Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Old local pictures, minor ramble

Click on the pictures to make them expand, some are more expandable than others probably because I pressed different buttons during the scanning process, mostly Ramsgate as you would expect.
 After yesterday’s post I found myself back in the business of trying to communicate with TDC about Pleasurama. I think part of the problem is that Ramsgate needs a strong and consistent advocate backed by some Ramsgate based organisation to get a fair deal for Ramsgate from the various levels of government.       
 Over the past thirty years I have had the bookshop in the town I have seen a few likely organisations get going and then flounder. We even went as far as getting a town council, but in that time the main issue, the Pleasurama site hasn’t been resolved and the secondary big one Westcliff Hall hasn’t either.
 The pavilion seemed to be solved almost against council wishes. This picture would be before 1900, the tower on the Granville was lowered in 1900 the structures on the left where the pavilion is now were destroyed in the 1897 storm.
Early picture of the pavilion worth expanding 1904 was its first or second year.

 Photos from the last couple of days next 

A new shop in Ramsgate High Street

I wonder if the scaffolding on the old £1 shop site means anything

To let two units at around £1,500 per week each, I wonder does the STP stand for serenity tranquillity and peace, probably not.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Pleasurama an Update from TDC

Click on the Pleasurama pictures to expand them, the council's update is at the bottom of the post, but basically it's what they don't say, I think it boils down to no start date no plan and not their problem.

From: michaelchild <>
To: <>
Sent: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:25
Subject: Pleasurama site in Ramsgate
Hi can the council give me an update on the situation relating to the old Pleasurama site in Ramsgate, particularly in terms of the current council strategy for improving the situation relating to the site’s negative impact on Ramsgate?

A general update would be helpful and answers to the specific questions below.

Does the council still have any control over the site, start dates, completion dates etc. or retain any interest in the site?

What is the position over ownership of the site now, and if the site owner’s or the owner’s agents are a known developer can the council give details of their other developments in progress or completed?

Does the council see the planning consent for the site as standing in perpetuity?

Would the council now consider implementing a flood risk assessment by HR Wallingford as recommended by the EA? See

In the event of such a flood risk assessment requiring material change to the planning consent, does the council consider that this would impact on the site value?

Does the development agreement give the option for the council to buy back the site by a specific long stop date and if so what is that date and are the council considering this option?

Does the development agreement, at any point, give the council the option to buy back the site at the price the council sold it for, or would any council buyback be at current market value? 

Is the council in a position to obtain temporary use for the site, car parking and leisure event for this summer season?

Do the council have any short term plans to mitigate the negative influence of this site, adjacent to Ramsgate’s main leisure area, on the town’s tourist economy?   

Best regards Michael


Dear Mr Child,

Thank you for your email of the 26 April 2017 regarding the Pleasurama site in Ramsgate. Due to an oversight, I understand that you have not been sent a reply, for which I apologise. I do understand that you have corresponded with the council about this site in the past and received a lot of the information on the site already?

I can confirm that the Council has disposed of the freehold of the site. Full details on the property can be found on the HM Land Registry web-site at there, you will be able to find the present owner’s name and address and from that research what other developments they might have either completed or have in progress.

Details of the planning history of the site can be found at If you search for Ramsgate and Pleasurama you will find documents including the latest planning permission.

There is no current requirement for a further flood risk assessment. Hypothetically, were such an assessment required which changed the planning consent then conceivably that might impact on site values, but you’ll need to appoint a valuer to advise you in detail.

There is an option for the Council to buy back the site, but that option is not yet exercisable, so no consideration has been given to exercising it at this time. The option would be based on the terms of the transfer which (subject to commercial confidentiality) are available from the HM Land Registry (see above).

I do not think that the undeveloped condition of the site would lend itself to the sort of temporary uses that you describe (even if the landowner were to consent to such a proposal).

The District Council do not have any short-term plans to improve the site (since we do not own it). However you could ask the County Council about what could be done with the temporary hoarding on the highway to make a more positive impression?

Best regards

**** ******

***** ****, Solicitor
Director of Corporate Governance and Monitoring Officer
Thanet District Council

Monday, 16 October 2017

Ramsgate Margate and Broadstairs around 1800 trying to look back 200 years

Clicking on this picture of Ramsgate in 1809 should make it expand, I know it was produced in 1809 because it comes from "The New Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs Guide 1809"
This is a picture of the title page, fortunately I have copied the whole book and produce a cheap reprint that anyone can buy this is the link to buy it the free option here is coming to my bookshop in Ramsgate and giving it a thorough browse.

I think this is probably the first local guide to have pictures of the three Thanet towns that we can still identify today.

This is Margate in 1809

and this Broadstairs in 1809, all three large files that should expand well when you click on them a bit, or do whatever you do on your phone or tablet.

The text in the book is informative, up to a point, this is part of the the bit about Margate and the journey there

Contemporary cartoons of the Passage Packet tell a different story

the journey between London and Margate took several days depending on the weather

Contemporary cartoons also tell a different story about sea bathing before teh invention of the swimming costume.

Contemporary art like the Benjamin West of the bathing place at Ramsgate in 1788, which is presumably intended to be a realistic picture of Ramsgate, are some help, note the invalid on the right with his mug to drink the seawater and the professional dunkers ready to immerse him afterwards.

next an lifted from the internet so the won't expand two Ramsgate watercolours from 1801 by John Rubens Smith

Here in the bookshop it was one of those days when people tell you their house is over 200 years old, both the Paragon and Nelson’s Crescent, finished around 1800, so yes often they are absolutely right. But following on from this then people want something, a connection perhaps to this time. How I explain is another matter altogether. Saying that they were probably built as rental accommodation for the wealthy who came here for a medical cure accompanied by their families servants doesn’t seem enough. So I promised to try to do a blog post about this today.   

Here is the link to the books that went on the shelves in the bookshop today.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Art rewriting history, the return of the physical book, some sort of Sunday ramble

First a couple of pictures of Ramsgate Marina Swimming Pool
 With old photos, for the most part they appear here because either me or someone else identifies them as Ramsgate or Thanet and they arrive on the internet. Looking at the photo above, going through a box of old photos, not everyone would immediately identify this as Ramsgate.

 Whereas this one I think is easier.

Paintings are much more difficult as yesterday's post click on this link if you missed it  show, what? Different truths, lies I don't really know, art perhaps

Now this weekend my choices were between art and art, yesterday morning I could have jumped in the car and gone to Margate where the main attraction at the new exhibition at Turner Contemporary is Tracey Emin’s bed. However I became interested in the 8.58 bus that goes from Leopold Street in Ramsgate and arrives in Canterbury at 10.06, this is the one that goes via Sandwich, that I hadn’t previously known about, the temptation for me was painting in Canterbury and the idea of looking at this route from the top of a bus tipped the scales.      

Looking at someone else’s mobile phone photos from the top of a bus is going to be a bit like watching paint dry, you have been warned, here is the link  

The main watercolour painting I have on the go at the moment is of  St Anslim’s chapel in Canterbury Cathedral, to do this I go to the cathedral, sit in the chapel and paint what I see.

When I have finished painting I take a few photos and then toddle off for a cuppa.

An alternative approach could I suppose be writing 1717, 1817 or 1917 on the picture and I think a lot of people would be hard pressed to contradict the dates. I am not sure if all of the paints would have been around in 1717, some of the tubes have old money prices on them. Most of the paint in this one is ochre and ground burnt bones, I guess I could have used wode for the blue.

Of yesterday's paintings I think this is the one that worries me the most in terms of rewriting history
particularly as the mast looks like a bit of tree, there is something of Victorian romanticism here although I think the scene is supposed to be something of the 1600s.

Here is the link to the content of my camera card photos today and yesterday

And here is the one to the photos of the books that went out in the bookshop on Saturday  

Then the book, this article in the Wall Street Journal