May monthly members newsletter


Dear *|FNAME1|*,

Can We Meet Again Soon?

Photo by Mike Goldwater of Rose Black signing books at our last live event

I write this in advance of the expected freeing of restrictions on large indoor meetings but wanted to inform you of plans being made in anticipation of the new possibilities. Our last live talk was from author, Rose Black, on Sep 7th 2020 and we are hoping to restart our monthly talks from the 2021 Ramsgate Festival of Sound (August 27 to Sep 5th). Our intention is to host three literary-based talks for the Festival with Jacqui Ansell, Clive Aslet and Julia Abel Smith all speaking about books which feature our town.

In addition to these events, Richard Oades and I will be contributing to a Festival workshop about the USAF in Manston in the 1950s. Thank you to everyone who responded to the April Newsletter call for reminiscences – we were delighted with the number and depth of memories we received and hope as many Society members as possible will come to the workshop and final performances.

All details on times and places for these events will follow once confirmed.

Terry Prue

Ramsgate Society Communications Lead


Historic England Funds Emergency Repairs to The Clock House Ramsgate

Photo by John Walker of Craig Mackinlay with Mike Foley, the local heritage and conservation surveyor and member of the Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum who has been a key player in project managing the repairs to the Clock House.

The Clock House in Ramsgate is an iconic Grade 2* Listed Building which housed the Ramsgate Maritime Museum, currently closed because of the Coronavirus Restrictions. Last year the Clock House was placed on the Historic England Buildings at Risk Register. The building has lacked any proper maintenance or repairs for the last 40 years and is in a poor condition. This deterioration has worsened over the last 12 months as due to the Coronavirus Restrictions the building has remained closed since March 2020.

In February this year The Ramsgate Society applied for and was successful in obtaining a grant of £23,000 from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Response Fund to carry out some emergency repairs at the Clock House. The repairs are essential to stabilize the loose stonework around the clock tower, which is in danger of falling through the roof, and to repair the leaks in the roof that are causing damage to the interior of the building.

Craig Mackinlay the local MP and Chair of the Civic Society APPG visited the site this week to inspect the work and to offer his support for the Ramsgate Society Project to renovate and extend the building as a modern Heritage Centre for the town. Total costs are expected to exceed £3 million and a decision is expected later this year on whether the project will be a priority for inclusion in the £20 million grant application which Thanet District Council are currently preparing for submission to the Governments Levelling Up Fund.

Craig was very keen to go up the scaffolding to the very top of the Clock Tower, being the first MP ever to do so since the building was built in 1817. You can read more about his response to the experience in his own press release.

John Walker


The Clock House and Maritime Museum. Call for Volunteers.

Photo: John Walker

Plans are moving ahead for reopening the Maritime Museum but we still need more volunteers to join a small team organised by former Ramsgate Society Committee member Janet Reid who has led on this for the Society for a number of years now.

If you are interested in helping and would like to know more about it please email us with your contact details and we will get in touch with you to discuss what you might do and when. It is particularly important for us to be able to open the Museum for a summer season that includes the Royal Harbour 200 year anniversary activities.

John Walker


The Jackey Baker Litter Pick

Team Photos from Jackey Baker’s Field

On Sunday 2nd May the Ramsgate Society and the Ramsgate Litter Forum organised a litter pick at Jackey Bakers Field, a large recreation ground in Newington.

We were approached by a number of people who came to the Pegwell Bay Litter Pick on 11th April saying that the litter situation at the Jackey Baker recreation ground was appalling and couldn’t the Society do something about it. We put out a call to our members and to the Ramsgate Litter Forum and fixed a date of Sunday 2nd May at 10am. It was a bright sunny day and we had a good turnout of volunteers. Jackey Bakers is a very large open space with playing fields and a children’s playground and as is sometimes the case with a large area there doesn’t seem to be a lot of litter but once you start it’s astonishing just how much litter there is as the photographs show. The local residents were very pleased to see us and several came out and thanked us, which is always very gratifying when everyone works on a voluntary basis.

Our thanks once again to Chris Barton and Maxine Morgan at Ramsgate Town Council who brought along a goodly supply of litter picks and sacks and arranged for TDC to collect the bags of litter the next day. Thanks also to Tricia Austin who Chairs the Ramsgate Litter Forum and to Meher Basit who leads on this for the Ramsgate Society and all the people who volunteer out of a sense of civic pride.

Our next Chine to Chine Litter Pick is planned for Sunday 13th June from 10 am till 12 noon starting at the Clock House in Pier Yard. Do please join us then.

Details are on our website here

John Walker and Meher Basit


Two New Local Activities Worth Sharing

Members may be interested to know that there is now a new guided walk to join Rotten Ramsgate, the Blitz walks and our own costumed walks – apologies if I have missed others! Blue Badge guide, Sandra Silva will be leading heritage-based walks from Fridays to Mondays from the end of May. You will find details and time-slot booking here.

Mooch, the local public arts practice led by Theresa Smith, is working with Historic England on their High Street Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme called Twin Towns. They are “twinning” Ramsgate in Kent with Ryde on the Isle of Wight, both coastal resorts with many connections. Using the #HistoricHighStreets as inspiration, Mooch is creating the fantasy Isle of Rydesgate. They are involving locals to make the templates for the model buildings so if you fancy having fun with your drawing skills, please contact them for template instructions to help create Rydesgate High Street or for more info visit Twin Towns.

Terry Prue


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