Funeral date and AndyFest tribute event announced for Ramsgate’s Andy Barrett

Inspirational Andy Barrett Photo Chris Constantine

The funeral date and a music and belly-dancing tribute event in memory of Ramsgate entrepreneur Andy Barrett have been announced.

Andy’s daughter Michele has shared details for her dad’s funeral. She say the service for her dad: “who died suddenly while watching the sunrise on July 8″ will be held at St. Mary’s church, Widford CM2 8TE on August 17 at 1pm followed by a wake at  Hatfield Place, CM3 2ET.

Parking at the church is limited. Anyone wishing to send floral tributes can send to T. Pennacks and sons, Chelmsford or donations to The British Heart Foundation on Andy’s behalf are welcomed.

Photo by Ged Cashman

Friends have also organised ‘AndyFest’ to take place on August 20 at the Ramsgate Promenade Market – former Belgian Bar – at the harbour. This will run from 3pm to 11pm.

Organiser Vanessa Culliford, a friend of Andy’s a part of the Belgian Bar/Green Tara regular belly dance troupe, said: “It was incredibly sad news when we all learnt of the sad loss of the unique Andy Barratt on July 8 this year; he was a real force of nature and inspirational entrepreneur who’d brought his own irreplaceable style to Thanet over 20 years ago.

Andy and Vanessa

“It only seems right that the many people of Thanet who knew and loved the iconic Andy Barrett should get the chance to celebrate his life in a Andy dedicated festival at The Promenade Market on Ramsgate Harbour.

“(The festival) will bring a huge variety of acts, including DJs, musicians and belly dancers, to show their respects to Andy as only we know how; by bringing joy, laughter and a whole load of partying and fun!

“The tribute will open with the Sparkles Belly Dance troupe performing from 3pm til 4pm outside; followed by several bands and musicians who are all giving their time for free.

“The night will progress with our very own Good Karma Ladies dancing on the tables in typical bohemian spirit and more music…the line up will be confirmed very soon.

“Performance slots are still available; please do contact Mebh at the Promenade Market if you wish to show your respects by performing. We all know how much Andy loved his music and supported so many artists with great generosity and enthusiasm.”

Irrepressible Andy with Margate’s Gormley sculpture Photo Frank Leppard

Larger than life, instantly recognisable with his trademark beard, hat and colourful clothes – Andy had been a force of nature on the isle for more than 20 years.

He brought a taste of something new to the hospitality scene with the opening of Ramsgate’s Belgian Bar in 2000. The popular venue was a hub for food and drink but also music and art with works by locals displayed on the walls, a regular spot for the isle’s belly dancing troupe and a piano that was available to anyone who fancied playing a tune.

Photo Stephen Todd

In 2016 Andy spread his creative flair to Margate with the opening of the Old Kent Market. Based on the site of the former Parade Cinema, the brilliant pink building has been home to numerous small traders, food and drink outlets and a café aboard a double decker bus.

He also opened  La Trappiste in Canterbury in 2010 which traded until 2017.

Always changing with the times, Andy closed The Belgian Bar in March 2018 and, after a complete makeover, re-emerged as the Green Tara a couple of months later. The venue still served the famous pizzas alongside other street foods and drinks.

Yet another transformation took place last year when there was yet another paint job and reorganisation before launching the Ramsgate Promenade Market – once again housing small traders in food and drink.

Richard (right) and Andy

In April this year Andy took the challenge of being opposite the UK’s biggest pub by becoming the host of probably the country’s smallest pub.

The Little King Richard Arms serves from its 5ft wide, 2ft 2inch deep venue and was named in honour of  ‘true gent’ and long-time friend of Andy’s, Richard Brown, who sadly died following a flat fire in Ramsgate last year.

Andy, who had turned 74 this year, is remembered by friends as “a kind, enthusiastic, energetic, entrepreneurial and inspirational” man who loved to see others having fun, would give up his time and his space for those who needed it and faced life with quirkiness, creativity and kindness.

Find the AndyFest event page here

9 Comments

  1. Ramsgate public houses have suffered badly since Weatherspoons pub on the seafront opened. Most public houses are non viable now as is the case with shops in the town. To ensure the town and outlying areas are non profitable we have a superb gate in Harbour Street to deter visitors shopping and eagle eyed Parking Wardens ready to slap a fixed penalty notice fine for any minor infringement . As shops and pubs become unviable which is inevitable it seems perverse to refuse any change of use , unless it is an overdevelopment . It is fast becoming a Ghost town and nobody appears to care or have a reasonable solution . The Wheatsheaf plan needs to be rethought but not refused completely. It is always the same old cry of ; it’s a Community Asset , but the people that say that are always the same people that have never entered that pub .

      • Harbour street is doing ok, many new businesses. Wishing them success have visited all the new businesses as a customer.

        So impressed.

    • Many pubs are known as a locals pub, everyone knows what that means.
      Already the port & anchor ph has changed owners for holiday let type flats and possibly a bistro. So them locals have to move on.
      Next pub to become flats,airbnb type lettings or similar is not so far away. to be honest that area is not a royal disaster.
      The locals will have to sup somewhere else.

      Harbour street late night/am patrons seem to behaving themselves a little better. Still some agro, typing with fingers crossed.

      RIP Andy, such a gentleman.

    • The incentive of zero or favourable business rates and not employing people has its merits.

      Barbers, hair dressers (+similar) also can have zero or favourable business rates, maybe why there are so many in thanet. Blame the chancellor rich i to no where.

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