Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Ramsgate artist flees in terror form the big O

Sketching out and about I usually find that I am the only person doing it, and as this is something I do most days – although I have a free range as it were – I tend to be a bit out of it when drawing something. This means that I am a bit inclined to reply rather oddly when people talk to me, which they do quite a lot I think because I am engaged in an unusual activity.

The question I get asked the most, believe it or not, is. “Are you an artist?” I invariably answer. “No”. Which seems to sift out most of this group of people, inasmuch as they then seem satisfied and ignore me.

There is a whole, I used to sketch bunch, well I have been hanging around here on and off since the mid 60s and I never noticed them doing it.

The worst group, well really the only bad group are the ones that block my view, which stops me sketching, mostly white vans and the occasional drunk.

Here is this mornings, sketch, drawing, doodle or whatever you want to call it, from The Royal Oak in Ramsgate’s café culture, looking towards The Royal Temple Yacht Club.

All was going fairly well, as a proper artist would probably say, it was already in the paper/pen and all I had to do was reveal it, working from left to right I had just reached The Travel Lodge, thing cheap hotel, ghastly architecture, when the cherry picker turned up.

I didn’t really notice this, more it was that the sketch seemed to be struggling to be revealed from the sketch paper/pen, whatever it is that goes on when you draw. Slowly I sensed that there was more going on off scene than there ought to be.

I looked up and got this view, drew on a bit as is slowly dawned on that I was right under the big O of Oak, and if the neon tube from it fell, it would land, not so much on my head as in it.

Coward that I am, I proceeded to run away, the remains of my caffeine centre bottom     


  1. What was the Right Hon Edward Heath thing about when he agreed to open the hotel now called Travelodge. At lest the red bricks match some of the others in the area rather than it being just a concrete block. I stayed there when it was the Kent International, rooms, service and food were all good but the narrow corridors made it a very hot building without air con. I have also stayed at the Royal Oak and got woken up at 2am by a fire alarm. Not a great choice of hotels in Ramsgate, the new Albion House is very expensive. if it ever gets built maybe the new hotel on the Royal Sands will be a bonus.

  2. Dave consider Margate, even the brutalist Arlington, the clock tower, tudor house, C17 Flemish town houses, I one asked one of our local planning officers. “What is you favourite piece of architecture in Margate?” His reply. “The multi-storey car park.” Left me a bit lost for words for a mo, before I thought to ask him which one, if only to expand the conversation into some area I could grapple with; turned out he designed it.

    Granted Tesco/Wilkinson is nastier and the horrid car park smells of wee, you could try out whatever has become of The San Clu.

    Never encountered Edward Heath’s thing, sad to say I was an ugly youth.


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