Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crappy Landings

Splish splash, I was taking a bath! Well, a relaxing soak in the ensuite Jacuzzi spa here at the old cliff top mansion yesterday afternoon in fact.

And bugger me if I didn't almost sit on my rubber ducky when the droning tones of some feeble-minded old duffer came over the B&O, which was tuned to Jonathan Dimplebum's Any Answers prog on Radio 4 . This air-headed buffoon, a retired pilot (natch), was actually suggesting that the solution to planes dropping out of the sky at Heathrow was to transform RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport into the fourth London airport!

'It's got a long runway and it's disused apart from a bit of freight,' he twittered, betraying an utter lack of knowledge of the area since WWII. The buttock clencher, though, was his argument that there was 'nothing under the flight path (except Ramsgate), and therefore it would be a better answer than demolishing a village near Heathrow to make way for a third runway.'

So let me get this straight. Despoiling a beautiful Victorian seaside town of 40,000 souls, with more listed buildings than you can shake a stick at, by flying passenger jets a few feet over it every 45 seconds, is a preferable option to demolishing a handful of hovels near Hounslow? B*ll*cks to that! Besides, the way these 'modern and reliable aircraft' (©2008 Dr S Moores) are dropping out of the skies these days, how long would it be before Ramsgate ended up being unintentionally demolished as well?


Anonymous said...

I take it you were not a resident when Thanet Police held an anticipatory exercise of a likely scenario ?

For exercise purposes an aircraft crash landed on Newington Bridge. Just as the emergency services were getting to grips with that an exercise purposes rabid dog was reported running loose at Ramsgate Harbour.

I understand there was a bit of a response mix up and police "Marksmen" (what do they mean oxymorons) shot the crashed aircraft whilst an overacting Schnauzer was covered in Thor Chemicals Fire Retardant foam at the harbour.

At the time there was talk of making Manston the re-location airport for hijacked aircraft.

The exercise, for that scenario, featured a police marksman (!) with bipod mounted gun on forward sloping ground firing round the wrong side of cover with a building downpipe hovering over the gun working parts (Oh how I would have loved to be on the roof peeing into the gutter and dropping a grenade down the down pipe too !!)

The gun would maybe have hit an IRA Leprechaun intent on closing to hand to hand combat. Otherwise the rounds would have ploughed into earth about twenty yards in front of our hero gunman of the thin blue line.

Still he looked very fetching in his chequered baseball cap. W-nker.

Mary said...

ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION. You, dear sir, may be a millionaire, but the vast majority of your neighbors are not. The outrageously high unemployment rate could greatly be reduced by breathing life back into the airport. Beginning with construction jobs, followed by airline jobs, general aviation jobs, mechanical jobs, etc. Then don't forget the hotel business that will soon take off and someone needs to feed all those people, so restaurants would not have to close during the down season (there would no longer be a down season) and new restaurants would soon occupied abandoned store fronts. Jobs, jobs, jobs. What a wonderful thing to bring to the community. So you would start seeing and hearing jets overhead. That is not exactly a horrible thing. There are people out there that actually enjoy aviation and would not mind, even enjoy, seeing life in the skies. Stop your mamby-pamby complaining and think of the well being of the entire community and not just yourself.

Lucy Mail said...

Would this be a good time to bring up our old friends, messrs Thorden and Godley?
Both would be useful for minimising danger to the public by either keeping buildings empty or simply razing them to the ground.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Good point, Lucy.

As for Fly-Boyed Mary, who seems to think the way forward for Ramsgate is to turn it into Creepy-Crawley-On-Sea, I would say that the vast majority of Thanetians found gainful employment 25 years ago by getting on their bikes, or have successfully built up niche employment for themselves here on the island. The rest are simply unwilling, or incapable of working, so no amount of 777s landing on our rooftops is going to change that.

What Ramsgate in particular and Thanet in general have going for them is a beautiful environment that, if properly protected and nurtured, would almost certainly prove to be our greatest asset in a future where global warming is going to bring about a net reduction in dinosaur industries such as aviation. The way forward is to promote our amazing architecture and beaches, which are a mere carbon neutral train ride or Priapus drive away from London, and new, environmentally sustainable industries such as wind farm production, not concrete the place over to make a third runway for Heathrow.

Anonymous said...

Many people have had plans for Manston over the years but somehow they never quite seem to take off - if you'll forgive the pun. How many of you have booked a holiday leaving from Manston yet this year? There are certainly a lot more options in 2008. If they changed the flight path they wouldn't have to fly directly over the centre of Ramsgate, would they?

Tony said...

Well said Mary.

Anonymous said...

How dare you insult Crawley. All the world's hotel chains are represented here, and we have almost 100% employment with many people earning at least the national minimum wage. Moreover we have concreted over almost every square inch, apart from the golf courses. A sure measure of economic success I'm sure you'll agree.

If I wanted fine architecture, environmental concerns and creative success I'd be living Brighton!

Margate Architecture said...

Mary, I don't know if you've noticed when going through Stanstead or other London airports, that many of the jobs are held by people other than locals. Many of the jobs are minimum wage and taken up by people bussed in from outside. As per the local agricultural workforce. As for tourists spending money in the area. I don't know about your habits when using an airport, but I tend to go to the airport in a car, get on a plane and leave. I then sleep in the country I travel to. I think the increase in revenue to the airea would go into the hands of the major chains who would have outlets at the area and that most of the traffic would be outward bound. It would have a damaging effect on local Ramsgate tourism, as people's weekend stays are disturbed by noisy overhead flights.

Anonymous said...

Here here!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Margate Architecture!!

Tony said...

Margate Architecture, how do know if a person is a local or not just by looking at them? As for habits, I tend to go the night before and book in to one of the local hotels that let you leave your car in their park, works out cheaper and is good for the local economy.How can you damage a non-existing Ramsgate tourism?

Margate Architecture said...

Tony, well often I've asked people while I'm chatting to them while they're serving me by way of polite conversation. It's like the olympics, not many jobs really go to local people, they go to agencies.

I made an error when I said I always go to the airport in the car. I don't, I often get the train for longer trips. I don't stay in larger hotels that have car parking and don't really see the need to go out the day before if my end destination is italy, spain etc. Not many hotels have parking in town.

Anonymous said...

when is the airport going to get sold for a huge housing development (a la Kings Hill).
Imagine those Executive houses, lovely. All those additional Millionaires moving down from London, taking advantage of the cheaper houses and improving transport links.
I think it will be better to have more people and houses added to Ramsgate than what we have with more poxy planes going overhead. TDC can't advertise the beautiful surrounding on one hand and allow ruddy great 747's at rooftop height from the other.
Whats the word I am looking for Tony.......hypocritcal perhaps?

Tony said...


steve said...

tony, I think anon is either calling you a hypocrite, or siding with you over your dislike for hypocrites.

Mary - since when did one plane, one pilot and a shed load of circuit and bumps bring streets paved with gold for everyone? Please please please visit Hounslow and look at it. Its a miserable place. No amount of sunshine or sand will make up for dozens of planes per day flying over that beach and harbour.