Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The Selfish Crocodile at Nice things in Ramsgate, some pictures of the Pleasurama site and some sort of ramble about reflections and stuff.

An old print of Ramsgate so first a description for those who don’t quite follow what they are seeing.
Sorry if it bores those who know.  

My guess would be, if it was today, the artist is standing on the harbour wall by the slipways looking
towards Wetherspoons, he would have - back in the day - drawn a sketch which would have been
used to engrave or etch a printing plate.

You can’t see Wetherspoons because it wasn't there then, the building, The Royal Victoria Pavilion,
wasn’t built until 1903, so the artist was standing there before then, then.

There are two conspicuous arches along the horizontal middle of the picture. The one on the right
is the entrance to The Ramsgate Tunnels now, but back when the picture was drawn the entrance
to a main line railway tunnel. The one on the left, most recently the biggest part of the Pleasurama
Amusements, (called the main hall, back in the day, or at least one of the days) this burnt down
about 20 years ago. At that time it was empty awaiting conversion into a designer outlet by the
then leaseholder Mr Godden.

Back when the drawing was drawn it was one of Ramsgate’s mainline railway stations, meaning
you could get a train from London which arrived right by the main sands. Competition between
towns and railway companies back in the day was very tough.

Anyway as we know this the second of Ramsgate’s railway stations was built in 1860, we know
the picture was drawn after 1860, or it wouldn't be init.

If you zoom in on the picture by clicking on it a bit you can see the Punch and Judy, acrobats,
chairs (before the introduction of the deckchair on the beach)

A lot of people tell me that they date pictures from the 1800s by the ladies clothes and hats

I have quite a bit of difficulty with this one.

Obviously you can see Wellington Crescent and on the right of it Wellington house, but these
developments date from the 1820s the result of the first reliable paddle steamer service which
started in 1815.

As you can see none of this really helps, so like most end dates, it’s what you can’t see that
helps and in this case it’s the Granville, the eight large houses that later became The
Granville Hotel were built in 1867.

So I think the picture is between 1860 and 1867.

One difficulty with pictures behind glass is the reflection and you can see a bit on this one.

Recently I have been having difficulty photographing the art exhibition in Nice Things
in Harbour Street Ramsgate, yes there were quite a few reflections from the glass,
but the main problem was that most of my pictures were out of focus. I have now realised
that the distance sensor on my mobile phone’s camera was focusing on the reflection,
so slightly better results.

The exhibition there at the moment relates to the book The Selfish Crocodile illustrated
by Michael and written by Faustin Charles and well worth a look.

On to the Pleasurama site today
As you see the mountain is pretty much moved, rumour as to what is going on abounds on social

My own take is still that building to the approved plans would be difficult and after built the
apartments would be difficult to get insurance for or to raise a loan on. This is mainly because
this is a high risk flood zone and the planing consent doesn't have a flood risk assessment.

The practical side of building so close to the cliff also has issues. I think the best we can hope
for is that the rumour saying the bit where the mountain was will be tarmacked and used for
a funfair.
On the bookshop front, one area of near desperation is new authors looking for support from
independent bookshops. Back in the day, perhaps real shopping our main shop was Stevenage
Bookshop and my father in particular a tremendous supporter of signing sessions etc meant
that we did lots of this.

Here in Ramsgate we do manage to have what is fast becoming one of the last viable bookshops
in Kent. My meaning of viable is that the range and quality of the books has to be high and the
prices have to compete, particularly with online prices. However the downside of this is no
signing or meet the author sessions, I just can't think of a way of doing this in what is
predominately a secondhand bookshop.

At the moment it is just impossible to sell the majority of books for more than £2.50 and on the
other side of the coin with a publisher supporting some sort of author event, it is highly unlikely
I would be able to buy the books for a trade price as low as £2.50.

Something I really don't understand is why our town centres are's brisling with boutiques and
independent clothes shops, the trade side of the rag trade seems to be very strong and prices
don't seem to be very high.

On the whole when they open they seem to fail fairly soon.

The last time we had a funfair on the pleasurama site was in August 2007 here are the links
to the pictures I took of it.

Here is the video footage which may be a bit like watching paint dry

Sorry about the word wrap not working when I put the post up, incompatibility between Google Drive Docs and Google Blogger, one of the more difficult computing periods this year

The digger has now gone from the Pleasurama site, here is the link to the photos on my camera card for the last couple of days, pretty average stuff

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Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.