Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bucket And Spade Is Bread And Butter

Talking of decaying seaside towns getting a Sugar coating, I've received this email from former councillor and town crier Paul Conyers-Silverthorn:

Open Letter re Tourism in Thanet

The national press is full of stories of the re-growth of domestic holidays and the windfall increase in inbound tourism due to the weakness of sterling. When I was a councillor I was unable to generate interest in an overall strategy for the develop­ment of tourism. I cannot remain silent when I see what appears to be a failure in tactical response right now.

I urge councillors and everyone involved in tourism and the provision of tourist and leisure facilities not just to promote their own business interests but to get together to create a joined-up response. In Thanet we have a wonderful tourism product base: superb beaches and a far more clement climate than anywhere in mainland Britain save Torbay. There is a pressing need either to grasp these advantages and enhance them or to sideline them in favour of other 'maybe' developments and watch them decline. If we enhance our resource we will also be in a better position to attract business investment.

One main forum exists through which action might be coordinated: Thanet District Council.

Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Margate each has its own small promotional organisation and 'fan club'. Each means well but has meagre resources. Together, and in cooperation with various other organisations such as the LVA, KCC, museum trustees etc., a concerted effort could be made both to market Thanet for business and leisure and to ensure sustainable improvement to the product base.

Yes, we are in the middle of a financial crisis. But this has thrown up a raft of opportunities, of which we need to take advantage urgently - that is to say, before other groups of mutual interest coalesce elsewhere in the UK with the same inten­tion.

I would welcome comments on the above.

Paul Conyers-Silverthorn
Tel: 01843 861993

Well Paul, I presume this is the same Thanet District Council which has singularly failed to provide any feature event for the island's premier town this year, after losing our excellent Powerboat Weekend to Gravesend!


Millicent said...

All is not lost - I saw a poster in the Town Partnership window today in York Street advertising the Bucket and Spade run as returning to Ramsgate this year on 7th June.

Anonymous said...

where's all those links gone from the right hand side?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, thery've just come back. Ah the wonders of the internet.

Wishful thinking said...

I think this year will see a resurgence of day trippers as fewer families will go abroad - we need quality events across the island all summer - the kites in Margate last September were excellent - nice weather always helps too - let's hope the new ferry service to Boulogne happens too. Bring back the donkeys and Punch and Judy and let's have some sandcastle or sand sculpture competitions again. An open air roller skating rink would be fun and how about some horse drawn fiacres too.

Jeremy said...

How about those coaches that used to park on the grass verge and all the men on board would get crates of returnable beer bottles out. Candy floss and hats with slogans; saucy postcards; hucksters; sliced bread and butter with terrible meals; sunglasses that strained your eyes and gave no protection; boarding houses with shared facilities; tattooed women only in freakshows...

Eastcliff Richard said...

Crikey Jeremy! You really are living in the past, aren't you!

Jean said...

Jeremy, your ironic wit would appear to be lost on ECR but not on me.

This letter contains much merit - don't rubbish it because you personally believe the island's future to be a giant runway on which you can base your career as a pilot.

Of course you don't want to see a resurgence in Thanet's tourism - you want to fly folk half way round the world for their holidays.

Come to think of it, you are living in the past.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Jeremy's heavily larded sarcasm was not, in fact, lost on me Jean. And my comment about him living in the past was indeed a subtle swipe at his joystick-loving persona.

If seaside towns like Southend, Brighton, Newquay etc can still attract weekenders and daytrippers, why oh why shouldn't we have a bit of that down here on the Ile de Thanet? After all, beachwise we're much better off than Brighton and Sarfend, and Nukey's flippin' miles away!

Anonymous said...

Thanet's premier town? I think Margate has quite a lot going on at the moment.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Yes indeed, Margate does have quite a bit going on. Endless arson, shops shutting on the high street every day, a hole where Dreamland was... oh yes, it's all go Margate!

Jeremy said...

ECR and Jean

I was being a bit whimsical. I'm not against Thanet having resorts, but I believe the economic future is for us to accept that we live in towns that just happen to be by the sea, and that we need year-round employment.

I must set the record straight. Whilst I am an aviation buff, I am a director of a company that works predominantly in the railway industry; don't get me started on rail!

Anonymous said...

I think that's been the problem for the last 30 years. People like Jeremy behaving as if 'we live in towns that just happen to be by the sea'. The sea is our greatest asset and we squander it. How many people do you know in Thanet who even go and look at it regularly? Surely with windfarms, fishing, the port, tourism (i.e. some destinations that would put us on the map), some great restaurants (NOT Thorley),our beautiful beaches etc etc we should have it made. Admittedly we would still need some light industry etc to top it up and I am glad to see Jeremy works in rail - hopefully at the new depot in Ramsgate that has created 200 real jobs.

Anonymous said...

Who would want TDC as an ally? The creation of Westwood has had a major impact to the detriment of both the Gates & the Stairs.
With traffic congestion now and for the future(more housing around Westwood isn`t going to ease it), the increase in some local parking charges, the possible charging for the use of public conveniences, less lifeguard cover for public beaches, the lack of a decent public swimming pool for residents and visitors alike. The list is endless. Most residents I speak to share the same views/concerns but the minority that decide these issues don`t.
What kind of a message will the weekend congestion that has been created at Cliffs End send to those visiting Thanet this Easter and Summer holidays?
KCC seem to add to this mess and therefore joining hands with TDC/KCC isn`t an option-not while they don`t have the majority of local businesses/residents best interests at heart. Our biggest asset is the sea. God save the Queen!

Anonymous said...

Thanet is a fantastic place. It has wonderful beaches, clean air, superb light, better architecture than Bath, miles of esplanades to walk on and an eclectic mixture of restaraunts and bars.

What's the problem? TDC is the problem. They don't seem to value any of these things. They just want to turn it into some kind of industrial hell-hole. Thanet would knock the spots off Whitstable if they just focussed on the area's assets and stopped trying to turn it into something it isn't.

Small, light, high-tech industry - Yes. Leisure and tourism - Yes. Somewhere good to live - Yes.

What is the one thing you could do to ruin all of this? I know. Let's fly planes over the town at low altitude, day and night. What great idea? That's really consistent with building on the assets we have. Not.

Anonymous said...

Seems to work in Ibiza.