Friday, October 26, 2007

Harpers Bizarre

The debate over whether Harpers wine bar in Boredstares should or should not have been closed down by our beloved council rumbles on.

Two letters in today's Isle of Thanet Gazunder support the move. Meanwhile I see the owners have set up a Facebook group called SAVE HARPERS!!!, which at the last count had 842 members. About the same number as you'd have found queuing for the teeny-tiny toilet at the Harbour Street hostelry on a Friday night.

I have to declare an interest here. I was never a fan of the place. The bar staff were indifferent unless you were a mate, the place was rammed to capacity every night, and the facilities were cramped. I do, however, believe there is something in the argument that this would not have happened to one of the establishments run by the Ile's foremost landlord, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, it's only to be expected on the Dickensian east of the island, where their definition of a late night drink is a mug of Horlicks after Corrie. Now if they'd set up in Ramsgate, I'm sure they would have received a right royal welcome!


Anonymous said...

I am suspicious of the way TDC has targeted Harpers when the problem caused by rowdier more intemoperate hostelries in close vicinity to Harpers has been ignored. Its easier to kick the cat even if it was the Rottweiler that crapped on the carpet.

Bleak Mouse said...

Can't agree with you on this one Old Boy. I am in no way a regular but on my infrequent visits,at various times of the day and night, I have always been served promptly and courtesly. OK sometimes, particulary during Folk Week, the staff do resemble extras from Night of the Living Dead but all involved in the enterprise deserve credit for making the bar a very attractive addition to the already wonderful selection of watering holes we have here. The present owners have ploughed profits back into the enterprise by extending the lavatory facilities - these remain woefully inadequate for the human zoo that packs in late but the queues generated often provide a fascinating insight into la vie d'Isle - and providing a charming courtyard garden (sadly confused it seems on occasions with the other new facilities).

On the security front - something I know a little about - I have always been impressed by their "dynamic" approach rather than reliance on door staff alone. I have seen very little evidence in all of this of any direct link between the bar and general anti social behaviour in the area although as the latest closing place in town it is obviously where any trouble is going to try to end up at.

I have every sympathy for those suffering from noise pollution but the popularity of the bar suggests that there is a need for a late night bar in town. To my mind the present owners have established themselves as meeting this in an appropriately socially responsible way as is possible. Perhaps there is a happy medium - Doris Stokes springs to mind. Cripes! The're open!!

Linda said...

TDC should never have allowed the licensing hours to be extended. They must have realised that this wasn't really the right position for a really late opening facility. There were no complaints before the time extensions, so why not instead of removing the licence, just put it back to the original hours! Perhaps TDC might have second thought!

Eastcliff Richard said...

I agree Linda, the answer has to be to allow them sensible opening times, to, say, midnight on a Friday and Saturday, 11pm the rest of the week.

Anonymous said...

To what extent, if any, should a licensed premises be responsible for the behaviour, on the streets, of its "Rejectees" and "Ejectees".

Have contributors been watching the Tc series "bouncers" ?

Note, if you have watched, that in those other areas (Warrington, Blackpool, Batley etc) that bouncers move rejectees and ejectees to the street where (GUESS WHAT) the POLICE either
monitor them, move them on or arrest them.

One of the objectives of licensing bouncers (and the schemes arose from my report to Home Secretary so I am qualified to state this) was to promote lawful policing. Part of this should be the support
bouncers can give constables on the street. (It being an offence to fail to go to the assistance of a constable).

Another vision of the idea was that club and pub doors would be safe points for people to go to for help (such as taxi drivers with awkward customers or foreign students threatened on the street).

The reason for the report, suggesting that bouncers be licensed, was the corruption of Thanet Police. It was originally an idea to address Thanet problems. The Home Office piloted the idea in other areas before, some dcade or so later, Thanet adopted a scheme for licensing door staff.

The idea was to get a tripartheid control of club and pub doors (Licensing justices as then was, council licensing and police) such that police, with two other public authoprities able to monitor them would be forced to abandon their corrupt ways.

In the 70s and 80s in Thanet the Police Licensing Officer would threaten licence renewal opposition as a means to dissuade licensed premises from calling on police help to deal with rejectees and ejectees. In other words it was Thanet Police who abandoned the streets to the wayward.

Coaches must be out of the resorts by 6 Pm ? Club licences will be opposed ? And for what reason ... because Thanet Police were never up to the job.

bet they were surprised when a bouncer wrote a report and Ramsgate Town Mayor sent it to Home Secretary via Jonathan Aitken MP !

I remember in the early 80s that TDC got itself a crisis at the Winter Gardens. It had a student function booked with 1500 advance ticket sales and that number again expected to buy tickets at the door.

TDC staff refused to do the security. Fearful that a cancellation would leave 3000 disgruntled punters on the margate streets TDC and Thanet Police asked Neros of Ramsgate if their bouncers would turn out mid week to steward the function.

The minimum number TDC had stipulated for their own staff was twenty.

FIVE Neros bouncers were available. And TDC decided to go ahead. Thanet Police agreed to have a police presence at the door WITH the Neros stewards and guided by them at closing time.

There was some trouble with far righters in the function. Local Chinese community sent some lads to support their friends the Neros bouncers. All was dealt with.

As closing time approached the Neros lads phoned Thanet Police to ask where the agreed exit police presence was and were told to f-ck off !!!!!

Unfortunately Thanet Police had decided to watch a stolen car parked near the Winter Gardens. More important than heading off the public order problems .... well that is Thanet Police for you.

Unfortunately the car thief, waiting to return to the stolken car, was watching the Police watching for him. So Mr Thief waited until the students were spilling on to the street. Then he wandered up to the stolen car and attracted a chase from the officers ... he ran amongst the exiting students and the officers blundered after him and of course knocked over female students. Students objected. The Police thus started the fracas withg students. Mr Thief discreetly drove away in his stolen car .. and the "student riot" began ...

Five Neros lads had stewarded the crowd throughout the function ... then five Transits full of Kent Police could not control the troubles the police caused on the streets.

But the police were quick to get student functions banned from the Winter Gardens. Another example of the Thanet police led destruction of Thanet economic activity just to make a corrupt or idle life easy for Thanet Police.

There are those who say "Charge the licencees for the cost of street policing". Would they say charge a murder victim's family for the cost of inquiry ?

The fact is that, unrepealably under the Crown, Constables are charged with a duty to preserve peace. So when the Peace is breached, make the first line of answerability those charged with the duty to preserve peace. In your case that sorry bunch of inadequates called Thanet Police.

Richard Card

Anonymous said...

I would add that there are two laws of obligation to report suspicion.

Treason and Money Laundering.

If I were a TDC councillor on the licensing cttee I would seek advice on that.

Richard Card

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person who finds the 'traces of cocaine use found in the urinals' risible in respect of the Harpers case? If our 'Finest' go and look for traces of cocaine use in almost every popular pub or club in the urinals they will find similar evidence! The implication that Harpers is tolerating cocaine snorting in its loos is risible. Chemical traces will appear in urine upto some days after drug abuse and it is a 'finding' relating to prior abuse and has nothing to do with illegal activity on the premises! The campaign against Harpers is sinister and is a disgrace!

Bleak Mouse said...

In the intervests of the comunitee in general yur on the spot reporter (hic) paid an unanunced shome visit to said premisees this very good evenink officer. Pleashed to report all tickety BOO. Orderly despature at 01.00 hours, Green Witch. Meantime, other hostelrees close by resembaling Hogarth print. This ish Shandy Gaul, News at ...hang on ...Fall backwards, Shpring forward