Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Who Wants To Be A Pavilionnaire?

I don't!

But after five years of neglect and dereliction, there now appears to be competition for the honour of owning the lease on the Royal Victoria Pavilion, one of the tryptic of tragic eyesores on Ramsgate's dilapidated front (the other two being Pleasurama and the old Motor Museum. Oh, and our deserted port! Er, that's four.)

I was the first to suggest, back in 2008, that Wetherspoons should take it over (click here to read the story), when Rank scarpered to their current shed out at Westwood Cross. And now it seems my plan is coming to fruitation, with The Duffers extending the lease to 100 years to accommodate J D and his crew.

But wait! Coming up the rear is the lovely Emma Doherty-Irvine, the owner of several successful seaside rental properties here in the Millionaires' Playground, which attract thousands of visitors to the town every year. Her plan is to use the Pav more as a community space with food stalls and a market, along the lines of London's thriving Borough Market.

Emma is a highly motivated, young, Irish architect who is currently in the early stages of turning Albion House, here on the East Cliff, into a boutique hotel. She seems to have the knowledge, drive, and, most importantly, access to the financial backing to make things happen (it'll take millions to tart the place up). She fronted the film for Ramsgate's bid to win a portion of the Portas Town Team money last year, take a look...


So which horse to back? The decision will be crucial for the future of Ramsgate. Lord knows, we don't want to end up with another Royal Sands on our hands! Look what happened there, with TDC backing Tiny Terry's lame Swiss horse as if it was the only nag in town!

I'm not knocking Wetherspoons, they seem to have a tremendous track record when it comes to tarting up old buildings, they have the sponds, and Frank Thorley could certainly do with some competition. But they only want two-thirds of the building, and as far as I know there's no mention of using the rest for community space. And what if they do a runner in ten years time, like Rank?

Then there's the question of whether we need more 'community space'? Surely that's what that nice Dr Who lady is proposing for the old Motor Museum up on the grimy West Cliff? Kuh! I dunno!

Anyway, make your own mind up. You can watch Emma's very thoughtful presentation by clicking here, and take a gawp at her Facebook page here. Then vote in my 7 day poll on the right!

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Voted..well done Dickie!

Anonymous said...

People seem obsessed with 'Community Spaces'. What would people do with it? How would they pay for it? And is there going to be enough business for a posh market? Ramsgate folk seem to like a bargain. We don't have the wealth of London and a full time, expensive market seems like a great idea. But not in London. What's wrong with Weatherspoons? This new proposal feels like it simply wouldn't have the footfall to make it sustainable.

Anonymous said...

A definition of what a community space is needs to be defined...many people just visualise atired looking damp church hall...Words and pictures. Please!

Richard Eastcliff said...

Look at Emma's proposal. There are plenty of words and pictures there!

Anonymous said...

Also there are aspects of this prom which are frankly dismissive of the people who live here. It's an attitudinal thing. The charity shops exist becaused the premises are empty. They are a tried and tested way of raising funds for each respective charity, They are used by a range of people, as the only way to afford to clothe themselves, and others buy th products as gifts, as resale items for fairs, vintage stalls, eBay and so on. The people who donate have the warm glow associated with charitable giving And the Ramsgate Society itself raises funds in this way. Pound shops are absolutely loved by residents, visitors and many overseas students who live here. So please Emma (she's not alone) show some intelligence, respect and sensitivity!

Richard Eastcliff said...

Not sure I get your drift, but, er, yeah!

Anonymous said...

It's quite simple. First of all you just apply normal commercial logic and make sure your proposed tenant has the wherewithal to carry out the development and maintain the building. Something TDC didn't do with Royal Sands, or the Ferry Company. Then you makes your choice. Subject to the boxes being ticked, I would always go local so the money stays local, same as by choice I would by British rather than Crap Chinese rubbish and allow the Chinese to buy up the world. You haven't asked why TDC allowed the Pavilion to become wrecked in the first place and why they did nothing about it. If they had, there would be a lot more interested in taking the property now.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the anon person referred to 'Community Spaces' as such, indicates a prejudice where much re-education is required in addition to the video. Speaking as a scrounger too many assumptions are made about the ability of many to rethink a concept without special help from professional communicators.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Click on the link in the article to my 2008 item, 12:19. I said plenty about TDC's role in knackering the place back then.

Schmoozyschlepp said...

As a long-established DFL I'd be happy to see any development which allowed the sea to be seen through the building - either by opening up a central market corridor or turning some of the walls into glass... the beach and sea are invisible from the landward side of the Pav - leading people to think Ramsgate is simply a harbour with bars... there are still people who do not know we have a beach. I won't vote because frankly I'd be happy with either.

There is tremendous enthusiasm from FORS for "Community space" but frankly, it doesn't bring in the money so the Duffers won't fund it... so what to do? Rely on developer to give us a bit of planning gain - and will that be cuddly, lovely Wetherspoons or tough go-getting Emma D-I (or is that tough, go-getting Wetherspoons and cuddly lovely Emma...)? I guess as Emma drinks in local pubs and is available to be harassed and collared and moaned at by people locally she is more liable to be accountable than Wetherspoons... but she seems to have arrived a little late in the day. Great project though.

Richard Eastcliff said...

I definitely agree about opening up the Pav so that we can see the beach, Mr Schmoozyschlepp!

Where's Jimmy Godden when you need him, eh?!

Anonymous said...

Here's something controversial - how about flattening this rotten and rotting piece of Victorian vandalism and developing it for its most common use today - skateboarding . Big skate park, seats, on the beach, will attract skaters from across the country ( a good thing as we all know chavs don't skateboard, it costs a bloody fortune for new wheels and car paint to graffiti everywhere you go).

Weather spoons will attract toothless old scrotes looking for a meal and a pint for a fiver, and as lovely as the architects idea, I fear failure as tesco will be much cheaper and more practical, as TDC will stick a ticket in your car while you are looking at the papaya, Hugo.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Funnily enough, I couldn't agree more 1:12pm.

Not for nothing are they known as 'Wertherspoons' in some parts!

Who's for a skate park then? Should I make it a third option on my poll?

Anonymous said...

Don't let Peter the pervert anywhere near the lovely architect or he will be trying to get her kit off to add her to the gallery of Thanet nude lovelies.

Skate boards, no please, just a place for silly youths trying to put on the style. How about an ice rink?

Anonymous said...

The proposal is reminiscent of Popurtunity in Margate - and look at how well that does, eh? It's a great idea but will the three months of monied visitors provide enough revenue or is this yet another 'pie-in-the-sky' idea? Sorry Emma - if you think this can work I suggest you take a long look at the people of Ramsgate a little more. They simply don't have the money for 'boutique food'.

Anonymous said...

Ramsgate does NOT need another watering hole for the tattoed scum to hang around.They are already spoilt for choice in the town centre. The market is the best idea yet - SO BACK IT - BUILD IT AND GET ON WITH IT FOR FUCK'S (AMD RAMSGATE'S) SAKE

Anonymous said...

Why not build a lovely sculpture that shows Ramsgate at its very best,next the needle. It will be very cheap if it is made from those lovely litle brown boxes appearing all over - a gift from the Local Authority for dog lovers to put little pooches and big pooches shit in - oH no - they are for recycling. What an innovation from a bankrupt council - Or i9s this jobs for the boys creation. Come on UKIP where your big mouth now - Lightweights all of you - so FUCK OFF

Richard Eastcliff said...

Er, language!! Although 'f*ck' and 'feck' are OK in my book. Oh, and 'fuck', as long as it's only me saying it!

Peter Checksfield said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What's up Peter, don't you like ice rinks?

Barry James said...

agreed Peter it is offensive and potentially slanderous

Richard Eastcliff said...

It's not offensive, or slanderous. But it is amusing!

Anonymous said...

My vote would go for the get rid of it and have a skate park

Peter Checksfield said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard Eastcliff said...

If you can't speak anything other than bollocks, Pedro, you can piss off and speak it on your own blog.

Anonymous said...

How about turning it into a car park?

Peter Checksfield said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

How about opening it up to all the local drunks, jobless work shy layabouts, and pensioners and serving them microwaved food and mass produced lagers?

Richard Eastcliff said...

Oops. I think I may have over-deleted there!

Yes, a car park! Hurrah! At last, someone with a vision!

William Epps said...

Poor old Checksfield, first he gets banned on Thanet Life and now deleted by you Richard. Would have to agree that he is not slow to attack others, but has a complete sense of humour failure when someone gets on about his naturist activities.

I am with you, I thought the comment about the architect lady and the photo gallery was amusing.

Richard Eastcliff said...

To be blunt, Mr E, he is the classic sh1t stirrer. He seems to get his kicks by razzing everyone up, then standing back and watching the fallout.

Whilst he's not as bad a bully as that awful Hamilton, he's still a menace around the Thanet blogs.

Er, not that I've ever got my kicks by razzing anyone up, you understand!

Barry James said...

The lights are but no one is home. btw I thought Peter the pervert was a bit OTT but then I'm new to the blogging scene (in comparison to you lot anyway)

Unknown said...

Well, I am shocked at you Mr Eastcliff Richard. I thought you'd have far more vision and taste than to think that a massive humoungous pub with CHEAP booze was the answer to the Pavilion? How does that fit with Thanet's renewed energy for targetting the tourism economy? Would that attract you to the seafront? What would it do to the area?

Who would have thought that a food festival in Broadstairs would attract over 40,000 visitors in one weekend? And what about all the Turner naysayers? I'm glad to say they were all proved wrong. Give Thanet some credit. It deserves something good...
Thank goodness for people like Emma - full of energy, enthusiasm and guts (probably unlike those droning, boring carpers who like to put the kibosh on anything and everything!)

Richard Eastcliff said...

Actually I thought I'd been rather balanced, Mr/Ms U!

I certainly backed Wertherspoons when there was no alternative. Now that the lovely Emma D-I has come along with what looks like a feasible plan, I'm undecided.

What I am for is anything that ensures the Pav gets done up, and pronto, with the best enhancement possible for the seafront.

The only other possibility I can envisage is sending it permanently to where Jimmy G now resides!

Anonymous said...

A clean slate...I had one of those once!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Emma would care to contact Carolyn Powell who used to run Bizfizz in Burslem.

They had a "Live and work" units conversion of a former commercial building. So say a graduate of arts wanted a studio and somewhere to live bob's yer uncle. Self employed. Live (individual bedsits), work and sell all in one building.

Ceramics, sculptures etc.

But Carolyn got a heel of a network going. Charities, churches, banks, business. So the idea was to build the network. If someone is in retail they can become outlets sale or return. Employers with a fixed business rate but spare space could sub let and separately meter power to people leaving dole to go self employed (like wood turners etc)and thus offset their fixed costs.

So I suggest use the building to be the basis for a Thanet bizfizz network.

Probably the best in the country was based in Burslem run by Carolyn.

Rick

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with a quality food and fish market? Does ok In Barcelona. It's a marina for god's sake. No one is saying it has to be crappy middle aged lady stuff. Food market will attract visitor spending as well as local. Weatherspoons will sell cheap meals and beer benefitting their shareholders.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to bring back the music halls. Not the gentile "Good Old Days" version but something more akin to the raucous, wild pubs-of the-East end. We need sawdust on the floor, spittoons at the end of the bar, loud music, excess alcohol, loose women, dogs and fights. I know it all sounds a bit like the Royal, but that's popular, right?

Anonymous said...

Both a Weatherspoons and a community space/market thingy are crap.

As are the slipways and Beach Retreat developments.

The Pav needs to be properly restored under careful ownership, part of a cohesive town development plan and at arms length from both TDC and Rank who have destroyed it.

TDC can't even keep the public toilets open or prevent dogging in the bushes, skateboarding on the promenade, dog dirt or litter and car parking in the parks and marina.

Why do we pay £50k salaries and employ 750 civil servants again? And 80 of the same councillors at Town, District and County?

Corruption, bloat and dog-in-a-manger incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Some of the film was a bit old, some of the shops that were empty have now been used. If you got the betting shops, pound shops and the second hand out what shops would you put into the big whole that would be lift ? It's a nice town if you are only staying a few weeks but it needs money spent on it for the people who see it all year round.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:30, the same Garbled nonsense I see. Why do you never make a reasoned case or is that intellectually beyond you?

Anonymous said...

Much of the community market ideas were turned into The Sovereign because of lack of trade and Ramsgate Friday market is hardly thriving.