Emergency Repairs to The Clock House
Last year the Clock House was placed on the Historic England Buildings at Risk List and, due to the Coronavirus restrictions, the building has remained closed since March 2020.
Members will be pleased to hear that the Society has been successful in obtaining a grant of £22,812 from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Response Fund to carry out some emergency repairs at the Clock House. The repairs are essential to stabilize the loose stonework around the clock tower, which is in danger of falling through the roof, and to repair the leaks in the roof that are causing damage to the interior of the building.
The initial survey, specifications and quotations for the work were prepared by Michael Foley of Standard Heritage on a pro bono basis. Mike is a Ramsgate resident and a qualified Heritage Surveyor, a member of the Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum and a great advocate for the protection of Ramsgate's historic buildings. Following the receipt of three quotations the contractor chosen to carry out the work was Colman Contractors of Canterbury.
The work is due to commence soon and will be supervised for the Society by Simon Clark of Copperstone Consultants and Mike Foley of Standard Heritage. Mike has very generously agreed to act pro bono and Simon Clark's fee is included in the grant from Historic England.
We currently await the TDC response to the WSP Report and Consultation on the Feasibility of the Ramsgate Port and Harbour which is expected in the Spring 2021. If the Clock House is identified in that Report as a defined project then we have been told that TDC will support our proposals for a new Ramsgate Maritime Heritage Centre in a newly renovated Clock House.
Clock House and Maritime Museum
Image © Francis Philips Architects from the 2016 concept document by Houghton Kneale Design Ltd for Destination Makers and The Ramsgate Society. The full document can be downloaded here.
"Pioneering Places" is an ambitious project funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England and delivered by Turner Contemporary. Part of the project is an exciting new temporary piece of public art to be installed near the East Cliff bandstand.
Since 2018, over 70 local children from St Laurence’s Junior Academy and Ramsgate Arts Primary have been leading this project. Turner Contemporary staff have been working with them through regular attendance at their schools and the provision of weekly creative workshops. As part of the project the children interviewed a number of artists to work with them to convert their ideas into a piece of public art and as a result, they then appointed Conrad Shawcross RA, a renowned British artist who has exhibited internationally.
To see the letter sent by the Turner Contemporary for Ramsgate Society members to read more about this exciting project read this PDF file
Ramsgate is one of the most picturesque seaside towns in Kent but sometimes when you walk along some of the streets in Central Ramsgate you might be forgiven for thinking that the town was bidding for the title of “Litter Capital of Kent” and making a very convincing case.
Litter is a form of vandalism, which together with graffiti and poor maintenance of the public realm, are the three things that offend most peoples’ sense of civic pride and prevent people enjoying what would otherwise be an attractive historic town with much to offer residents and visitors alike.
As well as being unsightly, litter is a serious social, economic and environmental issue. It causes harm to communities and wildlife, and at a time when local authority budgets are coming under huge pressure it costs over £1billion each year to clear up. Yet it is entirely preventable.
The bigger picture
A recent Keep Britain Tidy national survey shed light on the state of England’s streets and unfortunately, it’s not good news, with the results showing that litter has increased dramatically since the survey was last carried out in 2014/15.
A total of 7,200 sites across the country were surveyed and the top ten most littered items were:
1. Smoking related litter (79%2. Confectionery packs (60%)
3. Soft drink bottles and cans (52%)
4. Fast-food related litter ((33%)
5. Alcoholic drinks bottles and cans
7. Snack packs
8. Vehicle parts
9. Discarded food and drink
Litter blights our streets, parks and beaches and costs us millions of pounds to clear up every year but how do we persuade people to eliminate litter now and for future generations. This is about more than simply getting volunteers to pick up litter that people have thrown down. We need to change behaviour permanently by highlighting the problems daily and coming up with creative solutions.
This is about making huge changes made up of small, individual steps: recycling those plastic bottles rather than throwing them in a bin that goes to landfill and reducing food waste by only buying what you need. Waste is everyone’s problem and everyone has a role to play in the solution. The little things we can all do will, together, make a big difference.
Today’s young people are the key to eliminating litter and ending waste both now and for future generations and that is why Keep Britain Tidy runs the world’s biggest schools’ environmental education programme Eco-Schools. More than 2.3 million children and young people are currently actively engaged in the Eco Schools Programme. The aim is that every child has the opportunity to learn about the environment and the role they can play in improving it. If we are to make the huge collective strides to change behaviour and create a cleaner town for everyone, then investing in our future means inspiring the next generation today.
Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs)
Fixed penalty notices are an essential part of an environmental enforcement strategy. Research by Keep Britain Tidy has shown that although FPN’s themselves are not a quick fix to improving the quality of local environments, they are powerful tools when they are underpinned by the education and engagement stages mentioned above.
It would seem that Central Government agrees as they move to encourage local authorities to make full use of FPNs to tackle environmental offences and develop new legislation that includes new powers for authorities to help maximise their use.
Although awareness of FPNs amongst the general public is relatively high, there is still a vital need for authorities to engage with local communities to ensure that this awareness translates into long lasting behaviour change. In fact, it is important for an authority to celebrate their FPN successes –for example through the local media – because we now know this a key driver among those residents who believe FPNs are an effective behaviour change tool.
That said, Keep Britain Tidy recommend that the best approach to improve the quality of the environment and prevent enviro-crime is to engage with communities, understand their values, educate them on the impact that their behaviour has on the environment, and use fixed penalty notices to reinforce positive environmental behaviour.
The Ramsgate Litter Forum
The Ramsgate Litter Forum, of which the Ramsgate Society is an active member, was set up in March 2018 to coordinate the efforts of local residents who are keen to help tackle this perineal problem. For information about the work of the Ramsgate Litter Forum and how to get involved please visit: Ramsgate Litter Forum - January 2020
Litter is a blight on our community and impacts adversely on our quality of life. Education is the most powerful way of changing this type of anti social behaviour and is most effective when started in school at an early age. When education is reinforced with Fixed Penalty Notices for those who habitually and irresponsibly drop litter the results can be transformational.
Look out for the Next Ramsgate Society Litter Pick on Sunday 11th April 2021
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