Monday, 10 December 2018

Some thoughts about Christmas shopping and broken computers and a local government film

Don't worry there will be old local photos to look at and even perhaps a little bit of local history to read, but first I have to get over myself, head full of thoughts having had another go at Christmas shopping.

I got a grownup to mend the computers I managed to break last week, and having investigated some physical high street shopping in Canterbury, bought a bit of stuff, but my smartphone told me that a fair amount of what I had to buy would be a lot cheaper on the internet, I have been at it.

It's a strange thing that while the phone and the app functions enough to prevent me from buying things, it is only with either a computer or a tablet that I manage to find the best prices on the the big sites like Amazon And Ebay.

So one plastic non book item, fun to clip on your phone, I won't go in to details as it would blow the gaff for my family, was £12 in Watersones, about £6 on the Ebay app but came out a £1.50 on Ebay using my laptop. I think I could have done just as well with a tablet as I did with the laptop.

Or for me, well I have to fess up to doing a bit of DIY, mostly bookshelves. Back in the day this mostly involved trying to find the chuck key, now I have a keyless drill I spend most of the time looking for the smaller drill bits. If you buy one new it comes out around £1, cheaper per bit if you buy a set but I don't need the larger ones. Or 50 of the ones that get lost on Ebay for £3.29 i.e. about 7p each, Here is the link

Quality wise the feedback is OK and like everything else pretty much you can't tell till you try them.

Back in the day I mostly bought people media, books, records and occasionally films when the video tape came along.

If my children get media in the form of a c.d. then they come to me asking me to rip it convert it to mp3 files and send it to their phones. I think Father Christmas may be sharing a file somewhere near here.

Of course some c.d.s come in the form of a c.d. to unwrap and a link to download the files from so they can actually listen to them. There is an added advantage that you can use the c.d. to decorate your nest, so people visiting you can engage with you at a more meaningful level.

The Book is another matter altogether and various efforts to replace it with a device have partially floundered because you don't need a device to read it, apart from possibly reading glasses which you would need for the device anyway.

Things on this front didn't really pan out quite as expected, some books suit some devices for some people and some don't, the world of the bad Kindle and the good book or the good Kindle and the bad book, well it didn't really happen and I don't think it will. 

Take most major books, say Dickens, Bleak House. You can watch the film, read the book on paper and/or read the book on a device. They are all different experiences, suit different occasions, different people at different times in their lives. I don't think the business of one experience being better than another holds much water.

Christmas shopping though isn't going that well really, the main problem being my children have passed the age where you can give them a large colourful plastic toy so they can play with the box it came in for hours.

On the computer front and especially if you are running Windows 10 I would recommend keeping an eye on how full the memory is getting. To do this open the yellow/brown folder thingy and down the edge click on "this PC" you should then see something like "Windows C" and if Windows C is getting a bit full up you may be heading for problems.

 This is a painting of how Ramsgate may have looked in the early 1700s, before the harbour - as we know it was built.

   I will try to decode this picture a bit. From the mid 1700s people came to the Thanet towns for the cure. this involved drinking a pint of seawater and then being totally immersed in the sea by professional dunkers usually depicted in pairs. Beale was the Margate Quaker who invented the bathing machine to help preserve modesty in the days before the invention of the bathing costume.

Bookshop or work wise for me here is the link to the photos of today's books

On the Ramsgate political front I suppose the two biggest debacles of recent years are Pleasurama and Port Ramsgate. The video of Thanet District Council hearing a petition about the Port debacle and their subsequent attempt to discuss it speaks for itself. Here it is

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Ramsgate and Margate Photos from around 10 Years ago, Some american Penguin Books from the 1940s

 Memory lane is a bit of a strange place, with all the local history books in the bookshop I hear a lot of bring it all backs.
 Never having been very well organised but having randomly taken a lot of local photos things tend to come back mostly when I look at the photos.
 This batch of Ramsgate say 19.5.8 walk on the file, so I am pretty certain they date from May 2008 the file dates as recorded by the camera say 2007 on them but they were taken with my Pentax ist D which behaved badly on the recording the right date as it didn't seem to like batteries very much.
 At this time the first lot of Pleasurama cliff repairs were going on.

 One of the best free Ramsgate attractions were the heritage boat pontoons

 King Street in Ramsgate had a few more shops although business wise the bookshop wasn't as busy as it is now. More shopper on the street but buying less books?
 I find the business of the vanishing town centre shops fascinating and partly put the increase in the number of books we are selling at the moment down to there being fewer and fewer viable shops to go to.
 I think viable is pretty much summed up as. those shops that have a reasonable range of stock where the prices of the things you want to buy are in the same ballpark as the prices on the internet.

I am particularly surprised that there aren't a lot more independent clothes shops, mainly because buying clothes online is difficult. 

It always seems strange to me that town centre shop overheads have gone up so much over the last 30 years while so many town centre shops have closed.

One of the empty buildings in Ramsgate 10 years ago was The Custom House, now the home of the town council and I think soon to be a bone of contention

I don't think and have never thought that the town council should have tied themselves to a long and expensive lease. Until the council have considerable civic achievements to show grandiose buildings seem inappropriate and one of the cheaper town centre shops with an easily accessible enquiry desk would seem to be more the mark.

The bookshop back then is a bit of a spot the difference to now

We have had some unusual 1940s American Penguin books come in to the bookshop, not expensive, I think between £3 and £10 but you hardly ever see them this side of the pond.

This is the link to the photos of the books we put out yesterday

The impact of the paperback on the cultures of both the UK and the USA is important and I don't think the American Penguin book is very well documented so any information on this front would be appreciated.   

By the summer of 2009 the cliff repairs were already showing signs of needing further repairs

Port Ramsgate was almost excursively a goods port.

 and the home of another very large crane

 I think that Margate may have been at its worst around this time
 more than anything the photos from then show how much things have improved there.

this is the link to more of these Margate 2009 photos

The photos I took in Ramsgate today didn't look particularly interesting, but in around ten years time, who knows?

This is the link to them

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Row Row your boat at Ramsgate, BREXIT the solution and some thoughts on Margate’s Tudor House

Delving through a large batch of images that came from Mick Twyman's collection I came across this one labelled Tudor House.

I am not really sure if that means The Tudor house in Margate or a different one I think it is.

 A lot of the Tudor House photos are undated however this one says 1921

This one 1910

The rest are undated and should expand if you click on them

If you haven't had enough of Margate Tudor House photos

Here is the link

to the ones I took of the inside and outside of it when I visited it in 2010.

Occasionally there have been suggestions that the building or part of the building is fake, I am pretty sure that it is genuine. In 1952 Francis Shea did a drastic restoration for Margate Corporation

 I have popped in a jetty one as I want to link this post to that facegroup book
and this rather star lifeboat one to be on the safe side.

Ramsgate next

 Note the Fishing boat being rowed out to save tug fees, G reg so presumably Granville in France, it has a bit of a French look to it

 The Electric Picture Palace, local legend says the first talkie was show here

Obviously working in the bookshop in Ramsgate I have been getting progressively worried about BREXIT. From the time BREXIT was first mooted and chatting with the ardent UKIP members from back in the day like our very own Trevor Shonk, now our most illustrious Mayor, I have maintained two stay arguments. Being in business one usually hopes for long periods without much political upheaval as this usually results in business not doing so well for a while. 

One being that while BREXIT may be advantageous in say ten years time this isn’t very helpful if the short term effects mean the firm you work for goes bankrupt in three years.

The other is that the UK government is most likely to organise a situation where we get all of the disadvantages of being both in and out.

I had one of those bizarre conversations this week in which I slowly realised that it wasn’t leaving the EU that the person I was talking to wanted, but returning to the time before 1973 before we joined the EEC.

The conversation at this point had moved around to the bars my brother and I worked in at this time, mainly The Long Bar and The Moonlighters which they also wanted to bring back as they were then.

All I could say was “Strewth.”

I think this may be a case of alternate realities with me in the wrong leg of the trousers of time.

Bookshop wise a reasonably busy Saturday, some problems with what will be our thickest Ramsgate Street Directory reprint, I think it will have to go into a strange sideways format. The others are A5 booklet format here is the link

Street directories are main tool in the very local history of who lived in which house when in Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs. Also of course which business was in which building when.