Saturday, May 03, 2008

More Muck Dredged Up On TDC's Watch

My fiancée, the lovely Mrs Ceaucescu (no relation), and her husband, Mr Ceaucescu (no relation (other than to the lovely Mrs Ceaucescu (no relation))), seem to think it would be a good idea for me to invest in one of those floating gin palaces you see down at the marina here in the Cannes of Kent. Something about it being handy for regular trips to the in-laws in Belgium.

So this morning I pottered down the street and picked up the latest edition of Motor Boats Monthly. Imagine my surprise when, riffling through the ads for Sunseekers and Fairlines, I came across a prominent news story featuring our Royal Harbour! Headlined 'Ramsgate Boaters In Row Over Dredging', it outlines the sorry saga of the new blue flag beach bang in the harbour entrance, and the highly expensive grounding of one of those swanky cruisers back in January. MBM says:

Boaters in Ramsgate are growing increasingly despondent over the local council's inability to deal with a sandbank at the harbour entrance... Relations between local boaters and the council have deteriorated over the last few months, not helped by the council's decision in late 2007 to sell its one and only dredger, which had earned the nickname HMS Teaspoon due to its failure to resolve the sandbank problem.

The mag quotes TDC's Harbour Master, oops, sorry, 'Head of Maritime Services' Dominic Evans as saying there are no plans to buy a new dredger and that the work will be contracted out in future, although one unnamed boater comments this would be like 'cutting Wembley's grass with a pair of scissors'.

Well, the council can't be pleased about that sort of publicity, can they? Only the other week they were described as 'supine' in Private Eye, now this! Still, we have seen something nibbling at the Harbour Beach recently, and I gather from Salty Dave down at the docks that a new hooverdredgeriser is expected to visit shortly. And I for one am certainly putting absolutely no store in the vicious rumour that they've applied for an €84,000 EU grant for, er, improvements to dredging last year!
Click on picture to read


Michael Child said...

What amazes me is that the harbour is designed to be self-dredging, with sluices on the crosswall using the head of water in the inner basin to scour out the sand at low tide. This arrangement worked adequately from the late 1700s until the 1970s when the sluice gates were allowed to fall into disrepair.

Of course a dredger is required to keep the inner basin clear so that lowering the level by a few feet to run the sluices doesn’t cause the boats in it to go aground, HMS Teaspoon was quite adequate for this.

bob ellender said...

do you think this was the true reason for the tall ships not coming to Ramsgate this year or was the weather really that bad to stop them?

Anonymous said...

As ususal,Tdc is destroying something that is a great asset to Thanet and attracts tourism, and should be developed further. Tdc with it's Shorterm Penny pinching from high moorage for boats to parking charges is now damaging our local economy. And yet grants seem to be found to fill all the empty shops in Margate with artwork, visited by how many?

Anonymous said...

I really do not want to dredge up some old stories [but i must] but don't TDC own a defunct passenger walkway that was repaired using a loan - and its sat on the Western hard doing absolutely nothing? Could they not flog that off?

Observer said...

Many moons ago there was a local entrepaneur who wanted to site a floating restuarant in the inner harbour, I am not giving any prizes for guessing what organisation stopped this happening. Even back then the idea was for to forward looking for the silly Burghers at TDC .

Anonymous said...

Yes the floating restaurant.

A DHSS officer went aboard and half the refurb workforce left never to return ?

One of the (whilst still signing on) "Craftsmen" put the hilti gun against a wooden bulkhead and fired a shot right through the timber ? Whoops. Anyway he saw the DHSS bloke on board and did a runner ? Think of Eastenders folks, "Rickyeee". ?

Thanet has not changed.

Nail sick boats. Frail thick blokes.

Ostendspotter said...

It can't be this difficult to dredge the port with £200.000.
A cutter suction dredger could do the job in 5 days/24hr creating a draugth of 6.5m in the port and 4.5m in the harbour.

The cutter suction dredger sucks the sand/silt and via floating pipes this can be dumped just over the port Western arm.

This can create a larger beach next to the arm and thus protects it a bit better against a Westerly storm.
The waves will bash on the newly created beach instead of the breakwater...