February Monthly Members Newsletter


After a small lull in activities through the dark days of winter, our newsletter this month includes a rush of new events to tempt you to come out again. From talks to walks and subjects as diverse as heritage, nature and the environment.

For those of you who want to keep in touch but who are no longer living close to Ramsgate I hope you might enjoy sharing memories of cinema going in Ramsgate with the ‘Magic Hours’ project.

Terry Prue

Our Next Ramsgate Society Talk: Banned. Place, Belonging, Identity

Royal Temple Yacht Club March 17th

Sabina Desir and Richard Birch at ‘Banned’ Exhibition Opening
Photo: Terry Prue

Members may be aware that we have been providing research support to Sabina Desir for gathering memories from those who were here (as children of course) during the time the American Airforce was stationed at RAF Manston during the ‘Cold War’ period of 1951 to 1958.

Newspaper research and our calls for people with memories through social media and this newsletter produced nearly 100 recollections and from these we traced many of the images and stories you will find at the exhibition currently running till May 8th at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

The exhibition, curated by Sabina with Richard Birch as Visual Adviser, relates to differing responses by town council and most local people to having 2,500 USAF servicemen on their doorstep. These included 200 African American’s and other non-whites who, because of the racial segregation of the US military, were directed to be billeted and seek entertainment in Ramsgate while the white servicemen were encouraged to concentrate in other Thanet towns.

We hope you will be pleased to learn that Ramsgate residents demonstrated a general hospitality to the airman, regardless of race, and fought against their own town council when the mayor suggested banning all American servicemen at Manston having access to the town facilities.

The presentation on March 17th by Sabina and myself will provide extra detail on what we found and stories behind what you can see at the Turner. It is also a ‘thank you’ from us for the wealth of information we collected from Ramsgate residents before the passing of time risked that they would be gone forever.

As usual you must pre-book to attend and doors open at 6:30pm for the presentation and discussion runs from 7pm to 8pm.

Click here to book

Radford House Follow Up: March 31st

Photo: Terry Prue

Were you inspired by our January Radford House talk about the ambition of Ramsgate Town Council to create a valuable community asset out of the old Fire Station? Or perhaps you missed the event and want to learn more before you could decide to contribute to the discussion of possibilities. What is there in this building that could be useful to you? Your views will be especially welcome if you are an event organiser or a member of a community organisation that could do with more space.

We have arranged a follow-up, starting at 2pm on 31st March, for up to 20 people to tour the building and to engage with Suzy Humphries, the Radford House Community and Events Organiser. You must book for this free event but please only do so if you will definitely attend – numbers are strictly limited.

Note that until renovations start, which include installing a lift, the two upper floors at Radford House are reached by fairly steep staircases. We apologise but please bear this in mind.

Book here

Terry Prue

Beach Roamer Walk

From the Clock House at Ramsgate along the Thanet Coastal Path to Botany Bay: February 23rd

Join us on a beach roamer walk from the Clock House at Ramsgate along the Thanet Coastal Path to Botany Bay on Thursday 23rd February. We will meet at 11.00am outside the Clock House, the walk takes you past quaint beach huts, and secluded sandy bays taking in unbeatable views across the English Channel. We will walk along the coast to Dumpton Bay, Louisa Bay, Viking Bay and onto Stone Bay, from which there are steps up to a short stretch along the road to Joss Bay, Kingsgate Bay and then on to Botany Bay. The walk is approximately 4.4 miles and will take about 2 hours. At Botany Bay you can stop for lunch at the Botany Bay Hotel, you can book a table on their website.

Apart from the steps at Stone Bay the walk is mainly flat, but if walking back is not for you then you can walk up Percy Avenue from Botany Bay to George Hill Road and catch the Loop back to Ramsgate.

We are asking for a booking fee of £5, which will go toward our sustaining our current projects.

Book a place

Irene Seijo & Sue Gyde

All Day Nature Walks: March 2nd, 9th and 16th

Photo: David Mills / Pegwell Bay looking towards Pegwell village

These specially organised nature walks for members of the Ramsgate Society will run twice in March. It will be led by Keith Ross, our local wildlife guide & filmmaker who’s work has appeared on BBC Springwatch & The One Show.

The walk is around 6 miles. Bring your own drink and a picnic, binoculars (2 pairs can be borrowed) and sturdy footwear. We will be walking at a steady pace over uneven ground so you will need to be fit and healthy.

We will be looking out for kingfishers, fulmars, peregrine falcons, waders & visiting winter wildfowl. Also, there’s a possibility of catching sight of lizards and seals.

The maximum group size will be 6 members.
Cost – £20 of which
£5 to Ramsgate Society and £15 to Keith.
All day – start at Sailors church at 10 am. Return about 4.30.

To book, use the links below:

Sue Gyde & Irene Seijo

To book for March 2nd
To book for March 9th
To book for March 16th

The Ramsgate Design Awards are now open for Nominations

Details of this Award, organized by the Ramsgate Society with Ramsgate Town Council support can be accessed on our website.

As well as containing details of categories and deadlines you will now find a nomination form that can be completed online and submitted direct from the site.

John Walker

The Ramsgate Society’s Chine to Chine litter pick Sunday 26th March

The Ramsgate Society are very pleased once again to be part of the annual Great British Spring Clean. Together with other local volunteer litter picking groups we want to make Ramsgate a place to be proud of, for both residents and visitors alike. We meet at Pier Yard by the Clock House Museum at 11am.

We will divide into groups and litter pick in both directions; east towards the Eastcliff chine and west through the harbour to the Westcliff chine. Just bring some strong gloves and everything else will be provided. Since beginning our litter picks the number of society members participating has increased year on year so let’s make this the best yet!

Everyone is welcome, family, neighbours and friends.

Register your attendance here

Irene Seijo

Presentation on Building the Ark Movement in Thanet: March 3rd

We draw your attention to an upcoming talk at The Modern Boulangerie for anyone interested in playing a part in nature conservation through their own activities in their own garden. This is not a Ramsgate Society endorsement (we will be there to hear for ourselves too) but it certainly looks to be an interesting idea worth finding out about. To quote from their own literature:

“200 species are becoming extinct every single day. We have pushed nature to the edge. Where will all the wild creatures go?

Individuals can’t save the world alone. But if millions of us work together to save our own patch of earth – then we really have a shot. How do we do it? With Acts of Restorative Kindness (ARKs) An ARK is a restored, native ecosystem. It’s a thriving patch of native plants and creatures that have been allowed to re-establish in the earth’s intelligent, successional process of natural restoration. Over time, this becomes a pantry and a habitat for our pollinators and wild creatures, who are in desperate need of support.

I ask people to give at least half of any land under their care back to nature and to grow food in the other half if possible. The time has come for humans to step up and share this earth, which we are impossibly lucky to inhabit, with the countless other creatures who also call it home, beginning with our own patches of it.

Dedicated to my mother Earth, my true family, the rooted and unrooted, the seen and unseen. Thank you for affording me the gift of life on this beautiful shared home of ours. My life is yours. Your health is mine. This book, this movement, this work, is all for you – Mary Reynolds.”

Click here for tickets

Terry Prue

The Magic Hours Cinema Project

The Palace Cinema in Broadstairs has launched a project to gather the memories of audiences and cinema workers across generations in the three Thanet towns. There are two opportunities coming up in Ramsgate to record your reminiscences:

1. At the Home Front Tea Room Feb 23rd between 1:30 and 3:30pm

2. In Ramsgate Library Feb 25th between 10am and 12 noon.

You can also complete a questionnaire here or simply email info@thepalacecinema.co.uk

I hope the project will have good representation from Ramsgate – after all we had no less than 5 full time cinemas in the 1940s (Kings, Picture House, Palace, Pavilion and Odeon/later rebranded as Classic). One by one all of these had closed by 1985, at which point the much-missed Granville Theatre came to fill the void and was fully converted to a cinema in 1991. Sadly, with the cause attributed to Covid-19, its doors closed again in March 2020 and is now being re-converted back to being primarily a theatre.

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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