Beside St George’s Church gates is a smart white painted building that opened in 2014 and is called The Micro Museum.
Founders Carol and Mike Deer recognised how much people care about their former computers. The Museum of London provided Mike with valuable experience and he has long harboured the idea of this Micro Museum. The invention of transistors and circuitry shrank enormous mainframe computers to the size of the BBC Acorn and the ranges of Sir Clive Sinclair and Alan, Lord Sugar.
Games and technology to master at home helped micros sell by the million. Now that small children and all ages use mobile phones it is hard to recall that the computing power in each one is far greater than what was used for the moon landings. Games and programmes are accessible for all and advice in the Museum is enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
Entertainment is almost infinite and whole families return for days that are affordable and not weather dependent. Naturally the Deers use the world wide web and social media to promote their Museum and as a result tourists now visit Ramsgate just for the Micro.
In this, the second year, visitor flows increased three-fold. That is an achievement for any attraction or museum and this one now has visitors from Europe and from Japan and America. When the Museum reopens next Easter ‘Tech Treasures’, the Museum shop, will feature technology-themed items made by local artists, including pixel art postcards, games-related fabric items and digital art works.
Prices will be inexpensive but just over a century ago in Paris, Picasso and hungry artists exchanged pictures that would soon be worth millions for a few centimes in junk shops or just for food in cafes. The Micro has got it right so far: it could become massive.
The 2016 season starts on Good Friday and production of a Ramsgate Society membership card will secure £1 discount on the entry price.
On a late summer sunny Sunday afternoon, at the end of October, Society friends and members gathered in St George’s Church for a concert by the Magic Music Wind Trio. Leader, Katherine Stewart on clarinet is an internationally renowned player, as popular at the Proms as at swing sessions. With Alison Hayhurst on flute and Chris Rawley, bassoon, their performances on Radio 3 and Classic FM have confirmed a reputation as a trio of euphony and power that combines fine lightness of touch, speed and fluidity.
Chris Rawley’s Bassoon assumes the roles of brass and percussion masterfully, blending with the two higher woodwinds to create intimate unisons and dazzling harmonies. The trio spanned three centuries of composition, revealing in Henry Purcell how a simple base pattern may sustain very different melodic variations.
In Mozart’s Wind Trio the speed, spirit and exuberance of the score’s tripping, tail-chasing and tumbling revealed the player’s virtuosity and that the acoustics of St George’s may rival the churches of Salzburg in the case of Mozart and in the Beethoven Duo, those of Vienna. Their style is never indulgent and as Katherine put it “strawberries taste better with pepper.”
Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore can be a cliché but Katherine’s interpretation was classic, lyrical and quite moving. Musicians who can stand on the world stage do not visit Ramsgate every month, so the Society and the Town are indebted not just to the Trio, but to the new Social Committee: Janet, Jennifer, Sue and Sarah for a brilliant start to the new programme.
Unusually it rained but the festival enjoyed another success this year. The support and enthusiasm of a team from the Maritime Volunteer Service, Thanet Unit, who are not intimidated by water, helped turn a very wet occasion and potentially loss into a satisfactory profit.
They sold more raffle tickets in shorter time and pouring rain, than has ever been achieved before even on long sunny days! The MVS Thanet Unit, some of whom are disabled, is a 40-strong team and one of the largest in the country. They act as stewards, marshalls and helpers for charitable festivals, fairs and fun events in Thanet and are highly effective.
by Irene Seijo
On the 17th October Civic Voice ran a workshop at Lenham Community Hall to encourage volunteers to take part in a project to record the condition of all the war memorials in their local area. This is part of a partnership with the War
Memorials Trust, Historic England and the Imperial War Museum. The aim of the day was to teach participants to fill in an online condition survey on War Memorials Online - who are seeking to create the UK’s most comprehensive understanding of the condition of all the war memorials. War Memorials Online is run by War Memorials Trust with the support of Historic England. The aim is to identify those war memorials that need assistance with repair and conservation. The War Memorials Trust is receiving up to £3 million to support grants and conservation advice from the Department of Culture, Media & Sport.
Ramsgate has nearly 100 war memorials – possibly more, and most of these have not been yet been surveyed in terms of their current condition. We need volunteers to help with this task to ensure at risk memorials can be found before it is too late.