A Ramsgate pub invites you to discover The Bear Who Found a Ukulele

An exhibition with a difference at the Ravensgate Arms

An exhibition of decorated ukuleles opens on Thursday (April 11) at The Ravensgate Arms in King Street, Ramsgate. The piccolo-size ukuleles have been hand made by actor and ukulele maker, Rod Arthur, and decorated by some of Ramsgate’s great creative talent.

Rod said: “It all started with me asking two local artists over a pint of ale if they fancied decorating a couple of my instruments, and to my amazement they both said yes.”

A few months and many beers later, he has a collection of 18 ukuleles, made from reclaimed hardwoods, with artwork ranging from a seascape in oils to beautifully inked drawings, and a steam punk ukulele in brass and diamanté called ‘Vivienne’.

Established and award-winning artists, metalworkers, printers, photographers, lecturers, interior designers, art students and a cocktail guru have all been involved. Rod said: “Nearly all the artists are people I’ve come across in either The Ravensgate Arms or The Montefiore Arms, both Ramsgate pubs bursting with talent, so I thought they would be perfect venues for the exhibition.”

The exhibition – The Bear Who Found a Ukulele – is suitable for all ages. The title comes from an ink drawing by renowned artist and musician David Winthrop (Supertramp, Secret Affair , Chicken Shack), which he did while testing his pen on a sample of the spruce-wood used to make the soundboard of the ukulele.

Rod Arthur has a 40-year acting career, with credits including five years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and featured roles in television programmes, such as Doctor Who, Coronation Street, Bleak House and The Accused amongst others.


  1. We are running a Margate Ukulele Festival on Saturday 14th September at Margate Winter Gardens. It would be crazy to run the event without these amazing Ukes. Can you ask Rod if he would like a space to sell and show his Ukes there? We expect about 300 people at this event.

    • Hi Pam, have you any more info about the uke festival? I run a uke group in Canterbury and some of the group might be interested. Thanks,David.

      • Hi David, this is our first festival and it is funded by the Ageless Thanet Community Fund. We have invited 6 local Thanet groups which will each have 30 minute slot to perform. It will be a ticketed event and priority will be to the Thanet groups (as its funded for Thanet) and their friends and families. I imagine next year we will have to fund it ourselves through selling tickets but at this stage it’s free! Aren’t we lucky ! Pam.

  2. Hi Pam I would love to show the ukes, but I’ll have to clear it with the artists et al first !

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