July monthly members newsletter


Dear *|FNAME1|*,

Whether the weather be good…

Photo by Mike Goldwater at the last Ramsgate Festival of Sound

‘Ramsgate has several sorts of weather all at once; and having paid your money (for lodgings or hotel), you can take your choice’. So wrote F.C. Burnand, the editor of Punch and resident of 18 Royal Crescent in 1872.

Braving the risk of ‘several sorts of weather all at once’, Covid has added to the list of outdoor activities this summer that should appeal to locals and visitors alike – if only it can be dry! We list a few with links to find out more:

  • Blitz, murder, heritage and costumed historical walks all take place in Ramsgate throughout the summer – details of most are listed here.

  • Four Ramsgate Gardens open for the National Garden Scheme on Aug 8th – see below

  • Broadstairs Folk Week (Aug 6th to 13th) has taken the bold step of having all main events in an outdoor arena – details here

  • Ramsgate Festival of Sound (Aug 27th to Sep 5th) will have much that is outdoors, including Nadine Shah at the Winterstoke Sun Shelter – details here

  • Ramsgate Royal Harbour 200th Anniversary (Sep 24th to 26th) has yet to reveal their event list but it will include some on the beach – details will be posted here

And there are always the places for an al fresco drink including two that are particularly scenic: the pier end outside the Harbour Brasserie and The Ravensgate summer residence at the Boating Pool.

Terry Prue

Ramsgate Society Communications Lead


Manston Air Freight Hub: Think again Minister!

Photo: East Kent Times

There have been many twists and turns in the tale of the bid by RSP to reopen Manston Airport as an air freight cargo hub. To follow the plot demands close attention, as an observer, and even more as a player. The Society has contributed as a member of the cast since 2017.

The Planning Inspectorate submitted its report in July 2019 recommending refusal of the DCO (Development Consent Order). The Secretary of State for Transport went against the recommendation and approved the DCO. So where are we now in 2021? Those Members monitoring these matters will be aware that, following legal challenge, on 15th February 2021 the High Court quashed the Decision of the Secretary of State to grant planning consent for the RSP proposals to re-open the former Manston Airport on the grounds that:

” In his decision letter dated 9th July 2020 the defendant (the SoS) did not give adequate and intelligible reasons to enable the reader to understand why he disagreed with the Examining Authority Report on the issue of need for the development of Manston Airport. The lack of adequate reasons in the Decision letter rendered the Secretary of States decision unlawful”

In fact, SoS chose not to offer any evidence to the Court. The Secretary of State is now required to think again, to re-determine the DCO, and to provide reasoned justification for that decision. Before doing so the SoS is required to consult the Interested Parties (IPs), which means those individuals and organisations that took part in the Examination in Public (EIP). The Ramsgate Society, as one of many IPs, was notified of this stage on 11th June. The deadline for submission was 9th July. The Secretary of State now has until 9th October to review the consultation responses and issue a new reasoned and intelligible decision.

IPs were asked to consider changes that have taken place since the Inspectors ceased taking evidence in 2019. From the outset we have maintained that ‘need’ lies at the heart of the matter, and we have continued to do so in this 20-page latest submission.

In our submission we make the fundamental distinction between ‘want’ and ‘need’ that lies at the heart of the debate. ‘Want’ is about desire and aspiration. ‘Need’ is something required, where a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome. ‘Need’ is also a function of the gap between ‘demand’ and ‘supply’. We examine major changes and events since July 2019. including Brexit, the Covid pandemic, as well as climate change emissions policies and actions. We consider what impact these have on the short and long term demand for types of air freight. We look at the competition: the current leading UK freight handling airports and assess their current and planned scale of operations and their impact on the airfreight sector.

Our submission to the EIP in 2019 was that there was no justification for Manston to be re-opened as a cargo hub fundamentally because there was no evidence of current or forecast shortage of airfreight capacity in the UK . In this new submission we assess the situation in the light of the latest evidence and remain firmly of the same opinion.

View the Society’s Response Document online.

Richard Oades



Refreshing the Festival Fountain

Photo by John Walker

The Society has long been keen to renovate our Festival of Britain Fountain. First it was cleared of rubbish and now painting has started – just one coat on the lower ring in this photograph.

We approached Gabriel Holland – a member of the Ramsgate Heritage Design Forum and a Farrow and Ball Colour Consultant – and she kindly advised us on the paint colour we should use. After careful consideration of a number of similar options it was decided to use the Farrow and Ball colour “Pointing”.

We then discussed the matter with the TDC Conservation Officer Josie Sindon who was happy for us to go ahead. 10 litres of masonry paint were purchased from Brewers in Margate and delivered to the Technical Team at Ramsgate Town Council. A huge thanks to them for all their work clearing the rubbish and now conducting the painting which they hope to complete by the end of July.

The cost of the paint will be met by The Ramsgate Society. There will be no charge from RTC.

Once this work has been done, we are going to turn our minds again to the matter of getting the fountain back into working order.

John Walker


Ramsgate Society Information Boards get a New Lease of life

Photo by Graeme Campbell of four walkers from Sittingbourne consulting a ‘clean’ sign

Many members will have seen and admired the Heritage Information Boards that the Society placed around the Harbour some 10 years or so ago.

The boards were designed and made on the theme “Ramsgate People and Places” They are an excellent example of what good quality well designed information boards can do for the town’s reputation as a visitor attraction. The project was conceived and delivered by the Ramsgate Society with funding from Kent County Council and the excellent designs and sturdy construction have stood the test of time.

As with most seaside locations the weather, the seagulls and the occasional grafitti artist have meant that most have been looking the worse for wear. I was therefore delighted to hear from a member and neighbour mine, Graeme Campbell, that he had decided to take matters into his own hands and has very kindly and single handedly cleaned and restored all the Ramsgate Society Heritage Information Boards

Graham told me: “I was inspired and informed by them when I first arrived in Ramsgate. The information boards show what good design, well researched, clear writing, and great images can really do for Ramsgate. I have also seen many visitors stop and read them over the years.”

This is a great example of Civic Pride in Action. Without any fuss Graeme saw something that needed doing and just did it! Thanks Graham. We all of us really appreciate your efforts to keep Ramsgate such a delightful place to live and work.

John Walker


‘Secret’ Ramsgate Gardens Open for the NGS

Photo Mike Ashley: A corner of his garden on a previous NGS Open Day

Look out for a group of four Ramsgate gardens opening on Sunday August 8th from 12 till 5pm as part of the national Garden Scheme. You will find them at 104 & 106 Grange Rd, 6 Edith Rd & 12 West Cliff Rd and there is a combined £5 entry fee raising money for nursing and health charities. Personal reasons prevent Society Committee member, Mike Ashley, and his wife opening their garden this year but delights now include the garden of Brian Daubney, our esteemed editor of the Society’s Ramsgate Matters magazine. The set of four Ramsgate gardens can be pre-booked here

Terry Prue


Contact the Ramsgate Society

If you have any queries about or for the Society please get in touch N.B. 2021 membership is now due – if you have any membership queries also use this link to ask about it.

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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