Sunday 29 June 2014

Margate today

 I hope the pictures tell most of the story

Saturday 28 June 2014

Two new shops in Ramsgate High Street.

These two are both worth a look in terms of decorative objects for the home.

So here are some photos of Island Vintage.

And here are some more photos of So Last Century.

Friday 27 June 2014

Mostly a bookshop First World War and aviation ramble and an artistic failure in Broadstairs.

This photo shows the books I bought yesterday for stock in my bookshop, with the various centenary dates coming up for WW1 I am trying to build up a bit of stock in this area.

I was pleased to get some WW1 aviation books as these mostly fall into the hard to find category.

You would think that with the expansion of the what’s on the internet about both aviation and WW1 there wouldn’t really be any need for paper books on the subject at all. In practice however if you try to learn about specialist aspects of WW1 the book remains an important resource and the only difference between studying the subject now and studying it twenty years ago, when there was very little internet content and few of us had internet access, is that the internet becomes an added resource.

I had been reading quite a bit of WW1 related fiction, which has spurred something of a personal interest, so it is useful to have a fairly comprehensive stock of books on the subject.   

On to the artistic failure in Broadstairs, my excuse here is that when I sat down there were clouds between me and the sun and as the thinned out or went away I got progressively hotter.

I suppose the sky came out fairly true to how the sky looked, but Bleak House, well once you have got the main roof line sloping in the wrong direction and one part of the building far too wide, there really is no way back with watercolour.

I am however persevering with putting the paint straight on without sketching the basic outlines in first, the slow improvement does produce some strange disasters.

The various news stories relating to the Dover ferries and are worth a look at, although I don’t see that anything that happens there at the moment could help Port Ramsgate.

On to the Manston Airport cpo, despite all of the massive amount of posts and comment about this, particularly on FaceBook there is very little that I reckon counts as new information.

So while I may have missed other things that do update the situation I think this FaceBook comment from the council’s leader Iris Johnston is worth copying here:

“Iris Johnston Jason TDC are very aware of the need for a viability study and have expert legal advice. Officers are progressing this. For a CP O the council must offer to buy, be turned down and then look to the viability of a purchase with a price determined by a third party ie land tribunal. The absolute need for a back to back agreement with a third part investor who has gone through all due diligence has been covered in many posts . I will see Mrs Gloag on 3rd July in London with Deputy Cllr Nicholson and two officers. Next day we will travel to Maidstone to see Paul Carter. Several other East Kent bodies have had my comments on the need for them to help and discuss. I am also following up on Cllr Clive Hart's request for the extension on the enterprise Zone. We have to produce a business case and this is under discussion,”

As is the case with facebook you will only be able to view content if you are friends with the right people, the following link may or may not work, but if the do should take you the whole exchange.

It is looking as though I have time to ramble on more, so what next?

The council say that they have now served some sort of notice on the Pleasurama site,-ramsgate/

What is says is:

“On Thursday 20 February, Cabinet members at Thanet District Council agreed to terminate the Royal Sands site (Ramsgate) development agreement, in line with the recommendations of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel.

The council wishes to confirm that pursuant to those recommendations formal notice has been served on the developer’s solicitors requiring them to correct a breach of contract.

Cabinet Member for Financial Services and Estates, Cllr Rick Everitt, said: “I’d like to offer my strongest assurances to residents that we are doing all we can to progress matters.

“I can appreciate the frustration when it appears that things are not progressing as quickly as anticipated. However, the council is working hard behind the scenes and has a dedicated team in place who are driving this forward.

“There are a number of complicated legal issues which we are continuing to work to resolve. This does mean that we need to take the time to ensure we get the process right. It also means that we won’t be able to provide any further detail at this stage – to do so would only undermine the strength of our legal position and that’s not something I’m willing to risk.

“What I can confirm is that the council is committed to ensuring this matter is resolved as quickly as possible."”

What I think it means is that the council have sent the developer’s solicitor a schedule at which various bits of work must be done on the site, with an ultimatum that is particular pieces of the development are not done by particular dates the developer will have breached the development agreement and the council will go to court to get the development agreement terminated.

This comes out of the way the various leases and agreements associated with the site were written, see so that there was no clearly defined date when the council could stop the thing if it all went wrong.   

Now on to blog comments, first my apologies for turning comments of altogether for a while, managing the blog from a mobile phone is a bit like flying a remote control helicopter, sometimes it flies into a tree.

Hostile comment hasn’t been too bad over the last couple of days, however I still seem to be getting comment from people who don’t seem to understand the nature of blogs or how it a appropriate to comment. 

Ah well shouldn't have said that, about 30 deleted troll comments later I am knocking off anonymous comments for a while.  

Thursday 26 June 2014

Andy Robertson at the York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

 Ramsgate artist Andy paints in oils.
An exhibition oil paintings including many subtle Nude studies and Dramatic Landscapes. The exhibition runs 25th June - 2nd July

Tuesday 24 June 2014

A ramble about phone batteries, Harbour Street in Ramsgate, The Ramsgate Society shop, clearing the Pavillion and anything else that comes to mind.

I have had some technological problems in the last few days, first it was my phone, some days perfectly ok and others the battery was discharging completely in about an hour and a half.

I think I have nailed this down to it being supplied with a travel charger that only delivered a trickle charge, it took nearly all night to charge and I didn’t give this much thought until the battery began discharging suddenly. I think what happened was that as the battery got older the phone didn’t register it charging properly because of the slow rate of charge. Essentially it thought the battery was full up when in fact it was nearly empty. A more powerful charger seems to have sorted the problem out.

Now it is the computer in my bookshop, blue screen and all that stuff.

The Ramsgate Society shop looks to be going to open in Harbour Street next week, my guess is that this will cost the society around £7,000 for a year in overheads, so they will need to sell some stuff to cover this.

Harbour Street never seemed to recover from the closure of Lewis and Hyland and Timothy Whites, I think this is mostly down to parking and changing parking rules and facilities.  

Cafés don’t seem to do well in Harbour Street I would think because of the proximity of Harbour Parade with the better view.

Parking for shopping in Ramsgate seems mostly to happen either in the supermarket car parks or Staffordshire Street car park, a lot of people avoid the multi-storey because it is unpleasant and unpredictable.    

I don’t think any of the women I know will park in it if they are alone in the car, and this means most of the surviving shops are huddled around Staffordshire Street and Waitrose.

Various levels of government will do everything the can to encourage the use of public transport, bicycles and walking but most of my customers still come to my bookshop by car.

And now I guess the local councils will do anything they can to spread the shops away from the car parks, but I can’t see anything much in the way of shopping happening beyond the top of Harbour Street.

Ramsgate Revival is Harbour Street’s latest victim, what does seem to work there are phone shops.

There was one of the very largest cherry pickers in Harbour Parade today. 

Work seems to have started on clearing The Royal Victoria Pavillion, presumably in preparation to it becoming the largest pub on earth, I wonder what happened to the public consultation process.