Ellington Park’s new cafe and toilets and refurbished bandstand now open to the public

The cafe Image by Lucy's Photos

The new cafe kiosk and toilets at Ellington Park in Ramsgateare now open.

Staff Tara and Amy, along with volunteers, are manning the new venue which is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm. At the end of this month the indoor cafe will be opened.

The newly refurbished bandstand in the park will also be hosting the Ukelele17 players tomorrow (August 8) at 2pm.

The café, toilets and bandstand refurbishment are part of a £1.8million project launched by Thanet council and Friends of Ellington Park who worked together to secure money from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, for the regeneration of the site, under the Parks for People Programme.

Work on the cafe and bandstand is now complete Photo Frank Leppard

The contract to build a new cafe, restored terrace, new playground and landscaping in Ellington Park was awarded to  BJF Group last October. Work started the same month for the creation of the new community café and toilets, landscape works to conserve the terrace and bring back the Cheal’s landscape scheme and new signage, alongside critical repairs to the pathways.

The works were alongside the specialist restoration of the MacFarlane  bandstand which started in June 2020 and was carried out by specialists Lost Art Limited.

The bandstand in Ellington Park is an original Victorian bandstand built in the early 1900s. Research has shown it is a MacFarlane Company pattern 279. The MacFarlane Company was a notable producer of decorative ironwork, including bandstands, during the Late Victorian Period. It operated from Saracen Works foundry in Glasgow and sent its products around the world.

The cafe is run and managed as an environmentally friendly, healthy eating, not–for–profit community enterprise by the Friends of Ellington Park.  All profits will be re-invested in the park, employing a community gardener and continuing activities and events after the funding period is finished.

As part of the restoration project a team began work on compiling a digital archive charting Ellington’s historical roots.

Eight archive volunteers  reviewed the community contributions to find items of interest that fit the collection criteria.

Ellington park Photo via TDC

Ellington Park is 128 years old with the late Victorian and Edwardian landscaped area across 13 acres.

The park’s history began in 1892 when the Ellington Estate passed into the ownership of the Ramsgate Corporation, now Thanet District Council, as a place of public recreation. The park was designed by the Victorian landscape company Joseph Cheal and Son, known for their work at Hever Castle and Kirkstall Abbey and laid out in 1893.

Its key features remain today including the pathways, perimeter gates, railings, bandstand and the Pulhamesque rockery.


  1. i wonder how long that will last before its covered in graffiti vandalised or burnt down – watch this space

  2. Or perhaps …. congratulations, well done and sincere thanks to all those individuals who have given their time to bring this to fruition.

  3. Not many trees left in the park these days. There used to be a lot of mature trees lining the paths but now it looks quite desolate in comparison to years gone by.

  4. oh – and i forgot to mention broken into , thats a racing certainty , not being negative just facing the facts of living in paradise on sea.

  5. That’s really great news.
    I’m looking forward to having a stroll through the park, maybe hear some music, chill out with a cup of tea and a cake.

  6. I don’t quite know what a “racing certainty” is, but “realist”‘s comment certainly is negative.

  7. negative maybe martha , but right definitely . just look at previous good intentions – they dont work in this dump

    • I don’t know where you’re posting from, realist, but right here in Ramsgate it’s glorious.

      • Is this the same glorious Ramsgate that, has had the playground in Ellington Park burnt down, or the one that had the playground at King George V1 burnt down just after it was replaced? It is a bit sad, but I fear Realist is much closer to the truth. All we have to do is wait a week or two and see. At very least the drug dealers will have somewhere nice to work. If anyone says I am wrong about the drug dealers working in the parks, in Thanet they are kidding them self.

  8. I understand “realist”‘s comments, with lots of mindless/thoughtless vandalism etc going on these days and a lack of respect for public and other peoples property… but what exactly do they expect us to do….. not do anything at all in case someone comes along and steals/damages it? Does leaving an area unmanaged, unused, unimproved or unmaintained encourage these people to start to respect property?
    Surely all we can do is try and improve the area and hope that people recognise the benefits it brings for us all and prompts them to start to help maintain and improve things further.
    Lets hope this triggers further benefits going forward.

  9. I think its wonderful that you can go for a walk in the park and there are actually toilets that are open. I’m sure TDC think that people in thanet have super human powers that enable them not to have to use the toilet

  10. The new play equipment looks awesome – my children can’t wait to play there. I’m so glad they’ve gone for a naturalistic look with the rough-hewn logs and timbers making up seesaws and climbing equipment. Totally agree with “Let’s be positive and hopeful” – never give up or the vandals win.

  11. Well done to all those who have made this possible. An inspiring story involving Thanet for once .

  12. Disappointed shame to cut trees over 100 years old for a concrete cafe it would have been better with a olld style cafe not modern or welcoming but well done though Thanet 20 years behind and I can’t understand why

  13. Maybe at a push I can understand negativity but please please give it a chance I have great memories of this park as a child and I hope that the children of today will also have some. Well done to you all involved with this project. Now I am off to the park for a coffee

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