Sunday, August 30, 2009

Biggles Knocks One Out

I guess it wasn't going to be long before Daily Mail Man started flexing his, er, blog muscle and started firing both barrels in the latest Thanet Blog War. In today's post he returns to his broken record of attacking anonymous bloggers as 'cranks', 'paranoid', 'disturbed' and 'graffiti merchants'. As well as cranking out the same old, same old 'defamatory language' and 'personal abuse'.

We heard it all before in the Thanet Blog War of 2006, the Thanet Blog War of 2007 and the Thanet Blog War of 2008. Now he's trotting it out again in the Thanet Blog War of 2009, aided and abetted it seems by his new and presumably useful (for the time being) but nonetheless strange bedfellow, Bignews Tony. I'm surprised he hasn't rolled out 'welfare sponger with a political axe to grind' but it's early days yet, I suppose.

As part of his diatribe, he characterises Thanet's blogs as little read and little cared about, and given greater emphasis than they deserve by local papers 'desperate for stories; any stories, true or false, given their own limited and shrinking resources.' What the good doctor has conveniently forgotten, however, (something he's quite good at) is that without these blogs, and just off the top of my head, we would never have heard of:

- Inconvenient truths about Tory councillors' academic qualifications
- Mad Pleasurama plans that embed people's heads in concrete
- Jollies-for-planning-permission trips to China by Thanet Tories
- Secret Tory plans for a Thanet blogging protocol
- Tory councillors who prefer to spend all their time in Panama
- Pollution of our water table by local companies
- Proposals to fly 747s over Ramsgate all night
- On/off/on/off again fast ferry services to Boulogne
- Council planning department disasters

To name but a few. But he wouldn't want to remember those, would he, as they all involve his corrupt and incompetent administration.

So obsessed is the man with getting some dirt on troublesome anonymous bloggers that during the last blog war he went to the extraordinary lengths of sourcing a photograph of one such 'annoyance', and running it past possible acquaintances for confirmation that he'd 'got his man'. If that's not the actions of an 'unhappy', 'paranoid' and 'disturbed individual' expressing 'the darker and more unpleasant side of human nature', I'm buggered if I know what is!

Click here for more guff from the Master of Convenient Political Truths

Update: At the suggestion of one of the few remaining Thanet bloggers I still actually have any respect for, I've hidden the comments on this post. I don't give a whatsit what people call me, it's water off a duck's proverbial, but I draw the line at anonymous name callers using my blog to insinuate named bloggers are paedos, even if they're the sort of bluggers I wouldn't ordinarily stop to relieve myself over if they were on fire. I've said this before, and I'll keep on saying it until you (and you know who you are) have got the message.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chinese Choppers

While BigBollocks Tony continues his sad, interminable hissy-fit, I've been getting on with the real news. News that he's too mopey to notice despite it happening his own doorstep! Bignews? Kuh. More like Big Old Woman!

Pictured are today's Chinese delegation being whisked away from our shores from Oval Lawns in Cliftonville quicker than you can say 'Free Tibet'. Actually, there don't appear to be any protesters, but the lawn's been nicely mowed and the hedges trimmed in their honour. Not something us locals are treated to very often!


Photos courtesy of Clive Hart

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chinese Whisper

Thanet Council and I don't see eye to eye very much. Er, that might be a bit of an understatement. So I see absolutely no reason not to publish this 'strictly embargoed' press release from the council that has come into my possession.

It details a 'civic delegation' from China that's arriving here tomorrow (Saturday) to tour their new island territory, which seems only fair. After all, we occupied Hong Kong for quite a time there, so it's only right and proper that we hand over the Isle of Thanet as reparation!

I imagine this press release has been embargoed at the request of the Chinese, or some Thanetian squillionaire, in the hope that word wouldn't get out. After all, they wouldn't want all those frightful Free Tibet protesters and people who moan about freedom of speech in the People's Republic to turn out in force and piss on their parade, would they? Still, this has bollocksed that up, hasn't it! Maybe the Cliftonville whinger could get off his fat bot and wave a banner. He's always banging on about freedom of speech!

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL SATURDAY 29 AUGUST, 15.00

Photo opportunity

Date: Saturday 29 August

Time: 11.00am

Place: Margate Town Hall

Chinese dignitaries will be visiting Thanet this weekend to meet a civic delegation.

The dignitaries will include Madam Li Xiaolin, who is the Vice President of the Association of Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Honorary President of the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development, and Chairman Hu, the Chairman of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Amongst those who will be greeting the delegation are Thanet District Council's Deputy Leader, Cllr. Roger Latchford, Chief Executive Richard Samuel and the Mayors of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dilemmas - How To Respond To Margate Blogger Who Spits His Dummy?

Er, 'feck off' just about sums it up for me!

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's East of the Wantsum. Click it to big it.

Yes, yes, I know the Gazunder isn't out until tomorrow, but seeing as it's so topical given today's news that Panama Steve has resigned. And given that I did it on Monday. And given that I don't get paid for doing it. And given that if I don't get it out there early that Checksfield fellow's likely to publish it on his titty blog. Given, given, given! I tell you, with me it's all bloomin' give. You should count yourselves lucky you've got such a philanthropic talent in your midst!

Still, good to know my exposé of the 'member for Panama' as Cllr Moores referred to him here on Thanet's Premier Blog has come to, er, fruitation! As Kevin Keegan would say.

Breaking News - Panama Steve Resigns

This just in from Thanet Labour leader Clive Hart:

For information:

I sent this communication to Cllr. Latchford this morning and he now (12.30pm) confirms that Cllr Broadhurst will be resigning but that the letter of resignation has to be signed by him in person so it may take a little while coming from Panama.

AN OPEN LETTER REGARDING CLLR STEPHEN BROADHURST CONSERVATIVE MEMBER FOR DANE VALLEY WARD

Cllr. Latchford,

As Cllr. Ezekiel is on holiday I address this request to you as the Deputy Conservative Group Leader at Thanet District Council.

At a one-to-one meeting with Cllr. Ezekiel shortly before he left for his holidays I asked him exactly what he was going to do about Cllr. Broadhurst, his apparent lack of availability for the residents of Dane Valley Ward and the excessive time he spends on the other side of the world in Panama? Cllr. Ezekiel responded with the words 'if and when it should become a problem, I'll ask him for his resignation'.

I now write to formally ask that the situation regarding Cllr. Broadhurst and his excessive time spent in Panama be dealt with officially by your group.

For far too long Cllr. Broadhurst has been 'invisible' and 'virtually unobtainable' to the residents of Dane Valley Ward. Labour members from surrounding wards are consequently receiving many requests for help. Indeed, I myself have helped an elderly and distraught lady reporting anti-social behaviour and also dealt with serious issues concerning residents and allotments. Labour members at TDC are rooted in their communities and will not turn their backs on decent local residents with problems, but it is simply appalling that the Conservative councillor Stephen Broadhurst appears to be able to do just that!

Several leading articles exposing the amount of time Cllr. Broadhurst spends in Panama and his apparent lack of response to any type of communication have covered local newspapers and have been posted on the world wide web. These articles reflect poorly on TDC as an authority and also on other decent elected members across Thanet.

Worse still, leading Conservative members at TDC are now making cynical public comments about the situation. On his return from holiday the Conservative Chairman of Planning posted the comment 'Return from somewhere (not Panama)' on his internet blog site and the Conservative Cabinet Member for Customer Services & Business Transformation actually posted a comment on the internet jokingly referring to Cllr. Broadhurst as 'the member for Panama'. Such comments from leading members do absolutely nothing to help the situation and expose an underlying culture of blazon disregard for the feelings of local residents at top levels within the current Conservative administration.

I therefore ask that you take the action that Cllr. Ezekiel appeared extremely hesitant to take himself and call for the resignation of your Conservative colleague - Cllr. Stephen Broadhurst.

Cllr. Clive Hart - Labour Group Leader - Thanet District Council.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Airport Supporter Writes

Bignews Margate's Tony Flaig has emailed me regarding Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport and a comment I made about riding my huge and quite noisy old throbber past Flaig Towers at two in the morning as a protest against the proposed night flights:

I WAS GOING TO POST THIS TO YOUR BLOG

I'm never sure quite what you mean by "chippy tone", I take to be derisory.

Wondering quite why two supposed outsiders yourself and smeg seem to think the local environment has to change to suit you and him. I suppose residents of Thanet should count themselves lucky your denial of modern life isn't a bit more extreme.

Talking of thin ice, imagine how thin it might be for you, I've no problem with anything you've mentioned but find it a bit rich that you hide behind anonymity, then have the cheek to disclose snippets of private conversations.

Presumably your more than happy to trust others so your comments today are bit of a piss take particularly the two faced reference.


I must say, I don't look at the email account he sent it to very often, so when I logged in late last night under the influence of a rather fine Armagnac, I let him have it with both barrels. Although I expect he'd say it was more like being mauled by a dead sheep:

'Outsiders'? Don't make me laugh.

'Residents of Thanet' - we are residents of Thanet.

'Imagine how thin it might be for you' - presumably that is some kind of blackmail threat.

Honestly Tony, I put nothing but supportive comments on your blog (anonymously) and you come out with this crap? Is it any wonder I refer to you as 'Chippy Tone'?


Anyway, I'll publicly apologise here for being rather chippy myself. More to the point, I've sobered up. And the excellent yourfannitinnit is running the weekend's night flight beach protest on the front page today. Hurrah! (Click here to read yourfannitinnit online)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tiny Airport Gets Big Plane

Flamin' Nora! I wouldn't want that lumbering over the old cliff top mansion at 500 feet in the wee small hours! But no, ha ha, that's just what we in the biz call a 'teaser'. Still, roped you in, didn't it!!!!

No, what I'm actually blithering on about is strange goings on at the tip of Kent's other airport, the Maypole Airfield out by Hernia Bay. According to my sources, a ruddy great Coastguard kite was based there for a bit last week, while Noddy Toytown International was closed so the runway lights could be fixed. No doubt to ensure that more crates of bananas or what have you could be shipped in from Africa, thus depriving the starving millions of sustenance and ensuring the obese of Oldham can still bust the springs on their bathroom scales.

Not too certain whether a twin prop should be operating out of a grass runway with no lights and no emergency facilities. But hey, I'm sure those rufty-tufty Coastguard types have a firm grip on their joysticks at all times, and can boast plenty of experience coping with, er, hairy landing strips!

Click here for Maypole Airfield website

Ask Sister Assumpta

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Each week our holy mother of all agony aunts, Sister Assumpta, tackles your personal problems!

Dear Sister Assumpta, I am a businessman and am also a local Tory councillor, for which I receive almost £5,000 a year in expenses from the taxpayer. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my business, I spend the majority of my time in Panama. Should I do the decent thing by my constituents and step down? Or should I get a friend to sign me into meetings and continue to collect the dosh? S

Sister Assumpta writes: Feck me! D'yer think I'm some cow with a box the size of a reasonably priced tent? Yer givin me an arse like the back of Batman's car with all that shite. For feck's sake yer clatty prick, say some Hail Marys before I gnaw me own rasher off.

Dear Sister Assumpta, I do run an aviashun bizness in the airea and I do do do do really do do do want to fly my ickle aerioplanes and evun sum of those really really big airoplains over Ramskate at 500 feet all nite with lots and lots of narnies on them. But some nasty boys have been saying they do not wont me to fly my airoplains and have been writtening things on the beach and I think they are very very nasty. M

Sister Assumpta writes: Jaysus Hermesetas Christ yer a feckstick and make no mistake! What a ball of crap! God yer've probably got an arse like a bag of rats! Now feck off and do some old prayin to Mother Mary
!

Dear Sister Assumpta, I am a senior politician and have promised everybody in Ramsgate that they will get a shiny new ferry service. However, I am beginning to wonder whether I have not been hoodwinked by some dubious types. Should I resign? Dr (Really) S.


Sister Assumpta writes: Sure yer enough to give me a scaldy ring. Yer tugging at me fartstrings so much yer about to blow me hoop! Stop playin with yer lad and feck off!

That's enough Sister Assumpta - Ed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chopper Out On Beach


The boys in yellow appeared to be carrying out an extensive search over an incredibly packed Ramsgate Main Sands a few minutes ago. Anyone know what's going on?

Blogged via iPhone whilst sipping a refreshingly cool pastis

Update: This has now been confirmed by Dover Coastguard as a search for an illegal immigrant that had jumped ship. Click here for more.

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's East of the Wantsum. Click on it and take a look if you like, I don't care. Checksfield's already published it on his titty blog. I'm off to sulk over a large Pernod.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Council Hunks In Trunks

Ding-a-ling! Flicking through flickr earlier I came across a rather revealing shot of our very own flying doctor! It's not so much Dr Moores as Dr Phwoars! That's one Thanet councillor who's presumably in favour of letting it all hang out on Bottomy Bay!

Click here to reveal all! Well, almost all.

Update: Dr Phwoars! has now removed the offending item from public view, although personally I thought it was quite flattering. In the absence of the real deal, you're going to have to make do with the uncannily accurate artist's impression below.

Protesters Draw A Line In The Sand

As rosy-fingered dawn came up like thunder this morning, I was toddling back from an all night bender with my millionaire chums. Tooling along the East Cliff prom, I glanced out across our magnificent Blue Flag beach and clocked the above slogan: 'NO NIGHT FLIGHTS!' engraved into the pristine Ramsgate sands!

Quick as a flash I whipped out the old Box Brownie and snapped one off. Intrigued, I popped down to the beach and behold:


10 metre high letters raked into the sand with some kind of garden implement. Er, a rake, possibly. Clearly somebody has decided to fight the Manston kipwreckers on the beaches!

Well, well, well. Let's hope one of those knackered old 747s clocks that as it lumbers in with its cargo of rotten bananas 500 feet over our town on its way into Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport! Even better, let's hope the tide doesn't come in before some journo spots a photo op and bangs it in one of the papers. That'll kick sand in the eyes of our supine council, and the airport's Chief Poodle, Cllr Mike Harrison, who's busy licking his rubber stamp for the night flights already!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Klang Rings A Bell

An absolute must see for all observers of town hall dufferism is BBC3's new comedy series We Are Klang. The bastard lovechild of The Goodies and The Young Ones, We Are Klang centres around three inept council officers in the rundown town of Klangbury. This week's episode saw them lose the Annual Small Town of the Year Competition (ASmaTYC) to Midford On Sea, compelling them to brainstorm a variety of crap ideas and events to boost tourism. One involved rebranding the piles of rubbish on Klangbury's streets as a 'Litter Museum'. What a splendid idea!

Moving on, Klangbury's crew of cretins then came up with the masterstroke of opening a theme park called Bin World. May I draw m'lordship's attention to exhibit two:

Indeed, I think we can go one better here on the Ile de Thanet and boast about our fine Botanical Gardens:

As if to seal the deal, tonight's show culminated in the Klangers attempting to grab millions from a dodgy foreign investor, followed by a rousing chorus of the Klangbury song:

If you are feeling really down
You should come to our little town
If you take your food from a bin
Then we are sure you will fit in

If you have no place you feel free
Then we will be your family
It's hardly full of stately castles
And it's run by these three arseholes

Ring any bells?

Click here to watch this week's We Are Klang on BBC i Player

Who Pressed Panama Steve's Button?

Ooo-er! Despite it being the silly season, with many of the chief duffers away on their luxury yachts in the Med or at local developers' luxury villas in Portugal, things seem to be reaching boiling point in the world of Thanet politics!

Not only has Labour Cllr Nottingham's latest blog story on the subject disappeared, but word has reached my shell-likes of further misdemeanours in the council chamber surrounding absentee Dane Valley Tory, Panama Steve Broadhurst. If you recall, Bignews Margate blew Steve's cover recently by revealing he'd been signed in to a council meeting in July in his absence, thus allowing him to pass go and collect his £5K a year in expenses (or your and my money, to be more precise). We still don't know who the forger was, but the chances are we will soon.

I'm now reliably informed that whoever was sitting next to the man with the canoe and the jaunty hat's empty chair that night lent over and actually voted on his behalf on the electronic voting system, presumably during the freemason style secret session to discuss the future of the Pleasurama development. Fortunately this was spotted by one of the sharper eyed opposition, and the vote was annulled. But really, it beggars belief! How do these people think they'll get away with it? Or more importantly, just how long have they been getting away with it? How many other whiffy motions have the corrupt and incompetent Thanet Tories passed by fiddling the vote? And will Panama Steve ever return from his banana republic to this, er, banana republic? I think we should be told!

Meanwhile the disappearance of Cllr Nottingham's take on the episode remains a mystery. Perhaps he's been referred to the Standards Committee. Although my money's on Tony Flaig suing him for running a rather unflattering photo of him next to the word 'fraudster'!

Click here for Cllr Notters' missing blog post
Click here to read it on Google's archive
Click here for Bignews Tony's original story

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rubbish News

video

Mad, Bad and Sad

Yet again Thanet politics is giving off more heat than light, as the row between true blue Dr/Cllr Biggles and Labour new boy Cllr Nottingham intensifies into something akin to the mud wrestling that Westgate Pavilion will be putting on in the not too distant future. Or the, er, cockfighting scene between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates in Ken Russell's Women in Love.

Having said that, it's more a case of the red corner slinging all the mud and the blue corner not letting it stick at the moment. While Cllr Nottingham carries on like a proverbial pork chop that has overdone it on the Collis Browne mixture, Biggles is flying way above it in clear air, not rising to the bait. Which probably means he knows whatever it is Notters knows, but is trying his hardest to steer clear of the storm clouds for as long as he can. God help us if it's something to do with his doctorate, which, as long-termers in the Thanet blogosphere will know, is a very touchy subject for Our Simes.

So that's the mad and bad, but what about the sad? Enter absentee Cllr Stephen Broadhurst, the Panama-based right blue member for Dane Valley. Steve rarely paddles his canoe back from the central American state to attend anything so demeaning as a council meeting or a surgery with his constituents, it appears, and now Chippy Tone has caught someone signing into the council chamber on his behalf so that he can collect his £5K in expenses for passing 'go'. Tut tut! Could it have been Steve's security firm underling, Arfur Mullard lookalike and Margate Mayor Ted Watt-Ruffell? It seems unlikely, but I think we should be told!

Meanwhile expect one or either or all three to emulate the late, great, lovely Oliver Reed's party piece by getting up on the bar and whipping their kecks down at a pub near you in the not too distant future, uttering the immortal line: 'Now has anybody seen a cock as big as that? No, I rather think you haven't.'

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Flushed With Success!

Hurrah! I see the duffers at Thanet Council have reopened the facilities at our beautiful Blue Flag beach here in the Millionaires' Playground! Now we can once more splash out when we need to spend a penny without having to tramp all the way to the bog/smoothie shack by our derelict Royal Pavilion.

I hear our new teeny-tiny council laid some heavy shit on the Cecil Square mob for, er, taking the piss when they closed the khazis at the start of the summer season. Now they're open for business, until the end of summer anyway. At least two traders told me they had lost customers due to the inconvenient conveniences, so three cheers for Ramsgate Town Council!

It's not the only place where TDC have done a U-bend U-turn. Recently they reinstated the loos at the Albion Street car park in Boredstares. Perhaps they've woken up at last to the fact that, if they want tourists to pay a visit, there has to be somewhere where they can pay a visit!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great Balls Of Fire

Reader Walter has copied me in on an email he's sent to the Met Office, following a close encounter of the unusual kind he had in the small wee hours of yesterday morning. Walter writes:

At 00:02 on Sunday the 16th of August I observed a bright red glow in the distance approaching from the London area and moving fast to Thanet. This object was glowing orange at the front and passed directly over Ramsgate and out over the channel. Was this a satellite re-entering (burning up) or an asteroid?

Many thanks for your help.


Walter adds that this was an 'amazing sight'. So, did anyone else out there witness it?

Of course this isn't the first time strange lights have been seen in our Thanetian skies, but quite what would entice little green men to travel hundreds of light years to Planet Thanet is a mystery to me. Unless they've heard about our large red women that is!

Margate Runs Out Of Rozzers

My spies in the Arsonists' Playground report that the gift shop on the Harbour Arm (pier in old money) was broken into on Friday night.

Apparently a call was put into the cops when some suspicious looking types were seen casing the joint. 'We'll be there in 25 minutes,' came the vapid response from Kent's finest. Sure enough, the burglary was soon in progress, and another call was made to the Peelers. 'We'll be there in 25 minutes,' repeated the automaton at the other end. Needless to say, the Bill arrived 25 minutes after the vagabonds had made off with their booty.

Judging by the number of flatfoots in Broadstairs for Drunk Week, and the van loads that were scooping deadbeats off the pavements here in the Millionaires' Playground during the simultaneous Ramsgate Week, it's not surprising that, er, 'resources were stretched' to use public sector speak. There again, this break-in happened in full view of Margate cop shop, so you'd think there'd at least have been one copper on a tea break prepared to put down their copy of Pensions Weekly and toddle over to take a gander!

Meanwhile reader Eddie reports that Thanet's favourite journo, Rachel Cooke of the Observer, has been writing up the island again, this time in rather more glowing terms than those in which she described Broadstairs recently. Admittedly her article doesn't start off that promisingly:

If Margate were a blind date, waiting for you at a bar, you would turn on your heel and run. Who wants to spend an evening with a man whose front teeth are missing, whose expression is permanently leery, whose tatty clothes smell of stale chip fat and worse?

But by the next sentence... And yet I fall for the town in the time it takes me to walk from the station to the prom.

Clearly Rachel likes a bit of rough, given that the saccharin charms of the Dickensian east side failed to woo her, but she's now fallen for a toothless, leering tramp. She then witters on for many thousands of words about the Turnip, fish and chips, crab sandwiches blah blah blah.

The PR types at Duffer Central will no doubt be going 'hurrah!' at yet another mensh of Margate. Rachel's staycation in Broadie was presumably subsidised by this piece, although like all good hacks she's managed to sell the paper two for the price of one after her nasty experience with the receptionist at the Albion Hotel. Maybe something happened to her here on the south side, and next week we'll be treated to an item on Ramsgate. If 'treat' is the right word!

Rachel does Margate
Rachel buggers Broadstairs
Even the Independent's getting in on the act!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's EotW (click on image to get the full picture). I must say, having ventured to Boredstares one night during the week it was absolutely heaving, and the atmosphere in Albion Street, which has been closed off to traffic during the evenings, was quite pleasantly jolly! Not much sign of, er, any folk music though. Maybe that's more of a daytime activity.

And sticking with the Dickensians, I must give a big 'Mwah!' to those chaps at the Broadie, a teeny-tiny magazine for a teeny-tiny town (distributed free to Victorian bathing suited householders, otherwise 40p from Victory News opposite the Lord Nelson). As you can see below, they've put me top of their list of 'Must see websites' in the latest edition, thus demonstrating that pockets of good taste exist even in the easternmost extremities of our septic isle!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shop Tactics

Having nothing better to do after lunch, I thought I'd tool along to the Love, Hate, Hope Ramsgate exhibition in the high street, in one of them disused shops just up from Argos. The place was rammed! You couldn't get in for BBC TV crews, Radio Kent reporters and all manner of Ramsgatonians viewing the ten minute film they've made about the town, projected onto a giant TV screen.

Among the local luminaries featured in the epic are Gerry O'Ramsgate, Ralph 'Mr Wamsgate' Hoult, Michael Child and, er, another Michael Child. (How many Michael Childs (or should that be Michael Children?) does one town need?) Plus a whole plethora of people who'd just been stopped in the street and asked what they loved, hated and hoped for Ramsgatewise. There are three boards up too, where you can write your 'love', 'hate' or 'hope' on a postcard anonymously. A bit like this blog really. Except there were literally hundreds of postcards littering the walls, many with quite hilarious comments, and even two in the 'love' section with Eastcliff Richard written on them! OK, OK, I'll admit I wrote one of them, but it proves that I've got at least one other adoring fan out there! The whole thing is going to be featured on BBC1's South East Today tonight, so do tune in. And do get along to the exhibition, it's on until 8pm tonight, and again tomorrow from 11am to 8pm.

On the way out I heard one of the lovely ladies from the Ramsgate Arts Festival, who organised the shindig, trying to persuade a local to come in and watch the film. 'I ain't got ten minutes,' said the local. 'I would if it was free.' 'But it is free,' responded the RAFer. 'I fought you said it was ten,' came the response. Hey-ho, you've got to love the place, ain't yer!

Click here for Ramsgate Arts Festival

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fast Train Arrives At Ramsgate Three Months Early

Oops! Wrong picture.

Nope. That's not it either.

Aha! That's the one! Now, where was I? Ah, yes... hurrah! Ramsgate is to get the new super-duper, 800mph trains that will whisk us well-heeled DFLs to and from the Millionaires' Playground in under 15 minutes from the start of next month. That's three months early!

The limited 'preview' service is in preparation for the real deal in December, when comfortable, half hourly supertrains will glide you into the magnificently restored St Pancras station, a mere hop, skip and jump from the heart of North London's media luvvyland (and my London bolthole most importantly).

Of course, one or two wizened Tory duffers on the north of the island with a regular need to go and fill in their expenses forms at Westminster or bladder themselves up at the annual old farts reunion will bemoan the fact that the service doesn't pull into shabby Victoria. But hey ho, they'll be dead soon so who cares? Besides it's only five stops on the underground from St Pancreas anyway. If they can last that long without a lavatory, that is.

Meanwhile, just to rub it in, here's one station the preview service won't be stopping at!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peter Shows Bottle In Front Of TV Cameras

If you didn't see top Thanet nudie Peter Checksfield giving us a glimpse of what lies beneath on BBC South East tonight, he's thoughtfully videoed it off the telly and put it on BoobTube for us. Though thanks to a tastefully positioned water bottle I can only speculate that the tattoo (at least) is of a baby's arm holding a grapefruit. Perhaps you'd care to enlighten us Mr C?

It's all rather reminiscent of the time when one of my camera wielding chums thought it would be a splendid idea to set up his equipment in his location hotel room to record the, er, premium channel for posterity. Having got back to base, he entrusted the tape to the grunts in the machine room to transfer it to DVD. Much to their amusement, they soon realised that the poor sap had positioned the camera at such an angle that his reflection on the bed was clearly visible, and that he was indulging in what these days can only be described as Home Secretary's Husband Duties!

Hmm. I wonder....

Click here to see if you can see what Peter's doing in front of the telly
Click here to watch without distractions on BBC iPlayer

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Slap In The Face For Nudist Knockers

Top Thanet nudie Peter Checksfield writes:

The very lovely Rebecca at the Gazette has asked me to write something on Botany Bay & naturism in general as a follow-up to last week's article, & I thought it would be a good idea to include a few lines from Thanet's premier bloggers! I've also written to Tony Flaig.

Keep up the good work!


Well, a couple of points there. The obvious being, and I must say it sticks out like a sore whatsit, that there can only be one premier blogger on the island - moi! As for my response to the thorny question of nudism in Bottomy Bay (©2008 Richard Eastcliff), I responded thus:

I hold nothing against naturists. Indeed, I frequently follow the lead of a prominent Bee Gee lookalike airline exec and attend board meetings wearing only a skimpy night garment, so that my massive tool can occasionally slip out and intimidate my less well-endowed fellow board members.

I can see no reason why some nudity shouldn't be allowed in Botany Bay. My only objection would be that Palm Bay would surely be preferable as the name quite appropriately describes what the wrinkly old duffers on the council would be doing as they peer through their binoculars.


Let's see if the Gazunder prints that! Right, I must dash now as I have a lunch appointment in town with my old newsreading chum Sandy Gusset.

Click here for last silly season's skinny-dipping stories

Nude on Ramsgate Sands in 1788

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Ferry Inspector Calls

One of my nautical but nice chums has sent me a, er, ferry interesting report concerning one of TransEuropa's vessels. The 34 year old Larkspur, which plies the Ramsgate/Oostende (Ostend in old money) route was apparently detained for two days in the Belgian port last week for an 'expanded inspection'.

Only last month the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch reported the watertight doors on TransEuropa's Eurovoyager 'were regularly left open while it was at sea'. The Bahamas-registered Larkspur was found last week to have '19 deficiencies', six of which were grounds for detention. These included:

- Company responsibility and authority
- Emergency preparedness
- Maintenance of ship and equipment
- Lifeboats and lifebuoys
- Oil filtering equipment
- Alarm arrangements
- Oil and oily mixtures, lack of familiarity
- Auxiliary engine
- Cleanliness of engine room
- Gauges and thermometers
- Other machinery
- Closing devices/watertight doors malfunctioning
- Emergency lighting, batteries and switches

Phew! Of course, Slovenian-owned TEF's fleet is getting a bit long in the tooth, so you have to expect some dilapidation. But it does make you wonder whether their operational and maintenance procedures are up to snuff. Still, I don't expect the Porsche driving Diaz brothers who own TEF take an awful lot of interest. They mainly earn earn their lolly from being barristers.

You also have to wonder why this ad hoc inspection happened in Belgium and not here in Blighty (Eurovoyager was only inspected by our mob following an accident). Could it be because the authorities here don't give much of a proverbial about what's floating in and out of our lovely port? I think we should be told!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Broadstairs Buggered By The Observer

Crikey! Tooling around Boredstares front earlier this afternoon in the blazing sunshine, it was hard to believe any of the thousands of visitors could be having a bad time. Or that anyone could contemplate moving Drunk Week to Quex Park.

However, wiffling through my copy of today's Observer I noted that one of their writers had indeed had a miserable time in the UK's second best seaside resort recently. Poor old Rachel Cooke had booked a holiday in the Dickensians' Playground, and found the entire experience less than satisfactory. Her first mistake was to check into the Albion Hotel, where she discovered:

On reception was a woman, hot and cross and sour. She did not use the word welcome, nor too many other words, come to that. She merely grabbed my credit card. The phone rang. 'Go away!' she said, furiously. When the ringing persisted, she told the person on the other end that she was 'too busy' to discuss room tariffs.

At £120 a night, this is not a cheap boarding house. But it felt cheap. It is a long time since I have heard the dull thump of scarily institutional-looking fire doors in a £120 a night establishment and even longer since I left such a place, as we did two days later, without anyone saying: 'How was your stay?' or even: 'Goodbye.'


Hmmm. Seems as though the Albion's recent facelift has done little more than push the prices up. I recall staying there a few years back, and a smaller, hotter, sweatier room you could not have wished for. Rachel goes on to berate the foodie scene in the town (and again I have to agree that a meal out in Broadstairs generally consists of a microwaved pasty accompanied by half a tin of warmed up peas).

Of course, the mistake Rachel made was going to Broadstairs and not Ramsgate. Here she could have enjoyed a Blue Flag beach (Viking Bay, as we all know, is more of a Poo Flag beach). She could have stayed in a quaint and characterful seafront hotel (Royal Harbour) overlooking our splendid harbour and marina, and dined in one of the best restaurants in Kent (Age & Sons), where the fish would have come straight from the sea via one of the finest fishmongers in the land (Eddie Gilbert)! But no. She had to go to Broadstairs! Kuh!

Click here to read what Rachel wrote in the Observer

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Avast Behind!

Excitement is mounting in Boredstares, I'm told, where Victorian bathing costumes are about to make way for the thrills and spills of hemp smocks and bladders on sticks.

Yes, the Dickensians are eagerly anticipating their annual Folk Week (or Drunk Week as it's become known locally), which kicks off today. Around 150,000 men and women with beards are expected to descend on the UK's second best seaside town, turning the camp site at Upton School into a mini version of Glastonbury, with the waft of illicit drugs such as Old Nutty Shag and Nadger's Dorchester Wobbly permeating the air.

Meanwhile, here in the Millionaires' Playground, we're anticipating something much more salubrious. Ramsgate Week, organised by our very own Shirley Temple Yacht Club, will see the cream of the yachting fraternity hoity-toiting on land and sea for six days as of Monday.

As I'm still awaiting the upfront 50% payment on A Snip at £900 for the Harley Street Vasectomy Clinic, I shan't be participating in the sailing. But you will be able to spot me in my Captain's cap, brass buttoned blazer and deck shoes with the salty seamen on the front. I might even get my Rolex Oyster (Whitstable Edition) back from Hiltons for the occasion. And I'll definitely be rooting out my CockSox swimmers for the Hunks in Trunks competition!

Eastcliff Richard makes no apology for running this exact same article last year, the year before, and the year before that. After all, nothing's changed, has it?

Prepare to mount the poop deck! Participants getting their bottoms scraped at the 2006 Ramsgate Week

Friday, August 07, 2009

Please Refund My Licence Fee

Not only have I had to 'watch' the Headingley Test today staring at numbers on a TV which was playing radio commentary, but this evening's Any Questions from the Mike and Bernie Winter Gardens gave the second question to none other than Roger Latchford OBE, the truest, bluest duffer on Duffer Island.

As I'd rather undergo a meatotomy without anaesthetic than purchase any kind of Murdoch product, I'm just going to have to go out now and drink myself blind. At least that way I'll get a 50% refund. A bientot!

What's The Point Of...

This strand?

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's EotW, available in today's Isle of Thanet Gazunder (price 60p at all good newsagents but why cough up when you can see it for free here on the big blog?)

Given that Radio 4's Any Questions are in the smoke (Margate) tonight, somebody might just want to ask panel member John Kampfner, who heads up the Turner trustees, quite what a dodgy art gallery opening in 2011 is going to do for the fortunes of a town which at this rate will be completely boarded up by Christmas.

Meanwhile I see Thanet Council's deputy chief exec is scampering off to pastures new - to become head honcho at Ashford Council to be precise. Where he lives. Nice one. In a glowing testimonial, council bleeder Sandy Ezekiel paid tribute to Bunnett, drooling that he had achieved 'so much for Thanet during his time here, particularly in his efforts to help regenerate the district'. Clearly Our Sandy's rose-tinted specs haven't been boarded up yet then!

What's The Point Of...

'Contains milk' on a packet of butter?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Piss Poor Joke

Reader Samantha writes:

With ITV announcing annual losses today of more than £100m, I was wondering if anyone else had noticed the similarity between their latest station ident and Broadstairs high street after the revellers have departed on a Friday night? With Folk Week about to hit us, will ITV be urinating even more money up against Tesco's wall?

Broadstairs by day

Broadstairs by night

Photoshop Cat Theory Blown Out Of Water

Here's the latest piccie of our new Euroferries Ramsgate - Boulogne supercat, 'Bonanza Express', still laid up in Tenerife. This shot was taken on Tuesday, two days ago.

The mystery of why the Euroferries logo has been painted out deepens. One theory was that in previous shots the logo had been daubed on digitally, using some kind of Photoshop thingo, so it was never physically 'there' in the first place. However, you can just about see the faint outline of 'Euroferries' on the side in this photo, so it clearly was 'there' and has been painted out in the not too distant past. Click on the picture for a closer view. I've enhanced it slightly for the blog, but there's a link below if you want to see the original.

The clincher is that this shot comes from the Spanish website fotosdebarcos.com (or boat spotters to you and me) and the snapper has made a point of saying that it's still possible to see the Euroferries logo through the, er, whitewash.

Click here for 'Bonanza Express' on fotosdebarcos.com

Click here to see boats currently moored in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Update: It's not unknown for Photoshoppers to do some convincing nautical dib-dabbing. This unfortunately named vessel, for example, started life as the perfectly respectable 'Titan Taurus' before the internet hoaxers got hold of it!

Opportunity Knocks For Wacko Worrow

By all that's wrong in the world of entertainment! Forgive my French, but wtf is this? Having a quick online gander through the excellent yourfannitinnit earlier, I spotted a story about the Michael Jackson tribute talent competition held over in Birchington last Friday.

Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not undermining this well-intentioned attempt to do something for the kiddiwinks. And the untimely demise of the King of Pop provided an ideal excuse to get our tubby teenagers exercising in a multicultural environment, as given the nature of the subject matter it clearly was of no import whatsoever whether any of them were black or white. No, what really brought up the All-Bran was the spectacle of 'independent' Birchington parish councillor and Latchford wannabe John Worrow strutting his very limited stuff on stage like some poor man's David Brent!

You'd have thought after all the kerfuffle the other week over the 'Mini-Me' episode he'd want to keep these kind of talent-free moves to himself, but clearly he was on tit autopilot. Compared with the dignified demeanour of the event's other organiser Ralph 'Mr Ramsgate' Hoult, who appears to have been content with some clapping and a gentle wolling of his Rs, I'd say our John made a right Cameron of himself!

Anyhow, as my dear departed showbiz godfather Hughie used to say, it's make your mind up time folks. Click on the link below and go to around 14 minutes in. You'll have to wait a while for it to load, as yourfannitinnit's online TV isn't the sharpest tool in the IT box. But I promise you, it's worth the wait!

Wacko Worrow on yourkenttv

What's The Point Of...

Human Resources?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What's The Point Of...

Nick Knowles?

Virgin On The Ridiculous

The local grapevine appears to be working overtime today, with all the excitement centering around a ridiculous rumour that Bee Gee lookalike Sir Richard Branson is investing in Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport!

But before you start packing those £9.99 YSL suiters you bought down the market and planning that dream holiday to Benidorm, let's look at the facts. Yes, it has been suggested that some part of Virgin is buying up land out at Manston, including the disused petrol station opposite the Holiday Inn Express (Prospect Inn in old money). But this could be something to do with the odd Virgin flight that already comes into the airport for maintenance or what have you, rather than a masterplan for scheduled flights.

If you really want to fly a kite, it's probably more likely that we're about to get Virgin Galactic's first European spaceport. The sods have just been dug on their US site out in New Mexico, and already 300 sillier sods have forked out $200,000 each to be propelled into space for ten minutes inside a giant firecracker. Branson, who last week got a £200m injection from Manchester City's Sheik Whatsit, has already stated he wants another spaceport in Europe by 2013, although so far the three front runners are in Scotland. Admittedly remotest Jockland would be a safer option from the 'Challenger scenario' point of view, but Manston's oh-so-much closer to London's bustling West End, darling.

Given the parlous state of our airport's finances, and given Sir Branston's hairy upper lip service to environmental issues, this might be the best possible outcome for Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport. Lord knows, Branners might install a proper radar system that allows his fireworks to bypass the towns. He might even monitor the noise and air pollution. He might build a spanking new visitor centre and attract tourism to the area.

But I'll bet my dollar bottom that the only Thanetians who'll be able to afford the tickets will be the usual squillionaire suspects!

Blast your arse into space for $200,000

Beeb Goes Down To Margate

Margate proved to be the fly in the BBC's candy floss earlier today, as the corporation's news wallahs tried to whip up some fluff about tourists flocking to Blighty this year.

The One O'Clock News went live from the Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site, teeming with visitors from every part of the globe, then threw live to poor old Louisa Baldini standing by Mannings whelk stall next to Droit House, a lone, topless pitbull tugger lounging on the concrete behind her. Having given us some blurb about things picking up, Louisa proceeded to interview Valerie on the stall, who clearly hadn't been briefed. 'Business is down by about a half this year,' moaned Val. 'If people are holidaying in Britain, they ain't coming to Margate.'

Still, at least the BBC are flocking to the Arsonist's Playground, even if the tourists aren't. After Huge Pym's report on Margate, The Country's Most Closed Down Town last week, and Louisa's live two-way today, on Friday the team from Radio 4's Any Questions will be gassing off in the Mike and Bernie Winter Gardens. Unfortunately regular host Jonathan Dimbleby (or 'The Wrong Dimbleby' as we used to call him at ITV... as in 'We signed the wrong Dimbleby') can't make it, so presentorial duties will be down to Radio 4's Charlie Chuckles de nos jours, Eddie Mair. Interestingly the panel will include John Kampfner who's being billed as the chief exec of the Index on Censorship, but who is better known in these parts as the Head Turnip, sitting as he does at the front of the Turner Contemporary gravy train.

Of course, the only reason it's being held in Margate is because the council has willfully dilapidated any sizeable venue here in the island's capital, Ramsgate. I understand the panel aren't taking any chances with their pre-gig dinner, though, which is being held at East Kent's foremost eatery Age & Sons, right here in the Millionaires' Playground!

Watch on iPlayer (available until tomorrow lunchtime, 22'35" in)
Any Questions at the Mike and Bernie Winter Gardens

Ferry Worry

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anybody noticed the dissimilarity between the photo of the Euroferries catamaran Bonanza Express sent out with the Thanet Council press release on Friday about the new service from Ramsgate to Boulogne, and this photo which I found on the internet claiming to be of the same vessel moored in the Canaries on Saturday, the day after? It appears to have had the word 'Euroferries' removed from its side. Are they by any chance unrelated?

Thanet Council press release 31 July 2009

Snapped in Tenerife 1 August 2009

Track Bonanza Express on marinetraffic.com

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tunbridge Wells Snubbed, Ramsgate Rated

Staying with the tourism theme, I see that Royal Tunbridge Wellians are getting all hot and sticky under their starched collars after being left out of this year's Lonely Planet Guide. RTW councillor Elizabeth Thomas told the local rag: 'I'm disappointed, obviously, to be left out. I think we have a lot to offer visitors both in our urban and rural areas and I think when compared with some other areas in Kent there is no competition.' Ha!

Meanwhile the Millionaires' Playground gets glowing testimonials from Lonely Planet. The guide swoons:

More welcoming than jaded big sis Margate and livelier than twee little neighbour Broadstairs, Ramsgate is the kind of varied and often quirky resort town that can appeal to all ages. While families and surfers still splash about along the Blue Flag beach, cosmopolitan bars and easygoing street cafés line the marina and seafront promenade, and a different breed of cultural visitor is drawn to the town’s rich maritime history and neo-Gothic architecture. And picturesquely sheltered below the town’s handsomely arched harbour walls is a forest of rigging that creaks and whistles in the sea breeze.

I think they've got it just about spot on there!

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

Ramsgate in Lonely Planet Guide

Ramsgate

Tunbridge Wells

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Germans Are Coming!

I must admit I'm probably still slightly light headed after the old lurgy. This afternoon I ponced around the Millionaires' Playground like some latter day Charles Hawtrey, bidding all and sundry a cheery 'Oh, Hello!' This precipitated a variety of responses, ranging from the traditional Wantsum glower to the occasional blank stare.

The blank stares mainly came from mystified foreign tourists for, dear reader, we appear to be inundated with the blighters at the moment. Many indicated in broken English they were of Teutonic descent, so it was no surprise to find Ramsgate mentioned today in a blog post entitled Ein Königreich für ein Schnitzel, which roughly translates as A Kingdom for, er, a Schnitzel and is subtitled 4 Women + 4 Weeks + 1 Car = ?

Whipping out the old Collins German Dickie, the most apposite Ramsgate remarks appear to read thus:

Last night we were in Ramsgate in a pub named Port & Anchor. Rather typical pub, it was yesterday Karaoke night (no we did not sing, nobody, honestly) which was quite funny, because were many many young people there and also a few sweet Englishmen. We tried out. Anyhow we attract the Englishmen like a magnet. But they in addition, gladly dishes full alcohol spend. No notion which in the dish was, something with Vodka, has anyhow super tasted and also a little geballert, one must say. [My dickie doesn't do 'geballert' but I'm guessing it's something akin to 'a kick like a mule']

One can however really forget the English girls, it is much many much skin to see and likes it gladly rounder than narrow. Those is it no matter how much it weigh, it prefers nevertheless to be in the shortest skirts and most low-cut upper sections. No beautiful sight. Perhaps but that pleases others. To be noticeable one can dress there as a woman only either naked or with clown costume.

Yep. Pretty much sums up the Port and Anchor if you ask me!

Click here for more Germane sneers

Cheap Thrills

Reader Monty of Margate writes, rather lugubriously:

Quite what the point of the weekend's Margate Carnival was is beyond me. Every year they bring their own food, their own drink and their own sound systems. They spend nothing in the town. This year I swear they brought their own sand.'

Hmmm. Maybe you should try getting them to bring an entire, regenerated seaside town next year Monty. And then somehow persuade them to leave it there when they head off back up the M2!

Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore Aaaarrrgghhh!

Phew! Now the swine flu's gone I've been able to toddle around the town again and enjoy the delights of the sea air accompanied by Test Match Special in my lugholes, courtesy of the iPhone. It doesn't get much better than that!

During my post-prandial on Saturday I clocked the parlous state of the Mayor's parlour, otherwise known as Albion House. Here are some piccies:


I'm told by regular contributor Millicent that green netting has since been erected over this balcony, presumably to prevent passers-by being bashed on the bonce by the crumbling concrete. Quite how such an historic building came to be in such a state beggars belief. I mean, didn't Queen Victoria herself hang her smalls out on those railings back in the day?

Anyway, minus the swine flu I'm firing on all one cylinder and can't wait to get my snout back in the trough again. As regular readers will know, I've always been a bit of a ham, so imagine my delight when I was approached this morning by the Harley Street Vasectomy Clinic to front up their latest video epic - A Snip At £900! I have, however, been assured that they'll be using a body double when it comes to the actual procedure!