August 2023 Monthly Members Newsletter

Dear Terry,
Welcome to our August newsletter and as we launch into the high summer season for Ramsgate visitors there are several activities coming up that we want to tell you about – some from us and some involving other local groups with which we have an affinity.
Terry Prue

The Ramsgate Society Support for 23 for 23

The year 2023 marks the centenary of the appointment of Ramsgate’s (and Kent’s) first female mayor and greatest benefactor, Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills. To commemorate this, Ramsgate Working History have identified inspiring women from the town’s past whose contributions have sometimes been overlooked and lost to time. The 23 for 23 Leading Ramsgate Women are pioneers and trailblazers in civil rights, politics, business and the arts. Their legacy has shaped not only Ramsgate, but also the world we live in today.
To discover all 23 women included in 23 for 23 you can pick up a Walking Trail leaflet from all Thanet Visitor Information Centres and from businesses in and around Ramsgate. They will also be at the various events and (particularly for Society members further afield) you can click into the Facebook group “Ramsgate 23for23” to find out more.
We draw your attention now to two upcoming 23for23 events:
Lady Judith Montefiore (1784-1862) joins Dame Janet in the twenty-three. As one of the first Jewish women who moved in royal and society circles, Lady Judith was able to advocate for the many philanthropic and humanitarian causes she and her husband, Sir Moses Montefiore, championed. She was a gifted linguist, who read Hebrew and spoke five languages. A talented writer who penned the first Jewish cookery book in English, she produced a series of extraordinary journals of extensive travels across Europe and the Near East. This was at a time when there were few railways, and road and sea journeys were fraught with obstacles and dangers.
The couple made East Cliff Lodge on Ramsgate’s East Cliff their forever home in 1830. One of the few remaining buildings that formed part of the original estate, the beautiful Grade II listed Italianate Glasshouse in King George VI Memorial Park, will host a three-day exhibition from 31st August to 2nd September to celebrate Lady Judith’s life and achievements.
The exhibition introduces her travels and her cookery and household manuals. Although her books were written almost 180 years ago (more than 15 years before Mrs Beeton published her first instalments), Lady Judith’s ideas and advice still resonate today.
Local historians will be available during the exhibition for questions about Lady Judith’s fascinating life. It will also be an opportunity for visitors to share their own stories and knowledge of Ramsgate’s rich history and heritage.
Our next Ramsgate Society talk is by Catriona Blaker and will be on a new day and in a new venue (see above).  The title of her talk is “Jane Pugin: a First-Rate Gothic Woman and More”. Jane Knill Pugin married Augustus in 1848 and came to live with him in The Grange, Ramsgate. She was handsome and dignified and did not die until 1909, thus experiencing a whole series of changes and attitudes in Ramsgate and elsewhere.
How this resourceful woman coped, and how she occupied her time, will be the subject of this talk. Doors open at 6:30pm and the talk will run from 7pm to 8pm. The room has disabled access and there is on-street parking around the venue of the San Clu Hotel.
Places are being booked very quickly and you can apply here.
This talk will be followed by another in the 23 for 23 series towards the end of October by Laura Probert on Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills

Ramsgate Society at the Festival of Sound

We are supporting two events at the 2023 Ramsgate Festival of Sound. They both stem from our earlier involvement with Sabina Desir and her project ‘Banned’ exploring the ramifications of African American servicemen at RAF Manston in the 1950s.

Banned Live – August 25th 7pm to 10pm at Chatham House Grammar School

‘Banned Live’ features two incredible live music acts built around the vocal prowess of Randolph Matthews and Sabina Desir.
In the first half Randolph Matthews performs an exclusive commissioned piece called “Breaking Ground” in response to the thought-provoking exhibition ‘Banned’ at Turner contemporary. As an artist whose work embodies a deep appreciation for history and culture, Randolph’s performance highlights our shared values instead of our differences through a mesmerising blend of vocal songs, stories, soundscapes and interactive guest improvisations.
In the second half, Sabina Desir takes her place as vocalist alongside a breath-taking line-up of international Jazz and Blues musicians to present many of the numbers taken from a repertoire some might consider to be one of the most ground-breaking of the American cannon…the 1950s. In homage to the U.S servicemen featured in the Banned exhibition who served in Thanet from 1951-1958 the second act of the evening is dedicated to celebrating the music that they shared and their contribution to the regeneration of Ramsgate.
Works from the exhibition by Artist Charlie Evaristo-Boyce will provide the visual backdrop to the show.
Click here for tickets

The Moving Essence of Home presented by Dave Neita

August 27th 2:30pm to 3:30pm at The Royal Oak Hotel
We are also delighted to support Sabina Desir and The Festival of Sound in bringing this inspirational speaker to Ramsgate. His talk will explore the manner in which the concept and nature of home changes over a lifetime, with a special focus on the global traveller.
Dave Neita is a lawyer, a published poet, lecturer and international speaker specialising in cultural leadership.  He is a commentator on race, politics, mental health and the arts. An advocate for human rights and an expert in organisational development and mental health, Dave has worked with the Zurich Corporation, Hartford Financial Services and NASA and has delivered a sermon at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Redemption and Transformation. He continues to speak widely in Churches in the UK and abroad, promoting a redemptive and inclusive message of bringing about harmony in community.
You can find more details on Dave Neita and reserve a place through the Ramsgate Festival of Sound website
Visit the Ramsgate Festival of Sound website

Ramsgate Society and Heritage Open Days 2023

Heritage Open Days is the country’s largest heritage festival with around 5,000 events, over 40,000 volunteers and more than three million visitors taking part. Celebrating local history, architecture and culture, the ten-day event offers everyone the chance to see hidden places and experience something new, all of which are completely free to explore, though donations are very welcome.
Our local Thanet guide is put together by Sue Gyde of The Ramsgate Society, with support from Thanet District Council.  It showcases an exciting programme of free events, celebrating our fantastic local history, architecture and culture. across Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and the surrounding villages.
Copies can be picked up in Tourist Offices and other businesses across the town or you can see an online copy of the guide below.
View the guide

News in Brief

1.Saturday September 16th Lecture at St Augustine’s Church for Pugin Week
A rather special event for Ramsgate has Dr Jasmine Allen, the Director of Ely Cathedral Stained Glass Museum and an expert on nineteenth-century stained glass coming to give a richly illustrated talk on ‘Enabling Gothic on the World Stage: A.W.N. Pugin and the Great Exhibition’. The lecture, which is hosted jointly by the Pugin Society and St Augustine’s parish, will be held at St Augustine’s Church, St Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate CT11 9NY at 7pm. There is no charge for this event. For a full list of the local Pugin Week click here.
2.Clock House and Maritime Museum Survey
TDC has sent out a very brief survey on the future of the Clock House to help guide them in allocating funds from the government’s Levelling Up Fund. This is a project very close to our heart so please take a moment to give you views and thereby show how much you support it.
3.Autumn Edition of Ramsgate Matters
The deadline for submission of items (or request for items) for the next edition of our bi-annual magazine is the end of August. Thoughts should be sent to our editor, Brian Daubney.
4.Chairman’s Report from the 2023 AGM
This has now been loaded into the Archive section of the Ramsgate Society website. If you wish to read this summary of our activities since the AGM of 2022 click here.
5.Slides from the Tall Ships Talk
After our ‘sell-out’ talk on the possibility of bringing the Tall Ships back to Ramsgate we have had requests to share the charts from our four speakers and you can find them here.

And finally…

a thank you to all our members!  We very much hope that you enjoy all the benefits of membership and will wish to continue to support us.  Your membership fee helps us to publish and distribute two editions of our magazine ‘Ramsgate Matters’ to every member, maintain our programme of free talks and to deliver an ambitious programme of projects to benefit the town. This monthly emailed newsletter and our website aim to keep you informed of the Society’s work in all its forms.
If you have not yet paid your subscription for 2023/24, our rates are:
Single membership £15
Joint Membership £20
Overseas membership £20 (if the magazine is posted) and £15 (if sent by email)
Junior Membership £4
Corporate Membership £50


Your subscription may be paid by bank transfer or standing order payable to:
The Ramsgate Society (Sort Code 60-17-17 Account 82917043); or by cheque (Payable to The Ramsgate Society) and sent to: The Treasurer, The Ramsgate Society, c/o The Custom House, Harbour Parade, Ramsgate CT11 8LP.
Please use your name and membership number as the reference for your payment.
And, if you are not already a member why not join? You can do so at our website here:
Graham Woolnough