Cliftonville Residents Association marks its 26th anniversary

Funding to restore the bandstand was gained by the group in 2006

Cliftonville Residents’ Association celebrates its 26th anniversary today (January 12).

The voluntary organisation elected its first committee on January 12, 1996. The founding members were Councillor John Rowland, Keith Chadband, Ann Smith, Paul Rollins and Councillor Bill Palmer.

Keith was elected as the Chairman and served as such until his death in April 2017.

The old Victorian Oval Bandstand on Eastern Esplanade was falling into dangerous disrepair when first taken on by the group and Keith managed to access the funding in 2006 for the existing replacement. From then CRA started to hold summer concerts each year, funded with help from Thanet and Kent councillors.

Keith and June received awards

Keith’s wife June, who still runs the association, said: “Our 25 year tenure at the Oval Lawns and bandstand has ended but we are proud of all our achievements over the 26 years, accessing the funding and choosing the design of the existing bandstand in 2006, also accessing the funding for the kiosk and toilet shutters.

“We held over 300 concerts, week long festivals, classic car shows, craft markets and 230 farmers’ markets, winning 9 prestigious awards along the way.

“At the Queens ‘Golden Jubilee’ we had over 1,000 people attend the concert we organised and held. It was a fantastic day!

“We will continue with our market on its new site, on the Walpole Bay Lawns, behind the Walpole Bay Hotel, Cliftonville.

Cliftonville Farmers’ Market at Walpole  Photo Frank Leppard

“We will also continue with our trips, theatre and day trips for all the community and our monthly coffee mornings held at Smiths Court hotel, on the first Thursday of the month, from 10am.

“It has been a very challenging year for the CRA, but with the support we have received from the community it has made it bearable.

“Also thank you to The Isle of Thanet News for their support to community groups.”

The association’s first market of the year will be on January 30 with some 30 stalls currently booked. It takes place on the Walpole green from 10am to 1pm.


  1. Congratulations June and all involved in CRA. So very well done!
    The fight to correct TDC ignoring all that you did in restoring The Oval and you then being threatened with “trespass and nuisance” by GRASS CIC unless you ceased running such successful community events at The Oval, continues.
    They will not get away with that, nor being given the freehold to The Oval to do with as they wish, nor with the £500,000 allocated to them in the Margate Town Deal, nor withholding their accounts that should be in the public domain, until the last possible moment.
    It is essential that the three directors of GRASS CIC accept 4 additional directors from the community, and its Articles be changed to require majority vote by all 7 directors on any matter involving any disposal, borrowing or remuneration. Only then can we be sure that this prime sea front location will not become a housing development making them millionaires, all at our cost.
    We must stop TDC turning our public assets into liabilities, by maintaining and managing them so badly, that we have nothing to complain about when they give them away!

    • Spot on Peter, very strong wiff of fish and it’s not from the sea. I thought I was there only one who thinks they are not for the community as they say.

    • Peter, I wish somebody would post the threatening solicitors letter GRASS sent to Mrs. Chadband. I have seen it and think the Directors as they now call themselves should be ashamed of their actions.
      I also think TDC were also to blame for their actions in the asset transfer. In effect, the incumbant group of 25 years did not seem to matter to TDC, they obviously did not include them (the CRA) in any negotiations of the site.
      I have spoken with Mrs. Chadband at the farmers market and she like many of us in the community is aghast, by the actions of both TDC and Gordon Road Area Street Scheme.
      I reiterate, they should both be ashamed of what they have done to the CRA
      I will end with this, TDC now charge the farmers market £250 to hold their market each month and I have been told that this is what the GRASS group were going to charge them as well.
      Whatever happened to community spirit!

  2. I am on the committee of the CRA and am so proud of all the events we have held. I am glad that our Chair, June Chadband is continuing with the market.
    She had to fight so hard to get the site we are at now. We are lucky to have her working for the community.
    Thank you June and your family for all that you do for us all.

  3. Congratulations!
    As someone has said, a true community group.
    Thank you for continuing with the farmers market.
    I look forward to it each month.

  4. I totally agree with other comments, a community group of volunteers working for the community. They should be very proud of all they have achieved over a quarter of a century, particularly their excellent farmers’ market.
    Congratulations and well done!

  5. It is amazing that a community group has been running for 26 years!
    I used to enjoy all the concerts that you held on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.
    And of course, the Farmers Market, with a great selection of stallholders.
    Good luck to you all!

  6. June is a fantastic lady, and Keith was such a nice chap and positive force for good in Thanet. He is sorely missed. Theirs and the CRA’s tireless efforts are huge.

    If TDC or GRASS had done even 1% as much to improve Cliftonville, they’d be doing better than they are now. The way CRA have been sidelined is shameful, and TDC’s decision to lavish rewards on GRASS stinks of the usual corruption that we’ve become accustomed to in these parts.

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