Thanet community news: Scouts, Birchington Heritage Museum, Merchant Navy Day, Wantsum Music, charity walk and Martha Trust

Thanet District Scouts Team DC, Catherine, Richard and Gemma with Mayoress of Broadstairs and St Peters Cllr Brenda Rogers, Ann Wells MBE and Mayor of Broadstairs and St Peters Cllr Roy Dexter

Thanet District Scouts

Thanet District Scouts held our AGM on Saturday 3rd September. We took the opportunity to celebrate our President, Ann Wells MBE, and her 70 years in Scouting. An absolutely amazing achievement.

Ann is still a very active member of Thanet Scouts and works tirelessly for the benefit of the children.

Birchington Heritage Museum

A beautiful silk wedding dress made in the 1940s by Phyllis Wood of Birchington has gone on display at the Trust’s museum.

This rare item was made using parachute silk. Young and resourceful brides-to-be made their wedding gowns long before the end of World War Two. Determined women, who used parachutes that their future husbands had used, ensured nothing was wasted. The act became a symbol of resourcefulness and respect to honour servicemen.

Phyllis Wood’s beautiful dress was worn on her wedding day when she married Brian Peakall at All Saint’s Church in 1948.

In addition to installing this new display, the Trust starts their new season of events with an illustrated talk on Thanet in the 1970s. This will be presented by John Robinson on Thursday 29 September at 7.30 pm in “The Centre”, Alpha Road, Birchington. Open to all (visitors welcome by donation). The bar will be open.

The Museum, managed by volunteers, is situated in the David Burley Gallery at Birchington Library and is open Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 9.30am and 12.30pm. It contains a wealth of archive material and displays as well as publications for sale.

For further information please visit our website: or Facebook: @birchingtonheritage

Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Association – M.N.

We had another very good response from all towns throughout Thanet and we would like to thank the local newspapers, the Town Mayors of Ramsgate, Margate & Broadstairs along with the Chairman of Birchington for flying our Red Ensign from prominent buildings, in the case of Broadstairs it was the Union Flag.

Also our thanks go to the Margate Mayor for organising a Merchant Navy Day event at the Margate Sea Cadet & Royal Marine Unit and of course to the units C.O. and Committee.  I (Phil Hughes, Secretary / Standard Bearer) attended as our Standard Bearer and was invited to give those present a brief history of the role of the Merchant Navy and our civilian seafarers through wartimes and peacetimes which I hope opened their eyes.

Also attending was the Standard Bearer of our sister association, the Prince of Wales Training Association – M.N. along with a small contingent of both members.  It was good to see the Red Ensign flying again and it has raised many questions from the public such as, “What’s that flag?” and “Why is it flying?” and it was good for all of us to explain to them.

I was also invited to be interviewed on BBC Radio Kent on September 3rd to talk about the Merchant Navy and why this day is so important to merchant seafarers so I thank Pat Marsh for giving me the opportunity . To all who remembered our Merchant Navy and merchant seafarers on that day – we thank you all.

Wantsum Music?

Debdepan (Deb-De-Pan), Kent’s rising female duo, are set to storm the local music scene with their genre-bending first song release Darkest Hour, released this September — marking the second release of the emerging youth record label Wantsum Music?

Childhood friends Chelsea Tolhurst and Grace Bontoft established the band during the first lockdown in 2020, out of a growing need to express themselves and create the music they wanted to hear.

Proficient guitarist and vocalist Chelsea and gifted bassist Grace are known for their quick-fire creativity, often writing a song in a day and performing it that same night.

Discovered by Pie Factory Music’s Emerging Artists and the Wantsum Music? collective, Debdepan’s ethereal, experimental sound and grassroots ethos chimed with the label, which launched in autumn 2021 to promote and support young homegrown talent.

“Lyric-wise Darkest Hour is open for interpretation; but the origin of the song is personal, it’s a reflection on an experience I had, that I needed to capture musically in order to move through it” says Chelsea.

“After modifying the BPM numerous times, Darkest Hour is intended to captivate listeners, to move them through one place emotionally to another – to journey to the quiet within the loud” adds Grace.

Following several successful live gigs throughout Kent (Elsewhere, The Albion Rooms in Margate, Tunbridge Wells Forum, Ramsgate Festival of Sound and Maidstone Fringe Festival) the duo have honed their progressive style, reminiscent of Warpaint, connecting closely to audiences. Chelsea and Grace are now partnering with Wantsum Music? to take their music to the next level and to even more people across Kent and beyond.

Listen and download Darkest Hour on all streaming platforms and Wantsum Music? Bandcamp at from Friday 16 September.

Walk for Dementia UK and Royal British Legion

Two cousins have completed a 19.3 mile walk to raise money for Dementia UK and the Royal British Legion.

Mum-of-three Jessica Horn, 34, from Herne Bay and dad-of-two Ben Gibbins, 31, from Ashford walked from Bridge to their nan’s house in Cliftonville in memory of grandad Frank Gibbins (known to most as Tony) who was Canterbury’s last surviving D-Day veteran. He died aged 97 on 14th April, two days before his 98th birthday.

The pair have raised nearly £600 and the justgiving page is still open for donations

Royal British Legion fundraiser

Martha Trust

Music4Martha Sandwich took place last week on The Guildhall Square as part of the Sandwich Festival.

The crowds were treated to music from John Farrington, Rebecca Robinson, Sharline, Dean Academy of Performing Arts, Raven’s Wedding and The Tony Frost Experience.

Despite an initial downpour, rain -the sun came out and the event raised over £230. The event was sponsored by CH Recruitment Staffing Solutions Limited, Sandwich Community Events and Muskateer Moments along with Mark One Sound & Light.

Fundraising & Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “A huge thank you to the Sandwich Festival team for inviting us along for the 3rd year -you all do an amazing job! Special thanks to everyone who gave their time for free to help deliver this event. Thank you also to our sponsors and wonderful musicians and Volunteers we couldn’t do it without you!”

Charity partner stalls Drink Outside The Box, Cookes Cakery, Anna’s Face Candy, Hoppers Happy Faces with Claire Gilmore and BJ’s Pizza donated 20% of their sales on the day to Martha.

The next event for Martha Trust is their Charity Golf Day on Thursday 13th October at the prestigious Princes Golf Club.

If you would like to come onboard as a sponsor for this event, please get in touch by calling Kerry on 01304 610448 or emailing [email protected] for more details. Sponsorship packages start from just £10.