Matthew Munson: Could Thanet follow the ‘Snow Dogs’ example?

Pilgrims Hospices chief exec Cate Russell with Ashford snowdogs Photo Pilgrims Hospices

I spent yesterday outside of Thanet – this happens from time to time, but I’m still caught off guard when I step off the train and find myself nowhere near the sea. However, Ashford made me very welcome on Saturday when I spent the day there hunting Snow Dogs; long story, but lots of fun.

I even managed to sustain my energy levels with a bout of man flu which, as everyone knows, is a severely debilitating disorder – no matter what anyone else says. But I won’t dwell on that in case people believe I truly think that and send in complaints to the editor (I don’t mind a complaint if I’ve done something wrong, but I want to avoid a debate on my questionable sense of humour for the foreseeable future).

The Snow Dogs – large models made from metal and painted by different local groups – are placed around the centre of town, in parks and shops and libraries, and there is an online app with free offers when you find certain ones. It was a lovely chance to see more of a town I don’t know much about, and there was a sense of community as we met up with other families who were doing the same challenge.

I found myself wondering, after the group I was a part of had finished tracking down all 36 Snow Dogs, and a few Snow Puppies, how we promote Thanet. This is something we should all be responsible for together – the Snow Dogs, for example, were a concept come up with and developed by the Pilgrims Hospices, which will help them raise money for a worthy cause as well as create interest in a local area.

It would be lovely to come up with our ideas to promote Thanet; we have events already – everything from Folk Week to Margate Bookie to the Food Festival to … well, you get the picture. But to give us more opportunities to showcase the beauty of where we live is always a pleasure. I just haven’t come up with any ideas yet, despite my best efforts – maybe someone out there has the next big thing.

Thanet’s colour run

Speaking of Pilgrims Hospices, did you see the events they’re planning over the next couple of months? Palm Bay will be the host for the Colour Run – I took part in this a couple of years ago, and it was great fun, running or walking around a 5km course and getting sprayed with power paint so that you end up as a rainbow of easily-washable paints over whatever old clothes you’ve thrown on.

I will either be taking part or supporting the runners and walkers from the sidelines, as I will be for the Santa on the Run 3k or 5k  event (yes, they measure these walks / runs in kilometres now – don’t worry about it) in early December. I dressed up as a Santa last year to take part and laughed a lot at myself in the mirror as I stuffed a pillow up my jumper. Take part or support them by donating some loose change – you’ll be doing it for a very good cause.

Anyway, think about how we can celebrate and promote our brilliant towns – they deserve to be celebrated!


  1. They did similar for Sheffield childrens hospital a couple of years ago with elephants. Each one was sponsored and decorated by a different team (the arctic monkeys did one) and were all sold at auction afterwards.
    Raised a huge amount of money and was such a lovely idea.

  2. How about a few rams placed around Ramsgate. Sign post with ram jumping over a gate as you entered along Thanet Way
    has long since disappeared. Picture of same is in Lovett of Ramsgate

  3. “Rams “ around Ramsgate is an eye catching image which is long overdue being seen around the town and area.
    The image is soft and cuddly, energetic ( as the leap over the gate illustrates) and a determined character, determination being a quality needed to put us truly in the limelight as we are often overshadowed by much publicity for Margate and Broadstairs
    No problem with that, but there is often a feeling that we are the last in line if in line at all
    We are not the underdog, there is so very much on offer in this town with much much more potential
    Let’s see the Rams !

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