April 2024 Monthly Members Newsletter

Dear XXXX,

Welcome to the April Ramsgate Society Newsletter.

We really welcome your support for our activities and, if you have not already done so,

please give us permission to reclaim tax on your membership fees. It does not matter

when you last paid because we can go back four years from the date you sign as well as applying it to future subscriptions. A win-win! We raise an extra 25% over what you

have paid and it costs you absolutely nothing. Details below!

Terry Prue

Ramsgate Society Communication Lead

Peeling Back the Layers of History for The Old Fire Station

Our Next Talk on May 23rd at Radford House

If you were lucky enough to be in the audience for the talk by Dianne Harvey-White on our Heritage harbour, you will understand why we have invited her back to talk about her work for Ramsgate Town Council on a Conservation Management Plan for the Grade II designated Old Fire Station (Radford House).

The conversion to Radford House as a community events centre is, of course, its second change of use since the building was not constructed as a Fire Station but converted from a private dwelling in 1904. Her research into the building known as “Effingham” revealed family links to the Tomson and Wootton brewery and also challenges several Ramsgate myths about the construction of the town. In a tantalising aside she suggests Effingham Street may not have been all it was talked up to be.

The building itself reveals clues to the previous layout and demonstrates an Edwardian interpretation of a Georgian building. Analysing the fabric reveals interesting phases of construction which contribute to the palimpsest of the building and its historic significance, providing information about the changes to domestic buildings over that time.

The talk takes place in Radford House on May 23rd and, time permitting, will also afford the opportunity to explore the building. As usual, doors open at 6:30pm and the talk of about 45 minutes will start at 7pm and be followed by about 15 minutes of Q & A. Places must be booked in advance at £2 (+ 88p for Eventbrite costs). Non-members of the Ramsgate Society will be requested to add a voluntary donation of £3 on the door.

Book here

Terry Prue

Will you Gift Aid your Ramsgate Society Membership?

Did you know that you can claim Gift Aid on your annual subscription to the Ramsgate Society?

Being a registered charity, The Ramsgate Society can reclaim from HMRC an extra 25p for every £1 you donate. That’s as long as you are a UK tax payer and make the donation from your own funds. Gift Aid is important for charities, and means millions of pounds extra go to the charity sector. Each time an eligible tax payer donates and forgets to Gift Aid the donation, the charity misses out.

If you would like to Gift Aid your subscription to the Ramsgate Society it’s really simple.

By clicking here, you will see a form to fill in and then automatically submit to our Treasurer – that’s all you have to do and it costs you nothing. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can print off the form, fill it in by hand and post it to: The Treasurer. Ramsgate Society. Custom House. Harbour Parade. Ramsgate CT11 8LP. By completing a Gift Aid declaration, you will enable the Society to claim Gift Aid on any subscriptions and donations you have made over the past four years as well as any you may make in the future.

If in the past you signed up to Gift Aid for the Society you will have already received a separate email. For everyone else, whether new member or old, please consider Gift Aid being added to anything you have paid over the last four years and to keep being added in the future until you request otherwise. As I said, it doesn’t cost you anything to do but it can make a significant difference to our income as a registered charity.

John Walker

Ramsgate Society Chairman

Climate Matters: Why does Climate Change matter to us?

One of the many ironies of the global climate crisis is that the nations and people most impacted are the nations and people least responsible for climate change.

Since 1850, annual worldwide CO2 emissions have gone from 2.84 billion tonnes (bt) to 41.46 bt in 2022. Of that latter figure 37.15 bt is due directly to fossil fuel extraction and use. The rise has been greatest since 1955, when total emissions were 14.24 bt, of which 7.44 bt related to fossil fuel use.

Up until 1955, the vast majority of fossil fuel emissions emanated from the US (2.73 bt), and Europe (3.23 bt). In 2022 Europe contributed 5.1 bt (a fall from their peak in 1989), Northern America contributed 6.49 bt, China 7.2 bt and India 2.61 bt. The other major contributor was the rest of Asia (7.52 bt).

Before you start thinking that our contribution is minimal compared to Asia and China, think where all your possessions are made. Your phone, electrical goods, cars, clothing, most of the world’s steel, concrete, plastics, computer chips are all made in Asia (predominantly China, South Korea or Taiwan) and India. Our emissions have fallen as we have exported most of our manufacturing (and therefore most of our CO2 emissions) to Asia and India. The emissions from these regions are significantly of our own making.

But who is suffering most from climate change? Islanders in the South Pacific are seeing their homes swallowed by the sea. Crop failures in Africa due to climate change are impoverishing millions of people. Fresh water supplies are becoming increasingly salty as sea levels rise and in Bangladesh salty fresh water is causing high blood pressure, organ damage and even death particularly among pregnant women.

Extreme water stress is affecting countries that are home to a quarter of the world’s population.

While the poorest countries are clamouring for a change, the first-world north-western countries have been largely immune from the effects of climate change, but not any longer.

The damaging effects of climate change are not restricted to the direct impacts of wilder weather, or rising sea levels. Secondary impacts such as failing water supplies, crop failure, desertification, insect loss (particularly pollinators) and socio-economic effects such as famine, mass population displacement and civil unrest follow on.

Already the warning alarms are going off in the north-western countries. The US has suffered catastrophic floods and fires, the severity of which is directly attributable to climate change. Homes in some areas are no longer insurable. Populations in countries in the front line such as Bangladesh and central African countries are on the move to escape extreme heat and flooding. The migration crisis is only just beginning.

Crop failures due to temperature change, drought and pollinator loss are already affecting staple crops across the world and have led to an increase in cocoa costs most recently affecting Easter egg prices. World coffee supplies are also under threat, increasing costs for consumers and impoverishing underprivileged communities in coffee-growing areas.

Water shortages in Italy could result in tomato, rice and olive oil shortages this season.

Land erosion from flooding and sea level rises is affecting a number of communities around Britain including the oldest 9-hole golf course, at Alnmouth.

Rising temperatures due to global heating are causing a long-term increase in mosquito-borne virus infections, as recorded recently in Australia and, following milder winters, tick numbers are on the rise in the UK, causing an increase in Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Network Rail is spending £2.8 billion over the next five years to protect the railway network from the effects of climate change and extreme weather.

Climate change is real, its damaging effects are happening now even in the UK, and without quick and effective action, it will rapidly get worse. We are all affected.

Phil Shotton,

Ramsgate Society Lead on Environment and Climate Change

Another Successful Ramsgate Society Litter Pick

On 24th March the Ramsgate Society undertook another “Chine to Chine” litter pick as part of the Great Ramsgate Spring Clean 2024. This week-long event took place between 22nd and 30th March and formed part of the national campaign by Keep Britain Tidy.

Co-ordinated by the Ramsgate Litter Forum, the weeks activities were supported by Ramsgate Town Council, Ramsgate Town Team, Thanet District Council, The Ramsgate Society, Winterstoke Gardens and East Cliff Projects, Friends of Albion Gardens, Eastcliff Community group, Addington Street Revival Fair, Ramsgate Litter Pickers and other local voluntary groups- so a truly magnificent community effort.

The weather was on our side and it was a bright sunny day. Those of us who took part had a very enjoyable time as I think the pictures show and we collected over 30 bags of litter.

We will keep you informed of our next Litter Pick event which usually takes place in the Autumn so watch this space!

John Walker

Ramsgate Society Chairman

A Brief History of The Clock House

Members will no doubt be aware that later this year work is expected to start on the renovation of The Clock House as Ramsgate’s Maritime Museum and Heritage Hub and we are planning a talk on this project as part of the Ramsgate Society talks series on Thursday 25th July.

Pre Covid the Society produced a leaflet about the history of the Clock House which was handed out to visitors to the museum but I’m not sure it was ever circulated amongst the Membership. I thought Members might like to see this Brief History of the Clock House, which is probably the most iconic building in the Royal Harbour and about to receive a much-needed restoration.

Click below to read (and if you wish to, print off) ‘A Brief History of The Clock House’

A Brief History of The Clock House

John Walker

Ramsgate Society Chairman

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