12 reasons why Ramsgate is so much more than Thanet’s ‘grubby child’

Addington Street Community ladies create the Gormless Antonia 'installation'

Ramsgate has been described as a ‘faded’ ‘seen-better-days’ town in a Daily Telegraph article today (September 9).

Reporter Tom Ough gives his verdict, on what he describes as Thanet’s ‘slightly grubby middle child’ following a visit to the newly opened Royal Victoria Pavilion pub.

In a snooty look at the town Mr Ough declares Ramsgate is ‘Ramshackle’ and neither ‘as pretty as Broadstairs nor as hip as Margate.’

But where did Mr Ough actually visit? His description of ‘tacky shopfronts’ at the harbour, throwaway ‘vote UKIP’ comment and ridicule of the obelisk do not seem to bear much relation to Ramsgate at all.

In case he would like to pop back some time (leaving that ‘grubby London office behind) for a proper visit here are our 12 Ramsgate gems to show him the town is more of a golden child than a grubby one:

Military Road Arches

Photo Brian Whitehead

Tacky shopfronts? You are more likely to find a plethora of small businesses, everything from food and drink – while you overlook the glorious Royal Harbour with its visiting yachts and crafts – to art, photography and curios.

Ellington Park

It’s not just a plain old park. There are brilliant carved wood models of dogs and other animals (even if the vandals do keep targeting them) a wildlife area, bandstand and more events than you can count on your fingers.

Westcliff Rose Garden

Photo Brian Whitehead

You might never know this gorgeous garden was tucked away

The rose garden in Royal Esplanade was restored more than a decade ago by the Westcliff Conservation and Community Trust, which organised the replanting of the site.

It had been created in 1926 when the Westcliff was developed as a recreation area.

Ramsgate Music Hall

Voted NME best small venue in 2015 this 140-capacity club in Turner Street brings a constant stream of eclectic, world-class performers to the town.

Petticoat Lane Emporium

Arts, antiques, curios, collectibles, furniture – you name it you can find it at the emporium.

Addington Street

Community pub, The Queen Charlotte (check), stylish restaurant, The Falstaff (check), café and music, Vinylhead Café (check) independent shops and art (check).

Ramsgate Tunnels

Photo Carole Adams

Just one piece of the town’s rich claim to history. The Tunnels sheltered thousands of families during the Second World War in its labyrinth  which extends for more than 3 miles around the town.

This unique underground city was constructed as part of the town’s Air Raid Precautions in 1939 and includes
a former main line railway tunnel dating back to 1863.

The Grange and St Augustine’s

Photo Brian Whitehead

Built by  influential architect Augustus Pugin in 1843 as a family home. He built it to live out his idea of life in a medieval, Catholic community, in buildings executed in the Gothic style of so-called pointed architecture. There is also St Augustine’s Church just next door,

Italianate Greenhouse

A beautiful venue in King George VI Park that can boat not one but two rare Agave plant flowerings.

Events by the bucket load

Photo Brian Whitehead

Ramsgate Festival, Rock Dock and Two Smoking Barrels, Littoral Light, the upcoming Ramsgate Harbour History Festival, Addington Street Fayre, Battles for Victory, themed weekends at the Micro Museum, and the wonderful purple poppies at Albion Gardens have got to get a mention – we could go on.

Photo Brian Whitehead

Independent businesses

Far from being downtrodden, the town can boast an array of small but brilliant micropubs, restaurants and cafes. Try popping into Nautic Ales, Coles coffee shop, 26 Harbour Street, Coco Latino, The Empire Room, The Royal Harbour Brasserie to name just a few

And finally….

A sense of humour (Mr Ough)

Addington Street Community ladies create the Gormless Antonia ‘installation’

Some may enjoy Antony Gormley’s Man sculpture at Fulsam Rock – and why not – but we in Ramsgate are rather fond of our ‘Gormless Antonia’s.’

14 Comments

  1. Ramshackle, Mr Ough? Blame TDC on the scruffy bits. But thank volunteers and businesses, both small and large, for the good bits!

  2. Did he see our beautiful Marina; the Arches; the cafe hub on Harbour Parade? I hope Mr. Ough returns for a another visit. [Should have gone to Specsave.]

  3. Yes, I read the article and picked-up on the “tacky shop fronts” comment. Complete nonsense which discredits the article immediately.

  4. It depends where you look. Some areas may seem a little grubby, but that is because Thanet District Council does nit do its’ job properly. Volunteer groups, such as Believe in Thanet, have to organise litter picking sessions, in order to clean up the town centre. We have some wonderful restaurants, bars, pubs, coffee-shops, sight-seeing attractions, and a tremendous amount of history, dating back to the Napoleonic war – some examples go back further than that. I would suggest that this gentleman returns, spends some more time here, and opens his eyes to all the good things we have here, instead of concentrating on the negatives.

  5. Not as hip as Margate?!,has he actually been there?,Ramsgate has by far the best seafront, not even a debate, silly silly man.

  6. clique bar is tacky (playboy faux vip chic). miles bar is tacky (1980’s still in vogue). coco latino is tacky (bucks fizz / black lace throwback). arches bar is tacky (nothing dressed as nothing). photography studio is tacky (soft focus glamour family shoots). harbour gallery is tacky (trashy art souvenirs). bench wine bar is tacky (1990’s posh). need i say more. i could. i haven’t even begun on harbour street. wake up fellow ramsgate residents, our harbour shops are tacky. margate has leap-frogged ramsgate. the current league results are (in descending order) margate, broadstairs, and then ramsgate last. the days of broadstairs, ramsgate then margate last are gone. don’t be in denial. the telegraph article was spot on in its observations. unless you find tacky really sophisticated. oh, hang on folks… you probably do don’t you. lmao!

    • i thought the article was pretty restrained actually. i fail to see what the new ‘spoons will do other than add to the anti social behavior in the town..
      As for the rest of the laughable bars on the seafront, they seem to be aiming for the Russian Oligarchs mistresses market..
      which i concede is as yet untapped in Ramsgate…

  7. How much more useful and informative Mr Ough would have been if he had highlighted the neglect shown to Ramsgate by Thanet District Council. The residents do a tremendous job of caring for the towns heritage and looks. TDC simply igbore all requests for even the simplest thing, like cutting lawns and trimming hedges. TDC Prefer to shower Dreamland and the thugs of Margate with funding rather than spend a few pence to respect the jewel in their crown. SHAME ON YOU THANET DISTRICT COUNCIL.

  8. Don’t be too tough on Mr. T. Ough, after all he has given us peasants the benefit of his worldly experience of all the similar places he has visited all over the world since graduating in the Summer of 2015!

  9. i was going to say it was lucky the telegraph writer didn’t visit when the town centre was covered in bras. but then i realised, he probably did pop into the ‘arts in ramsgate’ centre, so he did get a clear impression of what constitutes cultural activity around here. the copious amounts of gloy glue deadstock used in that place just another addition to the whole tackiness of this town.

  10. one of our councillors comments above, and doesn’t seem to think there’s any problem to recognise here …

  11. It’s all ‘flavour of the month’ stuff. Not sure how many characters I can type here, but definitely won’t be enough to list the tacky places in both Broadstairs and Margate. I spent lots of time in all three places as a child, when my grandparents were alive and lived in Ramsgate. Loved them all. Basically, Broadstairs and Margate have mirrored the (DFL) Whitstable effect and their estate agents have enjoyed counting their percentage of the funds. It makes neither place less tacky. And then there’s Dreamland………..

  12. The last comment from Paul is not from the same person called Paul who commented earlier. Not very bright of the website to allow shared names!
    Is it run by TDC?

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