Friday, 6 December 2013

Ramsgate Tidal Surge Pictures

the picture above is from the tidal surge on 9th December 2009 as you can see from the pictures of today's tidal surge it didn't get as high this time, which does make one wonder about the news reports of it being the highest tide since 1953.

Thanks to Alan Poole for sending me this photo showing the sea flowing over the cross wall into the inner basin at approx 0100hrs Friday morning… taken looking towards the lock gates. We were very luck there wasn't significant wave height. 
Here is the link to the 2009 pictures apologies that a couple of them have become corrupted, I will put them right when I can find the original files, the moral here being don’t move you web hosting from Windows to Linux.

Once again we were very lucky that this tidal surge wasn’t combined with significant wave height as the static level was close enough for comfort.    
Several factors determine how high the waves will get in a storm, once again there are different ways of expressing the height of a wave, I will use the one called significant height, this is the height difference between the trough between the waves and the crest on the waves.

One factor is the strength (speed) of the wind, I will express this in knots, nautical miles per hour, a nautical mile is a little bit longer than a statute mile.

In the days of sail sailors measured the speed of their ship with a line with equally spaced knots tied in it and a lump of wood on the end. One of them dropped the bit of wood over the side and counted how many knots passed through his hands, while another one timed this with a glass, something like a big egg timer with sand running through it.

Another factor is the duration of the storm, the longer the wind blows for the higher the waves, this has a saturation time after which the waves don’t get any bigger.

Another factor is the fetch of the sea, this is how far it is between the shores along the line of the wind direction.
Time for a diagram
In the 1953 tidal surge 1,835 people were killed in the Netherlands and 307 were killed in the United Kingdom and about 250 people were killed at sea.

A problem with the sea is that it has waves, I suppose the fact that it killed over 2.500 people in this part of the world during one storm, is a testament to this.


  1. I jumped on a train to Birchington earlier today then took a stroll back along the coast to Westbrook. There's quite a bit of damage to the beach huts in Westgate Bay, with many of them (and their contents) in pieces. also noticed that the tarmac on Westbrook promenade was getting washed away in places.

    On the subject of promenades, why don't the council ever clear sand, stones and seaweed away during the winter? After all, these are designated cycle lanes. This isn't unique to TDC though, as Herne Bay promenade (the cycling bit) is nearly always unusable during winter months, forcing cyclists to use the roads instead.

    1. We went to Whitstable back in the summer and there was a lady sweeping the beach paths I stopped and chatted to her, it wasnt the prom as such but the front none the less

  2. Obviously the pilot of that plane photographed flying over Ramsgate harbour should be arrested!

  3. Looks, by the sand, like the tide got to the front of the Pavilion and also one photo I saw showed the tide lapping at the great wall surrounding tombstone city

  4. 2,500 deaths in 1953 floods is significant. Not far off the Haiyan deaths. Thank goodness we have the Environment Agency and Andrew Pearce to protect us. Hahahahhahaha. And corrupted photos Michael? You are a one.

    John Hamilton's Ego.

  5. hmm, 300 deaths from a storm and surge (none in Kent) 60 years ago, no damage at pleasurama, no waterborne plant, no cataclysmic building damage and dozens of drowned Thanetians washed up into the wreckage of the pavillion, thus demonstrating the need for the FRA that should have been done.....

    ....that's right, as proven AGAIN by real world events, and FRA is a total waste of time and money as has been proven AGAIN, there is no risk, and thus there is no need.

    1. No Flood Risk Assessment is a "waste of time" as it inputs into planning permission, evacuation plans, Fire and ambulance routes, and premiums paid to insurers.
      I'm sure the people who lived up in Lincolnshire that lost their houses thursday night would have liked to have made an informed decision before they bought their homes.
      An FRA is just an assessment and based on an informed best guess scenario. SFP are scared that it will be adverse but of course it may not be.
      Thursday night the water got to the front of the Pavilion and within 9 inches of the coffee shops in Harbour Parade before receding but then you don't get much flooding where you are Spamilton, your more likely to get shot.

    2. John I guess it’s difficult to tell where you are coming from on this one and whether you are trying to be deliberately ironic. Looking at The Royal Sands from the perspective of actually trying to get it built by SFP the main issue seems to be financing it.

      In today’s climate this means legitimately sourced finance, most likely to be a loan from a UK bank, which is what happened in August 2007 when NatWest offered a development loan of £18m.

      I checked this with NatWest and the loan offer was genuine, however just after this came the Northern Rock business and the financial crash with the associated caution attached to subsequent loans.

      Now of course we both know that the letter of the law means that the development can proceed with no flood risk assessment, but this is tempered by the designation of most of the site as a high risk flood zone combined with the strong recommendations of the environment agency that there should be a FRA.

      So the problem faced by SFP is going to a UK bank or some other financial institution and asking for a development loan of about £20m, for a new build, on high risk flood zone, with no flood risk assessment. This is also tempered by the fact that flood risk assessments are not, relative to the development costs expensive, so without a FRA I would doubt that any loan would be forthcoming.

      Of course the other side of the coin is that the legally valid planning consent enhances the value of the site and if a FRA says the baseline needs to go up, which of course is an unknown, the plans are very tight on the height front, so this would probably mean new plans and a new planning application, reducing the value of the site until consent is obtained.

      I haven’t even bothered with your no deaths in Kent business, wrong information that anyone can check online.

      Anyway a question for you, do you think having no FRA benefits anyone, the developer, the council, the anti Pleasurama lobby, perhaps?

    3. I think that TDC would be responsible in years to come to provide any further protection along the coast line...I see they are planning to build 500+homes at the Pfizer site, which is about as close to sea level as you can get
      The flates at Royal Snads are 6metres or so above sea level

    4. Not at all Michael, I look at the issue with a fact based approach, not a scaremongering ad guess work approach that you seem to favour.

      I think the terms of obtaining finance are best left to those obtaining it, rather than those guessing at something which they have little/no experience or knowledge. Unless of course you have secured finance on a multi million £ development at some point of course...

      As once again we have high a very high tide, a surge and a storm, and no damage has occured, no cranes have taken anyone's life, and there was na damage on the site, or at the pavillion, we can now add 2013 to the list of other storms that prove that a problem clearly doesn't exist, no matter how much you wring your hands wishing that it did ;)

      Nope an FRA on a site that clear;y as no flooding issues is simply a waste of time and effort, that benefits nobody whatsoever. I'm sure it would give you something else to pick holes in, but other than keeping you amused, it serves absolutely no useful purpose whatsoever.

    5. John I wouldn’t like to spoil your fun playing with your fabrication, but I will point out that you do seem to have resorted to utter bull: “As once again we have high a very high tide, a surge and a storm, and no damage has occured, no cranes have taken anyone's life, and there was na damage on the site,”

      We didn’t have a very high tide, because it isn’t spring, you don’t get them in winter.

      We did have a tidal surge, because of low barometric pressure which causes the sea level under it to rise.

      We didn’t have a storm as you can see from the photos, sea storms are easy to identify, as you get great big waves.

      But hell it isn’t me you need to persuade and it was the environment agency and not me that designated it a high risk flood zone.

      I guess the problem is that the financial institutions are more likely to take note of the EA then an anonymous blogger like you.

    6. Sorry Michael, but it appears your grasp of the term "high" is and tenuous as your grasp of the term "anonymous". Tell me, can you point out where I said it was the highEST tide of the year?

      I think you'll find the term is a storm surge Michael, the clue would be in the title ;)

      Clearly you think I was in error. Please enlighten me, where were the people killed and property destroyed around the Pleasurama site, and where did the waterborne plant finally end up after it's trail of destruction?

      Posting bull I leave to scaremongers ;) I will stick to evidence based fact. Now remind me, how long did the pleasurama site manage to stand without being washed away, or demolished by waterborne plant of paving slabs...

      Wonder how people get on buying, selling and insuring of the properties along there, I assume they must all be empty, given the insurmountable problems you claim exist...

    7. Spamilton what on earth is "waterborne plant of paving slabs" I assume that you read what you type BEFORE you press the enter button.
      Is C2 Tactical giving you excessive time off or are you just bored?

    8. John technically it was a storm surge, but we were lucky inasmuch as we got the surge while someone else was getting the storm, that level of tide could have been very nasty with storm waves, which is what happened in 53 hence the crane swept over the sea defences. If this was also combined with what you said “a very high tide” which fortunately it wasn’t, the effect on this part of Ramsgate would likely have been very bad.

      We had a normal spring “a very high tide” combined with a storm in the 70s, it devastated the harbour – lifted the two and a half ton stones the harbour wall is made of like feathers, dropping them through the boats, smashed up loads of the pontoons and stove in the front of the Pleasurama building – fortunately this wasn’t combined with low pressure like on Friday as this would have added a couple of meters static tide height to the problem.

      I really only bothered with the detailed answer because you brought up the Pleasurama problem and I guessed it must be weighing on your mind, I think the problem here is mostly related to the development not having a proper and experienced developer.

      While the plans were to pile bore the foundations I wasn’t that worried about the effects of the three things occurring together, but with no fra and different people making the decisions with no overall expert and experienced guidance. I think the situation of having the development resting only on sand that developed with all the changes in contractors and the change in architects has left us with something that would be potentially very dangerous.

      You have to appreciate that when the EA commented we were still going with a development that was pile bored (screwed down) perhaps in view of your making me clarify the situation I should pass the modified foundation designs on to the EA for comment.

      Coming on to the issue of waterborne paving slabs, what happen here is that when the developer’s contractor – think it was the second or third one – moved the roundabout at the Broadstairs end of the site, they chipped the top off the concrete sea defences and put down sand which they laid lose slabs on.

      Of course this contractor is long gone now, but still I wish they had cemented them into place.

      The Pleasurama site didn’t stand as most of it wasn’t built on, first it was a railway yard and then a tarmac fairground about a third of it at the end most protected from the sea had the station building on it, this later became the Pleasurama building.

      With the buying and sell issue, the problem you haven’t grasped is the difference between new build, for example the only new build down there is 1 Granville Marina this was subject to a fra and is constructed on bored piles and a 1 metre high base slab, the older buildings down there do flood and the council provides the owners with sandbags and advice on evacuation.

    9. As usual Michael, you use if, maybe, could and might when the FACTS are that buildings have stood on the site for over 100 years, and not been damaged by the sea, and nobody has died. No matter how much you scaremonger, that isn't likely to change. You talk about the experience of the developer, yet think your (lack of) experience seems to trump everyone else's. Fact is Michael, history demonstrates that there is no risk at the site.

      Hmmm without dealing with the rest of your normal waffle, lets see, do you think that you contention that buildings will be hit by waterborne plane, and washed away, killing many, would be picked up by the mortgage and insurance companies, FRA or no FRA?

      Of course it would, and as they have rightly concluded, the risk is negligible, and thus they continue to be happily bought, sold and insured. These are real world facts Michael, not your theoretical scaremongering for your own ends.

    10. Oh Spamilton talking crap and cutting through nowt. You know that for a fact they are bought sold and insured happily. You have personal experience of that along with driving 40ft artic's driving coaches, working at Tesco, failed photographer, working in a gun range. In fact is there any job you haven't done like cesspit cleaner or councillor.
      Maybe what you are good at is sh*t stirring, I suspect you have a degree in that.

    11. hi michael,
      the point is, sfp have had plenty of chances and plenty of time to build, and havnt.
      you should see the photos we took the night before. if we had the storm and winds too, the boats moored up in our harbour would have been loose and who knows how much that would of cost the already skint tax payers. the harbour parade strip was flooding out. the water rose to 2 n alf ft on the crosswall, the pontoons were higher than the pavement.

  6. I can't imagine what possesses someone like Hamilton to display his stupidity for the whole world to see. I confess to having said some stupid things myself but, fortunately, I have always resisted the urge to put them in print. It seems obvious to me that the homes washed away this week, had not been washed away before. Your home can only be washed away once. The fact that Pleasurama hasn't been built yet, and probably never will be, precludes the possibility that it could have been washed away this week. However, if it were to be built I see no good reason to suppose that it could not be washed away at some time in the future, particularly when it is built right next to a beach. The Flood Risk Assessment would simply seek to quantify this risk and it is very difficult to understand why anybody (other than a cowboy developer or a corrupt councillor) would wish to remain wilfully ignorant of such information.

    1. Difficult to see, 11:20, what exactly a FRA would tell us that we do not already know. The Pleasurama site is just above the beach. once every 50 years or so we get a really high tide bit the most recent one of those would not have flooded a building on that site. What more exactly is it you think we need to know? Surely if we try to guess the likelihood of some future tidal surge it is no more than a guess. There are many properties around our shores in much the same position, even in Thanet, and I wonder how many of those had FRAs carried out before they were built. Does the Tartar Frigate have one?

    2. Anon 11:44 I very much doubt it would have needed one when it was built but, of course, that isn't what this is about. It is about insurers and prospective buyers making an informed decision. Not about second guessing Mother Nature.

    3. How quaint, Barry, so what is an FRA, but some second guessing by the person carrying out the assessment. There is no way of calculating that risk beyond what we already know. So you reckon the Tartar Frigate would not have needed one, so what has changed. Tides still come and go and once in a while they sandbag the doors to the pub.

    4. Anon how silly of you not to read the post I said I doubt it was required as the EA wasn't then in existence so no need for one. You are aware how long the Tartar has been on that spot I presume.

      Michael has clearly identified the reasons for the requirement today and I bow to his knowledge.

      Clearly times change and there are advances in the science involved and just to remind you there is no buildings as yet on the site and I suspect it would be difficult for a loan if there would be a problem getting it repaid should they not sell any properties.
      I wonder whether any of the remaining properties have a value where the 7 washed away thursday night

    5. My, Barry, you must think everyone is as slow on the uptake as you are. Of course I know how long the good old Tartar Frigate has been there, but my "what has changed" was not referring to regulation, of which we have far to much, but need. Like I said, tides still come and go.

      If the Pleasurama development went ahead and the properties could not be sold, then I reckon the developer would be pretty darn quick to get an FRA. It is, however, only assumption that one is necessary. After all, the good old Tartar has changed hands a few times and they could not all have been cash buyers.

    6. Anon the key phrase here is “new build” where the fra prior to construction does its best to ensure the building is viable for an expected life of 100 years, this is now standard procedure when building a new development on a flood risk zone.

      Financial institution don’t like anything radically different to the norm, go to buy a Morris Minor and you will easily get finance, go to buy a new car and you will easily get finance, go to buy a new car with a Morris Minor breaking system and you may have trouble.

    7. My anon 2:45 you must stop following Spamilton, you are taking lessons from a troll after all

    8. Why, William, because I question the modern trend to comply with regulation without question whether such is necessary or not. If a developer was prepared to build without an FRA they must have felt it unnecessary. What developer would risk saleability for the sake of one? I( think I am capable of individual thought without taking lessons from Hamilton, Michael or you, for that matter.

    9. anon you really must learn to do your research before commentating. If you had taken the time to play catch on previous postings on this subject you would know planning was granted in early 2004 when an FRA wasn't a requirement for acquiring planning permission.
      If they amend the plans today and have to reapply they would have to provide an FRA before being granted planning. Not that they were prepared to build without one as you assume.

    10. You totally lost me, William, and, for your information, I have been following this saga and all Michael's flood warnings on it for years. Why do you have to assume that you have done more research or are better informed than others.

    11. Michael posted that a Flood Risk Assessment wasn't a requirement in 2004 as part of planning not that long ago. You must of been drunk that night

    12. Why, did I say he didn't?

    13. who you talking to anon, yourself perhaps

    14. Anon 9:07 doesn't sound like its too difficult to lose you. Are you a Councillor perhaps?

    15. I suspect that a FRA has been completed.

    16. And I suspect Councillors post on here as anons. Anyone wanna take the bet?

    17. Yeah 10:21, I'll take your bet with pleasure. Let me have your name and address.

    18. There's a bookies in Queen street Holyer.

    19. But you were offering to to take the bet yourself, were you not? You really cannot see yourself, can you, you clown. Besides. I already know your name and address and I will ignore you as I should have done in the first place.

    20. Posting anonymously is the way of the one liner troll. Since I enjoy debate and like to make a point or two it would not be my way, but, if other councillors do, how would one know and what difference does it make anyway. Looking at some of the anonymous comments above, the big question is who would want to own them. Somebody offers a bet and then declines when somebody else accepts it. Whatever is the point in that.

      I will cease here less I am drawn into the drivel that passes for an exchange of views for others. TIME FOR BREAKFAST.

    21. William and John, The anons posting on here may very well be councillors, I do remember one being caught out doing just that but really the question is "why do they feel it necessary to post as anons?" Surely it would be more honest of them to post as they really are or would their masters castigate them if they did

    22. Barry, there is no way of knowing, but I would hope councillors might have more of a view on issues than the sort of one liner comments that appeared above those of John and myself. I do find it strange though that before Labour took the reigns of office in Thanet there were several who blogged quite regularly, including our young PPC, but they all stopped at the same time. Is this party policy? Certainly from the Conservative side, I do not always agree with central office or David Cameron, but no one has ever suggested I should not comment.

      If there is the prospect of castigation, I would suggest it applies to only one party.

    23. If I read another inane and pointless politically motivated comment from William Epps I might just top myself. Why can't he just let other people have their say without making childish remarks. In response to his assertion that no-one has ever suggested that he should not comment, I would like to be the first to make this suggestion. Would anyone care to join me?

    24. 11:53, is that a promise because if so I will try really hard to help motivate you in your cause.

    25. Another childish response

    26. Anon 11:53 am,

      You use the word read as a boast. Now how many childish remarks will it take for you to keep your threat to "top" yourself?

    27. The useful point being made here, that James unsurprisingly doesn't understand, is that the Tarter Frigate no more needs an FRA than the development at Pleasurama.

      There is no legal requirement for either. I would suggest that scaremongering on the level being employed at the level that it is on pleasurama, with Michael claiming that there should be an evacuation plan, and anti crane defences built into the Tarter Frigate, or many may die, as he does with Pleasurama, but then that wouldn't be the building over which he and the nimbys have axe's to grind.

    28. I see the TROLL Hamilton is back. Must have been very busy at the weekend at C2 tactical.

    29. Much as I disagree with some of his comments, Hamilton is at least staying on topic... unlike 5:26 and 5:31.

    30. Peter on topic now that would be a first however back on the discussion about the Tartar the point about an FRA is the requirement if planning was asked for to turn it into something else then an FRA would be required

    31. Not me claiming there should be an evacuation plan it was the EA:

      creating a better place
      Our ref: KT/2007/104024/0101
      Thanet District Council Your ref: TH/03/1200
      P0 Box 9 Date: 08 February 2008

      Thank you for forwarding plans for the proposed development at the former
      Pleasurama site in Ramsgate. I am sorry you have had to wait so long for a
      response but as we discussed in our recent meeting, I was under the impression that
      there were further amended plans to follow.
      According to our records the Environment Agency was initially consulted on this
      application in October 2003. At that time our indicative flood risk maps did not
      identify the area to be at risk from tidal flooding. The maps were based on a
      predicted ~1 in200Yea( tide and ground levels along this part of the coast were
      shown to be above the “at risk~ level. Therefore no specific flood risk comments
      were included in our response. In hindsight this is regrettable as the proximity of the
      site to the frontage does mean that the area is likely to be susceptible to wave
      overtopping and could be subject to flooding in extreme storm conditions.

    32. Since 2003 we have had both a policy change with the publication of Planning Policy
      Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk (PPS25) and, publication of our
      updated flood maps which now show part of the site to lie in Flood Zone 3a (High
      Probability). Although we might not object in principle to some form of development
      here, if we were to receive a similar application under the current guidelines, we
      would require a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) to identify the risk, look at flood
      resilient construction and address the issue of safe, dry access. Without this
      information it is difficult to determine whether the development can be considered
      “safe” (PPS25 09 The Exception Test).

      We are aware that there have been amendments to the original application but
      believe the Agency was not asked to comment following the initial consultation in
      2003. It is difficult to say whether our response would have changed at the times of
      these amendments. We are certainly disappointed that access from the
      development to the top of the cliff, which we believe to have been in the original
      layout, has since been removed. In the event of the esplanade being impassable,
      access from the cliff-top would ensure a safe dry route to and from the residential
      units. As the proposal stands, a serious flood could potentially leave resident'
      stranded in their homes without a safe means of escape, for the duration of the

    33. As a guide, we would currently recommend all residential accommodation ~n the
      Ramsgate area to be set at a minimum of 5.6m above Ordnance Datum Newlyn
      (ODN). This is following the predicted sea level rise allowances in PPS25 until the
      year 2110. Unfortunately the plans do not show floor levels relative to ODN.
      However the site survey (Drawing No. PL 10-101) indicate average ground levels to
      be approximately 5,8m (although not shown I am assuming these levels to be ODN).
      With the ground floor proposal for commercial use only, it can be concluded that the
      residential accommodation, all on the first floor and above, will be set well above the
      recommended 5.6m ODN. It should however be made clear that this is a static tide
      level which makes no allowances for wave action, This static level would be deemed
      safe some distance from the frontage where wave heights would be expected to
      dissipate. Areas immediately behind defences lie in the High Risk Rapid Inundation
      Zone (RIZ) and are particularly vulnerable due to the risk of the defences being over-
      topped or breached, resulting in fast-flowing and potentially deep water with little or
      no warning. Again, if this were a new application we would expect an FRA to identify
      the RIZ and predict potential wave heights. For example the FRA undertaken by HR
      Wallingford for The Turner Centre application identified wave heights to be
      significantly different from the predicted “200year”static tide level for Margate.
      Whether this development is sufficiently set back to be outside the RIZ is difficult to
      say without further investigation in the form of a detailed FRA. Although the
      residential accommodation may well be set high enough above the static extreme
      tide level, we don't have sufficient information to confirm whether or not the site is
      vulnerable to waves of a much greater height and if so, if this could undermine the
      structural integrity of the proposed buildings. A site specific FRA would assess the
      potential for wave damage and recommend suitable mitigation measures.
      It is appreciated that this proposal was submitted over 4 years ago, prior to the
      publication PPS2S and before our maps highlighted the area to be at risk, Certainly
      in terms of flood risk policy, things have some-what moved on. In light of those
      changes and without further information I regret it is impossible for the Agency to
      confirm whether or not the proposal as it stands is wholly consistent with current
      policy. And whilst we accept that this development already has planning permission,
      we would highly recommend that a full FRA is undertaken which could inform
      appropriate resilience and resistance measures. The assessment could also inform
      the production of a suitable flood warning and evacuation plan, for both the
      residential and commercial parts of the development. We would obviously
      recommend that all future residents and commercial units are registered with our
      free Flood Warning Service,
      I hope this letter has been able to clarify the Agency's position however should you
      wish to discuss the matter further please don't hesitate to contact me again.
      Environment Agency
      Orchard House, Endeavour Park, London Road, Addington, West Mailing, Ken, MEI9 5SH.

    34. Peter I have to admit that i hadn't expected John Hamilton to bring the subject up here or on the council press release warning the people with properties on Marina Esplanade to sandbag them in case there was a storm with the tidal surge.

      The other sources on the subject seem to concur that the project is dead and all over bar the shouting.

    35. Very good Michael. Can you point out where it says that there is a history of death and terrible damage to the pleasruama building, which stood for what, 150 years or so....

      I know, sandbags, that should protect them from the destruction and death wrought by granite paving slabs, waterborne plant and mountainous seas you claims will be washing away anything built on the site, but to which history proves there is no risk whatsoever.

    36. I think Michael that you should forward all Spamilton's posts to the Environment Agency and get them to discuss the matter directly with him/Her/It as it seems all he is trying to do is cause a fight. Logic and good sense doesn't seem to be in any part of his intelligence.
      Maybe when they finish with him he can find a job cleaning up after our bin men it is about all he/she/it is good for.

    37. hmmm logic and good sense, building stands on a site for over 100 years, without damage or death from the sea, logic and common sense dictates that the risk in non existent to any meaningful level.

      Perhaps you should search for a job cleaning bins 8:43, i'm sure that after a few months training, you might be upto the job.

    38. Still whatever job I have at least I live here in Thanet unlike you spamilton, a failed Tesco manager who had to leave the country because he couldn't hack it here

    39. John the letter I replied with was written by the EA’s Building Control Technical Specialist, not a disaster movie script writer, I guess the writing style is different.

    40. Yes I know Michael, I have read it before. But nowhere in it can I find and reference to the damage and death that MUST have occurred on such a dangerous site in the past, for you to be scaremongering so enthusiastically now. Are they responsible for waterborne crane defences aswell?

      Seems there is no history of death or damage on the site, seems that historical real world evidence confirms that there is no risk whatsoever, nice to know.

    41. And of course Spamilton in 1912 the unsinkable RMS Titanic went on its maiden cruise

    42. Hmm, wonder if an FRA for the Titanic would have said "avoid icebergs" and whether that would have altered the outcome of the voyage...

      Try and post something sensible 9:46, there's a good boy :)

    43. and your point Spamilton.

      Prior to hitting the iceberg the Titanic voyage hadn't caused any deaths much like the Pleasurama site however cliff surveys and FRA's tell of the risks which as Michael points out can be minimised.
      Are you always such a boring person why dont you go and sweep up at the bottom of the firing range you must be so bored

    44. John I am reminded of the poor chap the other day who thought CO2 – fizz in fizzy drinks – is a deadly poison.

      In 1953 a ten ton crane was swept onto the tarmac fairground where the developer intends to build a block of 19 apartments, no one was killed in 1953 because it was winter and the fairground was deserted, however had the apartments been there the crane would have hit the pillars holding up the apartments, whether anyone would have been killed I don’t know.

      Whether the waves that where sufficient to throw the crane over the sea defence there would have been sufficient to knock the apartments down I don’t know either.

      We live in a civilised society and therefore use engineers to answer these questions instead of killing and maiming people by randomly building their homes in dangerous places, this doesn’t always work it is just the best we can come up with.

    45. I have to admit, he did remind me a great deal of you Michael. tell me, how many people throughout Thanet, or even the Bristish Isles have been killed or injured by waterborne plant, and whose death or injury could not have been prevented by not parking said plant on beaches? It does amuse me that you harp on about a crane washed up 60 years ago, yet even that didn't demolish anything of note, nor did it kill anyone.

      Will any FRA take account of poorly parked waterborne cranes I wonder...

      Yes we do live in a civilised society Michael where common sense is often overlooked, Simply put, building stood quite happily for 150 years, waterborne cranes are not a frequent danger around Britains shores, history proves that there is no risk on the site, or in the surrounding properties.

    46. and the Titanic didn't sink

      along with many others disasters caused when greed overwrites common sense. Spamilton you are getting boring go back to your sweeping up

    47. John as I have said before no building stood on most of the site it was mostly a tarmac fairground but all that said, I really don’t know if it is safe to build on this part of the site.

      You seem to be basing your argument on the fact that a building at one end of a 250 metre site stood for over 100 years one built on the other end much more exposed would be safe, not very scientific is it.

      The EA’s engineer says it need a fra, and an anonymous bloggers says it doesn’t, I agree with the EA’s engineer, I am sure, like the engineer, you have a following on this one, anyone we have heard of?

    48. FACT Michael, the pleasurama building stood for 150 odd years, houses have stood just along the same promenade for many years, all without disaster and death, no matter how much you try to conjure up false jeopardy to scaremonger with.

      Facts and evidence do not support your scaremongering Michael, and they never have, any more than I am terrified of being hit by a mobile crane when I go for a swim.

      Well there's a shock, as the environment agency whether they should get involved, and they say yes, what a shocker. That's like asking an insurance company whether you should tell them you hit your own car with a shopping trolly, whether you claim from them or not! It's called mortal fear of being sued by pedants with to much time on their hands, as is currently happening in Margate.

      Still struggling with the term anonymous i see. The law says one isn't required, history demonstrates none is required. a bookshop owner with an axe to grind claims one is required, I would agree with common sense and applicable law thanks Michael.

      I'm sure I have followers, who they are, who can say, no idea. Real world Micahel, there is no proof whatsoever that any risk exists at the site, and all the evidence points to there being no risk whatsoever.

    49. True I no longer live in Thanet, although I am only just up the road and visit several times a week, but I am amused to see this saga of FRAs and crane washing waves still going on. Correct me if I am wrong, but surely nothing is being built on the Pleasurama site, nothing has been for years and, by the look of things, nothing is going to be for a few more years yet, if ever. So what are you arguing about?

      Then we have anonymous commentators, who could be anybody anywhere, accusing a named commentator of not living locally, without a shred of proof, and coming up with silly names like Spamilton. Ha ha, ever so funny if you have a truly infantile sense of humour. Seem to recall a while back when John Holyer referred to one of these trolls as Anonymouse, said troll got his undies in a frightful twist.

      All in all the quality of debate does not improve and the silliness prevails.

    50. I don't know why it should make a difference to you, living just 2 or 3 miles across an invisible border. You probably live nearer to Thanet villages like Sarre and St. Nicholas than I do to Ramsgate. This is one thing I dislike about Thanet, the "island mentality", despite the fact that it isn't an island.

    51. Walking distance from the George & Dragon in Fordwich to be precise, Peter, enjoying the country walks and hostelries. You are right about it not making any difference to me, it doesn't, but I can still be amused by the infantile prattle from some and the flogging endlessly of the need for an FRA at Pleasurama. There is nothing there and nothing likely to be there in the foreseeable future so why fret about flood risks.

      Agree with you about the Thanet thing which is very much promoted by TDC to the detriment of the individuality of its towns. It either needs to go back to urban district councils for each town or to be absorbed into a greater unitary authority, say East Kent, where the Thanet image is lost in the greater area. Sadly Thanet has a poor image whereas many of its components parts are quite splendid places to live or visit.

    52. I know that pub well, often stop there during my cycle rides on a hot summer's day for a cold pint of shandy.

      I've also lived in both Herne Bay and on the Isle of Sheppey (Warden Bay), and Thanet has a mentality much closer to Sheppey. For example, how many people in Thanet even know about the excellent annual steam fair in Preston, which is just 2 or 3 miles across the Thanet border at Pluck's Gutter. I agree, let's just call it all East Kent.

    53. If I may join in, I do think the island mentality has improved a bit over the years, possibly with the influx of DFLs, and certainly our local cadets often take part in the Preston Steam Rally. When I was at school in Ramsgate I had several boys in my class who had never been to London and one who had never been to Margate. Think we may have moved on from then. Being an air force kid who had lived all over the place in my early childhood, I did not have island mentality and regularly cycled to Sturry, even as far as Sevenoaks once, and generally preferred to be out where there were trees and woods as opposed to cabbage fields.

    54. Of course, as a government regulator, TDC have no option but to consider the views of the Environment Agency. They actually have some authority on the issue, unlilke Hamilton. If they say that the sea level is likely to rise and the FRA is necessary, it'd be pretty bone-headed to not do it.

      Given that insurance companies take their lead from recommendations about flood risk from the EA, you'd think a sensible developer would also want to take heed. Of course, if they want to build property quickly and then find that they're impossible to insure, then they may well want to pick a pointless fight with the only government agency who has a brief on the issue.

    55. William, I generally cycle (or walk) in places outside of Thanet for the same reason.

    56. Joe, there we were moving on to pleasant things like the Preston Steam Rally, woodland and country pubs and up you spring with the FRA again. Correct me if I am wrong, but nothing is being built nor is it likely to be for some time to come. As and when a developer finally starts building again, then would be the time for such considerations. As it stands, with nothing happening and nobody earning so much as a crust out of the site, who would be even prepared to pay for an assessment?

    57. I certainly believe it makes no sense to talk about individual towns (and their economies) in Thanet in isolation, given that they clearly share so many services and are so close together. I think the island mentality is very stark and obvious even amongst the group who are often called DfLs - who at times like to refer to the 'Margate economy' and are known to try to persuade (for example) a trader they like to move from Ramsgate/Broadstairs to Margate.

      But then I think some of these aforementioned DfL people have busy jobs (in London) and can't drive, which must restrict how much of the Isle they can explore. At the time time I absolutely believe that new people to the area are a good thing (for the economy and everything else) - just that this attitude is somewhat short-sighted.

      I'm not so sure about the rest of East Kent, given it is quite different outside of Thanet. I'm not sure how well it would work to try to manage an area of such difference. But William and Peter are right, although we've enjoyed visits to Pluck's Gutter (nice pub there), the nature reserves at Sturry, the Preston steam fair, St Margarets Bay and elsewhere, this doesn't seem to interest many from Thanet.

    58. William, I agree it does seem a rather academic point given the state of the project. But just to say that the EA advice can be ignored seems spectacularly bad advice.

    59. Allan,

      One of the anonymice reported me to the Isle Of Thanet Gazette, as a result this mighty organ accused me of single handedly contaminating the Thanet blogging scene. I spoke to the editor about it. I still don't know why. I came to the conclusion that I was making too much of the whole thing. I did not know the name of the anonymouse and he only knew it himself because it was written on a label tied around his neck.

      In my view, Thanet is wonderful place in which to spend one's childhood and not so bad for retirement, but in the intervening years it can drag you down.

      My personal preference would be for a unitary authority administered from Canterbury

      In my view TDC does not serve us well, for a variety of reasons.

    60. Can someone explain to me why an East Kent authority would be better? Is the suggestion it should be a unitary authority like Medway? How well does that work?

    61. Joe, agree with you on the shared services, but then that goes much wider than Thanet these days with the East Kent Health Authority running our medical services and KCC having responsibility for most of our schools. It is the promotion of Thanet as a place by TDC I object to, almost as though it were a single resort, rather than the very individual attractions of its component towns and villages. Broadstairs is very much a place that has tended to do its own thing and promote itself, remaining a fairly flourishing tourist attraction in the process and even rated in a Times survey as the best place in England to live by the sea.

      Ramsgate I feel would do far better, having much to offer, if it became more self promoting and less TDC dependent.

    62. Joe, I had already written the above when I saw you question at 10:13. I suppose the problem is that TDC does not work, leastways in the view of the public, and so some look to a larger unitary authority as the solution. The government, however, with the localism legislation are looking to communities to take more interest and part in the running of their own affairs. You mention Medway and that is a bit like Thanet in a way, in that the identities of its components have been lost. You even get Medway seeking city status when Rochester, within it, is already a city.

    63. Things would work better and I would much prefer it if each of the towns ran its own affairs; but in the unlikely event of that happening then I would prefer a unitary authority under Canterbury. I do not wish to live in a pseudo town called thanet.

    64. I'm not quite sure why being unable to drive should restrict how much of Thanet people can explore. It's a relatively small place that can be easily walked or cycled across by the able bodied, and there's also several regular bus services and seven railway stations. Certainly it's far easier to explore than the Isle of Sheppey.

    65. Apologies here, I guess I have – on and off – over the last couple of weeks tried to address some of what I take to be loose toys in the attic comment.

      My interest is that intentional or otherwise it seems to mostly have an effect that is opposite to the one apparently intended.

      The aquifer man putting and various comments that may be Rick or may be someone pretending to be Rick, putting one off posting about local pollution issues.

      John Hamilton taking up this devils advocate position on Pleasurama which really only seems to draw attention to issues that he seems to be saying are non-issues.

      I guess the various approaches to trying to adjusting local government, Ramsgate Town Council, elected mayor of Thanet, unitary authority, pretty much all stem from either TDC being dysfunctional or perceived as being dysfunctional.

      On the whole I would say that things seemed to work best when each of the towns were governed separately i.e. before the formation of TDC. I guess the perception is something like; local government attracts a few villains, a few climbers on the kudos, a few take the allowances and hide and not enough people genuinely trying to improve the lot of locals and if you are going to have the villains, allowance spongers and so on it is better to have your own rather than someone else’s. Not very well expressed I know due to multitasking.

    66. Understood though, Michael, and I am with you. Yet again I quote Broadstairs which, prior to TDC had the Broadstairs and St Peters UDC and this became a town (parish) council when district was formed. That continuance, albeit with reduced responsibilities, has served the town well. Our neighbours did not have that benefit. Margate council more or less becoming TDC in the same location and Ramsgate having nothing other than rule from Margate until quite recent times.

    67. When was TDC created? Does it not have more responsibilities than the pre-TDC local town authorities? Is there any model of small local towns running their own district authorities in this way (the only one I can think of is Rutland, but I'm pretty sure that is Thanet-sized rather than Ramsgate-sized). It seems a return to that kind of model is pretty unlikely.

      Prior to moving to Thanet (for work at Pfizer), we lived in a British city which is geographically a similar size to Thanet and the idea of considering areas within it as different places was widely seen as a total nonsense. Thanet has a much smaller population, even so I believe that it is really a 'city' with suburbs called the different towns.

    68. The Localism Act very much takes us back to the idea of smaller councils, Joe, and Thanet is not and never was a city. Michael will no doubt tell us when TDC was formed but it was not that long ago, about in the 80s I think, and the trouble was that the new district council set up in the offices of the old Margate UDC, Ramsgate lost its own council whilst Broadstairs and Birchington retained town or parish councils in their own right. As a result, Ramsgate folk have perceived TDC to be pro-Margate. This led to the forming of a Ramsgate Town Council just a few years ago, but that is still finding its feet and voice.

      It is possible now that the reputation of Thanet District Council has become so tarnished, externally as well as internally, that a move to something different is becoming more essential than just desirable. Whether that is a larger unitary, smaller local councils or an elected mayor system is the question and views vary.

    69. PS Thanks for that info, Peter.

    70. Yes I know Thanet is not a city. My point is that it is a defined area with shared services, hence trying to talk about individual places within it in isolation are as silly as talking about individual suburbs in a city.

    71. Meanwhile, my bins weren't emptied during today's refuse collection though all of our neighbours' bins were. Proof yet again how shoddy some of their services are. I've emailed them, and no doubt they'll send a cart around specially in a day or two, but how much extra does that cost them instead of doing the job properly in the first place? Grrrr....

    72. Wiliam Peter May 1973 The council was created from Margate Municipal Borough, Ramsgate Municipal Borough, Broadstairs & St Peters Urban District and parts of Eatry Rural District. The Conservative Party won control of Thanet District Council with a total of 33 seats, the Labour Party taking 14 seats, Liberals 5 seats, and there was eleven Independent candidates elected.

      I guess the question that comes to mind is why does Ramsgate seemed to have fared so badly and I would say particularly badly during the period from 2003 to 2011 under Conservative control. The motor museum closing in 2006, model village in 2007, the Pavillion, Albion House, Eagle Café, maritime museum, pretty much all council owned and to cap it all the failure to sort out the Labour inspired Pleasurama disaster when they had the chance in 2009.

      I am not saying that Labour are doing things particularly well but we have seen some openings and the likelihood of further openings under the two and a half years of Labour.

      In a general sense I would say that the TDC Conservative group, who I guess mostly lost control over the council over another Ramsgate issue, night flights don’t seem to be doing that much to convince us that the disastering of Ramsgate wouldn’t continue if the regained power. On the other side of the coin Broadstairs and Margate don’t seem to be faring noticeably worse under Labour control.

      In fact I would say the biggest disaster under the present Labour lot is Port Ramsgate, but although the issue of the ferry money pops up occasionally, the truth of the matter is that although The Sally Line did noticeably benefit Ramsgate as did Hoverlloyd, Transeuropa didn’t really seem to make any noticeable difference to the town’s prosperity. And while people may want to pick over the financials it is the benefit the town derives from local government or harm that is noticeably attributable to local government that is really noticeable.

    73. A quick google tells me it was actually April Fool's Day, 1974:

      "Thanet is a local government district of Kent, England which was formed under the Local Government Act 1972, and came into being on 1 April 1974. The Isle of Thanet makes up the major part of the District."

    74. I can see the attraction of it being a sort of bad joke Peter, my understanding is that TDC was formed in 1973 the election being held in May of that year I believe it was at the beginning of April of 1974 that the previous councils formally ceased to exist.

      I guess the thing I didn’t really make clear in my previous comment is that while we do seem to be doing better than usual over the last two and a half years this isn’t really Labour control at TDC, but no overall control.

      History will mark this period down in that way and I do wonder if it is this no overall control that is to some extent responsible for the improvement. Certainly I think the Pleasurama disaster has to some extent moved forward because of the publicity afforded to it by Ian Driver. I do wonder if either the Labour or Conservative group had a working majority whether there would be so much imperative to resolve some of the most unpalatable issues. I don’t see any members of either group putting their hands up and saying we screwed it up and yet it think they probably did.

    75. Oh how I love your impartiality, Michael. You make no mention of the issues trouble many of your town folk and contributors to this site over secrecy, lack of transparency and arrogant dismissal of public concerns. Add a failure to take on board that they are in fact a minority administration propped up by a couple of bought votes, and this is not exactly a shining example of good local governance.

      Those who regularly attend meetings will tell you how they have deteriorated under this administration with little sign of any attempt at true cross party co-operation. Lecturing and shouting down are now very much the order of the day with frequent digressions in Labour dogma on national rather than local issues. True the last Conservative administration under Sandy Ezekiel did not exactly cover itself in glory, but was it really worse than the nonsense that passes for governance now. Apart from diehard Labour voters you could well be the only person who thinks so, Michael.

    76. William I pursued the transparency issue under the previous Conservative administration and thought I was pursuing it under this one, I would say that the biggest mistake the post Ezekiel Conservative administration made was they failed to act immediately and decisively on transparency and were reluctant to heavily criticise the Ezekiel administration, continuing I guess in the hope he would get off, don’t know really.

      As you so rightly say it is the lack of transparency and failure to take on the views of the independent standards members that is a big mistake of this administration and may lead to their downfall in terms of ever gaining a working majority.

    77. It does all lead back to the Standards report about the perception of people, it may not be reality but to many the reality is not what matters. There are moves afoot in Ramsgate to get people involved in Ramsgate future and in a way that really makes a difference. Neighbourhood planning part of localisation. Come and look on Facebook and on blogging

    78. Just take your tranquillisers and go back to sleep, 7:04.

    79. Yes the Ezekiel and Bayford regimes were much worse than Hart with blatant corruption. Alt least Hart and Everitt only cover it up now.

    80. Hart hasn't done anything about EKO or the Manston monitors now also removed under Gloag.

    81. anon 7:27 the labour cabinet is bigger than those 2 why have you singled them out in particular?

    82. The Pleasurama Flats are 6metres above the sea would have to be a blooming high tide

  7. This must have played havoc with all the paving near Pleasurama.
    You know, the paving that Michael insisted with absolute certainty a couple of years back would somehow break loose and fly about in a storm or surge and viciously maim innocent, helpless people, ruin businesses and bring about the end of Western civilisation.

    1. dunno maybe get off your a**e and go have a look. Or are you waiting for pictures. Some people are so lazy

  8. 12.05, 11.44, I think the point you have missed by commenting without reading the post is that on occasions the sea has spring tides and large waves, the potential wave height explained in the post.

    So you have these tidal surges which we had on Friday, they add up to about 1.5 to 2 metres onto the high tide level, in the spring you have spring tides, which add on about 1.5 metres and sometimes you have big waves.

    Friday we one of these phenomena, a tidal surge, there isn’t any reason that two or possibly all three can’t happen at the same time.

    Then there is the additional feature of rising sea levels, the rules of thumb here, the building is expected to last 100 years and expected se level rises by then are between 1.5 and 2 metres.

    1. Michael the Royal Sands apartments are 6 metres above the sea level

    2. Anon which sea level are you are taking about here Chart Datum or Ordinance datum and how high above either of these level do you think a normal high tide would be? I only ask this because I thought it was higher than 6 metres.

  9. religion for politicians or not

  10. If the Tories choose this guy to fight for Thanet South then Will Scobie will almost certainly win:

    A big mistake when immigration is such a key issue for many (not that it is for me).

    1. Peter,

      The fact that he is a Sikh is a plus in my book. I admire the Sikhs. Please do not ask me why, unless you wish to be bored with stories of my time in Malaya and India.

    2. Why would Will win? He's done nothing and has only been nominated because his Dad is a councillor.

    3. Makes no difference to me either way John.

    4. Not sure all Jap POWs would agree with you, John, but that's another story.

    5. Are you saying he would be a poor choice William?

      Of course, I personally won't be voting for either him or Will.

    6. No, Peter, I do not know anything about the chap though I assume, in the usual way, people on the candidates list will apply to be considered and the local party executive will choose from those. There is usually some democracy about it rather than someone just being put up for the candidacy on family connections.

      My comment to John was in response to his generalisation of persons by group or religion and made reference to a situation which existed on some POW camps in the Far East during WWII.

    7. William.

      I was generalising chiefly from personal experience and do not include those very few Indian nationals that fought on the side of the Japanese during WWII. On balance the Sikhs and the British got on and fought well together throughout our 89 year Raj and the 200 years before before. I will admit to being a little starry eyed where this subject is concerned. When I was in India I often felt that I had arrived 150 years too late. I also admire the Gurkhas.

    8. I was not talking about Indians who fought for the Japs, John, but I do agree that most Sikhs served our side well in WWII. The Gurkhas, of course, continue to do so.

    9. Will would be a poor choice because he has simply done nothing and been fastracked through the Mayor etc titles by his father the TDC councillor and to lend a veneer of credibility to his MP campaign. What has he done? He has been silent on every major Thanet issue and I feel uncomfortable with him, his father and girlfriend all in the same party in council. Family members should be limited/banned.

    10. Anon you need to get out more Will was very eloquent when he appeared at the Red Hall debate

    11. Unpleasant 8:11, I suppose your daddy did nothing for you! Will is quite a nice young chap really, bit sixth form debating society, slightly prattish and needs to change his tailor, but otherwise well versed in Labour rhetoric.

    12. Anon,

      Ouch! poor Will. But you are spot on.

    13. If only John Holyer was up to sixth form debating standard instead of his usual idiotic one liners.

    14. Anon 8:14 pm,

      I rarely use one liners but I will make an exception in your case. When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you.

  11. Michael, you might be interested to see the flood risk maps that the Environment Agency released today. I've cut out the section which shows Ramsgate here.


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