Issue 2 - Spring 2019 Issue

Page 1

RAMSGATE Spring 2019



Modern-day Seaside Stories






Local illustrators discuss their craft

The Harbour Master’s House reimagined

The sewing group for women with dementia

How Pulhamite transformed the town














Book in advance online and save



ramsgate recorder


Contents 4

The Hotlist - the freshest events happening this spring


Spring News - the latest openings and happenings this season

Gemma’s Jaunts - our columnist goes loopy on the Loop


Drawn to the Coast - local illustrators tell us what inspires them

14 Safe Harbour - we take a look inside a historic harbour master’s house 18 Music News - Ramsgate’s musical movers and shakers 20 Speaking up - Stefan Gambrell shares his poetry journey 22 Stitches in Time - the sewing group for women with dementia 24 Archaeology & Ghosts - exploring Ramsgate’s hinterland 26 Secrets of Stone - how Pulhamite transformed Ramgate’s harbour 29 Unsung Heroes - we stop for the lollipop lady 30 Give Something Back to Ramsgate - important causes to give your time to

Cartoon Corner: The World According to Freddie

Welcome to our spring issue!

From the Editor Helen Pipins


elcome back folks… to spring and to our second issue. Although cold air and snow prevails, the longer days are already on their way and with that a new optimism. Snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells are the perfect tonic to blow the blues away. Firstly, we have to thank you all for the enthusiasm and kind words that greeted our first issue. Our aim is to keep highlighting the wonderful people and events that are happening all over our town. This time we meet local illustrators (p8). A couple of them have escaped down from London, while others were born and bred here, but regardless of how they arrived they all have talent in spades: from Patrick George, an illustrator with a keen interest in conservation, to Danny Branscombe who specialises in expressive cartography. Dean Samed a world-renowned book cover illustrator and artist while Kavel Rafferty uses a variety of media, from paint to found images, to create her unique style. We take a peek into one of the finest houses in Ramsgate, Harbour House, lovingly restored by local architects del Renzio and del Renzio (p14). A complete labour of love. David Frankel (p24) spins a moving and slightly spooky story about Pegwell Bay and its environs with atmospheric photos to match. We also visit the Pulhamite stones in

the company of Brian Daubney (p26), an extraordinary gentleman and absolute scholar. He gives us his insight into a history so far reaching that it takes us from the Côte d’Azur to the Isle of Wight and right back here. It is a story with heart. Music hasn’t lost out either (p18) - how could it when there is so much happening here? Singer Linda Lewis is on fine form as she lets us into her world, and musician Marc Eden generously shares his playlist. We had some sad news that the Music Hub that we included in Issue 1 will no longer be residing next to the Ramsgate Music Hall but they have found a bigger, better space. We will keep you up to date with where and when it opens in the coming months. Ros Anderson’s story (pg 22) about the sewing group will bring both happiness and a tear to your eye. Wonderful people doing extraordinary things for people with dementia. On a personal level I was lucky enough to have the amazing Martin Stirling create ‘The World According to Freddie’, a special cartoon about my rescue dog Freddie, a five year old Jack Russell who likes to wake up most of Ramsgate at 6am, and I’m not talking tea and toast! It seems Ramsgate is a town of dog lovers and it fitted rather nicely into our illustrated theme. We hope it makes you smile. Enjoy the issue and everything that spring brings with it. Helen x

Contact @ramsgaterecorder Issue Two, Spring 2019 (February to April) Editor Helen Pipins Founder & Publisher Clare Freeman Co-Founder and Advertising Director Jen Brammer Design Lizzy Tweedale Sub-editor Ros Anderson Intern Georgie Hurst Print Mortons Print Advertising and distribution enquiries

Front cover Illustration by Patrick George

Image by Tim Topple

Contributors Writers Anna Bang Brian Daubney David Frankel Gemma Dempsey Georgie Hurst Ros Anderson Suzanne Martin Zoe Davies

Published by Ramsgate Recorder Ltd. Photographers Adrian Davies David Frankel Illustrators Emma Falconer Jade Spranklen Martin Stirling Patrick George

© All rights reserved Copyright 2019 Ramsgate Recorder Ltd.

Spring Hotlist FEB

HA Harbour Comedy Club

Writers’ Gremlins Workshop

Four top comedians from the UK comedy circuit will grace the stage in a range of styles, including a Tommy Cooper-esque comedian magician!

A new monthly meet up for those looking for a fun and social way to get rid of pesky writers’ gremlins 2 February 3pm Townley’s, Albion House

15 February 7.30 - 10.30pm Oak Hotel, Ramsgate wilsoncomedian

Astronomy Viewing Evening

Theatre Network Thanet

Every fourth Friday of the month the Monkton Stargazers hold an astronomy viewing session which is open to nonmembers of the Reserve

A monthly meet up for locally based actors, artists, writers and theatremakers

22 February 6 - 10pm

Archive Homestore, Ramsgate

Monkton Nature Reserve loopingtheloop monktonreserve

Algiers Leftfield DJ Set A DJ set from this legendary British electronic artist

Rock, gospel, post-punk, industrial, soul... this is the genre-bending brilliance of Algiers

2 February

21 February 7.30pm

Dreamland, Margate

Ramsgate Music Hall

Jellyfish Preview

The Jam’d Live!

FLEX - PhiloDrama with Estelle Rosenfeld

5 February 6.45pm

22 February 9pm

Carlton Cinema, Westgate-on-Sea

Ramsgate Music Hall

Absolute Bowie

Absolute Bowie continue to celebrate the life and music of the Starman with a spectacular show uniting Bowie fans across the UK

Zero Waste Party Learn how to reduce your waste and make more environmentallyfriendly changes. Head to this workshop on making cleaning products using natural organic ingredients 7 February 10am The Nutritious Fig, Broadstairs MissGreenClean01

Made in Ramsgate

Free three-day blues festival, with over 60 bands performing across Broadstairs loopingtheloop

Ramsgate Soul by the Sea Soul Train Sounds is coming to the seaside for a regular soul night! Bring your dancing shoes....

The Yarrow Hotel, Broadstairs

Gadd’s POW! Quiz Night Join POW! Thanet for their fundraiser quiz night, including a five course meal with complimentary cocktail upstairs at Ayra. Tickets are £25 including the meal, or £5 for the quiz 4 March 6.30pm

A group of makers and artists showcase their work

23 February 8pm - midnight

The Ravensgate Arms, Ramsgate

9 February 10am - 4pm

Oak Hotel, Ramsgate

The Custom House, Harbour Parade madeinramsgate soultrainsounds

The Bake Off star returns to cook up a delicious Indian meal, 3 courses with welcome drink and canapés. Q & A afterwards

The Pavilion, Broadstairs

The Queen’s Head, Ramsgate

13 April 7.30pm - 2am liveband

Ramsgate Music Hall

15 March Sailor’s Chapel, Ramsgate

8 March 7 - 11.30pm

22- 24 February The Pavilion, Broadstairs

Ramsgate Music Hall


2 March 7.30 - 10pm

9 March 9pm - midnight

Star of Twin Peaks and stunning artist in her own right, Chrysta Bell is one of the most captivating artists working in dream pop today

Featuring live performances including Margate’s “broken-folk” group Lunatraktors

Supper Club with Chetna Makan

The Jam’d are now the country’s leading tribute to the Woking 3, playing all the major tribute festivals, rallies and venues around the UK

Tundra hit the Queen’s Head again for another night of non-stop partying

A gorgeously grungy altrock band with haunting vocals

28 February 6 - 7pm Archive Homestore, Ramsgate

Chrysta Bell

No Violet

7 March 7.30pm - midnight BroadstairsLit

The Rail Abandon Folktronica band The Rail Abandon will be returning to Vinyl Head with preview music from their forthcoming album

Georgie Hurst

Tundra Live

POW Festival’s Mermaid’s Purse

Estelle Rosenfield has created a type of ‘Philosophy for All’ she calls Philodrama, using drama games and exercises to think collectively and on your feet about tricky questions

British film Jellyfish has announced it’s coming home to the Thanet area with an exclusive People’s Premiere, with cast and filmmakers in attendance

Broadstairs Blues Bash

7 March

Compiled by

Serial Sundayz Vol:3 Wax Special Two rooms of vinyl exclusive drum’n’bass, where local artists can showcase their tracks and mixes 14 April 6 - 11pm Ramsgate Music Hall

Bread & Butter Duo Play Coco Latino The Bread and Butter Duo return to Coco Latino in Ramsgate for St Patrick’s Day 2019. Wear green, show off your best Michael Flatley moves and drink lots of Guiness 16 March 9pm - midnight Coco Latino, Ramsgate

Nouvelle Vague Witness the duo who appropriated the punk and post-punk cannon and ran it through the Bossa Nova filter 20 April 7.30pm Dreamland, Margate

Xiu Xiu Experimental rock band from California perform in Ramsgate - not to be missed!

Thanet Young Artists Festival 2019

8 March 7 - 11pm

25 March

Vinyl Head

Ramsgate Music Hall

Thirty eight Thanet schools will display up to 800 works of art created by the pupils from the ages of 4 to 18, tasked with this year’s theme of “My Special World” vinylheadkent

22 - 28 April

Fagin? - National Touring Play Join Fagin, one of Dickens’ best known characters as he reviews his situation during his final night in prison before being hanged. 9 March 7.30 - 9.30pm The Sarah Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs


Sainsbury’s, Westwood Cross ThanetRotaryYA

Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club

The actor, host and broadcaster is putting on his famous Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club Show

Lots of Easter fun and stalls filled with great produce and crafts, all made locally!

12 April 9.30pm - 1am

21 April 11am - 5pm

Dreamland, Margate

Easter Handmade & Vintage Fair

Harbour Parade, Ramsgate

ramsgate recorder


Spring News and Openings

Ramsgate from 1859-1930 (East Cliff Tour) and 1651-1914 (West Cliff Tour). If you’re more into swing than rock, try out the new beginners Swing Jive class, hosted at Red Arrow Sports & Social Club every Monday. To get your fix of hobbyist gaming, head to Grumpy Goblin Gaming Emporium where new management has seen the business host a variety of casual events and tournaments (for fans of Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon TCG) alongside its range of trading cards, board games and gifts. Or, to brush up for the summer holidays, Café French are hosting beginner French conversation classes at Vinyl Head every Friday at 1.30pm. Little ones can join the fun with First Hand Experiences, whose new “Grow Make Eat” after-school clubs will be taking place every Tuesday in Archive Homestore.

You can join Looping the Loop Festival for their twelfth series of adventures in performance later this spring. From 20 to 28 April witness contemporary theatre from Battersea Arts Centre and new work developed locally around Thanet, suitable for a variety of ages. If you’re in the mood for art this season, Ramsgate has plenty to offer. Check out Art < £100 which sees The Gallery @ Nice Things and York Street Gallery team up to exhibit work by various artists in paint, print, textile, collage or mixed media including photography. The exhibition takes place from 13 to 26 February, in aid of the Ramsgate Festival. You can also find abstractionist Zuza Czarniavska’s paintings exhibited at Vinyl Head Gallery from 7 to 13 February. As part of POW! Thanet Festival, there will be eclectic programme of events celebrating and exploring issues around Feminism, women and girls happening across the Isle. The Female Form, an exhibition exploring aspects of women and their lives, will be showing at The Gallery @ Nice Things from 27 February to 12 March as part of the festival. Equally, Ramsgate resident and The Jazz Sessions founder Sabina Desir will be running a vocal workshop on 9 March at the Turner Contemporary named Songs of Freedom. The event, in which attendees will take part in learning a Gospel Song, is focused on exploring the power of words in activism.

stubbornness. If a bus has ‘Ramsgate’ or ‘Margate’ on the front of it, well surely that is where it is going? So I’d get on and 50 minutes later, after numerous fields of cabbage had cavorted past the misted-up window, I’d finally reach my destination. How on earth had it taken so long? And why oh why was I constantly looking up from my phone to see we were in Westwood Cross – AGAIN? So I looked up the timetable online. As one who took three goes to get her maths O’level I was chilled to the core to find the Loop timetable akin to my school’s logarithm table. This horrible little book was the bane of my young life (along with Mrs De Palma, Sister Stephanie and sports day). Then a friend gave me a tip and said that the secret of the Loop is that there are loops within loops! You have to find the Loop doing the least loops to get you to where you want to go the quickest. Aha! Progress! However I still found myself doing the Loop dash: running between two bus stops in Ramsgate harbour that both had ‘Margate’ on the front of them. Me: “Are you going to Margate?” Driver: “Yes.” Me: “Are you going via Westwood Cross?” Driver: “Yes.” Me: “How do I avoid that?” Driver: “You can’t.” Me: “Oh.” But sometimes I was in luck and was told to cross the other side of the road just as the bus was about to leave. I’d then ask the same

question to the other driver who reassured me we’d only be going via Broadstairs. Hurrah! Some drivers have even admitted to being befuddled by the routes and timetables themselves. It’s good not to feel alone. Which you rarely are on the Loop. It has a cross-section of customers which varies depending on the time of day – most of whom ignore the instructions on the bus in varying degrees, like avoiding eating smelly foods and not drinking liquids from a container without a lid (doh!). But all of this activity gives the Loop a rather fun ‘school trip’ feel to each journey. You can sit in the back row and happily swig your favourite beverage without too much bother from fellow passengers or the driver, and use the Loop as the first watering hole of your evening’s entertainment. As we live in an age where people are glued to their digital devices and the high street has tumbleweed (aka vast quantities of trash) blowing down it, there are increasingly few places to commune with our fellow man. Sometimes this might seem like a godsend if you’ve boarded the bus with a bunch of gnarly passengers. But mostly the Loop feels very friendly to me, and now that I’ve figured out how to get from R to M, I can sit back and enjoy the ride.


Georgie Hurst


he dawn of 2019 promises an exciting future of regeneration for Ramsgate. The much loved Ellington Park has been granted a £1.64 million investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund for the creation of a café, toilets and new landscaping. Likewise, the Rock Gardens are to be given some much needed TLC, owing to a £50,000 government fund to conserve its Pulhamite rocks. Ramsgate Tunnels is also receiving special treatment in the form of a new laser scanning project, provided by Heritage England, that promises to open up another mile to visitors. If you fancy trying something different, there are a wealth of new activities to do in town. You can learn about Ramsgate’s alternative past with Rotten Ramsgate Tours, who are holding guided walking tours every Friday, covering historical murders in


Gemma Dempsey


Jade Spranklen

A dose of Ramsgate life from a lady about town


s it just me or does figuring out the Loop bus require the mind of a mathematician, the tenacity of a bulldog and the patience of a saint? As a newcomer to Thanet, I spent hours circumnavigating the Isle, searching for a place to live, calling estate agents with irritating regularity to say ‘I’m still on the Loop!’ Part of this newbie’s problem was


‘Fishy Bird’ by Zuza Czarniavska

“Figuring out the Loop bus requires the mind of a mathematician, the tenacity of a bulldog and the patience of a saint ”





Opening in Ramsgate

RMH_Ramsgate Recorder_117x154mm_16Jan19.pdf





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Drawn to the Coast Writer

Anna Bang

Portraits & Images Courtesy of illustrators

Four very different illustrators tell us what inspires them, why they love Ramsgate, and why they feel so passionate about their local community

Kavel Rafferty Illustrator and artist Kavel Rafferty is characteristically modest when she describes her illustration work as ‘quite commercial’, explaining it pays for her more arty excursions. Her whimsical, mid-century aesthetic has instant appeal and Kavel sells her work both in the UK and internationally. As her atmospheric Instagram posts show, she gathers inspiration from looking at Ramsgate’s weathered surfaces and old shop fronts, often on long beach walks with her playful dachshund, Bobby Dazzler. Before moving to Kent, Kavel lived for seven years in Barcelona, but was homesick. When she asked around, a friend offered a house to rent in Ramsgate and she has lived here for three years now. “The sea appealed to me, I was born in Brighton and seaside towns have always been a draw. I liked the idea of an artistic community too. A good decision. I actually like small towns. I like being part of this community.” Her favourite parts of Ramsgate include the Queen Charlotte, The Ravensgate Arms and Vinyl Head. “With any first-time visitors I usually take them to The Royal Harbour Brasserie. I think it is the best place to impress newcomers as you see the sea and the whole harbour. To me Ramsgate is the seafront really.” Instagram @kavelrafferty /

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Dean Samed

The Gun Stopper, Dark Tower Saga (Steven King)

“There’s a sense of community and a strange magnetism that compels people to stay here”

Dean Samed can trace his family back generations in Thanet. He was born in Margate and grew up in Ramsgate, where he still lives. Fiercely loyal to his hometown, he points out that currently the place is better, with new people bringing their energy and creativity to the area, although he fears some people will be priced out of the town they grew up in. “There are so many interesting families here,” he says, “characters that have been in this town for decades, there’s a sense of community and a strange magnetism that compels people to stay here. It’s these earthy people that make this place but sometimes they are overlooked because they aren’t ‘shiny’ and publicity friendly.” As a child he drew loads, mainly monsters, and was a horror movie fan from an early age. His parents were themselves creative and supportive, encouraging his artistic side. A first in Digital Media followed. His inspiration comes from reading horror fiction. The e-book boom has been great for this illustrator and cover artist as it increased demand for digital artwork. He has illustrated the works of Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft and Graham Masterton and eight years ago he was invited to produce cover art by Clive Barker himself. Spotting a glaring gap in the market, he has also recently established a stock photography agency, NeoStock, creating images for other cover artists to license and work with. Shooting cover scenes suitable for genres from cyberpunk to historical fiction, this fastgrowing, international asset for illustrators in the field is all produced from a studio in Ramsgate. As someone who can’t watch horror films, I ask him if all the horror and monsters ever scare him? “Imaginary monsters don’t scare me, I know they are fiction. What does scare me is fascism, nationalism, all that sort of tribalism, because that is real.” Instagram @neostocks /


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Danny Branscombe

The Ramsgate Beast

Aurelia Aurita Aqua

Danny Branscombe is an artist and ‘expressive cartographer’, her description of the way she uses maps not to navigate but to say something about an area. Her background is in Fine Art and Graphic Design. Why Ramsgate? “I grew up here. I did want to leave for a long time. Before, no one had any money and if you left to study, you didn’t come back. Now it’s brilliant and the sort of place where I want to be. Happy I stayed! Turner Contemporary really did change the whole area - us locals were proved wrong. Also the architecture in Ramsgate is so lovely.” What inspires you? “From eight years old I’ve lived here and my family can trace their roots back to Thanet. That’s why I do so many maps of this area – it feels like a separate, selfcontained world.” Your work is beautiful and also political, such as the ‘Cutterflies’ and ‘Advent Map’ series. What kind of reactions have you had? “I use art and maps as a force for social change. Maps are great because people can relate and connect to that space. Maps are my big love; they feed into everything I do.” Instagram @dannybranscombe /

ramsgate recorder



Patrick George

Trophy Hunting

“I love when you see something and you get that little ‘tingle’ of discovery”

Tears of a Clown

Patrick George moved to Ramsgate 12 years ago with wife Anne and their children. Both he and his wife had moved a lot and with three children under six, they knew they wanted a ‘forever home’. His passions are the environment and animal welfare. Why Ramsgate? “We came from Hackney 12 years ago, yet it still feels fresh. Ramsgate is very inclusive, people are not possessive or competitive, and there are no cliques. In London you just felt bombarded and overwhelmed. Here, you’re left to get on with it.” This issue’s cover is your work! What are you hoping the reader takes away from it? “I wanted it to be neutral so went with the ram. It’s playful and about artists. It was nice not to overthink it.” What inspires you? “To put a message across in an interesting and hopefully transformative way. During the first three years of living here I still had to work in London. I found the time spent commuting freed up my imagination. Making children’s books, I’d get the kids to see if they could spot what I was trying to say. I love when you see something and you get that little ‘tingle’ of discovery.” Patrick George’s next book, Planet Rescue (the companion piece to Animal Rescue), is launching on Kickstarter at the end of February. Instagram @patrickgeorge_illustration /








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l Name: Tom Ranger l Job: Music Programmer at Dreamland Margate l Lives: Ramsgate l Loves: Prince l Drinks: Guinness, Old Fashioned and red wine l Eats: Plant-based diet l Instagram: @tompowerranger


The Dream Job – Meet The Team Behind Dreamland’s Music

Describe your job As the Music Programmer for Dreamland, my role is to guide the musical vision across our site’s four venues, which range from 400 - 15,000 capacity. A lot of my time goes into the curation of when and where performances will work, and building our venues to where they have their own unique identity and outstanding reputation – all the while staying true to the unique experience Dreamland has to offer. How did you get started in your field? My first ‘real job’ (after a short internship) was in music PR for an independent company in North London. I worked across many campaigns for artists, brands, festivals and venues whilst also being part of the curation team for In The Woods Festival. After a few years, I realised PR wasn’t for me so took a position as programming assistant at a new arts and events space in East London called Oval Space. We booked some incredible events and I met some amazing people. I also programmed Land of Kings Festival at this time too. I eventually became Head of Music at Oval Space, and oversaw the launch of its sister venue, The Pickle Factory. Towards the end of 2017, I had a call from the Directors at Dreamland asking whether I was interested in a music programming position in the business. I fancied a change (and wasn’t massively enjoying London or the commute anymore!) so took up the offer. A year in and I really feel we are heading in the right direction! What brought you to Thanet? My partner is originally from Kent and suggested we take a look in the area, as we were looking for our first family home. We knew we wanted kids soon and to be honest, after both spending many years living all over London, we just felt a bit spat out and didn’t know if we really fit in the Big Smoke anymore. Her mum mentioned a place called Ramsgate that was ‘different but really nice’…. so we booked an Airbnb and had a proper look around the area, and we both absolutely loved the place. We just got it. We put an offer on a house the same day and here we are nearly two years in. Are we still DFLs? My kind of music is…. My real love (from many years working in clubs) is electronic dance music, although I would say I have a very diverse ear. Anything good!

Tom Ranger

Favourite place to listen to music? Working in the industry, I generally (annoyingly) find it quite difficult to switch off and enjoy festivals and venues. If I had to pick a favourite venue, the Roundhouse in London is definitely up there though. Closely followed by Ramsgate Music Hall which I think is just an absolute gem. We are so lucky to have this place on our doorstep. And I have a really nice setup in our dining room at home, where I can just sit back, relax and take myself on a journey.

planning more events for Dreamland – I’ve gone full ‘Dreamland’ for our first Sunset Session in May, with a Star Wars ‘May The Fourth Be With You’ theme! DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Yoda (obviously), Huey Morgan and a special performance for the stormtrooper-clad dancing troupe, Boogie Storm. Best thing about your job? Presenting what I believe to be good music or experiences. Dreamland is such an exciting place to be right now for music, we’re seeing this beautiful place by the sea evolve into one of the UK’s most exciting music venues.

Who would be your dream artist to book at Dreamland? (Personal choice) Oooof…dead or alive?! I mean Amy Winehouse, Nirvana and Prince for the former. A Tribe What advice would you give to anyone Called Quest (RIP Phife), Radiohead and looking to work in your field Talking Heads for the latter. Stick to your guns. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Get out as much as you can and interact What are you most looking forward to in with the scene you would like to inhabit. 2019? Seeing my daughter starting to walk and talk, If you could have been in any band (past my partner’s book being published, doing or present), which one would you pick? further events under my Prince. Always Prince. promotions business The Dance at Ramsgate Music Hall (Andrew Weatherall and Daniel Avery coming Snap up entry to Dreamland’s hottest gigs up!), being best man for my brother from another 2nd February Leftfield, A Guy Called Gerald mother in Malta. And 22nd February Slacker Club Night Tour – The Magic Gang, TOUTS 15th March Dub Pistols 12th April The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club 4th May Sunset Session: May the Fourth – DJ Jazzy Jeff


Book your tickets at



ramsgate recorder


Safe Harbour Writer

Helen Pipins


Courtesy of del Renzio & del Renzio

A historic house with incredible sea views has been lovingly restored and enhanced by the sensitive hands of esteemed local architects. We take a tour inside


guess when you live on the Isle of Thanet you dream of sea views and long walks by Turner skies. Well Harbour House is a prime place to enjoy it from, with its views of sea and sky taking in the entirety of Ramsgate harbour - the only one in England to be given a royal status. The house was originally built in 1894 and soon became the home and office to the harbour master himself. Perfectly suited next to the Royal Temple Yacht Club, and looking directly out to the middle of the harbour, its axis is both central to the harbour and the sea. This simplified not only the work that needed to be done, but also meant that all the nautical comings and goings could be seen way before CCTV cameras and drones were invented. From 1939, it was owned by Dr. Crawford and his family and it wasn’t until December 2012 that it finally changed hands and the most wonderful restoration work began. Taking just over 19 months to complete and carried out by respected local architects del Renzio & del Renzio, headed by Pier-Luigi and his brother Ivan, it was more than just a labour

Sea facing exterior of Harbour House - 1910

ramsgate recorder of love - it was a love letter to the house itself. The owner, not unfamiliar with restoration projects, brought in her own team of craftsmen and boy does it show. Even the ‘barge boards’ which dress the front gables were rebuilt from scratch from original 1910 photographs. Its Gothic-style features remain generally intact but with a few added modern touches. Rooms were reconfigured to provide new living spaces, including kitchens and bathrooms, but special care was taken to ensure the ceiling mouldings were restored to their original glory, as were the tiles in the entrance hall. The whole place was replastered and the floors were completely restored and brought up to modern standards. It took a huge amount of work to bring the passageway between the Yacht Club and the house back to being a working structure. It didn’t just take patience, it took a hefty weight of wood and steel. One can only applaud the

“Each room has each own story, and wandering through them would fill any visitor with joy” dedication of the architects and owner to realise a dream project of such magnitude. The house has been split into three private self-contained living spaces over three floors, including the basement which has been converted into an art and craft studio with a private exhibition space, together with a totally separate annex. The most striking additions are the glass frameless balconies on both the first and second floors, an engineering feat in themselves. A dining room-conservatory on the first floor lends itself to that indoor/ outdoor feel with huge, slim aluminium sliding glass doors that will keep out all weathers without hindering the spectacular view. And at 6.5 metres a piece, it doesn’t matter if you are sitting at the dining table or just lying down taking it all in. Heaven is very present. Staying on the balcony (and it’s seriously hard to leave it!), the same wood has been used both inside and out. IPE hardwood - the same wood used on the ladders that go from the Harbour Arm into the sea - means they are not only very hardy, they are pretty much indestructible. Their real beauty is in the patina created between the inside and outside space, making it look like it’s been there forever. ►



ramsgate recorder Inside, bathrooms are in abundance and all hand-painted either with swallows or tromp l’oeil by the artist Julian Kirk, or tiled in a Roman style by Martin Cheek. His mosaics also feature in another bathroom filled with over 140 exquisitely-placed perfume bottles lining the walls. The display stands floor-to-ceiling with a Georgian chandelier shining light on the bottles. It amounts to an installation collected over the owner’s life and a place that does try and grab your attention from the views outside. A modern temple to peeing if you will. The sitting room takes us to a different place - a wonderful art collection and a roaring fire, while the kitchen is glossy black and red and filled with modern cookbooks. The whole house is literally a warren of surprises. Each room has each own story, and wandering through them would fill any visitor with joy. It’s like walking through a forest - unknown and beguiling, safe and yet exciting - akin to a fairytale. Pier-Luigi called this a dream project and it is not hard to see why. With incredible taste in every corner and views taking your breath away, plus a cat called Bobcat wandering through, it’s a home full of charm and warmth. I hear the owner makes a great pasta dinner too. Hopefully I’ll get another invite soon.

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WerkHaus Margate

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Suzanne Martin

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Emma Falconer

Photographer Phil Weedon

Ramsgate local and singer Linda Lewis talks about growing up in a working-class East End family, her dear mum Lily and how she got her first break just as the sixties starting swinging Tell us about your first break in the music industry “I think my first real ‘performance’ was in the corner-shop. My mum put me on the counter, and I was singing my heart out. I could see peoples’ reactions and see the look of pride on my mum’s face. I remember thinking then - this feels good. Mum was a great singer. She had a voice like Patsy Cline. She was also totally gorgeous, and she knew it. John Lee Hooker was playing in a club in Southend, and mum knew the person running it. We went down, and I was invited on stage to sing ‘Dancing in the Street’ with John Lee Hooker. I don’t know if he was impressed with me, but he was very impressed with my mum.” You appeared as a child in A Taste of Honey and A Hard Day’s Night with The Beatles. What was that like? “They were small parts, but I remember that I was actually trying to listen and learn. If you look at A Hard Day’s Night, you can see me, and I am the only one not screaming. I love The Beatles. Many years later I was recording at Abbey Road Studios, and George Harrison put his head around the door to say hello, and I remember thinking it always pays to listen and not scream.”

“I look back at that time and it was like a giant acid trip, the volume turned up, and everything was so bright” What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the music industry? “Run! No not really. If it feels good, I mean really feels good in your heart and soul, and you are happy, and you are making other people happy, just go with it. And choose your musical family wisely - they might be a great keyboard player but if they are a pain in the arse go with someone who is maybe not so perfect but are good to be with.” What is your favourite room to play? “I’ve played all over the world but my favourite room is Ronnie Scott’s. So much history, and I remember playing there and my mum coming along and telling everyone, ‘that’s my Linda up there.’ My son, Jesse, is part of the local music scene and his band Brad Pittance and the Pirates play a lot of the local venues.” What would you tell your younger self ? “Take every opportunity that you can and believe in yourself. Back in the day my agent

used to put me on between Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, and it was just me with my guitar. I had so much bottle back then. That was before I even had a hit record. But as time passed by and my career took off I turned down working with Stevie Wonder. Can you imagine that? I just didn’t have the confidence at the time. I didn’t believe I was good enough. I remember meeting Joni Mitchell at the Isle of Wight Festival - it was the last year Hendrix played, and I was in the back of a car with her. I look back at that time and it was like a giant acid trip, the volume turned up, and everything was so bright. I don’t look back at any other period of my life with such vivid Technicolor memories.” You have collaborated with with some fantastic legends. Tell us about that. “I toured with Cat Stevens. He was gorgeous. He used to make me go weak at the knees. And I played Glastonbury with Bowie. I lived in a commune in Hampstead – it was featured in a documentary called ‘Hampstead Way’, and you can watch it on YouTube. We would sit at this big kitchen table drinking tea, getting high and writing together. Marc Bolan would pop in. It was where I started my songwriting career. It was all very organic.” Is there anyone you’d still like to work with? “I’d love to work with Mark Ronson, and there is this incredibly cool double bass player, Esperanza Spalding. She is fantastic, I’d love to work with her too.” Linda Lewis is currently working on her memoirs, and a charity single is planned for later this year in conjunction with her sister Shirley Lewis.

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Marc Eden, who grew up in Ramsgate and is The Peckham Cowboys’ frontman, shares his ultimate playlist 1

The Infinite Kiss


Led Zeppelin

“This was the first record I ever bought with my own

I love Led Zeppelin, all of it, really. Zeppelin

money. I bought it from Our Price in Ramsgate, I

became the biggest band in the world on their

was 10 years old. I was obsessed over what is the

terms. They were the blues writ large, with Jimmy

most beautiful woman on the planet. Kate was

Page as the ultimate mysterious English rock star,

my first crush actually, totally daring, genius. I

and ‘Bring It On Home’ is him at his dark, dark,

remember the cover and the smell of vinyl.”

sexiest best! It just has that groove, you know?”

Telegram Sam


Monkey Man


The Rolling Stones

“T-Rex is in my DNA. It was everywhere when I

“This is from the Rolling Stones’ golden period.

was growing up because of my brother - he was

It’s hard to pick one from The Stones around

a massive fan. It still sounds so fresh. It’s like

this time. It could’ve been ‘Memo For Turner’

the blues put through a camp British filter!”

- any of those songs. Lovely spaced out vibe to this song, beautiful guitars from Keef.


Guns of Brixton

The Clash

And you’ve got Jagger’s in-your-face vocal delivery, sneering, white-boy-blues rap.”

“All bands should look as good, and mean as

The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll

much, as The Clash. On my album Ten Tales


from the Gin Palace, working with Congo Natty

Mott the Hoople

on ‘Don’t Damn the Hypnotist’ it was this

“I did a stint with Ariel Bender, Mott’s guitarist,

track I kept coming back to. And of course,

who is this beautiful, genius nutcase. Mott are

Paul Simonon has family ties to Ramsgate.”

a great, great English rock ‘n’ roll band and Ian Hunter’s lyrics are seriously underrated.”



Bob Dylan

“You know, with lyrics like: ‘So easy to look at, so


Shadow Of Your Love

Guns N’ Roses

hard to define?’ Unreal. There are lyricists, and

“Out of the blue, I got a call, and at first, I thought it

then there is Bob Dylan. No one comes near really.

was one of my friends doing a pretty good American

This song is so romantic it makes my heart bleed.”

accent. Turns out it was real, and I spent time in LA writing five songs with the original members of


Gett Off

Guns N’ Roses - Slash and Duff McKagan. When


I was in LA with Slash, he asked me if there were

“The coolest mother****** on the planet. The best

any old numbers I’d like to do, and I said this one,

rock ‘n’ roll show I have ever seen was delivered

and he said, ‘how the f *** d’ya know that song?’”

by this man. Plays like Hendrix, sings like Sam Cooke, dances like Nureyev. My man.”


Time For Heroes

The Libertines 6

God Save The Queen

“For me, I am a lyrics man. One of the most

The Sex Pistols

significant modern British writers, a dear friend

“The greatest 45 single ever. A sort of working-

of mine, Pete Doherty, happens to be a Thanet

class two fingers to society. They made people

local now. When we first struck up a friendship

very, very scared back then. The Pistols played a

I told him that the lyric that got me into his art

benefit for the children of striking firefighters in

was ‘there are few things more depressing than

Huddersfield on Christmas Day 1977. It was so right,

that of an English man in a baseball cap.’ Peter

so beautiful, it actually made me cry for Chrissakes.”

and I are working on music as we speak.”



Jeff Buckley

“This record makes me feel that there is

Local gig regular Suzanne Martin shares her Ramsgate must-see live music tips

Bring It On Home

Kate Bush



magic, spirit and, probably, God. I can only listen to it at certain times, it’s so personal,

Marc Eden is currently working on a new

but when I do, it’s like the most important

album, TPC Free, featuring collaborations

record I’ve ever heard. Music to die to.”

with Pete Doherty and Alabama 3.

02/02 Leftfield (DJ set) / A Guy Called Gerald (Dreamland) Legendary British electronic act Leftfield will be playing a DJ set. 10/02 Leah Senior + special guests (Tom Thumb Theatre) The Melbourne-based folk artist creates melodic tunes reminiscent of Joni Mitchell. 14/02 Peter Doherty and Puta Madres (Fort Road Yard, Margate) Pete Doherty’s latest band play a home-town gig in this intimate venue. Expect a few surprises. 24/02 An Evening With Argyle (Vinyl Head) Argyle make their Vinyl Head debut for their first gig of 2019. Book early, as this is expected to sell out! 23/03 Art’s Cool: Sports Team + special guests (Elsewhere, Margate) “Sports Team should be your new favourite band” - Annie Mac 25/03 Xiu Xiu (Ramsgate Music Hall) Jamie Stewart’s cult band bring their new album, Girl With Basket of Fruit, to the Music Hall. 29/03 James (Margate Winter Gardens) A double bill of James, who will be supporting themselves in a 30-minute acoustic set before their electric main show. 12/04 The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club (Dreamland) After last summer’s outdoor funk-fest, Charles is taking over Dreamland’s Hall By The Sea. 13/04 Chrysta Bell (Ramsgate Music Hall) “The first time I saw her perform, I thought she was like an alien. The most beautiful alien ever” – David Lynch 20/04 Nouvelle Vague 15th Anniversary Tour + special guests (Dreamland Ballroom) French producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux are famous for remaking classic tracks with a Brazilian pop twist.

Speaking Up Writer

Georgie Hurst

Local spoken-word poet Stefan Gambrell tours the UK sharing his passion with some of the most marginalised voices in our society. He tells us more about why he believes poetry can bring empowerment

Poetry is a primary form of protest,” Stefan Gambrell (aka Neanderthal Bard) tells me as we sit down at Vinyl Head cafe to discuss his recent endeavours as poet-in-residence for Crisis UK. In the age of the Instagram poet, where ‘mindful’ mantras about love and loss are shared, Gambrell’s view on the true function of his art form is a refreshing one. Neanderthal Bard has become a recognised name in the poetry community in Thanet; since his first performance at Dead Islands Poetry Society open mic night in Margate three years ago he has seen the burgeoning Thanet poetry scene, and his own potential as an artist, evolve beyond expectation. It all began, he tells me, in the midst of a career as a chef, when he suffered from a mental breakdown aged 37 and was diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder). “One of the mental health team members I was working with suggested I write a letter to friends and family explaining my diagnosis, and the first two lines rhymed: ‘How would you feel, and what would you do, if your world was just grey, with no shades of blue?’” It unintentionally became his first poem, ‘BPD and Me’, as well as the first poem he ever performed live. “I didn’t even know a poetry night existed when a friend of mine first suggested I read my poem out at one,” he says. His experience with performing spoken word became the catalyst for an obsession with writing poetry. “I felt liberated,” he says. After a sustained focus on writing and performing poems about mental health, Gambrell sought to expand his sphere of influence beyond the local poetry community. With homelessness being a cause close to his heart - having first hand experience of it himself - he began contacting homelessness charities to offer a free poetry workshop. As poet-in-residence for Crisis UK, Gambrell has shared the power of poetic protest with

Image by Martin Wackenier

dozens of their members (people who are, or are at risk of being, homeless), as well as being commissioned to write a poem for their film entitled ‘If Everybody’s In’, which calls for an end to homelessness for good. The film includes a host of celebrities including Tom Hardy, Emma Thompson, and Ian McKellen reading the poem, but when I eagerly ask him how he felt doing the advert he stresses that, “this tour is not about me. It’s about taking art to places where it wouldn’t usually

“I didn’t even know a poetry night existed when a friend of mine first suggested I read my poem out at one” be appreciated or used, that’s why the Arts Council got behind it too.” His workshops have been a great success, engaging a wide range of Crisis’ members from all backgrounds. Some members joined especially for the poetry workshops, and were introduced to the charity’s other services along the way, whilst other members who were initially hostile to the idea soon found themselves with a poem in their hands, reading it out to a camera or proudly showing friends. We also discuss the rise in homelessness locally, with organisations such as the Thanet Winter Shelter providing vital aid. “Homelessness is not just people who are rough sleeping,” Gambrell explains, but includes a wide spectrum of people such

as those sofa surfing with friends or family, staying in temporary accommodation and hostels that “are not always conducive to good living, even though they are warm and dry.” These issues will be focused on heavily in his forthcoming book of poetry; it will concentrate, he says, on “rough sleeping and the underpinning reasons that either cause or exacerbate it.” The book will be released in Crisis UK’s charity shops and cafés, and all proceeds will go to them. Gambrell’s sense of purpose as a poet really harmonises with his chosen alias, Neanderthal Bard. Explaining the significance of the name, he tells me: “I initially felt under-evolved as a artist, that’s why I chose ‘neanderthal’, and ‘bard’ because only several hundred years ago we were relying on travelling minstrels or bards to deliver news from town to town with their own slant on it. And that’s really what we’re still doing especially with the spoken word movement.”

How Many More by Neanderthal Bard

How many more must die in the cold today? How many more must die before old age? How many more must freeze on these streets? How many more will die in their sleep? How many more piles of vital bedding, will be swept from our streets for a royal wedding? How many more will you pass on your walk home? How many more will die all alone? How many more must die on cold cardboard floors? How many more is all I implore?

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albion – stores. 27 Fort Road Margate CT9 1HF




01843 280000

Co-educational, day & boarding school for 3-18 years in South East England

Looking for a School for September 2019? - call today to book a tour

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T: 01843 572912 E: College Road, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 7AE


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Ros Anderson


Courtesy of Tracie Peisley

Stitches in Time A creative, communal space for women living with dementia has been created by a local artist in Ramsgate. We meet Tracie Peisley to find out about her Once Upon A Time sewing group

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t first glance one could mistake the memory quilt as a work of modern art. Abstract shapes, snatches of images and signatures, all embroidered into a single sheet of fabric – it could be a late period Tracey Emin, the stiches as delicately distinctive as handwriting. The quilt however is the centerpiece of a project by artist Tracey Peisley and a group of women at Copperfields Extra Care Housing in Ramsgate. The group is made up of women who are living with dementia, and once a week they have been working with Tracie in a sewing circle. “Everybody in the group sews on it every week,” Tracie explains of the quilt. “It’s a way of pulling the group together in one place. It’s an art piece about what it’s like living with being present and not present, being in reality and it falling away from you. Trying to trace back, almost in the dark, to who you were. I could get quite emotional about it.” Kent-born Tracie is an artist working in a variety of media and a trained art therapist. She was invited to lead the sessions by Arts Council-funded POW! Thanet. I went to meet her for the final session, where she explained a little of how the group works, and how she came to be involved. “The idea for a textile project started with a book that my friends made me when I was pregnant,” she says. “I later used the idea for a project with women who had experienced domestic violence. It was a journal, but also something tactile, comforting, intimate and something they could embellish with their own ideas.” At Copperfields she has used the idea of individual ‘memory books’ again, with each participant receiving a blank calico book of their own to embroider. Each week Tracie has brought a piece of her own artwork to use as a jumping-off point, and the women have the freedom to stitch whatever ideas they wish into their own books. They also all take turns to contribute stitches to the shared quilt, and at the end of each session Tracie reads a fairy story, the familiar catchphrases being an opportunity for everyone in the group to join in. The effects of the workshops have touched everyone involved. Rachael Salvesen, Extra


Care Manager at Copperfields says, “it’s been incredible really, from small beginnings, how it’s branched out. You’d think that those with really bad dementia would have forgotten the skills of how to sew. But it’s wonderful how it’s come back. And the artwork created has been fantastic.” Tracie’s philosophy is to meet each member of the group where they are, and to work with their level of engagement moment to moment. “I can’t say that people will always be able to be present or to recall, because the brain is changing,” she says, “but it’s amazing what we have experienced here. There are consistencies - stories or images or ways of working that are repeated every week.”

“Every time they make a stitch they are asserting that they still exist, they are still here” The tradition of sewing circles is a powerful one – a place of community, self-expression and companionship. The Copperfields group includes not just those living with the effects of dementia, but also their carers, and Tracie admits that at first she was unsure whether involving carers was the correct choice. “But not only do they really value the sessions and what they’ve made, but many have got their own sewing machines and have made time and space for their own projects outside the group,” she says. “If you can believe in people then all kinds of amazing things can happen, which is why it’s important to work with the carers too. They’re bearing loss every single day. And if you have someone else doing that alongside you as well, it helps you keep going.”


The act of embroidering a piece of fabric is not just soothing, or creative, but also puts forward a powerful sense of presence, for people experiencing a terrible loss. “Every time they make a stitch or make a mark they are asserting that they still exist, they are still here. It’s very primal,” Tracie agrees. For both the women involved and their families the books are something concrete that can be passed on. “The books are really precious to them,” Tracie agrees. “One lady is making one for her granddaughter. It’s hugely elaborate.” Tracie also sees another value in the work of embroidery, and one which may at first sound surprising when applied to a group of older ladies. “For me, my own personal view of sewing, I think it’s an act of aggression,” she says. “Stabbing the fabric, using a needle. A sewing machine is like using a power tool! If dementia isn’t something that would make someone really angry I don’t know what would. So it’s a way of channeling that anger. It’s a subversive act. And also it’s a way of joining fragments together.” Though the project itself has ended, it is about to go out into the world thanks to an exhibition of the work at Ramsgate Library, held as part of March’s POW! Thanet festival. “I really want people who have experienced dementia in their own families to see what is possible,” Tracie says of the show. “This group are such a feisty, funny, super bunch. They’ve amazed us with what they’ve come out with. What a shame if they go unheard.”

The Once Upon A Time exhibition is on at Ramsgate Library, windows and foyer, from 7 to 17 March 2019


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Archaeology & Ghosts: Ramsgate’s Hinterland Writer & Photographer David Frankel

From smugglers to Vikings, military remnants to a gallows, David Frankel explores the haunting layers of history laced through Ramsgate’s outskirts


very town has an edge-land: the open spaces and scattered buildings that aren’t quite town, but are certainly not wilderness. On Ramsgate’s southwestern edge is just such a place, beyond the last rows of houses, where the town peters out into farmland and straggling industrial sites. In winter, the fields above Pegwell Bay can feel exposed and bleak, but in fine weather the views across the bay are stunning. Time your walk right and the clifftop path will show you some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets to be seen anywhere. The wide open arable fields are hemmed in by roads and rail tracks on their landward side and the sea cliffs on the other. Across

the water is a nature reserve well known for its bird and plant life, but even up here on the high ground behind the cliffs you can see sparrowhawks and merlins. Beyond the nature reserve are the industrial buildings at Richborough. Until recently, they formed the research centre for the pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer — the birthplace of the famous ‘little blue pill’. You’ll also see the ghost of Richborough power station which, before its demolition, was the dominant feature on the skyline. And, hiding down in the mud flats of the Stour Estuary, are the scant remains of the lost port of Richborough, including the first ever rollon-roll-off rail ferry, built to transport troops to the battlefields of the First World War. Pegwell village was once a popular tourist destination and its cliffs were famously immortalised in William Dyce’s painting, Pegwell Bay, Kent - a Recollection of October 5th 1858. The cliffs also get a mention in Ian Flemings’s Goldfinger and Charles Dickens’ short story ‘The Tuggses at Ramsgate’. Their

glory days as a tourist attraction have gone, but the cliffs still shelter the overgrown remains of the once-grand pleasure gardens, and, at low tide, you can still find the remains of the pier that once stood here. There is a dark side to the bay too. In 1889 the newspapers reported the ‘shocking discovery’ of a sailor who had been the victim of a murderous attack. Close to the place where the sailor was discovered are other secrets. Above the shoreline, several ‘smugglers tunnels’ burrow into the cliffs. One of these, known as the ‘Illingworth Cave’ after the man who documented it in 1938, goes 500 feet into the chalk. The real purpose of these tunnels is unknown, but it seems likely that this one really was used by smugglers; Illingworth reportedly found an old-fashioned pistol and buttons from the uniform of an Excise man inside. Further along the cliff is the partially hidden entrance to the ‘Seaweed Tunnel’, which leads up through the cliff to Little Cliffsend Farm above. Brick-lined and still in remarkably

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“People have lived and worked on this land since Britain’s earliest inhabitants arrived”

good condition, it is a reminder of past days when farmers would haul seaweed from the beach to use as fertilizer. The farm is a small industrial estate now, hidden behind rows of conifers, but people have lived and worked on this land since Britain’s earliest inhabitants arrived. Archaeological digs have revealed evidence of human activity going back to the Neolithic period, including Bronze Age enclosures, barrows and Iron Age remains. Ancient burials here have shown signs of human sacrifice and one (in which human skeletons were laid on animal skeletons) has been described as ‘unique in Europe’. From the high ground above the cliffs it is possible to look out over land that has seen some of Britain’s most important arrivals. Recent archaeological evidence from the land behind the bay suggests that this is where Caesar first arrived, and beyond is the field where St Augustine is thought to have arrived, bringing Christianity. On the clifftop, a replica Viking longship commemorates the arrival of Hengist and Horsa, legendary brothers said to


have led the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain. The fields on the landward side of the farm are overlooked by those opting for the more obvious charms of the clifftop paths. Cutting across them is the Canterbury Road, which follows the route of an ancient trackway known as Dunstrete, and the Lord of the Manor roundabout, named after the public house that once catered to thirsty travellers here. The modernity of the busy modern junction hides both AngloSaxon graves and Bronze Age barrows. Somewhere along the road here there was once a gibbet. Criminals and suicides are reputedly buried near the site. Accounts vary as to its exact location, but ghostly lights seen in the area have been blamed for some of the many road collisions that have happened in this notorious accident


blackspot. In an effort to improve safety and accommodate modern traffic, the old crossroads was abandoned and the new bridge and roundabout was built. A section of the old road is still there, partly overgrown and going nowhere — an amputated stretch of crumbling tarmac and concrete. All of this is watched over by the unseen presence of a World War Two pillbox. Hidden in plain sight, only metres from the main road, it is nestled in its original trench system. It was part of Ramsgate’s wartime defences that included clifftop artillery positions, long since converted into garages and outbuildings. All reminders of the way things could have gone if history had taken a different course. This is a landscape where the fabric of the past is interlaced invisibly with the present, and well worth a little exploration.


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Secrets of Ramsgate Stone


Brian Daubney


A £50,000 grant to conserve Ramsgate’s unique Pulhamite stone cliffs has just been announced. Brian Daubney, Ramsgate writer and historian, unlocks the secrets of the town’s greatest un-natural asset


Postcard showing the Pulhamite stones from the early 19th century

Photography Courtesy of

amsgate is very lucky. Warm and relatively dry on the sheltered south of England’s big toe, its largest lump of luck is beneath its feet, around the harbour, cliffs, gardens, grottos, chines and promenades. Any resort on the Côte d’Azur would kill to acquire Ramsgate’s sweeping coast roads, harbour arm and cliffs that might have been painted by the Impressionists. But these cliffs and waterfalls were man-made with ‘durability guaranteed’ by four generations of a family called Pulham - hence its name Pulhamite - about a hundred years ago. To survive a century beside the seaside, even before being bombed by airships and shelled by warships, is quite amazing. A 2008 English Heritage report noted with some surprise, ‘good strata,’ ‘excellent integration’ and a rare use of four colours so that any hue could be reproduced. The extent of Pulhamite in Ramsgate remains unique. While this expensive substance was being used in royal palaces, castles and estates of the richest, no other town could afford to use it to create whole new cliffs with a central road system and several miles of open and accessible green space. The idea of transforming the existing harbour into an amphitheatre and preserving a Regency skyline above it was not questioned at the time. How was it afforded when the town was not particularly wealthy? What was the inspiration for a project that has retained its appeal for over a century? The depth in colour and subtlety of Pulhamite was influenced by the work of the younger Pulham brother Obadiah. He painted Mount Vesuvius and drew inspiration not only from the English home counties, but Provence, Italy and in particular Cannes and Nice. Obadiah worked on two Christ Churches, one in Cannes another in Naples, and at Holy Trinity in Nice. The construction and decoration of whole churches and villas together with their grounds was being undertaken for a large, influential English Anglican expatriate community. They created what amounted to permanent dazzling Pulhamite calling-cards through the 19th century. Wealthy Victorians abroad would visit these churches, returning home to commission memorial gardens, ferneries, grottoes, and waterfalls for their own country estates. But how was the transformation of

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Ramsgate achieved? Queen Victoria holidayed above Nice on each of her final five years, to 1899. As a girl, the financier and philanthropist Moses Montefiore had given her coins to give to poor children in Ramsgate. He remained her friend, and it was he who had intimate knowledge of scores of Pulhamite gardens. His relatives the Rothschilds had created some of the largest and earliest in Britain. He is the most likely link to the source of funding behind this little known Ramsgate mystery. As the senior citizen and benefactor of the town he would have been be consulted as to the best means to enhance the impending changes. It would have required someone with the knowledge and confidence of the Queen to even suggest that the grounds of Albion House, where she had played and nearly died of diphtheria, could become public and

“Madeira Walk and the arches, grottos and cascade remain as grand as may be found anywhere� accessible, yet be treated in such a way as to preserve what was seen as a special status. Madeira Walk and the arches, grottos and cascade were and remain as grand as may be found anywhere. For trams and public alike to pass through them was nothing short of revolutionary and the chance of it being accepted as a proposal from anyone less than the Queen’s friend is unlikely. Drawing closer to the present, most extraordinary is the way in which, as central government has cut local authority funding, volunteers have assisted and undertaken some of the maintenance and upkeep of the Pulhamite collection. Jocelyn Stevens, former chairman of the Ramsgate Society and now in his eight decade and with failing sight, ascends the rocks with no hard hat or climbing boots to weed, plant and supervise students and mature volunteers each week. Friends of the Ramsgate Seafront undertake maintenance on the East Cliff and around the Winterstoke pavilion. This unique web of man-made rock may not be totally durable but it is loved, resistant, well worth a close look and properly preserving.








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Nice Things and the gallery Put the Fun back into shopping! From porcelain vases to contemporary steel jewellery, from hand-rolled felt to sequin-covered mermaids, Nice Things, just off Ramsgate’s royal harbour, has a huge collection of beautiful and unusual things, handmade or manufactured by independent designers. Most are made locally. The shop is fun, colourful and friendly. We specialise in showing work you won’t find elsewhere, often by emerging makers, giving new chances to sell for the first time. Nice Things and The Gallery 19-21 Harbour Street Ramsgate (online shop)

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Unsung Heroes: Jane Coleman Writer

Zoe Davies

Photographer Adrian Davies

In a world where perpetual change has become a way of life it is refreshing to see that some of the traditions we have grown up cherishing can still be found in Ramsgate. Britain saw its first lollipop lady in Bath in 1937 and the idea became enshrined law in 1953. Sadly, however, since the law was revoked in 2000 they have become a dying breed, so I was delighted to find Jane Coleman upholding the tradition, as she protects children daily


o many she is part of the scenery, but to the children of Minster School Jane Coleman is the best way to start their school day. Instantly recognisable by her huge smile - and lollipop - she braves even the foulest of weather conditions to ensure that the children get to and from school safely. Over a coffee Jane explains her decision to take up the lollipop. “My kids go to Minster School and after the last lady left there was no one to help them cross the main road. It is a dangerous one and although most locals will go slowly at school times not everyone does. It was only a matter of time before a child got seriously hurt. I decided that I would give it a go, and I have never looked back.” She remembers the first day of the

job as nerve-wracking. The cars came surprisingly fast and walking out into the middle of the road, only protected by her stick, was daunting, she says, but today she values the importance of her daily role. She acknowledges that the job can have its downsides, such as bad weather, but feels that the children get her through everything. “They have to go to school when it is raining hard so I need to be there to help them cross safely,” she says. “It is heartwarming to see them going into school so happy and knowing that I am a part of that. They lift me up every day.”

Originally from London, Jane professes love for the area she now calls home. “There is such a sense of community in Minster,” she says. “It’s the loveliest feeling in the world when people smile and wish you a good morning so I like to do the same. Ramsgate is amazing. It is like being in a foreign country, the beach is beautiful and in summer you can just relax on the sand. How lucky are we to live somewhere like this? I could never go back to London now. I would miss the people too much.” We hope that she doesn’t too. Ramsgate would miss her service with a smile.

Thanet Winter Shelter What they do: The Thanet Winter Shelter aims to make a big difference to the lives of people who find themselves rough-sleeping and homeless. They function as a ‘pop-up’ or floating shelter, using

Compiled by Georgie Hurst

There are many ways to give back to the community and support local people and your environment. Here are some important causes you can give your time to this spring

church buildings staffed by project workers and volunteer teams to offer overnight accommodation during the coldest nights of the winter. How you can help: Volunteers are imperative to the shelter’s existence and sharing your time and effort can be an extremely rewarding experience. They need people to assist as drivers, cooks, befrienders,

Thanet Coast Project

Young Lives Foundation

hared Lives

night shift volunteers and mentors. Contact them via email or visit their website for more information: thanetwintershelter.

What they do: The Thanet Coast Project works with

What they do: The Young Lives Foundation are

local people to help safeguard coastal and marine

a children’s charity dedicated to improving the

wildlife and habitats, and is part of the North East

lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged young

Kent Marine Protected Area. They aim to raise

people in Kent and Medway. They deliver

awareness of important marine and bird life and how

services including mentoring and befriending.

to avoid damaging them, working with local people

A positive activities programme provides

What they do: Thanet Community Support

to safeguard coastal wildlife, as well as run wildlife

exciting opportunities for young people to gain

Partnership is a group of 13 charitable and

related events.

self-esteem, learn new skills, and develop new

community-based organisations that offer a wealth


of support services for vulnerable older people in

omething amazing get paid to share home. How you can help: The project runs a volunteer


Thanet Community Support

Thanet, helping to prevent loneliness and enable

Coastal Warden scheme (where people adopt a

How you can help: You can make a difference

stretch of coast to look after) and this work includes

by volunteering your time to mentor or befriend

a regular training and events programme throughout

a young person in need of support, who may

How you can help: Offer your help with befriending

the year, with numerous opportunities to learn more

struggle with a troubled home life, peer group

(telephone or face-to-face), support at home, assisted

about marine wildlife and the coastal environment.

pressure, poor attainment in school or personal

travel and shopping, or help with activities like social

You can also take part through beach cleans,

issues such as mental illness, drug misuse or

afternoons on Wednesdays in Ramsgate. To find

running public events, or practical research. For

poverty. To find out more, email enquiries@ylf.

out more contact

more information, visit or visit or visit

ke a ference!

Shared Lives


ence! er

Do something amazing and get paid to To share find out your home. more, call a diff e k 03000 412400 a To find out more, call sharedlives 03000 412400 sharedlives 06/02/2019 7pm

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