Friday, January 30, 2009

Knock Three Times And Ask For Rebecca

News that the Isle of Thanet Gazunder moved offices this week got me pondering if their new accommodation was an improvement on the old Gazunder Towers.

It would seem not if the instructions on their website are anything to go by. More like some seedy Soho joint than a swanky media centre:

1. Press for attention

2. Hop in the lift

3. Press the button for the third floor

4. Ring the bell on the door opposite to be let in

5. Er... shurely shome mishtake? Ed.

Winter Draws On

Brrrr! With temperatures forecast to plummet below minus 30 here in the tip of Kent through the weekend and beyond, I'm glad I installed that new Sinegorsk heating system here at the old cliff top mansion. And I'll be keeping an eye on my elderly neighbour Doris during the cold snap. Although she recently took delivery of half a dozen polar bear vests from Iceland, so she should be OK.

If a bankrupt country can provide warm clothes for Britain's oldies, let's hope Kent Council can spare a few coppers and show some grit this time after their woeful neglect of the Thanet Way in the last icy spell. Or did KCC lose its shirt, sweater, thermal Reg Grundies and 50m quid of our taxpayers' lolly in, er, Iceland?

Click here for Iceland story on AP

Update: Noon on Sunday 1 Feb and it's snowing here in Ramsgate!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's Another Ill Wind

A cunning plan to put the mockers on the view of the Turneresque sunsets from mARgaTe™'s embryonic Turnip Centre seems to have hit the doldrums. E.ON, one of three partners in the London Array, announced hundreds of job cuts this morning. The news comes only four days after E.ON's chief executive told the FT that the economics of the world's largest offshore fart farm are currently 'on a knife-edge'.

Better news though for the smaller Thanet Array, which is being masterminded from our lovely port here in the Millionaires' Playground. A salty seaman has emailed me to say:

The dredging that has (finally) started at Ramsgate is not so much to help the ferries from touching bottom (ooh madam) as to make some room so that the installation jack-up 'Sea Jack', her pontoon berth and the 'mono-pile' transport barges Osprey Carrier and E3501 can start work on the wind farm!! Honestly!!

Last week in Feb should see the first arrivals - dredging, crane trials, installation procedures, weather, Port Ramsgate, Nore Challenger, permitting.


Click here to read E.ON interview in the FT

An Ill Wind

I'm publishing this map for the benefit of the Blue Rinser for Norf Fannit, Sir Roger Wind, who yesterday told the House of Commons this:

Fifty miles from where Boris wants to put his island is Manston. Manston has one of the longest runways in the country, and its take-offs and landings are currently, and will remain, over the sea.

Wrong Rodge! The runway is roughly where I've parked my Bentley Continental Flying Toss on the map above. Presumably you haven't noticed in the 78 years you've been the Horrible Member for Thanet North that there's quite an attractive Victorian seaside town, with reputedly more listed buildings than Bath, before you get to the sea, just to the right of my front bumper. It's called 'Ramsgate'. Or don't you venture down to the Millionaires' Playground that often? Really! First that ruddy-faced man from Kent Council, then the peroxide Mayor of London, and now one of the island's own MPs who should know better!

Sir Wind continued to bluster on in a similar vein:

You'd think that my colleague Mrs. Laura Sandys, who represents the Conservative interest in South Thanet and will, I trust, be its next Member of Parliament, and I oppose the creation of a hub airport—a London airport—at Manston... Yes Roger, I would. I really would! - Ed. However, we believe that as a regional airport Manston has a great deal to offer the south-east, via Gatwick to Heathrow, and to the wider United Kingdom. We see the potential within the next three years for creating London’s Olympic airport. We have the opportunity, if we choose to seize it now — and it must be now — to ring-fence Manston. It is potentially the most secure airfield in the country. It would offer a complete, secure package for the coming and going of all those taking part in the Olympics and those who wish to watch them, and it is on the right side of London.

Olympic Airport? Putting a large fence around it? Has Roger finally lost the plot as well as the map? And would that be the Laura Sandys who goes around telling everyone the island 'has natural beauty, unique architecture and great historical significance. Combine our grand history with our green environment and we can play to our strengths instead of our weaknesses'?

If want to read more of this tosh, click here to go to Hansard

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Burning Issues

Unholy smoke! A brand new property development has gone to blazes in suspicious circumstances over on the charred north side of the island! The property has now partially collapsed and looks for all intents and purposes a gonner.

When word of the fire reached the old Eastcliff lugholes this morning, it had me wondering if it was the Endcliffe Hotel over in Cliftonville (it wasn't). If you recall, the Endcliffe also burnt down, but has since been rebuilt. But not in the way that was stipulated when planning permission was granted. Our beloved council now seems to be thinking about getting the developer to knock the whole thing down and start again. If you were faced with that, or a nice little earner-burner, which would you choose?

It's not the first time a development has been completed here on the Ile de Thanet, only for the planning department to realise it doesn't look anything like the drawings they were shown years earlier. The odd extra floor here, a few extra metres there. Kushti. Admittedly, there are nine serious bones of contention against the Endcliffe, and judging by the photo above it does look like the proverbial box of bollocks compared with what's left of the Edwardian hotel it stands next to. But why oh why can't the planners pop round every now and then to check on progress? That way they could nip these diabolical liberties in the bud. Before they have to be knocked or burnt down, leaving us with yet another decade-long eyesore to replace the decade-long eyesore we had before!

Click here for Margate fire story on Gazunder website
Click here for pictures and video of fire on Thanet Extra

Hornby To Play With Bigger Train Set

Margate model manufacturers Hornby have reported a late surge in sales in the run up to Christmas, and say they'll continue with expansion across Europe. The company makes model chuffers, Lewis Hamilton style Scalextric sets, Corgi toys and Airfix glue-your-hands-together kits.

Hornby's success clearly demonstrates that staying in and playing with yourself is the new going out. Although if you want to invite a friend, I can thoroughly recommend the Horny Pain Set, a snip at £29,95 from Pillow Talk on Margate front.

Update: The Hornby Visitor Centre in Margate launches on 3 July 2010 and will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the year. Click here for more info.

Click here for full story on BBC News website

More Fannit Souvenirs

Continuing the theme of yesterday's item, regular contributor Millicent has emailed more suggestions for souvenirs of Thanet, including 'Tickets for the latest blockbuster at Dreamland Cinema', 'A spa weekend at Ramsgate Lido', and 'A shopping spree on Margate High Street'.

Hmmm. Methinks a rich seam has been struck here!

A day out at the Motor Museum

Drinks on board a luxury yacht in Ramsgate's Royal Harbour

A bare knuckle ride at a Margate theme park

A night with the stars at a local theatre

A romantic meal for two at the Marina Restaurant

That's enough Thanet souvenirs - Ed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fannit Souvenirs On Facebook

Holy holidaymakers! I see someone with a well-developed sense of humour has added a 'Souvenirs of Thanet' application on Facebook!

Now you can send your friends and family such mementos of our lovely island as 'An afternoon at Queen's House', 'A week's Income Support' or 'Chas and Dave's Greatest Hits'. Just the ticket for Aunt Matilda in Chesham! Here's a shufti at what I've sent so far:

And my personal favourite:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Watch Out, There's A Humphrys About!

Listening to my old chum John Humphrys laying into his boss, Director-General Mark Thompson, on the Radio 4 Toady programme this morning made me wonder how many other people would be prepared to do that in front of an audience of millions.

Thompson was getting a tongue-lashing over the Beeb's rather lame excuses for not running a charity appeal on behalf of Gaza. So far I've seen umpteen BBC execs wheeled out to defend the decision. And despite Humphrys' best efforts, I've still haven't heard anything that remotely justifies the decision.

Mind you, it's a brave soul who goes mano-a-mano with the Splott-born inquisitor. I remember directing a film he was fronting a few years ago, which involved interviewing the execs of a mammoth UK insurance company. At the time they were engaged in a bitter takeover battle. We were wheeled up to the top floor, only to find our minder's key card didn't work at those exulted heights. Fearless, Humprhys began bashing on the door, and after some minutes a short fat man in a suit, purple with rage, opened it. 'I'M THE *@!%ING FINANCE DIRECTOR, NOT THE *@!%ING DOORMAN,' he bellowed at the bewildered presenter of Mastermind. Quick as a shot, Humphrys blasted back with: 'Do you know who I am? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?'

If it hadn't been for the intervention of myself, the crew, and our, by-now, rather sheepish minder I tell you, it would have been handbags at dawn!

Priced To Sell

OIEO £25,000
This stunning semi-detached property will appeal to all Mod Cons! Situated in the heart of Thanet's up and coming Newington suburb, it was designed in the late 90s by election winning architects Blair and Brown, who have since installed a fast rail link directly opposite to whisk you to your consultancy/cardboard box in the City in just over an hour. Recently upgraded with 'Mandelson' kitchen cabinets, 'Motion' tables and 'Parliamentary' seats. OSP for Ferrari. NB: small deposit required but does not secure. The owner advises us of one or two broken promises to the rear of the property, but estimates these should only take £1-2,000,000,000,000 to fix.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Scraping The Bottom

Our lovely port and harbour here in the Millionaires' Playground is apparently being dredged this week, after five months of zip. Not before time. My spies with the blue blazers and brass buttons report that TransEuropa's Larkspur ran aground whilst in the turning circle within the port breakwaters on Thursday morning, only to wriggle free an hour and a half after her advertised departure time.

Why don't Thanet Council just admit they're planning to save a whole loada dough by turning the place into a beach? Which they will then eventually transform into yet another car park, with the aid of an EU grant, thus providing a revenue stream with absolutely no outgoings whatsoever!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bignews Goes Ballistic!

Cripes! Tony Flaig, keeper of Margate's premier blog, has written to every KCC councillor following a shocking lack of response from Tory leader Ruddy-Faced Man to his complaint about a KCC contractor's ham-fisted attempt to shut him up!

Tony, aka Sausage Man, recently called a halt to his Bignews Margate blog in protest at the resounding silence from R-FM concerning a legally threatening letter from Sir Bob Geldoff's Kent TV. So far our lovely county council has spent around £2m of our money on Kent TV, and our Tone, quite rightly in my opinion, feels he has a democratic right to criticise the channel's output. But apparently not according to Ten Alps, the Bob-backed company which makes it.

Anyway, here's the text of Tony's council-wide email:

Dear councillor,

I am a local blogger, I write about local issues predominantly concerning Kent and generally more specifically Thanet.

I frequently write about policy issues concerning Kent Council. Naturally Kent council's high profile project Kent TV is one of those issues I considered worth referring to, since broadcast media would appear to many people a departure from the normal services taxpayers expect from their local authority.

At the end of June last year, I received a letter from a Kent County council contractor taking exception to comments I had made about Kent TV, the first line of their letter being 'I am responding to the comments posted on your blog regarding Kent TV'. This letter appeared to carry an implied threat that should I make further comments, they might well sue me.

At the time, I contacted the company concerned, asking the author of the letter whether there were any statements etc. that they wished me to withdraw, and at no point was I asked withdraw any statements.

Also at around the same time I contacted both Paul Carter, and then Peter Gilroy
(KCC's £230,000 a year chief executive - Ed.) concerning this matter. Both subsequently wrote to me, apparently both supporting the contractor's rights, but neither appeared to acknowledge my right to express a valid opinion on the wisdom of a public authority wasting taxpayers' money on a questionable enterprise.

At no time do I feel that I have criticised the professionalism or competence of any contractor, although I have certainly questioned the output of Kent TV and its purpose.

I would like Kent Council to make a clear statement to the effect that Kent residents are entitled to make reasonable comments as they see fit about political issues in line with those rights guaranteed under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. If Kent Council don't make a clear commitment to residents' rights to free speech, then what's next? Contractors to other departments sending out letters, when say a resident complains about Kent Highways? Maybe suppliers of cones, tarmac or even advertising might send letters offering legal action?

I have currently suspended posts to my blog site, until such time as Paul Carter responds to the email I sent him on the 13th of January 2009. All I want is a clear statement from KCC making it clear they support free speech even if its critical.

Regards Tony Flaig
Bignews Margate

Illness Forces Manston Boss To Step Down

Lloyd Morrison, the founder and chief executive of Infratil, the Kiwi company that owns Chas 'n' Dave International Airport, has taken a period of medical leave following a diagnosis of leukaemia. The move was announced in Infratil's latest update to shareholders.

The update also reveals that C'n'DIA handled 2,554 tonnes of freight in December – down 37% on the same month in 2007. The company adds:

Cargolux tonnage substantially increased against the prior year and EgyptAir performance was also up. However, this was offset by MK Airlines which was down by more than 50% against December 2007.

At 15,289 tonnes, the year-to-date freight performance is 28% down on the same period in 2007.

I'll leave it to the SMEGheads out there to comment on what that might mean for the 10,000 jobs promised back in the late 90s!

Welcome Back Wossie!

Yes - my old showbiz chum and cheeky chappy de nos jours Jonathan Ross is back on the box tonight, following all that hoo-ha over SachsSexGate! BBC insiders tell me that he was on good form at the recording yesterday, despite every word being scrutinised by the D-G down.

Still, with reliably entertaining guests Stephen Fry and Lee Evans, along with Hollywood blockbuster Tom Cruise, what could go wrong? Although I do hear that he bottled out of asking our Tom the big question at the last minute. Something along the lines of: If you're not gay, why did you pick a name like 'Cruise'?

No worries about QI quizmaster Fry being out though. Back in his Cambridge days it was common practice for the young bucks, when asked whether they were on for a bevvie on a Saturday night, to respond gaily with the riposte: No, we're off for a Fry up!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Wood Night In Ramsgate

Not since the 70s has the seafront here in the Millionaires' Playground done such brisk trade! A steady stream of white vans, estates and flat bed trucks advertising 'professional building services' has been heading down Marina Road since dusk, all returning with bootloads, roofloads, even strapped-on loads of wood! Shed loads, in fact.

And there you have it. Forget spending millions on a Turnip Centre. Forget EU money to turn our lovely lido into a car park. Forget luxury apartments on the burnt out Pleasurama site. Nope, what will really bring the punters in, even on a cold, wet January night, is a few free planks of four by two!

Click here for story on BBC News website

Wood Chopper

Holy helicopters! I see my old chums at ITN have got their big, blue, throbbing chopper up to cover all the wood we've got down our front! Is there no limit to the innuendos that can be had from this story!

Wind Brings On Wood

As predicted on this blog on Monday, we now have wood. Tons and tons and tons of it! Right, I'm off down the front with the old chainsaw. At last, my tootsies will be warm again!

Click here for full story on Thanet Extra


Timber galore!

Rotten spoilsports

Right Mayor On Cecil Street?

Returning to politics and elections, I can exclusively reveal that an attempt to replace Thanet's cabinet of Dad's Army duffers has well and truly kicked off.

Malcolm Kirkaldie, Ramsgate campaigner and general thorn in the side of all things TDC, has thrown his fedora into the ring and started a mayoral petition. The aim will be to get enough signatures to force our beloved council into holding a referendum on whether to replace the current system with a Mayor of Thanet. Speaking exclusively to Thanet's premier blog, Mr Kirkaldie said:

I don't know what a Mayoral stalking horse is called (perhaps a talking horse) but I am it (for the moment at least). This has a number of functions:

1. To smoke other potential Mayors out
2. To get the help of Joe public
3. Engage with the public
4. Get the public involved with the petition
5. Find out if TDC will initiate a referendum
6. Get rid of the Cabinet system
7. Find out if TDC/the political parties are behind a Mayor or not

A Mayor would not be an extra burden on the tax payers, as the costs of the Cabinet go as does a number of staffing costs. With a Mayor you can vote them out, currently you cannot get the Chief Executive out, or any of the full time council officers. Hopefully in the end we can get a Mayor who will not take an overly inflated wage?

And he adds: 'Anyone up for the job of press and publicity?' Speaking as someone with close links to the Mayor of London (why, only last week I was standing merely yards away as BoJo rode his bicycle past me on Islington's Upper Street), I think I would be perfect for the job! And who better to stand outside Thanet Council's offices with a placard saying CHANGE than a former millionaire with a scruffy duffel coat and a dog on a string, who recently lost his shirt in Iceland-on-Thames (as they're calling the City these days)?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ramsgate Raiders

Reader Chris writes:

A collection of assorted council officers and fire officers, totalling 9, are currently 'raiding' industrial units in Pyson's Road. This crack force entered my premises, introduced themselves and then told me they'd send me a letter regarding self risk assessment. Then they left. Their crucial work just could not have been done by letter alone and I'm very grateful they bothered to tell me in person to expect it. At least I know what I pay my business rates pay for now.

I'm sure there is justification for this somewhere but it is pretty laughable from where I sit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Drama

Am I the only person who couldn't give a proverbial about what's going on in America? I mean, really. If you've tuned in to the BBC at any point in the past 24 hours, you could be forgiven for thinking Jesus bloody Christ had finally announced his comeback tour.

OK, it really is worthy of note that the Septics have at last had the decency to elect an African American to the top job. After all, it was only 60 years ago, when they built the Pentagon, that they installed double the number of lavvies - one set for whites and the other set for, er, others. But, y'know, guys, he's just another American Prez when all's said and done. He ain't gonna stop supporting Israel bombing the crap out of innocent women and children in Gaza. He ain't gonna solve the economic mess that his country bequeathed the world in the first place. And he ain't, if the clips I've seen today are anything to go by, gonna stop spouting that mawkish, cloying, saccharin drivel that passes in the States for oratory.

I'm sure there are plenty of old timers out there who will now tell me that if it hadn't been for the Yanks wading in in two world wars I wouldn't have the freedom to type this rant. And I accept there is some truth in that. There's also some truth in in the statement that if the Americans were as good at aiming guns as they are at firing them, there would be a fair few Tommies alive today to tell the tale.

Oh well, I really do hope our Bazza does a good job, and wish him all the best. But I for one will be expecting him to at least part the waters and turn a million bad mortgages into wine before he'll live up to the hype of the last few weeks.

News Rubble

Right. Continuing with the driftwood theme that appears to have developed here on Thanet's premier blog over the last few posts, it's time for a round-up of all the flotsam and jetsam that's floated into the ECR newsroom over the past week, and which I couldn't be arsed to write about. I call it news rubble. Oh, and by the way, none of these, er, facts have been checked in the slightest!


Debenhams to pull out of Westwood Chaos - Fenwicks tipped as replacement [When do Harvey Nicks move in? - Ed.]


Ikea set to open new superstore on cleared Westwood site [If that happens I'll eat my socks, stark bollock naked, on Ramsgate front whilst reciting the Hallelujah Chorus backwards. Besides, I thought the site had already been earmarked for a British Home Stores, er, Home store? - Ed.]


Sandy Beach to resign in March ahead of embarrasing Standards Board hearing into Petitiongate. [Now that I can believe. Let's hope he takes his entire team of Dad's Army duffers with him! - Ed.]

And there you have it. News rubble. Don't forget, if you have any tasty nibbles for the ECR smörgåsbord, or just a few planks to help shore up the old cliff top mansion, just email me at

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone else noticed the similarity between Gerry O'Donnell's kiosk on Ramsgate's East Cliff and the new 'Smoothie Shack' that is currently being constructed next to the toilets down on the front? Are they by any chance related?



Monday, January 19, 2009

Will You Get Wood In The Morning?

With 1500 tonnes of Swedish timber drifting up the Dover Strait, it's more than likely us Thanetians will indeed wake up with wood tomorrow morning - all over our lovely sandy beaches!

Fortunately our island's renowned resourcefulness when it comes to getting something for nothing will almost certainly ensure that it's gone by dinner time. Which is fortunate, as we wouldn't be able to rely on the duffers at our council to clear it much before Easter.

I myself will be down there, wielding my Stihl chainsaw, as one of the last things Mr Ceaucescu (no relation) did for me before running off with my lovely wife, Mrs Eastcliff (formerly Mrs Ceaucescu (no relation)) was install a wood burning stove here at the old cliff top mansion. Oh well, it's an ill wind!

Click here to read full story on BBC News website

Update: The Receiver of Wreck has said any wood washed up remains the property of the owner and must be reported. Yeah, right. Click here to read story on BBC News website.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tiny Dancers Set To Make Small Fortune

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Arts Correspondent Hugh Mungus

Cliftonville's historic Tom Thumb Theatre could get a new lease of life, if a small group of entrepreneurs get their way!

The tiny theatre, which has been up for sale for more than a year, is set to become the isle's first venue for the latest craze to sweep London - midget lap dancing.

Backer Big Willy Winky, who heads up Exotitch, the group behind the bid, told the Gazunder: 'What better venue could there be for dwarf dancers than one of the world's smallest theatres?' And he added: 'Like my dancers, it's small but perfectly formed if you get my drift.'

But the move is bound to provoke anger among local residents. The theatre is close to sheltered housing for the elderly and several old people's homes.

Asked by the Gazunder whether the shock of seeing lapdancing Lilliputians and pole-dancing pigmies would be a trauma for her residents, Cliftonville care home supervisor Sandra Diesel said: 'One or two of them might have a stroke, but the others would be far too immobile to even get close.'

Big Willy Winky is 3'6".

Pole position: exotic dancer Pocket Rocket goes through her paces

Friday, January 16, 2009

Manston... And On And On And On

Really! What with all this Heathrow kerfuffle, if I have to hear that tongue-tied, two-timing, tousle-haired, toffee-nosed Tory twonk Boris Johnson drone on about Chas 'n' Dave International Airport having 'the longest runway in Britain' again, I think I'll scream! That goes for that Ruddy-Faced Man at KCC and all the other tit heads who think it's some kind of mantra, other than for persuading Mickey Mouse Airways to fly in more sacks of amphetamines stuffed inside rotting bananas.

For the record, here are the top thirteen longest runways in the UK:

3901m - Heathrow 09L/27R
3660m - Heathrow 09R/27L
3101m - Boscombe Down
3050m - Gatwick
3050m - Stansted
3050m - Brize Norton
3049m - Campbeltown
3048m - Fairford
3046m - Heathrow
3040m - Manchester
2891m - Doncaster
2987m - Prestwick
2780m - Aldergrove

C'n'D International scrapes in at 14th with 2752m. And while we're at it, can we also can the cobblers about it being an emergency landing site for the space shuttle? According to this definitive list, only RAF Fairford has that dubious honour.

Still, one thing that should be mentioned in its favour is that there is plenty of water around it to land on if you happen to be flying a US Airways A320!

Update: Oh yes, and another thing you can use a deserted airport in the middle of nowhere for - as a taxpayer subsidised film set. Watch out for the new Kit Kat commercial starting tonight which was shot in the departure lounge of our very own C'n'DIA!

Hamster News

As if BBC News wasn't crap enough these days, what with Eddie Mair's Whoopsy-Daisy - It's the PM Prog! on Radio 4, standy-uppy News at Ten, and the endless diet of cats up trees, prize marrows and puffs for Howletts Zoo on Southeast Today, a journalist mate spotted this on the 24 hour BBC News Channel recently.

Yes, the strap really does read: 'HAMSTER THEFT: Pet stolen from flat in Stourport-on-Severn.' And they say they haven't dumbed down!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's On In Thanet

Not a lot, some of you cynics might cry. But as an exercise in proving them wrong, and in cheering everyone up a bit about the cultural life of our funny little island, I've popped a new section in the sidebar on the right, entitled, rather imaginatively I thought, 'What's On In Thanet'.

So do feel free to drop me a line at to publicise your cheese and wine evening, séance, keys-in-the-middle night or whatever it is that passes for fun around here. I can't promise to be all-inclusive. And as ever, I reserve the right to take the proverbial!

Number's Up

In Memoriam
Patrick McGoohan
The Prisoner from The Prisoner

So farewell
Then, Patrick McGoohan.

'I am not a number
I am a free man!'
That was
Your catchphrase.
'Be seeing you!'
That was another.

My dad says
That it was not
A spy-fi series
But a post-Jungian
Metaphor for
Mid-life crisis.

If that's true
I guess you have
Finally escaped
From The Village.

Be seeing you!
Er, or not actually.

E.C. Richard (29)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gazette Readers To Get TT-lated?

I hear the hacks at Gazunder Towers have been getting all hot under the proverbial recently regarding a rumour that the outfit's red top is set to be merged with the more serious blue top - to make a rather fetching purple top, one imagines.

The thought of all those be-duffered and blue rinsed Gazette readers choking on their Friday morning kedgeree as they turn to page three and find Thanet Times style articles on nudie photo shoots and knicker-snapping vicars was enough to get everyone in a toby twirl. However, the suits have now apparently scotched the rumour. That hasn't stopped one intrepid member of Her Majesty's Press from circulating the following memo, though:

Hey, Thanet Times fans, betcha thought it was TUESDAY, eh?. Well it ISN'T. It's FRIDAY, and that's when you'll be getting your news fix from now on.

Your favourite paper's being combined with the Gazette, the paper with the BIG WORDS, so you'll get a double dose of weekend fun before you head off for Thorley's. Sorry folks, the t*ts won't be returning, but there's loads of new stuff.

The top geezer at the Town Hall will be telling you why things aren't as minging as you think. And we've got that sacked minister who appeared on 'Top Gear' writing just for YOU. There's even a toff spilling the beans about those boats you see off Margate when you fall out the nightclub.

Best of all, there's a bird with a posh name sharing her most INTIMATE thoughts each week. She's called Plane Jane. More like Playin' Jane, we reckon.

If you wanna real larf, don't miss the Letters Page! It's packed with old-timers belly-aching about dog cr*p and how they died for us in the war. Bl**dy hilarious! There's load of pictures of school kids (stop it Gary!) and pages of reports on what your gran's up to at the women's institute. You'll be able to find out if she won the competition to see how many objects beginning with J you can cram into a matchbox. We'll even tell you who was the guest speaker, so you can tell her if she's forgotten.

Here's an easy way to remember when to pick up your paper - it's BENEFITS DAY! So when you've pocketed your weekly wedge of wonga, wander on down to your friendly fag-seller and pick up your copy of the Thanet Times.

Whoops! Silly old us! It's the GAZETTE you ask for from now on, folks. OK? It's well good!!!!!!

Quite a bit better than a lot of the stuff you usually read in either of them, if you ask me! Like, er, this from today's TT:

RAMSGATE Library is set to rise from the ashes, three and a half years after being ravaged by fire four years ago.

Or, um, this:

AN elderly pensioner is living in fear after a con artist tried to swindle £450 for four coats before leaving them at his house. The 84-year-old, who was too scared to reveal his name, said he was walking to Ramsgate high street when he was stopped at the corner of George Street by an Italian who pretended to know him....

A police spokesman added: 'The advice remains - if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious, as this gentleman Mr D***er
(my asterisks) appears to have been in this case.'

Update: Both these stories have now had the errors removed, online at least. As I sit here, whiling away my time cheating the dole, it gives me a nice, warm feeling in my cockles to know I'm acting as as unpaid, post hoc sub for the Daily Mail Group!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Srippery Srope

Holy helter-skelters! My thanks to reader Sally who points out that you can now buy shares in CGP, the company that brought you China Gateway, for 7.5p! That means that, as of today, you'd need five CGP shares to purchase a small packet of crisps.

The graph shows how the price has plumetted since CGP was launched on the AIM stock market back in February 2007. The red line at the bottom represents how the FTSE 350 has performed over the same period. At one point the shares were trading at more than £3.40, meaning they're now worth little more than 2% of what they were in their heyday.

At this rate I'm going to have to downgrade Thanet squillionaire Ken Wills, who's the brains behind the business, to a mere millionaire!

Isle Of Cats

Forget fat cats, Thanet is the top area for spotting big cats according to Teletext! Statistics gathered by big cat researcher Neil Arnold reveal there were 21 sightings on Kent's Ramsgate Peninsula during 2008, with the majority based around Birchington.

One explanation for the number of sightings of supersize pussies on the north side could be the widespread prevalence of cataracts, crack and cans of Stella in the area, according to one Thanet blogger.

Click here to read story on Teletext
Click here to go to Kent Big Cat Research blog

Friday, January 09, 2009

Garbled Message

Oh dear. It seems as if Tim Garbutt aka Mr Surin has taken umbrage at my retitling his jottings 'Tim Garbled's Blog' in the Recent Thanet Natter section on the right. Tim emails:

Best wishes for 2009: you have the Sincerity blog down as 'Tim Garbled's blog' - could you change it to 'Tim Garbutt's blog' or 'Sincerity Agency blog' please.

Clearly Tim hasn't been studying my cobblers for long, otherwise he'd know that there is a long standing tradition on this site of being, er, playful with other people's links. For example, the Gaddfather of Ale has registered no objections to the nomenclature I've chosen for his brewery's blog, and everyone knows that 'Popular But Beseiged™' refers to Councillor/Doctor Moores' Thanet Life. And I don't think Mr G could nail me under the trading standards legislation either. Here's a sample of his recent output:

Is Kent Britain’s most under-wired county. As it were.

You can go topless on the beaches. You can go knickerless. On some of the beaches.

But you can’t sit on your laptop. And surf. Or anyone else’s. Laptop. To surf.


Frankly I'd say 'garbled' was putting it politely! And that from a chap who doesn't even deign to link to us mere underbloglings! Kuh! Still, longer term readers will remember when a high flying Thanet blogger came over all pompous in 2006. His link mysteriously turned into 'Steaming Great Twat'.

Broadstairs Goes To Iceland

Chips cheap as, er, chips store Iceland has bought up the former Woolies in Boredstares High Street, according to the BBC. How refreshing that the Dickensians should at last be getting a taste of the kind of elegant, quality shopping we enjoy here in the Millionaires' Playground. I feel certain Kerry Katona (for it is she who puts the 'elan' in 'Iceland') will fit in with the Blue Rinsers and old duffers just fine!

Click here for full story on BBC News website

New Fast Ferry Service For Ramsgate

Hurrah! Proof yet again that Ramsgate is the isle's premier town, with news today that a fast ferry service will be operating out of our lovely port from spring this year!

Euroferries' state of the ark, er, art 98m high speed ferry will whisk foot passengers, coaches and cars to Boulogne in just 75 minutes, where they'll be able to enjoy the Nausicaa National Sea Experience Centre, a new super-duper casino, shopping, great food, and fantastic motorways connecting with the rest of Europe.

Of course we'll be expecting floods of Frenchies to make the trip the other way to enjoy our derelict motor museum, clapped out casino, half shut high street, Thorley food and poorly-maintained A road out of here.

Click here to see announcement on Euroferries website

Update: July 2010 and still no sign of 'em!

Grit Truth

Crumbs! I see the row over whether the duffers at Kent Highways did or did not grit the A299 Thanet Way on Wednesday morning rumbles on. If you recall, there were eight separate crashes involving more than 10 different vehicles, including an ambulance, on the coldest morning of the year so far. Sadly one driver lost his life. Eyewitnesses reported skidding, and the cops sealed the road off saying they weren't going to open it until KFC got out there with the salty stuff. Meanwhile the M2, which comes under the auspices of the national Highways Agency, saw no such problems.

Now Gazunder reader Lee has commented on the paper's website:

While I agree drivers need to drive carefully in bad conditions (I was involved in one of the accidents, and I thought I was driving safely!), I feel that Kent County Council must take some blame. Keith Ferrin of KCC has contradicted Phil Scrivener (Kent Highways spokesman) and admitted that the Thanet Way was not actually gritted in the early hours of Wednesday morning. One policeman I spoke to was astonished that many roads were not gritted especially as emergency vehicles were also involved in collisions due to ice on the road.

Yet so far no calls from any politician near or far for an investigation into what went wrong. Just the sound of salt blowing in the wind!

Click here to read full story on Gazunder website

Blasts From The Past - Part 2

The Scenic Railway could rise from the ashes of the blaze that destroyed the centre part of the historic ride and be back in action by Easter 2009.

Thanet Council reported in Kent Online, 14 Apr 2008

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Blasts From The Past - Part 1

I’ve known Margate all my life and it has been in a timewarp, but it’s got to change. If the new complex doesn’t happen, this site will be left derelict.

Jimmy Godden speaking about Dreamland in The Times, 8 Feb 2003

Ladyboy's Thanet

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Each week local politician Dr Steve Ladyboy shoots from the hip! Politically speaking, that is.

A'right dair la'? Eh, reckon I need a cuppa tea an' a long sit down it's dat friggin' col' outside! Nah, nah, yer a'right. Any road, talkin' of 'avin a bevvy ar kid mentioned I orra be gerrin' dem voters in over in Cliftonville as it's gonna be in my constituency next lecky like an' all dat.

Well, yer know, it's a birrava lavvy over dair, y'know, all divvies an' limbo dancers, so, like, I thought I'd just send dem a note about me new TV channel like. Y'know, dair's no point standin' out in de friggin' col', talkin' to some 'unchback of Knotty Ash an' freezin' yer knackers off now is dair doh dair doh la?

An' like I put some of dem photos in it of me opening stuff an' dat an' like it shows I'm da gaffer like don' it doh dave dee dozy beeky mick an' tich. I'm tellin' yer it was de gear, de friggin' gear dair doh ray me far sew la tea doh!

That's enough politics - Ed.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

SMEG Heads Airport Opposition

Yikes! Footling around on the old interfrangle just now, I came across a new blog entitled Stop Manston Expansion Group, or SMEG for short.

According to the authors:

The proposed expansion to 6 million passengers (currently 12,000) and 500,000 tonnes of freight per annum (currently 33,000) is totally out of keeping with the area, and will ruin what Ramsgate has to offer.

Ramsgate Main Sands, Royal Harbour, Royal Sands development, Harbour Parade, Ramsgate Town centre and approximately 13,000 houses/26,000 residents will all be subjected to planes at 500ft every few minutes for 18 hours a day.

Well you can't argue with that, can you? Er, well, I expect you lot can, actually.

Click here to visit SMEG blog

Braking News

According to Kent Online, there were no fewer than eight separate accidents on the Thanet Way this morning, one of which tragically resulted in a fatality. The cops have told people in the area 'not to even try getting onto the Thanet Way'.

Rather tellingly the report adds that Kent's finest ordered Kent Highways to grit the dual carriageway following the accidents, although that didn't happen until 9.40am. So was the road gritted last night, the coldest night of the year so far (and widely predicted as such)? I think we should be told.

Meanwhile KCC have announced the average council tax bill this year will be above four figures. The Tory council's ruddy-faced leader claims front line services (like gritting, perhaps?) will be protected, but makes no mention of savings that could be made, such as the £2m spent on Kent TV, the £6m on pointless spin, and £50m poured into dodgy Icelandic banks!

Click here to read Thanet Way story on Kent Online
Click here to read council tax story on Kent Online

Update: According to the Gazunder's website, Kent County Council's district highway spokesman Phil Scrivener said: 'The road would have been salted.' Presumably what Phil means there is that the road would have been salted, if Kent Highways had salted it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ear Today, Gone Today

Curses! Those blighters at earBay have removed my £1m Van Gogh ear listing, saying it breaches their Human Body Parts and Remains policy! Their email explains:

You're not allowed to list live or dead people or human body parts on eBay. Examples of prohibited body parts include, but are not limited to, organs, bone, blood, waste, sperm and eggs. [Sounds like the full monty at the Beano Caff - Ed.]

Kuh! What a way to prevent someone from, er, 'scratching' a living eh? Oh well, if you still want to bid, you can always contact me direct at the email address in the sidebar on the right. Happy bidding!

Ear Piece

Holy Gogholes! I see today's Thanet Times has followed up my £1m earBay auction, calling me a 'cheeky prankster'. Now how on ear-th could they have got that idea (Geddit?!?!!!!?).

Actually it may yet be a case of 'friends, Ramsgatonians, countrymen - lend me your ears' as I've had more than 200 people looking into my ear so far. Messages of interest include:

Hi. It does look like a left ear which is a worry, as I think it is his right that was missing. I might bid anyway, but having bought Hitler's bollocks this year I am concerned that it is a kosher item to add to my collection. Please advise.

Is the ear past its sell by date? And is it waxed or unwaxed?

Hello, can you please provide an image of the Vincent letter/note accompanying this piece?

And, er...

nice try chief ive got sweaty bollocks an all. ten out of ten for tryin tho haha

So lop off your lugholes (alternatively I find Mr Porky a reasonable substitute) and get those millions pouring in for the Van Gogh Centre here in Thanet's premier town!

Click here to see Van Gogh's ear listed on eBay
Click here to read full story on Gazunder website

Monday, January 05, 2009

Harbour Armageddon?

After that last post about Ramsgate being a non-event this year powerboatwise (which I've since had confirmed by sources in the know), it cheers me up no end to report that some of the cultural gloss could be rubbing off mARgaTe™ too!

The rumour that Gallery IOTA is leaving the new, super-duperised harbour arm only a few short months after they moved in has been doing the rounds for some weeks. Now I hear that the there's been quite a contretemps over who is liable for maintaining the building. Clearly the bills could be quite substantial, given that the flippin' thing is sticking right out in the middle of the North Sea. IOTA have now, apparently, got the right royal hump and are about to leg it toute de suite. Which they presumably will have every right to do, given that there's reportedly no ink on any contract yet. Let's hope they return to the Millionaires' Playground where they belong!

If they do exit, it would leave the project looking rather under-subscribed with just a shop, an empty gallery, and a putative restaurant on the end that's yet to come to fruitation (©2000 Kevin Keegan). And, um, just how much taxpayers' money has been thrown at it? I think we should be told! [Cue FOI request]