Sunday, December 29, 2013

See The New Year In With A Bang!

I dunno. I seem to be the only person still functioning after the Daily Thanet office party the other night. Quite why we had to top a case of Krug off with Espresso Martinis, lord knows.

Any-old-hoo, I trust all is well with you, dear reader, and that Santa emptied his sack in your chimney with the desired results.

TBH, there's not much news around to talk about. I see that Scobie The Younger has been arguing against spending dosh on the refurb of Ramsgate Station on the grounds that it'll soon be made obsolete by the ridiculous new Thanet Parkway. Quite why someone who wants to be the next MP for South Thanet would undermine the main railway station in the chief town in his potential constituency is a bit of a poser.

Ah, but then our foetal Labour candidate lives in Cliftonville, doesn't he? So I suspect he's more aligned with the Margate Mafia than us minted Ramsgate DFLs who want to walk to a station where we can be whisked to God's Own North London in just over an hour!

Speaking of Margate, this year the town will be putting on a New Year's fireworks display. It's the first time for ages, and it's been instigated by those nice hedge fund people who run the Sands Hotel. Of course, in past years Margatonians have just had to make do with watching another amusement arcade burn down. Oh how times have changed over on the North Side!

Meanwhile Ramsgate will be continuing its long tradition of seeing the New Year in with a bang, so do pop over and say hello!

Oh yes, and to show that I don't just make this bilge up, I heard a rumour the other day that those pyrotechnics people out at Manston might be pulling the plug, due to their lives being made a misery by the elf 'n' safety types. It comes to something, doesn't it, when the council can't be arsed to inspect restaurants, but can make life hell if you're just cooking up a few bangers!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Daily Thanet Christmas Quiz

Yes, it's that time of year again! When Thanetians settle down after stuffing a bird, skin up a Camberwell carrot and roast their Superdrys in front of a blazing amusement arcade with a huge helping of Daily Thanet Christmas quizzing, a tradition which has spread joy around the island ever since 2013.

We've based our questions on the events and people that have shaped Kent's Ramsgate Peninsula during the past year. So throw another Grade II listed building on the yuletide blaze, grab yourself a plentiful portion of Heston's hand-pounded spatchcock, and settle down to test your noddle with our Thanet brainteasers!

January

Which world-acclaimed Thanet blog was NOT published in January (or the previous two years, for that matter)?

A: Peter's Pantsless Porkers
B: Thanet Wives
C: Eastcliff Richard (now The Daily Thanet)

Answer: C - But it returned in February, thus bringing much-needed cheer and laughter back to the isle.


February

The Great Wall of Ramsgate was whitewashed by some numpty with a roller and a pot of Wilko's finest, ruining priceless works of art in less time than it takes to jackhammer a Banksy off the side of Poundland. But who was eventually fingered for the crime?

A: A professional Painter

B: A flappy-mouthed, castanet-lipped local councillor
C: Nobody

Answer: C - Apparently the woodentops failed to decipher the writing on the wall.


March

video
Former Thanet Council leader and Tory stalwart Sandy Ezekiel was banged up for 18 months at Maidstone Crown Court. What was he found guilty of?

A: Misconduct in a public office

B: Misconduct in a public lavatory
C: Misconduct in a public library

Answer: A - Three guilty pleas of calling public officials 'f*cking t*ssers' were also taken into account during sentencing.


April

A famous politician, beloved of the island's Blue Rinsers, died this month. Who?

A: Maggie Thatcher

B: Thatcher, Thatcher The Baby Milk Snatcher
C: The Right Honourable Baroness Voldemort of Kesteven

Answer: All three, depending on your political viewpoint.


May

UKIP trounced the Tories in the Kent County Council elections, but what nationality were the bricklayers who paved Kent UKIP leader Roger Latchford's new driveway?

A: Bulgarian

B: Irish
C: Kentish through and through

Answer: B - despite quotes from local firms, Rodge fell for the blarney.


June

The Ferrygate scandal was in full swing after it was revealed that Thanet Council had secretly subsidised failing ferry firm TransEuropa, without so much as a 'by your leave' from the taxpayers. How much of our dosh did Bayford, Hart, McGonigal et al pour down the gurgler?

A: £3.4m

B: £26 for every man, woman and child on the island
C: £340,000 for every job 'saved' at the port of Ramsgate.

Answer: All three - or to put it another way, only 28 times Thanet Council Chief Executive Sue McGonigal's annual salary.


July

The original plans emerged from more than a decade ago for the Royal Sands aka Pleasurama eyesore development on Ramsgate front. The drawings sported a Whitbread logo, but what did Whitbread say when they were asked what their involvement would be?

A: Nothing to do with us, guv.

B: We're only here for the beer.
C: It'll Costa lotta money! (Geddit!!!???!!!??!)

Answer: A - Whitbread's Acquisitions Manager, when told about the plans, said he had not seen them, and that the company was 'in no negotiations with any party in respect of any development in Ramsgate'.


August

Margate has traditionally always taken first prize for being the biggest shithole on the island. But this month a report found that one of Thanet's other towns was even crappier. Which?

A: Broadstairs

B: Ramsgate
C: Birchington

Answer: B - the report's authors had clearly overlooked the fact that the local pronunciation of Acol is 'Aaah-soul'.


September

New figures revealed the number of fines Thanet Council had dished out in the previous year to dog owners who had not cleared up after their pooches had pooed on the pavement. How many?

A: Four

B: Four million
C: Four billion

Answer: A - the figures also revealed that enough barkers' nests are deposited on Thanet's pavements each year to build four Boris Islands - with sufficient left over for half an Isle of Wight.


October

Kiwi owners Infratil offloaded loss-making Manston Airport to Scottish millionairess Ann Gloag for the princely sum of one entire British pound. What new name did she give it?

A: Manston Poundland Airport
B: Manston Skyport Airport
C: Manston Pickle Airport

Answer: B - whilst also managing to keep quiet the fact that 'Ann Gloag' is an anagram of 'Anal Gong'.

November
South Thanet's Tory MP Laura Sandys announced on her Facebook page that she would not be standing at the next general election. What reason did she give?

A: She wants to spend more time with her family, including husband Randy Sandys
B: She's bored with cleaning up the streets of Thanet single-handedly
C: Roger Gale is having her baby

Answer: A - apparently Randy is living up to his name and has asked for more early day motions.

December
Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks starred in the latest Disney blockbuster Saving Mr Banks. Where was he born?

A: Concord, California
B: Calgary, Canada
C: Cliftonville, Kent

Answer: C - he was born in Thanet while his father was serving with the USAF at Manston, and spent his early months in a flat in Northdown Road.

So how did you do?

0 - 4 correct answers - Thanet Council is your mum
5 - 8 correct answers - Your airport has doubled in value to £2
9 - 12 correct answers - Aldi Shampagne all the way!

May we also take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very merry Christmas and the best of British for 2014 (you'll need it). And to those who have been offended by this blog during the course of 2013, a very heartfelt and sincere 'tough titty'.

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Ferry Firm 'All Piss And Wind'

Reports that a new ferry service between Ramsgate and Ostend will begin in the New Year have been described as 'all piss and wind' by the highly respected Army Rumour Service (ARRSE).

According to a post on the ARRSE website, several firms have been set up with a view to restarting the link to Belgium, including Yasmin Ferries, Regina Line and Sun Link. All the firms have been backed by an individual that ARRSE names as Ernst Munk, who boasted on his Facebook page as recently as 19 December that he would be starting a Ramsgate-Ostend service soon.

ARRSE concludes: 'If any of you are sent anything by a company called Yasmin Ferries at an address in Lydney, Gloucestershire, or someone calling himself Ernst Munk, burn it before it burns you.'

Rumours of a new service have also been circulating in Belgium. One ferry spotter in Ostend told The Daily Thanet over the weekend: 'The Larkspur ferry was sold again yesterday for €870,000, buyer unknown. The other laid-up ferry was sold for €750,000 to Oilchart, which has now chartered her for a new Ostend-Ramsgate line. Sunlink Ferries intend to start on 1 January 2014 with the Ardenia (ex TEF's Gardenia) and intends to put a second ferry on the line (a pure roro ferry). The third ferry would be a mixed passenger ferry and they intend to carry foot passengers.'

However, the Belgian source concludes: 'The strange thing is that neither (the port of) Ramsgate nor Ostend know anything about it.

The news comes in the week that Thanet Council argued it had been right to squander £3.4m of taxpayers' money in the now infamous Ferrygate deal, which saw the council secretly subsidising the route's former operators TransEuropa Ferries, who went bankrupt in April.

Meanwhile the Met Office has warned the south coast to expect substantial amounts of piss and wind over the next 24 hours, with 80mph gussets expected in the English Channel.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Property News

Thinking of selling up and leaving this dump? Then who better to consult than Thanet's leading estate agents, Lovetts?!

And at the moment they're running a special promotion - they'll sell your cliff top mansion for only 1% commission (+ VAT)!

Why not tool along to their website? Or give them a call on 01843 570305. But don't forget to tell them The Daily Thanet sent you!

NB: The fact that Lovetts are now co-sponsoring this blog, having left a substantial sum in a manilla envelope under a lobster pot in the inner harbour, has had no influence on the content of this post.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Smell Of Margate

In Memoriam
Ronnie Biggs
Former Great Train Robber and Small Time Crook

So, farewell
Then Ronnie Biggs.

'I do not intend
To return to England.'
That was
Your catchphrase.
And 'I miss the smell of Margate.'

Keith's Dad says he had dinner
With you in Rio once.

And that you were
Let out of Belmarsh
Five years ago
Because you were
At death's door.

Sad to say
The Grim Reaper
Has finally nabbed you.
And Margate
Doesn't quite smell
The same either.

E. C. Richard (29)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Panic As Old Town Runs Out Of Cupcakes

Several shoppers were jostled in Margate Old Town today following news that the last cupcake before Christmas had been sold.

Police described the scene as 'mayhem', with one shopper taken to the QEQM suffering from a sprained ankle.

Caroline Gisby, who owns Cake Expectations in Margate Old Town, said: 'We put a sign in the window saying that there would be no more cupcakes until the New Year, and the place just erupted. I've never seen anything like it.'

Despite being offered more seasonal alternatives such as mince pies and Christmas cake, annoyed shoppers went on the rampage, with some even descending on Morrisons when a rumour spread that there were still cupcakes available in the store.

Shopper Josh, who recently moved to Margate from Hoxton in London, said: 'It was a bloody disgrace. I've never known there to be a shortage of cupcakes in Hoxton. Margate is in danger of being labelled a tinpot town if it can't get its act together.'

However, the ugly mood dissipated later in the morning after police with loud hailers announced that an emergency shipment of cupcakes was on its way from Bluewater.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Broadstairs Woman Finds Whelk

A Broadstairs woman has spoken of her shock and surprise at finding a whelk.

Builder's wife Jody Dobson, 29, described the moment she was walking along the beach at Dumpton Gap and discovered what she thought was a Belgian chocolate. 'My mum buys me these Belgian chocolates for Christmas and I just thought it was one of them. But when I picked it up it was all hard like, and seemed more like a snail.'

Jody took the whelk home to show to her children - Chantelle, 5, and Reece, 7. She added: 'I never knew there was a beach at Dumpton Gap before, let alone these things on it. When my husband Craig came home he told me it was a whelk and not to be so daft. I felt like a right moron!'

Whelks are common along the Thanet coast, according to marine biologist Professor Paul Murray. 'They are distantly related to snails but actually belong to the Buccinidae family,' said Prof Murray. 'Whilst many are edible, they certainly do not taste like chocolate.'

Sadly the story has an unhappy ending, as Jody explains: 'Once I knew what it was, I kept it in a bucket of tap water, but it went all still and died not long after.'

Monday, December 16, 2013

Manhood Museum To Open In Margate

Thanet Council have approved plans for a new museum and gallery in Margate Old Town - only this time it will be strictly 'members only'.

The Margate Manhood Museum (3M) will be modelled on Iceland's Phallological Museum, which boasts a collection of more than 200 penises and penile parts, including one from a polar bear and four human specimens.

The move follows the successful revitalisation of Margate through the world renowned Turner Contemporary, which has single handedly transformed the town from a shambling shit heap to the darling of media luvvies and cloth-capped hipsters, virtually overnight.

A spokeswoman for Thanet Council said: 'We hope this new addition to Margate's creative offering will help the town stand out amongst the increasingly crowded south coast arts scene. We've had to beat off stiff competition from places like Hastings and Herne Bay, but in the end 3M decided that Margate offered the best overall package.'

3M Director Peter Johnson added: 'We are proud to be sticking up for Margate, and fully expect 3M to become embedded in the core of the town. Turner Contemporary, Old Town and the promising addition of the new Dreamland theme park in 2015 definitely mean Margate is becoming a hot spot for discerning visitors from all over the south east. They are no longer willing to be palmed off by a load of old bollocks - we aim to provide them with something they could give a toss about.'

The gallery is expected to open next Easter.

Press Release From Angloway Media Ltd

The directors of Angloway Media (2013) Ltd are pleased to announce the purchase of the weblog currently known as 'Eastcliff Richard', along with all associated assets, for an undisclosed sum.

Commenting on the purchase Angloway Managing Director John Roberts said: "With a readership in the tens of thousands per month, we see great potential for this site, which fits our strategy of acquiring hyper-local media assets."

The site's former editor has been retained on a six month consultancy basis to oversee the smooth transition of the business to the new owners.

Further announcements regarding the future of the site are expected shortly.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Blog Off

You know me. I'm not the sort of histrionic luvvy that takes offence at little things like people hijacking my blog for their own pathetic agendas. But enough is enough.

You lot don't deserve me, so I'm off.

Adios. Sayonara. Dosvedanya. Auf wiedersehen. A bientot.

Be seeing you!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Car Park Lark

As I'm currently 'off-territory' here in Bournemouth, I thought I'd go the whole hog and bring you an item about Broadstairs!

I'm indebted to the excellent Broadie magazine for this one - click on the pic to big it up. It's a press release from Isle Homes about the company's 'exciting new development' of 14 houses on the Vere Road car park site in the town. But, as the Broadie says, what about all the disruption during the build, which starts in the New Year and will continue until autumn 2014? Not to mention the future lack of parking facilities once 14 houses have been plonked there!

Oh well, at least Boredstares will get a new public toilet block out of it. And as for parking, well, I'm sure all those lovely summer visitors will be able to find plenty of spaces in the Millionaires' Playground, where our buildings seem to have turned into car parks over the years, rather than the other way round!

Update: Despite me being told at the time that this was an old story and a 'non-issue', it seems that it has subsequently (Jan 2014) exploded into a ball of angry, disgruntled fire that is threatening to engulf the whole of Boredstares in the flames of outrage and revolution! Well, sort of. Click here for more.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Do You Think Of It So Far?

Here in Bournemouth, everything is lovely. Not a piece of litter or a barker's nest to be seen. However, my spies back there in the tip of Kent are reporting a different story!

It's been a month since Thanet Duffer Central introduced their new rubbish regime, and things don't appear to be getting any better. Reader John writes:

I live in a back street mews where we have the large, wheeled, communal, dumpster-type bins for general rubbish, food waste and recycling. Until recently they had not been emptied since October. There were maggots in the food waste bin, which stank to high heaven. TDC did come and empty them after I phoned them, but when I spoke to one of their officials on the general topic of the new recycling system, and the possibility that not everyone was putting the correct rubbish in the correct communal bins, he said that if they discovered any rubbish in the wrong bins they would fine every property in the street. Unbelievable.

Not only that, but the seagull-proof sacks are just being thrown around by the bin men without any due care and attention, the result being that household waste is littering the entire street.

Well John, it seems from what you say that the island is reverting back to the bad old days of 2007 - where my photo's from in fact. Even the Isle of Thanet Gazunder has latched onto the rubbish state of affairs, reporting that hideous great rats have been spotted roaming the streets of Cliftonville (click here for the full story).

I dunno, it seems that for every step TDC take forward, they take eleven steps back! So, in the spirit of Back To The Future, here's a little reminder of a fone jacking I performed on them half a decade ago, during their 'Drop It And Cop It' campaign. Enjoy!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Open All Hours?

I'm pleased to report that my Twankey is going down well in Bournemouth! Hurrah! However, it does mean that I've become slightly semi-detached from the Thanet scene. Boo!

Nonetheless, I'm still getting a torrent of emails from my spies around the septic isle, and this one especially caught my eye. It's a proposal to re-open the Granville bars on the trendy East Cliff in the Millionaires' Playground. Apparently Punch Taverns are looking to sub-lease the space, and an application for a premises licence will be made shortly. According to the blurb above, the bars retain 'a very rare... Putin fire place'. Just the thing to go with one's iced Litvinenko Vodka, methinks.

So in the not-too-distant future there could be a boutique hotel, a theatre and cinema, and a couple of bars (if you include the San Clu), all within a hop and skip from the old cliff top mansion.

Crikey! At the rate things are going, it'll be just like Sandbanks! Pip pip!

Click here for more details on the James A Baker website.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Surge Of Sympathy

Sitting here in the luxurious splendour of my five star suite at the Bournemouth Travelodge, I can't help feeling sorry for anyone on the Ile de Thanet affected by last night's storm surge. Mind you, speaking personally, the old cliff top mansion stands at least 100 feet above any such watery nonsense, and Natasha, my housekeeper, reports it's as dry as a bone this morning.

TBH, quite why anyone would want to purchase a property at sea level these days, what with climate change and the world's oceans rising at the rate of a metre a year, gawd knows!

And it is with that tenuous link in mind that I congratulate the lovely Emma Irvine and her husband Ben on finally getting the keys to Albion House, high and dry on the trendy East Cliff in the Millionaires' Playground, off the council. They plan to spend a heap of dosh on refurbishing it, and opening it as a boutique hotel next year.

They recently held an open day, with guided tours of the pile. There's a video of that below.

And congrats, too, to that nice Dr Who lady, who's also finally got the council's thumbs up for her Project Motorhouse in the old Ramsgate Motor Museum! There's another video below the video below showing her plans for how that will pan out. So, it's all go Ramsgate!!!!!!!

Anyway, moustache as I need to devote a coupla minutes to polishing my Twankey ahead of this afternoon's matinee. Toodle-oo!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Airport Gets New Name (Again)

Holy Gloags! Whiffling through my copy of Global Airport Cities, I spied an article on the new owner of RAF London Kent Manston Margate Tracey Emin Chas 'n' Dave Maggie Thatcher Schipol International Airport!

According to the piece, headlined 'Big Plans For Loss-Making Manston Airport', Scotland's second wealthiest woman hopes to turn her recently acquired acreage of Kentish concrete into 'an environment where new partners are attracted to do business'. Which to my uninitiated ear (that's the left one) sounds like an invitation for everyone to chuck the keys to their knackered old jumbos into a bowl and take pot luck.

She continues: 'I hope that with the co-operation of our neighbours and the wider community of Kent blah blah blah the best chance possible of having a successful and vibrant airport.'

Well, good luck with that Ann! I do hope you mean that, unlike the previous head-in-sand policy adopted by Infratil, you will enter into some kind of meaningful dialogue with the 40,000 people your planes will be flying a few feet over!

Any-old-hoo, to show she means business she's changed the name of her holding company to Manston Skyport Ltd and appointed airport 'turnaround specialist' Alastair Welch to lead her team at Manston. Presumably he'll be the one with the hi-vis vest and ping-pong bats.

Of course, this may leave current RAF London Kent Manston Margate Tracey Emin Chas 'n' Dave Maggie Thatcher Schipol Skyport Poundland International Airport CEO, Smiler Buchanan, feeling as if he's been left with the spare set of keys at an environment where new partners are attracted to do business. Especially as Welch was the MD who presided over the hugely successful take-off of Southend Airport over the last six years.

Happy landings!

Click here to read the full article on the Global Airport Cities website.
Click here for Alastair Welch interview just weeks before he baled out of Sarfend.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Shaving Mr Hanks

Photo: Disney
Ahoy Fannit fans! I've just got back from giving my old Twankey a burnishing in Bournemouth, in preparation for a four week run of Aladdin starting next Saturday! (Tickets available at all good websites.)

I must say, the back of that camel's giving me a bit of gyp, but such is the burden that we slebs have to bear.

And speaking of slebs, none other than my old showbiz chum Tom Hanks popped over to the clifftop mansion the other day for a spot of reminiscing about his early life on the septic isle. As regular readers of this rubbish will remember, Tom was born in Thanet while his father was serving with the USAF at Manston, and spent his formative months in Cliftonville. I must say, he didn't seem very impressed with the area, but he did appreciate the Turkish barbers in Ramsgate who relieved him of his Movember mo ahead of the gala premiere of his latest flick in Leicester Square!

And speaking of shaves, while I've been away the comments on this blog seem to have become rather unkempt, a bit like a 70s porn star's dangly bits. Dear-oh-dear-oh-dear-oh-dear-oh-dear-oh-dear-oh (Get on with it - Ed.) Quite who gives a flying twankey about the comings and goings at RAF London Kent Manston Margate Tracey Emin Maggie Thatcher Schipol International Airport, gawd knows.

And speaking of polls, I've just had one of my biggest ever! Yes, almost 200 of you voted on whether Thanet Council is fit for purpose, here's the full SP...

Question: Is Thanet Council fit for purpose?

Yes: 6% (13 votes)
No: 93% (182 votes)

An overwhelming vote there, confirming, er, what we already knew anyway.

So there you have it! Moustache now, and get on with carefully rehearsing my ad libs! Toodle-pip!