Saturday, October 29, 2011

Misty Business

Gallant efforts to have a quarter-scale, radio-controlled Spitfire, fly from Calais to Manston yesterday, were frustrated by the Channel weather. A bank of mist sat stubbornly over the warm sea water gap between us and France, throughout the day, which has me sitting at Manston, with a support crew, hoping that the weather would break.

The other part of the team were already in Calais with the radio-controlled model  and the plan had one aircraft, called a 'Eurostar', not the train, arrive from the South-west with the model operator and me, with a chase plane, make the short hop from Manston into Calais. Of course, it didn't happen and they will have to try again another time which is very disappointing for everyone involved in the project.

What would have happened, if all had gone to plan, is that the model would have landed outside the Spitfire museum at Manston, where there would have been a reception. It has a top speed of 90 knots I'm told and so throttled back, I would have been able to keep it in sight.

I suspect that by now, everyone has heard that Her Majesty, the Queen, will be visiting Margate on 11th November, which is of course a great privilege for the town and the island in general. I suspect that the frantic polishing of shoes and pressing of suits and dresses is already well  underway and I would hope that the Queen visits the Turner Contemporary, to place the royal seal of approval on this very successful statement of the town's regeneration strategy.

For those who are unsure of the protocol, here's a link to the webpage, with information on greeting the Queen.

I'm also pleased to have an email from the United States Airforce Military Attache, Colonel Sonny Blinkinsop, will be attending the Remembrance Sunday parade at Westgate to lay a wreath at the memorial to the US airmen of World War II erected two years ago. This is now becoming a regular US presence in our small town.

At the council's Scrutiny Committee, last week, I presented the details on Thanet's street cleaning work and I was somewhat surprised to read in the Thanet Gazette today that not only am I reportedly 'Miffed' but that the report was 'Rubbished' as well; the first I've heard of it from any source. My Conservative colleague, Cllr Gideon, did quip that it was 'fluffy' and I retorted that if she wanted more statistics, then next time I'm invited, I'll be happy to give the committee all the statistics on rubbish they might want and more!

In fact, this was a summary for a short presentation on what's been achieved and what's planned ahead and illustrated the steady rise in street-scene standards to last year. So when you hear the chant that streets were cleaner under Labour, don't believe a word of it because quite the opposite was true. One of the most successful of schemes involves the continuing roll-out of wheeled bins and more lately seagull proof bags to households. Added together these now cover 53,000 out of Thanet’s 65,000 households.

As for 'Smudger', I recommend she takes up voluntary work as it may make her much happier and less angry than her job in local journalism!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

anon again!
We look forward to Her Majesty's visit!
I have emailed Buckingham Palace with a warning that our most gracious Lady should take a car ride up the High Street with the doors locked, and take precautionary lessons on looking out for her handbag!

mingles4all said...

I detect a touch of pots calling kettles black here. Whenever anyone dares to appear to be winning an argument you resort to personal insult or put down.

DrM. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DrM. said...

Hardly!

Anonymous said...

i dare say you will up the front when the queen comes to thanet and us poor people will be right at the back

Peter Checksfield said...

Any chance of getting Brian May to play "God Save The Queen" from The Winter Gardens roof?

Peter Checksfield said...

Correct me if I'm wrong Simon, but wasn't it under the Tories that TDC decided not all of our streets would be regularly swept? So the (admitedly improved) bins & bags situation is only one side of the story.

DrM. said...

As per usual Peter, you are confusing apples and oranges and the satisfaction rate over street cleanliness is higher than ever before. Sadly though, we have well known pockets in Thanet where even visits several times a day can't resolve the constant litter problems caused by acute anti social behaviour among residents

Peter Checksfield said...

I guess no-one asked the residents of my (Westbrook) cul-de-sac where dogs cr*p is often left rotting on the pavements for several WEEKS at a time... I also suggest you take a walk down the Westbrook alley that runs parallel with Margate station, a disgusting way to greet visitors if they happen to turn left instead of right.

DrM. said...

Exactly Peter.. One of those areas where there has been considerable intervention but the Staffie population continues to thrive!

Peter Checksfield said...

A bit unfair to just blame it on just one breed of dog...

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Just pointing out, that the chap who sweeps our street leaves most things where they are. He doesn't de-grass the gutters or de-leaf the footpath's. Quite frankly, he is a complete waste of time. He skips over the square leaving bits and pieces that the idiot's from where the 'Kebab take away & drop your rubbish' have parked the night before. Birchington.