Friday, October 31, 2008


Reader Steve from Ramsgate's swinging East Cliff writes:

Did any of your readers take a photo of that amazing waterspout/tornado thing that nearly sucked up the odd light aircraft on its way into Manston today? It looked quite close to the harbour and nearly caused a few car accidents as everybody was looking at the sky rather than the road! Or it may have just been me looking at the twister and everybody else trying to avoid me but hey ho.

Well, did anyone out there manage to snap it? If so, do send me a copy and I'll pop it on the blog for all to see. My email address, as ever, is in the top right hand corner.

Ramsgate Gets The Bullet

Hurrah! I see the BBC News website is reporting the opening of the new, super-duper depot for those lovely high speed Japanese trains here in the Millionaires' Playground. It won't be long before I'm being whisked to important appointments with TV executives in London in less time than it takes to say 'I ----ed Russell Brand's grandmother'! Er, which I didn't, I hasten to add.

The depot has cost £35m to build and will create 160 jobs, more than our polluting airport has managed in a decade, and so much better for the environment than all those lorries and concrete the local Tory duffers want to pour on poor old Acol, without any clear idea of whether it'll create any jobs at all.

The best bit is the new service will take me into St Pancras which, as we all know, is a mere hop, skip and jump from the heart of the known creative universe - Norf London. After all, the only reason I can think of for going to Victoria is to collect your OBE for services to broadcasting!

Trainspotters click here to read full story on BBC website

Another Thanet Leak

Blimey! Lord Gnome has dangled his illustrious organ in Thanet's direction yet again this week, with another piece in Private Eye about local squillionaire Ken Wills' plan to plonk concrete all over our lovely arable land and aquifer, which gained council approval earlier this month. After detailing Ken's seemingly boundless largesse around the island recently, the item concludes:

Happily, news that at least 470 tonnes of the chemical cyclohexanone has seeped into Thanet's groundwater over the past 12 years following a spill at another industrial site only, er, leaked out after the council meeting.

Hmm. If I was Ken and his cohorts, I'd be more worried about who was leaking this noxious stuff to the national press than any boring old chemicals! If you want to read the rest, you'll have to cough up a quid and a half at your local WH Smug.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More Knickers About Knockers (And Lots Of Other Old Knackers)

Holy breakfast meetings! I've just received a full transcript of the presentation to local businesses that Our Sandy and Deputy Rodge gave at 7.30 this morning over at Frank T's Pegwell Bay Hotel. And there's enough hot air in it to warm up a gross of croissants! How about this for starters (you'll have to imagine the Powerpoint (yawn) slides that Rodge is referring to):

First off our current opportunities. China Gateway. There has been a lot of bloggers going out with all sorts of stories of doom and gloom and how dreadful this all is and we shouldn’t have it. (Surely he means today's Private Eye? - Ed.) But we are talking about jobs. We are talking about a serious amount of jobs. This is a joint project by KCC and TDC and managed by a company called EKO LLP of which I am a director. Our aim is that having bought this land, we will market it and put the money back into both our coffers and make a profit. This is the plan, and we are going to put there, just by the entrance, the China Gateway building which is a shopping centre which companies would locate into to showcase all their items. That is China Gateway and it is Phase 1. Phase 1 is going on to there. This is the China Gateway building and this is the sort of quality of building that will be built.

Slumped into your cornflakes yet? There's more:

Let's go now and look at the current position with China Gateway. Recently an extraordinary Council meeting voted 41 for and 10 against. Chairman Hoo (Who? Surely Hao? - Ed.) of the Aigo company was over here on a visit and The United Nations are firmly behind this plan (Does that make it UN-inspired? - Ed.) and working closely with Chinamex and CGP, they are partners and are 100% behind it. Chinamex is the supportive arm of the Chinese Government and are looking at globalisation opportunities and they have got a very close working relationship with CGP. And Chinamex are absolutely adamant that the funding is in place . So what is the next stage? The next stage now that we have planning in place, you will see bricks and mortar coming out of the ground at Manston.

It goes on, but if you're like me you've probably lost the will to live by now and are busy stringing rashers of bacon together to form a makeshift noose. If you want to see the rest, including how the runway at RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport is going to be extended as far as the Somerfield roundabout to accommodate the new Airbus superjumbos, let me know!

Litter Spray

Cripes! Judging by the number of email alerts I'm getting from the excellent FixMyStreet website, our beloved council's plan to stop regular cleaning of any road that isn't in a town centre or on the seafront is definitely coming to fruitation (©2000 Kevin Keegan).

Recent complaints to the Uranians via the site include 'lack of street cleaners', 'bin bags', 'domestic rubbish', 'dog mess' and 'litter', 'litter', and, er, 'accumulated litter'. A veritable tsunami of detritus! And that's for a council that boasts the motto 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'. Well one out of three ain't bad, I suppose.

Still, credit where credit's due. They are at long last getting around to implementing a limited recycling scheme here on Ramsgate's trendy East Cliff. According to a note that just plopped through my letterbox here at the cliff top mansion, a fortnightly paper and cardboard collection will begin as of this Monday. Let's hope the stuff is actually collected and not just left to blow all over the streets, eh? Otherwise I'm sure it won't be long before I'll need a metal detector every time I want to find where I've parked the old jalopy!

Click here to visit FixMyStreet

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trevor So Dashing

Once again, dear reader, I have been snubbed by the National Television Awards. And not just overlooked for a gong. No. I wasn't even invited. So I had to make do with spectating tonight from the comfort of my cliff top mansion.

Still, it was good to see my old chum Sir Trev on form, and wearing full dress nipples for the bash. Either that or they'd forgotten to turn the heating on at the Royal Albert Hall!

I Had Sachs, With Granddaughter,

round to tea once. I must say 'Manuel' really is the most professional and cordial fellow you're ever likely to meet in showbiz. So I find my allegiances divided on today's big issue. Given the fact that I'm beginning to suspect my drinks were spiked last night, and that Wossie's given me the arse-off on Facebook, perhaps I should be putting in a bid in for Friday Night With Richard Eastcliff after all!

Now, where's the cold flannel?

Flog It!

Regular contributor Millicent writes:

Did you know that Ramsgate now has a new auction house in Westcliff Road, next door to Kwikfit? The first auction was on Saturday morning. There were 220 lots and it went on for over two hours. There was an amazing array of goodies both big and small on offer and some bargains to be had. I bought four empty Edwardian postcard albums for £2! The next auction will be Sat 8th November at 10am. There is a cafe serving tea and sandwiches but get there early if you want/need a seat. I had never been to an auction before so I found it very entertaining.

Thanks for the info Millicent. It's at this point that I usually come up with some incredibly witty pay-off line, but you're going to have to fill in the blanks yourselves today as I've got the grandfather of all hangovers after attending Wussell and Wossie's leaving do last night. Pass the Neuries, Georgina!

Click here to visit Royal Harbour Auction Rooms website

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back By Unpopular Demand

Thanks to all the emails (two) that have been pouring in to Ofblog about my jottings being, er, utterly re-Branded over the past week, I'm back on the air! And the good news is it only took a yacht, 4x4, motorcycle and a new house to persuade the Politburo to grant me planning permission to put my sign back up!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reports Of 'Riot' In Augusta Road Exaggerated

The Politburo wishes to assure comrades that reports tonight of a 'drug' and 'drink' fuelled 'riot' in Augusta Road Ramsgate have been exaggerated by decadent subversives.

The Politburo can confirm that State Police attended a major disturbance in the road, but have since calmed the situation down.

Update: The Isle of Thanet Gazette has now reported (offline) that a fight broke out following a party, with more than 40 youths involved in the street disturbance. A woman was taken to hospital and a man arrested on suspicion of assault and possession of drugs. Thanet Council were called the following morning to wash the blood off the pavement. Police are now gathering evidence with a view to imposing a dispersal order in the area.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Comrade Party Chairman Beach wishes to clarify a statement he made in his column in today's Thanet Gaznunda praising the External Investment Committee of the People's Republic of China. The article read:

Manston Business Park is the best location strategically for high-tech companies such as Iago to expand their market brands in Europe as well as the UK.

Comrade Party Chairman Beach of course meant 'high-tech companies such as Aigo', and wishes to assure comrades that he knows the difference between a manipulative Shakespearian villain and a little known purveyor of Chinese tut manufacturer of quality high-tech goods.

Politburo Extends Heartfelt Congratulations To Heroine Of The Thanet Union

The Politburo has awarded Thanet's highest Honour to 19 year old Chelsea Papilloma who hails from the State Capital Margate. Ms Papilloma has been made a Heroine of the Thanet Union following her Gold Medal for Proving That Anyone Can Walk On Water at the recent State Atheist Games, organised by the Workers' Committee for Leisure and Sport.

When not walking on water, Chelsea enjoys 'shots' and 'shagging'. Comrade Party Chairman Beach commented: 'Ms Papilloma is an inspiration to all young Thanetians.'

Your Questions Answered By The Comrade Party Chairman

Only in your super, soaraway Thanet Pravda! Each week Comrade Party Chairman Beach answers your questions!

Dear Comrade Party Chairman, I am Chairman of the People's Industrial Committee for Printing Supplies. Some years ago we had an 'incident' involving a toxic chemical. Should I go public with this? S.

Comrade Party Chairman Beach writes: Under no circumstances should you release such information. Please report immediately to the People's Committee for the Dissemination of Information for advice.

Dear Comrade Party Chairman, Greetings. I am Chairman of the External Investment Committee of the People's Republic of China. I would like to invite you on a fact-finding trip to our country, all expenses paid. I will even write your speeches for you. How about it? K.

Comrade Party Chairman Beach writes: Thank you for your kind offer Comrade Chairman. I am in favour of friendly co-operation between our two glorious Democracies in the spirit of Mutual Harmony. I would be particularly interested in seeing the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Army, the Bird's Nest Stadium, and any other tourist attractions you can think of but you can piss off when it comes to snake liver and all that crap how the Workers' Collectives in your country interface with the State.

Dear Comrade Party Chairman, I am Chairman of the People's Committee for the Advancement of Aviation. We have recently launched a Draft Master Plan for the expansion of the State Airport at Manston. Would it be alright to rename the airport in honour of your unthinkingwavering support? M.

Comrade Party Chairman Beach writes: I would regard this as a great honour Comrade Chairman. I understand that your Draft Master Plan contains a proposal for a new Terminal Building, which I am sure will need a substantial quantity of floor coverings which you will no doubt be obtaining from State Carpet Manufactory Number 12 (Cliftonville).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

People's Film Festival Announced

The Politburo is pleased to announce the forthcoming People's Horror Film Festival in the State Capital Margate. The Festival has been approved by the Workers' Committee for Leisure and Sport, and screenings will take place at the Central Hall for Heroes of the Thanet Union (formerly Theatre Royal) this Saturday.

Entries must be approved by the Politburo. For the avoidance of doubt, capitalist decadence of the following nature will NOT be approved:

Here is an example of material that HAS been approved by the Politburo:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Truth About The Chairman's 'Yacht'

It has been brought to the Politburo's attention that subversives and dissidents have been spreading rumours suggesting Comrade Chairman Beach has been 'holidaying' with 'property developers' on his 'yacht' in the 'Med'.

There is no truth in these rumours. For the avoidance of doubt, Comrade Chairman Beach has been on a gruelling inspection tour of the Adriatic Fleet as part of his duties as Commander-in-Chief, Thanet Naval Forces. During his tour he spent an hour on board the Wantsum class cruiser Marshall Godden taking tea with a Committee Chairman who had a complaint about the Workers' Collective. We understand that during this conversation State funding was NOT discussed, and that the lackey of capitalist oppression was given a thorough 'carpeting' by the Chairman.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Politburo Secures 30,000 Roubles From Central Government

Party Chairman Comrade Beach is pleased to announce that 30,000 roubles in funding has been secured from Central Government for the State's capital city Margate.

The funding will be used to facilitate the construction of the People's Heritage Amusement Park on the seafront. This park will not, as some dissidents have suggested, be full of 'knackered old rides that other seaside towns have been only too glad to get shot of'. The Politburo has already secured the site with 6 meter high electrified fencing at a cost of more than 40,000 roubles.

Suggestions that other seaside towns such Bexhill-on-Sea and Littlehampton have done much better by receiving 1m roubles and 480,000 roubles respectively will not be entertained.

Click here to read story on decadent BBC website

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bloggus Interruptus

I must apologise for my hissy-fit on the comments to the post below, but really! Some people just don't seem to understand that there's only room for one self-serving, sanctimonious sh*t-stirrer on this blog.

Applying the dictum 'what you say says more about yourself than it does about others', it seems my anonymous interloper was a redneck Beavis and Butthead fan (s-ooo 1993!) who failed journalism school and subsequently developed rampant haemorrhoids. Oh well, no matter. As I needed a break anyway I've decided to put this blog on hold and swan it up in the smoke for a while. Be seeing you!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Water Cock-Up

Say hello to cyclohexanone, the new, super-duper additive that could be in Thanet's water supply!

This six-carbon, cyclic molecule with a ketone functional group is a colourless, oily liquid with an odour reminiscent of oil of peppermint and acetone, and is used as an industrial solvent. Apparently local printing ink manufacturer Sericol, which is owned by Japanese giant Fujifilm, dropped a bit of an old bollock, along with seemingly vast quantities of this stuff, at its Pyson's Road factory twelve years ago. It appears the Environment Agency has now confirmed that the clean-up operation is still ongoing, and that they've so far recovered 470 tonnes of cyclohexowhatsit, and that the underground water supply has been damaged.

A quick flick through my National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards tells me that cyclothingywhatsitdoodah targets the eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, liver, and kidneys. So, the full mixed grill then. Presumably our beloved council was charged with the controls on this site. As one commentator said recently: 'I wouldn't trust them to be able to control their own bowel movements'.

Full marks to campaigning biblio-bloke Michael Child for going public on this, based on some excellent research by, of all people, our very own Irritating Bloke, Rick!

Click here to read more on Thanet Online
Click here to read Environment Agency's FOI response re Sericol

This article has NOT been approved by the Politburo. Comrades are reminded that Sericol provides much-needed jobs in this area, as do other developments on the State's aquifer such as Kent International Airport and China Gateway. For the avoidance of doubt, the People's Central Committee for Health has reported no ill-effects from cyclohexanone and furthermore have carried out tests which suggest it may well be beneficial to health (e.g teeth whitening).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who Am I?

Normally a question I reserve exclusively for my celebrity psychiatrist, Dr Fraudstein. However speculation over my true identity seems to be mounting to fever pitch, judging by a couple of comments I've recently had here on the big blog.

So to calm things down a bit, and because I've been told to do so by my majority shareholder the Cecil Square Politburo, I've popped another of my 7 day polls in the sidebar on the right. I've been told that, should you punters come up with the right answer (and one of them is the right answer), I'll be made to publish photos, name, address and inside leg measurement. Cripes!

This article has been approved by the Politburo

Ramsgate On The Up

Erm... here goes... Ahem! It's been pointed out to me by my majority shareholder, the Cecil Square Politburo, that I've been a bit, um, negative about the island over the past week. So to redress the balance I've been trawling the papers to find some good news. Et voila! An item about those nice chaps at the Royal Harbour Hotel that was published in the London Evening Standard a couple of weeks ago. The article begins:

There is probably nowhere more agreeable to spend a lazy hour in the south of England than on the balcony of the Royal Harbour Hotel Ramsgate. You look down on the pretty, 18th-century harbour, you watch the departure of the ferry (leaving for Ostend) from the port. With the Sunday papers and a coffee, life holds little better, providing the sun is out.

The piece then motors on for another thousand words or so, waxing lyrical about roaring fires (no mention of roaring, knackered old jumbos), old knick-knacks, verandahs and parapets ect ect. Casting the old mincers over the by-line, I see it was penned by none other than Country Life's Editor-at-Large Clive Aslet, who, the last time I looked, actually had a pied-a-terre here in the Millionaires' Playground, and who was responsible for positioning Ramsgate in Country Life's top five property hotspots of 2006, providing the inspiration, in the process, for this very blog! Good on yer Clive!

Click here to download Evening Standard article from the Royal Harbour website where they're also congratulating RAFLKRMIA on the publication of their Daft Bastard Plan last week, I mean they must be bonkers, do they really want their guests to wake up with a pounding headache in the middle of the night or have their 'Sunday papers and coffee' ruined by the windows rattling every ten minutes I mean

This article has been approved by the Politburo

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pollution News

If you're wondering who that lump that's currently rattling the windows of Ramsgate belongs to, it's Ghana International Airlines. I think I can be certain that it's a 757, since Ghana International Airlines only possess one plane, a 757 leased from our old friends Astraeus, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson's airline of choice.

I've popped their contact details below, should you feel inclined to complain to them about the fumes, noise and greenhouse gases they're spewing out on their training circuits over the Millionaires' Playground!

Click here for more details of Ghana Airlines on Wikipedia

Click here to complain to Ghana Airlines

This article has NOT been approved by the Politburo. Politburo member Comrade Latchford points out that the airport has created millions of jobs in Thanet, and is set to employ another 10,000,000 comrades by 2010. This is a small price to pay for the distress and inconvenience caused to the relatively small number of party members who live in Ramsgate.

KCC Claws Back Shortfall With Sponsorship

Cripes! Following the loss of 50 million smackers when their assets got frozen in Iceland recently, I hear that Kent County Council are set to repair their finances by allowing commercial sponsorship of venues and place names across the county! Here are some of the changes you can look forward to:

Sandwich becomes KFC Zinger Sandwich
Deal becomes Big Mac Meal Deal
Walmer becomes Getting Much Walmer, Courtesy Of British Energy and EDF
Dover becomes P Andover
Herne Bay becomes Herne Bay Windows (Double Glazing) Ltd
Wye becomes Wyevale
Folkestone becomes Folkestoned, Courtesy Of Exotic Indoor Herbal Cultivators (Ramsgate) Ltd

Locally, we can expect to see the following:

Margate Winter Gardens becomes Margate Windows Gardens
Cliftonville Lido becomes Cliftonville Ludo
Pierremont Park becomes Perriermont Park
Palm Bay becomes Palmolive Bay
Broadstairs becomes Broad Stannah Stairlift
Thanet becomes Thanet - Home Of Chinese Globalisation

(That last one's too ridiculous for words - Ed.)

This article has NOT been approved by the Politburo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bentley Does It

Yikes! I see robbers made off in a Bentley after a raid on the Halifax in Ramsgate last night! They must have heard Our Gordon Master had stuffed it full of lovely taxpayers' dosh. Just goes to show that even the local millionaires round here are feeling the pinch!

What's that? Where was I last night, officer? Er, um...

Click here to read full story in Thanet Extra

This article has been approved by the Politburo

Ball Jugglers Wanted In Westgate

Kevin Crace, Saviour of the Westgate Shed, er, Pavilion has asked me to put out the following appeal:

When I took over the Westgate Pavilion last week there was an amount of money that had been collected for a disabled access by the former charity from public donation, totalling roughly £1,300. As I’m now a limited company and paying for the disabled access personally I feel that it would be wrong for me to accept these funds.

Looking for a worthwhile benefactor for the money we came across a Kent based Children’s hospice called Demelza House Children’s Hospice. They certainly look like a great charity who could do with some good funds for the children leading up to Christmas. So, we have now taken this one step further and here’s where I need your help.

On Friday November 7th we propose to hold a charity party in aid of the hospice to raise as much cash as we can and to add it to the £1,300 and to give it to the kids in time for Christmas. The Charity party will be free entry, with a voluntary donation. We have a great local party band
- One For The Road - playing free of charge to entertain the guests, plus DJ’s and a whole evening of quality entertainment. We’ll provide a free buffet and we aim to raise additional funds via a raffle etc.

I now need assistance from people who can provide any of the following for us. To welcome guests in our grounds: fire-eater, string quartet, street magicians/jugglers etc

We also need to know if any businesses could provide donations for the raffle prizes. We’d also like to see if any local businesses could provide any toys, new please, so we can also send these across to the children in time for Christmas. These can be collected by us, or dropped to the Pavilion on Sea Road, Westgate.

I know the economic climate is tough for all of us, but with the money that presently sits with us, and any additional money we can raise on the night, we Thanetians can really do some good here in time for Christmas for the kids.

Could you also PLEASE ask all your readers to include it on their blogs too, so we can virally evolve this project. Thanks Richard, we could really make a good difference here for the kids.

Happy to oblige, Kevin! If you've got talent or prezzies to donate, email our Kev at:

This article has been approved by the Politburo

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Veiw Form The Tope

Reader Wendy has emailed me with the response she received from Our Glorious Leader to her strongly worded complaint about the granting of planning permission for China Gateway:

Cear wendy,

I notice that u only moan about con cllr but no labour
Yet many voted for the china gateway 9llr mark nottingham was rhe most
critical of those that lived in acol
I would be happy to meet with u and doiscuss all the issues
Those that ihave met have gone away with a more open mind
Both MPs r in spprt and steve ladyman has also come out in sppt of phase
2 and 3

Please contact annette on 577108 should u wish to meet in my office


This article has NOT been approved by the Politburo. Any suggestion that the Chairman cannot spell or is incapable of rational thought should be immediately expunged from the minds of all good citizens. For the avoidance of any doubt we can inform you that this email was typed one-handed on the chairman's Blackberry whilst he was attempting to carry out a particularly difficult manoeuvre in his ZiL at the Mill Lane multi-storey car park.

Update: Politburo member Comrade Gregory adds: Richard, I am sure you do not know that Sandy EZ has a problem with spelling, its a mild version of dyslexia. I would hope that you are not taking the Piss out of someone who has put the disadvantages of a disability behind them.? Ken

Cider House Fools

Yikes! It seems Churchills pub here in the island's premier town will be the venue for an interesting social experiment this Saturday - a cider festival/comedy music gig! The guzzlefest is courtesy of those splendid chaps at Thanet CAMRA, who organise the wobbly knees-up at the Mike and Bernie Winter Gardens each Easter, while the gigglefest will be provided by Ramsgate's new purveyors of comedy and music, Tropical Robots.

Tropical Robots are promising 'an eccentric Birmingham 8 piece' called Misty's Big Adventure, featuring a 7 foot, rubber clad dancer called Erotic Volvo. Just the ticket after you've knocked back the 50 ciders and perries, and 'cider-related food' that'll be on offer!

Click here to go to Cider Festival website
Click here to go to Tropical Robots MySpace
Click here to go to Misty's Big Adventure MySpace

This article has been approved by the Politburo.

Monday, October 13, 2008

An Announcement From The Politburo

Following widespread panic and fears for the moral bankruptcy of this blog, the Politburo has decided to take unprecedented but essential action and, as of this morning, now owns a majority stake in Eastcliff Richard.

With many Thanetians ceasing to support them, we at the Politburo cannot just leave our developer friends on their own to be blogged about. For property magnates, for small carpet businesses, and for future owners of luxury apartments, we must in an uncertain and unstable world be the rock of stability on which our mates can depend.

To let the chits (What that? - Ed.) fall where they may would be the height of irresponsibility. It would be a failure of leadership at precisely the moment vigorous action is needed to protect our chums who need that help the most. And if we pull together as an island, we can come through these times covered in more concrete (Surely 'glory'?- Ed.) than ever before.

The Politburo
Cecil Street

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Boatloads Of Dosh

Ahoy me hearties! A big ECR 'Mwah!' to everyone who clicked on my recent 7 day poll to raise money for the brave chaps at the RNLI. The final result was:

Yes, I'd like ECR to donate 25p per vote to the RNLI: 94% (88 votes)

No, I'm such a miserable old skinflint I can't even bear the thought of giving somebody else's money to charity:
5% (5 votes).

As I find five people not wanting to donate someone else's money to a very worthy cause rather incredible, I've taken the total number of votes - 93 - as the final tally. Which makes a whopping £23.25! And to show I'm a good sport, I've doubled it by adding £23.25 of my own hard-earned, bringing the total to £46.50, which, as you can see from the screen grab above, I paid online.

Um, oh, er, Cyril, my accountant, has pointed out that the first £23.25 was also my money. Oh well, if I'm ever caught out in my Sunseeker by a force 10 blow, I'm sure I'll consider it money well spent!

Click here to read more about the RNLI SOS Day or donate direct

Friday, October 10, 2008


Don't forget you've got less than a day to spend my sponds in aid of the RNLI! For every 'yes' click I'm donating 25p, so get on my poll in the sidebar on the right and do your stuff!

Teeny-Tiny Council Gets Go Ahead

As well as the momentous decision on China Gateway last night, our beloved council had other business to attend to, such as granting Ramsgate a town council. First Ramsgate Firster and all-round Family Guy Gerry O'Donnell writes:

One small step for a town council, one giant leap for Ramsgate. Perhaps the district councillors were tired after the bruising three hour pitched battle over the China Gateway. Perhaps.

The churlishness with which they voted in a parish/town council for Ramsgate spoke volumes about the institutional malady that infects the district council chamber.

Sandy Ezekiel baldly stated that the Ramsgate Town Council will be brought into effect after the 1st April 2009 and that elections to it would take place “probably” in September 2009. No words of congratulation for the people of Ramsgate who, he acknowledged, had voted for their own town council in the District Council’s Referendum. There was no wishing them well. Just a minimalist statement that made you feel it was a molar being extracted without anaesthetic.

Richard Nicholson, seconding the motion, was his usual ungracious self and offered no words of good will for the people of Ramsgate. Nor were there any words of congratulation from any of the other Ramsgate District councillors. The people of Ramsgate should take note.

And then came the vote.

As chairman of Ramsgate First it was a wonderful moment. The shine was not taken off by the miserliness in which the motion was carried. Four years of hard, tiring, often frustrating work. But it was for Ramsgate, and for me and the supporters of Ramsgate First that was reason enough.

I believe that Ramsgate now has an opportunity to build itself a better future with a Town Council that will more jealously guard its inheritance and more boldly assert its future potential. No longer will Ramsgate be an afterthought in the District Council’s deliberations.

Now the really hard work begins. We must make sure we elect Town Councillors that really care about the town and who are willing to work.

Well done Ramsgate.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

China Gateway Approved

So, there it is then. Approved. But with tough controls to be enforced by Thanet Council. Who, quite frankly, I wouldn't trust them to be able to control their own bowel movements, let alone a project of this scale. Still, at least CGP will be happy. I'm sure I heard a very loud 'Ker-ching!' emanating from just north of Joss Bay!

Click here to read more on Thanet Extra website
Click here to read more on yourfannitinnit website
Click here to read more on Gazunder website
Click here to read more on BBC News website
Click here to see which way your councillor voted

Wind Farm In The Doldrums

I'm getting reports here in the big ECR newsroom suggesting that Thanet Offshore Wind, the company that's building the smaller of the two fart farms proposed in these parts, is putting everything on hold due to the credit crunch.

Just three weeks ago the Uranians trumpeted 'dozens of jobs' after TOW signed a lease on land and buildings in our lovely port here in the Millionaires' Playground. So far one job has been created. Now it seems the winds of change have blown a cold blast over the project's backers and frozen their assets!

Click here to read last month's story in Thanet Extra

Update: One bit of good news, though. I see Thanet Earth is recruiting! Click here to go to their website.

Government Greenlights Airport Expansion

Lumme! They only published their Daft Bastard Plan yesterday! Oh, no, sorry, as you were, it's Stansted that's got the go-ahead. Despite special pleading by RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport to be considered as an alternative. I guess that must have fallen on deaf ears. One too many training flights, one assumes!

Click here to read Stansted story on BBC website

Getting All Theatrical

Dear Richard,

I was happily reading your blog this morning, which, I must say, is generally very informed and witty, when I came across both good and bad.....

Firstly, many thanks for mentioning Pierremont Pharmacy's flu' clinic in such detail - we are a local business, set up by two ex-Chatham House boys, and are battling it out with the superpowers of Boots, Superdrug, Paydens and the supermarkets in Broadstairs High Street.

We seem to be going from strength to strength, and have recently been recognised as the leading clinical pharmacy in the country, winning both the "C+D Platinum Design Award" for Service Innovation, and "Clinical Service of the Year" in the C+D Awards 2008, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London in June.

On the other hand, one of my other ventures, the Granville Theatre in Ramsgate, was not mentioned in such glowing terms....

To describe the "culture" as a "rolling programme of psychic nights and amdram productions" does little to justify the nearly two years of hard work that my team and I have put in, with no prospect of profit, to try and reinvigorate live entertainment in Ramsgate. In trying financial times, and with the development of a multiplex cinema on our doorstep, we have continued to trade, and have run successful productions of Musical Theatre, Pantomime, Plays and Concerts, including professional acts such as "Kiki Dee", "Over The Rainbow - The Eva Cassidy Story" and "Abbalicious!". We also house productions by notable local companies such as Ramsgate Operatic Society and The Broadstairs Dickens Players, and offer children the opportunity to perform in our Stage Schools and dance classes.

Furthermore, Ralph Hoult, one of my team, is also in the process of trying to relaunch events at the Eastcliff Bandstand for the benefit of the local population.

I don't know whether you have visited our venue recently, but we have made significant investment in refurbishing the formerly run-down premises, including redecoration inside and out, refurbishing the bar and public toilets, and installing disabled facilities. We have also spent large amounts of money on technical theatre, namely high quality sound and lighting.

Seeing as we are a Community venture, owned by more than seventy locals (many of them Ramsgatonians) I am disappointed at your view of our business.

I would like to invite you to visit our venue and see for yourself the progress that has been made since the days of Brian Stout. I would be happy to arrange a tour of the premises for you, to enable you to make more informed judgement about our business.

Kind regards,

Stephen Foster,
Chief Executive,
Granville Theatre Limited

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Manston Launches Daft Bastard Plan

Oops, sorry. That should have read 'draft master plan'. Ne'er mind. Presumably Infartil, the airport's owners, imagined they could slip this one under the doormat while we were all distracted with China Gateway. But no, you have to get up very early indeed to catch out an Eastcliff, especially as I'm kept awake all night by knackered old jumbos rattling inches above my bonce!

The summary is, well, er, loads more knackered old jumbos actually. Just what Ramsgate needs! I haven't got the will or energy to read through all 136 pages, but you can download it from the RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport website here.

Or, if you want a laugh, you can watch Simon Jones's report for BBC Southeast Today here. Keep your minces peeled for ancient library footage of MK Airlines jumbos taking off (they no longer use the airport since they hit financial turbulence earlier this year), the weeds growing out of the runway, and the total absence of any hard-hitting questions like 'Won't everyone in Ramsgate go deaf and choke on kerosene fumes if this plan goes ahead?'

No Mumms Going To Iceland

Cripes! I see Iceland's going tits up! Not the frozen food store formerly known as Bejam, but the country near the North Pole! Fortunately none of the Eastcliff millions are invested there, otherwise I'd be straight round my old showbiz chum Bjork's, getting her to empty the krona out of her piggy bank.

What is worrying, however, is that Kent County Council has placed 50 million of your hard-earned council tax sponds in banks over there, according to the BBC News website. Nice one geysers! (Geddit?!!!?!)

Knickers On Inside Out

So, did you catch Inside Out - Thanet, Gateway to China? on BBC1 tonight? No, neither did I. But you can watch it by clicking here.

Somehow I can imagine how it went:

Reporter: A lot of people object to this development on environmental grounds.
CGPer: But it will create lots of jobs.
Reporter: Super!

Ho hum. Anyway, tomorrow night sees the Big Council Meeting to decide on CGP's application. Doors open at 5.30pm, with the bunfight kicking off at 6pm. Seating for the oiks will be on a first come, first served basis. As there's only room for 42 public bums on seats, with another 25 clustered around a telly relaying the action to another room, I suspect most people will have to make do with standing around outside awaiting the black or white smoke. All I can say is good luck, and may your God go with you!

A Shot In The Arm For Thanet

Reader Doc Atherton writes:

Hello sir! First off, as ever I'm enjoying the blog! And second, thanks for joining my Pierremont Pharmacy Group. It may be in Broadstairs but there's an East Cliffer at the helm!

Would it be possible for you to put something on your blog about flu? It's very sad but most GP's in Thanet will only give the flu jab to high risk patients and only after they've done them (and only if they have any vaccines left over) will they offer healthy patients the flu jab.

The thing is, it's the healthy people who get around more that carry the virus around with them and it's these people who get annoyed as they are the ones who usually end up with flu because they haven't been able to get a flu jab. So we are offering a Flu Clinic so these people can actually get one!

Now I know that we're in Broadstairs but we are an independent local business in Thanet up against people like Boots etc. Actually, I don't think Boots are offering the vaccine. There's only one independent pharmacy in Ramsgate (Newington) and they're not doing it.

I know a lot of people read your blog so it would be really nice if you could let the people of Thanet know that there IS something they can do about it. Also, as readers of ECR they can get 10% off the usual price of £14.99 by going to this link:

Chas 'N' Dave 'N' Eminem

So, did you know that Chas 'n' Dave of Margate fame were sampled by Eminem? Nope, neither did I!

Click here to see how Chas 'n' Dave were sampled by Eminem

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ken Wills - The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

I'm indebted to one of my spies who's spotted that our local squillionaire Ken Wills, he of CGP/China Gateway fame, just doesn't seem to be able to stop handing over his dosh to good causes at the moment!

As well as 25,000 sponds to the Thanet South Labourites, and a rumoured £12,500 mazoulians from CGP for Margate's Big Event, it would appear Our Ken has just handed over a cool ton to Councillor Shirley Tomlinson's British Heart Foundation appeal. Of course, KW has every right to spend his dosh however he pleases, and nobody's suggesting there's anything untoward going on here. Shirl's appeal is for a splendid cause, and is inspired by the excellent help hubby Mick 'Mr Margate' Tomlinson received when he had a cardiac arrest back in February. Curious, though, that Ken should be handing out his hard-earned to such disparate local causes - a Tory council, a Labour MP, and a charity appeal run by a Conservative councillor who admires Maggie Thatcher and wants to bring back national service!

And one can't help wondering, what with the Big Council Meeting to decide on planning permission for China Gate coming up this Thursday, whether Mr Wills has distributed his largesse in such a seemingly random fashion elsewhere on the island?

Click here to visit Shirley Tomlinson's BHF appeal site

Update: The Gazunder is now running the full SP on Ken's largesse here.

New Kid On The Blog

I see that someone has very bravely started a blog called Margate Leisure. Sponsored by Bryant and May and Primark no doubt. Actually, although the blogspot address is Margate Leisure, the blog itself is called Thanet Leisure. And it seems as if the writer comes from 'Rmasgate'. Cripes.

Still, I wish him/her all the best of British. They've even got a scoop of sorts to kick start their scribblings - news that the former Yates Wine Bar in Cecil Square is due to re-open before Christmas under the Riley banner. Whatever that is.

Click here to visit Margate Leisure

Update: Margate Leisure has now decided to change his/her blog address to Thanet Leisure, so we can now all refer to it as Thanet Leisure. I think. I'm assured, though, that he/she has nothing to do with the dreaded Thanet Leisure Force, who 'look after', amongst other things, the Mike and Bernie Winter Gardens. Phew, I'm glad we got that cleared up!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Before They Were Famous 3

Before I lay the old noddle on the Cumfilux Hungarian goose down pillow, I suppose I have to put you out of your misery and reveal that my second famous Thanetian (see post below) was none other than Ramsgate's campaigning biblio-bloke Michael Child. Although most of you seem to have got there under your own steam. I expect it was the shirt that gave it away. Sweet dreams!

Before They Were Famous 2

Drat! Most of you seemed to know who that last one was. Of course, none other than our very own Sir Roger Gale, the Blue Rinser for Thanet North:

Roger was a DJ on Radio Caroline in the 60s, where his theme tune was A Walk in the Black Forest. Later he produced Radio 1's Newsbeat, ITV's Magpie and the Today Programme on Radio 4. Now, here's another starter for ten. I'm so confident this time, I'm going to open a book on it:

Before They Were Famous

Yikes! I was prowling the internet just now for prominent Thanetians who might look like old lesbians (see post below), when I came across this dashing young dude!

This publicity shot for a pirate radio station was taken more than 40 years ago, since when he's risen to become one of our best known, er, windy politicians. Can you tell who it is yet?

Finger In The Dyke?

Regular contributor Mr Dickens of Broadstairs writes:

Your recent picture of the Major Domo of Ramsgate in waiting reminded me of one of my favourite esoteric websites -

I think he could qualify as a mature rug muncher. Do we have any more Thanet celebrities who might make the grade?

PS: You really must stop your middle class jibes about Broadstairs. I would go on longer but I have to put Flavia and Hugo to bed, varnish the Morris Traveller, compose a Haiku for the Broadie, and still catch the last part of Tess of the D'Urbivilles (volume down whilst I read from the original Hardy).

Click here to visit Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Spend One's Sovs

The 'feeble and pathetic team' (see comment on post below) are firing on all one cylinder here at the old cliff top mansion!

With the RNLI launching their SOS fundraising initiative this week, and with their lifeboat moneybox rapidly disappearing under a freak wave of Haribo and other sticky crap down at the local Costcutter, the 'team' have come up with a plan to help keep them, er, afloat. I've popped another of my 7 day polls in the sidebar on the right, but this time, for every vote in the appropriate box, I'll donate 25p of my hard-earned to the brave chaps in the orange and blue duck.

So whaddya waiting for? Get clicking!

Click here to read more about the RNLI SOS Day or donate direct

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mr Gateway Goes West

My spies over on the seedy north side of the island report that Paul Moore, the senior council officer who was largely responsible for bringing you the Margate Gateway/Library thingo, has finally left the council building to take up a new position further up the M2.

So successful was Mr Moore's inspired yet unusual combination of benefits and books that I hear he's now helping out my old culinary chum Heston with recipes that include sausages and custard, sticky fishy pudding and, my personal favourite, strawberry and Marmite compote!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Beeb To Tackle China Gate

I see next Wednesday's edition of the BBC's local news magazine Inside Out will be tackling China Gate - the day before the big council meeting to decide on planning permission. From what I've heard, roving reporter Glenn Campbell will be taking a more robust look at the proposed development than his previous effort, and the show will include a no holds barred interview with CGP boss, squillionnaire Ken Wills.

Expect: More empty promises of jobs by CGP, councillors and MPs.
Do not expect: The entire report to be set to the tune of 'Rhinestone Cowboy'.

Westgate Pavilion Saved For The Nation

Hurrah! Regular ECR contributor Kevin Crace reports that the Ts have now been crossed and the Is dotted on his takeover of the Westgate Shed, er, Pavilion over on the north side.

Kevin, a Ramsgatonian and Thanetian Returnee whose background is in the upper echelons of the music industry, has big plans for the Pav, and wants to bring top London acts down to play at the venue, as well as continue its community role. He's also promised to, how shall I put it, tart the place up a bit. Not before time, methinks.

Our Kev clearly has the best of intentions for the venue, and I know him to be a man of considerable drive, integrity and ideas. Which he has amply demonstrated by offering me a free back stage pass, and a chance to stage 'An Evening With Eastcliff Richard' at the joint! Good on yer Kev!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ramsgate Front Page News

As is only appropriate for the island's premier town, the Millionaires' Playground has been splashed on the front pages of two of the local tabloids in the past 24 hours!

First Ramsgate Firster Gerry O'Donnell, aka Family Guy, adorns the front of the Thanet Times, looking for all the world like the man who is going to cost us all half a million smackeroonies, that being the amount touted for running Ramsgate's new teeny-tiny council which is being set up next year. Hmmm. Not sure whether Our Jezza will be too happy with that!

And the excellent yourfannit (available free in the corner of all your favourite local stores, usually behind the twelve boxes of Haribo etc.) tells the tale of another prominent Ramsgatonian, Tim Garbutt, who has apparently spent time in the clink after a rather bizarre argument over his company's name, and a refusal to pay court costs. Tim's wife runs the world famous Surin Thai restaurant on Harbour Street. Who knows, now that he's got a taste for it, perhaps they'll be putting porridge on the menu!

Click here to read Ramsgate Town Council story in Thanet Times
Click here to read Tim Garbutt story in yourfannitinnit