assume that at least some of the officers are competent. Why then is it that they have not been able to see the solutions that seem so obvious to the Thanet blogging community.

    My personal view is that too much of the time is spent in pathetic political point scoring or pursuing vested interests instead of directing their efforts to the issues that really matter. It is not, however, unique to Thanet and a developer down in Devon who was having a bit of grief getting his planning through, duly ran and was elected last May. His plans are now meeting far less resistance. Says it all really.

    What we need is politics and personal interest totally out of local government, but then, how many people would actually have the motivation to stand. Would the constant sniping Peter Checksfield? I doubt it unless he planned to have us all promenading around in our birthday suits. Vested interest is always a problem, politics is an even bigger one!

  11. The TDC officer standards are woeful and the failure of the so called elected members to robustly view and scrutinise papers presented to the TDC committees is also a factor. Until a major step change at TDC is implemented - TDC is not the mutts is inadequate as it is inept. Have a look at Ranks lease and the slipway lease to have a full understanding how TDC allowed developers to run the dog?

  12. Yes Will.

    On an only slightly different note, does anyone know why exactly Godden wasn't forced by TDC to rebuild in 'Godden's Gap'? Or am I just sniping?

  13. Will Lambert,

    Will Lambert,

    I agree.

    ALL Local Government is in the main incompetent.

    This is because the assorted Counsellors and their Officials have adopted a self regard which is not warranted by their abilities and actions.

    The Counsellors choose to play at politics because it requires less brain power and effort than actually protecting and improving the area for their taxpayers. They have even invented a Cabinet for themselves, just like the grown ups in Downing Street. But they are pygmy politicians.

    Many Councillors appear to believe that being elected is the end of the matter. But in truth it is just the beginning. Actually doing the job is the hard bit.

    Perhaps they should seek to emulate Laura Sandys who has proved herself to be the best constituency MP that Thanet has had in a long time.

    The Local Government Officials are no better. No longer do we have a respected and dedicated Town Clerk who lived in the area. Instead their replacement wallows in the vainglorious title of CEO. While enjoying an inflated salary that does not reflect their abilities and achievements.

    Should any outsider, heaven forfend, wish to bribe an Official or Councillor they would have no need of money as a tool. Flattery will get them all they need, and does.

    Fortunately, this is not the case with TDC. Who in all respects are the epitome of probity.

    Please note that I am speaking here about all Local Government. TDC is by far and away not(repeat not)the worst in the land.

    If any TDC Councillors and Officials are angered and hurt by my remarks - then prove me wrong. Pick Thanet up, give it good shake and transform the area into the prosperous and enjoyably place that it once was. If you do this then, for what it's worth, I will write a grovelling apology.

    Just for the record, there is no political motive to anything that I write about TDC.

  14. I doubt that TDC has the authority to force anyone to rebuild a demolished building, but it is surprising that the insurer did not, unless of course they rejected the claim.

    No offence intended on the sniping remark but it does seem that you, and many others, are good at short cryptic criticisms, but have no real soltutions. Why not run for office if you feel the present incumbents are doing such a bad job.

  15. Peter,

    What is 'Godden's Gap'. I suspect that it's not a Lonnie Donegan song. Can you point me in the direction of the story?

  16. It's the gap on Margate seafront where the huge fire was a few years back (& where the buildings either side of it are starting to badly crack).

  17. Will Lambert,

    You say that critics should run for office themselves if they feel that the present incumbents are doing such a bad job.

    At the risk of being frank, yours is a specious remark. I pay Councillors and Officials to do the job for me and I expect value for money. If The Loop is late then I do not take over the bus and drive it myself. If the surgeon screws up my brain surgery then I do not immediately train as surgeon and do the job myself. I am afraid to say that the words 'if you think you can better, etc..... 'is the cry of the inadequate.

  18. Thank you John. I was thinking along the same lines but you put it far better than I could.

  19. All this is getting to tiring for a lovely Sunny Sunday. Michael, can we please have a blog topic about, say, cute and furry fluffy animals.

  20. Haha, I agree! It's a beautiful day out there (I've already been for a morning jog & may do a little cycling once I've finished this cuppa). Have a lovely sunday everyone.

  21. Peter, you may have been thinking along the same lines but you would never have been able to come up with anything so well phrased. Afraid John is out of your league literally.

  22. Michael

    Any word from the council on whether the fire has damaged the building structurally?

  23. I would be asking TDC are they now going to insist the internal roof/ceiling asbestos tiles are removed? If the rumour is true that the Pav has been offloaded with the potential as night club will TDC insist along with the FB that this building is brought up to spec internally?

  24. Dr Sue playing with matches ?

  25. Peter,

    Just for the record: I am not the person at anonymous at 09:44.

    Thank you anonymous for the compliment. If my English is good then the credit must go to my previous employer in central government. This Department of State set high standards in everything which you failed to meet at your peril.

    I have a letter sitting here written by a TDC Official which falls abysmally short of such standards. The most common fault in these circumstances is that the writer knows what he means and is reckless as to whether or not the reader does.

    If there is anyone reading this who enjoys our language then I recommend the book 'The Complete Plain Words' by Sir Ernest Gowers. This wonderful book has been in print since 1948 and is updated regularly. You will find nothing better.

    At the end of the book there is a buzz phrase generator. Which is great fun.
    I have just generated a phrase based on the acronym 'TDC'which comes out as, "systematized digital mobility". That should help solve any IT problems.

    Perhaps Michael has a copy of the book for sale.

  26. English is not my first language 9:44. So I don't think I do too badly...

  27. Not mine either, mate, mine's Strine!

  28. Fraid to say I have been too busy to engage in the comment here. I will do a post about the council’s empty building problem, cute and fluffy animals will have to wait for another day.

    Strange that the comment has moved into the realms of English usage, an area where my failings must be pretty obvious, trouble is that I don’t think there are going to be many of the truly erudite who are going to bother blog about Thanet issues, so for the time being it’s down to the likes of, us wot actually does it.

    You may however consider that English is a living language, unlike dead languages where there is a definite right and proper way to express meaning, the only proper English is the dead English, chose your own period: Thou canst be holpen by books, some of which I have to stock. Modern English however is the English that is spoken now, even English spelling a fad that lasted from about 1600 to 1960 is just about hanging in there against the text message.

  29. One has to be careful, however, that the living language notion does not become an excuse for poor or lazy English. We have a fine language so let us not destroy it.

  30. Anonymous at 19:59,
    I could not agree more. What you say is precisely the point.

    'Eats, shoots and leaves'
    or 'eats shoots and leaves'.

  31. Presumably, in the modern way, leaving pregnant and abandoned the unfortunate lass who had cooked him the meal and succumbed to his charms. Or maybe I have been watching too much Jeremy Kyle!


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.