Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Elf n Safely

I have read some interesting posts and commented on other blogs particularly Thanet Life and Thanetonline where the discussion has turned to aviation matters in preference to gay marriage. Interestingly I made reference to an air crash at Stansted airport in  1999  Had this plane taken off from Manston it would certainly have threatened the safety of Ramsgate. The attitude of other commentators seemed mainly to be “so what, it didn’t happen here" OK I accept it didn’t happen here but it could.

At Thanetonline the main concern seemed to be pollution of our water supply and some commentators used the “negativity” card to “dis” the post. Sometime ago, Michael, whilst on his favourite subject of Royal Sands, reported a large chunk of rendering which fell off the cliff face and crashed 20 or so feet to the ground, injuring nobody. The comments then I believe went along the lines “no-one was hurt, so what”.

My point in this is that we live in a world of hard hats, steel toe capped boots, cycle helmets, risk assessment, proof of insurance when holding an event on council land, cancelled firework displays because the correct H&S form has not been completed on time, but really dramatic events are dismissed as irrelevant because they are too disastrous to contemplate.

If you were building a town, would you site it at the end of a 747 runway? Or if you were developing a major regional airport would you have a town at the end of the runway? I sincerely hope the answer is NO to both those questions. So it seems to me that Ramsgate’s gripe about Manston expansion is not negativity , just reasonable self-preservation.on Health and Safety grounds.

Just watching a report on TV about the unsinkable “Titanic”, isn’t it surprising that human blind faith can delude itself into thinking all is “in the pink” whilst peering through rose tinted glasses.

Any way I am off to bed now but I will be sure to be wearing my hard hat in case a 747 drops in over night, and my steel toe caps in case some plaster falls off the wall. Second thoughts better do a risk assessment before I leave this sofa .and check my insurance clauses before using the stairs. You never know!


  1. Ken, British Airways Flight 38 (call sign Speedbird 38) London Heathrow Airport, on 17 January 2008, for some bedtime reading

  2. No worries there mate, that one would only have taken out Nethercourt

  3. Or possibly the cabbage field out the back of beyond!

    Unfortunately, air travel has arrived after the building of most of our towns and airports, that were once in semi-rural suburbia, have been swallowed by urban sprawl. What would you have, Ken, no air travel at all, for in a country the size of England it is almost impossible now to site an airport totally isolated from housing.

    Years ago, when flying was far more dangerous and young men were even shooting each other out of the skies, Manston was there and so was Ramsgate. Like everything there is a risk, but do we totally deny ourselves modern means of transport and the economic potential of a proper regional airport because of it.

    As for the Titanic parrallels, well much of that myth has been generated by the film industry. Neither the shipbuilders or White Star ever claimed Titanic was unsinkable and, indeed, with the superstitious nature of those that make their living from the sea, they never would. But tell me, knowing a ship can sink, would it have stopped Titanic sailing. No, no more than the enormous unknown risks would have stopped Apollo 13 lifting off.

    Thank God there are still people in this world who take risks otherwise we would still be trying to survive in caves and killing a mammoth for supper. Wonder what the risk assessment there would read like?

    1. White Star Lines11 April 2012 at 19:38

      The Titanic was built, by JP Morgan, to be sunk first time out.

      It was an elaborate Vatican/bankster plot to eradicate certain wealthy individuals, such as Benjamin Guggenheim, Isa Strauss and John Jacob Astor, who were opposed to the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank and who might also have prevented the first world war from starting.

      Can't think why Hollywuuud didn't go with the truth, rather than the cover up. Or maybe I can.

    2. WSL, perhaps Capt Smith and Second officer Lightoller were Vatican spies. We had better watch out in Ramsgate, Lightoller's boat "Sundowner" is still here and he may come back to haunt us.

    3. the bigger the lie...12 April 2012 at 19:05

      Dunno about that, Ken, but JP Morgan cried off of the crossing at the last minute.

      All a bit too coincidental for me.

  4. Tom, that is my point entirely, we seem to accept "over regulation " for relatively trivial risk assessments whilst turning a blind eye to potential disaster scenarios, however remote. Has anyone done a risk assessment related to a plane crash on Ramsgate given the evidence from Stansted in 1999 and Heathrow in 2008

    As far as air travel is concerned there are plenty of alternatives for a SE regional airport, Lyde, Southend, Boris Island, Woodbridge, Bentwaters to name but a few.

  5. But they all have houses nearby with Southend in a far more densely populated area than Manston. It is all a bit anywhere but near me.

  6. Seem to me it is Manston whatever cost. Sacrifice, Ramsgate, our water supply and our tourist industry for a case that isn't even proven has is a need. If people are queuing to take off from Manston, where are all the daytime scheduled services. Cancelled for lack of support.

    No it is a left over wartime airfield which should be put to a more appropriate use, there are many options including aviation uses which do not include cargo night flights.

    Many of the others have no housing problems and Southend could be replaced by Foulness as suggested in the 1980's

  7. A very busy Manston with Thunder Jet fighters flying in and out constantly never damaged the Thanet tourist trade. Why should a few flights, day or night now.

    As for Southend, well it could be replaced with Foulness, but it hasn't and it is where it is currently sited that it is growing rapidily. Probably taking some of the business that could have come to Manston if we were not all so blinkered down here.

    I am afraid you have an entrenched position, Ken, thus making further debate pointless.

    1. Tom the war is over - get over it

      No passengers = no airport - not my entrenched position - just fact

    2. Ken, very witty, but the Thunder Jets were at Manston long after the war, assuming you mean the 39-45 one as opposed to Korean, Suez, Falklands, Gulf and sundry others.

      Whilst your equation makes mathematical sense, could not the failure to support and encourage the airport have contributed to its lack of use.

    3. Tom. I am not "anti" the airport, I just think it needs a big dose of realism in the equation to result in a use which suits everybody and is sustainable.

      Unfortunately, I do not see the airport as the saviour of Thanet's economy.

  8. See you have managed to pick up the conspiracy theory virus, Ken. Perhaps you need a stronger security system. It will all be down to the masons next closely followed by hijacked kids being sold by KCC in America.

  9. Tom, "White Star Lines" is entitled to his own opinion even if it is bonkers.

    Wonder if the iceberg was radio-controlled, Marconi obviously has a lot to answer for :-)

    1. White Star Lines12 April 2012 at 20:39

      Well you ain't going to get your improved 21st century by listening to Tom Clarke, Ken.

      No I think the captain may have been mind controlled in some way, that is the usual MO with these creeps.