People are taking a trip into Ramsgate’s past with a new facebook group

Janet Yates, Miss Ramsgate 1965

A new group created on facebook is taking people on a trip into Ramsgate’s past.

The We Love Old Ramsgate page was set up last month by karate instructor Joe Ellis as a tribute to his aunt Janet Yates.

Janet, who recently passed away, was proud to represent her town as Miss Ramsgate in 1965. She was well respected and the much-loved wife of Lionel and mother to Lucy and Chris, as well as a grandmother.

Joe said: ‘As someone who has lots of family in Ramsgate, including my mother and late father’s family, I was part of another Facebook group about Ramsgate but a complaint about my constant postings of historical events, triggered this new page to be formed in my aunt’s honour.”

Within three days, the page attracted more than 800 members. Joe has other successful social media specialist pages; he has a passion for anything online, social media and information technology. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome some nine years ago and attributes this passion to his autism.

Dr Sandra Beale-Ellis, Joe’s wife, is also diagnosed with Asperger’s, as well as having a doctorate in autism education.

She said: “It is recognised that many autistic individuals enjoy and understand computer-based programmes and initiatives for many reasons, not least as it is a more comfortable way to interact with friends, family and new people.

“For Joe, anything IT is his way to relax. Together with a love of history, creating these specialist Facebook pages is an ideal outlet for him. He also has incredible pages dedicated to Bethnal Green and East London, his birth place, Ashford, where he spent his later childhood and teens, and Simon and Garfunkel – his idol). He is very talented in this area; he runs many business sites including my own.”

The We Love Old Ramsgate page is gaining momentum with members enjoying postings of photographs, videos and press clippings from historical archives as well as reminiscing and chatting about old and newer times in the town.

A recent photograph post of Ramsgate’s famous resident ‘ITV Vera’s Brenda Blethyn, created a stir among those who were at St Augustine’s School with Blethyn (then Bottle).

Other famous faces who lived or worked in Ramsgate mentioned or pictured on the page include former PM Edward Heath, who went to Chatham House Grammar School, actor John Le Mesurier, who is buried in St Georges Church, Vincent van Gogh, who was a supply teacher in the town in 1876, and Queen Victoria, who as a princess holidayed in Townley House, the former J C Farleys Ltd furniture store.

The group welcome new members; the best way to access it is via Joe’s Old Ramsgate website via or on facebook here

Find more local history at groups including Margate Ramsgate Kent History  

Thanet Hidden History and Margate Local and Family History