Gerald Tripp and Benedict Kelly, regular contributors to the Society Magazine have produced a new booklet on Ramsgate Past: The Royal Ramsgate 1665-2015. It was personally sponsored by the Mayor of Ramsgate, Trevor Shonk. He contributed unpublished material from his own historical archives, and believes that, like their recent 1736 Map, such publications go a long way towards promoting the town. Were our Mayor’s example to be followed by other civic dignitaries, print and publishing sectors with numerous artists and authors of England and very probably the whole economy might all enjoy a boom.
After decades of discreetly desperate enquiries, the Ramsgate Branch of Waitrose is about to acquire its first customer conveniences. The Store was built before such facilities were common or expected. An outdoor and indoor coffee shop are to be provided along with self-service tills. The Store is one place where you can speak to someone you might otherwise never meet, in an increasingly amenable, safe environment.
For a town with a population of some forty thousand souls, 2015 produced exceptional television coverage for Ramsgate, reaching international and in some cases worldwide audiences. Programmes like the Hotel Inspector at Albion House filmed skies, harbour and architecture as well as interiors, to present an image of Ramsgate that could hardly be achieved in any other medium. The seals and wildlife of the nature reserve and town gardens were captured for Springwatch and other natural history programmes with detailed close up filming that attracts international sales. Once in a century a cactus soars through the roof of the Italianate Greenhouse and flowers gloriously before dying but it has never been so widely recorded before.
The arrival of EastEnders in Ramsgate must be an ultimate accolade for a huge audience but an event like the celebration of Dunkirk’ Small Boat Crossing had a world-wide appeal. An earthquake off the Harbour and another one, in election terms, were both unpredictable and if the presence of foreign film crews were an indication, overseas viewers stayed interested longer than many locals. This brief survey has explicitly not mentioned an airport or other resort that may also have had some coverage.
The Ramsgate Society’s 2010 Town Image award was presented to the Custom House in Harbour Parade, now an accessible home to Ramsgate Town Council, much-used café cum restaurant, central visitor information centre, Royal National Lifeboat Institute shop and quality craft shop. In short: A Success.