Sunday, 17 August 2014

A quick Sunday ramble

I rather unwisely decided to get up early to go out and do some sketching this morning, it wasn’t like august at all, so cold and windy that it started falling off the page, so as you see I didn’t get far.

A couple of sheets of preliminary sketches for the revamp of Pier Yard have appeared on facebook and I have also put them above.

As with the revamp of the promenade, the coloured concrete to match Jimmy Godden’s designer outlet, the down side is that we lose more parking. My take is that there is a balance to be found between parking and pedestrianising things, so I hope they have got this one right.

Parking and motor vehicle wise we have two real disasters on the traffic planning front in Thanet, one being Turner Contemporary where hundreds of cars drive in, find they can’t park and drive out and the other being Harbour Parade in Ramsgate where the same thing happens.

I guess eventually that all of the traffic for the entire harbour area in Ramsgate will have to use the port access road and that Harbour Parade and Military Road will be pedestrianised, essential business use being the exception.  

The Pleasurama cliff façade is looking worse than ever, it seems inconceivable that the council spent nearly £1m on having this pointed and painted so recently.

Gifts Galore have moved into the end of the old Refectory.

We went to Plucks Gutter today for lunch at The Dog and Duck, so half a sketch.

Afterwards a walk by the river with the harvesting going on, then the rain shower started which wasn’t good for us or the harvest.


  1. Michael, no posts or comments for 3 days now. I have never seen your blog so quiet, it seems like your 2 remaining trolls have killed off any decent conversation and now there's no one left to troll they have also gone.
    I had seen the sketches that you put up of the revamp of Pier Yard before and thought it looked good. I wonder if it will ever be done as other projects looked like they would be completed years ago but they still lay unfinished. Ramsgate has so much potential with a long stretch of coast and many beautiful buildings with many volunteers that also want to see Ramsgate prosper. If this was London or many other places it would already be done and thriving by now. What or who do you think is to blame for this?

    1. Om the comment comes and goes mostly based on how controversial the issues are. I suppose that when it comes to comment I have to remove or not allow comment that obviously goes way outside of the comment guidelines. Most of this comment comes under the heading of spam, either straightforward commercial spam or spam where the intention to further some peculiar obsession, normally either political or aimed at damaging individuals.

      The rest of it which you call trolling, but I consider to be mostly learning to communicate in public is a tricky one. I started publishing to the internet around 1998 and frankly I am still on the learning curve, spelling, grammar but most of all trying to some useful content which is informative and entertaining and that is the really difficult bit.

    2. I think having your blog around is a good thing for anybody in Thanet. For once it is truly independent and very well researched as for spelling or punctuation I would't worry as long as people can read it, what does it matter, unless your one of these x English teachers who have nothing better to do than trawl though 100s of comments finding spelling mistakes then pointing them out and thinking that you look big and educated. When in real life they just look like sad old fool.

    3. If the point you make has been communicated and understood (understood is the important bit) then you have succeeded however if your post has not been understood or understood wrongly because of your style of grammar then the fault lies with the post.
      Many people misunderstand communication assuming what you post is readily understood without testing whether it has been understood.
      Arguments tend to happen when miscommunication occurs so always test how it has been received.
      It also is an obligation on the listener to respond in a way that shows the point has been understood such as " do you mean this or that?"
      However when dealing with a troll (whatever that means) its best not to acknowledge at all as they aren't interested in what you are trying to say they just want you to get annoyed.

    4. I test mine out on my children, which means I do occasionally add the odd difficult word, but am trying to stick to plain English, particularly during the school holidays.

      The spammers are getting very clever, leaving a mixture of innocent comment mixed with buy timeshare or councillor X is a gunslinger, terrorist and so on.

      What I think Om means by trolls are really not in the same league as the real and ansty troll comments I delete, my take is that there is a fair amount of comment which falls into the learning to communicate bracket. Much of it I would guess has the opposite to the intended affect. The recent airport debate being a case in point, where ill-informed pro airport comment seems to have done much more to set the don’t knows against the airport thank anything any informed airport sceptics have said. Just as the aquifer man put many of us off following up pollution concerns.

    5. The cost of parking doesn't help. 4 hours parking by the Cutty Sark in Greenwich £4.50, 4 hours parking by the queens head £8.
      Greenwich teeming with people Ramsgate like a Bucharest on a wet Monday night.

  2. Michael, I presume you meant nasty, not ansty? Ansty means anxious, fidgety, edgy, impatient, restless, worried, tense, jumpy, eager.

    I believe that it is important to get spelling and punctuation right. I use an online dictionary in another window in order to check spellings I'm not sure about, especially when dealing with homonyms. I was encouraged during my time at school, and in the armed forces, to use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. It meant the difference between passing or failing examinations. Sadly this appears to be no longer the case. My old English teacher would turn in his grave.

    And Purple Om, I have never been a teacher of any sort, x {sic} or otherwise.

  3. Michael I'm sorry but if you don't get rid of you trolls then no one will want to comment

  4. I see you have been told where to go on another blog. Perhaps you recognise the following comments?

    "Purple Om I think your debating skills may be better served elsewhere. I demand rather more from my readers."

    "PS. Simon thanks for treating Purple Om like the obvious troll that it is. He's already driven everyone away from at least one blog and it would be a shame to see the same thing happen here."

    This blog was returning to something like it should be following your conceding defeat last week, but you have reared your troll like head again and seem to be of the opinion that you are the only person entitled to make any comment, and anybody who dares to disagree with your very humble opinions are trolls.

  5. SEMBOB I removed my comments from Simon's blog because the person they were directed at had already read then. If I respected Simon or you, I would care what you write about me, but I don't. I try to stay out of your way never commenting on anything you say unless they are directed at me, but of late it seems as though when ever you comment its always about me I'm sorry to tell you I'm happily married and I think your to old and boring for me.
    So please leave me alone there's a old boring lonely sad chap :)

  6. Sembob I am somewhat confused especially as that blog is checked before any post is allowed to appear. If it were that bad why wasn't it just deleted without fanfare?

    1. Barry, you need to have read Purple Om's comment to appreciate the response. PO has since deleted his comments but basically they were along the lines of calling the blog author hypercritical [sic] for writing about the problem of boy racers in Westgate while supporting "Smelly dirty cargo planes" at Manston. Om seemed to think that the legal operation of aircraft was worse then cars hurtling through a 30 mph zone in excess of 70 mph.

      As to why they were allowed to appear, well you will have to ask the blog administrator, but while the comments were crass they were not offensive in their language.

    2. In a general sense on the comment front, I guess it depends what the individual commentator is trying to achieve.

      I will use the airport issue here, as an example, as it seems to be where the direction of comments is going.

      My assumption is that there are several groups of people in this issue, one group being those that are for any sort of airport activity at Manston, regardless of the economic and environmental downside, another group being those who are totally opposed to any aviation activity at Manston whatsoever, regardless of any economic or environmental benefits.

      I doubt that any members of these two groups could be persuaded to change their opinions, so comment directed at these two groups is pointless.

      My assumption is that comment about Manston must therefore be directed at the people who don’t fall into either of these groups, the don’t knows, those who are against night flights but supportive of the airport, those who are against a TDC cpo but supportive of the airport, those who are against a freight hub but would like an airport that they could fly from and so on.

      Now my feelings are that any cpo should be made by KCC and not TDC and no one has explained to me what is wrong about this point of view in any sense. I am concerned that given our already high levels of particulate pollution and the roughly 5 miles dispersion for fuel burn air pollution, that a freight hub would take the upwind parts of Thanet (Broadstairs to about Westgate going around the coast) over an acceptable level. The inevitable result of this would be that the EA would restrict operations before the airport reached profitability. Well the list goes on and there is a sense where a 747 freight movement burning a ton of avigas upwind of Westgate may be more harmful that boy racers, just as saying by racers would be less harmful that a properly run environmentally compliant airport, damages the case for opposing airport activity at any level.

      So from the point of persuading the undecided you may wish to ponder just whose comments would have what affect.

    3. Michael, I think you will find that AVGAS is used in aircraft that use spark ignition engines, i.e. similar to a petrol engine in a car. These are most likely to be small private aircraft. I can't think of any large aircraft in commercial use that use this type of fuel. Modern jets, and indeed the 747 will not use this type of fuel. I am not an aircraft engine expert and am prepared to be corrected. Nor am I clever enough to work out relative pollution levels of jet fuel v avgas. Boy racers on a domestic road travelling at 70 mph or more are a more immediate hazard and are breaking the law, whereas an aircraft, using the correct fuel for the engine type, are operating legally.

      My own view on Manston is that we were badly treated by Ms Gloag. Manston needs to have some form of aviation business, such as TG Aviation, and a passenger service such as KLM offered. Thes will not use the whole airfield and much can be made of unused land, but not houses. Unfortunately the Youtube feature from a Panorama programme about Thanet Bus and the tactics of Stagecoach in the demise of that company has been removed for copyright issues, but as I recall, Stagecoach put buses on the same route as Thanet bus, painted the same colour (white) as Thanet bus so that passengers could not tell which service they were using, and offering lower fares. This is my recollection of that video, and highlights the sort of business tactics used by Stagecoach owners, who now also own Manston. This was the link I wonder who's copyright was being infringed?

    4. My comment was justified, Simon was rightly complaining about the danger of someone driving at twice the speed limit but he was also complaining about the after market exhaust making a lot of noise, I just thought that's rich coming from someone who expects a town with 40,000 people to put up with screaming jet engines all day and probably the night as well.
      I wonder does anybody have a clue how many planes a day it would take to make Manston profitable taking into account the very large amount of investment?
      I am sure that if Manston gets an investor to put that sort of money in, then Ramsgate will become a sacrificial town compared to the financial progress of Thanet.

    5. SEMBOB I am truly humbled I don’t know whether Teach or College would be a better nom de plume for you.

      You are of course right 747s use "avi derv" fuel or “aviation diesel” which apart from bunker oil used in some ships it the greatest contributor to particulate air pollution.

      Unfortunately Sir Roger Gale appears to be promoting a freight only cargo hub run by RiverOak a firm that appears to have no connection with aviation and favours TDC mounting a cpo rather than KCC. All courses of action which to my mind have sealed Manston’s fate. Perhaps you have some alternate plan and would like to share it.

    6. The noise of a jet engine is greatest when taking off. When landing the noise is much less. The A380 airbus was considerably quieter than anything I have heard to date. Which is why I would support night landings but not take offs. And why not land from the West, especially in calm weather conditions? The noise of a car driven at speed, at night, is sudden, intolerable, and illegal. You could argue that if there is an airport don't be surprised if aircraft use it. You shouldn't expect noisy cars in a residential area.

      If I was a financial wizard I could work out what is needed to make Manston a viable prospect. Simon Moore makes the point that we have some of the finest flying schools in the world. The Chinese are to learn to fly at Rochester, a sort of China Gateway. Manston could also teach flying, again. TG Aviation did this. But let's do it on a larger scale. This has its downside because small aircraft doing circuits and bumps can be far more irritating than a cargo jet, wasps v eagles. (I found the noise of the Tucano RAF trainer intrusive when I was staying near Linton - On - Ouse earlier this year.) A regular service such as KLM provided and cargo aircraft operating within certain parameters regarding noise would also help. The advantage, often mentioned elsewhere is that Manston offers a direct approach, aircraft do not have to be in a stack as at Heathrow. And the Air Sea Rescue aircraft would be a net contributor too. It needs a mix of small aviation businesses, not one big one.

    7. Ah SEMBOB I take it from you deliberate misspelling of the names of Conservative politicians that you do not support the RiverOak cargo hub idea then.

    8. Ah SEMBOB I think you will find that it was you that introduced the “deliberate error rather than a typo” into this debate, obviously such tactics would be beyond the ken of a mere shop assistant, however I do find debating with my intellectual superiors, such as yourself, invigorating and appreciate your genuine efforts to correct my ineptitude.

      However once you have lifted us into this higher country of the mind where every decoding becomes another encoding, pardon the literary allusions here, I see no easy return.

      My a priori concept of your reasoning is running along the lines of; what I thought you commented is only a shell, a husk of meaning from which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled. If at all. Either you had no purpose. Or the purpose is beyond the end I figured and is altered in fulfilment.

    9. But first you must prove that it was a deliberate error Michael.

      Little Gidding is not a work with which I am familiar, not being a fan of T. S. Eliot, but thank you for drawing my attention to it.

      We shall not cease from exploration
      And the end of all our exploring
      Will be to arrive where we started
      And know the place for the first time.

      Peccavi, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    10. Ah SEMBOB once you have moved the goal posts in this way:

      “Still Even More Bemused Of BirchingtonAugust 19, 2014 3:20 pm
      Well done Purple Om, but you failed to spot my deliberate error rather than a typo. Who's instead of Whose. 11/10 for effort. And I distinctly heard my old English teacher make a turn.”

      One can only assume all your errors are deliberate, the alternative which would mean that your comments were a mixture of deliberate errors – intended to enhance the debate – and accidental errors which would, I expect, make it very difficult to arrive anywhere and would mean I would have to stay where I first started. SI Sembobus der digo fortebus es in aro usai dem nobus es demis trux.

    11. Methinks you try to read too much into my postings Michael. I am a simple soul who merely strives to get things right. That sadly doesn't always work, especially when making a long entry which exceeds the visible size of the entry box.

      Speaking of buses, Stagecoach included, I see that a rail replacement service is running today, at least between Westgate and Birchington. I saw one bus marked up as such, I expect the rest of them, 39, will be along later. What a pity Manston cannot provide an executive flight service into London City airport.

    12. Re Rail replacement service.

    13. As a reasonably reguar user of KLM, I will say that if half the people who signed the petition purchased tickets the airport would probably be a going concern, many a time there were more border agency/police/airport staff than passengers, like so many things in Thanet from Sally Line/EU jet & KLM, when there were £1 tickets or giveaways people would use them, but when a commercial price was asked for there was a a great intake of breath and "do you think i am made of money". So the port and Manston will stay closed and Dover & Gatwick et al will profit by their demise.

    14. Hi Bill. You make a good point. KLM was not a success because, on average, the planes were not even half full. I don't blame people for not using KLM. It is their choice. Maybe they don't have the money; maybe they prefer to spend their money down the club. But I do get angry when I hear people demanding that the airport is reopened. It wasn't viable because people weren't using it. Why should Ann Gloag subsidise something that will never make money? Riveroak have produced an outline of what they want to do. They want a giant freight depot that will give us the worst of all worlds. We'll get all of the noise and disruption and relatively few jobs. When you read their proposal there is nothing about investment, nothing about employment and nothing about the environmental impact. It's just a self-absorbed diatribe of what they want. Hopefully, the more analytical councillors will read it and realise that it's the same old stuff; nothing new and no reason to suppose it would be any more successful.

  7. Oh Lord. Comments on Ian Driver's blog could be an enlightening read for you PO. Michael's editorial criteria may even be illuminated a tad for you.

  8. SEMBOB you made a big thing on getting spelling right (see below) and how impeccable and flawless you are, but on each page of comments that you have mentioned this, you have made mistakes either you are blind or stupid to keep pointing out other peoples mistakes without making sure your comments are perfect, The fact is, that no one who comments on here meticulously checks what they have written, most of all me.
    Michael, I presume you meant nasty, not ansty? Ansty means anxious, fidgety, edgy, impatient, restless, worried, tense, jumpy, eager.

    I believe that it is important to get spelling and punctuation right. I use an online dictionary in another window in order to check spellings I'm not sure about, especially when dealing with homonyms. I was encouraged during my time at school, and in the armed forces, to use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. It meant the difference between passing or failing examinations. Sadly this appears to be no longer the case. My old English teacher would turn in his grave.

    I am sure you meant to say these but it looks as though you missed an e out
    Thes will not use the whole airfield and much can be made of unused land,

    1. Well done Purple Om, but you failed to spot my deliberate error rather than a typo. Who's instead of Whose. 11/10 for effort. And I distinctly heard my old English teacher make a turn.

      As you are so fond of pointing out Om I am of mature years. If you can spell and punctuate as well when you reach my age, about 70 years time judging by your child like reference to blindness and stupidity, then you will be doing well.

    2. If I have become half as bitter as you, please kill me now
      Why do some old people become like that?

  9. Getting back to Manston, I see that the Thanet gazette has done an piece on SMA supporters, how rude and intimidating they have been to anybody that doesn't agree with them. I half hope that after all this blows over, Ann Gloag starts finding who's behind these comments and takes them to court. I can think of one person that will have his a** handed to him on a plate. :)
    I have been trying to find out what an airport would charge per tonne of cargo but its quite complicated. So far the only charge I can find is $17 per tonne.Also there are charges for the whole plane so without knowing what planes will be used and what they hold its hard to know how many planes a day will have to land to make a profit. I would assume 100s a day even with that amount I still cant see how they would ever get their money back let alone make a profit.

  10. Purple Om, is this article in the current issue of the Gazette or in its online edition?

    1. All I can see is a photo of the article at the moment. I will try and find it and put up a link

    2. Came out on the 15th of August title is "the green ink comes out in airport debate"


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