Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beyond Redemption?

Jesus Saves in Brighton
One of my more unusual jobs over Brighton this weekend, puzzling the thousands of beach visitors with the banners pictured here.

People here in Thanet, may be relieved to know, that this is not coming in their direction, either because the client has concluded that we can't be saved and are beyond redemption or because Brighton has been singled-out for special treatment.

Normally, one sees this kind of banner flying in the mid-west of the United States, rather than Sussex and for me, at least, it's a first.

I can't wait for that telephone call from the Church of Scientology though!

I had rather hoped that summer had arrived at last this morning but now, as it's briefly clouded-over, this gives me time to write a short blog entry. Today being the last day of June, we appear to be moving in to the mid-summer blogging doldrums, with not very much happening and no single Thanet Council crisis for at least a week.

Reculver Towers Descending Back into Thanet
I had to go up to London on Thursday evening for a business event at Gordon Ramsay's and once again, SouthEast trains were reliably unreliable.

Rather than taking the 15:53 high speed to St Pancras, I decided on the 15:20 from Westgate. The latter was late but I subsequently noticed on Twitter that the former had been cancelled altogether.

As it was, I arrived at my appointment somewhat hot and bothered but near enough on time but if I had relied on the high-speed service, I would have been in trouble.

On the way home on almost the last service from Victoria, I speculated on Twitter what the train for Ramsgate might have in store for me this time; there's almost always something disturbing or intimidating on the north Kent line.

This time, it was the drunk opposite waking-up and complaining that I had stolen his can of drink and his mobile phone. I've noticed now that on the late trains from London that the conductor or guard, rarely if ever leaves his spot at the back of the train, possibly because, from conversation with them, they are too worried over encountering a difficult or potentially violent situation between Chatham and Ramsgate.

Most recently, I have been in dialogue with the British Transport Chief Constable, Andy Trotter and the BTP inspector at Maidstone but if my personal experience in any way mirrors those of other travellers, the late night trains from Victoria require some kind of presence on a regular basis and more recently, there have been far too many stories of unpleasant and often violent incidents on the route.

Several of my fellow travellers that night  in the carriage, were easily identifiable as being on a one way trip to Margate, even past midnight. Where are they coming from and more importantly, who is sending them to us? It's a mystery that we badly need to solve if we are to be given any control of the deprivation statistics that are too often thrust upon us, here in Thanet.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Punctuation not a strong point. Back to commas again, or lack of. :)

Simon Moores said...

Apologies as I fire off a blog and occasionally make mistakes .. It happens. I'm not writing a carefully considered editorial for a newspaper

Anonymous said...

I believe there's an emergency button on lever on trains. Use it if you feel threatened or intimidated.

Simon Moores said...

Yes.. I had to dissuade the drunk from pulling it after he was convinced I had stolen his phone.

So you pull the emergency cord.. what happens next I wonder, stopped somewhere between Faversham and Herne Bay?

Not so long ago, three youths were busy trying to set fire to one of the tables past Chatham. Would you A) Stand up, remonstrate with them and pulll the cord, expecting the conductor to leave his cubby hole at the back of the train and come to the rescue?

or

B) Sit still, watching carefully, making a mental note of their descriptions and wait until they leave at the next stop with luck.

or

C) Leave the carriage?

Anonymous said...

Personally I would have let the drunk pull the emergency cord. Far better to have the guard and possibly the law sort it out than risk being beaten or worse!

Anonymous said...

(Unless you had his drink and phone that is!)

Simon Moores said...

It's a fair cop!

Anonymous said...

Re Anon at 11:48. (Me) I was referring to towed banner re commas. "Jesus Saves Turn to me..." Is it not possible to punctuate these banners? Genuine question Simon.

Anonymous said...

2 things Simon, firstly, as I am sure you are aware CCTV is the norm now on the trains however not sure if it's just so the driver and conductor can monitor the train or whether they are actually recording. Secondly, there is local gossip that David Cameron 'might' visit Margate this coming thursday, do you know any more?

Simon Moores said...

You can punctuate but this depends on the number of characters being pulled. In this case the client was at the drag limit with the message and so did without but appeared very happy with the result!

Simon Moores said...

Yes heard the same. My place for lunch and then some real ale at the Micropub before a debate with Will Scobie!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the farting contest at the end!

Anonymous said...

Cameron vs Scobie is something you could sell tickets for, be nice to see the boy blunder torn to ribbons!

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer to see Cameron versus Worrow, though it can't be any worse than Farage versus Worrow!

Anonymous said...

While we are on the subject of debates, why not see how Driver would compete against Caroline Lucas. Since they have nothing in common I think it would be a non event, unless they discuss page three of the Sun.

Anonymous said...

Cameron 'might' visit Margate this coming thursday, Hope he has his own parking space

Dreamland car park has been reportedly permanently closed by its owners (it is closed as of Monday)

There is nothing Thanet District Council can do as they made an error and to not take over the land until September

So there is NO visitor parking for volume cars and coaches just as the summer season starts

Anonymous said...

Apart from Mill Lane, College Square, Harbour Arm and the Winter Gardens that is!

Anonymous said...

One way fellow travellers. I assume they looked as if they could not afford to buy their own ticket? Surely a need for a working party to investigate your questions about who is sending them etc. Who is the responsible authority/councillor for putting an investigation in place to see if these people are a drain on the slender resources of the council tax payer?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Thanet should round up its worst criminals and pay to have them put up in Westminster or the City. Money well spent.

Anonymous said...

2:42 PM - I admire your optimism ! Why would anyone come here in the holiday season ! What's to see or do ? Congratulations to Roger Gale for holding on to his seat for thirty years - but what has he actually achieved in Margate ? Oh yes, he's overseen it's decline. That's it.

Anonymous said...

Hello Simon, how far can you fly in your plane and do you have a spare seat ever?

Simon Moores said...

8:03 Endurance is four hours and that's about 400 miles.

I don't normally carry passengers only crew as I'm working when I fly.

When you think about it, each Kg in weight costs money in fuel, which is why BA has decided it can save £9 million a year simply by replacing pilots' briefcases, filled with charts, with iPad s.

Anonymous said...

Briefcases to ipads. Are you saying I need to lose weight before I'm allowed on your plane!

Simon Moores said...

No.. what I'm saying is that there is no such thing as a free seat. Every Kg lifted into the air required energy in the form of fuel at £2.25 a litre

John Hamilton said...

Talking of Brighton did you see our diversity champion there, I just wondered if you spotted any of his pink banners flying about inciting voicemails and homophobia. Then again too much other rubbish to even notice no doubt. Maybe he should consider going the same way as clr driver, the green with envy party and toddle off over there and do something constructive instead. He won't get in here again anyway with his bullshit!