Monday, 8 February 2010



I hope ECR enjoyed Inside-Out tonight as the BBC 'borrowed' inspiration from his hilarious 'Bonanza' paint on /paint off clip from last year. Did anyone spot the 'Cabinet Member' and 'OBE' on 'Wogers' high vis jacket in the replay of last year's interview? I missed it first time round. Why stop there, I thought, why not have a medal ribbon or two, as well. I wonder what 'Mauwice' has on his high vis jacket?

I am surprised that Tony Flaig on Big News Margate, expresses ignorance on Euroferries and the 'Bonanaza' saga; should have followed 'Strife' on the subject since this time last year, Tony and you would have been better informed.

Well my informants from last week were pretty good in respect of  LD lines and The Norman Spirit. If Mr Gillan of Euroferries reads 'Strife' and I am sure they do from their 'offices', here is a clear example of how you start up a passenger ferry service from Ramsgate so read carefully the announcement below and for those in Thanet, one is reminded of 'Sally' again:

LD Lines and Transeuropa Ferries have announced a commercial agreement to commence a collaboration on the Ramsgate – Ostend freight and passenger ferry service, initially operating one vessel together.
Starting between 15th and 30th March 2010, the two companies will co-operate on commercial aspects of the route with LD Lines taking a lead in the development of the tourist passenger business, whilst Transeuropa Ferries will continue to build its focus on freight traffic and ship operations.
The agreement also includes fleet changes with LD Lines’ Norman Spirit transferring to the route, which Transeuropa Ferries will operate on a long term charter basis.
Norman Spirit will be re-named Ostend Spirit, operating two return sailings daily, with a crossing time of four hours. The ship is expected to replace one of the current Transeuropa Ferries’ fleet later in 2010.
LD Lines’ Managing Director, Christophe Santoni, said, “We are very pleased to announce this development which will combine the considerable expertise of both companies.
For LD Lines it will further expand our ferry service network and we can now offer the market an extensive choice of routes from the west to east across the English Channel to France, and now to a northern located port in Belgium. The port of Ostend geographically is very well placed to attract new business from the Benelux, Germany and Eastern European countries.”
Dominique Penel, General Manager of Transeuropa Ferries added : “This makes good economic sense for both companies in relation to moving the service forward. Transeuropa have established an excellent, solid freight business via the Ramsgate – Ostend route since we began in 1998 and now with a larger ship, we have the potential to improve the level of service to our freight customers whilst also developing the tourist traffic through LD Lines’ passenger marketing resources.”
The newly named Ostend Spirit will continue to operate under the British flag and be branded in LD Lines’ and Transeuropa Ferries’ colours.
Mr Johan Vande Lanotte, Chairman of the port of Ostend and former Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium said, “This is excellent news for the port of Ostend and for the region. This is a clear signal we have survived the worst of the crisis and we are now building for the future. This co-operation is an important step in our plan for growth.”
In Ramsgate, Councillor Roger Latchford, Thanet District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said, “This is marvellous news for both Ramsgate and Thanet. The port was built to receive vessels of this size and it’s good to welcome them back, especially because of the increased freight and passenger business they represent.”
Ostend Spirit will be returning to her original home port of Ostend, having previously been named Prins Filip. Built in 1991 by the then Belgian ferry operator Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT), the ship entered service in 1992 on the Dover – Ostend route, switching to operate between Ramsgate and Ostend, where she remained until 1997.
The ship will be transferring from LD Lines’ Dover – Boulogne service in March, to be replaced by the ex Brave Merchant which will be re-named,to further develop the route’s freight and tourist traffic and continue to provide a service frequency of four return sailings daily.
Built in 1999, the UK flag 22,152 gross tonnes Brave Merchant has capacity for 2000 lane metres for freight and tourist vehicles and up to 400 passengers.
LD Lines’ tourist fares on the Ramsgate – Ostend service will be available for cars and passengers, cars and caravans, motorhomes, motorcycles and for added on board passenger comfort facilities include cabins and sleeper seats. LD Lines’ launch offer starts from £24 single for a car and five passengers, subject to availiability.
LD Lines’ cross channel ferry service network includes : Dover – Boulogne, Newhaven – Dieppe and Portsmouth – Le Havre routes. For more information and to book : or call : 0844 576 8836.
For Transeuropa Ferries information contact : orcall : 01843 595522.
Issued on 8th February 2010


Anonymous said...

I commented to someone that their (EF) attitude wasn't intelligent.

The reply 'that's because they aren't, just bullies and it will always be someone elses fault'.

Adem said...

Of course I think it's only fair that we wait to see if this service starts, but with ti concernign two established companies I cannot see why this shouldn't happen. They do have a boat after all ;)

Anonymous said...

She is a big ship and needs a big turning circle trans europa have draught problems on low ebbs Who is going to pay for the dredging if needed?But good luck to the new service which is almost guaranteed to start on time

Anonymous said...

Perhaps 'Old Big Ed' Latchford has a ceremonial hat to wear as well, some sort of two hat jobbie like his illustrious larder.

They could also take up the trend of World Cup Football teams. They have a star for each world cup win. Perhaps Latchkey and Eze-kill could have a star on thier hi-viz for each Standards Rap! Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you blew your cover on national tv but it gave your blog a good promotion!
Think it is another white elephant that an ever desperate council have fallen for and now realised the folly of their ways. A bit like the S106 proposed night flight lifting, if there is a possible punter we will capitulate entirely, call us TDC - we are open for business to any dodgey enterprise, do nothing to encourage anyone local unless they are one of us!

Bertie Biggles said...

22.25, my 'cover' was blown in July 2008 as a result of TDC's Leadership sending a uniformed police officer to 'harrass' two of its own Cllrs and threaten them with arrest if they did not reveal my identity re 'Tesco bags'. Suffice to say, the uniformed officer never appeared on my doorstep and his superiors were unaware of his activities.

Since then, it has been a case of 'Thanet's worst kept secret'! It has caused me amusement as some have worked on 'exposing' Bertie's identity. Happy to be 'known' but as I am schizophrenic by nature, I choose to use my 'nom de guerre'on Strife.

In the matter of Euroferries, I suspect that TDC has behaved cautiously and wisely but who are we to believe? TDC just will not be open with its electorate.

Anonymous said...

TDC have not wasted money on dredging unlike Boulogne for the phantom ferry.

Now they will have to for the arrival of Norman Spirit but I bet this contract is signed in blood !

Anonymous said...

I suspect that TDC has never behaved wisely, they prevaricate and bluster with a bunch of directors who don't think further than the next freebie to china or wherever. Didn't TDC host a big EF launch party in the summer invite the great the good local mp's etc (in fact eveyone apart from the local voter) ply everyone with finest malt whisky and champers
caviar canapes interspaced with back slapping and "oh how wonderful are we"

Anonymous said...

8:56 yes they did, and here is the Press Release.

Date: Friday, 31 July 2009
Contact: Hannah Thorpe
Press Officer
Tel: 01843 577 120
Fax: 01843 295 343



A new fast ferry service, which will provide great travel links between Ramsgate and Boulogne, has been agreed between Thanet District Council and Euroferries.

The new cross channel passenger service ‘ Bonanza Express’, will see five daily crossings between the two ports and will be operated in conjunction with renowned fast ferry operator Fred Olsen. It will carry a combination of cars, foot passengers, coaches and a limited amount of freight and caravans to the continent and is expected to commence in September.

A second vessel is expected to join the service in 2010 to help increase passenger capacity.

The state of the art ferry will reach speeds of up to 38 knots and is expected to provide a rapid journey time of 75 minutes. Onboard the vessel, passengers will be treated to an extensive ‘tax paid’ shopping area, restaurants and first class designated area.

As part of this agreement it is also anticipated that this new service will provide two dedicated passenger terminals, one at Ramsgate and one at Boulogne, which are expected to include shopping areas, restaurant and waiting lounge facilities.

Deputy Leader of the council, Cllr Roger Latchford said: “We are delighted that Euroferries, working in partnership with Fred Olsen will be operating out of the Port of Ramsgate .The council has been working very hard to regenerate the area of Thanet, and this additional ferry service, which will operate from Ramsgate will greatly enhance tourism prospects to the area as well as providing much needed employment opportunities. The quick crossing times and easy access into both ports will make this service an attractive alternative route into France and will really prove an invaluable part of the wider regeneration of the district. This is a great attraction for Thanet and we extend a warm welcome to Euroferries and wish them every success.”

Per Staehr Chairman of Euroferries said: “The signing of this Agreement with Thanet District Council enables us to look forward to building a long term relationship with the local community. Our new five crossing a day high speed service, will be focused on tourist traffic and takes full advantage of the new motorways both to Ramsgate and Boulogne along with the fast turn round terminal facilities within both Ports. This agreement permits us to shortly announce the release of the new web booking service, further details and the provision of our new commuter coach service between London's Stratford Hub and Ramsgate serving Canterbury and the Medway towns. Whilst, today is Thanet District Council's special occasion, we are delighted to attend and to welcome our partner Fred Olsen. The impending arrival of Bonanza Express, Incat 96m in its new Euroferries livery will provide the opportunity for Euroferries to welcome you when we will make further announcements."

Cllr Peter Campbell, deputy leader of the Labour Group in Thanet, welcomed the news that EuroFerries are to run a new ferry service from Ramsgate Port. "This is really good news for Ramsgate & Thanet. Our Labour Group supports an expanding and vibrant port, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy. May this service flourish".