Steel poles and spinning discs installation planned for East Cliff bandstand

How it could look Image Conrad Shawcross Studio

An installation of four galvanised steel tripods with spinning discs at the top will be installed at the East Cliff bandstand in Ramsgate if Thanet council grants planning permission.

The application has been made by Turner Contemporary as part of its Pioneering Places project with some 70 Ramsgate schoolchildren from St Laurence’s Junior Academy and Ramsgate Arts Primary working with artist Conrad Shawcross.

Artist Conrad Shawcross with Ramsgate pupils at Jacob’s Ladder

For the temporary installation, which will be in place for up to one year, the four structures will have a perforated steel disc on top of a steel pole and will be weighted by a tripod base. The installation has been titled as Beacons.

Each structure will be hand operated by a handle which will allow each disc to be gently rotated when turned. The handle can be removed (by Turner Contemporary) when access to the artwork might be required to be restricted.

The children involved in the project have researched Ramsgate, with a focus on the historic character of its Royal Harbour, and this was used for their ideas for the artwork.

Children explored the former Pleasurama site before building began

The themes are drawn from nautical signalling and ideas about Ramsgate and its Royal Harbour as a place of refuge as well as Play and Playfulness- noting Ramsgate’s legacy as a tourist destination; Caring – noting how to deal with environmental issues, pollution of the harbour, sea, air and litter in the town and Modern Machines – in a nod to Georgian civil engineering, such as Ramsgate’s sluices, bollards, basin gates and John Smeaton’s dry dock.

Additional information on the artwork will be displayed on temporary, removable vinyl graphics installed in the bandstand.

The children and Shawcross have been working on developing the artwork, which is planned for installation in Spring 2021 and will be temporarily in place for 12 months.

The creation will have a concealed word hidden within the design, based on a coded alphabet devised by the children. The materials used reference those that can be found in the surrounding area of the Royal Harbour such as the steel used in shipbuilding.

The bandstand is a Grade II listed asset, and a designated public open space, and sits within the Ramsgate Conservation Area. The Ramsgate Eastcliff bandstand dates to the late 1930s and includes the patterned dancefloor, the boundary wall, railings and steps, as well as the bandstand itself.

The tripod base to the artworks gives enough ballast to make each structure secure, eliminating the need for attaching the  works to the ground by either piling or through fixtures and  fittings.

A letter from Turner Contemporary outlining the project says: “We hope the artwork will bring a new opportunity for residents and visitors to engage with Ramsgate, and to explore the beautiful setting of the East Cliff and the town beyond. The children are hugely excited about seeing the culmination of all their work being shared with Ramsgate residents, visitors and the wider public. We look forward to this celebration of what local children have been able to achieve when working together with a leading artist.”

The artwork is being produced by Conrad Shawcross Studio and  is currently in pre-production.


  1. Sorry to be an old grump but wouldn’t it be nice if there were money to restore the bandstand and its once attractive setting rather than this?

  2. Totally agree. Some lovely concerts when back to normal would be very enjoyable for residents and visitors.

  3. Well done Turner Contemporary of Margate.. This project has nothing to do with TDC or RTC or the Bandstand. It mentions the bandstand purely for location information.

    If you want the bandstand restored get onto RTC or TDC. Get them to apply for a lottery grant.

    ps. RTC have just saved themselves up to £10,000 by not having to pay the legal bill concerning the DCO for Manston Airport.

    • ‘Turner Contemporary of Margate’ – blimey, that’s some parochialism right there. Plus I think you’ll find we ALL support TC through payment of council tax to KCC and general taxation nationally.

  4. I suppose at least the money is being spent wisely, and not being wasted on wages paying to keep their staff being being made redundant. I do love Arty people. You could not make it up.

  5. So if I want to put a wind turbine next to my grade 2 listed building, Thanet council can’t refuse me now…

  6. i think this town needs a lot more sorting out before rubbish like this, im thinking about the potholes and dangerous pavements ?

      • May well be private however the last time I looked Thanet wasn’t owned privately and the public will have the right to object to planning permissions they deem ghastly and blur on the landscape and I shall be rallying the troops and make sure just that happens. Waste of money when thousands are dying of Covid. Perhaps a memorial to those forgotten souls would be more apt right now in the form of a bronze plaque!

  7. Another Thanet Foley. Where on earth does this scheme help Ramsgate residents in general help them feel they live in a better place. The whole town centre needs a total revamp before cosmetic work is performed on the clifftop sight.

  8. Its hardly in keeping with the historic buildings in the area is it? No thanks, its will be open to ridicule, and probably vandalism!

    • Glad you said it ! Another arty farty load of rubbish and that comes from someone who has a first class degree in design !

  9. i fully accept the reply about KCC and TDC are not part of this edifice, but what about the derelict town with empty boarded up shops and dossers laying in doorways ? thats quite an attraction on its own .

  10. Lovely that The Turner Centre are reaching out to Ramsgate Town and our local schools, well done we need tourism and foot traffic back into our town.Plus future generations to be proud of our town.

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