April monthly members newsletter


Dear *|FNAME1|*,

A New Twist at the Lift

(Photo Ruth Cutler)

Following the pleasure expressed in previous newsletters about the lift roof repair, it was rather alarming to see this sign appear on the East Cliff. A statement on the TDC website posted April 1st explained “Unfortunately our seaside lifts at Viking Bay and Ramsgate remain closed. Even if temporary repairs can be made to get the lifts open, contractors have advised there is no guarantee they will stay working during the season.” This was no April Fool joke – although subsequently the permanently closed sign has disappeared.

A further statement from TDC Corporate Director of Communities, Gavin Waite followed on April 10th with this as an extract: “The seaside lifts at Viking Bay and Ramsgate are currently closed and require repair work before they can be safely opened this year……. A report will be presented to the Cabinet in June outlining the extent of the issues and the associated costs in order to inform a longer-term decision”.

A petition has been started in Broadstairs to encourage TDC to keep both these lifts running. It has nearly 3,000 signatures at time of writing and can be found here

Terry Prue

Ramsgate Society Communications Lead


A Big Thank You

(Photo: Terry Prue)

We would like to extend a very big thank you to everyone who has agreed to adopt one of the 50 trees we recently planted in the Ramsgate Conservation Area.

All the trees have now been adopted, apart from 2 which were damaged by vandalism, but replacements for these are on order and we have people waiting to adopt them once they are in place.

The Adopt a Tree project has raised £2000 which we will use to maintain the trees until they get properly established. We are currently awaiting quotes for a watering contract as the trees will need regular watering over the summer months- despite all the rain we have had this winter.

Many people have asked whether they could put a small plaque or token on their tree to say they have adopted it. We are looking into this at the moment and will contact all adopters about this by email shortly.

John Walker and Irene Seijo


Ramsgate Society Pegwell Bay Litter Pick

(Photos: Melinda Winter and Richard Oades)

We had our biggest ever litter pick on Sunday 11th April when over 90 people turned out for the event in Pegwell Bay and collected 85 sacks of litter plus assorted pieces of metal, wood and plastic.

The event started at 10am when John Wilson, the Kent Wildlife Trust Warden for East Kent gave a short talk about the Pegwell Nature Reserve which is of national and international importance for thousands of migrating birds and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Volunteers began to assemble at the Viking Ship Cafe car park from 9.30 am where cafe owners Andy and Debra were ready and waiting to supply coffee, teas and refreshments on what was fortunately a glorious sunny Spring day.

After a short health and safety talk which included a reminder of the current Covid Restrictions we moved off in groups of 6 down to the beach where we worked flat out for 2 hours picking up the litter that for the most part is washed up all year round by the tide. Unlike our usual town based litter picks, which consists mainly of fast food cartons, drink cans and bottles, the litter at Pegwell is mainly very small pieces of plastic, fishing netting and fishing line which gets tangled up in the natural vegetation and can be seriously life threatening to the wildlife.

The high attendance numbers, aided partly by the glorious weather, is an indication that people are much more aware now of the adverse effect litter can have on our natural environment and on the wildlife that depends on it, and are prepared to actually do something about it.

Our thanks to all the volunteers and especially to Meher Basit the Ramsgate Society Committee member who led on the organisation of the event. Thanks to Stuart Smith at TDC since the equipment was given by TDC, the rest was supplied by RTC and Kent Wildlife Trust. Thanks also to Ramsgate Town Council Senior Technicians Maxine Morgan and Chris Barton who removed bags for disposal at the end of the event. This was a great collaborative effort with the Ramsgate Litter Forum and showed that when we all work together we can achieve so much more.

John Walker


The Clock House and Maritime Museum – Call for Volunteers

(Photo: John Walker)

The Ramsgate Maritime Museum had to close in March 2020 because of the Covid Restrictions and has remained closed since then.

During this period the building remained empty and its condition deteriorated due to water ingress and loose masonry on the clock tower. At the beginning of the year the Ramsgate Society was successful in securing a grant of £22,800 from the Historic England Covid Emergency Repair Fund to carry out some emergency repairs in the building to stop the water getting in and to remove the loose and dangerous stonework around the clock tower.

The scaffolding went up in March this year and the works are ongoing and are expected to be completed at the end of April. The scaffolding will then be removed and we can have safe access to the building again.

We are now thinking about opening the Museum for 3 or 4 days a week during the summer months. To do this we will need to recruit a few volunteers to help us staff the reception area as people arrive to view the museum collection. Would you be interested in joining a small team of volunteers organised by former Ramsgate Society Committee member Janet Reid who has led on this for the Society for a number of years now.

If you are interested in helping and would like to know more about it please email us with your contact details to and we will get in touch with you for a conversation.

As to the long term future of the Clock House we understand that TDC are now seriously considering our proposals to restore the building as a new Heritage Centre for Ramsgate and we are expecting to hear more on this in the Summer.

John Walker


Ellington Park Regeneration Project

The Ellington Park Regeneration Project was originally the brainchild of The Friends of Ellington Park, led by Beverley Perkins, and is something the Ramsgate Society has supported whenever possible from the start. It took some years to persuade Thanet District Council to support the project, but eventually they recognised the community commitment to the park, and agreed to support a successful bid of £1.6million to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

When HLF approved the grant they said that what they particularly liked was the fact that this was a grass roots bid “from the community.” Work commenced in 2020 but unfortunately the Covid Pandemic soon put the brakes on the works programme. This year things have started to move again and it is hoped that the project will be completed this coming Autumn.

Two of the main elements in the scheme were the complete restoration of the historic bandstand and the construction of a much needed Ellington Cafe which will be the focus of community events and activities.

Our photos show the completed but as yet unopened bandstand and the Ellington Cafe currently under construction including the flint walls that form the terrace to the cafe. The axis between the Cafe and the Bandstand will form a great space for events and we look forward to enjoying using these facilities for some of our own events once they are open to the public.

John Walker

(Work in progress photos: John Walker)

The Finished Café from Architectural Plans


Our Next ‘Ramsgate Matters’ and a Call for Help

The spring edition of our bi-annual magazine will soon be on its way to Society members and it is a bumper edition full of historical information about the harbour and so much more. To help with distribution we urgently need volunteers to help deliver copies in the CT11 and CT 12 postcode areas. Each delivery round will comprise about 20 magazines and that we would try as far as possible to locate each ’round’ conveniently to the volunteer’s address.

If you can help, please contact The Secretary.


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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