Friday, March 28, 2014

Let's Talk About Quex, Baby!

Phew! What an exhausting week!

One positive story that caught the old glass eye, however, was the news that the Powell-Cotton Museum at our lovely Quex Park has made it through to the final five in the Guardian's 2014 Museums Heritage Awards. That's out of 350 museums across the UK!

So if stuffed tigers is your thing, do tool along to the Grauniad's website and vote - you can do that by clicking here. You've got until midnight on Friday 11 April.

I must say that, although the exhibits out there are a bit bizarre, the garden is gorgeous. Plus my housekeeper Natasha and I have enjoyed some jolly good grub at the Quex Barn eatery, which I can thoroughly recommend!

Right! It's Friday night, and I'm off down the Croissette for a bottle of Dom. Do pop back here next week for all the Thanet stories the others don't print, including a thumbs up and a thumbs down for our beloved council, more revelations about the Pleasurama eyesore, the Ramsgate business that's about to open up abroad, and why UKIP are running scared in the Millionaires' Playground! Pip pip!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Manston Owner Backs Brownfield Village Plan

Yes folks - it's Manston Week in your super, soaraway Eastcliff Richard! And here's yet another clue to the future of our lovely airport. Its minted owner, Ann Gloag, is behind plans to build homes, shops, offices and a restaurant on a brownfield site that used to employ 100s of people.

That's got your attention, hasn't it?!?!!

Well, they don't call me Tricky Dicky for nothing. I'll have to come clean and say that the site isn't the airport, it's where an old sausage factory used to be, in Scotland. Apparently the Dutch owners pulled out their sausages (it also used to make the 'the UK's best-selling haggis') last year, after losing £79,000 a day, making 1700 people redundant.

According to the Scottish Herald, Airport Annie believes her new scheme could create 200 jobs. Naturally enough, the local council and the Scottish Government look set to bend over backwards, and forwards, to help her.

Thing is, the sausage site is only 18 acres. Just imagine what she could do with 700!

Meanwhile Norf Fannit Tory, Sir Roger Wind MP, has revealed that a letter offering to buy Manston will be sent to Annie Get Your Gloags today, from his mystery 'consortium'. That'll be the consortium about which even he admits 'I don't even know whether they have the resources to buy the airport'. Or, indeed, whether Annie Get Your Housing Estate wants to sell.

So, er, good luck with that, Rodge!

Click here to read the full story in the Scottish Herald.
Click here to smell more Wind in the Kent Messenger.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Unspoken Truth About Manston

I've been holding back on this because it was just a niggle until today, and it could prove rather incendiary.

But at last somebody on the Save Manston Campaign has said what they're really afraid of, should the airport close - 'bleedin immigrants'.

Yes folks, we have a long and proud tradition of xenophobia on our septic isle, with 'Hating Foreigners' somewhere near the top of many people's favourite pastimes. Now a leading pro-Manstoner has posted this on the Broadstairs! Facebook page:

'Who the hell wants 12,000 new homes in thanet.......what you gonna fill them with bleedin immigrants ..........SAVE MANSTON.'

Now don't get me wrong. This person clearly feels very strongly about the airport, and I'm most certainly not accusing her of racism or anything like. But I get a definite feeling that, when people use the argument of last defence about the airport closure, it generally comes out as something along the lines of: 'Well, what you you put there, a sink estate?'  The implication being that such an estate would be full of the brown, black, eastern European or otherwise non-British, non-middle class, non-Tory voting dregs of society, possibly bussed in from London.

As if the white, Tory, British middle class haven't already produced enough of their own dregs. Many of whom are on daily display in Thanet. Kuh!

Update: To their complete credit, the lovely people at the Broadstairs! Facebook page have now removed this woman from their group and deleted all trace of her odious comments. Before she was booted out, I told her I was going to blog about it, and she intimated that as she was 'loud and proud' I should go ahead. In which case I have no compunction about naming and shaming her, so step forward Annette Hearn-Gibson!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Game Over For Manston?

Yikes! Despite Sir Roger's Wind's best efforts to talk the airport up with rumours of a mystery 'consortium', it seems that existing users are voting with their feet and heading swiftly for the emergency exits.

The only scheduled passenger services, operated by KLM, are unavailable on the airline's website as of Wednesday 9th April. And from next Monday, Saudia Cargo will no longer be running its twice weekly round trips between Manston, Kenya and Saudi Arabia, according to the Kent Messenger. Cargolux are also rumoured to be tanking up and taking off for pastures new in the very near future.

Meanwhile, another airport business has been overheard in one of the local pubs discussing its imminent and permanent departure from Manston.

So Sir Rodge had better hurry up and ride to the rescue, otherwise there won't be anything worth saving. Mind you, if he had an ounce of business sense, he would have known he was backing a loser 15 years ago!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Buchanan Skips Town?

One of my lovely readers has sent in this pic and asks:

'Would this be evidence of Charles 'Smiler' Buchanan, the boss of Manston Airport, clearing out his office? I think we should be told.'

Well, er, I'm not sure about that. A quick check of the old telephone number there reveals that it's Scottish. Although, of course, the airport's Scottish owner may well have sent him his P45 in a bloody great orange metal envelope!

Meanwhile Norf Fannit Tory MP Sir Roger Wind appears to be gallumphing to the rescue, saying he has interest from a buyer, backed by a consortium, who wants to take over the airport. That may well be because he's told them Manston has the 4th longest runway in the UK (it hasn't, it's only the 14th longest), and that 'planes fly straight out to sea' (they don't, they go over a town of 40,000 people and 2,500 listed buildings called Ramsgate).

If the only hope for Manston is the guff emanating from Roger Gale's nether regions, then sadly, in all likelihood, it's doomed.

Click here to read more about Roger's 'consortium' in Kent Messenger.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Night Scobie

Moving on from all the doom and gloom surrounding this week's news about the airport, it may not have escaped your attention that today is Saturday! And what better way to celebrate the weekend than with another Scobie Dobie Doh pic from one of my lovely readers?

So, get your glad rags on, get down to the disco, and boogie!

Funny, though. I've not seen any comment yet from Scobes Minor about Manston, despite the fact that he is Thanet South's Labour candidate for next year's general election. Perhaps he'll, er, take off once he knows which way the wind is blowing! Geddit!!!????!?!!???!!!

Meanwhile Ramsgate's feisty Labour Mayor (-ess?) Kim Gibson has firmly pinned her colours to the mast with this comment on my Facebook page:

Time for facts. It could never work CAA was not going to give out any more flight paths due to capacity being filled by other airports. Secondly the catchment area does not support numbers that would use the airport. Thirdly if a miracle happened and they could be granted permission to fly more than 8 million passengers a year a public safety zone would have to come into force. This is a 4m isosceles triangle which means you cannot congregate within the area over 3 hours. No development. No schools etc. ie you could have a golf course but not a clubhouse. Thirdly at the sister airport Prestwick at its height it supported 300 jobs. Now we could have ikea plus other shops similar to blue water (£40.00 disappears down the M2) some residential maybe a centre park/haven incorporating a swimming pool, ice rink, funfair. All this could employ so many more than the airport ever could. People could come here and this would be the hub to visit Canterbury, Broadstairs etc etc people from up North could holiday and be an hour away from a day trip to London and visit all of Kent's wonderful villages, history again etc as there is so much. The airport was never going to be the regeneration of Thanet but a leisure/retail/residential will be.

So it doesn't look as if we'll be seeing Our Kim and Ann Gloag in a cat fight any time soon. Which is a pity, as I think they would have been pretty well matched.

Oh dear. We seem to have gone back to the airport again. Never mind, think of it as a training loop!

Friday, March 21, 2014

BETRAYED

Yep - that's what the headline in today's Isle of Thanet Gazunder screams, complete with photo of multi-millionaire Manston owner Ann Gloag, who bought the place for a pound last November.

Inside there's lots of Facebook comment from deep thinking local builders, bakers and taxi drivers about how bad the closure of the airport will be for our septic isle. Well, if you want to fly to Thailand to get pissed and turn into a lobster, and aren't prepared to schlep the hour or so to a proper airport, I guess it is a bit of a shame.

But, y'know, I think they've got the wrong person. It's not Ann Gloag who has betrayed us poor, beknighted Thanetians. All she's done is make a tough business decision.

Surely it's the endless procession of local councillors, MPs, hacks and other duffers who have all lined up over the years to pay lip service to the idea of a thriving, international airport on their doorstep, without even stopping to think or find out whether it was ever going to be a goer, who have betrayed us?

Sad to say, it was never going to be a goer. So isn't it about time to finally stop attempting to breath life into this dead dog? It's been dead for 15 years now. It's practically rotted away.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ramsgate Prices Soar As Airport Plummets

By Isle of Thanet Gazunder Property Editor Sammy Detached

House prices in Ramsgate are surging following the news that Manston Airport is to close.

Estate agents throughout the town have reported a 'tidal wave' of interest in Ramsgate's Georgian and Victorian properties now that the blight of all-night flights, cargo planes carrying rotten bananas and endless training loops by knackered old jumbos has been lifted.

One agent, who didn't want to be named, said: 'Whilst it's obviously bad news for the half a dozen people who worked at Manston, there is an upside. We're getting property inquiries from as far away as Scotland from buyers who have heard the news and are now actively seeking to relocate in our fantastic seaside town.'

One local property expert told the Gazunder that he now expects well-presented homes to double or even triple in value over the next five years. 'It's going to be a new gold rush,' he said, adding: 'I've always maintained that Ramsgate would take off once the take-offs stopped taking off, if you see what I mean.'

Meanwhile redundant airport workers are being urged to 'get on their bikes' and look for work at one of the twelve other airports in the south east. Said one recruitment specialist: 'If you want to work at an airport, stop moaning and move to where there is one.'

That's enough property news - Ed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mannston News

Well, there I was, all ready to bring you another of my regular round-ups of news nibbles concerning Ann Gloag, the millionaire owner of RAF London Kent Manston Margate Tracey Emin Chas 'n' Dave Maggie Thatcher Schipol Skyport Poundland International Airport...

But now we hear the airport is CLOSING! The curse of ECR strikes again!!!!!

To be honest, from what I've monitored of Ms Gloag over the past few months, she seems much more interested in property development than running an airport. Perhaps the picture above will give her an idea of how to move forward. Although, if you ask me, a 4,000 home sink estate is more likely to be on the cards!

Click here to read about Manston closure.
Click here to read my previous jottings about RAFLKMMTEC'N'DMTSSPI Airport.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day!

And, er, please note that that is the way we draw a lucky four leaf clover here in Ramsgate.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Breaking News - There Is No News

Well, apart from a nice lady from Operation Cleansweep knocking on the door of the old cliff top mansion this morning. Fortunately the Eastcliff charm managed to steer her away from the 300 illegals I've got stashed in the attic. Most of them were out packing salads anyway.

Oh, and I seem to have come in for a bit of criticism for that last post about Stephen Hawking. Councillor Motormouth is 'not too impressed', and one of my sponsors has asked me to remove it. Do I care? And while I'm at it, Rebecca Adlington really does look like someone who's looking at herself in the back of a spoon, if you ask me.

Of course, there is some news around. The vile trade in live animal exports from Ramsgate has started again, and our 99p shop is infested with mice. But you can read all about that elsewhere.

So, while we're waiting for something to happen, I've been digging around in the ECR TV archives and found this little number I made for the Thanet Nudist Information Board way back in 2008. It extols the attractions of Broadstairs for naked bathers, and is quite suitable for this lovely weather we're having, methinks!

However, shrinking violets like Councillor M might want to look away at the end, as it contains a brief glimpse of a naked woman who looks a bit like a potato. Enjoy!

video

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Separated At Birth?

Reader Samantha writes:

Has anyone else noticed the striking similarity between the famous Cambridge theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking and that thatched cottage on the outskirts of Wingham? Are they by any chance related?
400 year old cottage

400 year old professor

Friday, March 07, 2014

A Vision For The Pavilion

video
The lovely Emma Irvine (she of the Albion House Hotel) has given me first dibs on a short film she's just made about her non-Wetherspoons vision for the Royal Victoria Pavilion, here in the Ms' P.

It includes interviews with Ramsgate's very own Gaddfather of Ale, plus the owners of Miles Bar, Wyatt & Jones in Broadstairs, Margate Smokehouse, and others who are keen to invest in what could be a centre of excellence for food and drink in Thanet, attracting visitors from East Kent and beyond. All part of the plan to transform our septic isle from the last resort into a destination resort.

Do take a look, then email Chief Duffer Clive Hart or some such and tell them what you want. They're making their minds up, in a Bucks Fizz kind of way, right now. In fact, word has it that Coiffeured Clive is currently in the process of ripping his skirt off, so get in quick!

Personally I think Emma may be onto something. After all, who ever said 'I know, let's go to such-and-such a place, it's got a ginormous Wetherspoons'?!?!!

Meanwhile, er, I'd like to welcome Emma Irvine and her My Seaside Luxury apartments firm as the latest sponsors of these jottings. No conflict of interest for me there, then.

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Fat Lady Sings On The Pleasurama Eyesore

video
Update: Following the success of this video, which has now gone viral with more than a dozen hits worldwide, it's been suggested that we commission an operatic number for the upcoming FFS Ramsgate Music Festival, being organised by the Friends of Ramsgate Seafront.

If any of you budding lyricists out there feel like making up some words to the tune of 'Barcelona' by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Cabbale (which neatly fits with 'Pleasurama'), please do.

Appropriately enough, I am currently making arrangements for the Montserrat Cabbale part to be played by a morbidly obese, heavily tattooed woman in a tracksuit who looks like she can bang six inch nails in with her forehead. In the original song, that part is in Spanish, so it would only be appropriate for the new version to be in fluent Fannit.

Well, whaddya waiting for?!!?!