Friday, November 14, 2008


Minnis Bay - Margate (Main Sands): variable. weather permitting; small dogs (as defined in Schedule II, Foreshore Flotsam & Jetsam Regs.) between the hours of 05.00 and 2100; concessions apply. Larger dogs, subject to warden inspection and space.

Margate to Kingsgate: Dogger Bank; good idea, becoming criminal later; dogs allowed at owners' risk at Full Moon; poop scoops available at kiosk.

Kingsgate to Viking Bay: Good, becoming positively quaint along the way; dogs compulsory; exotic breeds exempt but otherwise normal regs. apply (May to September) and thereafter dependent on tides (available at the harbour, 11.30am alternate Sats.)

Viking Bay to Dumpton Gap: No puns or pugs allowed. Well, just don't go there, please.. get the "Good Boy/Girl" to hold it.

Dumpton to Ramsgate Hooveritallupport: Cargo unloading facilities available at all times; no mastiffs in harbour area after dusk; disabled facilities.

.....But, er is a picture in the meantime of our harbour (all dogs welcome) in happier days this Summer.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


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York Gate Re-opens! Mother's keep a good hold of your children as the mobile sound boxes again enjoy that extra 100m of vavvaroom. Nice while it lasted though; there was even a small hint of what the English version of Cafe Society might be. Should have taken a picture of the aptly named scaffolder's board during the 4 week interregnum - "All Access".
What with Him Self and ECR both laying into us a bit here in Broadstairs recently, I can only report that the sun is shinning, boats are bobbing, new dads are busy building their heirs' castles, bees are buzzing, fish are jumping (lied about the last one). On reflection, given Will's jaundiced view of most things I think the old place came off quite well - and no doubt will continue to do so for generations to come. Must go and find some "Aftersun" (hic!).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Increasingly, it is becoming like the Somme down here at sunny Broadstairs. OK so we don't get the wonderful blazing sunsets (shurely firebombing? - Ed) they have in Margate but in recent days you have had to take your life in your hand if you want to head down to the harbour. First we had last weekend's closure of Harbour Street following discovery of a UXB on the beach - traffic was diverted but pedestrians were allowed through to drink in the Tartar Frigate immediately opposite the "threat" which thankfully proved nothing more dangerous than a pipe bomb. Then this weekend York Gate was subjected to a ram raid by a careless driver of a high vehicle chipping some stone from the underside of the arch. Scaffolding is now in place and will no doubt be for some time while the various departments of TDC work out how to repair 16 century stonework safely and harmoniously. In the meantime harbour Street is again closed to motor traffic although access to the harbour can be obtained via the slip road down from the Eastern Esplanade to the promenade.

But on the bright side; big boys trucks and diggers have now flattened out the winter sand protection levees; the first Harbour Market was held last Sunday and now continues weekly; first shorts of the spring have appeared on male legs; the public loos by the pier have been given a makeover; Bleak House is up for sale (again); Jim's Beachside Burger Bar and Ice Cream Emporium has re-opened and; love life looking up. Hurrah!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


How wonderful the sky here is. Who needs a Turner Centre when the whole canvas of the heavens above us is constantly painted by the Master himself, giving us some of the most beautiful visions from sunrise to sunset and a canopy of stars to wish upon. This strange "end of the rainbow" effect was seen off Pegwell Bay recently - a second "end" was in the sky some distance away but no connecting bow. I was also very lucky to have seen a "ring around the moon" effect over Botany Bay - the full moon was surrounded by a ring of perfect velvet blackness devoid of any star field with a circumference about 10x that of the moon itself. And I had the woman I loved in my arms at the time. Unfortunately suffering total eclipse of heart at present.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Hello...Yea..Can't talk now ...I'm on the Evolutionary Ladder"

A curious thing about a mobile phone, apart from the fact that my own was recently laughed out of the pub as "antique (see pic above), is the way that it stores up all your heart felt texted sentiments/failed liaisons/missed opportunities/ Chinese take-away orders etc until it tells you its memory is hurting and asks you to delete some of yours. Of course, if like me these days your memory resembles a Gruyere cheese, then acting on this prompt is often a salutary exercise as your past week's life is scrolled before you eyes to be deleted forever. Expectation follows (or proceeds?) hope, follows lust, follows apologies, follows tantrum. follows good result for the boys, away and all, follows curry....... And always ends/begins with " So what are we doing this weekend?" .

Or as the Stones would have it "Well I am just a Monkey Man I'm glad you are a Monkey Woman too"

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Happy Mothers' Day to all you mothers. My own passed away (shurely "died"? Ed.) on this day and although it moves around a bit (the date not me mum of course) it is a handy day for me to hang my heart on. I would never be so foolish as to put up a picture of said girl, who was the kindest and most serene person I have known, so here instead a picture of the most beautiful and terribly bloody serene resident cat (Cat says "Not one of his best")

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Today should see the return of the Scotsman figurehead, fully restored, to his perch on Broadstairs Pier(?jetty/harbour). The figurehead I understand comes from the "Highland Chief" wrecked on the Goodwin Sands in 1869. Officialdom will all be in attendance in full regalia so watch out for the photo-opportunity shots in all local rags. The true story here however is not so much one of a caring heritage conscious council acting to preserve a small piece of our local history but of one man's determination to improve a part of the coast where he was born.
Since returning from an extensive and varied overseas tour of duty Andy our "Harbour Master" has singlehandedly made it his mission to improve the appearance and appeal of the pier/jetty/harbour thing here at Broadstairs. From paying for floral displays outside his "shack" out of his own pocket to setting himself the task of sanding down and painting the pier's superstructure (akin to a paint job on the Forth Bridge) his enthusiasm and obvious love for the place of his birth are a shining example of civic pride in action. It was Andy who noticed the need for urgent restoration of the figurehead and who was largely responsible for arranging for the skilled remedial work. As I mentioned in my last post, it was also Andy who pushed through the plans for our first new "Harbour Market" to be held on 23 March. I do hope other Thanet Bloggers could be persuaded to spread the word about this and perhaps find time to pop down and visit.
Oh yes, and Andy has reminded me to say his is a pint of Master Brew.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Thanet District Council has informed me that a planning application (F/TH/08/0195) has been made to change the Memorial Recreation Ground in Lawn Road Broadstairs (pic. above) into a car park with the now obligatory "2 metre high steel palisade fence". I don't have any details as although the application can be viewed at the national planning website it will not be posted there for another 5 days so effectively shaving the deadline for objections (17 March) unless I want to troop into the Margate offices.

Having this week driven all the cars from Lawn Road and other nearby roads by introducing parking metre bays as part of the plan to milk every penny from the motorist I suppose it is only logical that TDC has now turned its attention to concreting over the adjacent pretty green swathe that along with Piermont Park is the only recreational space in the town. At present the Memorial Ground is home to the Broadstairs Bowls Club and a few pieces of playground furniture. Mothers and children happily play there, dogs get exercised, ad hoc games of football with jerseys for goalposts take place, kites are flown, seagulls flock etc. How much better to have an eyesore of a car park with all its attendant problems.

On a brighter note, Broadstairs is to hold a "Harbour Market" on Sunday 23 March with a variety of attractions and stalls selling "fancy goods" in addition to the usual local produce. It is hoped that this will become a regular event and for this we have our "Harbour Master" Andy to thank for cutting through the red tape TDC tried to wrap it all up in. There are also fairs on that date at Piermont Hall and at the Pavilion - so come early if you want any chance of free parking somewhere.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Things are taking shape at what was the little enclosed garden of the Royal Albion Hotel although as you can see it is not a pretty sight at present. The work is being down by a local landscaper who delights in the name Trevor Tooth -after the extraction of all plants there is a lot of filling in to be done by way of decking and stone. According to the plan at the bar, there will be some floral element in beds and some squiggly things at the sea side end which might be hedging. I am sure that it will all be very nice (and increase punter revenue per square foot). Its just that I liked what was there and had been for as long as I can remember. Still move with the times eh? - and I have, to Charlie D's along the road. Whilst this large all day diner/pub may not have as good a view from downstairs and has no civilised open area for us gaspers the service and (v. reasonably priced) food on offer have been excellent. The rumour mill has it that the long expected leasehold buyout is going through offering the prospect of a much needed refit to the old boy - so look to your laurels at the Albion er....except you can't.


God Bless! You're back! Tried to say as much on your site but ...usual hiccups (hic!) Then again it could all be Hokum - who gives an Arctic Monkeys. To shelebrate your return here is a picture of me (honest Gov.) taken shome time ago. My father cleverly captured in Kodachrome my delight (possibly total bewilderment?) upon my winning "Best Dressed Boy in Broadstairs "(1962) for the second year running. And I still have those buttons to prove it!

Oh, and remember of course ...

All the world's a stage

And all the men and women merely players

They have their exits and their entrances

And one man in his time plays many parts

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I may be missing something here....but how did the "Doctor's" resignation story make the headlines of a local freebie (a) so quickly and (b) at all. BTN ?

Still, its Valentines day today....

Friday, February 8, 2008


With so much to get annoyed about on local issues it is easy to forget perspective but....the other day in a local pub my attention was caught by a jolly family celebration going on. Central to proceedings was a young boy who looked to be of barely legal age given the witching hour. "Young Lad's birthday?" I enquired of my compannion (a former SM and veteran of three Gulf tours). "No. The lad's joined up and is off for his training tomorrow" "And then?" "Iraq or Afghanistan I'd expect". God help him. God help them all. And may God forgive us for leaving them there.

Today's the day our younger son

Is going off to war

Fightin' in the age old battle We've sometimes won before

Flags that line old main street

Are blowin' in the wind

These must be the flags of freedom flyin' (Neil Young)

Friday, February 1, 2008


It pains me to report another crime against humility in the town...didn't have a camera with me at the time but the above purloinrd image should give you some idea of what has just happened to the lovely little pub garden at The Royal Albion Hotel. So where will the sparrows go now?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

All Ship Shape And Broadstairs Fashion

I print the above picture in response to a recent letter in one of the local free rags complaining about "things changing"at the good ship HMS Fart and Leggit on Broadstairs jetty. The author, whose principal concern seemed to be to display his knowledge of obscure Dickens quoatations about the place, moaned that it had been painted a "dazzling white" so obscuring the centuries of grime and sea-shantiness soaked up in its hallowed walls. In fact the place was given a coat (possibly two in places) of your standard pub "cream" last Summer -which goes to show how regular the correspondent had been moved to visit. Having danced around the frighteningly jolly painters as they carried out the work during regular opening hours I can assure anyone concerned that even their efforts could not totally remove the nicotine layers of the years (Ah, happy days). Already the "cream" is clotting into a familiar pub brown sepia.
There was also the complaint that the "F" word was discomfortingly audible on a song playing on the (excellent) juke box. Short of getting rid of the juke or having staff vet all tracks supplied by the servicing company it is difficult to see how this offence (which I accept it is) could be prevented. I am sure some would favour the removal of machine music -and there are arguements both ways. But if I follow the sentiment of the letter writer correctly, the essence of the Tart and Biggot is that it is a pub that is in the heart of the community it serves and which has weathered the ravages of time largely unchanged. It still performs this function admirably today as anyone visiting the three very different bar areas downstairs or the top rated fish restaurant above will clearly see, provided they come with no preconceptions of a "Mr Pickwick Pub". As to the complainent's belief that in his time Dickens would have been very unlikely to have heard the "F" word uttered in the place, I think he has wholly the wrong idea about the sensibilities of the great social commentator of his day and the working class of his time.
If you want to complain about anything in the old tub then I (and many others) have brought the state of the "heads" to the attention of mine host on many ocassions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


For reashons wisch I have no need to detain anyones with (hic), I appear to have come into recent posseesshion of the above prosthetic. Although I have never auditioned for the role of Tarzan I am fully equipped to do so and therefore have no need of the article. If any lady (gentleman?) recognises they are at a loss to the tune of one in the leg department then do respond herewith. Failing that, I intend to plant it up with primroses as centrepiece in my garden for this year's "Broadstairs in Bloom". Others may have other less prosaic suggestions. I expect nothing less. (With apologies for any unintended offence to anyone - should cover it, Ed>)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nice to see the story about the Culmer's Land fencing has been taken up by other more committed souls - perhaps we have the making of campaign. Maybe we should learn from the Palestinian example, turn up en mass at the fence, picnic on the as yet unspoiled green adjacent, a few glasses of vino and just H-E-A-V-E...

There also seems to be growing grass root feeling that TDC is not delivering a "beautiful" place to live and work in and exasperation at the excuses trolled out for this....("all very difficult in local politics"..."competing priorities.." "...central Government policy/funding" etc...) And yet the fencing was it appears a local decision taken with scant consultation or any environmental impact assessment and for which a large amount of money was readily found. One can hardly blame Mr Geldof for his own somewhat badly articulated view that in Thanet the beauty of nature has to sit side by side with the ugliness man has created. As a tribute to Sir Bob his biggest chart success is to be re- released as "I Don't Like Margate":

The saithe and chips is all you're fed
Washed down with Aftershock
That's why no-one visits anymore
They prefer to stay at home
And Sandy doesn't understand it
He just wants the whole thing sold
And he can see no reasons
'Cos there are no reasons
What reasons do you need to moa-oa-oa- oa-oan?


That is why
I don't like Margate
That is why
I don't like Margate
That is why
I don't like Margate
I wanna bu-ur-ur-ur-ur-urn the whole place down


My 42" screen is kept so clean
Now I speak to the Kentish Weald
With the programmes so cheap
I'll be raking in a heap
And my thoughts'll turn to warmer climes
Apply sunscreen, even Peaches's keen
But it aint neat, opening mouth to change feet
What became of my reason
'Cos there was no reason
What reason did I need to say


Now all the buildings stopped on the Turner flop
The toys have been thrown out of the pram
And the knives are out early and soon I'll be learning
That the meal today is just humble pie
And then my mobile crackles
And the Doctor prattles
(With his problems of hows and whys)
For he can see no reason
'Cos he has no reason
What reason would he have to lie

Chorus (continue ad nauseam)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


...and on the subject of delightful views in Broadstairs we have...No. 11 "God's Own Chippy".

Situated at one end of the ugly new allotment fencing and Alexandra Road sits this wonderful mural advertising the spiritual benefits of the sea's bounty. JC is seen here handing around Saithe and Chip Butties (£1.75 on Tuesdays for OAPs) while his disciples gather up enough crumbs to make an apple crumble for pudding.

Behind the facade is one of the best chip shops in town and I have in fact seen upwards of 5,000 queuing of a Bank Holiday. The miraculous advertising reflects the owners' good works and and long may they continue to give us God Fish as they say in Greece.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I am moved to continue these ramblings by receipt of a comment (albeit mistakenly from a Jehovah's Witness creditor) and a rare sense of outrage at the spoiling of one of our town's pleasant pathway walks. I do not normally comment on the inadequacies of our local municipal bodies. Having been on the bridge of the SS Great Britain for many years and watched our "national interests" being ground upon the rocks of expediency and sheer bloodymindedness, the shortcomings of the deck chair attendants seem only to be expected. (Though I do read with interest those fighting the good fight).

But strewth! Who dreamed up the need for Category C prison style fencing "to stop vandalism" along the footpath which runs roughly parallel to Broadstairs High Street linking Alexandra Road and Vere Road via the Coach Park. This used to provide a very agreeable means by which I could reach my choice of harbour side alehouses with some charming views over the adjacent allotments and the north of town. Of a summer's evening, with the air full of birdsong and the smell of smoke drifting over from allotment bonfires one's heart was lifted a little as the donated memorial benches along the route bear testimony to.

Now, if you walk by or wish to sit and enjoy the views you are confronted by 200 yards of razor tipped slate grey fencing (at what cost?). If vandalism, presumably directed at the allotment sheds and small holdings, is a problem could not a more sympathetic/environmentally friendly solution have been found? There appears to have been no consultation and nothing was ever posted along the route advising of the work. Now it is there I suppose it is literally set in concrete. Of course it would be cynical of me to think there is any read across to the oft touted plan to put in a road linking Albion Street and Carlton Avenue.....