April 2023 Monthly Members Newsletter

Dear Terry,
Welcome to a rather ‘bumper’ edition of our monthly members Newsletter. We hope you find it informative and, if local, will be able to attend some of the many activities through the remainder of this month and into May.
Terry Prue

The Proposed Manston Cargo Hub Second Judicial Review

The future of the former Manston airport site has been a long running and controversial issue. The Society has conducted its own primary research and closely monitors the arguments for and against. The Society’s position was, and remains, firmly rooted in the evidence.
On 18 August 2022, the Department for Transport announced that the Secretary of State had, for a second time, decided to grant a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the re-opening and re-development of the disused Manston Airport as an international cargo hub.
The first DCO had been quashed by the High Court in February 2021 when the Secretary of State, on the advice of his own legal team, conceded that his decision letter did not give adequate reasons for granting the Manston Airport Development Consent Order 2020.
The matter was then referred back to the Secretary of State, Grant Schapps, to redetermine the DCO Application. He appointed his own independent consultants, Arups, to advise him and they concluded that the original Inspectors decision to recommend refusal had been correct and that the DCO should again be refused. Once again, the Secretary of State overrode his own expert advice and granted approval for the second time. What is going on- you might well ask!
In its final report to the Secretary of State, the original Examining Authority said “the levels of freight that the Proposed Development could expect to handle are modest and could be catered for at existing airports” and that RSP had “failed to demonstrate sufficient need for the Proposed Development”. The Examining Authority concluded that “… the benefits of this proposal would not outweigh its adverse impacts” and recommended that the Secretary of State should not grant development consent.
Subsequently, Arups, the Independent Assessor appointed by the Secretary of State concluded that there had been no evidence presented in respect of the quantitative need case, nor significant or material changes to policy that would lead to different conclusions being reached to those reached by the Examining Authority in 2019.
The Society has always had concerns about the national need for an international cargo hub at Manston and the adverse environmental impacts the proposal would bring on the town of Ramsgate with its population of over 40,000 people living directly under the flight path. These concerns were clearly shared by the Examining Authority and the independent consultants Arups.
The decision by the Secretary of State continues to be contested.Permission to hold a further Judicial Review into this second DCO decision was granted by the Court on 23rd March 2023. It was based broadly on the lack of evidence of ‘need’ and on adverse impacts on climate change and the carbon ‘net zero’ target. This second Judicial Review hearing has been set for 5th and 6th July 2023. The total legal cost of this second JR will be in the region of £75,000 of which over £45,000 has already been raised from local donors with approximately £30,000 still to go.
If you would like to contribute to that fund please click on the link below which will take you to the Manston CrowdJustice donations website
Contribute to CrowdJustice: Manston 2
John Walker

Upcoming Events

1) Current: ‘Banned’ Exhibition at the Turner Contemporary

We have been pleased to provide research support and publicity for Sabina Desir’s Banned exhibition at the Turner Contemporary. Indeed, many of you sent us memories that helped Sabina locate the children of American airmen based in Manston in the 1950s. The exhibition closes May 8th.

2) April 25: Ramsgate Society ‘Hustings’, The Modern Boulangerie 7pm

Fully booked and, if you have reserved a place, don’t forget to attend

3) May 14 Walk: Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve

Photo: Irene Seijo
Sunday 14th May. Meet in the reserve car park at 11.00am. Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve (NNR), is located just outside Canterbury between Stodmarsh Village and Grove Ferry Picnic Site and is one of the best places in the country to enjoy the outdoors and experience spectacular wildlife. It is owned by Natural England and managed for wildlife and visitors. The nature trails across the Reserve will help you get the most from your visit and take you past wildlife hotspots. You could bring a pair of binoculars to get a close-up view of the wildfowl from the bird hides. Dogs are welcome in most areas of the reserve if they are on a lead.
The reserve car park is east of Stodmarsh village, located along with the turn off between the Red Lion pub and the church (CT3 4BB). Voluntary car parking charges can be paid in advance or on the day using the RingGo app.
The walk will take approximately 2 hours and can be wet in places if it has rained recently, so appropriate foot ware is recommended. To book at place click the link Stodmarsh Nature Reserve
We are asking for a booking fee of £5, which will go toward our sustaining our current projects.
If you wish, you can book lunch after the walk (approximately 1.00pm) at the Grove Ferry Inn. (Grove Ferry Road, Canterbury, CT3 4BP). www.groveferryinn.co.uk. Call 01227 860302 or email info@groveferryinn.co.uk

4) May 15: Ramsgate Society Talk on Wilkie Collins at Royal Temple Yacht Club

Fully booked for this talk by Paul Lewis of Radio 4 ‘Moneybox’ who is also secretary of the Wilkie Collins Association. Doors open 6:30pm for a 7pm start.
If you have booked, don’t forget to come. If you now cannot attend please cancel your ticket on Eventbrite or, if that is not possible, let me know.

5) May 25: Garden Tour at Walmer Castle, Deal

Photo: Irene Seijo
We have organised a tour around the gardens at Walmer Castle, on Thursday 25th May at 1.30pm. It will be led by the Head Gardener, Phillip Oostenbrink. This tour will include the garden history as well as horticultural details of plants in the gardens.
Walmer Castle gardens have many interesting features including the herbaceous borders and formal and informal gardens plus the recently re-created 19th century Pleasure Grounds, woodland walks, wildflower meadow and sunken glen garden.
You may be able to park in the grounds, but this depends on the recent weather and state of the ground. There are additional car parks across the road. We will meet near to the ticket office at 1.15pm for 1.30pm start.
The tour will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes, after which you can enjoy tea at the Lord Warden’s Tearoom serving light lunch or refreshments using seasonal produce sourced from the Kitchen Garden or try the Glasshouse Cafe in the beautiful setting of the Kitchen Garden. You may also like to see inside the castle or wander through the grounds again.
We have 25 places available, tickets for the garden tour will be £8, this does NOT include admission to the Castle and Garden. For members of English Heritage this is free, otherwise you will need to pay and you can do this do this online at the EH Walmer Castle website https://bit.ly/WalmerCastle-Booking – this will be cheaper, but you can also purchase an admission ticket at the ticket office on the day.
To book at place click the link https://bit.ly/walmercastle-gardentour

A New Treasurer for the Ramsgate Society

At our meeting on 6th April, our Treasurer Neville Redvers-Mutton formally resigned his position as Honorary Treasurer of The Society and handed over the role to David Lister. Neville’s contribution as treasurer and trustee has been invaluable and very much appreciated by his colleagues on the executive committee and indeed by our entire membership. Fortunately, he has agreed to remain a trustee so we will continue to benefit from his knowledge and experience, both in our financial affairs and in the general management of the Society. Aside from his voluntary work, Neville has a very demanding professional role in the Arts which involves much travel.
David Lister has generously agreed to be co-opted to the Committee and take over the role as our treasurer, subject to his appointment as trustee at the forthcoming AGM. We welcome David wholeheartedly and look forward to working with him.
For well over 40 years, David has worked as a bookkeeper and accountant for small businesses, becoming self-employed in 1984. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.  He has lived in Ramsgate since 1988 and is ‘semi-retired’ while still having active clients over a range of local businesses and a few from his previous time in London.
Graham Woolnough

Renovating the Shelters – When and Where

Photo: Guy Sawtell
We are now active on the East Cliff and welcome volunteers to help with cleaning and renovation. As always,the weather has to dictate which days we manage to get out on the shelters so it is very difficult to have set days. If you can help, get in touch, and we will add you to our WhatsApp Group “Shelters” where our current volunteers get our plans and dates. We have to arrange hot water and materials, step ladders etc. so it is difficult to plan at the last minute.
The next planned day (weather permitting) is Tuesday the 25th April when we have a team of volunteers coming from “Saga” to join us. If you would like to join us on the 25th or (as it is rather close) just to be informed of future dates and places then email me and give me your name and telephone number so that I can add you to our WhatsApp group. We are a very friendly team (often with refreshments provided!) and all are welcome.
Davena Green

Ramsgate Society Talks: A Callout for Help

Photo of Sabina Desir’s March Talk: Janet Prue
Full houses at our talks have become regular features and our next one on May 17th featuring Paul Lewis on the ‘Complicated Life of Wilkie Collins’ is already 100% booked.
In response to requests made, we want to explore the possibility of recording and/or providing live links to talks and other events like the, also fully booked, Hustings. If you have the expertise – and preferably already the equipment – we would love to hear from you if you could volunteer to take this on for the Society. Contact me.
Terry Prue

Contact the Ramsgate Society

If you have any queries about or for the Society please get in touch
Members with events, workshops or news that you would like the Society to consider featuring in its newsletter please contact: news@ramsgate-society.org.uk
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Ramsgate Society

c/o The Custom House
Harbour Parade

Ramsgate, Kent CT11 8LP

United Kingdom