Here's a copy of the December newsletter sent to members.

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Dear *|FNAME1|*,

Season’s Greetings

Photo courtesy of On My Drone

This photo is a stunning reminder of how especially attractive Ramsgate becomes in December!

We wish all our members an enjoyable Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Terry Prue
Ramsgate Society Communications Lead

 

Levelling Up and the Clock House

The renovation of the Clock House, the Maritime Museum and the creation of a new town square in Pier Yard were part of the TDC grant application to the Government's Levelling Up Fund for Ramsgate earlier this year. We heard in October that the bid, a total of £19.84 million, was successful.

The part of the bid that included the Clock House and Pier Yard was based on the scheme produced by the Ramsgate Society (RS) in 2016 and my understanding is that this is what TDC are planning to implement.

Initially a meeting was arranged between TDC and RS for Friday 12th November to discuss the way forward but this had to be postponed as TDC had not at that time received the Terms and Conditions of the Grant from DCLG. These have now been received and there was an inception meeting between TDC and DCLG on Thursday 16th December after which things will be much clearer.

The meeting with the Ramsgate Society has now been rescheduled for Monday 6th January so we should be in a position shortly after that to let you know how TDC intends to take the project forward. We are assuming they will adopt a collaborative approach and that we will all be able to work together to deliver this much needed scheme.

I will be in touch again once things start to take shape.

John Walker
Ramsgate Society Chair

 

The Next Ramsgate Society Talk

It was with great relief that we were able to restart our talks programme in November with an excellent sell-out presentation by Joanna Thompson and Fiona Punter from the Goodwin Sands Preservation Trust.

We now travel hopefully but carefully to our next planned event on January 21st. In his inimitable multi-talented style, our editor of the Society's Ramsgate Matters magazine will give a seasonal talk on why the story of a 200-year old harbour takes us to the ancient world of Spain, the Lebanon and even further back into pre-history.

Seas, storms, dark days, dance, music, words, feasting and how the natural world continues to rule.

As before, places must be booked in advance as this does generate the ability for us to email everyone with the current Covid regulations right up to the day itself.

Click here to book

Terry Prue

 

Manston, Heritage and Investments

The Independent Aviation Assessor’s Draft Report, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Transport, was published on 21st October ‘21. In confirming that there is no ‘need’ for the airport, it supported the findings of the Examining Authority in 2019, recommending that the application to reopen the airport be refused. There followed a period of consultation until 3rd December during which ‘interested parties’, including the Ramsgate Society, were invited to submit further comment. We submitted a 12-page document including two strands of new evidence relating to Ramsgate that further exposes the disbenefits that should be weighed in the redetermination.

They throw a fresh spotlight on what is under threat and at risk by first revisiting the calculations of altitude of aircraft overflying Ramsgate. On landing approach this confirmed that the heights at key locations would be as follows:

  • Royal Victoria Pavilion/Clock House/ Harbour Parade, height 900 feet (c270m)

  • Chatham & Clarendon Grammar School / Public Library, height 700 feet (c220m)

  • Nethercourt, height 270 feet (c 80m).

The impact of low flying aircraft depends on ‘what lies beneath’, what is being overflown, and we related this to the new Conservation Area Appraisal Report by Historic England and other recent public and private sector investment projects and programmes.

Heritage

In 2017 Historic England (HE) signalled its recognition of the national importance of Ramsgate heritage as well as its vulnerability by designating the town as the first, of only five Heritage Action Zones (HAZs) in the South East Region. A 5-year programme of work has ensued. The Central Conservation Area has the greatest concentration of heritage assets and was, in 2018, chosen by Historic England as the subject of a Conservation Area Appraisal. The consequent Conservation Area Appraisal Report (currently in Consultation Draft dated August ‘21) runs to 483 pages. The report marks a milestone in understanding the nature, scale and value of individual heritage assets and their collective significance from a local, regional and national perspective.

The report states (p5):

“Ramsgate Conservation Area is of exceptional historic and architectural interest as a coastal resort town and working harbour with a fine array of heritage assets spanning the seventeenth to the twentieth century, representing a complete cross section of the society which lived, worked and visited Ramsgate over more than three centuries of growth and change.”

It describes the Royal Harbour as follows:

“The Royal Harbour is a remarkable piece of eighteenth-century civil engineering of national importance both for its design and its role in national and international trade during the eighteenth- to twentieth centuries. There is great significance not only in the surviving eighteenth- and nineteenth-century harbour infrastructure, but also in the harbour’s continued use. The harbour arms allow extraordinary views back inland, in which the historic growth and exceptional historic building stock of Ramsgate can be understood.” (p5)

The Conservation Area and the Royal Harbour are directly on the flightpath to and from Manston Airport. They and the growing heritage tourism and visitor economy would be at serious risk of collapse if flights resumed.

Public and Private Sector Investments and Initiatives

After many years in the doldrums Ramsgate has, slowly but surely, begun to blossom as a place to live, work and visit. There have been major private sector investments in the visitor and tourist economies in recent times such as Royal Victoria Pavilion (£4.5m) and Royal Sands (£50m). In the last year or so a flurry of public sector grants and initiatives have recognised Ramsgate’s need, assets, and potential. These include:

  • High Street Heritage Action Zone, awarded £601.9k

  • Future High Street Fund, awarded £2.7m

  • Levelling Up Fund, awarded £19.84m

A substantial element of the Levelling Up funding focuses on public realm improvements around the Royal Harbour.

All these sites are directly beneath the flight path. The prospect of frequent low flying giant cargo planes over-flying the town would jeopardise all the benefits from those public and private sector investments.

Read our full submission here
 

Could you spare some time for a Food Bank Shop?

Members may remember that Sharon Goodyear and her team at Our Kitchen were included in the three recipients of Ramsgate Society Civic Champion Awards for 2020. If any members feel able to offer more personal support to this team, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. They are seeking more volunteers for the New Year – particularly for mornings or afternoons on Fridays. Full training will be given and regular opening hours are 10am to 3pm.

Sue Gyde

 

A Gift for All

Having planted 50 trees to commemorate 50 years of the Ramsgate Town Conservation Area we are happy to support the Field Studies Council and Trees for Cities in their offer to supply free tree identification guides from January 2022. These guides are available exclusively for residents living in the Ramsgate area but you do not have to be a Ramsgate Society member so feel free to pass this on to anyone you think would be interested.

Register by 10th January 2022 to receive your first guide in the post later that month so that you can learn all about the winter trees that surround you. Each tree ID and care guide is a colourful and splash-proof chart that folds flat to fit into a large pocket or bag – perfect for when you are out and about. Each guide is filled with drawings and photos created by enthusiasts and experts to truly help you learn about trees, their wellbeing and how we can protect them.

Free guides are limited, so please register quickly.

Get started and order your very own guide
 

Contact the Ramsgate Society

If you have any queries about or for the Society please get in touch

Members with events, workshops or news that you would like the Society to consider featuring in its newsletter please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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