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?