Home Thoughts 103


I am off to Ghana today, and it leads me to think about how very much I have come to love Ramsgate. Walks along the cliffs and beach and across Pegwell Bay with my family are a major part of my life. The sea has always been important to reviving my spirits. Ramsgate’s magnificent Edwardian esplanades stretch for miles, and the Ramsgate Society is now putting a commendable effort into their restoration. Ramsgate has almost entirely ceased to be a seaside holiday destination and I really do not quite understand why.

All these pictures are of places within an easy 15 minute walk of my house:

The depressingly ugly Turner Modern at Margate continues to attract the visitors, 99.99% of whom are blissfully ignorant of far greater art – and infinitely greater architecture – just down the road:

The lack of public interest in St Augustine’s and its highly limited opening hours (Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoons only, from memory) appear to be a vicious circle.

Pegwell Bay still looks precisely as it did when Dyce painted it:

Right on the street where I live we have a particularly good ghost story:

All this just one hour and ten minutes from St Pancras. Unfortunately Ramsgate town centre has suffered disastrously from the decision to build a huge out of town shopping centre at Westwood Cross, but is showing some first signs of revival.

Want another reason to hate the big supermarkets? They are building a new Asda at the top of the High Street, and a fortnight ago the builders cut through a main sewer, flooding several houses including the local vet, where a number of recuperating animals in cages were drowned.

Here is a picture of a jumbo coming in to land over Ramsgate, taken from the Open at Sandwich. You can see my house in this photo:

I am baffled by the scheme to build a new airport in the Thames Estuary, when just down the road at Manston, and already right on Britain’s first HS1 High Speed Rail route, you have the second longest, now civil, runway in the UK, fully operational but working at 1% capacity. Manston can take the A380 without modification. I have seen proximity to Schiphol given as the reason Manston cannot be used, but it is further from Schiphol than Heathrow is from Gatwick.

Anyway, time to pack…


103 thoughts on “Home Thoughts

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  • Jives

    I used to live in Liberia/Nigeria/Cameroon..late 60’s to early 80’s…i really miss West Africa…”sigh”

  • conjunction

    We have a lovely coastline. I spent a happy week around Ramsgate once.
    .
    Offtopic, Rawnsley has a good piece about Cameron today, indicating his demands were miniscule, as Osborne and others have said, and that his demands were only to give something to the Tory right. Which makes it all the more staggering that his diplomatic skills were so miniscule he couldn’t get anything.
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/11/andrew-rawnsley-britain-reduced-clout-europe

  • ingo

    Great scenery and a loss to the seaside holiday makers indeed, although apart from a few occaisions, I only know it from night time, t’was too busy during the day.

    You can see my house in this photo:

    yes indeed, there you are, right there in the centre right, one can clearly see you wearing your canary scarfe. c’mon Norwich, 4-2 against Newcastle should mean that they are staying up this season.

  • Mary

    Thanks and safe journey. Will you be ‘coming home for Christmas’ as the musak players in the superstores inform us.

    I agree about the sea. I was brought up in Dorset near the coast and when I return to any shore, I always find solace and refreshment.

    PS Will the stores and the garden centres sell all the Christmas junk that is piled up high? ‘Real’ Christmas trees range in price locally from £39.99 to £69.99!

    A favourite song. I like the melancholy within and the melody.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N3N1MlvVc4

    PPS What a beautiful church. Much better than the ‘palace’ Pugin built at Westminster now inhabited by moral pygmies.{http://pugin.com/pugchur.htm}

  • IAN CAMERON

    ‘Course the Ramsgate Press Gang has thankfully shut up shop. There’s even a good Fish n Chips eatery there. Mind you the Kent Coast isn’t paradise on earth – surprise surprise earlier this year partying Aghan youths in significant numbers were engaged in murderous knife fights – hmmmm… not quite the Kent Coast tranquility one might rather prefer.

  • Antelope Grazer

    ceased to be a seaside holiday destination
    .
    Perhaps that’s a good thing. English seaside resorts have a unique grimness to them.

  • craig Post author

    Rehmat

    Deleted that. No connection between Idi Amin and Ghana that I am aware of – again you introduce the only subject that interests you, totally off topic.

  • Herbie

    This is off-topic, but still of much interest. It’s a very recently produced document looking at the richest people in the world and detailing their interests, power and how they buy media and politicians to pursue their policy interests. It mentions a few Uzbeks too.
    .
    So read all about your favourite oligarchs now
    .
    http://ifg.org/pdf/IFG_plutonomy.pdf

  • ingo

    Ramsgate has the best fish and chip shop in England, Olly’s fish and chips is different, the man has style, he skins his cod and his batter is heavenly.

    Have a safe trip Craig

  • BGD

    Ramsgate is superb architecturally, never been inside St Augustines. Must do next Spring. The Ramsgate population that one encounters every day though can be fearful, prefer Broadstairs where we live for that aspect. The whole coastline along Thanet is fantastic too.

    Never fear, as London becomes ever more abominable more and more folk will be willing to commute and purchase property across Thanet playing their own part in helping to regenerate the area, reenergising the independent shops and that sort of thing. Margate Old Town is transformed of late, various people are trying to do the same with Cliftonville and one hopes someone will take a corner of Ramsgate and attempt to do the same. Harbour Street would be a reasonable place to start.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Take care Craig – yes nice place- I nearly bought a house in Ramsgate while working on the Channel Tunnel project.
    .
    Like you Mary I spent some of my teens at my parents home at Durdle Door near Lulworth Cove. One day my sister and I both got caught searching around on Bovington Firing Range and we were escorted back to the guardroom in a military jeep to be collected later by our irate father and worried mother – happy days.

  • Mary

    Those sunlit summer days seem so carefree in comparison to the present don’t they Mark?
    .
    This is that vile person Ehud Barak making more threats. He is attending the World Policy Conference in Vienna, a gathering of fascist types organized by a French outfit called IFRI. The fact that we are approaching Christmas, a holy time of year for most people, is of no concern to him. Remember that the Vilnai shoah on Gaza was launched on 27th December 2008. 215 children were killed within 15 minutes of the start.

    Ha’aretz {http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-calls-for-paralyzing-sanctions-against-iran-1.400864}

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak says in Vienna that steps should be taken to target Iranian oil trade and central bank.
    .
    {http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/barak-end-of-syria-s-assad-would-be-a-blessing-for-the-middle-east-1.400850}

    Defense Minister Barak tells World Policy Conference Assad will be out in weeks; at least 18 killed in latest Syria violence Sunday, Arab League says will meet to discuss situation within ten days.
    .
    Five Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by airstrikes this week with many injured.
    Breaking news on Ha’aretz just now
    21:56 Israel cabinet to meet over escalation of violence on Israel-Gaza border
    .

  • Abe Rene

    Love Ramsgate? Oh dear, it will be hard forsaking all this and migrating North of the border as a patriotic Scottish Nationalist. 🙂

  • Daniel

    My sister and I visited Ramsgate a few years ago whereupon we overheard an unsavoury conversation between two vile middle-aged female racists at a bus stop. My sister who is white was at the time involved in a relationship with a black guy. She intervened by saying that she didn’t want to hear this kind of discusting talk. She was met by a sustained vitriolic outburst from one of these vile creatures. The bus arrived. They got on it. We caught the next available train back to London.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Syria,
    .
    As predicted some time ago and acknowledged by recent comments here, the ‘secret’ war on Syria is gaining momentum.
    .

    From the US air force base in Incirlik, Turkey, a US/NATO wireless station is coordinating communication equipped senior foreign fighters, military and Intelligence defectors in Syria, providing locations on weapons cache stores and reports from US satellite intelligence of Syrian army positions and Hezbollah fighter locations and heavy armament. Col. Riad Al-Assad has taken command of paid CIA Syrian army dissidents. I also repeat again, many CIA paid terrorists or so called rebels from Iraq and Libya has amassed on the Jordan/Syria border, this according to my contact..
    .
    Although secret the final objective is to oust Assad and accuse the Iranian backed Hezbollah of murdering hundreds of Syrian civilians including children. Britain and the US will also blame the elite Quds force for providing training and equipment to Syrian security forces ensuring a violent crack-down similar to the death squads in Iraq. Such deception will be used to coerce and push UNSC members to agree a resolution that will enable NATO to use all necessary measures to protect Syrian civilians under threat of attack in the country. The resolution will include a clause to enable NATO to intercept and destroy any military aid including military or intelligence personnel from Iran.
    .
    The actions have a small window of 7 days and I expect major escalations in this scenario in the next few days.

  • Franz

    I’ve never been to Ramsgate but it was nice to read something a bit uplifting here for a change. What a bunch of miserable ***s some of the commenters are :\

  • John Goss

    Mark_Golding, I posted BGD’s link to the breaking news about actions around the Syrian border earlier tonight. It might just be that nobody’s interested in politics on F.B. But I am surprised, especially with your source’s information about what seems to be being planned. If you live anywhere near Birmingham, I’d like to meet up with you. On Tuesday I’m going to be in London supporting Bradley Manning outside the US Embassy from 2 p.m.

  • Antelope Grazer

    Herbie
    .
    Your IFG link is unimpressive, to say the least. Not only does it seem to have been written by someone who is barely literate*, its list of rich people who supposedly benefit from environmental degradation is just a list of rich people. Even though, not surprisingly, many of them have interests in companies which have imperfect records on the environment, for some of them no evidence is offered at all, beyond that their companies are not listed in some Dow Jones index. If that’s all we need to know to condemn them, what’s the point of this report? We can just read the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and tell ourselves anyone excluded must be a bad guy, or, as IFG put it, among the ultra-rich individuals who benefit most from—and are most responsible for—the deepening climate crisis.
    .
    So, for example, here is the full reckoning of the terrible sins of the Kwok Family:
    .
    Environment: Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) does not appear on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
    Nonetheless, Sun Hung Kai Properties proudly boasts that it has won several awards for environmental
    excellence.

    .
    And here is the tally of wickedness of Savitri Jindal:
    .
    Environment: The Jindal Group is absent from the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Jindal Group has posted
    a relatively detailed, extensive environmental policy on its website.

    .
    Besides, if this DJ Index is so reliable that nothing further need be said, why is a paragraph spent criticising the record of ArcelorMittal which, er, is listed in the DJSI?
    .
    * Here’s a random example of the IFG’s startlingly ill-formed sentences:
    .
    That’s because the global climate crises—just like today’s converging global crises in finance, food, water and other areas—is blocked by Washington and a political system corrupted and controlled by the ultra-rich.
    .
    The crises is blocked, they is! Perhaps they meant solutions to the crises are blocked? It’s difficult to avoid the suspicion that this shoddy piece of work is designed to undermine the work of serious environmental campaigners.

  • Mary

    Any significance in this visit of King of Bahrain to No 10? What will be cooked up?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16134617
    .
    Mark is the Col Riad Al Assad you refer to a relative of President Assad and/or this father and son living in London whom I linked to in connection with Rosindell’s Register of Interests?

    .
    ‘From the same register of Rosindell’s interests
    .
    Several £thousands from the Iman Foundation, chairman Ribal Al-Assad, in straight monetary donations and funding for a trip to Lebanon. Ribal Al-Assad is a nephew of President Assad and is seeking for ‘a united opposition to the Syrian government’. His father, who lives in luxury in London with the son next door, is described as a war criminal by Robert Fisk.
    .
    {http://www.iman-worldwide.org/index.php} Chairman of Iman Foundation
    .
    {http://www.odf-syria.org/} He calls for a ‘united Syrian opposition’ on Sky News
    .
    {http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/8571164/Syrias-Butcher-of-Hama-living-in-10-million-Mayfair-townhouse.html}
    .
    {http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-freedom-democracy-and-human-rights-in-syria-2080463.html}
    .
    On the list of other destinations for Rosindell are Qatar, Bahrain, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Guernsey. Turks and Caicos Islands, China, Syria, Malta, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Kuwait, Canada, Isle of Man, Cyprus, USA, Canada and St Kitts and Nevis. All these ‘visits’ took place over the last 9 years. Romford, his constituency, doesn’t get much of a look in.’

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