Wednesday 30 November 2016

Photo of the steam tug Cervia working at Gravesend

As I guess most readers know this is the tug that is now in Ramsgate Harbour that you can take a tour of in the summer months. I came across this picture of her at work in Gravesend during my daily toil in mybookshop and thought it interesting enough to post here.

Cervia has a bit of a chequered history, which includes turning turtle and drowning the crew so an interesting boat which I have blogged about on numerous occasions, here is the link to some of my old posts about her

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Truro Court Hotel Ramsgate and the mystery tunnel

I received this email from Ben yesterday’

“I haven’t heard of this tunnel – has anybody else?


East Kent Times, 9th March 1962.


During demolition of the Truro Court Hotel, East Cliff, Ramsgate, three men working on the site uncovered an old tunnel which, they believe, goes down to the cliff face.

David Ralph, Allan Bellis and Frank Bovington took an East Kent Times and Broadstairs Mail reporter into the tunnel, which descends at an acute angle to about 60ft below the surface of Ramsgate.  Their journey ended in a room roughly hewn in the chalk.  Below that was barbed wire and a brick wall.

Mr, Bellis said he believes the tunnel was used as an air raid shelter by the R.A.F when they used the hotel in World War II.  Before that it could have been a smugglers’ entrance from the sea.

Although he has made several inquiries, Mr. Bellis can find no one who knows anything about the tunnels.”

Anyway I don’t know the  answer to this one but I thought blog readers would like to know what I have done about it so far.

First I quickly copied all the photos showing the area in the album next to my desk.

They come next and will expand if clicked on

Next as a minor divertion i copied the backs of any with writing on the back

Then I  cropped out the bit where Truro Court was

then I found a few few pictures on the internet, here they are

Now my own thoughts. First an embarrassing admission. For years I confused Trove Court in Ramsgate with Truro Court in Ramsgate.

When  I dfl’d in around 1965 we bought a guest house “The Kyles” at 29 Augusta road  the back entrance of which was right next to the remains of Truro Court Hotel, we used to use this as a short cut from our back gate to Wellington  Crescent.

For a very long time when someone said either Trove Court in Ramsgate or Truro Court in Ramsgate I thought they meant our shortcut.

This means my memories of whet people may have said about it are even more muddled than usual.

Then the practicalities of the tunnel, the inference from the smuggling is a tunnel towards the sea. The problem is that that would go through the railway tunnel Augusta steps or the HMS Fervent tunnel system.

1872 map

1849 map

Wellington Lodge and Augusta Lodge

1829 map

Sunday 27 November 2016

Some old pictures of Ramsgate and some thoughts about painting people in public places.

I have been busy decorating children’s bedrooms so haven’t had time for posting things to the internet, so apologies for the absences of stuff here.

I had to go to Canterbury on Saturday and stopped of for an hour for lunch at Chocolate Café I was going to get a seat upstairs and do some more to this picture of the cathedral framed in the window there but it was very busy, the only table I could get was in the window by the pavement by the bar where they make and serve the food from.

So here is a sketch of two of the waitresses, nothing like a photo but none the less the results are highly recognisable particularly to the individuals being drawn. A sort of mix up of different profiles of them as they move about within this area.

Being in the window and right by where customers come to pay the sketch had to be done with lots of people watching, which gave me some sort of adrenaline rush or something like that.

The sketch is a mixture of felt tip fine liner pen (Pitt XS) and watercolour, fairly quick – one hour to eat a hot sandwich, drink a pot of tea and do the sketch, about A5 size.

Generally a good step towards putting recognisable local people into my sketches of the area, I think – which is the direction that I want to go in painting wise. A tricky one as you never really know how – the victims, for want of a better word are going to react.

On the bookshop front, the books that went out on the shelves on Saturday, presumably representative of the books we would probably sell on an average November Saturday, over the counter here in Ramsgate, here is the link  

And Finally some more old pictures of Ramsgate

Saturday 26 November 2016

Lesley Gray at York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

The current exhibition is by Lesley Gray Exhibition -  23 Nov - 30 Nov Exhibitions change weekly on Wednesdays.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

The petrified haystack of Ramsgate

The local adults reading this will probably know what Charles Dickens said about Holy Trinity Church in Broadstairs, but for any children reading this it was "we have a church, a hideous temple of flint, like a petrified haystack." This was in around 1850 and I think Dickens wasn’t too keen on the napped flint, the church dates from about 1820 so would have been a modern building. I guess a bit like the people who say Turner Contemporary a shed.

Well now Ramsgate’s Pav looks like a petrified haystack, hideous though? I’m not quite sure, more of a photo opportunity I can’t think anyone would want to look at the rest of the photos on my phone taken when I went out this morning but here’s the link

Here is the link to the books that went out in my bookshop today for the dedicated followers of fiction

Sunday 20 November 2016

Some old photos of Ramsgate, some new photos of Canterbury and some boring stuff about my camera/phone.

Why would anyone take lots of pictures of the same place?

Behold today’s old Ramsgate pictures.

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday I was in Canterbury having my day off and when I got home doing a bit of painting and decorating, Sunday evening now any I have just stopped decorating one of our bedrooms.

About three weeks ago I bought cheap mobile phone an “OUKITEL K6000 Pro” these are about £130 on Ebay. I don’t have a phone contract and just have pay as you with a bit of internet as I mostly use wifi and don’t usually phone people up other than using Skype and WhatsApp.

If that sounded incompressible to you then stop reading this.

When I first got this phone I did a blog post about it see and I have used this phone as my main camera since then. I think it’s a very good phone – the main reason I bought it is because it has a very big battery which doesn’t go flat if I charge it for about an hour every couple of days.

With a folding blue tooth keyboard I can touch type in MS Word on my phone and write this blog, I have used my previous phone as a dummy here as as I took the photo with the new one.  

The camera in the new phone is pretty good and I have been having a dialogue with the manufacturer about improvements for the next software update to make it even better.

So as part of this I took some more photos of Canterbury to show them samples of what I am talking about, essentially they can download the pictures and see the camera settings.

(If you click on the download tab – open the image – three dots top right – download is on the dropdown. If you select more than one image and download them together the files will be compressed so the image quality may be lower. If you then find the image on your commuter – right click on it – select properties – the details tab will give you some camera settings. It will also give you the time I took the photos.)

So here is the link to all the photos I took yesterday, including the ones that went wrong

I wasn’t working in my bookshop yesterday, but the people who work there on Saturdays were, so here is the link to the books they put out on the selves