Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Biggles Shot Down By Standards Committee

Word on the island grapevine is that Tory Cllr/Dr Moores has had his complaint against Labour Cllr/Sherriffof Nottingham turned down by the standards people. The complaint, regarding some kind of blog-related hissy fit between Thanet Council's two political heavyweights, had already been rejected once. Now it's been rejected again on appeal.

Quite how that affects Westgate-based, banner-tugging Dr Biggles' libel case against The Sherriff, lord knows. (I would have said 'law lord', but we don't have any of those these days, do we?) As previously reported, Cllr Nottingham has obtained the services of top London libel lawyers Carter Ruck to defend himself against cabinet member Dr M's accusations.

Oh well. At least the news is an excuse to use an amusing photo which was sent to me by top Thanetian author Iain Aitch!

Tesco Fiasco

I know this has already been covered on the excellent Margate Architecture blog, but I'm going to whip it out again and give it a good airing!

By now we all know that Tesco, who famously grab one of your sovs for every eight spent in this country, have their eyes on Arlington Square, up on the, er, even more deserted side of the Arsonists' Playground. On Monday night the Arlington House Residents' Association held a packed meeting to discuss Tesco's plans. Here's their press release:

The planning application from Freshwater (the site's owners) is expected in July. It will be to build a Tesco store, as big as the one in Manston. It's not a small store!


An overwhelming number of residents at the meeting last night wanted to know where all the traffic will go. The seafront of Margate will be just another M25 - as one person said - permanently impassable, so neighbouring residential areas will see a lot more cars along their streets in an effort to avoid the seafront.

By the way, some people seem to think that Tesco will pay to renovate the exterior of Arlington House. NO. Tesco will lease from Freshwater, who are the developers. Freshwater are responsible for the exterior of Arlington House and they lease the Arlington site from Thanet District Council on a 199 year lease for a peppercorn rent.

Arlington House looks as dreadful as it does because Freshwater has done nothing to the exterior in thirty or so years. Now Freshwater is basically asking the residents to pay for exterior and interior works, while Freshwater will make a mint from the long term lease it is giving to Tesco. Freshwater and Tesco are multinational, global conglomerates.

There's the very real possibility that visitors would arrive at the station, or drive to the Tesco parking lot, walk to the beach, visit Tesco for food and toilets, leave their debris on the beach and return home via the station - never to venture along the sea front towards Margate High Street or Old Town, or Cliftonville.

This will not unify Margate, but will exacerbate the geographical divisions that already exist. Connected? Good for tourism or business? We think not.

Please contact Residents Association chair Ron Greene on 07754 588193 for further comments, interview or photo opportunities.

Personally I think our beloved council will wet their proverbials at the thought of yet another Tesco superbarn on the island, so the chances of planning permission being rejected are slim, verging on the non-existent. For more information on how the Tesco monolith distorts local economies (ever wondered why you pay 6p a litre more for petrol in Thanet as opposed to Canterbury?), take a look at the Tescopoly website (tagline - Every Little Hurts!)

And just to put the record straight, I'm not one of those numbnuts who think Arlington House is a blot on the landscape. With a little TLC (rather than TDC) it could be a splendid icon for Margate. After all, 60s architecture is the new Victorian!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Great Wall Of Ramsgate - First Pic Of First Pic

Reader Jimmy writes:

Hi ECR. Thought you'd like a photo of the first artwork on Gerry O'Donnell's Great Wall of Ramsgate [Pleasurama Royal Sands Eyesore Hoarding in old money - Ed].

There seemed to be a lot of interest this afternoon following the press launch. Only another 1,000 feet to go!


Hmmm. Not yet the 'Bayeux Tapestry' we were promised, but it's early days. For the life of me I can't understand why GO'D hasn't contacted me to take up my excellent suggestions!

Ramsgate 2, WC 1

Being the swinging, bachelor type, I'm hopefully not going to have much use for Mamas and Papas which has just opened at our lovely Brownwater retail park in the centre of the isle.

Actually I thought they'd all choked to death on ham sandwiches in the 70s.

Er, but no. If baby stuff is your thang, Mamas and Papas have it all. Announcing their new Westwood Cross outlet they say: '(Our) fashion-packed credentials are second to none as stars from Hollywood to Hong Kong head for the store as soon as their pregnancy is announced.' Not bad for a chain that's based in that third fashionable 'H' - 'Uddersfield. They continue:

Closer to home, the wives and girlfriends of the UK’s famous sporting and media stars are spotted often at Mamas & Papas stores throughout the country. World Cup sweethearts have already been spotted snapping up ‘Star Dribbler’ rompers to cheer on their partners in the South African tournament!

Should go down a storm with the builders' WAGs from Boredstares then.

Closer to home, and as if to prove that Ramsgate is getting chi-chier by the minute, a high class gift emporium has opened in the Old Custom House (Custom House in old money) down on the front. While teeny-tiny (and not so teeny-tiny) Ramsgate Town Councillors ruminate over their paltry portfolios upstairs, visitors can grab an excellent latte or baguette downstairs, book a B&B at the visitor information centre and peruse Nice Things, which stocks gifty arts and crafts from Thanet and beyond.

Not only that, but if a job ad I just read in one of the local rags is to be believed, the Millionaires' Playground is about to get a Cornish Pasty Co emporium too! How much more like St Ives can it get!?!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Any Publisity's Good Publisity

Rummaging around in my enormous inbox today, I noticed a press release from Thanet Council headed: NEW TOURISM AMBASSADORS FOR THANET.

Apparently The Duffers are training up beach inspectors and Winter Gardens staff to be 'visible and active tourist champions for Thanet'. They will also be given a handbook so that they can 'look up anything they need'.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: 'This is part of the council’s approach to modernising the visitor information service that we offer' (by closing all the visitor information centres, eh Martin?). Cllr Wise's quote ends: 'I’d like to take this opportunity to publically [sic] thank Thanet Leisure Force for their help in supporting this initiative.'

Presumably the ambassadors' handbook contains such useful advice as 'The nearest publical convenience is in Canterbury'.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I don't think England could have played any worse if they'd fielded 11 Thanet councillors.

Thousands Watch Boat Burn In Broadstairs

Ha ha! No, not another of those 'earner burners' that are our speciality here in the tip of Kent. No, reader Colin writes:

Hi Ricky! As if to prove the old dictum that they'd flock to the opening of an envelope in Boredstares, there must have been thousands lining the cliff tops last night to watch a very small Viking boat being set on fire on the beach in Viking Bay.

Apparently it was all in aid of the 100th anniversary of Bradstow School and supported by Wandsworth Council and those Mears people who do public sector building maintenance, who had even brought a film crew all the way from Manchester to capture the momentous event. I suspect they won't be doing that in future, once Eric Pickles has got hold of them.

The cops were out in force, bumping up their overtime and pensions by ensuring the serried ranks of octogenarians didn't start a riot, but they were almost outnumbered by the health and safety police who had everything cordoned off. The fire brigade were also there just to make sure the boat didn't set fire to the sand or the sea. The do-gooders also apparently insisted the fireworks went off at 9:15, in broad daylight, which rather spoilt the effect if you ask me.

It struck me, seeing the Viking Warlord's body being placed on the boat and then set fire to, that this would be an appropriate send-off for a local amusement park magnate who seems to have a lot of bad luck with insured property being burnt down, as and when his time comes!

All the best, Colin

Well Colin, I take your point about Eric Pickles. With 25% to slash off local government budgets it would seem obvious that the axe should fall on events first. They aren't really an 'essential service', are they? Besides, with all the talented, professional people (moi) round here who are prepared to organise better things at no cost to the taxpayer, surely the private sector should be getting first dibs!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's EotW (click it to big it).

To be honest, it's such a beautiful, sunny day here in the Cannes of Kent that I've completely lost the urge to moan about anything! So I'm just going to head down to the strip, grab a cool beer from the Belgian, and take in the sight of the Heras fencing on Pier Yard, the sound of pneumatic drills on full bore, and the smell of raw sewage gurgling into the marina!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Broadstairs Or Bust

In case you missed Location, Location, Location's visit to Boredstares tonight, just click on my pic to go to Channel 4 On Demand, where you can have your fill of Phil and Kirstie, the Ant and Dec of estate agency. Except it's easier to tell them apart as one's bald and adenoidal, while the other's fat and female.

It was really only the dad of the house-hunting family who insisted that it was the Dickensians' Playground or nothing. Actually, he seemed far too gay to be a father of three, and all five of them seemed much more interesting than the usual tattooed, perma-tanned builders and builders' WAGs you see on the east side. So the fixation with Broadstairs was a bit of a mystery.

In the end, though, they settled on a five bed semi in Kingsgate. Until the gay dad pulled out on Phil at the very last moment. Thus, er, proving my point, methinks.

Glasto Enteritis

It's that time of year again when those middle classes who aren't fans of football or tennis pack their VW Golfs and head for Glastonbury, where they can indulge their alternative fantasies with other mildly stoned estate agents and graphic designers.

I've only ever been there on official business with a film crew, and, having heard tales of overflowing pit toilets, managed to keep my bladder and bowels in check for the entire day on each occasion. One year my veteran cameraman couldn't keep it in any longer, and returned white as a ghost. 'Worse than Bosnia,' was his verdict.

Still, here in Ramsgate we seem to be putting on an alternative shit show courtesy of Southern Water, who recently took several years to mend our bursting sewer down in the port. Now the Inner Marina is swimming with the brown stuff. It started with The Great Stink on Sunday morning, and our local biblio-bloke and environmental campaigner Michael Child has finally tracked it down to crumbling Victorian sewers.

Maybe this could be seen as a positive step. After all, thousands of people flock to Glastonbury to get covered in poo each year. And now we have the chance to make our lovely, heritage Victorian seaside town even more authentic by introducing lovely, heritage Victorian diseases like typhoid and cholera! Hurrah!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

England Expects...

Although it's probably going to take more than a hand from god and a nose full of sugar boogahs for England to get through this afternoon's World Cup crunch match with Slovenia (thanks to reader Puffinman for the pic).

Still, if the number of plastic England flags flying from the Thanet terraces and local builders' vans is anything to go by, the real winners are China!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toilet Humour

Reader Mick writes:

Dear Richard,

As an avid reader of your snippets of gossip from Ramsgate and the Island's high society I have heard that you are seeking objects for exhibition in your latest philanthropic enterprise, the Anthea Turner Contemporary.

May I suggest the attached which has the advantage of already being on the Island and therefore will involve no great transportation costs in moving it to the Turner bunker. Entitled 'You can never be taken short' the exhibit brings together a pure white symmetry with a simple rustic appeal with nature and a crafted sculpture in virgin concrete, which is a delight to behold.

The creator of this brillant work is unknown, but could be Tracey Enim or the famed Belgian Oneloo Haartsdunteck. The work is valued at over £1,000,000 by some of the Isle's leading art connoisseurs. However I'm making the photo available at no cost for exhibition in the gallery adjacent to the loos in the new centre. It will undoubtedly be the centre of attention.

Kind regards, Mick

Well Mick, I'll certainly give it pride of place. It'll make a, er, convenient companion for my Rodin 'Thinker'...

And Duchamp 'Fountain'!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ramsgate Gets Cruise Thumbs Up

Well, it shouldn't just be Dover that gets the big boys in, should it? So I was delighted to see that Ramsgate gets a guernsey on a new cruising website. In fact the trendy East Cliff comes in for particular praise, with our quaint holiday cottages and park attracting globe-trotting chicken fanciers, it seems:

From Ramsgate Harbour, head up the cliff towards the Granville cinema and follow road to the end. You will come to the park. Cruising goes on in the park (there is a cottage there) and on cliff top. Best to park off the main road up side turnings.

Hours: Park Cottage when Park is open. The rest early evening as light falls and as long as you are prepared to hang around.

Cruising Info/Tips: Other than getting your cock out and waving at someone, just make eye contact and head for the park or bottom prom to shelters.

Cruisiest Spots: On path/steps going down to beach and in shelters halfway and at the bottom. There is also a brick built shelter on the top of the cliff where action takes place facing the sea.

Wheelchair Accessible: No.

Warnings: Straights and dog walkers do use this area to go down to the beach so just be sensible. Don't assume everyone is looking for cock as some do and have caused a few problems with some locals but on the whole I always have a great time here.

Even Ramsgate Harbour makes it into the guide! I must tell my old showbiz chum Tom Cruise!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Wetherspoon Eye On Ramsgate Front?

Carousing with the Ramsgate glitterati on the strip last night, it soon became clear that rumour is rife about pub chain J D Wetherspoon taking over the soon-to-be-defunct Kent International Hotel.

Wetherspoons, who operate 780 hostelries around the UK, including Margate's Mechanical Elephant, is on the acquisition trail. Their website even asks readers if they've got any recommendations for sites that could be transformed by the company's own brand of beery magic. And surprisingly they're after hotels as well, they already run 16.

Whether Wethers can break Frank Thorley's grip on Ramsgate front is yet to be seen. Whether the local rozzers can prevent packs of pie-eyed punters staggering all over the road at pissed o'clock in the morning is another question. To which, I would suggest, the answer is a resounding 'No'!

PS: I see the excellent Thanet Anthem (see story below) has put on almost 3,000 BoobTube viewers since yesterday, and is now going to be released on iTunes! Our beloved council must be spewing that six times as many people in a day have watched a video that portrays them as the nincompoops they are than are prepared to watch their guff about Margate's 'Big Event'. Hurrah!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's EotW - click it to big it. At this rate I think I can pretty well write off my invite to Cllr Baywatch's summer garden party!

Meanwhile I've been pointed in the direction of a jolly new ditty on BoobTube - The Thanet Anthem by The Thanet Loops.

Set to the tune of Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind, it pretty well sums up our septic isle in a way that Visit Kent's description ('Thanet - the birthplace of civilisation') just so doesn't. To give you a taster, here's the opening verse:

Welcome to a place where the best nightclub is Escape
But it's always shut
An art gallery that no-one even really wants
Opened by a slut


Update: It seems the good folk of Newport have now jumped on the Empire State of Mind bandwagon, and have even managed to get on BBC Breakfast with it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

We're Fannit, Innit

A review copy of celebrated wordsmith Iain Aitch's We're British, Innit has come into my possession, providing much needed evidence that at least one Margatonian can string two words together without the net result looking like an explosion in a Scrabble factory.

It's out in paperback next week (published by Harper Collins at £7.99, but only £5.99 from Amazon) and is chock full of bitesize bits bursting with bang-on bon mots about Blighty, arranged in a read-it-all-in-one-wet-afternoon A-Z format. The new paperback version boasts an additional chapter containing brand new material suggested by members of the Great British Public.

A random flick elicits this entry on Seaside:

Being an island nation we are never more than a short drive from the seaside, which is naturally one of the first places that our leisure industry evolved. We rapidly went from bathing machines to kiss-me-quick hats and saucy postcards, identifying the water's edge as a place where inhibitions could be cast aside. It may have lost some of its allure in the twenty-first century, but it is still the place we go to make sandcastles, ride donkeys and catch crabs, be it in a bucket, from the bed in a B&B or from a local heroin addict prostitute.

Educated at Chatham House, clearly Mr Aitch is still in touch with his Fannit roots, although I gather he can more frequently be found these days swanning it up with the Guardianistas in Stoke Lesbington. Not far from my own pied-a-terre in Norf London's media heartlands, as it happens!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Leader's Column

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Each week top Thanet politician Bob Baywatch gives us his insight into the island!!!

It gives me no greater pleasure than to go shopping. Whether it be for vegetables, such as peas, cabbages, runner beans, or lovely, fresh, new Thanet potatoes from my friend Richard Ash's farm, or maybe bananas and soft fruit, there's nothing I enjoy more than getting a good bargain on my 'five a day' from one of the area's fantastic local greengrocers.

Alternatively I will sometimes spend hours just marvelling at the huge variety of paperclips they stock at those big stores out at Westwood Cross.

So when people come up to me and complain that their high street is dying, I tell them that they should jolly well count their blessings and look on the bright side. Where else in the UK could you be trying on a pair of comfy slippers one minute, and then dipping your toes in the briny the next?

This coming weekend we at the council have provided for your entertainment a 'Big Event' in 'Margate'. So why not come to Palm Bay and pay for the chance to catch a glimpse of those magnificent men in their flying machines, spend a few hard earned shillings at the many attractions and stalls we will be providing courtesy of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and then make the bracing saunter at the end of the day to shop in Margate's derelict high street before walking the hour and a half back to your car?

That's enough column - Ed.

Blogger Bug

Since migrating Thanet's Premier Blog to this stylish new look courtesy of those Google Blogger chaps, I've noticed the old comments tally at the bottom of each item hasn't been, er, tallying.

Consequently, where it says '1 comment', there are, in fact several. Until they fix the bug, it's well worth copping a shufti just in case.

Actually this isn't really very interesting, but at least it keeps me on top of the pile, ahead of the drivel spill spurting from the north side of the island today!

Armed Police In Camden Square

This story seems to be moving quickly. There are now reports of a large police raid being conducted in Camden Square here in Ramsgate. Thanks to reader Steve for the photos.

Update: More details now running on KM website here.

Update update: It appears three people, including a 15 year old boy, have been arrested following suspected robbery and kidnap. Investigations are ongoing. Click here for more.

Cops Get Their Huge Chopper Up

Holy helicopters! The rozzers have been buzzing Ramsgate for half an hour now in their ruddy great chopper. What's going on? More illegals jumping ship down at the port? (Thanks to regular contributor Walter for the pic).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Council's Costly Postcode Cock-Up

What's in a letter? Well, quite a lot if it's in your postcode!

Ramsgate's teeny-tiny council has been giving out its postcode at the newly revamped Custom House as CT11 8LS, which puts it in the same locale as our defunct Maritime Museum and Pier Yard. Buildings either side, such as the Jizz Rooms and Frank's Queen's Head boast postcodes ending 8LP.

So what, you ask. Well according to the Environment Agency, 8LS is on a flood plain, whereas 8LP isn't. Which makes the building either uninsurable or at least another couple of Bentleys for those Lloyd's of London types.

Clearly some council duffer just made the postcode up, as a quick check with Royal Mail elicited the following response:

We have not as yet received any information from the council regarding this address. Please contact the local council’s name and numbering department to confirm that the property is registered. They are the Statutory Body responsible for officially naming and numbering all properties. Once we receive the official address details from the council we will add to Postal Address File.

At least someone's now spotted the error, as I see the Ramsgate Town Council website has this week replaced its S with a P, and the Custom House has appeared on the Royal Mail postcode checker. Hopefully the building's insurers have been notified too, and told to return the motors to Jack Barclay.

Meanwhile don't forget that one advantage of living close to a flood plain (English Channel in old money) is a few sovs off your Southern Water bill if your surface water drains directly into the sea. Just call customer services on 0800 027 0800 and they'll tell you if you qualify. Even millionaires need to watch the pennies these days!

Piston Broke

Reader Duncan from Ramsgate's less trendy west side writes:

I see the Thanet District Council beauraucrats have been out in force again, wasting money. Their latest addition to the 'over-cluttered by council pointless signage' landscape is on my doorstep on Royal Esplanade in Ramsgate.

A sign telling us all that motorised model cars are not to be used on the former putting green next to the Rose Gardens is an absolute joke. It is neither enforceable by the Council, nor serves any useful purpose to the public as a whole. I cannot see the harm in these seemingly enthusiatic people playing their sport and causing no harm to others on a patch of grass too bumpy to be of any other recreational use.

How much did this pointless sign cost to supply and erect? And surely it would have been better spent putting towards a fund to refurbish the decaying shelters along the esplanade, not to mention the environmental impact it has on the impression of the area.

I am almost tempted to buy a motorised model car and drive it on that area as a personal protest to the petty bureaucracy that has come about from a possible one or two complaints from people who lead shallow and empty lives.

Well quite, Duncan. To cheer you up I've appended a pic of the Bucket and Spade Run which took place on the adjacent Government Acre recently. Our beloved council appears to have no problem letting these splendid jalopies onto its unmanicured lawns. Not to mention allowing an entire motor museum go to pot!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone else noticed the similarity between Amco, the new convenience store that's opening in Ramsgate's Queen Street, and Tesco, the well known megabarn at Westwood Cross ? Are they by any chance related?

Every little helps

Every Lidl helps


As you can see, Thanet's Premier Blog has been revamped! My team of highly trained graphic designers have been working for weeks on the relaunch, combining all the familiar elements that has made Eastcliff Richard a must-read for tens of fousands of Fanetians every month with cutting edge internet elan!

Hope you like it!

Princess Turns Into Ambrette

My talented cuisine chum Dev tells me he's chosen a new name for the Indian Princess, the jewel in Margate's culinary crown.

Fed up with drunk punters walking out when they fail to spot a vindaloo or madras on the menu, Dev felt a change of name (sans 'Indian', 'Spice' or 'Fusion') that better reflected his ambitions for the restaurant was appropriate. He's gone for 'The Ambrette', which he tells me is, er, a kind of Indian spice.

I've rather cheekily suggested on his Facebook page that the new name sounds a bit like 'Lambretta' and that I look forward to scooter deliveries in the Ramsgate area soon!

Click here to go to The Ambrette's website

Friday, June 11, 2010

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's EotW (click it to big it). Three jokes in one represents superb value for (no) money, methinks! Although I don't expect the middle frame has done my chances of getting the press officer's job at the Anthea Turner Contemporary much good.

Whilst I'm at it, I must take umbrage with my fellow (paid) contributor to the Isle of Thanet Gazunder, lovely columnist Jane Wenham-Jones. In this week's jottings on boarded up shops in Boredstares high street she writes: 'As for the ravages of the economic climate, count yourselves lucky good fellow residents of Broadstairs – have you walked along the high streets of Margate or Ramsgate lately?'

Actually I think you'll find there are more quality retail outlets opening here in the Cannes of Kent than in the twee environs of the Dickensians' Playground, luv. Still, don't lose heart. I expect there'll always be room over on the east side for another shop selling hair products or personalised number plates. The builders and their WAGs can't get enough of them!

Crude Comments

What with BP's share price sinking this week faster than an ROV on an urgent mission to stem a mile deep oil blowout, I thought I'd use the excellent (visualizing the BP oil spill disaster) to centre the leak on Ramsgate.

As you can see, if it had happened here, much of the English Channel would have been affected. Er, as well as the whole of Kent and huge swathes of London and the home counties. Ironically it would have quickly enveloped BP boss Tony Hayward's rural Kent pile, which is now apparently under police protection following threatening phone calls and hate mail.

£55bn wiped off their share price? They should count themselves lucky!

PS: Has anyone else noticed petrol's 6p a litre less in Canterbury compared to Thanet? Not that I'm too bothered as my motor's all electric!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reed Employment

Only in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! Each week we feature a public sector stunna!

Today's bureaucratic babe is Donna Reed, who's just been promoted from her job as Director of Customer Services at Thanet Council to Director of Shared Services for the whole of East Kent! The council cracker's not just a pretty face - she'll be raking in almost £100K in her new job!

Donna you just wanna give her a great big hug! [Geddit??!!!??]

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Airport Name Game

Cripes! I see RAF Manston Kent London Chas 'n' Dave Margate Ramsgate London Tracey Emin International Airport has undergone yet another name change!

Officially it was known as 'Kent International Airport' in recent times. But with the launch of its new website this week, it seems we should now refer to it as 'Manston - Kent's International Airport'. I suppose in the same way Windscale became Sellafield, Long Kesh became The Maze, and Marathon became Snickers, owners Infratil feel that a new name will help disguise the, er, paucity of their offering.

To add to the semblance of jollity there doesn't appear to be anywhere you can complain about noise and other pollution now, either. Although 'jolly' is not the term I'd use to describe their logo, which looks as if it was designed by Jack the Ripper in one of his more gory moments. Not the sort of image I'd want to be confronted by if I was a nervous flier!

Meanwhile I see Lydd... oh, sorry, London Ashford International Airport has junked its Jersey flights due to lack of interest!

Westgate Pavilion Ceases Trading

Ramsgate music entrepreneur and Westgate Pavilion lessee Kevin Crace has just sent me this email:

Hi Richard,

Hope you are well.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, Westgate Pavilion has ceased trading today with immediate effect.

I will pop a press release out over the coming days, but if you want a quick update, please feel free to call me.


Kevin Crace

Sad news indeed. Kevin, who also recently reopened the St James Bar here in the Millionaires' Playground, saved the Westgate Shed, er, Pavilion for the Thanet nation back in October 2008. Now it appears to be facing an uncertain future again.

Still, it's not all bad news for God's-Waiting-Room-on-Sea as I hear Medb (pronounced 'Maeve') Films have upped sticks from their Royal Harbour Hotel home here in Ramsgate and relocated to Westgate. Let's hope the local crumblies can stand the excitement of spotting slebs like Paul McGann, Brenda Blethyn and Bobbo Skins walking up the red carpet outside the Carlton Cinema!

Update: Thanet Council has now put out a press release confirming the closure of Westgate Pavilion, pending a new tenant being found. Click here for more.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Council Knockers Get Global Coverage

Talk about making a mountain out of a couple of molehills! Our beloved council must be feeling a right tit after the laughable attempt to get Ramsgate hairdresser Marcello's banner of his decouped missus taken down made headlines across the globe. Earlier this morning it was the most read story on the BBC News website! (Click on pic to watch)

Ramsgate Society's Jocelyn McCarthy says it 'shows too much cleavage', but personally it, er, perks me up every time I drive past it!

It's all rather reminiscent of Margate Borough Council's attempt to prosecute renowned seaside postcardist Donald McGill in the 1950s under the Obscene Publications Act for this:

The postcard's currently taking pride of place in a new exhibition, Rude Britannia, at the Tate. Not dissimilar to my Fannit flag in the sidebar on the right, I'd say. Harmless seaside fun. So go on Thanet Council, stop whingeing about the knockers! Take those big old pants off and wave them in the air a bit!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Better Get A Bucket And Spade

Reader Bill from Ramsgate writes:

On my regular walk along the seafront yesterday morning, I saw the following sights of neglect by our beloved council...

A bin overflowing before the bucket and spade run on the West Cliff...

The Western Undercliff. Surely these lorries, which are always parked here, should be moved on as they are illegally parked?

But hey, I saw the Councillors Kirby walking along the clifftop path so I assume they have reported both of these and they will get resolved asap...

The Eastcliff Bandstand. Don't TDC employ additional seasonal bin emptiers to ensure our town is 'spick and span' for the summer?...

The Blue Flag on Ramsgate Main Sands. Reading this sign you'd think it was up...

It's not anywhere to been seen.....

Finally, the bin-mountain down at the port...

At least that's shrinking. Now fewer households are only 20 years behind other Kent councils in getting wheelie bins.

Three jeers for TDC!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Rotters Remove Ramsgate Pansies

I'm indebted to reader Chris for this one. He writes:

Has anyone else noticed that the council dug up all the beautiful pansies from Albion Place just before the Dynamo Day celebrations last week (photo attached)? It was previously a riot of colour. Are they determined to make us Ramsgate council taxpayers second class Thanet citizens?

Haha! Well, er, 'Yes' is the answer to that one Chris (natch). They've probably taken the flowers over to Margate, where they're spending tens of thousands on tarting up Marine Gardens by the clock tower.

Meanwhile I see the latest issue of our beloved council's very own Pravda - Thanet Tatters - has omitted any mention of Ramsgate Town Council's Summer Squall arts festival at the end of August, choosing to publicise TDC's Monster Bass bash [What that? - Ed] instead.

And I'm also told by my spies on the less salubrious West Cliff here in the Millionaires' Playground that, as of the beginning of this month, you'll have to pay the Cecil Square duffers £5.50 for an hour of tennis if you want to use the courts in Spencer Square. As one correspondent puts it:

They've opened up a hut and got a council employee to book the courts and take the money. What happens when the courts are empty, are they still paying someone by the hour to watch the courts? How can that be viable?

It's not that I object to paying but it's the lack of consultation with local residents who use the courts that bugs me. I don't use the courts very often but I know a lot of local kids use them. In these credit crunch times I think the price will be a stumbling block for families/kids wanting to use the courts and get some fresh air and exercise. We've got an Olympics coming for goodness sake why does the council want to prevent young people taking up sport? Stupid bloody council make me sick.

Still, I suppose it's better than them squandering the shiny side of £80K on a vacuous attempt to sell the tennis courts off for development!

Download the summer issue of Thanet Tatters
Britain in Bloom sabotaged by mystery poisoner in Daily Wail
More on Summer Squall arts festival from Ramsgate Arts

Friday, June 04, 2010

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's EotW. As always, click it to big it.

After it went to print, London Array, the galaxy's biggest wind farm ever which is due to begin construction out of Ramsgate next year, announced that they were in fact prepared to scatter a few crumbs from their international table in the form of an open meeting for Thanet businesses next week. This will presumably be of interest to highly skilled workers such as taxi drivers, carpet fitters and double glazing installers. The meeting's next Wednesday 9 June at St Augustine's, Westgate.

London Array is, as you know, a mega consortium made up of Germans E.ON (Powergen in old money), Abu Dhabians Masdar and Danish giant DONG. I'm guessing your best bet for getting any work from them would be to turn up with a tea towel round your head, touting some bratwurst and a six pack of Carlsberg!

Click here for more details of next week's meeting

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Broadstairs - The Naked Truth

Rummaging through my electronic drawers just now, I came across a film that my old movie mucker and all-round factotum Mr Ceaucescu (no relation) made for the Thanet Nudist Information Board way back in 2008.

This used to be on my ECR TV site at BoobTube, but the bounders removed it for contravening their rules on nudity. Admittedly it's stuffed full of phallic symbolism, and there's a quick, artistic flash at the end, but nothing to get too excited about.

As the weather's set fair for the next few days, what better time to advertise the delights of, er, hanging out on Bottomy Bay?!

Quex In The City

Tooling down to my local Premier (Costcutter in old money) here in the Millionaires' Metropolis for my copy of Gra*ia this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they'd made room among the piles of sweet, chewy crap for a genuinely healthy product from our own Thanetian shores!

Sitting on an appropriately rustic wooden display stand was a selection of Quex Foods' extra virgin, cold pressed rapeseed oil products (click on the pic for more info). I arxed the chap behind the counter if it was selling well. 'We've only had it a few days, but yes, we've sold a few,' he intoned. So I bought a bottle to toss something in later.

How satisfying to see that it's not just Waitrose that's stocking local goodies. And with the Eminesque allusion to 'virgin' and 'rape', I'm sure it won't be long before the twitterati of Hoxton and Stokey latch on to another of Fannit's finest either!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thanet Lad Gets His Willie Out For England

Football fever isn't something I indulge in more than once every four years, but I'm pleased to see local tunesmith Lonnie Donegan Jr has re-worked and re-released his dad's 1966 World Cup Willie anthem for this year's footie fest in South Africa. Who knows, perhaps it'll do the trick again 44 years later.

Meanwhile it seems a bunfight is brewing between Thanet's cabbies and our beloved council over whether they'll be able to fly the (made in China) England flag from the roofs of their P reg Peugeots while the tournament's on. One annoyed taxi driver told me recently it was his right as an England supporter, and that there'd be a riot in Cecil Square if the jobsworths put the mockers on patriotic displays of footie fervour!


Here's a sight we won't be seeing over the Millionaires' Playground again! Canada-crashing, Nigeria-crashing MK Airlines lumbering in to Chas 'n' Dave Tracey Emin Margate International Airport.

According to my spies, a creditors meeting to wind up MK will take place on 10 June 2010 at the Holiday Inn Express, 58 Regents Park Road, London N3 3JN at 10.30hrs local. The amount owed by MK to date is apparently £104 million, of which £70 million has appeared as Trans Atlantic Aviation (TAA).

Perhaps Thanet Council should make the effort to toddle along and try to claim back the £30,000 worth of night flying fines they still owe us!