Thanet community news: East Kent Mencap, Birchington Heritage Trust, Town Shed, Requiem, Photo Society and Kent Wildlife Trust

East Kent Mencap’s 75th anniversary T shirts

East Kent Mencap

To coincide with East Kent Mencap’s 75th anniversary, the Members Committee chose to design a range of colourful branded t-shirts which are available for people to buy. The t-shirts were created to raise awareness and money for East Kent Mencap.

East Kent Mencap member Amy explained: “My design features a beautiful rainbow. These t-shirts are an important way for us to support the great work of East Kent Mencap and we will wear them with pride. This is the first time we have ever created supporter t-shirts.”

The Members Committee designed the t-shirts together with local Ramsgate printer, Colin Wonford, Redline Clothing Company. Members, Amy, Natasha, and Ellie, went to the printers to see their designs being printed.

Redline Clothing Company, Colin Wonford, said: “It has been great to work with the East Kent Mencap members, from the first design sketches to seeing their reactions when the first t-shirts were printed. The t-shirts have come out brilliantly.”

Fundraising Manager, East Kent Mencap, Jane Brooke, said: “The Members Committee are fantastic role models and show everyone what people with a learning disability can do. The creation of these amazing t-shirts is just one example of their achievements. I can’t wait to see everyone wearing them!”

Three designs are available and £3 from every sale of the t-shirt goes directly to East Kent Mencap.

To pay by cash it costs £15 per t-shirt, which includes delivery in Thanet or to any East Kent Mencap Hub. To order email [email protected].

To order online it costs £18.50 per t-shirt, which includes postage and packaging across the UK. Go to and click on the East Kent Mencap button.

Birchington Heritage Trust

Queen Bertha’s school

The museum’s object “in focus” this month is a fascinating exhibit from our collection. It is a blazer, gym slip and cape as worn by girls at Queen Bertha’s school in Birchington, which existed between 1929 and 1959.

Also on display are photographs showing the school, an art class and physical education activities taking place on the front lawn of the school.

The school was on land now developed as Queen Bertha’s Avenue, off the Canterbury Road.

The Trust’s events programme continues to develop. On 30 March our ever-popular Quiz Night takes place at The Centre, Alpha Road. Tickets cost £5 per person and are available from the museum which is manned by volunteers on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 0930 and 1230 hours.

More information about our programme is on the and on Facebook: @birchingtonheritage

Broadstairs Town Shed Easter Open day and fundraiser

Broadstairs Town Shed is hosting a special fundraising open day on Tuesday 4th April from 11.30am -2.30pm.

Free tea, coffee and hot cross buns will be on offer to all visitors with lots of Shed-made wooden items for sale, kids’ craft corner, tombola and hamper raffle – all to help raise money to : ‘Raise The Roof’ for the Shed.

The Shed is housed in what was the old Broadstairs Tram Shed, which is over 150 years old. The roof is now very dilapidated and needs replacing.

Helen Robertson – Co-ordinator at The Town Shed said : “Members and supporters have been fund raising in so many ways for several years to replace the roof to keep the space dry, safe and warm for everyone. We have managed to raise a significant amount already thanks to local support but still are some way off our target.”

Peter Stockwell, volunteer ‘Shedhead’ added: “We’ve managed for so many years thanks to lots of buckets and a rota of bucket emptying by members. We really do need to replace the roof soon so that we do not have a damp autumn and winter. It also gives us the opportunity to insulate at the same time, and that will keep members warmer when they are in the workshop, and make a big difference to our heating bills too.”

The Shed is raising money to replace the roof. Sale of wooden items, raffle, kids’ corner, tombola and free tea, coffee and hot cross buns.

Requiem for an Airman

By Lynn Myhill

Locals will no doubt remember Broadstairs personality, John Myhill… whether as a jazz musician, as the Town Crier, or from his strong connections to the Dickens Festival, and Thanet Music and Drama Festival. Fewer around here probably knew about his long history of composing and arranging.

Throughout his life, John would be composing, often for groups with which he was associated, or ran, such as the Beverley Big Band, musicals for a drama group I ran, and many for the various groups at the university where he taught.

He would be commissioned to write for certain events; a piece for the Farnham Festival, for the Epsom Symphony Orchestra, or even a friend’s birthday. His pieces were performed at the Royal Festival Halls, Wigmore Hall and on BBC R3. At other times he would compose a piece about something he felt passionate.

This was the case in 1999, soon after we, as a family, had moved here. John heard that RAF Manston was closing and wanted to organise a concert to mark the occasion. The wing commander agreed and preparations began for a lavish event at the Winter Gardens in Margate involving the RAF Central Band and a host of VIPs. At the centre of the concert was a Requiem John wrote especially for the occasion, and for which he organised a choir and arranged for a youth orchestra from Surrey to come and play.

The Requiem for an Airman incorporated sections of the usual Requiem mass intertwined with poems and texts John had found at the wonderful Spitfire and Hurricane Museum at Manston. The concert was a great success, and the Requiem was well received.

I am delighted that the Thanet Chamber Choir is singing the Requiem at their forthcoming concert on March 18th at 7pm at St Mary’s Church, Minster, from 7pm.

Please do come and support the choir, under the superb direction of Greg Tassell in a concert showing yet another side to John Myhill!.

Tickets are £10 on the door (under 18s free), contactless payment preferred. Or buy in advance at Vinyl Head record shop, 16 West Cliff Road, Ramsgate; via Eventbrite or call 07533200757.

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

ARPS panel image from Terry Scales

Club member Terry Scales has been made an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society following his submission of a series of printed images assessed by a panel of judges.

Terry’s prints were developed using the techniques of early photographers.

Here’s what he had to say about his entry: “I have always been interested in early photographic processes especially the Daguerreotype process which was originally developed by Louis Daguerre and widely used between 1840 and the 1850’s.

“These were small positive images on glass plates which were then metallically backed. In the past two years I have been experimenting to emulate this process digitally using a metallically-backed digital positive transparency film. I used the images for my Royal Photographic Society ARPS Visual Art Panel. However the image shown does not truly represent the finished image as Daguerreotype images are small, not designed to be hung on a wall and viewed but to be handled, as the finished image can only be truly appreciated at the right angle and lighting conditions.”

Terry showed his panel at a recent meeting where members took a close look at the remarkable and beautiful detail in the images.

Congratulations to Terry on his achievement!

More talks and competitions are planned for the rest of the season. We are particularly looking forward to a talk by David Clapp on 9 March and to our next print competition on 16 March which will be judged by York Street (Ramsgate) gallery owner Mike Sampso

Meetings are on Thursdays at 7.30pm at the Portland Centre, St. Peter’s, Broadstairs. Annual adult membership for the remainder of this season costs £17.50 and the weekly fee is £4 (£5 for non-members). New members are welcome.

For further information about the club, including membership and the programme, please visit our website: or find us on Facebook.

Kent Wildlife Trust

The 2023 Wilder Kent Awards, launched by conservation charity Kent Wildlife Trust, urges local groups across Kent to take action against the climate and nature crises.

The people of Kent are being encouraged to sign up for the Wilder Kent Awards, a scheme which recognises and rewards those taking positive action to restore nature.

In Kent, air pollution is double the recommended WHO levels and 79% of rivers are impacted by pollution (State of Nature in Kent, 2021). The county also has the highest risk of flooding of all local authorities in England (Kent County Council). What’s more, the UK Government’s plans to scrap laws protecting wildlife have been labelled an ‘attack on nature’ by wildlife experts. This puts 17 wildlife havens at risk of development if they lose their stronger protections. Local people are therefore being urged to take action on the ground to tackle these environmental threats.

The Wilder Kent Awards is an opportunity for local groups to complete environmental actions under three criteria to earn their Bronze, Silver or Gold award. Actions are surprisingly simple and easy to complete. To protect wildlife, entrants could create a wildlife garden or introduce a pond onto their sites; to improve sustainability and reduce carbon footprint, groups could eliminate the use of single-use plastic or use water butts to capture rainwater for use in gardens; to engage with nature, participants could run outdoor learning sessions or partner with local businesses to become more sustainable.

The awards are free to enter under several categories: Nurseries, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Community Groups and Villages, Towns and Cities. Through entering the Wilder Kent Awards, participants not only help in the fight against climate change, but also improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing, receive the chance to enjoy new experiences and learn new skills, as well as safeguarding nature now and for future generations.

Last year, over 50 groups were celebrated with a Wilder Kent Award. To enter, simply go to the website to fill in an application form and receive an information booklet outlining the Awards and a submission form. As time is running out to avoid catastrophic climate warming and global discussions are happening to agree climate mitigation and adaptation measures, Kent Wildlife Trust is calling for less talk and more action, where local efforts to protect natural spaces and restoring ecosystems are needed to set a global example.

Enter the Wilder Kent Awards 2023

Tom White, Education Officer at Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “These awards offer the opportunity to reflect on some of the excellent work being done in the county to change our environment for the better. Whilst the headlines around climate change are worrying, the work going on in Kent to encourage biodiversity and help us adapt to climate change is a cause for celebration.

“It has been encouraging to see entrants over the last few years going from strength to strength with a few reaching the coveted gold standard. We are on hand to help and support entrants to the competition, so please get in touch and start your journey towards a Wilder Kent today.”