October monthly members newsletter

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Dear *|FNAME1|*,

Welcome to your Ramsgate Society Newsletter for October: a month when the change of season has become all too apparent and the incidence of Covid-19 is rising again. After a brief respite in September, our talks programme goes back on hold but the Society remains very active with the publication of a new members magazine, a detailed submission to the Feasibility Study on the Port of Ramsgate, a successful litter-pick and further planning for upcoming tree planting. All community organisations are being challenged but towards the end of this newsletter we are glad to report that we are not alone in still feeling optimism to make things happen in Ramsgate.

Ramsgate Port and Harbour Feasability Consultation

Many of our members will recall that the Society Committee carried out an online survey of our members to inform our response to the TDC Public Consultation on the WSP Feasibility Study on the Future of the Port and Harbour. The deadline for submissions was 2nd October and following an analysis of questionnaires returned we submitted our response on 23rd September. The full document has been posted on our website.

We would very much like to thank all our members who responded to our online questionnaire. Summary of our key conclusions and recommendations:

The Ramsgate Society:

(i) Welcomes the opportunity to respond to the WSP report and looks forward to working with Thanet District Council (TDC) and other stakeholders over the next few years to achieve a transformation of the area of the Royal Harbour and Port with the aim of increasing the amenities, employment opportunities, tourism attractions and prosperity of Ramsgate and Thanet. 

(ii) Strongly supports the comprehensive regeneration and redevelopment of the Royal Harbour, Marina and Port as an integrated whole, with a mixed-use, Marina Village style development of the Port site with an emphasis on leisure, hospitality, residential, retail and commercial, with some light engineering and industrial elements; 

(iii) Urges TDC to support this approach and enter into public-private partnerships with one or more companies which specialise in planning and delivering major projects, to develop with these companies a Masterplan, and to deliver the redevelopment on a phased basis. 

(iv) Proposes that the Master-planning process includes close consultation with stakeholders and the general public; 

(v) Believes that it is essential to undertake the renovation of the Clock House and Pier Yard as a matter of urgency. 

(vi) Recommends that TDC prioritises the modernisation of the Marina by awarding a contract with a long lease to a specialist marina development and management company with the aim of achieving five Anchor status within three years, and to work with Sail Training International to bring yachting regattas, including Tall Ships regattas, to the Royal Harbour. 

(vii) Concludes that the era of cross-Channel ferries and Ro-Ro traffic more generally has come to an end, and that no provision should be made for it in the Masterplan; 

(viii) Considers that the Port would provide better redevelopment opportunities if Brett’s operations were not retained within the Masterplan. However if Bretts were to remain in the Port at its current level and type of activity, the Masterplan would need to identify and secure appropriate screening arrangements in order to protect any new development from the adverse effects of this heavy industrial use. It would help to secure this outcome if Bretts could be persuaded to engage fully in the Masterplan process and to support its objectives. 

John Walker

Preparing for Our Tree Planting Initiative

On October 10th we held a walk-in event at the Custom House to share our plans for 2020 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ramsgate Town conservation area. To celebrate this the Ramsgate Society is planning to plant 50 trees within the conservation area for future generations to enjoy. We will be planting the trees during National Tree Week on Saturday 28th November – if social distancing rules allow. Mechanical support should be available but we need volunteers to help and if you can join us please contact ireneseijo@icloud.com or if you would like to donate to our fundraising campaign for this project follow the link http://bit.ly/ramsgatetrees


Ramsgate Society Autumn Litter Pick 2020

Our Autumn litter pick had been planned for many months but with the ever changing Covid Restrictions and the uncertainty about the weather we were never quite sure how this one would go but a bright sunny morning greeted us when about 40 people began to assemble in front of the Clock House.

Covid concerns meant we took special care to ensure that people worked in small groups, wore protective gloves, used the hand sanitiser that we had provided and left us their contact details for Track and Trace.

Thanks to Ramsgate Society Committee Member Meher Basit the operation was a great success. Meher is now a veteran organiser of our litter picks having organised our Spring and Autumn events for the last three years. She’s got it down to a fine art! Thanks Meher for all your efforts.

Special thanks also to Ramsgate Town Council’s Chris Barton (and his dog Aurora) who provided us with the use of the RTC litter picks, hoops and copious supplies of hand sanitiser, and who very kindly cleared away all the plastic bags of litter at the end of the event.

I can’t not mention the support of the Ramsgate Town Mayor Raushan Ara, and of Tricia Austin, Chair of the Ramsgate Litter Forum who’s network of supporters are invaluable to the success of these events.

As usual we spread out across the seafront between Winterstoke and Courtstairs and by the time we had finished no litter remained in sight. Huge thanks everyone who came and gave freely of their time and energy to make Ramsgate a better place to live and work. You can and do make a difference.

We are planning to have another litter pick in the Spring- probably in April- at a date to be announced nearer the time.

John Walker


Community Activities and News for October

The Heritage Lab CIC that had been working to gain the funds to renovate the ground floor and basement areas of the Granville this month reported that all is on hold. Rob Kenyon, CEO, said that their move to apply for grants “coincided exactly with the start of the pandemic shut down and nearly all of the funders we had approached stopped supporting new capital projects almost overnight.”

We hope this will not mean the end to their ambitious plan to restore an important Ramsgate building to the benefit of the town.

(Photo: Pete Bateson & Heritage Lab)

In contrary mode the Ramsgate Arts Barge CIC aims to completely repair, renovate & refurbish a 130-year old, 51-metre Dutch barge to provide a community waterfront hub to include a multi-faceted arts, events & performance space plus affordable artist studios
It’s reported that over 100 volunteers have now signed to be part of the project and launched a reward-based crowdfunder campaign on October 19th.
To find out more and perhaps pledge your support for this unusual community project, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ramsgateartsbarge  (Photo: Terry Prue)
Inevitably, the Ramsgate Music Hall has been hard hit by the cessation of indoor live entertainment. While not out of the woods it is gratifying that this award-winning local venue has this month been awarded Cultural Relief Funding – enough they say to keep the venue alive until April 2021 and to allow planning for the future.
The mysterious arrival of ‘Ramsgreat’ painted on a row of doors outside the Leopold St Car Park looks to have inspired Ramsgate Arts and Ramsgate Town Council to launch a ‘Ramsgreat Week’ of activities from Saturday 24th October to Sunday 1st November. The mostly free programme includes ‘Introduction to Circus Skills’ for families and support bubbles at Archive Cafe, Thanet’s first pumpkin trail, a spooky Screaming Alley Halloween event, and nine public exhibitions including three artist homes as part of East Kent Artists’ Open Houses.
Ramsgreat Week is one of twelve coastal town festivals as part of a Back & Fill national effort to encourage people to visit coastal towns and support small seaside economies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. https://backandfill.uk
To find out more about the programme, go to http://www.visitramsgate.co.uk/ramsgreatweek/

Photo: Richard Oades


Ramsgate in Print

The last year or so has seen an extraordinary flurry of books featuring Ramsgate with seven covered in some depth in the latest Ramsgate Matters magazine.
One of the least known, and deserving of a second mention, is Benedict Austen’s beautifully illustrated book of Ramsgate memories from 1938 to 1950. At £12.50 + p&p it is obtainable from j.b.austen@outlook.com
Could you do more to help us?
Do you have the time and inclination to want to join our Executive Committee of people united by their interest in our beautiful town?
See our website and the activities featured in our magazine and newsletters to consider where you may be able to contribute.
We look forward to hearing from you

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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