May 2023 Monthly Members Newsletter


Dear Terry,
Welcome to our May newsletter. Much to share with you, as always, and we hope to see you at our Climate Action Day on June 18th.
Terry Prue

Coming up soon: Join our Garden Tour at Walmer Castle, Deal on May 25th

Photo: Irene Seijo
We have organised a tour around the gardens at Walmer Castle, on Thursday 25th May at 1.30pm. It will be led by the Head Gardener, Phillip Oostenbrink. This tour will include the garden history as well as horticultural details of plants in the gardens.
Walmer Castle gardens have many interesting features including the herbaceous borders and formal and informal gardens plus the recently re-created 19th century Pleasure Grounds, woodland walks, wildflower meadow and sunken glen garden.
You may be able to park in the grounds, but this depends on the recent weather and state of the ground. There are additional car parks across the road. We will meet near to the ticket office at 1.15pm for 1.30pm start.
The tour will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes, after which you can enjoy tea at the Lord Warden’s Tearoom serving light lunch or refreshments using seasonal produce sourced from the Kitchen Garden or try the Glasshouse Cafe in the beautiful setting of the Kitchen Garden. You may also like to see inside the castle or wander through the grounds again.
We have 25 places available, tickets for the garden tour will be £8, this does NOT include admission to the Castle and Garden. For members of English Heritage this is free, otherwise you will need to pay and you can do this do this online at the EH Walmer Castle website – this will be cheaper, but you can also purchase an admission ticket at the ticket office on the day.
To book your place for our garden tour, visit
Sue Gyde

Climate Action Day for Ramsgate Residents June 18th

Image: Irene Seijo
The Ramsgate Society and Ramsgate Town Council are very pleased to be holding a Climate Action Day for Ramsgate residents.
WHEN: Sunday 18th June
WHERE: Radford House, Effingham Road, Ramsgate, CT11 9AT.
TIME: All day from 10.45am until 5.15pm
The purpose of the day is to give an opportunity for residents to share their views and to learn how we can all play a part in the mitigation of our climate crisis. It will be a positive and powerful day with many ideas for change that participants can apply in their everyday lives.
We are delighted that Dr. Chris Newman, a local environmental activist and Dr. Hannah Scott, TDC’s Climate Officer will be leading presentations and discussions in the morning. We will participate in Take The Jump, leading us to 6 simple things we can do to make an impact on climate change.
The afternoon will be a 3 hour Climate Fresk session, facilitated by Dr. Chris Newman and Phil Shotton, a local green activist and a member of The Ramsgate Society Committee.
Fresk is an exhilarating group activity helping people, whether or not they have any science background, to understand the fundamentals of climate change.
The day will end with a focused discussion on positive ways forward.
Lunch has been arranged for all participants at Flavours by Kumar, just down the road from Radford House. A fine Indian cuisine offering special vegetarian and vegan choices for our Climate Change Day.
This day is being offered to all Ramsgate residents so please make an early booking on Eventbrite.
The cost is £9 which includes a Kumar lunch and all handouts.
Please bring a water bottle for the day. Free tap water available.
A special plea. DO NOT BOOK unless you are absolutely certain that you can attend. The group work sessions need a full complement of participants to work successfully. If you have booked and are unable to attend, please let The Ramsgate Society know well in advance. We anticipate a waiting list to participate in this day.
We very much look forward to seeing you all at Ramsgate’s first Climate Action Day.
Click here to book: Climate Action Day
Sue Gyde

Report on Ramsgate Hustings meeting on 25 April 2023

Photo: Richard Oades
On Tuesday 25th April the Ramsgate Society organised its Hustings meeting in advance of the Thanet District Council (TDC) elections which followed on 4th May. It was held at the Modern Boulangerie in Harbour Street, was chaired by Mike Ashley, Ramsgate Society Executive Committee member, and attended by about 65 local voters.
The main four political parties (Conservative, Labour, Thanet Independents and Greens) plus the Reform UK party and an Independent each fielded a speaker standing in one of the seven Ramsgate wards; the one Liberal Democrat candidate standing was unable to attend. Each of the six speakers had a 4 minute slot to promote their manifesto, followed by questions from the floor, with half an hour at the end for a more general discussion.
Certain issues came up throughout the evening, from both the speakers and members of the audience. First, the governance of TDC (lack of transparency, excessive delegation to officers, failure to implement the recommendations of external reports).  Second, the future of the Port (continuing financial losses, the Ro-Ro proposal, the proposal to increase the size of Bretts’ operation, and more generally the failure to provide evidence of viability or a proper business case). Third, the failure of the main political parties to work together for the common good: it was noticeable that the loudest applause greeted any speaker who argued for the politicians to avoid political “slanging matches” and to work more cooperatively.
Although there was a lot of agreement among the candidates that TDC had suffered in recent years from very poor management from the most senior officers (described by one speaker as “toxic”), there was also a recognition that- following interventions from central government, the audit service and an Independent Monitoring Officer’s report- some positive changes had taken place, including the departure of those officers.
Also, there was agreement that the Levelling Up Funding would greatly help local regeneration. Other issues debated included a call from the Independent speaker for Thanet to become a unitary authority (i.e. delivering the full range of local authority services) with a directly elected mayor; criticism of Southern Water for the sewage discharges into the sea; and concerns over the level of new house building in Thanet, particularly in the Westwood area.
Michael Ashley

Ramsgate Society 2023 AGM

A date for your diary– more details will follow closer to the time

The Proposed Manston Cargo Hub Second Judicial Review

The second Manston Airport Judicial Review is to be heard in the High Court on Wed 5th and Thursday 6th July. The Crowdfunding Campaign is ongoing with a target of £75,000 to cover the legal costs, and we know that many members who have concerns about the adverse effect of the proposal on the quality of life for residents of Ramsgate have already donated.
Approximately £53,000 has been raised so far with a further £22,000 still to be raised. Those members who would like to support this project, can make a donation online.
Fundraising for the Judicial Review campaign will now include support from some entertaining activities including:
May 25th 7pm Upstairs at the Queen’s Head, Harbour Parade – Local art historian, Jacqui Ansell will give a richly illustrated talk on ‘Ramsgate in the Age of Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870). The talk will feature famous visitors to Ramsgate, such as artists Turner, Frith and Dyce and writers, Dickens and Austen.  This vibrant time in our history saw Ramsgate grow as a tourist destination for fresh air and fun. Tickets £15 ahead. Contact Christabel Smith to reserve tickets.
May 27th 7pm at the Small Boat Owners Club, 20 Guildford Lawn – Come along and hear the talented local jazz singer, Lynne Wallis, accompanied by pianist, Frances Knight. Tickets £15 on the door. Paying bar.

Cancellation of the Wilkie Collins Talk by Paul Lewis

Sadly, we had to cancel the Ramsgate Society talk about Wilkie Collins on the morning of the event due to Paul Lewis being unwell. I have passed on your responses to wish him a speedy recovery and hope the event can be restored soon.
In the meantime, since we had arranged for Book Bodega in Harbour Street to stock ‘The Law and the Lady’ we hope some of you might enjoy some relevant ‘homework’ before we can get Paul back again. This is one of the excellent but less familiar novels of Wilkie Collins which features one of his typically feisty heroines (so unlike Dickens!) and a plot that starts in Ramsgate.
Terry Prue

Contact the Ramsgate Society

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Ramsgate Society

c/o The Custom House
Harbour Parade

Ramsgate, Kent CT11 8LP

United Kingdom