Ramsgate Recorder Autumn 2021

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RAMSGATE Autumn 2021

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RECORDER

Modern-day Seaside Stories

FREE

MAKE DO AND MEND

NADINE SHAH

TASTY TOURISM

The retailers putting planet-conscious fashion on our high street

The acclaimed singer on headlining the Ramsgate Festival of Sound

A trip around the world through Ramsgate’s restaurants


Nice Things gallery and shop, nestled by Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour, sells beautiful and unique art and gifts.

Our collection includes handmade jewellery, pottery, glass, textiles and stationery by independent makers and artists.

HOMEWARES, CERAMICS, TEXTILES AND PLANT SHOP

19-21 Harbour Street | Ramsgate CT11 8HA www.nicethingsramsgate.co.uk Q E

72 High Street, Ramsgate CT11 9RS 01843 591 800 www.pottersramsgate.com


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ramsgate recorder

Editorial

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Editor Lila Allen

5 The Scoop – a round-up of what’s happening around town

Sub-editor John Murphy

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to our autumn issue!

Clare Freeman

Co-founder & Advertising director Jen Brammer

Publishing assistant Design director

From the Editor

Lizzy Tweedale

Lila Allen

Social media manager

Mortons Print

Issue ten

regulator

♻ We print on recycled paper

Autumn 2021 – August to October

Contributors

Writers Russell Chater Gemma Dempsey Vanessa Fairley Sean Farrell Andrew Flood Emily Hebe Rachel Mills Keith Ross Elinor Seath Christabel Smith

Photographers

Stylists Katy Lassen

cover image Nadine Shah by Jaron James

Print

popping up in Ramsgate

9 Hotlist – your go-to guide for planning your diary

10 Nadine Shah – the Mercury Prize-nominated

your Festival with our helpful guide

elcome to the autumn issue, arriving in the last few weeks of summer. Every issue marks the passing of time and I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently. With a magazine packed with so much to look forward to, not least the exciting news of the Festival of Sound just around the corner, the diary is getting filled again. Nadine Shah headlining would be big news at any time – what a coup to see this celebrated singer perform in Ramsgate (yes, I set an alarm to book my ticket) and for Nadine to grace the cover of our magazine (I

Emily Hebe

Jade Spranklen

6 New in town – discover the new businesses

12 Festival of Sound: the highlights – plan was super-excited to get a copy of her Kitchen Sink album last Christmas so this is like Christmas 2021 come early!). The Festival will also be one of the first times in over 18 months that live music will be enjoyed collectively as it is meant to be. It is sure to be memorable, and the experience all the more intense for having had it denied to us for so long. Is it a story I’ll be telling the grandkids of how I celebrated my return to “normality”? Probably. So many things we are doing again for the first time have taken on extra significance and perhaps that is what it feels like to be living in historic times. History is all around us in Ramsgate. Significantly this year marks 200 years of the Royal Harbour, an occasion Ralph Hoult OBE, aka Mr Ramsgate, is ensuring is met with fanfare. He has been sharing his plans with us for the big occasion. Elsewhere, artist Theresa Smith has been looking past and forward in her latest project engaging the community in re-imagining our high street. And Ramsgate’s love of history is finding a home in how we dress. We meet the people upcycling, recycling and hand-making fashion with a host of new businesses in the high street. Past and present, old and new, all overlapping and folding into now, and before autumn becomes winter still so many moments to enjoy.

Illustrators

Gemma’s jaunts – our columnist has a busy calendar this autumn

singer on headlining the Festival of Sound

Esther Ellard

Bethany Chater Jaron James Eleanor Marriott Russ Pullen James Soules Ed Thompson

Contents

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14 200 years your Royal Harbour – Ramsgate harbour celebrates 200 years!

17 The artful Mooch around town –

Theresa Smith aka Mooch on bringing art into the public space

20 Conrad Shawcross: Beacons – the

world-famous artist on his installation for Ramsgate

24 Meet the musician – Luke Purdie talks

about the new album and being back in the recording studio

26 Around the world through Ramsgate restaurants – our guide to tasty travels without leaving town

29 Our Kitchen recipe – healthy vegetable patties from Ramsgate’s food club

31 Seams, dreams and vintage themes –

the fashion businesses putting style into upcycling

34 Style on the street – sustainability is the buzzword in fashion

37 Parks, picnics and peer support – how

one organisation is helping support our mental health

39 The everyday uncanny – photographer

Ed Thompson’s 20 years photographing Kent

42 Unsung heroes: Nik Mitchell – championing conservation in Thanet

45 Thanetians – the latest instalment of

photographer Russ Pullen’s characters from across the Isle

46 Birdwatch – meet our largest falcon: the peregrine

sister publications

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Published by Brightside Publishing Ltd © All rights reserved Copyright 2021

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Margate Mercury

Broadstairs Whitstable Beacon Whistler

Deal Despatch


A World Of Opportunities for 2 to 13 year olds

OPEN MORNING Friday 17th September 2021 9:30am to 12:00pm

"We’ve found this school to be a truly nurturing environment, that treats all the children as individuals, encouraging them to try new activities, to understand what they like and what they’re good at. We couldn’t be happier!"

Wellesley Parent 2021

Creche available Register your interest by email with admissions@wellesleyhouse.net 114, Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs CT10 2DG


ramsgate recorder

NEWS

Ellington Park Café

Radford House

Due to open any day now, the new café marks a milestone in the £1.5million regeneration of the park. The café will act as an activity hub and has been designed as a pavilion in keeping with the 126-year-old Victorian park. The grant will also go towards improving the toilet facilities, the restoration of the bandstand and landscaping the green space.

Familiarly known as the Old Ramsgate Fire Station on Effingham street, Radford House has undergone a successful proposal for reuse as a community hub. Watch this space for more news.

High Street funding

Written and compiled by Emily @pinkredcreative

Travellers in Italy restaurant Ramsgate’s iconic seafront building, formerly a bank and most recently home to Pizza Express, has been taken on by local businessman James Thomas. James’ current businesses include Little Ships, the Royal Harbour Hotel, the Empire Rooms and now Travellers in Italy, opening later this year. The restaurant will put to use the inherited pizza ovens and offer local, fresh produce to bring Italianinspired cooking and beautiful views.

Dreamland by Rosa Rankin-Gee The latest novel from this Ramsgate-based writer, Dreamland is based in Margate in a future which draws hauntingly similar notes to our own time with the threat of rising sea levels, empty shops and increasing social divide. A coming of age story offering a beacon of hope with a warning.

Writer

Gemma Dempsey

Illustrator

Jade Spranklen

A dose of Ramsgate life from a lady about town

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reetings readers! I hope that you had an enjoyable summer, whether you made it off the Isle of Thanet or not. I ventured around Kent and all the way to East

Ramsgate is due to receive a £2.7 million grant from the government’s Future High Street Fund to help the high street recover after the detrimental effects of the pandemic. The aim is to create a more longlasting positive impact on the town centre, creating more jobs and opportunities for the community, with a focus on utilising the increasingly empty buildings.

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Cannon’s fish stall Cannon’s Fishmongers and Seafood Stall has had a makeover! Many of us on the team have memories of the old van, which served Ramsgate for 14 years, and picking up bright pink crab sticks and potted cockles. Never fear the new updated model continues to serve up Cannon’s array of fresh seafood from Maldon Oysters to prawns, crabs, monkfish and more.

New beach app

Thanet has been the sunniest place in the whole of the UK, according to the Met Office. After the rainy weather we’ve been having this may come as a surprise! 109 locations were listed in the study based on more than 10 years, data, which saw Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate making the list with 724 hours of annual sunshine between them.

Thanet District Council has signed up to use the new Beach Check app, a national app designed to help manage overcrowding on beaches. The app works in real time, on a traffic light system, assigning a red, orange or green colour to beaches. Visitors will be able to check the status of a beach before leaving home and avoid hotspots. The Beach Check app is free to use and download, visitthanet.co.uk/beachesbays

Maritime Museum reopens

Calling all creative writers

After a long hiatus during the pandemic, the Maritime Museum is back open. Situated in the Ramsgate Clock House on the Royal Harbour, it hosts four separate exhibits telling the maritime history of the area with permanent displays on the development of the harbour, navigation, fishing, lifeboats and shipwrecks, as well as a fifth art space.

The Ramsgate Recorder is looking to launch a new creative writing section, showcasing and celebrating Ramsgate writers. If you have any written work on a Ramsgate theme you would like to share for consideration, email info@ramsgaterecorder.com with the subject heading “creative writing”.

Sussex, where I enjoyed strolls around Sissinghurst, the history-laden Hever Castle, and wandered around Winchelsea beach and a winery or two. How lucky are we to have all of this and more on our doorstep?! And as we head into autumn you need not stray further than Ramsgate, as the town has an action-packed September ahead, so much so you’ll probably need October to recover. As you may know, I’m on the production team of The Ramsgate Festival of Sound, alongside Andrew Gibson and Darryn de la Soul. Given how the last 18 months has involved isolation, the curtailment of simple pleasures such as singing or going to a concert, it is a pleasure to be part of something that has community and creativity at its core. I feel immensely proud when people ask me, “Is the festival happening this year?” and I can say, “YES!!” (With all the necessary Covid-19 guidelines in place obvs.) I love it when my musical worlds collide, as happened recently on my Soho Radio show Composers on Film. My background is as a music supervisor for film when, while living in Los Angeles, I became a producer for KCRW Radio. Moving back to the UK I combined my passions into this radio show. My recent guest, the composer Michael Price (Unforgotten, Sherlock), introduced me to the music of the brilliant Gazelle Twin and NYX drone choir. A few weeks later I discovered that one of our festival’s Sonic Trail artists, Shireen Qureshi, is part of that choir and lives in Margate! Sometimes my research takes me to unusual places,

such as going up a number of Ramsgate’s belfries, including St George’s Church and the Montefiore Synagogue. It was a hot day so I’d opted to wear a dress – not ideal for scaling stairs and ladders. My wardrobe malfunction didn’t detract from the wonder of peering into the mechanism of the bells and their rope systems, as well as the privilege of seeing Ramsgate from a rare vantage point. Followers of this column will know my love of wine, local produce and community gardening has kept me going through the various lockdowns. This September I’ll combine some of these activities with my community spirit as part of the National Trust’s Heritage Open Days. The theme is “Edible England” and The Ramsgate Society have corralled a number of local groups to participate. Having grown a small but tasty crop of potatoes last year, I’d been thinking about doing so again. Between the call of my Irish genes and the delight of sharing food I’d grown with my neighbours, the open days proved the perfect catalyst to me getting involved. I’ve crammed a couple of raised beds in Spencer Square with Cara and Picasso varieties – the latter chosen to be in keeping with our former resident artist Vincent van Gogh and a nod to his rather gnarly painting “The Potato Eaters” (sold for a cool £39 million in the 1980s). Come along and see if my tatties are as good as last year – I’ll be roasting my harvest with herbs, also grown in Spencer Square, on 19 September along with other activities soon to be announced, so keep ’em peeled!

Sunny Thanet!


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ramsgate recorder

NEWS

POSITIVE RETAIL Positive Retail is a new independent clothes shop and one of the latest to join a host of local businesses breathing new life into Addington Street. Formerly Ramsgate’s Westcliff High Street, the historic area welcomes friends Dani and Anna and their new retail shop back from a successful summer pop-up. The store works with a relatively new but familiar concept selling much-loved quality items that are no longer worn but ready to be re-discovered and loved once again at a 50/50 split. The duo focus on curating pieces for a more high-end selection ranging from Whistles, Levi’s and Anthropologie, to designers like Stella McCartney and Celine. 26a Addington Street @positive_retail

NO. 36 BY SP Addington Street really is blooming with the addition of this new florist and homeware shop run by Sally Parkes, owner of the much loved shop Flowers by SP in Broadstairs. It’s a real treat for Ramsgate to welcome her opening here. Alongside flowers drawing on Sally’s 25 years experience working as florist in London for clients including Harrods and Bluebird for Sir Terence Conran, expect unique gifts, antiques, furniture, fabrics, lighting and ceramics.

New in town RING RING ICE CREAM

MOLLY PICKLE DESIGN

THE PUB

@ringringicecream

We have a new local. The Pub is a series of MicroPubs popping up in Kent, with their first establishment taking up residence in Ramsgate High Street. The brothers who run the franchise aim to open their next one in Herne Bay and broaden the business to multiple local areas in the near future. In the meantime, Ramsgate is offered as the hub to all MicroPubs with the business selling “a fine range of ales, beers, ciders, wines and spirits at a great price”. If that isn’t music to your ears, then we don’t know what is!

BOARD AT HOME

107A High Street @boardathomegaming

Emily @pinkredcreative

The UK’s smallest ice cream dispensary has opened in a Ramsgate telephone box. Spanning just three feet across and situated opposite the Royal Pavilion on Ramsgate Harbour, Ring Ring Ice Cream promises to bring frozen treats with decadent ice creams inspired by the iconic British phone box. Originally bought on a whim at auction, Danny and Ben, aptly named “the Ice Cream Boys”, created Ring Ring from a lockdown project gone rogue. It has since seen a great response, with many happy locals praising the parlour. We’ve even heard that when the phone rings, the person at the front of the queue gets a free ice cream! This exciting venture for Ramsgate sees 99 ice cream nostalgia meet kitsch phonebox fun. Win win!

36 Addington Street @Flowers_and_Home_by_SP

Board at Home specialise in traditional and contemporary board games with a focus on bringing friends and family together. The gaming shop recently opened its doors at the bottom of Chatham Street. You enter into a plethora of different board games lining the walls, both old and new and all available to buy and take home. You can even go into the games basement during shop hours for a couple of extra quid and play the varying board games all day! There are snacks and drinks available while you play; it just keeps getting better as we write it up to be honest.

Written and compiled by

Molly Pickle’s long-awaited shop has opened. The brilliant local illustrator and printmaker has been a notable artist growing within the community, with numerous exhibitions, markets and popups. The eagerly awaited shop will be selling an array of goods from Molly Pickle Studio. Each design is made by hand, illustrated and sold as a unique piece. Molly offers commissioned art alongside stunning screen prints and digitally replicated work from her original illustrations. Expect an adult and children’s clothing line, household furnishings, stationery and even temporary tattoos! The creative space also offers an area for pop-up artists to exhibit their own work – with local creators such as Godessa Jewellery and Push Designs. 20 Queen Street @mollypickledesign

UNDER 1 ROOF

THE HONEYSUCKLE INN

HEARTH AT EMPIRE ROOM

The beautiful 17th century Honeysuckle Inn has reopened under new management. After a complete makeover Joe and Kat are now serving a wide array of drinks including locally brewed Gadds’ and Beaver Town craft beers in their newly refurbished comfortable and friendly pub which also boasts a front and side beer garden. Joe has lived in Ramsgate for seven years, and partner Kat also runs Margate café The Coffee Shed. The pub is licensed for music so look out for future live music events.

Michelin-trained chef Jack Hancock has popped up in Ramsgate’s Empire Room to open Hearth this summer. Hearth will offer modern British dining, serving seasonal, fresh dishes where local produce takes centre stage. Jack says, “We want to keep it real and grounded, cooking on the bone and over coals.” Located in the intimate dining space beneath the Royal Harbour Hotel on Ramsgate’s Westcliff at the Empire Room, the beautifully decorated Grade II-listed Hotel overlooks the sea, a perfect backdrop for Hearth’s wholesome yet sophisticated food.

Under 1 Roof Kids is a brand new children’s entertainment complex, boasting a soft play centre (Under 1 Roof Kids), an imaginative role play village (Dinky Town), a magical party palace (Party Kingdom), a laser arena (Reload Laser Tag) and a GoKart track, as well as a nursery and dance studios currently under construction. The three directors, Matt and sisters Parisa and Zahra, took on the site in March 2020 and brought their creative expertise to the project as well as their background in theatre production. The sisters are also behind Regency Performing Arts which puts on major productions at Margate’s Winter Gardens and Theatre Royal. Parisa was even an X Factor finalist, and all three share a passion for how the creative arts and adventure can inspire young children's development. The plans for the centre are grand, with the bespoke dance and martial arts studios opening in September and a nursery planned for January.

11 Nelson Crescent | @hearthrestaurant_ @theempireroomrestaurant

Pysons Road u1rthanet.com

87 High Street @thepubmicropub

31 Honeysuckle Road facebook.com/honeysuckleinn


A design-led lifestyle store and cafe offering a fresh approach to eating, drinking and shopping. Find us in one of the Military Road Arches, overlooking Ramsgate’s Harbour.

CreativCarpentry Domestic • Event • Bespoke

Available for events & private hire. 17 Military Road Ramsgate CT11 9LG Tel. 01843 580666 archiveramsgate

www.creativcarpentry.co.uk

07772 520 036

creativcarpentry@gmail.com

Specialist in Innovative Storage Solutions

Royal Harbour of Ramsgate 200 Anniversary Festival

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Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September 2021 For more information, please visit www.ramsgate2021.co.uk

On and around the Royal Harbour – Ramsgate Friday

Saturday

7pm in the BIG TOP Theatre Marquee on the Commercial Quay

11am Drumhead Service & Parade followed by Seaside Fun on the Sands

10am to 3pm Open for Schools

Royal Harbour 200 Festival Variety Gala Show

10am Handmade Fair Opens

Sunday

10.00am Handmade Fair Opens

12.30pm Tea Party on The Sands (T.P.O.T.S) – Bring Your Own Picnic 1.30pm Restaging Frith’s “A Day At The Seaside” Victorian Ramsgate The Shows in the BIG TOP Theatre Marquee

7pm in the BIG TOP Banquet Marquee

11.30am Ramsgate 2020 Variety Show

Royal Harbour 200 Festival Banquet & Cabaret

4.30pm Thanet Obelisk Awards Gala Show

2.30pm Clarkson’s Simple Simon & the Golden Goose Panto

THROUGHOUT THE 3 DAY EVENT: Submarine Simulator • Helicopter Photo Opportunity • Seaside Funfair Classic Car Show • Visiting Naval Boats • Visiting Tallship And Little Ships and much more!


Creative Folkestone Triennial 2021 Thursday 22 July - Tuesday 2 November s Fortress: Folkestone s, Janu ero int Qu ar

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Folkestone Triennial is back! Enjoy great art by the seaside and discover The Plot.

creativefolkestone.org.uk RMH_Ramsgate Recorder_117x154mm_19Jul21.pdf

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MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING ELSE

CMY

Museum of Obsolete And Experimental Electronic Technologies

Various interactive displays and educational material on the history of experimental, scientific and DIY electronics. History of obsolete lab equipment, telephony, toys, sound, vision and much more. Situated in Ramsgate For more info, tickets and opening times please visit

www.museumofeverythingelse.com ww

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Autumn Hotlist Autumn Hotlist AUGUST Stephen Thompson: Equivalents

Gold Coast A collaboration from photographer Jaron James and jeweller Loel gives local icons a splash of gold with a range of limited edition prints and jewellery. 16-29 August

Silverland Studios Children’s Course: Have Fun While You Learn - Enjoy Painting

SEPTEMBER

Overlooking the Royal Harbour of Ramsgate are the studios of Joe Allen and Christine Henn.

A collection of photos, taken mostly in Thanet from this local photographer.

Stephen Thompson’s paintings are frequently made in series with the artist exploring a theme in depth. Using watercolour or oils, the paintings often return to his recurring fascination with a sense of place and time and “a moment apprehended”. He is happy to be called a colourist.

28 Addington Street

Until 10 August

18-25 August

Nice Things, 19-21 Harbour Street

York Street Gallery, 22 York Street

10am-12pm for 5 - 9 year olds; 2pm - 4pm 10 - 14 year olds

yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

Silverland Studios, 18 Military Road

loel.co.uk | jaronjames.co.uk @loelandco | @jaronjames

Ramsgate Art Group Annual exhibition by the Ramsgate Art Group.

nice-things.co.uk

Russell Chater: Alter

Every third Thursday of the month at Eats 'n' Beats.

New paintings, drawings and prints by Russell Chater exploring surface, obfuscation and transience.

3 The Broadway, Addington Street

Until 15 August

Yesim Begen

russellchater.com @russellchater

Home by the Sea

19 August facebook.com/eatsnbeatscafe

A Ramsgate artist and teacher, Yesim loves painting landscapes and seascapes from her own imagination, giving her great freedom to play with shapes, shades and colours.

An exhibition of seascapes and Ramsgate by resident artist Mike Samson.

19 August - 1 September

Until 18 August

@mcgillanandwoodell

McGillan & Woodell, 43 Queen Street

York Street Gallery, 22 York Street yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

Women in photography A collaborative exhibition. The group are a diverse group of 13 females passionate about photography, covering subject matter from seascapes, landscapes and portraits to black and white and minimalist abstract photography. Until 18 August McGillan & Woodell, 43 Queen Street @mcgillanandwoodell

Trans_Formations II Art, process and experiment. Fabio Almeida, Katrina Blannin, Russell Chater, Duncan Cheetham, Steven Geddes, Claire Pestaille, Jessica Voorsanger.

Harry Pye’s Ramsgate Art Show A summer exhibition celebrating Ramsgate featuring 20 artists who either live in Ramsgate or whose work has been inspired by the town. Paintings and prints will be hung in salon style. 20 August - 12 September Fri - Sun, 11am - 6pm The Front Room, 10 Bellevue Road ledocument.com/issue-eighteen/ harry-pyes-ra-show

Ramsgate Soul Train At long last it’s back! Get ready to get down to all the best funk, soul, rare groove, disco, boogie and northern soul on a stupendous sound system. 21 August

5 August - 19 September

Ramsgate Music Hall, 13 Turner Street

Laurent Delaye Gallery, 1 Addington Street

ramsgatemusichall.com

@laurentdelaye

Open Show A celebration of hope. Enquiries: info@nice-things. co.uk to take part. 11 August - 7 September Nice Things, 19-21 Harbour Street @nicethingsramsgate

British Kitesurf Championships Tour South East The first round of the British Kitesurf Freestyle Championships is go! Ticketed event. 21-22 August @britishkitesportsassociation

1-15 September

16-29 September

York Street Gallery 22 York Street

McGillan & Woodell, 43 Queen Street

yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

@mcgillanandwoodell

Brian Bartlett

Looping the Loop Looping the Loop live performance working with BestFest at Newington and the local community. Please check precise date on the website closer to the time.

Ramsgate artist Mick Cairns exhibiting with his daughters Mandy and Sally-Ann.

Following a BA in Fine Art at Portsmouth, Brian was awarded a travel scholarship to the USA, where he gained his Masters Degree at the University of Eastern Illinois. His paintings are very much influenced and affected by a love of painting, particularly Post War British and American Abstraction.

25 August - 1 September

2-15 September

York Street Gallery, 22 York Street

McGillan & Woodell, 43 Queen Street

23-27 August

joe-allen.de

Book Club

28 Addington Street

Painting courses for adults and children throughout the year. Contemporary paintings and monoprints. Open (general hours): Tues - Sun 11 - 5 pm. Also visits by appointment.

Eleanor Marriott, ‘Gimlet Eye’

Charlotte Evaristo Charlotte trained at Central St Martin’s and the University of Hertfordshire, gaining a degree in fine art. “I feel energy is also derived from gesture and colour, the speed and violence of the mark and the abutment of colours. It can be the energy of aggression or the energy of deep, spiritual strength.”

Mick Cairns

yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

@mcgillanandwoodell

Vintage soiree Look out for the first of a series of ticketed events from Stories and the Past, Stacey’s vintage and antique shop, with models wearing vintage stock from the shop including clothes, accessories and jewellery, offering 15% off stock, and serving bubbly for the Thursday.

@stories_and_the_past

Poets’ night Calling all budding poets, writers and enthusiats or just come to listen to local talent. 26 August, and every fourth Thursday of the month 3 The Broadway, Addington Street facebook.com/eatsnbeatscafe

Newington Best Fest The annual creative festival celebrating the community is back! 18 September

Ramsgate Carnival A street celebration starting and finishing at Government Acre heading down to the harbour then back through town 12 September facebook.com/groups/ ramsgatetowncarnival

26 August Stories and the Past, 84 Queen Street

17-18 September loopingtheloopfestival.org.uk

Mike Morrison: Homage To... An exhibition of photographs inspired by Modern Art and its artists including Bridget Riley, Robert Rauschenberg and Peter Blake. 8-21 September Nice Things 19-21 Harbour Street nice-things.co.uk

newington.com

Heritage Open Days

Nadine Shah headlining and music events around town. See page 12 for the highlights.

A host of free events to celebrate our history and architecture. Look out for events at The Grange, St Edward’s Presbytery and Spencer Square including a heritage potato tasting!

27 August - 5 September ramsgatefestival.org

Hands, Faces, Ramsgate: The Year Christmas Was Cancelled

10-19 September

Site-specific outdoor installation of large-format street photography made daily in Ramsgate by Marianne Dissard during winter lockdown 2020. A fringe event of Ramsgate Festival of Sound.

A celebration exhibition of Ramsgate Harbour as part of the 200th anniversary featuring 20 artists who have been asked by the gallery to create a piece especially for the event.

heritageopendays.org.uk

Ramsgate 200

Orpin, Stunt & Findlay Art from recycled materials. 6-13 October York Street Gallery, 22 York Street yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

East Kent Open Houses Hold is proud to host 10 plus selected artists under one roof. Weekends only. 9-24 October Hold Creative Spaces, Penstone House, Albert St holdcreativespaces.co.uk @holdcreativespaces

Martin Cheek Mosaic and glass fusion from the irrepressible and constantly inventive artist, who takes the art of mosaic in new directions that don’t obey the rules! 13 October - 2 November Nice Things, 19-21 Harbour Street @nicethingsramsgate

Prue Cross & Emma Lloyd: Colours of Nature

Linda and Andy Grayling

Two painters sharing their work, influenced and inspired by the blues, greys and earth tones of nature.

13-20 October

22 September - 12 October

Ramsgate couple Andy and Linda have creative fun. York Street Gallery, 22 York Street yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

Nice Things, 19-21 Harbour Street nice-things.co.uk

Royal Harbour 200 A weekend of celebrations on and around the Royal harbour marking its 200th anniversary. See page 14 for more information. 24-26 September ramsgate2021.co.uk

Ramsgate Festival of Sound

OCTOBER

Land, Sea, Air An exhibition of military art from Stephen Beech and David Bryant. 29 September - 6 October York Street Gallery, 22 York Street

Ruth Rollason Ruth devoted 30 years in London to a career in graphic design after obtaining a BA in information design. In 1998 she founded her own design practice creating design solutions in the UK and the US. It was in Ramsgate that she held her first solo exhibition, displaying a plethora of media, photography, ceramics, drawings, and calligraphy. 14-27 October McGillan & Woodell, 43 Queen Street @mcgillanandwoodell

Gary Wells

yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

Well known local sign writer’s first exhibition of paintings from his travels.

Gem Blastock

20-27 October

Using illustrations as the foundation to her print work, Gem draws inspiration from her surroundings and her native coastline of Kent. Through her dot drawings, she creates powerful realistic illustrations, reflecting her own story of growing up on the Thanet coast. 30 September - 13 October

York Street Gallery, 22 York Street yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

Shaun Macro and Linda Bristow Broadstairs-based artists with works in oils, acrylics & egg tempera. 27 October - 3 November

27 August - 27 September

16-28 September

Ramsgate industrial port, off Military Road at the entrance to the ex-Covid test center

York Street Gallery, 22 York Street

McGillan & Woodell, 43 Queen Street

yorkstreetgallery.co.uk

York Street Gallery, 22 York Street, Ramsgate, CT11 9DS

@mcgillanandwoodell

yorkstreetgallery.co.uk


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F

rom a tender age, Whitburn’s Nadine Shah was destined for the stage. “I had a really good singing voice but my parents had no idea. I’d go to my granny’s house and she’d play me Shirley Bassey records. I’d learn them and I’d go home and my mam would have no idea it was me singing upstairs, she thought I was just playing records,” Nadine recalls. She equates her introduction to music to that of Laura Hoff, the character from the film Little Voice, the story of a girl who learns to imitate the great singers. “In fact, Brenda Blethyn is in it,” she excitedly exclaims, and with that we unlock our first Ramsgate connection. “I haven’t met Brenda yet but I’m working on it.” Nadine’s eyes light up and she becomes giddy with excitement when we talk about Ramsgate. It can’t be too common for the Thanet coast to be mentioned so fondly in a Geordie lilt. It is this linguistic energy, voice and accent that is integral to her sound as an artist. Immediately recognisable and unmistakably unique in its range, timbre and vibrato. “My mam had great taste in music like The Shirelles and The Shangri-Las and my dad would sing Sufi songs,” recalls Nadine. “My dad had a beautiful singing voice. So if it’s a muscle I’ve gotten it from him and the love and passion for it is from my mother.” In the years since Nadine has grown to become one of the UK’s most influential artists in her genre, with such accolades as a Mercury Prize nomination, an honorary fellowship

ramsgate recorder

NADINE SHAH: A “BADASS” FESTIVAL Writer

Andrew Flood

Photographer Jaron James

Swapping South Shields for East Cliff, Nadine Shah is one of Thanet’s more recent musical habitants. The acclaimed singer songwriter is this year’s Ramsgate Festival of Sound headliner and its new ambassador. She tells the Recorder why she has fallen head over heels for her new hometown, what to expect from her show at Winterstoke Gardens and all about her upcoming work with the Pie Factory charity from the University of Sunderland, a BBC Radio 6 Music show and four albums under her belt. The most recent has been the critically acclaimed Kitchen Sink, which will be performed in full for a lucky few hundred ticket holders at Winterstoke sun shelter as part of this year’s Festival of Sound. “I’ll be playing Kitchen Sink in full and then a few of the hits thrown in at the end,” says Nadine with a grin. “We’re doing it at the Barbican, Edinburgh Festival and Winterstoke, three lovely places to do it. I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to do that [play the album in its entirety] again unless it’s in 20 years’ time. You never get that luxury but they’re letting me do it here, which is nice.”

The festival has overcome the adversity of the last 18 months not only to survive but to continue to develop and establish itself as a leading festival for the sonic arts, securing a headline act of Nadine’s stature. This is not a music festival in the traditional sense; it is so much more. Through events such as the Busk at Dusk, Sonic Trail and the Screaming Alley performances, it is evident that this is a communitycentric and regenerative festival that evokes the spirit of the town. Nadine explains the sense of place that she has found here: “Everybody here has a story. I was nervous about moving initially, but I’ve met brilliant people here who are massively successful in their field.” She remembers the

particular moment when it clicked for her: “I came for a weekend and he [husband Matthew] had a beautiful flat on Paragon. I fell in love with the place. My move was cemented when we were able to go to pub gardens and I met a bunch of amazing people, one of them being Andrew Gibson [festival director] and he started performing spoken word poetry. I said to my partner, ‘If that is the standard of pub poetry I’m going to love it here.’” Ramsgate’s rich history and deep-seated association with artists is something we are all proud of, but Nadine is particularly entranced by it: “I love hearing about the people who used to stay here. Like the Granville, Oscar Wilde stayed there. Who knows what he wrote there. All the history that’s steeped in this place, mainly the poets and painters, it’s awesome.” It is a testament to the event’s integrity that, in a time when many festival organisers are being criticised for a lack of diversity and non-male representation in their headline slots, Ramsgate can have a British woman of Pakistani and Norwegian heritage as their ambassador. And indeed the location of the performance on 4 September at Winterstoke Gardens is not lost on Nadine, founded as it was by none other than Ramsgate’s first female mayor, Dame Janet Stancomb Wills of East Court, a great philanthropist and patron of the arts. “I mean I would like Dame Stancomb’s house,” Nadine jokes. “I’m also delighted to see there is a BritishBangladeshi female mayor here as


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well, and she owns the local tandoori restaurant. She feeds you and she listens to you – what a combination.” Despite feeling the allure of the past and all its grandeur, Nadine is very much in touch with the present. Inspiring and lifting her peers along with the next generation is integral to her outspoken nature and caring instinct. Through her ambassadorial role with the festival she will be engaging in classes and workshops with Pie Factory, the charity group

“All the history that’s steeped in this place, mainly the poets and painters, it’s awesome” for young musicians in Ramsgate. “There’s going to be a bunch of workshops. I’m going to bring my producer Ben Hillier (Elbow, Depeche Mode, Natalie Imbruglia) down with me. I love working with vocalists on their lyrics and technique. It’s a great opportunity because Ben is a superstar producer and so he can bring something else as well.” Supporting Nadine at Winterstoke will be local musician Josh Flowers. “I met Josh here and listened to his music straight away. He’s massively passionate about making a collective of sorts down here with musicians,” says Nadine. “Where there isn’t that competitive vibe but more everyone helping each other out. This is what I find refreshing about Ramsgate, everybody here is willing to help each other out.” Nadine has firmly rooted herself to the south-east coast, and with a new album on the horizon it sounds as though Ramsgate is providing more than adequate inspiration for the creative juices to begin flowing. In the meantime we have a unique performance to look forward to at the Winterstoke Gardens on what is coming close to its centenary, and ten days of music to enjoy during the festival. “It’s not just your local town fete,” Nadine enthuses. “There’s actually really good, quality stuff on. It’s avant-garde, it’s badass!”

The Ramsgate Festival of Sound runs in venues across town from 27 August to 5 September. For more information and to book tickets visit ramsgatefestival.org See over for a selection of highlights ►


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FESTIVAL OF SOUND: THE HIGHLIGHTS A round up of what to look out for as the Festival takes over Ramsgate 27 August – 5 September FRIDAY 27 AUGUST Screaming Alley presents Let’s Go Outside, an outdoor

cabaret extravaganza. Opening the festival, Screaming Alley will bring its unique brand of performance, playfulness and pageantry to Ellington Park with an eye-popping evening of bandstand cabaret.

SATURDAY 28 AUGUST For children a baby and toddler sensory experience in Ellington Park from 11am, followed by Ramfamdisco, a chance for kids and parents to shake off lockdown blues and party!

FRIDAY 3 SEPTEMBER

A sublime evening of music with Dear Nina… Love Ray. Sabina Desir and Jessica Lauren, together with a specially selected band of brilliant musicians, proudly draw on the huge repertoires of Nina Simone and Ray Charles to

create an evening of celebration in song.

SATURDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Bindlestick Theatre presents Shakespeare’s Royal Company, a performance of Shakepeare’s plays like no other for all the family to enjoy.

SUNDAY 5 SEPTEMBER Join Katie McGarry and Friends at the Winterstoke Gardens for a celebration of Musical Theatre. This joyful concert production will be performed by a cast of professional West End performers and will also feature some of Thanet’s incredible talent from local community theatre groups. With performances including many of the nation’s favourite shows from Hairspray to Dear Evan Hansen, Matilda to Les Miserables. Special guests include Catherine Millsom (Kinky Boots and Mamma

Mia) Tom Giles (Ragtime and Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and Sarah Head (Into The Woods and White Christmas.)

MIDWEEK

There is a series of historical talks hosted in the Royal Yacht club, poetry from the Neanderthal Bard, and of course the centrepiece of the festival, the Sonic Trail featuring eight sound installations at various sites across Ramsgate. The festival closes with Busk at Dusk, a musical stroll along the East Cliff beachside promenade featuring a host of musicians to share the sunset with as another summer comes to a close. A hugely popular event and not to be missed.

For further information and tickets visit ramsgatefestival.org

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200  Royal

EVENTS

YOUR

The Royal Harbour of Ramsgate is preparing to mark its bicentenary in September with a host of events to celebrate 200 years of this unique status. Vanessa Fairley meets Ralph Hoult OBE, aka Mr Ramsgate, to find out more about the planned festivities

I

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YEARS HARBOUR

t is not every day a harbour celebrates 200 years of being royal. In fact no other harbour can, since ours is the only royal harbour in the country. What better reason to acquaint ourselves with the history lying at our feet and in our immediate waters, and at the same time get out and party. The harbour will be ready, with all the pageantry and bombast you would expect of such an occasion, and perhaps even a visiting royal. Ralph Hoult OBE, the event organiser, started planning his vision for a celebration of the 200 years of royal harbour history at least five years ago. The council had nothing planned so he stepped up to be sure this event did not pass by unmarked. “Most people don’t even know we are a royal harbour,” he says. Known as Mr Ramsgate for his longtime dedication to the town (he was awarded his OBE for services to the community), Ralph has a track record for going the extra mile. The status

of royal harbour allows Ramsgate the unusual right to fly the royal standard three times a year, but it took the commitment of Ralph, with the help of the harbour master, to find the missing flag and reinstate it into town life. It was rediscovered in an attic in one of the old harbour buildings and brought back into action. It can now be seen flying on the flagpole at Wellington Crescent three times a year, an honour given to the town by George IV in 1821 when he granted Ramsgate harbour royal status. Ralph’s determination to honour the town history also prompted what he describes as one of his cheekier moments. In 2018 as Her Majesty awarded him his OBE, he took the moment to ask directly if she would like to attend the planned festivities. She smiled but did not let on if she was free that weekend. Who knows, perhaps she has us pencilled in? He hasn’t stopped there. Ralph has been firing off emails to secure a

“Most people don’t even know we are a royal harbour” royal visitor and should have an answer soon. He is a man with a lot of plans. He is currently co-ordinating parades of army cadets, sea cadets, classic cars, and re-enactors of the harbour’s most notable historical events. Re-enactors will bring to life the


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earliest inhabitants of this stretch of coastline; there will be Romans, Vikings, Saint Augustine bringing Christianity to the country, Victorians who so perfected beach promenading, and soldiers from both world wars. Ralph admits he is having trouble tracking down a Napoleonic-era regiment. “There was one based in Dover, but they’ve disbanded,” he explains. But there can be no doubt Ralph will solve this dilemma, perhaps even if it means forming his own battalion. He wants people to feel connected to the history of the town. Forty thousand soldiers embarked for the Napoleonic wars from our harbour. Ramsgate was part of this momentous period of European history. Two royal navy vessels will arrive for the occasion, as will a group of around 20 Dunkirk little ships. There will be a funfair with dodgems, a big wheel and a carousel and an army simulator for those who fancy the experience of riding in a Ralph Hoult, OBE. Courtesy of Russ Pullen, Level11 Photography

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helicopter or submarine. Ralph’s personal contribution to the festivities will be a show he has devised to celebrate the life of the town over the last 200 years. It will celebrate the people that have visited the town, from Vincent van Gogh to a young Audrey Hepburn, and even remember a performance of the Rolling Stones at the Westcliff Hall for the local football club. “All the big names performed here,” he says, “except the Beatles who only made it to Margate. Their loss.” He enthusiastically admits he is not a historian, but that he deals in nostalgia, and that most of all he hopes to entertain. He feels strongly that he wants the celebrations to offer some of the fun we all missed out on during the difficult and isolating past year.

For up-to-date infomation and tickets, visit ramsgate2021.co.uk See page 7 for details


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ART & CULTURE

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THE ARTFUL MOOCH AROUND TOWN Writer

Russell Chater

Photographer

Eleanor Marriott

Remember seeing 5:41 emblazoned on pavements, “Perfugium Miseris” in giant letters being washed by the ebbing tide in the harbour, or have you played your part in reimagining our High Street in the mythical town of Rydesgate? Behind all these projects and more is Mooch, aka Theresa Smith, a local creative whose practice is concerned with our public spaces

The arts can serve Ramsgate,” says Theresa Smith about Mooch’s latest creation, Rydesgate. Twinning Ramsgate with Ryde on the Isle of Wight, the project highlights the towns’ shared charms, their common concerns in maintaining a vibrant high street, and asks what the future might look like. It is the result of a prestigious commission from Historic England as part of its national Twin Towns project. Mooch was one of only six practices to have been awarded this funding – great news for both Theresa and Ramsgate, especially after the last 18 months. Active since 2002, Mooch is a Ramsgate-based creative practice led by Theresa. It specialises in publicrealm art and design. Responding directly to each site and context, it seeks to offer what is felt to be needed or missing and has built up a considerable reputation over the years, with ambitious projects in the UK, particularly around the south east, and abroad.

Projects in Ramsgate include the 2014 creation of a huge crown made up of plastic collected from the beach and placed on the roof of the local public toilets. With intelligence and irreverence it drew attention to King George IV, thanks to whom we have a royal harbour, and his extravagant tastes (his coronation crown was so lavish the diamonds and pearls had to be rented and returned) alongside the less regal and contemporary issue of litter on our beaches. In 2017 Ramsgate Meridian 5.41 celebrated the fact that Ramsgate has its own Meridian Line that is 5 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. For this, Theresa drew a temporary line across all the pedestrian areas in the town drawing attention to this much overlooked bit of local history. Successful projects like these would have played no small part in Mooch securing this latest commission. Theresa’s diverse training (ranging from ceramics to sculpture, welding to furniture) and past experience

“One member of the public exclaimed, ‘My god, it looks like Buckingham Palace!’” working in interior design offices and galleries means she is unfazed by materials, scale or people. The latter is particularly key, as Theresa is ultimately driven by getting people engaged. A strong sense of community, along with a desire to return to the coast (she was raised

in Folkestone), was a key driver prompting Theresa to move to Ramsgate in 2007. Rydesgate is her latest project and was partly inspired by the Model Village that existed in Ramsgate from 1953 to 2003. The imagined high street of Rydesgate highlights the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), a £95 million governmentfunded programme, delivered by Historic England, to unlock the potential of 68 high streets across England in a bid to fuel economic, social, and cultural recovery. Theresa is working with Dan Thompson, a Thanet-based artist, writer, and founder of the Empty Shops Network. “Town and city centres will survive as long as they provide a mix of activity and appeal to a broad range of people,” he says. He believes this is slowly starting to happen across the UK, with the natural, balanced states of our towns returning; what he calls a “rewilding of the high street”. Meanwhile ►



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ART & CULTURE

Past projects

Perfugium Miseris Courtesy of Chris Constantine

The Crown Courtesy of Chris Constantine

Worse Things Happen at Sea Courtesy of Mooch

Theresa has worked with local creatives, including mixed media artist and illustrator Kavel Rafferty, and illustrator and children’s book writer Peter Scott (aka “Patrick George”), on stunning visual material. She is also employing a young person through the government’s employment Kickstart Scheme, and stresses how few paid opportunities there are for young people, particularly in the creative sphere. Art and media students from Broadstairs College have also been involved. They helped design the templates of the 12 shops in the Ramsgate HSHAZ, which the public were invited to redesign and repurpose. Teacher Dani Flowerdew says the students have loved seeing the project develop and getting a sense of what it is to be an artist in the community. They have also valued discovering more about Ramsgate’s history, something Theresa’s funders see as key to unlocking Ramsgate’s potential. Theresa has seen everything from delis to birthing centres, bookshops to weavers, suggested by people who took part. Overriding themes embrace creative, community-focused, multifunctional spaces that particularly serve young people. People have been encouraged to “look, appreciate and re-think how we use our town centres,” she says. One member of the public exclaimed, “My god, it looks like Buckingham Palace!” in response to properly looking at Ramsgate’s Lloyds Bank building. As the HSHAZ means Ramsgate will receive substantial grants from Historic

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England over the next three years to create and curate locally developed cultural offerings, projects like Rydesgate are invaluable first steps in identifying both what we have and what we need. For Theresa, the arts are a major player in both the economy and our identity. “Cultural tourists dwell longer and spend more money, on average,” she says. “The arts create jobs.” As for the future of Ramsgate, Theresa hopes it remains accessible and affordable for all, and that the town recognises the unique value of its harbour and architecture – something the Rydesgate project, now off to exhibit in Ryde until 8 August after a successful opening in Ramsgate, helps to highlight. So what’s next for Theresa? There are various things in the pipeline, she replies teasingly. In particular her 2016 project Perfugium Miseris will be revisited next year. The Latin words carved into Ramsgate’s Georgian lighthouse translate as “refuge for those in need”, and the original project saw Theresa recreate this motto in large photoluminescent vinyl letters, mounted at the high tide mark on the harbour arm. The project remains ever poignant and pertinent and it is not hard to see why revisiting it might be justified. As with so much of Theresa’s work, Mooch promises to continue exploring and serving Ramsgate through the arts.

mooch.co


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ART & CULTURE

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CONRAD SHAWCROSS: FINDING HOME IN RAMSGATE Images courtesy of

John Sainsbury Photography

With the internationally renowned artist’s landmark installation due to be unveiled on the East Cliff, he talks to Sean Farrell about how Ramsgate inspired him, the piece’s potential impact and challenging his artistic fears

A

fter three years and a series of setbacks during the Covid-19 crisis, a groundbreaking major artwork is due to open on Ramsgate’s East Cliff in September. Beacons is a £385,000 installation created by Conrad Shawcross, an artist of international repute who specialises in mechanical sculptures. Beacons is a big deal for Ramsgate – both physically and in terms of its potential impact on the town as an artistic centre over the course of the year it will spend here. The structure comprises four paddle-shaped steel structures each standing almost nine metres tall and displaying nautical code that spells the word “home” when viewed from the sea, reflecting Ramsgate’s history as a port and harbour. Built next to the bandstand on Wellington Crescent, each structure will have a handle that lets people rotate the panels to change the effect out at sea. “It sends a message out to sea that’s welcoming to a weary traveller to see from a distance,” Conrad says on a video call from his studio in Hackney, East London. Like his other installations, Beacons incorporates elements of science and philosophy. “I deliberately perforated the panels so that when the sun is behind them they melt away like industrial lace,” says Conrad. “There is a feeling that the message is slightly diminished because it’s like a battered flag and ►


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they selected the word “home” to feature in the artwork. “‘Home’ was the word that represented Ramsgate the most to them,” Conrad explains. “They wanted people to feel this was a welcoming sign.” Jo says the children’s involvement adds to Beacons’ distinctiveness and that the lessons have been captured in a document that will act as a guide for similar projects in the world of public art. “We think this is the most ambitious artwork commission led by children,” she says. “If it was just a piece of artwork it would be really

“If you bring in cultural destinations it can really transform things. I love Ramsgate” you can turn the disc by hand to create a visual effect out to sea.” Conrad says he thought about ways the artwork could be interpreted in the context of current politics while leaving the judgement up to the viewer. “There’s an abstraction to the piece and there is some poetic licence,” he says. “There’s a feeling that the message is slightly diminished because it’s like a battered flag. The sign of a good piece of art is if you lose control of its meaning and everyone sees something different within it.” Conrad Shawcross is a major name in the art world. He has won multiple awards for his works displaying his structures and carrying out commissions in cities including London, Philadelphia and Beijing. Beacons therefore has the potential to boost Ramsgate’s profile on the artistic map, attracting visitors and drawing the town into the orbit of Turner Contemporary, which has supported the project. Turner Contemporary is regarded as a leading example of how public art can re-energise a community. One of the gallery’s strategic objectives is to be a catalyst for the regeneration of Thanet, but from Ramsgate it can seem like the attention and funding goes disproportionately to Margate. “That was in the minds of [Turner’s] commissioners when they embarked on this,” Jo Martin, Turner’s project manager for the piece, says. In this the gallery’s tenth anniversary year it wants to spread its cultural reach further into East Kent. To maximise

Beacons’ impact on Ramsgate, Turner Contemporary will deploy its public relations machine to draw art-hungry visitors to the installation. Conrad was one of the first exhibitors at Turner and has experienced how art has revived previously impoverished parts of London economically and culturally. He thinks Ramsgate is ripe for a similar renewal. “The idea of this work is it brings a lot of people into the town. Hopefully there will be hundreds of people each day who will visit, have lunch and talk about Ramsgate to their friends,” Conrad says. “If you bring in cultural destinations it can really transform things. I love Ramsgate. I hadn’t been there for a few years. It’s like Hackney 20 years ago and it has so much potential for being re-engineered and reinvented.” As the Recorder reported in our previous issue, what makes Beacons different is that it is embedded in the community, and was conceived and commissioned by Ramsgate’s schoolchildren. Starting in 2018, more than 70 pupils from Ramsgate Arts Primary and St Laurence’s Junior Academy, then aged 7-9, spent a year researching their town’s history. They decided the artwork should reflect themes of play, playfulness, caring and modern machines. The children chose Conrad from a shortlist of 16 artists for his ideas, without knowing his background or reputation. He then worked closely with them over several months, and in a session at the Sailor’s Church

interesting anyway, but the thing that makes it really unusual is that it’s been done by children.” Lockdowns and other hurdles – including a tunnel discovered under the site – delayed Beacons by a year, and prevented the children from visiting Conrad’s studio while he built the structures. At the time of writing planning permission is yet to be approved by Thanet District Council, though it is imminent. The result of the delays is that Conrad will make no money from the project despite the hefty price tag. In fact, he has put his own money in, Jo says. Conrad agrees Beacons has become a labour of love and says the project also helped him challenge his established ways of working. “I had a fear of using colour in my work and this forced me to do something very vibrant that would stand out,” he says. “This was a route into making more colourful, joyous work, because they look like big lollipops on sticks. When you do a commission you have to consider the features of the site and the demographics of the people who are going to see it. I hope one of the reasons my commissions are successful is that they are not just driven by my own ego.”


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MUSIC

MEET THE MUSICIAN: LUKE PURDIE Photograph courtesy of

The Mad Mouse UK

He grew up in a world of showbiz, as a teenager spent much of his time on the road, before going on to support Iron Maiden. Now Luke Purdie is back in the recording studio with a new sound and an album of new songs. As he prepares for more new releases we catch up on his life in music You’ve just released your new single “Bullet”, a few weeks after “Runaway” – can you tell us about those two quite different tracks and the new album Two Sides to Me? “Bullet” is a lively upbeat track I used to play in a band over ten years ago. It’s very much a blues-inspired track. We managed to get Grammy award-winning musician Charlie McCoy, who’s played with the likes of Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley, to play harmonica on “Bullet” and “Two Sides to Me”. What he did really suits the music. I have had these songs kicking around for quite a long time now. “Runaway” is probably my favourite. It’s as close as I have got to the style of songwriting from the Billie Holiday era, which I really like. The album has been a long time

in the making. I was quite happy not recording at all, but my oldest friend, producer and pianist James Baker, managed to get me fired up for it after a long break from music. We worked on it together with guitarist Sam Woods and it has been great to have him involved.

Your new album marks a return to the recording studio, and a different sound. How have you enjoyed making and recording music again? The last time I was in the studio was with [Luke’s former band] Voodoo Six and I was vocals only. So for this album I needed to relearn how I used to play my acoustic guitar – I had neglected my playing quite a bit. That was nice. Recording was a great experience this time around as it was just the two of us in the room and not a team of people. It was a nice way to record, no late nights, no partying. I’ve done it that way so this time it was all about getting the music down. And it worked out better.

You have been involved in music all your life, first in rock band Reculver, then frontman of heavy metal band Voodoo Six, supporting Iron Maiden. Those are different musical styles to your new album – has country always been your first love? I have always been in rock bands. I think I was 15 when my dad played me Neil Young’s album Harvest on a cassette in the car and I have been a fan ever since. My parents were a country music duo in Holland in the early 90s. I travelled on the road with them and spent a lot of my childhood in the studio listening to them sing old country classics, so it must have rubbed off.


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“I have never been happier with how my songs sound recorded than on this album” You write and perform your own music. How does that process work for you, and do you have a favourite part? Usually writing starts with just playing around with the guitar and finding nice chord progressions and then I’ll get a melody idea and things usually start coming together. I do enjoy songwriting and listening to it when it’s recorded. I have never been happier with how my songs sound recorded than on this album.

You come from a musical family. Your parents were in the acclaimed 70s band Guys 'n' Dolls and went on to form Grant & Forsyth, touring Europe.You even performed with them to crowds of thousands as a teenager. How would you describe the influence that’s had on you and your music? I literally grew up on the road with my parents, going to gigs, meeting showbiz people. Living that life as a child was normal to me at the time. It’s only now I realise how special my time growing up was. My parents were and still are amazing vocalists. I watched how hard they worked and the sweat that it took to really do it right and I wanted to follow the same path. The first music I fell in love with was Michael Jackson. I asked my mum to buy me the Bad album on cassette when I was nine in a petrol station. Jackson is still my favourite even now. After that I got into Iron Maiden, Guns ’n’ Roses and the grunge era.

How can readers listen to your music? Any live or even virtual gigs in the pipeline? The album Two Sides To Me is available to download on Spotify and Apple Music. There are no plans to tour the album yet but we shall see.

Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram: lukepurdiemusic

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FOOD & DRINK

Writer

Christabel Smith

Images

Courtesy of businesses

🇪🇦

SPAIN

🇪🇦

AROUND THE WORLD IN RAMSGATE RESTAURANTS The best kind of travel broadens both mind and waistline. Our holiday plans may have been thwarted this year, but with a trip around the local restaurant scene, your wanderlust is sure to be sated

NOMADA AT EATS 'N' BEATS At weekends, on the Costa del Addington Street, you’ll encounter some of the best tapas since back in the day when a Spanish barman worked out that covering wine glasses with a plate of nibbles was a fine way of stopping the flies! Picture a pretty courtyard, a balmy evening, the waft of chorizo and smoky pepper in the air.

🇬🇷

WORLD WONDERS: tortilla with

caramelised onions, crab and tarragon croquettes

Food on Focus at the Ramsgate Promenade Market

ITALY

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PAPA GEORGE

3 The Broadway @eatsnbeats @nomada_ramsgate

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GREECE

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IL TRICOLORE

TURKEY

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HUNGARY

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A LA TURKA

FOOD ON FOCUS

One for all the family and a popular spot for celebrations, so don’t be surprised when the lights go down and a cake appears. If your favourite pizza or pasta isn’t on the menu, the chef will do his best to give you what you want. Offshoot BB Pasta & Pizza in King Street will deliver (bbpastapizza.com)

The magic of the wide variety of Turkish mezze on offer means carnivores can consume Albanian liver at one end of the table, while veggies tuck into tabule and cacik dip at the other. Everyone will love the salad pepped up with chillis, lemon and a sprinkling of spice.

Once the Belgian Bar, then Green Tara, now a street-food centre – forever a quirky Ramsgate legend. Pop in for lángos, the Hungarian fried flatbread you can top with, say, sour cream, cheese, pulled pork, hummus… and smoked paprika fries on the side.

WORLD WONDER: prosciutto and

WORLD WONDER: menemen breakfast

WORLD WONDER: Billy the Goat

funghi calzone

of eggs, cheese pastry, sucuk sausage and spice

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110 Harbour Parade ala-turka.co.uk

Ramsgate Promenade Market, Harbour Parade foodonfocus.co.uk

lángo

A popular takeaway/delivery with space for just a couple of inviting tables outside. Boasting “the best souvlaki in Ramsgate”, there’s a choice of pork, chicken, meatballs, halloumi or vegan.

WORLD WONDERS: spanakopita

(spinach and cheese pie), saganaki cheese with brandy

4 York Street papageorgetakeaway.co.uk

THE GREEK ARCH A welcoming, family-run taverna, serving Greek Cypriot food just an olive stone’s throw from the marina. With the sun shining, a cold beer and warm pitta bread to scoop up your taramasalata, you can sit back and decide on your next choice of yacht.

WORLD WONDERS: mezze, moussaka, home-cooked chips sprinkled with proprietor Nancy’s magic ingredient

LA MAGNOLIA

15 Military Road the-greek-arch.squarespace.com

Perfectly located for a get-away-fromit-all feeling as you gaze across the harbour, you could be forgiven for letting your morning cappuccino lead to lunch, then a gelato or artisan ice cream, perhaps a cocktail as the sun goes down?

WORLD WONDERS: risotto porcini and gorgonzola, cannoli

6-12 West Cliff Arcade Tel: 01843 580477

A La Turka

The Greek Arch


54-56 Harbour Parade Ramsgate CT11 8LN

01843 585008

The Royal Harbour Brasserie

Good Food, Good Cocktails, Good Views... ...Good Times! Open Wednesday to Sunday from noon ‘til late Free parking

01843 599059 East Pier, Royal Harbour, Ramsgate, CT11 8LS

We are a harbourside restaurant and café in Ramsgate offering relaxed all day and evening dining, using local fish, free-range meat and produce from our allotment. Open 7am-9.30pm

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FOOD & DRINK

🇯🇵

JAPAN

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KYOTO SUSHI & GRILL While sushi swooners gorge on the freshest sashimi, those who want their food hot and cooked will be happy with fried chicken, spicy pork buns and tempura, and everyone will appreciate the best presentation this side of, well, Kyoto. It is takeaway only for now, but they hope to reopen soon. CCCP

🇷🇺

RUSSIA

🇷🇺

CCCP

WORLD WONDERS: chicken or veg gyoza, tako yaki (deep-fried ball of octopus)

57 High Street facebook.com/kyotoyuby Kyoto Sushi & Grill

CCCP promises traditional dishes from Russia with love. Discover Lithuanian potato “zeppelins” stuffed with pork mince or curd, wild boar, venison stew and herrings.

SOUTH EAST ASIA THAI PASSION

WORLD WONDERS: borscht (beetroot

Anything to declare following a visit to the historic Custom House to sample the Thai cooking within? Only that the dishes are aromatically, authentically delightful.

soup, hot or cold in summer), homerolled chicken kiev

14-18 Chatham Street cccprestaurant.co.uk

🇮🇳

INDIA

🇮🇳

WORLD WONDERS: pad thai, fishcakes Custom House, Harbour Parade thaipassion.co.uk

FLAVOURS BY KUMAR

RAKOOKOO The highlight of many foodies’ lockdown routine was a weekend pick-up from chef Rachel, who posts her Heat At Home menu on a Monday so you dream of the South East Asian delights in store all week long. The addition of home-grown herbs from her Ramsgate garden is a bonus.

WORLD WONDERS: crispy stir-fried paneer, wood pigeon tikka

A long-established favourite, Flavours is a definite must-visit on any culinary traveller’s map. Spoiler alert: when dining in, you’ll be treated to little surprises – spiced amuse bouche, an espresso cup of delectable soup – which add to the overall deliciousness.

Thai Passion

WORLD WONDERS: Sri Lankan

smoked haddock curry, Burmese duck and potato curry

2 Effingham Street flavoursbykumar.co.uk

Instagram: @rakookoo

SPICE GARDEN WORLD WONDERS: garlic-studded

tarka dal, dansak (meat, prawn, veg or Quorn) With locally sourced ingredients and authentic spices, it is no wonder this recent arrival has quickly made its mark. It is slightly off the beaten track, but worth the walk, especially when combined with a pre- or postprandial in the Honeysuckle Inn close by.

85 Hereson Road spicegardenrestaurant.uk

Spice Garden

There are, of course, many other awesome Ramsgate eateries offering classic dishes from all over the globe, but space sadly prevents us covering them all in this issue. So please see this as a taster, rather than an all-inclusive buffet!

Rakookoo


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FOOD & DRINK

OUR KITCHEN: VEGETABLE PATTIES Sharon Goodyer heads up Our Kitchen, a community food club that sells healthy, tasty food at affordable prices and helps its members cook well on a budget. Here she shares an easy recipe to get us all started

W

e have more than a thousand members in Thanet. It is free to join the club, but you do have to want to eat a healthier diet, and you do have to be struggling to do so. There are a lot of things that can make putting healthier tastier meals on the table very difficult. It could be there is just not enough money to go round and the food budget is the one that can be cut back but it can also be lack of knowledge about food, lack of skills, lack of a fair sized kitchen or lack of equipment. It can also be pressure inside the family not to change or psychological issues. We come across young parents on anti anxiety medication who are finding life challenging and who can find coming up with ideas for tea everyday for picky children just overwhelming. These meal kits are the best value we can offer. We often use up a local glut in them. We made a rhubarb crumble kit recently where we had prepared the rhubarb ready for baking and the crumble mix and all our customers had to do was

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This recipe is so flexible. You can use a wide variety of veg – whatever you have to hand. I find them useful for using up all the odds and ends of veg I have left at the end of the week.

1

Start by making the potato base. Potatoes will take a little longer to cook than the other veg so put them whole and unpeeled into a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes (you don’t need them to cook through).

put both parts in a dish and bake. Other popular meal kits have been a veg curry and rice pudding with apple sauce. We want to do more of these. Members of Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet’s Food Club love our offer of a £1 bag of basic fruit and veg. Vegetables come in a wonderful array of colours. The different colours are a clue to the different nutrients they contain, but they all give us dietary fibre and are low in calories. We need to eat more vegetables in our meals. Here is a super easy, affordable, tasty and colourful recipe idea:

The Ramsgate shop is in St George’s church hall in Broad Street – we are grateful to the church for letting us use this lovely space for free. We have two paid members of staff, and the rest of the team running Our Kitchen are volunteers and members. Opening hours are: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am–3pm.

2

Drain and cool under cold running water, pat dry, then grate into a bowl and add any other veg, such as some raw onion, carrot, butternut squash, courgette, and/or broccoli, cut into thin strips or grated. Add some chopped chilli if you like a little spicy heat. Veg contain a lot of water and you don’t want your mixture to be too soggy, so just soak up any excess liquid in the bowl with kitchen towel or pour it off.

3

Mix ½ teaspoon of baking powder and 1 heaped tablespoon of plain flour (or chickpea flour) in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. *This is the right amount of flour and baking powder for roughly a cup of grated veg. Add more of each for larger amounts of veg. Add more flour too if you want a firmer, more easy-to-hold patties, perhaps if you’re making them for children.*

4 5

Add the flour mix to the vegetable mix and squish everything together with one hand and shape the mixture into patties.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the patties and fry until the veg are cooked and the edges are crispy. Flip and fry on both sides (fry them in batches if you’re making lots, or have a small pan).

6

Remove from the heat and serve. The fritters soften as they cool, because of the water in the veg, but are delicious warm or cold.

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SEAMS, DREAMS & VINTAGE THEMES Writer

Christabel Smith

Photographer

Bethany Chater

They say the soul is fed by needle and thread, and fast fashion is so pre-pandemic, dahhling! Old is the new new. We don’t want our clothes to have a carbon footprint, we’d rather hunt down a classy classic with a vintage print. We’re into upcycling, recycling, make do and mending, and Ramsgate is capturing the mood

JAX BLACK

IT’S SEW RAMSGATE “From an early age, I was attracted by the historical fashion on display in the V&A and clothes from the 40s and 50s. I taught sewing and patterncutting at London College of Fashion for over 25 years and realised that if I could teach 30 students from all over the world to make a corset, I could do anything. Having also worked as a TV costume designer, consultant on The Great British Sewing Bee and in front of the camera on This Old Thing with Dawn O’Porter, I was ready to retire. But moving to Ramsgate seven years ago, I was inspired by the town’s energy and started to dream of opening its first sewing school. “Sewing has come back in vogue as many people realise they’ve missed out on the traditional skills their mothers and grandmothers were taught at the knee. There’s also an appetite for bringing old clothes back to life. At first, it was hard finding premises, but

when the studio in Chatham Street came up I knew it was perfect (well, could be, once my lovely painter/ decorator husband Dominic had transformed it). “I want It’s Sew Ramsgate to be an inclusive place, not about being stuck-up, but getting stuck in. There’s vintage haberdashery and fabric for sale and I’m running classes and workshops for kids and adults, those who’ve never picked up a needle before to the more experienced who want to replicate a beloved garment that’s past its best. For men, there’s a two-day course on how to make a summer shirt, as boldly bespoke as they dare. Whether you’re stitching a simple tote bag, dressing gown or an Audrey Hepburn shirtwaister, there’s nothing like the shared interest and companionship as the machines whir away. In future, I may branch out into hen nights, or burlesque-themed evenings (nipple tassels are dead easy). When you learn to sew, anything is possible.”

10 Chatham Street its-sew-ramsgate.co.uk


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BUSINESS

KAREN CORTINAS

THE SEWING ROOM “Sewing is in my blood. Even my surname means curtains in Spanish! My family were in the rag trade in London and Mum was a patternmaker and lingerie designer for Marks & Spencer. Growing up around clothes, I was working on alterations from the age of 17. Moving to Ramsgate in the 80s, I became a seamstress in a factory in Honeysuckle Lane, making clothes for a shop on the King’s Road and new romantic outfits for Top of the Pops. I used to be one of the Thanet Crafty Bitches, running social ‘stitch and bitch’ sessions in pubs and wine bars, which was a lot of fun, although some of the work went downhill after the girls had hit the wine. “Opening up my own shop earlier this summer was so exciting. People are tired of wearing the same old ‘uniform’ from chain stores and want an individual look that suits their personality. The Sewing Shop is all about upcycling and giving pre-loved clothes a new lease of life. When little kids are sad about losing a grandparent, I’ll use their old, familiar clothes to make memory bears and bunnies. I recently sourced some great fabric printed with buses to make a vintage-style dress for a lady to wear at her bus-driver dad’s funeral.

As well as the items I have for sale, I make circle skirts and retro dresses, and I can repair or alter pretty much anything. I’ve whipped up seats for boats and camper vans, scrubs for the NHS, repaired sofa covers and even the zip on a pair of leather boots. Basically, if it fits under my sewing machine, I can sort it out.”

24 Addington Street facebook.com/jiveafterfive

ANNA WOODS & DANI NUTTER

POSITIVE RETAIL Best friends Anna and Dani met when they were buyers for major stores, including Topshop, Kurt Geiger, Whistles and LK Bennet, and watched in dismay as the fashion industry they’d once loved altered beyond recognition. “The high street as we knew it had been on the way out for years before the pandemic killed it for good. Every time we chatted, our conversation would turn to how the world had changed, how shoppers now wanted to buy local and support smaller independents. Mindful of the planet, they wanted sustainable clothes that are also great quality and fun. Drab and earnest is not a good look! “When retail talk turned to ‘going back to normal’, we dug in our heels. Once our work had been part of the problem, and now we very much wanted to be part of the solution. We established Positive Retail, and as soon as we could after lockdown, opened a pop-up store for six weeks, selling ‘pre-loved good stuff ’ everyone could enjoy. Addington Street, with the sea and harbour at the far end, was once Ramsgate’s high street and it felt so good to be breathing new life into it once more. Now, following our hearts, we’ve opened a permanent shop, a corner building which we’re told was once a bakery, a kind of Victorian Greggs. “With more space, we can expand our range, and we’re building up connections with local sellers. We’ve been blown away by the warm reception from locals and visitors alike. We want the experience to be enjoyable and our shoppers often talk about how relieved they feel about being able to treat themselves to a topend dress or pair of shoes, wrapped up beautifully, but with no environmental guilt. Positive Retail’s ethos and Ramsgate’s community are the perfect fit.”

26a Addington Street positive-retail.com

Courtesy of Rebecca Douglas


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FASHION

STYLE ON THE STREET Casting & styling Katy Lassen @weseafaces

Photographer Ed Thompson

A

fter many months of restrictions the smallest thing now feels like the biggest treat. Browsing in a shop or rifling through a rack of clothes seems more exciting than ever, and luckily for us Ramsgate has some great new additions to the high street. Sustainability is the buzzword in fashion right now, and rightly so. Whether it is vintage, recycled or rental, we should all be taking steps to reduce the waste created by our addiction to fast fashion. For this issue we wanted to celebrate a more conscious approach to style, featuring pre-loved looks from new clothing exchange Positive Retail, Ramsgate Thrift Store and BUTT Vintage.

► Sonja wears pink jumpsuit from Positive Retail. Vest and accessories her own ▼ Sonja wears animalprint top from Ramsgate Thrift Store and blue jeans from Positive Retail. Accessories her own


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FASHION

 Jonathan wears striped shirt, yellow sweater, beige trousers and brown leather bag all from BUTT Vintage, Petticoat Lane Emporium

35

▼ Jonathan wears blue workshirt and trousers from BUTT Vintage, Petticoat Lane Emporium

With thanks to Filipe for the use of Arco Barco


Tales on Moon Lane 43-45 Addington Street Ramsgate CT11 9JJ

01843 654730 | helloramsgate@moonlane.co.uk

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ramsgate recorder

COMMUNITY

Parks, picnics and peer support Photograper James Soules

The return to a busier reality from a life of enforced isolation can be a shock to the system. Our mental health has taken quite a battering. Elinor Seath joins a local community initiative that has found new ways to help address feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression while seeing its membership rise

O

n a balmy sunny afternoon I packed my towel and sunhat and headed off to Ellington Park to join the first SpeakUp CIC “park and picnic meet-up” since lockdown in March last year. I was lucky enough to be invited and I wanted to learn more about the work of SpeakUp CIC, how they have adapted during this past year and, looking ahead, what they see as the challenges as we step out into the

“new normal”. I was warmly greeted by director Maggie and project worker Kay, with a few nervous glances from the group. It has been widely documented how the pandemic has negatively impacted on people’s mental health; where families and individuals have experienced unexpected and tragic losses, lockdowns have led to prolonged periods of enforced social isolation, and widespread job losses have put people in financially insecure situations. These have all put a strain on our mental health. As we step out into a post-pandemic world, the true impact of the past year is only just beginning to reveal itself. Maggie Gallant set up SpeakUp CIC ten years ago. Having worked in mental health for a number of years she wanted to develop a different approach, where mental health service users’ voices sit at the heart of programme development and the focus is peer support. Affiliated with

37

Project workers Kay and Maggie

Live Well Kent, SpeakUp CIC is a community interest company (CIC), meaning it is independent but any assets or profits are channelled back into the community it serves. It offers a dynamic and robust programme of services, from the Minds-Eye photography group set up by one of the members, to Nightowls providing support to members at night when things can become more difficult. As Kay says, mental health isn’t just 9 to 5, it is with you 24/7. Today’s picnic is the first of a planned monthly gathering in the park. As I arrive a group of about ten members are taking shade under a large tree in the park. Some have brought chairs and blankets with snacks being shared; the atmosphere is relaxed. SpeakUp CIC is a membership organisation where individuals are referred by mental health services or people can self-refer. Everyone involved has been affected by mental health in some way, staff and ►


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COMMUNITY

volunteers included. Maggie is very proud of this and is open about her own struggles with mental health. Steve has been a volunteer with SpeakUp CIC for four years and at the picnic speaks about the “family feel” of the group, perhaps alluding to the sense that everyone is in this together. He met Maggie at a difficult point in his life when physical problems stopped him from working. Feelings of isolation followed, which is when he started to experience issues around mental health. Maggie encouraged him to join SpeakUp CIC; he has never looked back. I asked about his experience during lockdown. Steve said he enjoyed meeting online, on average attending four sessions per week, and taking part in the popular quiz. Looking ahead, Steve can see that some members will need to start from scratch and knows it will take time to rebuild their confidence to get out. This is where the picnics come in; meeting outdoors feels safer for some. A new concept introduced by staff member David during lockdown has been the Ramsgate Walk and Talk. While a lot of members were able to access the weekly programme of online sessions, there were some who didn’t have the technology or didn’t feel comfortable online. These sessions are

here to stay, with the benefits of the fresh sea air and exercise continuing to encourage members to maintain in-person contact. Long term, project worker Kay is concerned about the impact of Covid on mental health. SpeakUp CIC has seen their membership treble in the last year, including a large number who have not experienced mental health issues before and are selfreferring for support with depression and anxiety. The focus of SpeakUp CIC is to take a preventative approach to mental health and stop people getting to crisis point. For members like Christopher that I met at the picnic, the regular Zoom sessions through the lockdowns have been a lifeline. As I leave the picnic, I reflect on my experience. SpeakUp CIC’s strength seems to lie in its ability to see past the mental illness or issue. The members I spoke to talked about their interests and how they are able to explore these through the eclectic programme of groups and sessions. I can see that Steve is right about the family feel here; there is no us or them, we are all in this together.

For more information visit speakupcic.co.uk

Never miss an issue. Subscribe to the Ramsgate Recorder for only £19.95 per year, or all our magazines for £34.95 per year, and get every issue delivered to your door. margatemercury.com/subscribe

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ULANOWSKI


ramsgate recorder

PHOTOGRAPHY

39

THE EVERYDAY UNCANNY Photography

Courtesy of Edward Thompson

Photographer Ed Thompson has been taking pictures in Kent for two decades and is publishing a new book to mark this milestone. He talks to the Recorder about his travels around the county and what inspires him to click his shutter

How did you discover photography? I wanted to study film as a student, but back in the 90s it was very expensive. Some of my favourite film directors were photographers – Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott – so I thought I’d try being a photographer first. I grew up in Folkestone and photographed the usual clichés when I was a teenager: the sea, bands, sunsets, graveyards, people making homemade street luges (sledges on wheels) and riding down Dover Hill at night. During my first year at university my work was selected for a group show at the famous photography festival Les Recontres d’Arles in France. I was 20 years old and hanging out with some of the most famous photographers in the world. It was a character-defining experience. After graduating, my first break came through the Folkestone Jobcentre working as a holiday camp photographer on the Isle of Sheppey, New Romney and Marlie. That was 16 years ago and I now freelance for clients including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Telegraph Magazine. I am also a senior lecturer at UCA Rochester.

What got you hooked on photography? Growing up in the 90s, in the blossoming of a full-tilt celebrity culture, I saw how people lost track of what was important and, more importantly, what was real. In the daily grind we forget how inherently magical daily existence is. I found that I could photograph everyday

life in such a way that it became significant. It seemed to show how I felt. I do believe there is something special that happens when you use a camera to capture moments and create order out of the chaos of the everyday real world.

Your book spans two decades in which time much has changed. How has that expressed itself in your work? It doesn’t feel like I’ve been photographing Kent for over twenty

▲ “There’s lots of interesting things happening here. The relationship between the man, the dog, the seagull and the sign. I won’t pick apart what it means to me, it would be like a musician explaining what their song lyrics mean. What I will say is that the dog was blind.”

years. But that is part of the magic of photography: the ability to distil time into a fraction of a second. Early on I focused on what you could say were fringe interests and subcultures. I felt that our culture in Britain in the 90s had become a monoculture, or at best polarised like it always had been; from the dualism of mods and rockers, punk and disco it was then lad culture and alternative culture. I tried to show different alternative hobbies and pasttimes away from the mainstream. Now in the 21st century it is no longer ►


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NUMBER

BISTRO AND ROOMS

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binary, the mainstream is only a trickle. There are so many subcultures and that’s what I’ve always been interested in. Looking back at my photography through this book, the key thing is that my visual style has stayed the same for 20 years; through some bizarre process I’ve managed to tap into my own vision which means that photographs I took two decades ago have the same quality as photographs I take today. It is the ultimate goal of most photographers, to express how they see. No one else truly sees the world the way you do.

What can people expect from the book? In-a-Gadda-Da-England will be my third book and is about the soul of England and how we got to where we are. The photos deal with nostalgia, pasttimes, class, British nationalism, all things which led to Brexit. There are a lot of England flags. By bringing these photographs together, the characters I have met meet each other: twenty years of things I’ve witnessed in my life distilled into moments and placed in a book. There are beautiful and weird photographs. Lots of the work has been made in Thanet over the past five years. By continually taking photographs in Kent I have learnt to repeatedly fall in love with the same place. The work hasn’t changed, I’ve always focused on everyday life, and these photographs come together to paint a broad canvas of English life at the turn of the 21st century.

Photographs are central to our culture and everyday communication, and there are lots of ways to reach an audience.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Why a book? With social media it is so easy to take and share pictures. I first joined Twitter when I was photographing the London riots in 2011 as a means of quickly gathering information and also sharing information, letting other photographers know what was happening in the streets. Although I find myself often in hyper-social situations I prefer to be more of a photographic hermit, working away steadily and then releasing what I’ve made when I’m ready. As a documentary photographer I produced dozens of independent photo-essays I would then sell to magazines as features. By 2011 it was clear that this wasn’t going to work anymore, the industry had raced to the bottom and many magazine stories were being put together with stock photography for pennies. So I adapted. I edited this new book from work made in between assignments, street photography and also a couple of shots from projects. My plan is that this book is the first of a series of photo-books of my work. It’ll be limited to 500 copies in this first edition.

What inspires you? In the beginning I was inspired by what my eyes were drawn to, then I started picking subject matters that were ideologically driven. My favourite photographers are Diane Arbus and Joel Sternfeld.

In-a-Gadda-da-England is being crowdfunded with an early bird discount rate when it goes live in September. For more details visit edwardthompson.co.uk

◤ “This photograph represents a moment: it seems the man is about to walk into the bear as he is looking in the wrong direction. This is what interests me as a photographer; building up narrative using larger themes than perhaps are what are formally presenting themselves at the time.”

▲ The Isley trader washed ashore nearly hitting the Anthony Gormley sculpture in Margate. “This was a lucky find. Just being able to be in the right place at the right time, sometimes that is enough. It’s an absurd photograph.”

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▼ Bins concealed in topiary. “This is one of those quirky photographs that generally only photographers see. It’s the kind of thing most people walk past every day and don’t notice. It’s not obvious and that’s why it’s fun to make people look again by taking a picture of it.”


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Unsung heroes:

Nik Mitchell

Writer

Rachel Mills

Image courtesy of Nik Mitchell

If you find a marine animal in distress, see someone litter picking on the beach or take your children on a seaside safari, you’re likely to spot Nik, who is dedicated to protecting Thanet’s coastline, championing biodiversity and educating us all on the importance of conservation.

Y

ou have probably seen Nik zipping along the coast on his electric skateboard, unruly brown hair peeking out beneath his cap. He says he can get from Pegwell Bay to Stone Bay and back on one charge. Just the thought of the fun of it brings a big smile to his face. Nik Mitchell is an unusual conservationist. He is into drones and motorbikes, and though his garage has a green “living roof” covered in vegetation, his garage door is covered in graffiti art. He was born in Minster and explains that

life was difficult as a teenager. “Like a lot of nature people I can be quite antisocial,” he says. These days he’s friendly and approachable, but one thing dominates the conversation – our local environment and wildlife conservation. Nik, 38, has dedicated his adult life to caring for wildlife and is passionate about educating people on the positive steps we can all take. He has cofounded a Facebook page, Wildlife Conservation in Thanet, where he vlogs and campaigns on local issues; he litter picks every day – sometimes twice a day (more plastic comes with every tide, mostly fishing tackle, line and nets, bottles, cans, coffee cups and baby wipes); and he volunteers with the Thanet Coast Project and British Divers Marine Life Rescue. If you see a seal washed up on the beach, you will also often see Nik in

hi-vis, standing close by protecting it from dogs and members of the public getting too close. He explains that sometimes seals just need to get some warmth: “They haven’t got anywhere safe to warm up. We’re everywhere!”. Sometimes though, the seal might be sick or injured, and when this happens, the British Divers Marine Life Rescue – Nik and other trained MDMLR medics – step in. All Thanet Coast Project volunteers have their own patch along the North East Kent Marine Protected Area (NEKMPA), and for Nik, that is Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve. It is here that he carries out regular data-gathering to check on local wildlife, human disturbances and environmental issues. He is animated (and angry) when he talks about jetskis breaking the speed limit, litter, sewage discharge (for which Southern

Water was recently fined £90 million), people (and their dogs) walking on the beach and putting up the birds, and shellfish harvesting on a big scale (any amount of harvesting in Pegwell Bay is illegal – it is a protected reserve). Thanet’s chalk foreshore is a delicate ecological balance; we have 20 per cent of the UK’s coastal chalk. “We need it and we need to be looking after it,” Nik says. Passionate about getting kids involved – he has two children and often takes his daughter on wildlife missions – Nik loves doing talks and demonstrations at schools, and confides that he sometimes finds it easier getting through to kids than adults. He speaks with pride about the seaside safaris that he and the other NEKMPA volunteers run in summer. Does he ever get tired of it all? “I don’t have a choice, I can’t stop,”


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ramsgate recorder

HARBOUR BIKES

For all your cycling needs • New Bikes from Marin, Dawes, Claud Butler • New Parts and accessories • Servicing and all repairs • Cycle hire from £10 per day • Ebikes • Over 30 years experience • Full renovation undertaken • Specialising in Vintage cycles and Vintage parts • Hand built Wheels By Harry Rowland • We are always here for good advice

Harbour Bikes and Harbour Active are located at Arch 20, Royal Harbour, Military Road, Ramsgate, CT11 9LG. We are open 7 days a week 10.00am - 5.00pm. Tel: 01843 585 060

Harbour Bikes Harbour Active

harbour_bikes harbouractive

• Stockist of Saint James, for stylish everyday ladies and menswear • Rains for unisex waterproof capes, coats and bags he says. “There’s so much to do, it’s overwhelming.” But his successes keep him buoyed. He has recently established Kent’s first artificial swift colony at Broadstairs College, installing nest boxes to help the migratory bird whose numbers are in decline. He was first on the scene when large amounts of polystyrene washed up and broke up in Pegwell Bay and Ramsgate; he shared videos and updates on social media and in the local news to get people involved in the clean-up of this mini ecological disaster. He has encouraged many to wild their gardens – Nik rails against the “tidy brigade” and champions long grass; rich habitat for invertebrates like beetles, caterpillars and moths that goes on to benefit birds, bats and hedgehogs (he is keen to stress that it is not all about bees, though they are very important too).

Nik can’t contain his delight about TDC taking part in #NoMowMay this year, allowing grass areas to grow and flower to provide vital habitats for insects. He sees it as a sign that our council is taking the climate emergency seriously and can’t help but feel hopeful that there is a change in the wind.

Thanet Coast Project is reliant on 100% donations and was only able to operate in 2021 thanks to a generous donation from Haeckels. See thanetcoast.org.uk for details about how to make a donation or become a coastal warden/ guardian. If you come across a stranded seal, dolphin, porpoise or whale then call British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546 and give a detailed, accurate description of where it is

• S4 for mens Winter jackets • Buttress and Snatch available in the Spring/Summer for Ladies bespoke handmade swimwear • Garcia available in the Spring/ Summer offering eco friendly fabrics for mens beachwear

Seaside clothing for all seasons



ramsgate recorder

COMMUNITY

45

Calling all Thanetians! As Ramsgate celebrates 200 years of being a Royal Harbour, Level Eleven Studio owner Russ Pullen has been photographing people from across Thanet to mark the occasion. Here he introduces his latest Ramsgate subject: James Chapman aka Kylie Manogue

B

y day, James Chapman is a highly professional, Henry-vacuum-cleaner-obsessed head housekeeper for a luxury Canterbury Hotel. But by night, as his alter-ego Kylie Manogue, he regularly performs drag acts and his locally famous bingo nights at Sundowners Bar in Margate. A couple of years back while living in Ramsgate, all his dreams were fulfilled when he was invited to appear on Kylie’s Secret Night Christmas TV show and finally met his idol in person. As soon as I got the story, I knew we needed to photograph him, and this probably goes down as one of the most fun-packed, loudest and manic shoots of my life! A short time later, I decided to submit several of these images as part of my (successful!) associateship of the Master Photographers Association, and I was delighted to hear it described as “one of the more interesting panels we’ve seen”!

Steak, Lobster & Burger Daily Specials Open Thur - Sunday Reservations hello@slabmargate.co.uk

15 The Parade Old Town Margate


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ramsgate recorder

NATURE

Bird Watch FALCON Writer and photographer Keith Ross

We'll help you build your nest Need a mortgage or remortgage? Get in touch with us, quoting ref: RR0821 Mortgage brokers based in Margate & Whitstable, with access to the whole mortgage market YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

Email: sally.geldard@cormorantmortgages.com FCA No. 780438

D

uring the second world war a special unit of MI5 known as the Falconry Destruction Unit was set up with a licence to kill. Their target was the peregrine falcons along the south coast. They had been catching and eating carrier pigeons carrying vital messages from occupied Europe. After the war the persecution continued, and with the impact of pesticides numbers reached an all time low in the 1960s, surviving only in the north and west of the UK. However, due to legislation protecting them, they are now beginning to make a comeback in our towns and cities, using tall buildings to nest on. The good news is that for the past few years their numbers have grown along the south-east coast, and if you are lucky you can now see these birds soaring in our skies. The peregrine is our biggest falcon; it has a dark slate-grey back and a white chest with black bars. It has a white throat and cheeks, and a strong, black moustache and mask. The female is the larger bird; the male is about a third smaller which is why it is called a “tiercel”, from the Latin meaning “a third”. They are famous for being the fastest bird on the planet; while hunting they can dive or “stoop” reaching speeds of 200mph. Their favourite food is pigeon, but I’ve

seen them eat a wide variety of birds including woodpecker, jay, redwing, Manx shearwater, sandpiper, starling, pied flycatcher and even swift. The young are tiny balls of white fluff to begin with, but over just a few weeks they soon grow to full size and are brown and cream in colour. The adult bird brings food to the nest where it feeds the young. However once the young are ready to fledge the parent bird will fly above the nest with food in its talons, encouraging them to take to the air and chase the parents. It then drops the food so that the young bird learns how to dive and catch its prey in mid-air. This is known as “flight school” and is an amazing sight to witness. Sadly today peregrines are still persecuted. They are illegally killed to protect game birds and racing pigeons. As they are a Schedule 1 listed species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act it is important that we help protect these incredible birds so that they remain where they belong and once again become a common and magnificent sight along our coastline.

If you would like the chance to see more of our wildlife I do guided nature walks from Ramsgate to Pegwell Bay. Contact me at keithross1@hotmail.com for details

Supporting independence at home for people with dementia Would you be interested in helping us? We would like to invite family or friends who support someone living with dementia to try out a new intervention (NIDUS-family) to help people living with dementia stay independent and remain at home. What will happen if I take part? ➢ You will have the opportunity to discuss the study and ask questions. ➢ You will be asked to complete questionnaires with a researcher at the start of the study and then 6 & 12 months after the initial call. ➢ If you are offered NIDUS-family, a researcher will explore what is important to you and the person you support, help develop strategies with you and signpost you to services. This might include support with getting out and about, staying healthy and safe, improving sleep, help at home and making future plans. ➢ We will offer you £60 in vouchers to thank you for taking part.

Ifyouareinterestedinhearingmore please contact... Jessica Budgett, UCL (University College London) Email: dop.nidus@ucl.ac.uk Tel no: 07899 858 684

Research partners:

Funded by Alzheimer’s Society


ramsgate recorder

ADVERTORIAL

47

Whether you’re in search of help with household tasks, eager for tasty treats, seeking a gift for someone special, or ready to relax on a yoga mat, you can trust a local, independent business to meet your needs WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

• Professional, friendly photography service • Contact me to arrange a no obligation meeting 10% discount for 2021-2022 weddings T: 07887507637 W: lisavalderphotography.co.uk IG/FB: LisaValderPhoto

PIE FACTORY is a unique art space

located in an historic building in Margate Old Town. With a weekly schedule of diverse exhibitions, the gallery offers something special for both visitors and artists. Now taking bookings for 2023. IG: @piefactorymargate FB: Pie Factory Margate W: piefactorymargate.co.uk

An open and friendly yoga studio, welcoming beginners to more experienced. Join our yoga community for classes workshops and teacher trainings. In studio and live stream.

ROMANY CLAIRVOYANT & MEDIUM

Is your future uncertain? I have the answers you seek!

THE CENTRE, Margate. The colourful

shopping precinct situated in the heart of Margate. Home to a range of independent traders, cafés and national high street shops. Find a creative community of small businesses, good food and renowned music venue, featuring artwork, studios and our very own indoor market.

Immediate telephone consultations: 07812 333853

Powerful spells available!

IG: @thecentremargate FB: facebook.com/ thecentremargate

E: thecentremargate.com

IG: @margateyogastudio

IT'S SEW RAMSGATE Is a bright fully

W: Margateyogastudio.com

E: Margateyogastudio@gmail.com

Based in Margate, RECOVERED BY OLLIE provides quality bespoke upholstery services utilising both traditional and modern upholstery techniques for domestic, trade and commercial clients. Please contact via email for a free quotation. W: recoveredbyollie.com

E: ollie@recoveredbyollie.com IG: @RecoveredByOllie T: 07789 720 477

E: vikkie.richmond@pinkspaghetti.co.uk T: 0333 355 6621 FB: facebook.com/PinkSpagThanet

LOVELYS provides a bespoke picture

framing service, gallery, exhibitions, art supplies, gifts and cards. You can visit us at 248 Northdown Road, Cliftonville, or our website lovelysgallery.co.uk where you can order art supplies for delivery or click and collect. Framing consultations are by appointment only. E: caroline@lovelysgallery.co.uk T: 01843 292757 IG: @lovelysgallery FB: Lovelys Gallery

Team Beaver provides bespoke strength and conditioning to suit clients with any needs. Want to improve your health and fitness? Team Beaver Strength & Conditioning can help. Online or face to face sessions available THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM GIFTS

T: 01843 853777 A: 45 Queen Street, Ramsgate

Fifty-three-year-old family run patisserie, bakery and retro coffee shop. Freshly baked bread, croissants and Danish, tortes, fresh cream cakes and savouries daily. Celebration cakes made to order.

07941 942010 Itssewramsgate@gmail.com www.its-sew-ramsgate.co.uk @itssewramsgate

T: 01843 221227 FB: @BatchelorsPatisserie IG: @batchelorspatisseri (no 'e' on the end)

Professional, reliable, eco-friendly dry cleaning, laundry and repairs service. Established over 100 years. Collection and delivery service. Please try us! Will take on all domestic and commercial work.

T: 01843 292571 E: elizabethstone81@hotmail.co.uk W: www.markmichaelsvalet.co.uk A: 5 New St, Margate, CT9 1EG

E: dean@teambeaver.co.uk IG: @teambeaversnc FB: @teambeaversnc W: teambeaver.co.uk

Do you need help with your admin? Offering business support to sole traders, Pink Spaghetti covers the whole of the east Kent area, from Whitstable down to Deal. We can give you a 25th hour in the day!

equipped, inclusive sewing studio and vintage haberdashers Offering contemporary and vintage pattern cutting and sewing workshops from £15 an hour Beginners, intermediate, advanced stitchers welcome. Hourly studio time also bookable.

£15 per hour – one cleaner / £20 to Covid clean and fog a taxi/car. • We provide: • End of tenancy cleans • Gyms/spas/hot tubs • Remove rubbish/waste, fully licensed • Children’s play areas • Fogging (price on quote) • Fully insured (up to £2 million) • Trained in Covid-cleaning • Products Supplied

Professional picture-framing and mount-cutting in Birchington. Visit us for unique handmade gifts and unusual greeting cards. Passport/ driving licence photo service verified with HM Passport Office, or print off your photos on our excellent quality printers. W: birchingtonframing.co.uk FB: facebook.com/ birchingtonframing/

E: birchingtonframing@gmail.com

T: Call Kyla 07516 282608

T: 07980 949954

BROAD ST BEACO AIRS N

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Brunch | Lunch | Dinner | Drinks Book your next dining experience here at Albion House via calling 01843 606630