Friday 28 December 2012

Ramsgate and Broadstairs New Year Fireworks 2013

The display at Ramsgate harbour will take place at midnight in the normal way weather permitting.

The display time at Broadstairs has been changed to 10.30 pm and once again it will take place on weather permitting basis. 

We had our really big explosion earlier this year when Richborough Powerstation was demolished.

I could only find Mark Dempsey’s explanation as to why the Broadstairs display has been changed on FaceBook here is the link and have copied it below in case it won't open for readers.

As regards Broadstairs Fireworks this New Years Eve and as the person charged with the great responsibility of not only firing the Fireworks at Broadstairs As the Managing Director of Viking fireworks Ltd but also submitting all of the paperwork neccessary to ensure these events go ahead through my involvement with the Broadstairs Firework Society, please may I make these comments which I hope you will all consider and form your own opinions, and respond in kind on this blog in due course.

As far as I am concerned, all of your comments whether positive or negative to what I am about to say will be listened to and acted upon. The only stipulation I would place on this is that if you feel you have to post a negative comment then please do so but then please suggest a positive alternative course of action you feel we could have taken to make this event a success.

OK then, here we go.

New Years Eve 2012 Broadstairs.

This is the current synopsis.

Usually a Midnight Display, we are restricted to a Beach firing, low water on 31st December Btroadstairs around 19 20 hrs o.6metres, highwater around 1.20pm 5.5 metres, ( Dover Coastguard advises), therefore we could be faced with the situation that at midnight at Viking Bay on the day in question there will already be very little beach to fire Fireworks from.

You have to understand the following to make a reasoned assesment of the Firework Companys position here.

Safety distance between Fireworks and Audience is of course paramount, and for every millimetre of tube calibre fired by the Firework Company's product they have to allow 1 metre of safety distance between them and the audience.

So a 30mm calibre Roman Candle would need to be 30metres from the Audience and a 75 mm shell would need a 75 metre distance from the crowds as well.

I hope this might go some way to explain why Displays are sometimes cancelled when there are onshore winds .

Nobody can say with certainty what the Beach situation will be at Viking Bay at Midnight on 31st December and so an alternative option was sought with TDC and this focused on the Harbour pier area.

This area to the rear of the Harbour pier Cafeteria has been used before as a launch platform for NYE Fireworks until a few years ago.

The last time this area was used for Broadstairs Fireworks on NYE the following situaton occured.

At approxiametly 20.30hrs the current Cafeteria owner closed the premises and left the Harbour pier.

The firework company then erected it's safety barriers,posted it's marshalls only to find that at 22.30hrs the Cafeteria owner returned, demanded the barriers were removed as she was going to reopen the business and wanted access for her customers to her premises.

After some discussion the Firework Company complied and then was faced with the situation of trying to remove some 300 hundred people out of thier designated safety

zone at 23.45hrs.

Whilst investigating the possibility of returning to the pier as a launch site this December it was suggested to me that I should contact the current Cafeteria owner ( the same person) and speak with her as the last time we had fired on the pier it had cost her money and I had been rude to her.

Not my recollection I am afraid, more that the lady in question had objected to my insistence that she ceased trading for the 15 minutes it took for the Display to be fired.

No mileage ,in my opinion then, in entering into discussion as based on previous dealings no compromise would be possible that would satisfy safety concerns possibly raised at TESAG and the Cafe owner appeared to be in a "Compensation Scenario".

Why not a compromise then?

New years Eve ,after all is supposed to be a Family celebration, Family may not want to be up at Midnight with small Children and bearing in mind we are in the business of entertaining, bringing in trade into the town for the benefit of the local traders and entertaining local residents why not go at 22.30hrs instead of 24.01?

There are many benefits in this scenario if you care to think about it.

Firstly local familys with young Children and a few other people from further afield, we have taken two enquiries today,(one from Dartford and another from Rochester) asking about the fireworks at Broadstairs on NYE and who have responded positively to the suggestion of an earlier firing time for the Fireworks Display so that they can arrive ealier in the town , enjoy a meal at a restaurant, watch the Display and arrive home at a decent hour.

Secondly, each Display fired at Broadstairs requires a road closure to be put in place and this basically turns Albion street into a pedestrian precint for an hour before the Display and an hour after the Display with all the benefits of pedestrian safety this brings to the town on what has become, shall we say, a highly social event in the towns calendar.

Finally an earlier event takes the pressure off of the Blue light services around the Midnight hour and also has less Social impact as regards noise and disturbance to the local poulace.

Now, here's the rub.

As regards the funding of this Display, if we go with the 22.30 scenario.

BTC originally set aside funding for this event on the understanding that it would take place at Midnight on the 31st December.

I have been advised that if the display takes place at 22.30hrs then that funding will be withdrawn as the original agreement was for a display at Midnight.

Fair do's then. No Money from them, no say then on what time the fireworks are fired.

Fiona has done a stalwart job in raising funds towards the Display for NYE but is also of the opinion ,as far as I can see from this blog, that it is either 24.00 or not at all.

Fair do's then.

Question is the Fiona what are you going to do with the money you have raised, or is it more the case that you have had money pledged?

Bit of a difference there.

Suggestion has been made on this blog that you give the money to a charity.

Money was raised for fireworks at Broadstairs.........yes?

OK then...Broadstairs Firework Society is a CIC company Limited by guarantee but with a Charity status.

Why then don't you give the money you have raised for fireworks at Broadstairs to the Firework Society towards next years NYE Firework event?

TDC have offered and guaranteed a grant towards the fireworks for NYE at Broadstairs on the understanding that they are fired at 22.30 due to safety concerns on the likely state of the beach at 24.00 and this has been approved by the TESAG committee.

So some money there but not enough.

OK then Broadstairs.

Suppose then that rather than have no fireworks at Broadstairs on the 31st December for the 2nd year in a row, the Firework Company in conjunction with the Firework Society undertakes to fire the display gratis as a one off gift to Broadstairs on the understanding the Display is at 22.30hrs local time?

Takes two days to build a Broadstairs display. 

Just a few further thoughts about the problems associated with publishing this information on FaceBook, the bottom line being that the only people who can see it are those who are FaceBook members and are signed on, I can tell this because I can’t view it if I am not signed on to FaceBook.  

And having linked to it because I can see it myself as I have a FaceBook account and am logged on whether other people who have FaceBook accounts and are logged on would be able to see it is something I just don’t know and would depend on the settings the thing was published on and who the viewer is FaceBook friends with.  

Oh yes and here is the moon taken from Ramsgate yesterday evening, on the way to watching Life of Pi at the Granville.


  1. A well reasoned argument. It's not that easy when hedged in by rules, regulations, other interested parties and the tide. I always enjoy fireworks at any time. Good luck to Mark.

  2. Good luck to Mark. Yet another shambolic fireworks/NYE events as in previous years. It happens every year. Other towns manage it.

  3. I don't know what happened to the font size in this post Michael but I'm having difficulty reading it (maybe I just need new glasses!).

    1. Sorry about that Peter, I copied and pasted it from FaceBook with my mobile phone, and it added all sorts of strange encoding the most bizarre of which was a video that you couldn’t view that only showed up on older versions of internet explorer.

      One is inclined to forget that the font size you see is just encoding, which will look different in different browsers. I hope it appears OK now I have changed it.

    2. It's fine now, thanks Michael. I find the best way to post things into blogger is to paste them into Notepad first, that way it gets rid of all the formatting.

  4. looks ok. to me as for te fireworks another storm in aa teacup.. seems like some joined up thinking is needed if the tide is in and there is not enough beach then a compramise is needed. Or a boat to launch from?

  5. Peter,

    You should have gone to Specsavers. (sorry0

  6. was it a year ago the fireworks was going to be cancelled for lack of a permit or something? Ramsgate keeps getting delayed too. The Xmas decorations are rubbish again: leaving them up all year? Other towns put on special displays - so diid ramasgate once. Any Xmas lights/floral displays pictures Michael? A special book? You can have my half of the profits!

    1. Click on the link 6.53 not related to 0% by any chance are you?

      It’s just that everyone else in Ramsgate seems to have noticed the new and greatly improved Christmas decorations, that we paid for out of our extra council tax contribution, which we voted to make to fund exactly this type of thing through our town council.

  7. Oh no - Broadstairs looks foolish again! I can just see the headlines "New Year comes early in Broadstairs". I understand Viking fireworks are trying their best to come up with a compromise, but I feel it would be better to say, we are unable to have Fireworks this year due to tidal conditions. It would be nice to to think the pier could be used as a launch site but I know there are problems with that. I do get the feeling all this was left far to late, we know the tides months ahead. At the end of the day the high winds may cause a cancellation anyway, no matter what the time....any other display during the year would it be fine to move times but - NEW YEARS FIREWORKS SEE IN THE NEW YEAR AT 12.00.

    1. Well the Broadstairs fireworks went off spectacularly and the early start actually fitted in well with other celebrations as it turned out. Far from looking foolish, Broadstairs did rather well with all its hostelries and restaurants doing excellent trade and people enjoying themselves. I watched the display and was back home again in good time to see the New Year in with family and friends over a glass or two of bubbly.

      It is easy to knock, Roy, but some people actually put in a lot of effort, often battling against modern health and safety rules as well as the elements, to bring off these events. Bet most people who attended would have preferred the fireworks as displayed at 22.30 rather than no fireworks at all.

    2. Why is there so much schadenfreude around these days, especially at times like this. I'm delighted that the fireworks went well for Broadstairs.

    3. It's political, John. Broadstairs has a problem with a small beach and on shore winds so that conditions have to be just right for the fireworks to go ahead safely. Last New Year's eve they were cancelled over some alleged irregularity with the application and linked to the new Labour administration at TDC, who also cancelled the long planned Broadstairs community centre, it was all seen as a bit of Labour slapping for the Broadstairs Tories.

      Michael, of course, defended the Labour TDC and others, like me, jumped on the opportunity, even if it was a bit tongue in cheek, to blame it all on the change of administration. It's what passes for debate here on the isle.

      In truth, politicians of all shades invariably cock things up and are collectively to blame for the unrecognisable state of our once beautiful nation. I fear worse is still to come so, when something does happen to cheer, like the Broadstairs fireworks, why not just enjoy that moment. On the bigger picture we enter 2013 with an ongoing choice between Cameron, Clegg and Milliband nationally (shudders involuntarily) with a possibly even stranger assortment here on the planet.

    4. My impression of Thanet is the we have too much politics and not enough government.

      Concerning your final paragraph: for several years now Nigel Farage has been saying the things that I want to hear. He is eloquent, blessed with common sense and able to go to the heart of the problem. Instead of prancing around the edge as so many politicians seem to do these days. I am still undecided what to do about this. I would not want to lose Laura Sandys. Laura is the epitome of a good constituency MP. I will give UKIP a go at the next local elections. My local Councillors do not seem to do very much, as far as I can tell. They could learn a lot from Laura Sandys' example.

    5. Agree about Laura Sandys, John, being an excellent constituency MP, but she, along with many other Conservative MPs, must take her share of the blame for not standing up to Cameron in his attempts to abandon traditional Conservative values by moving the party onto the ground vacated by Blair. What makes these arrogant politicians like Cameron, devoid of real world experience, think they know best what the British people want.

      Poll after poll demonstrates that we Brits are right of centre traditionalists who support law and order, control of our borders, favour tougher punishments for crime, have sometghing of an abhorence of PC extremism and would prefer in the main to trade with, but not be part of, a federal Europe.

      Yes, Nigel Farage, does speak what many of us want to hear, but UKIP does not have the following, or quality of candidates, to do more than hand Labour victory by taking normal Tory votes. I fear we have to suffer more of the Labour punishment before we collectively wake up to the need to choose the right leaders, those of honest conviction, rather than vacuous smoothies like Blair and Cameron.

    6. So following your logic then Tom, we sacrifice the excellent Laura for another Ladyman at the next General Election, just to teach CCO a lesson?

    7. Tim as a floating voter, I can see this election being a bit of a problem, although up to a point it does depend on your own MP, you are also making a selection at national level.

      Personally I find it very hard to identify with either Cameron or Miliband, I guess it very much depends on who which party puts up in Thanet South, I would say there is a fair chance it will be a strongly contested marginal at this election.

      I also think a lot of it will depend on how our situation is with Europe in, what is it? About two years time.

      I guess what I would like is to be voting for something rather than against something at any level of government.

    8. Tim, no I do not agree we should sacrifice Laura, but I remain very afraid that she, along with many other good MPs, will suffer the backlash brought about by Cameron's abandonment of the faithful. Not my choosing, but a realistic prospect. Gale will probably do better, if he stands again, because he is seen as a real Tory, not a Cameron lap dog.


  9. You're all living in cuckoo land. Ed Milliband will sweep to victory. Every Liberal-Democrat will lose their deposit and the Tories will lose half of their seats. It's one thing carrying out your mainfesto but neither of the parties in this government had a mandate for the things they have done. They should have agreed a coalition deal and then put themselves back up for re-election on that basis.

    1. Who is living in cuckoo land, 3:35. Of course Milliband (or Labour to be more precise) will sweep to victory and then will once again stuff up the economy big time. The nanny state will be back in all its splendour and those in sundry minority groups will think their ship has come in. The rest of us will have to live with the consequences.

      But, hey, why get depressed because whoever wins they will stuff it up, for most of them have no clue what the real world outside of Westminster is like.

  10. Well now that I have the benefit of you counsel I advocate that we dispense with fuss of an election and appoint a government at your will.

  11. anonymous 3:35PM,

    An interesting point of view - do you have any evidence to support your strident prophecy?


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.