Archive for the 'heritage & arts' Category

Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts & trains from London to Ramsgate

We had a day out of the office and off the tools – it was a Mr & Mrs T P away-day to London.  Started off drinking Pimms on the Fast Train to London St Pancras.

First destination was the RAA for the annual summer Exhib, which we really enjoyed.  Thing about a day out without the kids is that you can miss them and at the RAA I kept thinking about how much our oldest son would enjoy this.  He has come with us in the past and been to many London Art Galleries and I am thinking I must bring him here in the summer holiday.

We then walked across central London and it was interesting to see how empty it was.  We both know London really well, i lived there for many years, and we were surprise at the lack of crowds. Is this due to recession or changing behaviour? Had some lovely Veggie food in Food for Thought at Covent Garden.  The money we saved on food could then be invested in alcohol so we went on to a bit of extravagance, a drink or two in the world famous American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. Seb Coe was there.

Can’t say any more about the evening’s entertainment but it involved us missing the last FAST train to Ramsgate from St Pancras, at the riduculously early time of some few minutes after 10.30! So we went for the fall back of a train from Victoria, only to find it is a bus service from Faversham!  We should have stuck with St Pancras with a change of train at Ashford.

o well, even this couldn’t spoil a lovely day out.

SX is my cousin. Yeah he is! (Tryin’ to use the lingo…)

Thought I’d tell you about my musically tallented young cousin.  He is just 18 years old and has built up quite a name for himself in the UK and the US as a hip hop /grime music producer/ composer. You can see his work at SX on You Tube or, should I more accurately say, hear the products of his labour.

This a lengthy interview with him with his music soundtrack.

I have just read an article on embedding you tube videos, so I might do more of this.

Royal Wedding Unique Collectible Memorabilia

Looking for something a little different, unusual, funny and highly collectible? A limited print run of these posters are being sold and signed by the artist… who also happens to be a good friend of mine, Chris Steele MA (RCA), 
a ‘knockout’ screenprint based on boxing posters of old.
Be the first to show your support of with this unique work of art, designed by iDLEHANDS and printed by hand in Great Britain.
’The Main Event’ poster is 50 x40cm and hand printed the old fashioned  way.                                      £25.00 inc FREE P&P. 
unique collectible royal wedding poster

unique collectible royal wedding poster

I just noticed their website is being revamped: but you can direct enquiries via email: 

Interview with Chris about the post is here:

Turner Art Gallery in Margate opens in April 2011

How fortunate that the national state holiday for the Royal Wedding on Friday 29th April 2011 will not clash with the Grand event of the opening of the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery here on the Isle of Thanet.  That important event will take place on 16th April and I for one am far more interested in the latter:

Grants are being cut… by the arts council

It’s not just the museums at Margate & Ramsgate which are facing the loss of grants this year.

 The Arts Council is cutting funding for many Kent projects:

For example, you can read here what a Thanet based company have to say about their lose of funds:

 The Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury is also affected.

If you are a Thanet Resident who doesn’t know about the saga of the museum funding issues then you need to be looking at recent feeds:

The blog of Tony Beachcomber (which is almost always fascinating and makes people with metal detectors sound mostly interesting) tells you all you need to know – 

 More information with a coating of political colours can be found on the various blogs of our councillers. eg

Finally, I have completely revised my What’s On page – which serves at the T.P. family diary for local events.

More New Year’s treats – Panto

We thoroughly enjoyed the Panto, Aladin, at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (sorry – the local offerings were less appealing) – there are shows for 3 more weeks. The actor Lloyd Hollett was really good and apparently he is from Margate. I got quite close to him as he fell off the stage, into my lap – we were in the front row – was this a part of the show or and accident?

The ticket price was a little scary – no wonder the theatre was half empty. When we saw the show, however, we thought it was actually excellent value for money.

Far better to spend the Christmas budget on trips to the Theatre rather than presents no one wants and too much food – I think.

The show was more than 2 hours long (excluding interval). As well as the usual jokes, songs and banter. There were:


amazing magic tricks throughout – I was in the front row, I watched carefully and I don’t know how they did them;

very good impressions.

There is a lot to be said on the subject of unwanted presents – such as how they are upfor auction on ebay – some not even opened!

What about the morality and economics of such waste? To quote another Times writer: Kate Muir “the British nation, have given around £1.1 billion worth of unwanted presents to each other over yuletide. That’s the GDP of Malawi..”

Margate Theatre Royal

We went to see Invisible Bonfires by Forkbeard Fantasy at the . One night only, much anticipation and hype. Not sold out but a large audience for a Monday night.

The show consisted of about an hour of amusing, interesting and entertaining moments.  The show was an hour and three quarters, however, with no interval. I particularly like the animated story of the carbon weevil. Mr T.P. enjoyed the cast and customer interaction before the show.

By the end I needed to check out the loos but I could not bear to stay in the Theatre any longer. I crossed my legs for the drive home. Dangerous – as I was the driver.

If you are seeking more reviews I found these:,,2177696,00.html

Turner contemporary -Margate’s Art Gallery or Roller Coaster?

Mr Tara Plumbing and I are rather fond of Art and we are lucky enough to have visited many great Art Galleries around the world, such as , , in addition to those in London and Edinburgh.

I can not resist telling you I’ve seen loads of Pollocks:

So you might imagine that I would be excited about the prospect of a new Art Gallery being built on our doorstep, in Margate. 

Well, NO. 

Much as we have happily parted with many pounds to look at Art, I think we have parted with far more money in the pursuit of thrilling fun fair rides.  I have never planned a holiday specifically in order to visit an Art Gallery, whereas I’ve planned many weekends away around the Thrills of Alton Towers and Blackpool (even taken in Drayton Manor Park on route – roller coaster that you stand up on).  Returning to the attractions time and time again, spending money in the local eating and sleeping establishments.

As for day trips, over the past 16 years I may have visited Chessington World of Adventure alone more times than I have visited all of London’s art galleries (not exactly sure of this).

Based on the huge unrepresentative sample which is my family – people do not travel far out of their way to visit an Art Gallery unless the area has a lot more to offer.  People will travel to the back of beyond to go on unique roller coasters (do you know how hard it is to get to Alton Towers – there is nothing else there and it takes forever).  What is more – people actually return to go on the same roller coasters year after year!

How many people, from outside of Thanet, do you estimate would make an annual pilgrimage to Margate to visit the Art Gallery?

So my point is a new Dreamland, if it was really good, could attract far more business and money to the local area than an Art Gallery.  Thanet is easily accessible for day trips and weekends for most people in the South East.  An amusement park which attracts mostly young people is the ideal compliment to the nightlife in the Margate.

Margate Dreamland and or Turner Contemporary are often discussed, it seems to me a lot of sensible comments were posted in response to this blog:

I can not imagine why any one would travel many miles to visit an Art Gallery in Margate when London has so much to offer.

The Margate Exodus

Filmed in Margate in 2006, will be shown on Channel 4, Monday 19th Nov. 9pm.

 This art film was Produced by Artangel, details here:

Mr Tara Plumbing and I have been on the Artangel mailing list since 2004 when we went to see

Die Familie Schneider in London

Two east London Terraced houses had been made to look identical, and room were divided in to smaller rooms.  This is what Schneider is known for.  Visitors had to explore each house individually, by appointment only.  The atmosphere inside the houses was oppressive, creepy, scary, sinister – you just need to experience it.    In each house there were people – also looking identical – women washing up at the sinks; men masterbating in the showers; and some weird stuff going on in the bedroom. It was an experience I shall never forget.

If you happen to be in Australia within the next week or so, there is a Schneider creation on Bondi Beach.

‘The tide is High’ in Broadstairs

I was searching to find out the local times for High Tide, when I came across this excellent website all about Broadstairs:

Broadstairs is just a 2 mile walk from my home and I will be there frequently in August, for the Broadstairs Folk Week (see link on right) which starts 10th Aug. 

In good weather it is an ideal place for families to relax whilst watching the outdoor entertainment.  There is a free ‘family’ (children’s) show at the Bandstand every day from 11am.

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