Friday 31 March 2017

Just because I’m paranoid it doesn’t mean they’re not warped and some local history.

Like Pink, I have grown more curious. Recently considering the presidential situation in America and the possible prophetic:-

Mother should I build the wall?
Mother should I run for president?
Mother should I trust the government?

Anyway today I received the initial bumph that should culminate in my voting in the county council election, but will it be a free and fair election? This isn’t a question that would have occurred to me until relatively recently, however the last elections here were for:- members of parliament, district councillors and town councillors, all at the same time, since these elections it seems all three main parties, IKIP, Labour and Conservatives not only fiddled their election expenses, but in terms of the result appear to have got away with it.

Now it seems that the bbc are saying that the Russians may have also been involved, see it would seem the Russians may. What? Want to break up the EU, I don’t know really, motives in politics are often a bit of a grey area and perhaps it is necessary for something to be broken up sometimes, so politics can do. What? I suppose evolve is the most likely word that comes to mind.

Here in, or is that on? The Isle of Thanet, we have the only UKIP council, but in terms of votes, a reasonably, close run thing, is it perhaps possible that TDC’s leadership and even the administration’s politics may have been influenced by Mother Russia.   

Today’s local pictures to consider over the weekend, some you may feel that you want to put a name, place, reason, explanation or even an excuse to them.   

Thursday 30 March 2017

Old pictures, Yarrow Broadstairs, Tram Accident Ramsgate, Building Arlington in Margate and a better view of our Cathedral, some sort of ramble.

So [Thanet College] East Kent College’s Yarrow Hotel when it was The Yarrow Hospital for Children.

The tram accident Bellevue Road Ramsgate

Building Arlington House Margate and Dreamland Cinema 

My bookshop was closed today as it’s Thursday and my book buying mission to Herne Bay and Canterbury was all done midday, as I am filling my sketchbook up with watercolours of the cathedral, I thought I ought to find a decent view of most of the outside of it.

Back in the 1960s when I was learning to be a mechanic, I used to go into Canterbury almost every time I downed my tool. If you sat outside McDonald’s – metaphorically as McDonalds hadn’t been invented here/then – you got this luverly/bootiful view of Canterbury Cathedral. Well back then it was called Durovernum Cantiacorum Cathedra.

Now of course I have passed thought the various middle ages and lots of mediaeval buildings have appeared in Cantwareburh sorry slip of the wosisname there, Canterbury. While I am sure that in principle it’s good idea, they don’t arf block out the view of the cathedral.

Then I thought of Canterbury’s famous Chris

Behold the view.  Oh and the view of our latest books too

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Wantsum Thanet Island Maps

 I think this first map of Thanet was an attempt made about 300 years ago to portray Thanet as an island around 600 years ago
 This map of Thanet was made for Thomas Elmham's Historia Monasterii S Augustini Cantuariensis click here to read it, I was done in around 1400 when people had no idea how to draw maps, Thanet was probably still an island and the book is written in latin.
 This map was published in the early 1800s and while it wasn't intended to be a map of Thanet as an island, all of the low ground is shaded so it gives you some idea of what shape Thanet may have been.
This one was drawn by me a few years ago when I knew less about local history than I think I do now, if I drew it now I would put in the Stonar Spit which is a sandbank running south of Ebbsfleet that had the town of Stonar on the end of it.

Update from the rolls of 1392:- Commission of oyer and terminer to Arnald Savage, William Rikill, William Makenade, Nicholas atte Crouche, Stephen Bettenham, William Elys, William Berton and William Titecombe, on information that inhabitants of the isle of Thanet having lands and houses therein are continually leaving it, and that the turreted walls both upon and below the cliff of the island, as well as certain dykes formerly constructed there for defence against hostile attacks, are weak and in ruins, while divers persons who are bound to repair the causeways of the ferry on either side of the water of Serre and to find and maintain boats and other vessels for the passage and carriage of men and animals have long neglected to do so. They are to examine the condition of the island in all these respects and enquire who are bound to find boats and vessels, repair the causeways and walls and cleanse the dykes, and compel them thereto and to stay in the island or find others in their place for its defence.

Patricia Bentley at York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

Patricia Bentley exhibition runs from 29th Mar to 5th Apr -

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Witches and the Occult in Thanet: Church and Bookshop

In the parish church St Mary The Virgin at Minster-in-Thanet is what I recon is the oldest known depiction of a witch on a broomstick. In this instance they “got the carver’s name” so the carvings are datable, to between 1410 and 1419.

Either this is a carving of a witch, with his or her familiars riding on a broomstick, or a carving of a senior citizen dealing with some sort of difficult personal problem, using a stick of some sort, while his or her pets look on. 

Before I was a shop assistant I was a mechanic of sorts, so I am not really qualified to issue opinions in the area of this type of wosisname, however, as the other related carvings show demons and the like, see I’m going with this interpretation. You gentle reader, doubtless don’t necessarily feel what I feel, so I will leave the analysis up to you.

Now in the world of mechanics, you may think that everything is much more straightforward than in the occult world, but at the cutting edge, if you think you understand it; the best senior mechanics can come up with, is:- “You are either crazy or lying.”

When it comes to the spiritual world, I am an Anglican, this roughly equates to while other denominations probably pray for god to appear on a cloud and perform a miracle, I am just pleased not to have been struck by a thunderbolt.

Anyway at the end of last week I bought a fairly large collection of books on the subject of. What? Well when a customer comes into the bookshop and says. “Where’s your unexplained?” It’s. That type of kidney.

The thing with these books is, that in a bookshop most books seem to breed, so if I leave a pile of books say on quantum theory on my desk overnight, in the morning I often have a bigger pile. It’s a little know fact that book cases were invented to help try and prevent this from happening, the misunderstanding that they are only for book storage can lead to complications.

Sorry I digress, the thing with this book collection is that it seems to be shrinking, pile them up at night and in the morning the piles are noticeably shorter. Anyway the pictures of the witchy books are starting to appear on my bookshop’s blog, at   

Monday 27 March 2017

The New Ramsgate Guide for 1867 by J Bear

Using this type of guide, if you are interested in local history, doesn’t always work out quite how you think it will. A read of the guide or just coming into my bookshop in Ramsgate and having a good old browse of it forms different picture to reading a history book. If you, for instance read Charles Busson’s “The Book of Ramsgate” which was published in 1985 and is a good history of Ramsgate, one thing you unlikely to get is a picture of Ramsgate in 1985. Of course back in 1985, Pleasurama was still running, Ramsgate had a busy town centre and I think most people assumed then – only 32 years ago – that Ramsgate would still be pretty much the same. Guide books are different to history books inasmuch as they tend to a slightly rose tinted view of the now back then.

Often it’s the advertisements that tell us a great deal, however be careful about the addresses, as some of the street numbering and some of the street names have changed since 1867. Before getting too committed about this I strongly recommend coming into the bookshops and carefully working you way back through the street directories while keeping a weather eye on the 1872 map of Ramsgate on the wall next to the directories, so you don’t wind up venerating the wrong building.

On the supply front I usually have copes of Charlie Busson’s book in stock and in various conditions at various prices, with Bear’s guide a good browse in the bookshop and as a last resort, if you can’t get to my bookshop you can do an online thingy here or just message me or say something in the comments, all depending on how your ITC skills stack up.