Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bandstand Superduperised!

Hurrah! At last someone has made a clean sweep of our super-duper bandstand here on the swanky East Cliff! Thanks to reader Samantha for the pic.

I must say, it's been looking in need of a back, sack and crack for some time. Ever since it was tarted up in 2006 (click here to read my story) it's been sorely neglected by Thanet Duffer Council. Like so many of their projects, it appears to be a case of neglect it for forty years, spend a bit of dosh on it, then neglect it for another forty years. Hey-ho.

In fact it wasn't even The Duffers doing the clean-up, apparently, but some organisation called Better Beaches, the same people who were clearing up after the awful mess that was made of Margate beach over the weekend.

Hang on. It's a bandstand, not a beach! So how does that work, then?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

And Away They Go...

...on the way-out, Wacky Races! (Thanks to reader Steve for the pics.)
Here come the Ant Hill Mob in the Bulletproof Bomb,
alongside Luke and Blubber Bear in the Arkansas Chuggabug...
 Next is Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat...
 Followed by Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in the Army Surplus Special...
 And here's Penelope Pitstop again... Oh no! She's going the wrong way!
But it looks like she's catching up with the Gruesome Twosome in the Creepy Coupe...
But Professor Pat Pending in the Convert-A-Car is overtaking all of them!
With the Slag Brothers in the Bouldermobile trailing way behind!

This is Richard Dastardly, for the Ramsgate Powerboat Weekend, signing off. And heading for a cool pint of Gadds' down on the Croisette!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ramsgate's Big Weekend

Just a reminder that this weekend we have Those Magnificent Men In Their Floating Machines racing up and down along the Ramsgate costa, thrusting their 3,000,000 horse power beauties to a potential maximum of 900mph! I gather the spectacle is mostly centered on the seedier west side of the Millionaires' Playground, based around the port. More details here.

And up on Government Acre, also on the west side, you can wallow in nostalgia with Thanet At War, an exhibition of military vehicles and other 1940s stuff. Entry to that is a paltry two knicker. I must say, I went last year and the tea and buns were rather good!

So forget grooving to the tunes of Plan B and Jessie J over at the Sound Island Festival in Quex Park, come to, er, stormy Ramsgate and thrill instead to the sound of V8 engines and Vera Lynn!

Update: It seems that no actual powerboat racing took place on Saturday, due to a rather gloomy mist that has descended on the Millionaires' Playground. Oh well, that's Blighty for you. You pays your money, then the fog takes it away!

Update update: My spies tell me that there will be racing today (Sunday) as the weather's much improved. It should all kick off around 3pm. Hurrah!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Flamin' Nora! It's way too sticky to be crafting my usual finely-honed prose! So here's a link to the Isle of Thanet Gazunder website. It's all there, you won't even have to cough up 70p. The only downside is that you can't line the cat's litter tray with your laptop once you've read it.

Right, I'm off for a cooler. You lot can talk amongst yourselves - you seem to be quite good at that!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Inn-comprehensible Plans

The Pleasurama drama rumbles on, with another public meeting slated for this Thursday. So I thought I'd step back a decade or so and look at the original plans that were submitted to our lovely council, when Whitbread were alleged to be involved in the scheme.

Actually, it's not the drawing of the building that I'm interested in. As you can see, local estate agent and, er, pillar of the community Terry Painter submitted the plans, and next to his logo is the slogan 'enjoy!Whitbread'. That's a rebranding that Whitbread went through in September 2001, when they stopped brewing beer and became more interested in brewing lattes, running restaurants and owning hotels.

Trouble is, no-one at Whitbread seems to have known they were involved in the scheme, as this email from the time suggests:

According to LinkedIn, Jamie Cowen is a real person, and has subsequently moved on to become Head of Mixed Use Development at Sainsbury's Property Investments.

So on what basis did Thanet Council consider these so-called plans from 'Whitbread'? Was any due diligence performed? Did they bother to ask Whitbread if they were actually involved? Or was it all accepted on the basis of Tiny Terry's say-so and a photocopied logo? I, for one, would find that nothing short of inn-credible!

Meanwhile here's how the Pleasurama (aka Royal Sands, aka Titanic) development looks today, more than ten years on:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Superjumbo Lumbers Into Manston

Just a taster there of what we can expect this summer over Ramsgate. Yes, fellow millionaires, it's the brand new, just-out-of-the-box, British Airways Airbus A380 that's going to be doing training circuits over the town every day except Sundays for the next few weeks! (Thanks to reader Samantha for the vid.)

To be fair (Why? - Ed.) it's supposed to be ever so environmentally friendly. And I've been assured that the Rolls-Royce engines only explode every now and then, which is a great comfort.

Once that's gone, we've got the new BA Boeing 787 Dreamliners to look forward to. They only burst into flames about, ooh let me see, once a week.

Still, it'll give the planespotters something to jiggle their joysticks to, I suppose!

Update: Reader Steve writes 'Here are a few more shots of the A380 circuiting over the Channel this afternoon. I'm afraid they're a bit grainy, they were taken on a long lens from Ramsgate. Enjoy!'

Enjoy? What am I now, bloody planespotters' corner? Kuh!

BA A380 dive bombs fart farm

BA A380 dive bombs Deal

BA A380 dive bombs some clouds

BA A380 being followed by a little red thing

Er, not sure that's a plane - Ed.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Drama In Westbrook Bay

With the Ile de Thanet's lovely beaches rammed over the last couple of super-sunny days, it was inevitable that at least one joker would try and drive his speedboat into the sea on a rising tide and proceed to get bogged in the sand. This weekend was no exception.

Reader Sean sent me this photo from the north side of the island, where a chap driving a Highways Agency van reversed his water-Ferrari into the briny, then, yes, you've guessed it.

Sean writes: 'Luckily there was a happy ending. A nice lady in a 4x4 drove to his rescue and tugged him off!'

Glad to hear he was left with a smile on his face, Sean!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Cripes! I see that there's a rumour going round that Cardy Construction, the company that has been booked to build the Royal Sands (aka Titanic) development on the Pleasurama eyesore here in Ramsgate, is in a, um, spot of bother!

This gossip, and (please note Mr Cardy's lawyers) I am definitely NOT saying there's anything in it, was probably sparked by a charge and a subsequent winding-up order that was lodged against them last month, and appears to have been disseminated via Facebook and the local blogs, and other, Broadstairs-based, print sources.

Now, whilst someone has obviously been upset enough, and had their payments delayed for long enough, to go to the trouble of trying to wind the company up, that is definitely not the same as saying the company is on the skids, or that it is about to g* b*** (asterisks there to protect the innocent). In fact it's a tactic that's often used as leverage to get a delayed payment out of a firm when relations have turned a bit sour, and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the ongoing viability of the company. I know this, because my accountant Cyril told me.

Not only that, but according to my information, the striking off letter was suspended three days later, suggesting that the dispute was resolved pretty quickly once it had escalated to that stage.

I must say, Cardy's last set of accounts, for 2012, look pretty healthy. But then the construction industry has been going through hard times, and who knows what their next set of figures will look like. I would cough up the twelve quid for a credit report on them, but Cyril says he needs that for his bus journey home.

Meanwhile there's another meeting at Duffer HQ in Cecil Square tonight to discuss the whole Pleasurama mess. I wonder if Deputy Leader Poole The Fool will acquit himself better tonight than he did here in Ramsgate earlier this week? My guess is 'no'.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Motor Museum Shifts Into Top Gear

My TV chums at Beeb South East were out filming here in the Millionaires' Playground this morning - it was all part of a story about the old Motor Museum (aka Project Motorhouse, aka West Cliff Hall) which will air on tonight's prog.

Ramsgate celebs Brenda Blethyn (aka The Greatest Living Thanetian) and Janet Fielding (aka former Doctor Who companion Tegan) were on hand to help clear the garden for the cameras ahead of next month's benefit (in, er, Slough), which will feature no fewer that ten Doctor Who companions and at least one actual Doctor Who!

Let's hope they raise enough funds to regenerate (geddit?!??!) this derelict building, which is a key part of our lovely sea front!

Click here to watch on BBC iPlayer (About 18 minutes in. Available until tomorrow evening.)

Do also take a gawp at this short promo the Project Motorhouse people made a couple of years ago...

Monday, July 08, 2013

'Cheap Space And Out Of Control'

Yes fashion fans - that's top designer Wayne Hemingway's verdict on the Arsonists' Playground in a recent interview with The Sun! Although I have to say it sounds more like the sort of thing a bent Tory council leader might utter to his 'investor' chums.

Oh well, as you probably all know by now, Wayne's in charge of revitalising Dreamland by shipping in a load of knackered old rides and poshing it up a bit. Sort of like Jimmy Godden Mk2, but with red specs and a designer tie. His latest utterings at least give poor old Margate some much-needed publicity. But, as we Millionaires' know, Ramsgate's miles better!

PS: Bet you didn't know that our beloved Duffers over in Cecil Square have spent £620,000 of our council tax buying several of those knackered old rides on behalf of the Dreamland Trust? Well I'm here to tell you they have. It's in the small print of their 2012 accounts. Doesn't sound that cheap to me, but it does seem a little bit out of control!

Click here to read interview with Wayne Hemingway in The Sun

Will Ramsgate Council Pass A Motion?

Whether they do or not, there'll undoubtedly be a lot of piss and wind at tonight's public meeting to discuss the big, steaming pile of piles that is the Pleasurama (aka Royal Sands aka Titanic) eyesore which blights our lovely seafront here in the Millionaires' Playground.

Unfortunately, Ramsgate Town Council have precisely zero say in the matter, but a number of Ramsgate councillors are 'double-hatters' and sit on Thanet Council as well, so at least they can be made to smell the strength of public opinion.

Do pop along to Chatham House School tonight and spend your penny's worth!

Click here for full details.

Pie In The Sky?

Piloting the old Toyota Priapus down from London yesterday afternoon, there was a 20 mile queue on the opposite carriageway of the M2 stretching all the way from the Medway services back to Whitstabubble!

Loads of happy campers seemed to be returning from a day or weekend on our fabulous Kent coast, equipped with bicycles, kayaks, jet skis, boats and all the paraphernalia of splashing about in the the sun! I lost count of the poor buggers who had broken down and were waiting by their jalopies on the hard shoulder.

And that despite the obvious distraction of watching the Greatest Living Englishman In The World Ever winning Wimbledon! Hurrah!

Mind you, it's a bit of a double-edged sword. The tailback was reminiscent of the M5 down to the Cornish riviera in the summer rush. At this rate we could soon be lining up for days to pay £5 for an elderflower and clover honey ice cream, and having the hand-pulled pork and caramelised onion pies plucked out of our paws by the bloomin' seagulls no sooner than we've coughed up our tenner to buy them. Be careful what you wish for!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Ramsgate Wins Travel Accolade

Hurrah! And, indeed, yippee! The Millionaires' Playground has made it to the top Thanet slot on one of those internet travel sites!!!! I'm not too sure about the politics of it all, though. Still, any port in a storm, eh!?!?? (Geddit??!!!?!???!!!)
Click it to big it.