Upset at plans to remove fountain base at King George VI Park and cover spot over with tarmac

Phil and Janice Dadds want the fountain base replaced Photo Sarah Thomas

Plans to remove a fountain base from King George VI Park in Ramsgate and tarmac over the area where it has been standing for some 15 years have caused upset and confusion.

It is understood the base was removed from Ellington Park and ‘discarded’ at King George VI until it was unearthed by Italianate Glasshouse custodians Phil and Janice Dadds.

The pair say they made enquiries to Thanet council at the time but ‘no-one wanted it’ so Phil repaired it and gained agreement for it to be installed on the path leading to the glasshouse.

For the past 15 years it has been maintained by Phil and regularly topped up with water for the birds and in the trough at the bottom for thirsty dogs being walked in the park.

But now it is to be returned to Ellington Park as part of the site’s renovation plans and, Janice says, despite a pledge by Thanet council to replace it previously being made, the couple are now being told the spot will be tarmacked.

Janice said: “We are pretty annoyed. The fountain base was removed by Thanet council and discarded in King George VI Park. It was found in undergrowth by Phil and he has maintained and looked after it for the last 15 years.

“He fills it up for birds and dogs use the troughs underneath. When the proposal to do the work at Ellington Park was put forward we were told that an amount of money was put aside in to the budget for another fountain or water bath to be put in King George VI Park. Now we are told it’s only going to be tarmacked.

“If it does belongs in Ellington Park that’s where it should be but they need to evidence that as research has revealed that it was given to the people of Ramsgate for public use. It was discarded many years ago and we bought it back to life. It is now being used by people of Ramsgate. It seems a waste of money to remove it.”

Janice said returning the base to Ellington Park is not the issue if it belongs there but filling the empty space at King George VI with tarmac is ‘disgraceful’ and the ‘promised’ replacement is needed.

Janice and Phil Dadds

Janice says she understands some £10,000 was to have been set aside for a replacement although this has not been confirmed by Thanet council. Ellington Park’s project manager has said she is not aware of this pledge and the fountain base “is  an important aspect of the heritage of Ellington Park due to its inscription and original location. The project is funded by Heritage Fund who have a strong historical interest in the park and have approved the return of the fountain as part of the plans.”

The couple have been told their claim will be investigated further.

Ellington Park is currently undergoing a huge renovation and refurbishment as part of a £1.8million project to create a new cafe, restored terrace, new playground and landscaping. Works are due for completion in early summer 2021.

Thanet council has been asked for comment

A big year ahead for the Ellington Park regeneration project


  1. Thanet Council are philistines.They just discarded it ,until it was restored and maintained by the Dadds.Now they just want to tarmac it,rather than replace it with a fountain.

    • Yes, invoice the bastards for the restoration and care. It was a delight to have when it was installed and appreciated by people and wildlife alike.

      Ellington Park should commission a new one paid for by public subscription if necessary. They even have their eye on the East Cliff’s Festival of Britain Fountain. If they haven’t upset people enough cutting down the ornamental cherry trees, they now want to despoil features on the East Cliff and in George VI park.

  2. I remember that fountain in Ellington park when we first moved to Ramsgate back in the 1960s . It stood at the bottom of the steps on the path to the band stand

  3. Well done, another shambles decision by Labour led Thanet District Council. They have no clue or common sense.

  4. Just saying Ramsgate Town Council, spent. £10,000 of the town’s money on the airport thing and so dividing our community, they could make amends and spend a similar amount here, but I doubt that they care enough. TDC will do nothing, why on earth should anyone have believed what they say! The fountain should go to Ellington Park, a wonderful piece of restoration, let’s someone set up a crowd funding, I will donate. That way we aren’t depending on TDC.

  5. Ramsgate was divided long before the Manston JR. There’s only one person responsible for this division and that’s the failed airport operator Tony F and his pie in the sky DCO plan. RTC was democratically elected and is serving our residents wonderfully, unlike the vocal minority of aviation obsessives who have turned this town into a dumping ground of monstrous pollution threats or other ill conceived supposed business ideas.

    The vast majority do not want a giant cargo plane coming in at 500 feet over the harbour every 15 minutes.

    Nobody will enjoy Ellington Park with noise in excess of 100Db screaming.

    • I don’t usually comment on Manston posts and nor will I respond to the inevitable over-heated responses (I can genuinely see both sides of the argument), but surely it would’ve been democratic for Ramsgate residents to have voted on that funding decision?

      • Good lord man, taken leave of your senses, thanets “leadership” have never and will be unlikely to be ever interested in any sort of real democracy. It’d put an end to their chances of pursuing pet projects with no regard to cost or the areas best interests.

  6. Peter, RTC spends on behalf of Ramsgate all the time. It spent far more on food banks, just as one example. It is elected, as is TDC, and it is scrutinised. The contribution to the JR was also democratically voted on. By RTC.

    I had no say when TDC poured my money down the drain on various things I don’t agree with such as the pontoons, the cement batcher, the endless reports and experts consulted in the lost Manston cause. The years of wasted funds on the old Pleasurama site. Flogging off or neglecting a portfolio of community assets.

    I could go on.

    • Only if a judicial review was the only point on which the “election campaigns were fought” otherwise they were elected notionally on the overall image they put forward of their visions of the future. But in reality its usually a few politically oriented upstarts who get voted in by their party peer group. Then once they’re in the can pretty much do as they wish hiding behind the “voters mandate”.
      A more two faced bunch (no matter the hue ) you’ll struggle to find. As a landlord its most perfectly demonstrated by the endless anti landlord rhtoric and headlines when prosecutions are successful. But when the failings of the councils housing are exposed , the gas and electric safety issues being the best example, all you get is the usual platitudes of “sorry”, “lessons learnt”, “improvements going forward” etc.
      Does anyone get sacked?, investigations into who signs off the bills from contractors? Disciplinary action against the staff involved in legislative compliance?
      Selective licensing in cliftonville ends next month, there’s not been a published report on the scheme since before its last designation, there’ll be no discussion of the issues caused in areas where those troublesome people in the councils emergency housing have been kept out of cliftonville ( because paramount won’t take on properties in the selective licensing area) so instead pushing problems into other areas, St. Johns area having had a torrid time, the council refusing to take any action for years.
      Are you saying Marva that by voting in local elections people voted for these things?
      Sycophantic bunch of idealists the lot of them.

      • I’m saying that people voted for councillors on the basis of their individual and party manifestos.

        • But they didn’t specifically vote on the JR. The swiss system of referendums on individual matters has a lot to be said for it gives a better indication of public feeling on matters. But as The Brexit referendum showed you can’t rely on the electorate to give the “correct “ answer and so must’nt be allowed to have a voice too often. Make it vague by voting in a party and let the “elders and betters” decide whats best.

          • At which point democracy ends, if it ever existed. So I assume that you feel that only the “annointed ones” have any say in our future. Surely if a societymis working correctly and educating the electorate then on balance the view of the elecrtorate as whole is more likely to steer a good course than the decisions of a our leaders?
            I most certainly don’t feel that letting any government do asmit feels fir unindered is a good thing, that extends to local politics also .

    • ‘But the public is not always right or wise in its opinions.’

      It’s a pity you don’t take heed of your own assertion!

      The inception of the JR had absolutely nothing to do with the electoral process.

      • A referendum or consultation should not be presented to the public without impartial information on the consequences of each choice.

        • Actually, the government is elected by the majority, so they are the people’s representatives. They are indeed the chosen ones of at least some of the national adult population.

  7. This fountain should be left where it is. Maybe a new or salvaged fountain should be put at Ellington Park. As iv said before. Please please build a real fantastic play area for the kids in Ellington Park. Take a look at lower leas Folkestone or toddlers cove Canterbury. These are the kind of park that local kids deserve. Does anyone know who will be running the new cafe in EP?

  8. Frankly when it was disguarded inthe undergrowth it became a case of Finders Keepers Losers Weepers. Why should it be removed. It is providing water for birds where it is. The Council can commission a new one.

    • Exactly. Definitely leave it where it is. It was discarded so it cannot be reclaimed what 15 years later? It has been made into a lovely asset to the area it has been placed in, why destroy that with tarmac just to put it into another park that is having all the limelight given. How ridiculous, destroy one to improve another, what a poor attitude!

  9. I think start a Just Giving thread and have local folk volunteer funds for St Georges VI park own fountain. After all, a landmark has to begin somewhere by somebody. I couldn’t think of a greater tribute than a Dadd’s Fountain for all the hard work they have put into restoring our park’s heritage.

  10. What utter nonsense, where do these hair brain ideas come from… Phil has maintained it for all these years, it should remain and a new one sourced for Ellington Park.

      • At which point democracy ends, if it ever existed. So I assume that you feel that only the “annointed ones” have any say in our future. Surely if a societymis working correctly and educating the electorate then on balance the view of the elecrtorate as whole is more likely to steer a good course than the decisions of a our leaders?
        I most certainly don’t feel that letting any government do asmit feels fir unindered is a good thing, that extends to local politics also .

        • Not sure how that happened.
          10k for a bird bath? Have some lost their perspective in life. Does it really matter who found what where when and what they did with it ? The memorial was purchased and placed elsewhere , returning to its original place is hardly unreasonable, it gives both it and ellington past some context and continuity.

  11. It does matter. Quite clearly, fifteen years ago, TDC didn’t give a toss about what happened to the fountain or where it ended up (could have been broken up, chucked on a skip, or sold on to someone outside the area). Someone locally chose to keep it, care for it, and put it to good use. How fortunate now for TDC, that they’ve had fifteen years to mull the situation over and find that they do care about the fountain after all. Of course they’d like it back now so they dont have to part with any money for a new one. They really are a bunch of nasty, scheming and undynamic bean counters.

  12. Really! Leave it where it is. I walk my dogs at that park and in the warmer months my dogs are happy to have a drink there, in the winter always lots of little birds. Please leave it there it’s an integral part of the park I love.
    I am sure the £10,000 can be used more wisely by the powers that be!

  13. Putting opinions aside on where the fountain should be etc etc. what I find mind-boggling is that £10,000 is being put aside for another fountain / bird bath. £10,000??????? What type of fountain is it going to be? Obviously some people have no idea of how to spend money wisely. Especially if it is not coming out of their own pockets.

  14. This is typical Thanet Council incompetence. This council has always endeavoured to look after itself
    , rather than the Thanet residents , at least since the days of the corrupt Cyril Hoser et al.
    Why are we not surprised that they cannot make a sensible decision on something as simple as replacing a water fountain?

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