Friday, July 31, 2009

Euroferries Set For Blast Off!

I don't ordinarily publish Thanet Council press releases, but this one's been eagerly awaited for months! Enjoy!

A new fast ferry service, which will provide great travel links between Ramsgate and Boulogne, has been agreed between Thanet District Council and Euroferries.

The new cross channel passenger service ‘ Bonanza Express’, will see five daily crossings between the two ports and will be operated in conjunction with renowned fast ferry operator Fred Olsen. It will carry a combination of cars, foot passengers, coaches and a limited amount of freight and caravans to the continent and is expected to commence in September.

Fast Ferry

A second vessel is expected to join the service in 2010 to help increase passenger capacity.

The state of the art ferry will reach speeds of up to 38 knots and is expected to provide a rapid journey time of 75 minutes. Onboard the vessel, passengers will be treated to an extensive ‘tax paid’ shopping area, restaurants and first class designated area.

As part of this agreement it is also anticipated that this new service will provide two dedicated passenger terminals, one at Ramsgate and one at Boulogne, which are expected to include shopping areas, restaurant and waiting lounge facilities.

Deputy Leader of the council, Cllr Roger Latchford said: 'We are delighted that Euroferries, working in partnership with Fred Olsen will be operating out of the Port of Ramsgate. The council has been working very hard to regenerate the area of Thanet, and this additional ferry service, which will operate from Ramsgate will provide much needed employment opportunities as well as greatly enhancing tourism prospects to the area. The quick crossing times and easy access into both ports will make this service an attractive alternative route into France and will really prove an invaluable part of the wider regeneration of the district. This is a great attraction for Thanet and we extend a warm welcome to Euroferries and wish them every success.'

Per Staehr Chairman of Euroferries said: 'The signing of this Agreement with Thanet District Council enables us to look forward to building a long term relationship with the local community. Our new five crossing a day high speed service, will be focused on tourist traffic and takes full advantage of the new motorways both to Ramsgate and Boulogne along with the fast turn round terminal facilities within both Ports. This agreement permits us to shortly announce the release of the new web booking service, further details and the provision of our new commuter coach service between London's Stratford Hub and Ramsgate serving Canterbury and the Medway towns. Whilst, today is Thanet District Council's special occasion, we are delighted to attend and to welcome our partner Fred Olsen. The impending arrival of Bonanza Express, Incat 96m in its new Euroferries livery will provide the opportunity for Euroferries to welcome you when we will make further announcements.'

Cllr Peter Campbell, deputy leader of the Labour Group in Thanet, welcomed the news that EuroFerries are to run a new ferry service from Ramsgate Port. 'This is really good news for Ramsgate & Thanet. Our Labour Group supports an expanding and vibrant port, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy. May this service flourish'.

Click here for Euroferries website

Fast Ferry Service Takes Off?

Yikes! What a busy news day! Apparently there's going to be an announcement regarding the long-running Euroferries saga at 3pm! Is the new supercat from Ramsgate to Boulogne on? Or is it off? Well, it would be surprising if they were calling a press conference to nix the whole thing after dragging it out for six months, wouldn't it!

Update: The press release has now been published on Thanet Council's website and, yes, it is a goer! Wahay!

Click here for council press release
Announcement announced in Thanet Extra
Announcement announced on Euroferries website

Margate 'Most Closed Down Town'

Recuperating with the chicken soup in front of the BBC's One O'Clock News earlier, I nearly choked when my old economics chum Huge Pym came on, wandering down Margate's derelict high street. According to a survey by something called the Local Data Company, 25% of the shops in the Arsonists' Playground are shut. That's worse than Derby, Croydon and Central London!

More on BBC News website

Reports Of My Death...

..have been greatly exaggerated! Having passed a huge, burny, splitting stool earlier the runs seem to be on the run, and I'm back feeling my old self again! More soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In The Pink And Feeling Perky

Yes. Well. Thanks for all the messages of swine flu sympathy. My favourite so far being the above. The fever seems to be going down now, but, um, not the other thing. I'm beginning to suspect these Tamiflu tablets are hookie.

Anyhow, I'm now sitting up and joking with the nurses, which as we all know is tabloid code for 'He'll be worm food by the morning'. I'll keep you posted.

Don't Feel Well

Er, I don't feel well. *Spew*

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

Cripes! I didn't realise those Tamiflu tablets I got off the internet would have such, er, interesting side effects. Should have stocked the panic room with some lads mags methinks! Or one of these. At this rate I'm going to be up all night!

Dirty Rotten Swine Flu

Alas, dear reader, I appear to have succumbed to the lurgy. After a night of dyspepsia-induced tossing and turning, I awoke to find the Egyptian cotton sheets on my Comfilux bed here at the cliff top mansion awash with sweat.

In a moment of desperation during the small wee hours I called the NHS swine flu line, who were more of the opinion that my discomfort was due to making a pig of myself on a rather excellent vindaloo at a local curry house with some millionaire chums last night. And admittedly, I wasn't suffering from the blood under the skin, inability to breathe, drooling and fitting that they seemed to feel were important symptoms. But I'm taking no chances and have decided to seal myself in the filtered air environment of the Eastcliff panic room for the next few days. I have a plentiful supply of retroviral drugs prophylactically purchased from a Canadian supplier over the internet, and a freezer full of tasty Waitrose treats, so there's no need for any of you to offer to be my flu buddy, thanks all the same.

It'll also mean I won't have to suffer the ignominy of people around me shouting 'Oink!' every time I sneeze. 'Bless you' was so much more polite, I feel!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Titty Show Puts Margate In Pole Position

Reader Angelo writes:

I recently read an article in the Telegraph about the saucy strip show that's being put on in Margate next month. I run a chain of gentlemen's clubs in London and am looking to expand my business. As your web site seems to be well informed about the area I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me?

1. Are there currently any lap or pole dancing clubs in the area? I have not been able to find any reference on the internet to such establishments in East Kent.
2. Are there any suitable venues in Margate which might lend themselves to being converted into such a club?
3. What in your opinion would be the attitude of the local authority to licensing such an establishment?

I look forward to your response.

Kind regards

Well Angelo, it's not my particular cup of Earl Grey. But no, I'm not aware of any such saucy establishments in this part of the world. However, Margate would be the ideal location for this kind of thing, given that it has a seedy reputation and there are more burnt out venues awaiting resuscitation than you could point a tastefully-positioned tassel at. Ramsgate would in all probability be a little too high class, given that we have a wonderful Waitrose here on the south side while Margate has only just managed to open a manky Morrisons.

As for the council's attitude, they have publicly stated that Dippers and Dunkers will be a nipple-less taxpayers' treat, although quite how that reconciles with their other statement that it will be 'no worse than page 3' I'm not sure. Still, beggars can't be choosers and if something, er, falls in their lap I'm certain they won't look it in the mouth!

Margate's titty show in Torygraph
Margate goes mad for Morrisons

Blogger Thy Neighbour

With all the hoo-ha that's doing the rounds over our beloved council's plan to gag its elected members' blogs, I suppose I should step into the fray, being the premier blog on the island. The scheme is the deformed brainchild of Tory cabinet member Councillor/Doctor Simon Moores and is being cooked up in conjunction with the council's Chief Exec Richard Samuel. (Good day Dr M and Mr S. I know you are both avid daily readers of my febrile jottings!)

Quite why Thanet Council should be spearheading a move which no other authority in the country has seen fit to even consider is beyond me. After all, the council's track record of spearheading anything is, er, not the best. And in the sphere of IT it seems to have a kind of reverse Midas touch. So much so that many refer to it as TDC's **IT department.

When the Tory leader and deputy leader have both troubled the standards people, and cost the council taxpayer tens of thousands, with their 'f*cking tosser' outbursts and petition-tossing shenanigans, it's ironic that the Blue Rinsers should now be considering a code of conduct for political bloggers. When I say 'political bloggers', what I suppose they mean is 'bloggers who don't concur with their politics', as I've yet to see Simon Moores or Ken Gregory, the only two blue bloggers on the isle, complain about their own or each other's blogs. Presumably it's the Labour bloggers - Cllrs Green, Harrison and Nottingham - who they want to gag.

In point of fact it's more than likely yours truly who they'd really like to strangle. Dr M has spent the best part of four years using all the techno-wizardy at his disposal attempting to uncover my identity in a vain hope that I might be that hairy socialist who represents Dingleberry Ward and who you don't see much at council meetings. Sorry to disappoint you Doc. As my old chum, the humourist and broadcaster David Quantick points out in one of his endless Grumpy Old Men books, this blog is 'essentially the diary of a boring bloke in Ramsgate with too much spare time on his hands'.

By the way, am I the only one who's getting grumpy about all the grumpy old books and spin-offs? At the last count there were 86 grumpy old tomes listed on Amazon along with 84 other items including one 'Beware grumpy old dog' gate sign. Surely it's jumped the shark? Time to consign it to '101 Uses For A Dead Concept' methinks!

Read about the proposal in the Gazunder
Grumpy old things on Amazon

Saturday, July 25, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

Sticking with the nautical theme, here's this week's EotW. Click on image to get the big picture. I hear the whole Euroferries thing may not have sunk to the the bottom of the sea after all. Oh well, I think we'll all believe it when we see it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Davey Jones' Locker

In Memoriam
John Ryan
Creator of Captain Pugwash

So farewell
Then, Captain Pugwash.

Diddly-dum de
Diddly-dum de
Dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum de

Diddly-dum de
Diddly-dum de
Dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum de

Diddly-dum de
Diddly-dum de
Dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum de
Dum dum

That was
Your theme tune.

My Dad says
Seaman Stains
Master Bates and
Roger the Cabin Boy
Were urban myths.

E. C. Richard (29)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Councillor Enjoys Port 'Freebie'

Cripes! It must be whistleblower season or something, as another juicy titbit has landed in the old Eastcliff mitts!

It would appear from the document in front of me that one of those council-owned lock-ups underneath the arches along Military Road has been used by a district councillor for a substantial period of time - rent free! Priceless! (Literally!) The audit report to Thanet Council, dated December 2008, states:

A random survey of empty lock-ups in Military Road revealed one to be occupied with no apparent contract or charges being levied. As this property was being used to store a vehicle belonging to a District Councillor the Council is exposed to accusations of irregularity and poor corporate governance.

'Irregularity'? I should say so! Smacks of the worst kind of councillor back-scratching to me! Hmmm. I wonder who the district councillor concerned could be? Oh, hang on, did somebody mention Tory stalwart Councillor Roberts, who used to be in charge of Thanet Council's Maritime Services, which runs the port? No, surely not!

That's not the only 'irregularity' the report flags up. Among the highlights are £138,000 spent with one fuel supplier (presumably the only one on the island) 'without a market tested contract being in place'. A tug contract for around £211,000 exempted from Contract Procedure Rules without being reported to council cabinet. An outstanding debt of £10,000 where 'no lease or licence was entered into, or a written agreement of any sort'. The list goes on.

Seems like Evans the Harbour has one or two questions to answer there!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Council Wastes Oodles On Google

Thanks to a whistleblower who's been in touch with Thanet's premier blog here at the cliff top mansion, I can reveal that three of the island's families are now pointlessly paying council tax purely for the pleasure of keeping Mr Google in business. Not only that, but Mr Google will also get to see all the council's emails!

According to my Deep Throat, our beloved Cecil Squarians are forking out £6 per mailbox to Google to scan each and every email for viruses. With 750 mailboxes on their system, that's a whopping £4,500, or the annual council tax for three average properties.

'Quite right!' I hear you ejaculate. 'We don't want nasties in the council's IT system!' Ah, but the irony is that they could apparently get this service for free from Kent County Council by swapping over a bit of software. But no, they've decided to hand over the dough to the US info-mining monster, which made $1.5bn in the last three months. Next time you send the duffers an email, do bear in mind that some nerd in California could be reading it!

Perhaps the council's IT guru, Councillor/Doctor Simon Moores, could explain why he's giving Google enough money to roll out hundreds of wheelie bins, a sixth of a titty show (in Margate, natch), re-open a quarter of a public convenience, or pay his leader's expenses for three months? I think we should be told!

Loss Of Fascia At Local Featre

Er, theatre. That should read 'theatre'. But it didn't alliterate. Could have used 'feature' I suppose.

Um. O....key dokey. Moving swiftly on, out for my post-prandial constitutional this arvo, I couldn't help noticing that Ralph 'Mr Ramsgate' Hoult's 'R's has blown off. Well, not just his 'R's, but his 'E's, 'L's, and every other flamin' letter in 'Granville Theatre and Cinem'. (The final 'A' blew off yonks ago).

See what I mean?

November 2007

July 2009

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone else noticed the similarity between the photograph of the North Foreland lighthouse on blogger Don's Promote Thanet site today and your so-called 'official flag of Thanet'? Are they by any chance related?

Freudian Foreland

Fraudulent flag

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gazette Editor In Thespian Floor Show

Reader Rebecca has sent me this snap of the Gazunder's lovely editor Rebecca Smith [Are they by any chance related? - Ed] giving it some acting welly in a recent performance in Ash. Smiffy, as her fans know her, trained to tread the boards before becoming a journo, and was playing a role in the Ash Heritage Group's Swing Riots walkabout production.

Which got me thinking. What on earth were the 'Swing Riots'? Well, it turns out they were a kind of rural offshoot of the Luddites. Instead of burning factories, the Swing Rioters were more interested in burning the evil threshing machines, and it all started here in Kent. Indeed, given its name, Ash may well have been the epicentre!

Isn't it nice to know that the time-honoured tradition of arson in these parts can be traced back so far? Albeit these days it's more likely to be a fun park, a listed building awaiting development, or both that gets the old Swan Vesta and a can of five star treatment!

Ash Heritage Group's Swing Riots performance
Swing Riots on Wikipedia

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ask Doctor Fraudstein

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Each week our celebrity psychoanalyst, Dr Fraudstein, tackles your personal problems!

Dear Dr Fraudstein, I am a politician who has recently been described as looking like a 'Mini-Me' of another, much larger politician. Does this mean I have a smaller or larger ego than the larger politician, and will I some day get to lead the council if I just do what he says? J.

Dr Fraudstein writes: Hmmmm. You have been described as a 'Mini-Me', but how does that make you feel? My fee for this session will be £100.

Dear Dr Fraudstein, I am a politician who has recently been described as 'Pinocchio' by another politician. I think this may be because I work with national politicians and sometimes have to tell 'porky pies' on their behalf. Would it be wrong to spin this in my favour by implying that my nose isn't the only thing that gets larger whenever I'm 'economical with the vérité'? M.

Dr Fraudstein writes: Hmmmm. You have been described as 'Pinocchio', but how does that make you feel? My fee for this session will be £100.

Dear Dr Fraudstein, I am a politician who has recently been chastised by the Standards Committee for my behaviour in a cardigan shop. Wank. This has happened twice now and I'm flippin' browned off with it. Fuck tosser. Should I resign and retire to my yacht on the Med? S. (PS: Somebody else advised St Johns Wort for the Tourettes but it does not fuck seem to be working wank toss knackers. Axminster.)

Dr Fraudstein writes: Hmmmm. Please see the nurse on the way out for your haloperidol injection. My fee for this session will be £100.

That's enough Dr Fraudstein - Ed.

East Of The Wantsum

Oh silly me! I forgot to append last Friday's East of the Wantsum to my jottings! Click on the image to enlarge, although you've seen it all before. Somebody told me over the weekend EotW isn't as funny as the blog. Well, what do you expect? It's published in a respectable local newspaper! I hardly think they would have thanked me if I'd drawn a large hairy knob on Dr Biggles' mankini!

And congrats to one of my lovely Gazunder readers who rightly pointed out that Roger Latchford OBE's head has been superimposed on the body of Iggy Pop. As all you pop-pickers out there know, Iggy's backing band is... The Stooges!

Falling Standards

Ahem. Yes. Well I realise 'falling standards' could equally apply to my last item. I blame the Stella! But no. What I'm referring to is the above headline on Birchington parish councillor John Worrow's website. And it ain't to do with the fact it makes the average Daily Mail headline look like the snappiest writing since Salman Rushdie's 'naughty but nice' tag for cream cakes.

The story so far. Ramsgate Labour councillor Mark Nottingham reproduces a description on his blog of an airport meeting at which his correspondent describes John Worrow as dressed similarly to, and voting identically to, Tory grandee Roger Latchford OBE 'appearing to be a Mini-Me of his mentor'. This prompts JW to report MN to the standards people. However, after further sniping between our two elected representatives on MW's blog and Chippy Tone's Bignews Margate JW graciously withdraws his complaint on the grounds that it would be a senseless waste of council tax.

Now it transpires the carpet cleaner from Birchington has come up with his own tit-for-tat nickname for the spin doctor from Ramsgate - Pinocchio! In a rant on his Minnis Bay website, he accuses the Labourite of 'spending much of his time in Europe' and adds:

[He] appears to spend too much time on his Blackberry sending back his own edited style of second hand propaganda to Thanet. It would seem that he thinks having a blog to attack people in Thanet is better than being in Thanet.'

Oooh, get her! Seriously, whilst it's undoubtedly entertaining to watch our councillors publicly bash each other over the head with their handbags, it's probably best to take the Mandelson approach and do it behind closed doors with the lights out!

Worrow-bashing on Cllr Nottingham's blog
Nottingham-bashing on Cllr Worrow's blog
Worrow-and-Nottingham-bashing on Chippy Tone's blog

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stella Artwat

Tooling back from a splendid night out with my millionaire Ramsgate friends, I was surprised to come across a fleet of Kent's finest, and various NHS meatwagons, parked in one of those grimy backstreets behind the front here on the trendy East Cliff. According to several eyewitnesses, one of the local east Europeans had been flattened by an indigenous inhabitant, almost certainly fuelled by 'premium' lager e.g. Stella and/or 1664.

Quite why Stella Artois advertise themselves as something special and French, when we all know it's the alcoholics' alcohol of choice round here, heaven knows. Presumably the expensive adverts suggesting that only the upper eschelons can afford it are a deliberate antidote to the actual truth, viz that only boozy twats with seven illegitimate kids by various crack whores would even touch Stella. No wonder I saw a Transit van full of the stuff being delivered to the local CostCutter earlier today!

Margate Pride

Margate Pride seems to be going as per over on the seedy north side of the island, with the hookie perfumier's banter competing nicely with the Boy Georgealikes on the sound stage. I deliberately call it 'Margate Pride' as it's a much more honest description than 'Thanet Pride'. The 'Thanet' being a recent invention to justify everyone else's council tax funding it.

Call me a curmudgeon [You're a curmudgeon - Ed] but quite why I need to pay for Margate to hold a shindig every week when the basics are being neglected is beyond me. Derek Harding, who heads up Margate's Renewal Partnership, apparently commands a £60m budget. Although it's now slipped to £40m according to a story in yesterday's Gazunder about schoolkids who've come up with the slogan 'More than meets the eye' for the town. So what's all that mazooma being frittered on Derek?

Maybe the kids are right. Maybe it does require the Transformers to step in and demolish the lot in an epic battle with the evil Developons. But a more honest tagline for the town would currently be this from T S Eliot's The Wasteland:

On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.

Inspired as he was sitting in the Nayland Rock shelter, which has received national publicity this week due to the campaign to list it, he wrote that in 1921. If he sat there today, gazing across the wasteland of the Arlington complex, the disused NCP and the derelict Dreamland site, I think he'd come to the same conclusion!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Am I The Only One With A Sinking Feeling About Euroferries?

It's more than six months since our MP Dr Steve Ladyboy trumpeted the new Euroferries fast service from the Millionaires' Playground to Boulogne, and so far this fuzzy internet photo of the repainted former Fred Olsen tub parked up in the Canaries is all we've seen. Just what is going on?

Judging by the banter on the Brittany Ferries Enthusiasts' forum, not a lot. The latest commentator sighs: 'Common sense would tell you it's not happening... this year at least.' Whether the hitch is down to Thanet Council's Degeneration and Pisspoor Planning Department, headed up by deputy leader Roger Latchford OBE and senior council officer Brian White, who knows? Or maybe Euroferries themselves aren't the full shilling?

Meanwhile much more info about what the service would offer, should it ever get out of the doldrums, has emerged from the French side of La Manche. Riffling through a recent copy of La Semaine dans le Boulonnais, I chanced upon this article. It seems as if the garlic munchers are getting frustrated by all the delays too. La Semaine writes:

The [Boulogne] Chamber of Commerce will neither confirm nor deny whether the new service is imminent at the moment, despite frequent meetings with Euroferries. The difference, however, with LD Lines [who started a new supercat service from Dover to Boulogne recently] is that Euroferries intends to put the accent on coach transport. Their plan is ambitious: to run shuttle buses to London and Canterbury to fetch tourists to Ramsgate for the boat for Boulogne.

So even if the service gets off the ground, or sandbank, or whatever the nautical metaphor might be, there ain't gonna be many visitors for Ramsgate. Most of the tourists will be whisked straight down to the port in coaches to whizz off and spend their money in Boulogne, without decamping for so much as a quick cafe au lait and a plate of frites in our town centre!

Pleasurama Drama

Word reaches me that our beloved duffers held a meeting down at the Royal Sands development ('Pleasurama' in old money) yesterday without inviting members of Ramsgate's new, super-duper, teeny-tiny council. No doubt they will quote 'confidentiality' for failing to inform the town's democratically elected representatives, just like they have with next Wednesday's freemason-style meeting to sign off the airport's Daft Bastardplan.

Who said we live in a democracy?

Council Hunks In Trunks

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Every day one of our top councillors will be getting down to his or her nitty-gritty to promote the island's beautiful Blue Flag beaches and fantastic summer sunshine!!!!

Our final hunk this week is opposition leader Clive Hart!!!! Clive, 31, isn't one of those 'hair today, gone tomorrow' politicians, and he certainly has some 'presents' when it comes to mass debates in the council chamber
!!!!!! Renowned for his 'flower power', he recently campaigned against the removal of beds in Cliftonville!!!!!!! We'd have no 'opposition' to getting close up and personal in bed with you, Clive!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Geddit?!?!?!????!!!!!?!?!??!!!!!!) [I think this series has come to its natural conclusion - Ed]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Council Hunks In Trunks

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Every day one of our top councillors will be getting down to his or her nitty-gritty to promote the island's beautiful Blue Flag beaches and fantastic summer sunshine!!!!

Thursday's hunk is a hunkess!!!! Shirley Tomlinson is head of the isle's environmental services, and she's certainly 'keeping Thanet beautiful' as she poses in a striking yellow bikini at Ramsgate swimming pool
!!!!!! Super Shirl, 20, is a fan of Mrs T and wants to bring back national service!!!!!!! Well done for doing the Thanet nation a 'service', Ma'am!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Geddit?!?!?!????!!!!!?!?!??!!!!!!) [No - Ed]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Councillor's 'Mini-Me' Moment - World Photo Exclusive!

by Isle of Thanet Gazunder Political Editor Oscar Sillikwezchun

Caught on camera - the moment the island's chattering classes have all been chattering about!

Thanks to an eagle-eyed Gazunder reader's mobile phone snap, we can now exclusively reveal that 'independent' Birchington Parish councillor John Worrow did in fact ape Tory grandee Roger Latchford OBE in voting against referring county council chief Paul Carter to the Standards Board at a turbulent meeting of the Manston consultative committee recently. Carter was a no-show at the meeting to discuss night flights, and committee members voted to report the ruddy-faced Conservative to the political watchdogs.

Worrow was subsequently described by a correspondent on Labour councillor Mark Nottingham's blog as 'shadowing Cllr. Latchford at all public events, (he) watched carefully to see his Thanet District Council representative's reaction before voting. Dressed in a very similar fashion to Roger Latchford, he appeared to some to be a 'mini-me' of his mentor', a reference to Dr Evil's diminutive clone in the Austin Powers movies.

That comment led to Cllr Worrow in turn reporting Cllr Nottingham to the standards people, a move which he has subsequently withdrawn.

Meanwhile Thanet Council chief executive Richard Samuel is drawing up a code of conduct for Thanet bloggers. Thanet Labour leader Clive Hart has also pitched in, saying he will not tolerate cyber bullies.

Will John continue to shadow Roger? Will Mark discover Richard's jottings? Will Clive get a new hair-do? These questions - and many others - will be answered in the next episode of 'Thanet'!

[That's enough politics - Ed]

Council Hunks In Trunks

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Every day one of our top councillors will be getting down to his or her nitty-gritty to promote the island's beautiful Blue Flag beaches and fantastic summer sunshine!!!!

Wednesday's hunk is Thanet planning chief Ken Gregory!!!!! Ken, 35, is a keen amateur chef and in his spare time wows the crowds with his Minty lookalike act!!!!!! Seen here bigging up the isle's tourism at one of our local radio stations, Ken says his favourite meal is a Sunday roast!!!!!!! We certainly wouldn't mind nibbling on your pork crackling, Ken!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Geddit?!?!?!????!!!!!?!?!??!!!!!!)

Ramsgate's Lovely

Here's a nice picture of Ramsgate:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone else noticed the similarity between Dmitry Medvedev, the Putin-loving, US-hating Prime Minister of Russia, and Nigel Farage, the Churchill-loving, Europe-hating leader of UKIP? Are they by any chance related?

Euro twit

Urals twat

Wheelie Good News!

Hurrah! The wallahs at the council are at long last going to deploy their massive arsenal of wheelie bins down at the port! 3,000 properties across the isle, including Thanet's premier town Ramsgate, will be on the scheme by the end of October. As the Daily Mail would say: It's A Victory For Common Sense! Er, or maybe not, as they're currently running a mad bonkers campaign against wheelie bins actually.

Wasn't it only last week that Our Sandy was telling us there was no money for the extra wheelie bin rounds, and that we should all go out and buy dustbins? It seems my campaign to get the duffers to see sense has come to fruitation (©2000 Kevin Keegan)!!! So forgive a slight indulgence, but Olé Olé Olé Olé, Olé, Olé. Olé Olé Olé Olé, Olé, Olé!!!!!

Seriously chums, I've also noticed the grimy back streets behind Ramsgate front are no longer quite so, er, grimy. Could it be our new teeny-tiny council has swung into action? Or could the Cecil Squarians finally have noticed there are more places in Thanet than Margate? Who knows, but whatever the reason, and whoever's responsible, well done and keep up the good work!

Gazunder wheels out wheelie story

Comment and opinion from the north side's Chippy Tone

Council Hunks In Trunks

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Every day one of our top councillors will be getting down to his or her nitty-gritty to promote the island's beautiful Blue Flag beaches and fantastic summer sunshine!!!!

Tuesday's beefcake is Thanet cabinet member Doc Biggles!!!!! The Doc, 28, is a former commando and high-flying jet pilot!!!!!! Seen here giving the thumbs up to Ramsgate's magnificent main sands, the Doc is also into computers and has even been to Number 10 Downing Street, the home of the UK's Prime Minister!!!!!!! We'd certainly welcome your member in our cabinet, Doc!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Geddit?!?!?!????!!!!!?!?!??!!!!!!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Broadstairs 'Scruffy' Says Times

I'm indebted to reader and former town crier Paul Conyers Silverthorn for pointing me in the direction of Saturday's Times, where there's a review of Boredstares which describes it as oozing 'scruffy charm'. Paul writes:

In The Times on Saturday 11 July a full page article entitled 'The great British weekend' featured Broadstairs and urged people to go. 'Britain is blessed with its beaches and a weekend in Broadstairs gives you the best that we have to offer.' Splendid stuff. An article very strongly in the town's favour. Elsewhere in the article, however, one or two interesting comments emerged: 'scruffy charm', 'down-at-heel but genteel', and 'kiss-me-quick air'.

I have been urging TDC to freshen up Broadstairs for years. Perhaps now something might be done. I am very proud of Broadstairs and all positive press mentions feed that pride. However, I don't see how TDC and Broadstairs and St Peter's Town Council can ignore these stated shortcomings any longer. I thank the Times for such a supportive article. I thank them also for expressing what is blatantly obvious with a public voice.

We who love Broadstairs call for action on railings, on pavement, on the neglected spots on the undercliff, on litter. Let's make Broadstairs a much sought after holiday destination without the shabbiness. Pile on the pressure.

Well, whilst I applaud your pride in your town Paul, I must say there are shabbier and scruffier places on the island than Broadstairs. Try living with an arsonised eyesore on your front for a decade, or a derelict pavilion or concert hall. Personally I'd say the Dickensians have had it pretty good, probably because so many Tory councillors abide there and have left it unsullied. I seem to recall it was only a few years ago that the whole of the top prom was spruced up. And the Millennium lift was only installed, er, I'm guessing, nine years ago.

The Times mentions the lift: 'Almost my favourite thing is the ancient lift that whirrs you effortlessly up inside the cliff when the call to put your feet up becomes too much to resist.' Hang on! 'Inside the cliff?' Ah, well that explains it. She's only gone and muddled it up with Hastings!

Right, talking of shabby chic, I'm off to watch the Hotel Inspector do the Walpole Bay on Five!

Read the whole shabby article in the Times
Click here to watch Walpole Bay Hotel inspected on Demand Five

Wheelie Bad News

With our beloved duffers spending all our hard-earned council tax on events for Margate (which only benefit burger van owners from Clacton), it's no surprise that they can't afford to introduce wheelie bins in areas like central Ramsgate which desperately need them. They've stockpiled hundreds of the things down at the port, but say they can't be deployed as they're needed as 'replacements'. Well, here's a picture of the council's wheelie bin arsenal in February:

And here's another that was taken this weekend:

Now, I really haven't got the time to count them all, but from a quick glance I'd say that very few, if any, have been sent out as 'replacements'. In fact it's probably fair to say that nobody from the council has been down there in the past five months, as the ones that had been blown or kicked over in February still appear to be on their sides.

So what is the truth of Thanet Council's wheelie bin collection? Cynics might say that someone, somewhere cocked up and ordered way too many of the things for the number of bin rounds that are equipped to handle them, so they've just piled them up on a spare bit of council-owned land. I, on the other hand, prefer to put a much more sympathetic slant on it and would merely argue that they're a bunch on incompetent twats.

Council Hunks In Trunks

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Every day one of our top councillors will be getting down to his or her nitty-gritty to promote the island's beautiful Blue Flag beaches and fantastic summer sunshine!!!!

Monday's scorcher is Thanet Number Two - Deputy Rodge!!!!! Roger, 43, is a former war hero and can even boast an OBE!!!!!! Seen here wowing the crowds at Margate's Big Event, Roger likes nothing more than shaking his buff booty to some bangin' tunes!!!!!!! It's an 'honour' to meet you Roger!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Geddit?!?!?!????!!!!!?!?!??!!!!!!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Council Hunks In Trunks

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Every day one of our top councillors will be getting down to his or her nitty-gritty to promote the island's beautiful Blue Flag beaches and fantastic summer sunshine!!!!

We start at the top with the biggest bonanga of them all - Thanet Tory leader Sandy Beach!!! Sandy, 26, loves the island's bars and cafe culture. But it's not all fun in the sun!!!! By day Sandy makes a living in the flooring trade!!!!! Phwoar!!!!!! With a bod like that, you'd better watch out for carpet burns Sandy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's EotW. Click on pic to enlarge. The background to this was my story a couple of weeks ago about the mystery, midnight banging which seems to have awoken many of you. It turned out to be pile-driving at the offshore fart farm, following an investigation by the excellent yourfannit. However I wouldn't be surpised if Gazunder readers were mystified by this week's strip, as that paper didn't see fit to cover the yarn.

Still, it's probably the first time the word 'fart' has been used in our local blue top, so hopefully that at least will have got Thanet's stuffed shirts blustering!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Finger In Every Pie?

Word reaches me on the millionaires' grapevine that Ramsgate's newest, super-duperest restaurant is having one or two, er, teething troubles. My spy tells me that, having ordered a coffee and cheesecake, he deemed the aforementioned comestible to be off, and a waiter was duly summoned.

'I'll 'ave to git the sheff,' muttered the waiter. Sure enough, the sheff appeared in less than white whites to give his verdict. 'Nah, not possible,' he assured the customer. And to prove the point, dragged a couple of digits over the offending dessert. Having given the fingers a good lick for certainty, he confirmed his diagnosis. 'Nah, nuffin' rong wiv that.' At which juncture the rather stunned customer was left to get on with his pud.

Hmmm. Now, whilst we will have to consign this very firmly to the rumour file as I only heard it secondhand, it does suggest the place still has a certain amount of bedding in to do. My old jungle chum JBR's other restaurants are excellent, so I think I'll have to pay the place a visit soon to make up my own mind. After all, the proof of the pudding is whether it's finger-lickin' good!

DFL Delivery

Cripes! That overnight spat on the last item has really put things in perspective for me! I mean, here I am, a suave, sophisticated, extremely well-educated media type from London who has come among you Thanetians to point out your idiosyncratic ways and help deliver you from the mire of carpet tiles, white van drivers and duffer-driven eyesores that blight your small island. Nothing less than Thanet's saviour in fact.

And there you all are, still bleating about 'DFLs', 'prols' and 'Islington dinner parties' like a bunch of mustachioed, perma-permed Liverpudlians caught in an 80s time warp.

No wonder I can't get a decent latte round here!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Margate Blogger A 'Chippy Twat' Says Ramsgate Blogger

Well honestly, if he's going to have a pop at me! You'd think he'd have something better to moan about, but I'm afraid poor old Tony is rapidly running out of ideas, and has had to steal a few crumbs from the table of Thanet's premier blog (moi).

Should have gone and got yourself a decent education, Tone. Then maybe your blog would be better written and more popular. Oh dear, that's put the cat amongst the pigeons, methinks.

Lights, Camera, Ramsgate!

Don't be surprised if you bump into a film crew in the Millionaires' Playground over the next couple of weekends. The lovely ladies at Ramsgate Arts Festival will be out and about shooting for their upcoming exhibition: Love, Hate, Hope Ramsgate. They tell me they'll be aiming to interview Ramsgatonians, Thanetians, DFLs, and anyone else they can grab hold of about what they, er, love, hate or hope for the town.

The film will be shown at a high street venue from 13-15 August and who knows, as Ramsgate's foremost, best loved and most popular resident I may just be persuaded to drop my secret identity and parade the old chiselled features in front of the lens! For more details email or follow this link to

Dumpton Residents Dumped On By Council

It's fair to say that our local planning department, headed up by senior TDC officer Brian 'Ee-ba-gum' White, achieves, er, mixed results. Admittedly they now appear to be doing the right thing by the Grade II listed Marina Restaurant on Ramsgate front, which was, um, 'accidentally' demolished by developers Auclair a year and a half ago. This week they've recommended compulsory purchase.

But over in Dumpton Park Drive there's a continuing stink over a lump of land which the Cecil Square duffers want to give themselves planning permission to build a four bedroom house on. The idea being that they'll get more for the land when they flog it off to developers. Trouble is, it doesn't appear to be their land. Upset neighbours have now applied to KCC for 'village green' protection status for the strip. The whole sorry saga has been well documented on Bertie Biggles' excellent Thanet Strife blog, and this Saturday there'll be a summer party on the plot from 2pm at which local MP Dr Steve Ladychap is expected to put in an appearance.

So, if cocked-up planning notices, ongoing eyesores and the pursuit of self-interest against the wishes of local residents is the kind of thing you'd like to mutter about as you sip your Earl Grey and nibble your cucumber sarnies, get along on Saturday and show the TDC planners how you feel!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

You Say 'Tomato', I Say 'Watery Red Pip Bag'

Kicking back in the deluxe, ensuite Jacuzzi at lunchtime, the old shell-likes pricked up at the mention of Thanet Earth on Radio 4's You and Yours programme, so I turned up the B&O. Ordinarily the dulcet tones of the lovely Winifrid Robinson lull me into something of a slumber, but the discussion focussed on whether our very own watery toms factory was environmentally sound or not, and included an interview with TE boss Steve McVickers who described the site as an 'agro-industrial estate' (you're not wrong there, Steve!) and pretty much a power station with a bit of an old greenhouse attached.

The man from the Soil Association wasn't quite so keen. But, y'know, I've tasted the toms meself and they're really very good. And although I've never owned a pair of bamboo sandals in my life, it surely must be better for the environment than shipping veggies from southern Europe, or, heaven forbid, flying them in over our heads from Africa! Anyhow, take a listen and see what you think.

Click here to listen on BBC iPlayer (35 mins 22 secs in)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Unwatertight Case

Holy hulls! According to a report out today by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch the watertight doors on one of our lovely TransEuropa ferries 'were regularly left open while it was at sea'. The findings were published after an engine-room fitter was hurt on the Eurovoyager.

The fitter was found trapped in a hydraulically-operated steel watertight door in a machinery space as the vessel sailed from Oostende (Ostend in old money) for the Millionaires' Playground last November. The report found that there had been a number of problems with watertight door operations on the ferry and adds:

On-board procedures for the operation of watertight doors were poorly promulgated and were not monitored or enforced. It was the usual practice on board for the watertight doors to be in local control. However, VDR (voyage data recorder) data showed that many of the doors were routinely left open at sea, which potentially compromised the vessel's watertight integrity.

TransEuropa say they will not be commenting. Oh well, if they can't manage to close the doors at least they can keep their traps shut!

Meanwhile it's been six months since the new Euroferries fast service between Ramsgate and Boulogne was announced by Dr Steve Ladyboy. The Euroferries cat is currently among the Canaries, but it would seem that TDC have been dragging their heels by producing endless bumf for the operators to sign. In fact the council duffers have been so slow to snap this up that I wouldn't be surprised if it's soon announced as yet another Boulogne - Dover service!

Full story on BBC News website

Public Inconveniences

As promised a while ago, here's my map of where the council have taken the piss out of Thanet in the recent past. From south to north, we have:

1. Ramsgate Western Undercliff
2. Ramsgate West Cliff Hall
3. Ramsgate Queen Street (now a sandwich shop)
4. Ramsgate East Cliff (sands)
5. Ramsgate East Cliff (demolished)
6. Ramsgate Marina Road
7. Ramsgate Boundary Road (on asset sale list)
8. St Lawrence
9. Ramsgate Margate Road
10. Broadstairs Vere Road car park (rumoured to be closing)
11. Broadstairs Albion Street car park
12. Broadstairs Harbour Street ('under repair')
13. St Peter's railway bridge (demolished)
14. St Peter's centre (now a house)

It seems the Cecil Square duffers, true to their Margatecentric form, have concentrated the closures on the south and east of the island. If you have a favourite former khazi that I've left off the list, do let me know and I'll add it. Let's keep our legs crossed that they don't shut any more!

Click here for council's list of public dunnies that are still 'open'

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Your Chance To Join The RAF

Having perfected my clothes peg routine down at the excellent Ramsgate Rocks shindig yesterday, I'm just about ready to roll it out as performance art, perhaps with the added frisson of a crocodile clip on each earlobe. And as luck would have it, I've received a communication from the lovely ladies at the RAF (Ramsgate Arts Festival), who are looking for chaps of my calibre to join their steering committee for the inaugural festival, which is due to take place next year. They write:

A group of Ramsgate residents has formed itself into a charitable organisation with a view to organising an annual event/festival located in Ramsgate and surrounds. The steering committee have thus far:

• constituted the organisation
• secured seed funding
• worked with a creative consultant in order to work towards a creative vision
• explored some preliminary funding avenues
• planned a trailer event to happen in the town this summer

The plan for the event/festival so far is:

• A three-day event, initially – Friday, Saturday, Sunday
• Centrepiece – a big event on the Saturday, probably stretching into the evening – centred on the Harbour
• Multiple events over the three days linked to the vision

We feel it should be:

• Focussed on the elements that are central to the area – sea, wind, sand, sun, with connotations of speed, energy, change etc in nature and the environment. Elements that shape the town’s geography, history, culture, economy and which will contribute to shaping its future.
• Authentic in drawing on the people of the town, their traditions, history, culture and aspirations.
A festival that creates ritual and ceremony out of that authenticity and that creates stories and allows stories to be told.
A festival that allows the widest participation and engages with the widest interpretations of art and culture.

What do we need now?

We are very conscious that we need to build a Management Committee/Board that is diverse and that properly reflects the different individuals, communities, experience and expertise in Ramsgate. We would particularly welcome expressions of interest from the following:

• Young people
• Men of any age
• People with community/voluntary experience in the area
• People with business/financial/legal experience/expertise
• People with experience of local government
• People who have lived in Ramsgate all their life
• People from under-represented communities e.g. disabled people, people from ethnic minority groups, older people
• Artists – from any discipline within the field of arts
• Anybody with a passion for Ramsgate, with a desire to make a difference and with a can-do attitude!

You will need to be able to commit time and energy to the project. We are currently meeting once a week and there are a variety of tasks that need to be undertaken outside of meeting times.

If you would like to join the Board, please contact us at

Friday, July 03, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

For all you lovely EotW fans out there, here's this week's strip. Click on it and it gets bigger. If only sex were that simple. And I make no apologies for returning to the Big Stink. Forget swine flu, at this rate it's only a matter of time before Ramsgate suffers the first UK typhoid epidemic since the 1800s!

Right, I'm off now to get rat-arsed. Then I'll be doing it all over again tomorrow and Sunday at Ramsgate Rocks. If you spot me, I'll shout you a pint of the Gaddfather's finest. It shouldn't be too difficult, as I'm planning on going stark, bollock naked apart from a gross of 99p Store clothes pegs clamped to my nipples and gonads. Have fun people!

Gnome Improvement?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone else noticed the similarity between the stolen garden gnome on the front page of today's Isle of Thanet Gazette and the picture of Councillor Mike 'Turncoat' Taylor sporting a Viking helmet on page 9? Are they by any chance related?

Twat in a hat

Councillor Mike Taylor

Bin Laden With Maggots

As you can imagine, I get literally thousands of emails a day here in the ops room at the old cliff top mansion. Here are a couple that recently slipped through the proverbial, both on the hot (and smelly) topic of our incompetent council's inability to run an effective rubbish collection service.

First off, reader Steve:

The council collects wheelie bins fortnightly and in this heat you get maggots crawling out of 'em like happened to me the other week. It's not pleasant at all, and if you go on holiday and haven't planned it round the wheelie bin day, the bin could be there for four weeks. OMG!

Hmmm. Planning your hols around Thanet Council's rubbish rubbish collection eh? But you're lucky, Steve, at least you have a wheelie bin! A different but identically named reader from Ramsgate writes:

I just read your 'Load of Rubbish' entry. I could not agree more. I live on the West Cliff and we do not have wheelie bins. Every night when I walk my dog on the promenade I look down and see the thousands of wheelie bins down in the port that are getting blown over and broken. I contacted TDC about when I could expect to receive my wheelie bins and I was told that there was no future plan to provide them to my street. They then told me the ones that are down in the port are replacement wheelie bins.

I explained to them many of the people on my street put their rubbish out the night before. The animals get into them and make a mess on the sidewalks and no one ever cleans it up. Providing wheelie bins on our street would help stop the rubbish mess made by the animals, cut down on the nearly nonexistent road sweeping, and would help keep Thanet beautiful. Of course these words fell on deaf ears.

These mindless idiots that we have appointed to help make our island run better cannot see the forest for the trees. I am open to suggestions on how we can make them see the light. In the mean time I think the residents of Ramsgate can start by putting out their rubbish the morning of pick up. If this is not possible then each of us should take enough pride in where they live to clean up the rubbish mess made by the animals in front of our own homes instead of waiting for the nonexistent road sweepers to clean it up.

Fair point, Steve 2. But why exactly are the council storing thousands of 'replacement' wheelie bins down at the port, when there are urban areas that desperately need them? Answers on the usual electronic postcard, please.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Museum Piece

News flashes over my Yahoo! chat that our splendid Maritime Museum is to re-open this weekend. Caff-crushing, car-crushing Councillor Green, the new Mayor of Ramsgate, writes:

I don’t want to be prematurely optimistic, but it looks as though Thanet Council have finally realised what an enormous and unnecessary 'own goal' the closure of the Ramsgate Maritime Museum has been.

Since the closure, Ramsgate and Broadstairs residents have, through the petition organised by Ramsgate Councillors, and through letters and phone calls, let the Council know what they think of the decision. The Council have been fortunate that the Preston Steam Trust have been able to pick up where the EKMT have failed, and promise a future for the museum. This seems to have triggered the 'save our museums' campaign in the Gazette Newspaper.

Hurrah! It's most excellent news that the museum will now be open for the summer season, which kicks off here in the Millionaires' Playground with Ramsgate Rocks this weekend. In fact I'm off to polish up my beer goggles right now!

Update: Museum re-opening confirmed. Doors open from Saturday 4 July. See comments on this item for details.

Full story on Cllr Green's blog

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone else noticed the similarity between the Isle of Thanet and the Central London Congestion Charging Zone? Does this mean we will have to pay £8 between the hours of 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, if we wish to drive on the island?

Boris island

Boris's traffic island