June 2023 Monthly Members Newsletter

Dear Terry,
Welcome to our June newsletter. The subject of our July talk has now been finalized and it is sure to be a big draw so I advise you to book early to secure a place.
Terry Prue

Our Next Talk: The Tall Ships and Ramsgate Harbour

Photo: Michael’s Bookshop Blogspot 2009
Our next Ramsgate Society talk will be led by Paul Bishop and Stephen Byrne on the possibility of bringing Tall Ships events back to Ramsgate as a way of using Ramsgate’s maritime heritage to boost the visitor economy on which the town is so dependant.
Paul Bishop is the Race Director for Sail Training International (STI) and was responsible for The Tall Ships Races 2022. He also advises on technical aspects of sail training within STI and liaises with host ports on the infrastructure, in-port facilities and port programme necessary for the Tall Ships Races. Stephen Byrne is a Ramsgate resident and long-time supporter of the idea of bringing the Tall Ships back to Ramsgate and will talk about the Ramsgate perspective.
Ramsgate Royal Harbour was designed as a port of refuge for Tall Ships and presently hosts occasional tall ships, usually attracting a great deal of local and visitor interest.
The last tall ship fleet welcomed to the harbour was in 2009 when a group from Holland were hosted by the Royal Temple Yacht Club where this talk will be held. The popularity of Tall Ship events is clearly evidenced by the remarkable consistent success of such events managed by Sail Training International which organises Regattas (port to port events with typically 15 to 20 vessels) and Tall Ship Races (long distance events covering many ports for larger fleets and larger vessels).
All are welcome and attendance is free for members of the Ramsgate Society with non-members requested to make a voluntary donation of £3. Doors open at 6:30pm with the talk starting at 7pm.
To attend you must book in advance here.
John Walker and Terry Prue

Manston in Wonderland?

Public domain image by Tenniel
On 5th July in the High Court the next episode in the long saga of Manston Airport will be played out when the judicial review of the second decision by the Secretary of State for Transport to grant a Development Consent Order will be heard. The story has not been without its twists and turns which put me in mind of the Court Scene in Alice in Wonderland at which the Knave of Hearts is on trial for stealing the tarts.
The proceedings are a fiasco and eventually the King shows his exasperation:
“Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said for about the twentieth time that day.
“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first – verdict afterwards.”
“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”
“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple. “I won’t!” said Alice.
“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved. “Who cares for you?” said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”
Those people who have followed the Manston Airport proceedings closely may well recognise some similarities with the DCO proceedings and the trial in Alice.
  1. The DCO application was allowed to proceed by the Secretary of State despite the fact that it didn’t meet the basic requirements of a National Infrastructure Project. Why would he do that?
  2. A full public inquiry into the application took place over 6 months with four Senior Planning Inspectors hearing evidence from dozens of expert witnesses and the general public.
  3. The Inspectors found that in 8 out of the 10 issues that they investigated the application failed to meet the requirements and recommended that The Secretary of State refuse the application.
  4. However the Secretary of State rejected his own Inspectors recommendation and granted the DCO. Why would he do that?
  5. Following a Judicial Review brought by a local Ramsgate resident, the Court quashed the Secretary of State’s Decision and referred the matter back to the Secretary of State for re-determination.
  6. The Secretary of State appointed a highly regarded international firm of independent consultants, Ove Arup and Partners, to review the evidence and to advise him as to what should be done. They recommended in no uncertain terms that the application be refused in accordance with the original Inspectors Recommendation at the Public Inquiry.
  7. However the Secretary of State rejected the Ove Arup Report and granted the DCO for the second time. Why would he do that?
  8. While all this was going on the Applicants RSP were paid £8.5m of taxpayers’ money by the Department for Transport in “compensation for delays in implementing their scheme to reopen the airport” and this despite the DCO being quashed by the Court.
Local residents await with interest the outcome of the second Judicial Review on 5th July but one can’t help thinking that, like Alice in Wonderland, this has been another case of “Sentence First- Verdict afterwards.”
John Walker

The Ramsgate Sea Front Shelters – The Ramsgate Society Needs You!

Photo: John Walker
Members will know that the 14 sea front shelters from East Cliff to West Cliff were renovated by the Ramsgate Society back in 2013 at a cost of some £450,000.
The shelters belong to TDC and the Society was granted a lease by TDC to enable us to maintain the shelters and keep them in good repair. We have held regular painting sessions over the last 12 years, though the Covid Pandemic did set us back for a couple of years.
When the restrictions were eventually lifted, we started again but found that the condition of the shelters had deteriorated and a great deal of repair work was needed before we could consider repainting them. On the East Cliff shelters there was a lot of rotten timber that had to be replaced, most of it with special intricate mouldings. On the West Cliff we found that much of the metalwork was covered in rust and it was a big job to get rid of the rust and replace a lot of rotten metalwork.
That work is now completed and we have started the repainting of the East Cliff shelters thanks to a number of volunteers who have stepped forward. With your help we plan to continue the work over the Summer and into the Autumn until all the shelters on both cliffs have been completed.
If you have a bit of time to spare and would like to join our volunteer team, please email your contact details to the Ramsgate Society Vice President Davena Green who leads on the shelters project for the Society.
Please come and join us. The work is easy and all the equipment is provided and we have a great time!
John Walker

Ramsgate Society 2023 AGM

A date for your diary– more details will follow closer to the time
You are invited to join us at the 2023 Ramsgate Society AGM which will take place at 6pm on the 6th of July at Radford House.
Item 9, as you can see below, invites feedback from you all!
Agenda for the event:
  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Minutes of 2022 AGM
  4. Matters arising
  5. Chairman’s Report
  6. Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for 2022
  7. Election of Executive Committee
  8. Election of Officers
  9. Members’ questions/comments/suggestions
  10. Any other business
To attend the AGM please register here.

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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Ramsgate Society

c/o The Custom House
Harbour Parade

Ramsgate, Kent CT11 8LP

United Kingdom