Monday, July 14, 2008

Kevin Crace And Westgate Pavilion

Following my recent item about Westgate Pavilion, I've received this clarification from the chap who wants to save it, Kevin Crace:

It is true that in 2001 I did arrange for Ronnie Biggs return to the UK. This has always been in the public arena and my involvement in his return is something that I have always been actually proud of. I was independently hired to arrange the negotiations for his return and I was paid a sum of money, from a national newspaper for doing such. My connection to Ronnie comes from the fact that in my portfolio of music rights includes the Ronnie Biggs/Sex Pistols song – No One Is Innocent.

I in no way have had any connection to any form of crime. I think it’s also fair to say that I have not discussed this matter with either the Council or the Gazette, as it neither seemed relevant, and because it is one of many business activities that I have been involved in over a number of years.

I am slightly more concerned to clarify the position with regards to the MySpace entry on ‘smoking quality weed’…. This is actually a reference to tobacco and not cannabis. I am the father of three children, and as such I am more than aware of the dangers of drug abuse. Also, working in the music industry, I have seen and lost many friends to drug abuse. I totally deplore and object to drug use, of which I think there is far too much of on the island…

I do however smoke tobacco. I am also an opponent of what I view as the government's draconian anti smoking legislation, and you will note amongst my MySpace friends are the pro smoking group Smokers Reunited, whom I totally support. I think my choice of words on my site, with the gift of hindsight, were inappropriate.

Finally, may I say to you and your readers that my intentions with redeveloping the Westgate Pavilion are truly honest. I spent my childhood at Thanet, and I returned here with my children to try to give them the level of ‘magic’ that I experienced as a child. I, like most of your readers, remember the ‘glory’ days, and have been deplored to see it slide continually down hill, as one attraction after another closes.

If the Pavilion is forced to close, then I am certain it will never re-open. I am also certain that it has the capability to work as a good private business, that cannot only serve the needs of the community, but can also bring much needed tourists back into Thanet, and more particularly Westgate. My proposal to take over the Pavilion is based on the belief that after many years in the industry, and with many contacts in the industry, I am suited to assist in this regeneration.

With kind regards,

Kevin Crace

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good on yer - thank you you really do seem like a saviour! We need more of your types around here!Thanks for setting the record straight!

Anonymous said...

Well said, and good luck!

Peter Checksfield said...

Yes, well done! Now we need someone to save WestCLIFFE Pavilion (a.k.a. The Motor Museum), a far more impressive & important building in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Well said Peter. Wasn't Sandy pictured on the front of a paper saving it a year or so ago though?

Anonymous said...

Yeah think he had Tiny Terry there too?

Michael Child said...

Kevin any chance of you doing something to save Ramsgate’s Westcliff Hall it was built to be Ramsgate’s answer to Margate’s Winter Gardens?

There really is no large venue left in Ramsgate I suppose the other option is The Royal Victoria Pavilion, you only have to look at Ramsgate’s rapidly expanding café culture to see the town could support and needs a large venue.

I perceived the anti smoking laws as being the result of specialist advice sought by the large chain pub eateries as to what would be the best way to close down their main opposition, the traditional English pub, the power of the lobbyists to destroy our human environment.

Anonymous said...

Go for it re Westgate! you will have a lot of support and good will in the community... my friends and i have been saying for years its a potential top venue on the south coast for bands and music of a more specialist nature... and yes Thanet can be Magic, given a little vision tlc and can do. Good luck.

Gerry said...

'....I am slightly more concerned to clarify the position with regards to the MySpace entry on ‘smoking quality weed’…. This is actually a reference to tobacco and not cannabis.'

I am slightly concerned at your perceived naivety in thinking anyone would think its tobacco you refer to and not cannabis. I hope the same lack of clarity doesn't spill over to business dealings!

Now you have clarified the matter I wish you well.

Bertie biggles said...

Kevin, a marvellous bit of public spiritedness with I hope a realistic opportunity to make it a serious venue. I like the independent approach of being prepared to put money in without going with begging bowl to the tax-payer to take the risk. Stick to it.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... He still sounds a bit odd to me! He'll fill the venue with drug addicts...