Sunday, 29 June 2014

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate South Thanet Conservative Association Announcement

South Thanet Conservative Association Announcement
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
On Saturday 28th June the Executive Council of the Association shortlisted three prospective candidates to go forward to a final selection by the full membership which takes place next Friday 4th July.  Following this final selection, the official conservative candidate for Member of Parliament for the South Thanet Constituency for the forthcoming election in 2015, will be announced.

The three selected shortlisted candidates are:-
Tony Devenish
Anna Firth
Craig Mackinlay

Free Tennis Coaching For Ladies At Margate Lawn Tennis Club

Margate Lawn Tennis Club, in conjunction with Thanet District Council Sport Development,  is announcing a brand new, entirely free, scheme for ladies who have either played tennis before, but not for some time or have never played but want to, to get involved and regularly take up the sport with the Club.

Starting on July 17 at 6.30pm, and running for six consecutive weeks, the Club is offering free one hour tennis coaching to ladies who fancied playing but never had the opportunity or have simply lost touch. Tennis is a fitness and fun activity and the scheme is designed to help ladies take up the sport and then join in with tennis club activities.

The intention is to provide a quality coaching programme for those taking part and therefore any ladies wishing to take up the offer, should contact Adult Coach Gavin Webb as soon as possible as places will be limited. Gavin can be contacted on 07792 575 050, email Alternatively, you can book your place via Head Coach Gavid Vickers on 07976 057 454, email        

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Schools plant flowers in memory of World War One

Pupils from three local schools have been very busy planting out flowers in poppy-shaped beds in Ellington Park.  The red geraniums form part of the preparation for the World War One event taking place on Sunday 13th.July to mark the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.

The youngsters from Christ Church, Ellington Infants and Laleham Gap schools were invited by the Friends of Ellington Park to play their part in commemorating this centenary event.
Friends’ chairperson, Beverley Perkins, said, “It was wonderful to see so much enthusiasm among the children as they got involved in this lovely creation.”

To find out more about the World War One Commemoration Day and other activities organised by Friends of Ellington Park, you can visit their website (

Or get in touch via e-mail: (

Any Questions? BBC Radio 4 at Turner Contemporary

It's your chance to ask a question and influence the debate with BBC Radio 4's Any Questions?

Any Questions? is broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on most Friday evenings of the year following the 8pm evening news. The programme travels throughout the United kingdom, and occasionally to Europe, at the invitation of local organisations. The audience submits questions on the day of the broadcast. 10 questions are selected on a range of topics and are put to the panellists chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby.

Turner Contemporary will host Any Questions? live at the gallery on 1 August 2014. To apply for a free ticket please click on the link below. 
Ticket allocation is on a first come, first served basis only and no reserved seating can be requested in advance.

Tickets will be posted to you around two weeks before the event takes place.
Any Questions?
Friday 1 August, 6.30pm until 9pm

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Courtesy of BBC Radio 4 Any Questions?

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Thanet-based choir Cantate will be giving a summer concert at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate, at 7.30pm on 12th July.
Music from a variety of periods will be sung and will focus on the role of women through history in the Church. The concert will celebrate the famous Minster figure, and seventh-century abbess of Minster, and Thanet’s patron saint, St Mildred, as well as other famous female saints. The first half will be sacred music and the second half will be secular.
Pimm’s and other summer refreshments will be served in the Garth during the interval. The Garth, re-opened two years ago, is an atmospheric grassed area in the middle of the cloisters, next to Pugin’s church. Weather permitting, the second half of the concert will take place in this beautiful outdoor setting.
Cantate is directed by Chris Randall who has worked extensively producing music for television and entertainment, as well as being a piano teacher at schools in Kent. Cantate was formed in 1996 and regularly performs.

Tickets are £10 and can be obtained by phone on 01843 592071 or by e-mailing Tickets will also be available on the door.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Electoral registration system is changing this summer

Over the summer, all Thanet residents will receive a letter through the post telling them about the biggest change to the electoral registration system in nearly 100 years.
Thanet District Council’s Electoral Registration Officer will write to all households in Thanet. The letter will explain that a new, more secure, system of Individual Electoral Registration is being introduced to replace the old system where the “head of household” registered everyone living in a property. Now, each individual will be responsible for registering themselves.
Many Thanet residents will automatically move onto the new electoral register. However, some will need to take action to join or remain on it, which they will now also be able to do for the first time by registering quickly and easily online.
Liz Green, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said:
I would remind residents that the elections next year are very important for both the Country and Thanet. I would encourage as many residents as possible to ensure they are registered to vote under this new system. Look out for the letter as it will tell you if you have been automatically transferred to the new register or need to provide some additional information - if you do, the letter will tell you what to do.”
Samantha Mills, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said:
“This summer the Electoral Commission will launch a major advertising campaign that will raise awareness of the change to Individual Electoral Registration. We welcome this change, which will lead to a more secure register and replace the outdated Victorian concept that a single ‘head of household’ is responsible for registering everyone.”
For more information visit
 If you have not received a letter by the end of August, contact Thanet District Council Electoral Services or 01843 577500.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Ramsgate’s Handmade Fair links community and art with OPERATION POPPY!

Saturday 14 June: 10am – 5pm Harbour Parade, Ramsgate

The monthly Ramsgate Handmade Fair takes place next on Saturday 14 June down on Ramsgate harbour, in front of the old casino. It’s a new site for the event, aiming to brighten up this area and help attract more people down towards our gorgeous sandy beach.

Janice and Suzy who run the fairs are volunteers at Ramsgate Arts, which organises and runs the annual arts festival A Summer Squall in August. An idea for a textile project, under this year’s theme of ‘rebellious elements’, needed a bit of a helping hand.

At this month’s fair there will be a free workshop to make huge poppies as part of a community textile work ‘OPERATION POPPY’. Led by local crafter Jeni Butler, people from across Thanet will help to create a 50ft textile wall hanging to commemorate WW1. Once created, it will appear in a surprise location in Ramsgate for the Squall festival, running between 23-25 August!

Anyone who would like to take part should come to the workshop tent between 2-4pm. It’s free to take part and you can take away a poppy template to make more with your friends, family, school or community group and then donate what you’ve made to the project.

At the Handmade Fair there will be a selection of stalls all hosted by the makers and artists who have made the work, all based in East Kent. There’s jewellery, china, textiles, pickles and preserves as well as original art, with lots of things to make perfect gifts or a personal treat.

Time:           Handmade Fair 10am – 5pm.   Poppy workshop 2 – 4pm.
Date:            Saturday 14 June 2014
Contact:       Suzy Humphries 07939 542990 /
Twitter:        @NiceThingsRamsg
Facebook:   Nice Things, Ramsgate or Ramsgate Handmade Fairs

D-Day 70

Speaking in Margate and Herne Bay on Friday, 6th June and over the weekend,  following commemorations of D-Day and the Normandy landings,  NorthThanet/ Herne Bay MP, Sir Roger Gale has said:

"It is right that so many people have turned out to recognise  the courage and the self- sacrifice of those who landed on the beaches of Normandy , and those who supported them on the sea and in the air, seventy years ago. Those of us from the generations that have followed owe our freedom and our way of life to the fact that brave men were prepared to put their own lives on the line to liberate Europe from the tyranny of Nazi Germany.

During the past few days I have visited war graves in Margate, in Herne Bay and in some of our village churchyards. It is awe-inspiring to read not just the names but the ages of those who have fallen in battle or who have died of wounds following repatriation. Most were in their early twenties and some, including those who signed up illegally, were in their teens.

There are those who believe that "we could not do it again" but as the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, has said, " The Golden Thread remains" and, sadly, there has only been one year since the ending of World War 2 when a serviceman or woman has not fallen, somewhere in the World, in combat in our national interests. There are young men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the Falklands, in Iraq and in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland as well as in other less well-publicised campaigns in foreign lands.

Over this long weekend   I have been privileged to meet some of the survivors of D-Day and Arnhem and to hear, at first hand and told in a matter-of-fact way, their tales of outstanding courage and sacrifice. Each of those stories is a testimony to the determination that ultimately right and justice shall prevail.

We owe it to these men and to the memory of those thousands who did not come home, to work to ensure that the scourge of National Socialism is never allowed to raise its standard over Europe again and that the liberty and tolerance for which men have fought and given their lives is protected now and into the future.

We will remember them, but that remembrance has to be active , not passive.


Pugin’s church of St Augustine, Ramsgate, is now the Number 1 attraction on TripAdvisor for the coastal resort in Thanet.
The ranking, voted by visitors to the Kent town, is an endorsement of the interest and value that St Augustine’s adds to Ramsgate. In April it began opening every day between 10am-4pm and has averaged over 150 visitors each week, plus organised groups and tours.
Some of the comments include:
Loved this church which has been restored beautifully - friendly volunteers who were keen to share their knowledge with us. Beautiful.
Wonderful building and lovely interior. Interesting layout and passion tableau. [F]riendly steward who took time to explain about the architect and the buildings. Serene atmosphere and beautiful colours. Opportunity to light candles and buy postcards and homemade preserves.
Outside the church looks quite dark and spooky, but!! What a beautiful place.
It is an absolute gem, and should not be missed. … My little grandson, who is not yet five, latched on to her [the guide] and she took him round pointing out very things to him, and he actually listened to every word enraptured!
To me, this was by far the most outstanding attraction.
The Duke of Kent visited in May, and he showed great interest in the restoration and development project for the Education, Research and Visitor Centre. He spent time examining Pugin’s Chantry chapel, the baptismal font, and the great East Window, before being shown the areas which will be transformed into learning and display areas. He also saw a display of Pugin metalwork and craftsmanship.
This news crowns a successful week of celebrations around the church, marking its patron, St Augustine, who brought Christianity to England and has been called “Ramsgate’s first celebrity”. The week – a festival held annually – featured lectures, processions, Masses, a coach trip, a walking tour, and more, which were all very well attended.
In September the first “Pugin Week” will be held to mark the work of St Augustine’s famous architect, who is buried in the church and built his home, The Grange, next door.

Food safety week – join the fight

Residents are encouraged to join the fight against the most common form of food poisoning (Camplyobacter) for this year’s Food Safety Week (16-22 June).
The FSA predict a quarter of a million people could be struck down by Camplyobacter this year; the most common form of food poisoning in the UK. Unable to detect by smell, sight or taste at its worst this disease can even kill.
The FSA is spearheading a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem. Farmers and producers will be asked to work harder to reduce the amount of bacteria on their raw poultry. Consumers will be able see the latest data and be the judges of any progress, or lack of progress, that they make.
Local authorities, all the major supermarkets and key partners will be working together to make sure people know how to stay safe. Advice is available
Bob Martin, Head of Foodborne Disease Strategy at the Food Standards Agency said, ‘This is a serious problem and we are calling on the whole industry to do act together to tackle Campylobacter. People in Thanet can do their part by handling and preparing chicken with extra care – don’t wash raw chicken, cook it properly and enjoy it safely.’
Leader of Thanet District Council and Cabinet Member for Environmental Health Cllr Iris Johnston said, ‘It’s important that we do our part to make sure that people know to handle and cook food safely for themselves and for their families. We’re proud to be being part of this campaign to spread the word – and not the germs.’


The Duke of Kent has visited Pugin’s church of St Augustine in Ramsgate, one of the most important architectural buildings in the country, to see the plans for an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre about Augustus Pugin and St Augustine of England. Most famous for designing much of the Houses of Parliament, Augustus Pugin made St Augustine’s his personal design and is buried there in his own chantry chapel.
Funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant totalling about £800,000 – for which match funding of £90,000 is being sought – an Education, Research and Visitor Centre will be constructed at the site. This will form the major national centre of Pugin studies and the story of St Augustine.
The Duke was introduced to the Rector, Fr Marcus Holden, by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, and then to Fr Paul Mason (Episcopal Vicar for Kent), Paul Sharrock (Architect), Nigel Warner (Board Member), and John Coverdale (Centre Manager).
His Royal Highness was shown the interior of the church and took particular interest in Pugin’s tomb (designed in medieval style by Pugin’s son) and the imposing baptismal font, which formed a centrepiece of the Great Exhibition in 1851. At the Exhibition, the Duke’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, returned to see the font twice.
The Duke signed the Visitors’ Book and was given a present including books and a DVD about Pugin and St Augustine as well as St Augustine’s recently-published Annual Report of activities.
Rector of St Augustine’s, Fr Marcus Holden, said, “The Duke was very interested in the project at St Augustine’s. In fact, he stayed almost double the expected time, and took particular interest in our plans for community engagement through being open to the public, and opening an education centre.”
The Duke was shown a collection of Pugin church plate owned by St Augustine’s, which is part of the Gothic industrial revolution legacy. The items will be displayed in the completed Visitor Centre, but are in active use too. Their significance to Britain’s industrial history will be explained in the Centre, and formed a lecture in the church by Jamie Jacobs of Kent University a few days later.
Volunteers at St Augustine’s were given the opportunity to meet the Duke, and he greeted them individually before he left. One volunteer said, “It’s tremendous to feel recognised by royalty. I’m so pleased that he came to see what we’re doing here.”
The Duke concluded his visit and bade farewell at the door of St Augustine’s.
After visiting St Augustine’s the Duke went to Thanet Earth, a nearby greenhouse agricultural development.

The Duke’s visit, on Tuesday 27th May, took place on the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury and during Ramsgate’s celebratory St Augustine Week.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Music celebrates Montefiore Heritage Day

Ramsgate's Montefiore Synagogue is again the venue  for the annual Montefiore Day celebration to be held on Sunday June 15th at 4pm.

The annual choral concert is becoming established as a focus for Jewish liturgical music in East Kent and, this year, features the bOybershop Quartet.

The programme draws from a vast range of music from British and Mediterranean traditions with Sephardi/Ladino, Ashkenazi and Yemenite melodies.

The quartet members are classically trained Jewish musicians and include Benjamin Wolf, Musical Director of the renowned Zemel Choir and Eliot Alderman, Director of Music of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, London, (Bevis Marks  synagogue - the oldest one in the UK) who presented the concert last year.

Tickets for the concert in Dumpton Park Drive, Ramsgate, CT11 8LP, may be obtained by mail from Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage, The Custom House, CT11 8AD or in person fromNice Things in The Custom House. - £15 (RMH Members & friends £10).

On August Bank Holiday Monday 25th, Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage will be sponsoring Shir, the complete Jewish music group, who will play Klezmer, Israeli, Yiddish, Sephardi, Mizrachi (Middle Eastern), and Ladino  music at the Ramsgate Summer Squall.

The Ambrette Restaurant to open in Canterbury

Dev Biswal, chef patron of The Ambrette award-winning restaurants in Margate and Rye, has announced The Ambrette @ Canterbury, with further openings on the horizon.

The TV chef, who champions a ‘curry-free menu’ of south Indian style dishes utilising locally sourced seasonal ingredients with a modern twist, has secured the site of the former Beer Cart Arms.  Refurbishment works are under way, ahead of an opening expected sometime during July. 

The two existing Ambrette restaurants are recommended by all the leading guides including Michelin, AA, Waitrose Good Food and Harden’s.  Their numerous accolades include the prestigious Taste of Kent’s ‘Best Restaurant’ award.

Biswal, who still spends several days each week in the kitchens, has moved from Ramsgate to Canterbury as a more central location to his growing operations.  A keen all-round cricketer, Biswal now overlooks Kent County Cricket Club’s St Lawrence Ground.  Although his offer to fill as a No.3 batsman have been politely declined.

Canterbury is a fantastic historic town with a great food heritage and perfect demographics for my style of cooking,” said Biswal, “We have over 2,000 people on our customer database with a Canterbury postcode who have already made the trip to the restaurants in Margate or Rye.”

Biswal was been looking for suitable premises to open a restaurant in the city after three very successful pop up restaurant events held at the Kent & Canterbury Club in October in 2012.  Open to both members and the general public, the 8-couse tasting menu lunch and dinners, sold out almost immediately.

Canterbury will also serve as a training and development site, with centralised production of marinades and sauces, to ensure consistently high standards across the group, as operations expand.

Biswal hopes to open a fourth restaurant, somewhere between Canterbury and Margate specialising in seafood and vegetarian cooking, with the emphasis on gluten and allergen free foods.  The chef has also set his sights on locations in Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton and London, as part of his planned expansion.

The Ambrette @ Canterbury site, with seating for around 100, will be larger than the existing the restaurants in Margate and Rye.

“We plan to explore all-day dining with an Indian accent and offer breakfast and afternoon teas,” said Biswal.

Biswal trained at the Dubai Sheraton, before moving to London in 2003, aged 26, for spells at Mangoes and Eriki. With fine-dining restaurants rarely working as scalable concepts, the chef is fully aware that others have tried to expand and failed.  He has also tried to distance himself from the ‘fine-dining’ tag bestowed on him by food critics and customers alike.

“We are a mid-market restaurant with mid market prices,” he insists.”

As resident chef on the Channel Four TV series ‘Superscrimpers’, Biswal regularly shows viewers how to prepare gourmet meals on a budget using cheap ingredients, left over and wild plants forged for free.