Sunday, September 03, 2006

War of the Worlds

I know that Tony Flaig, in his weblog, speculated that oil exploration might be taking place in the waters off Margate but from where I’m standing it looks as if the War of The Worlds has started, with one of the Martian machines just about to blast the Rendezvous car park with its death ray!

Today should have involved a visit to the “Goodwood Revival” but with the weather we’ve had over the weekend, it’s the revival that will need reviving, as I assume visitor numbers will have been badly affected.

Given the hottest July on record and the gloomiest August since 1986, it must have been a mixed bag for the tourist industry in Thanet and I rather wonder what takings were like in Margate, with very little now left to bring-in the numbers of visitors that packed the beaches in previous years.

From the air at least, there have been some days when the beaches have been busy but not as I remember them from before and through August, there were some days when I looked down and they were nearly deserted, with Broadstairs being the only spot I’ve seen with a consistent density of people on the sands.

With a great deal of effort on the part of the council to try and bring in visitors, was this a good summer for Thanet or not? What’s your verdict?


Dane Valley Ted said...

Having spent a large part of the summer in broadstairs the general consensus there was that it was a very bad summer for retailers and pubs.
If you take the fact that most of the local events took place there, then the other two main towns must have fared worse.
The weather in july was good,but most schools did not break up until the last week and august was one of the worst for rain for 5 or 6 years.
My own earnings were down by more than three quarters on last year as the job is heavily weather dependent,Maybe next year will be better.

Anonymous said...

Prooves the point, more indoor attractions which are good both for sunny and rainy weather. Aquarium, 3D 'Futurescope' audio/visual attraction, even a 'Thanet Eye'. I liked the idea of the big wheel on Margate Front, how about a bigger one located on a suitable high spot? Shame Virgin don't utilize Manston and we could have the Virgin Eye. The ground rent on BA's London one is astronomical. Anything bar tacky arcades. Something that brings in some serious money and not the dinasoars who want to retain 'Kiss me Quick' hats and rubbish. I think we need several large attractions dotted around the area and forget about spreading lots of little ones in one area. Mr. G. gets part of his old Dreamland site for residential use, TDC gets an option on part of the site to sustain an aquarium or similar and parhaps future road access to the rear of the seafront arcades to create a piazza out the front which will increase local property values and make the area nicer, and we live on a compromise. Effectively less is more.

Anonymous said...

I felt I just had to air my views firstly to say how interesting and topical "Thanet Life" is, and how boring the local "Thanet Gazette", has become. Being resident of Cliftonville I tend to keep an eye on the coastline and noted the arrival of the floating platform/barge off Foreness Point. very few people seem to be aware of the reason for its arrival. As I understand it from a most helpful and informative young surveyor, the barge has been positioned over the end of a tunnel that has been drilled under the sea bed starting at the outfall pumping station going out to sea for six hundred metres to accommodate a two metre diameter pipe to disperse treated water. The barge/platform on eight hydraulic legs will vacuum out of a deep hole previously dug on the sea bed, shingle which was temporally tipped into the hole cut about six weeks ago, them crane up and recover the tunnel boring machine. Finally divers will install a suitable lining pipe and grill to protect the exit. All this work being carried out to improve our water quality along the Thanet coast.
Not a picture or a word of this in our local paper, what a chance for young people to see something of educational interest. As a headline it would have sold papers, a coastal location, somewhere for the young to visit and view. (I actually tried to phone the editor at the Isle of Thanet Gazette, but nobody answered the phone.)
I also feel the Southern Water Board have missed an opportunity to obtain some good public relations.

Dane Valley Ted said...

Anon 6:07
Good points,but one of the great things about this country is diversity,There is room here for the old and new to work in conjunction.
The broader the range of local attractions we can offer, the greater the income that can be generated.
There are no seaside funfairs around the kent coast at the moment
It would be a shame to waste the opportunity of a dinosaur that makes millions for places like blackpool,We CAN have it all.

Anonymous said...

Well said, 6.16pm and thanks for the explaination!
General feeling in Margate is that August has been disastrous and decline will speed up.

Dr Moores, I am sure you showed a pic of Portsmouth Spinnaker a few months ago? I saw an item saying it had had over 300,000 visitors already! A similar structure on the harbour would draw crowds but a cubist TC?

Anonymous said...

DVT thanks for your comments though if I am of the correct understanding, Blackpool is suffering at the moment too and look at what that has to offer by way of rides. There's probably more to it but from a news report I saw recently they are looking for a new identity hence their recent hope at attracting a super casino to the area...which has now gone to the London Dome.

Dane Valley Ted said...

The point I was getting at was that if places with a lot of attractions are doing badly how can we expect Margate to flourish
with next to nothing to attract visitors

Observer said...

Having lived and worked in Thanet since I first came here to work at Butlins in 1962 I have Observed that it is an annual gripe from seafront traders and others that “this year is the worse I can remember” I take very little notice of such comments and if any of your readers are honest they will admit to hearing the same old thing every year as well.

You say ‘With a great deal of effort on the part of the council to try and bring in visitors ‘
I am afraid that I have Observed very little activity on this front,,perhaps you would like to list some of these initiatives here,,you should have plenty of room!!!
Or is this another ‘fawning overture’ to ingratiate yourself with our civic Leader…… ;) ;) ;) ;)

Anon 12.17
‘news report I saw recently they are looking for a new identity hence their recent hope at attracting a super casino to the area...which has now gone to the London Dome.’
When and where was this reported??? Is this yet another figment of a Thanetians fertile imagination??

I am totally unsuprised by the comments about the Thanet Times/Gazette, both in this thread and in other as well, they really has become the most obnoxious little rags and never seem to let the facts get in the way of a ‘good’ story.

Ps. I hear that there have been,,err,,erm,,,developments at Revolution Skatepark and certain Wise TDC Cabinet Members are not happy bunnies,,,,,