Thanet community news: Siyyum celebration; Easter art competition; Camera Club; Probus Club; Forward Trust; Town Shed; Festival Choir and Chartwell House

SIYYUM service- Rabbi Cliff Cohen with the KJlatovy Tree behind

Thanet and District Reform Synagogue

Last Sunday the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Frank Martin, with the Mayors of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs, joined over 50 members and friends of the Thanet Jewish Community for a special and rare celebration – a Siyyum.

The siyyum (completion) is an event which celebrates the writing of a new Torah scroll, or on this occasion, the completion of repairs to an existing one – a very special Czech Memorial Scroll which was owned by the Jewish community of Klatovy in the Czech Republic.

A Jewish businessman visiting Prague discovered a cache of over 1,500 Torah scrolls that had been stolen from other Jewish communities and stored there. He arranged for their purchase and they were transferred to London in 1964 where a programme of restoration was set in motion.

Restored scrolls have been loaned to synagogues worldwide, kept and used as a memorial to those who died in the Holocaust. The Thanet and District Reform Synagogue is custodian of the Klatovy scroll.

After inspection by the scribe, Marc Michaels, the community raised several thousand pounds to finance its repair.

The return of the scroll to the synagogue is a major event for the community.

Torah scrolls are handwritten. At the siyyum Marc Michaels completed the writing in the presence of the community – a symbolic event. This scroll is a Holocaust survivor. It is about 200 years old and is a link with the Klatovy Jewish community, all of whom perished.

In the Thanet synagogue there is a memorial tree, on each leaf of which is written the name of one of those 278 Klatovy Jews who were deported firstly to Teresienstadt and then, for most of them, on to Auschwitz.

Your Move Margate Easter Art Competition

Your Move Estate agents in Margate, is asking young artists to drop in a drawing or painted picture of a house to its Margate High Street branch.

The first 100 pictures received in the branch will win the artist an Easter Egg.   Local Artist Nicola Taylor has kindly agreed to judge all of the entries and pick one winner who will receive £50 of book vouchers.

You can make the house as colourful and imaginative as you like! You can also write a few lines to tell us all about it.

When entering please ensure your child’s name, age and a contact number is put on the back of the drawing. Please bring your children’s artwork to our Margate branch 110-112 High Street, Margate, CT9 1JR Monday-Friday 9am-430pm.

The competition ends on 3rd April and the overall winner will be selected on the 5th April 2023.

We look forward to seeing your pictures!

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

March has been another great month for the club. Our set subject competition “Food and Drink” attracted an eclectic mix of images which provided a lot of food for thought for our judge, previous Chair Laura Drury LRPS. Club member Clare Pickett achieved a great result with her humorous photo “Liquorice Face”.

Ramsgate’s York Street Gallery owner Mike Sampson judged our Print Competition. He gave a great critique of 48 images on a wide range of subjects. It was interesting to see how Mike viewed our images as an artist rather than as a photographer, with a particular eye on creativity. Overall winner was Paul Norris with a different view of “The Lighthouse” (at Dungeness).

Between the competitions, club members enjoyed a fascinating and instructive talk about landscape photography, by David Clapp from Devon. He provided a real insight into the art of creating great landscape images, demonstrating not only skills and patience needed but also how to take advantage of different weather conditions as well as the best equipment to use. A really stimulating, and refreshing, talk.

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

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

Broadstairs Probus Club

The Broadstairs Probus Club was founded in 1976 and provides a friendly and social forum for retired and semi-retired men over 55 who have been involved in a professional or business working life and who live in the Broadstairs area. The Club meets for a coffee morning on the 2nd Tuesday of every month and for a formal lunch on the 4th Tuesday of every month, both held at The Yarrow Hotel.

In February, the current President Michael Bon and five other members were invited to attend the formal lunch of The Herne Bay Probus Club by their President, George Johnson. This was a very enjoyable lunch where the speaker was David Barrie who played Frankie Abbott in the Please Sir television comedy series in the 1960s. David gave a very entertaining talk about his life experiences in the theatre and on television and as an author.

This meeting proved to be interesting for both clubs as there was also a positive exchange of ideas and the Broadstairs Club hoped to invite the Herne Bay Club later in the year..

At the Broadstairs Club`s own meeting in February, the speaker was Peter Arnold from the Rotary Club of Margate, who talked about his drive in a rental van in 2022 to the Ukraine/Poland border to deliver humanitarian supplies donated and collected by Palm Bay School, Quex and other organisations in Thanet and Kent. Peter described the difficulties of the journey through France, Belgium, Germany and Poland, and the satisfaction of handing out the aid to the Ukrainian refugees crossing their border into Poland. It was particularly gratifying to see the child refugees open the shoe boxes which had been filled with sweets and toys. The President thanked Peter for his very interesting talk and handed over a donation to continue with the aid for Ukraine as shown in the photo.

The Club also decided to make a donation of £100 to the victims of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The Club is always looking for new members so, if anyone is interested in finding out more or perhaps trying out a free coffee morning, then please contact Rogan Montgomery- Smith on 01843 603939 or email him on [email protected] for further details.

Forward Trust

Forward Trust is running one-day workshops throughout March in the Restart area in Margate.

They are designed for unemployed adults and job seekers without a Level 2 Maths qualification.

The workshops focus on everyday core numeracy skills and building confidence. They also cover managing the household budget, terminology, problem solving and areas that participants want to develop.

Bookings can be made directly by emailing [email protected] or alternatively by phone on 0748 5359903.

Broadstairs Town Shed Easter Open day and fundraiser

Broadstairs Town Shed

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.

Thanet Festival Choir

Join Thanet Festival Choir for their performance of Bob Chilcott’s powerful and dramatic St John Passion at Holy Trinity Church, Broadstairs, 7.30pm on Saturday 25th March.

A former member of the Kings Singers, Chilcott is now a prolific composer of choral music. His mighty setting of words from St John’s Gospel is a dramatic retelling of the Passiontide story.

Tickets £15 including glass of wine or soft drink. Call 01304 620560 or visit

Chartwell House

Thanet based care home, Chartwell House, has launched a special initiative to give back, support and say thank you to emergency service and health care professionals in the local community.

Refresh and Respond has been launched so that emergency service and health workers, who are often based on the road, have a place they can come throughout the week to take a break, grab a hot drink and utilise the facilities and Wi-Fi of Chartwell House.

Spearheaded by the team at Chartwell House, Refresh & Respond is being launched at a time when emergency services and healthcare professionals are under immense pressure. Admissions Manager,

Jude Coveney said: “We are all to aware of the challenges facing emergency services and healthcare workers and we are delighted to bring Refresh & Respond to the Thanet community. Throughout the week anyone working in these sectors is able to come to Chartwell House, knowing there is a welcoming and comfortable space to relax, catch up on any work and enjoy homemade refreshments before you respond to your next call out.”

Home Manager, Diane Collins added: “Refresh & Respond is just our small way of saying thank you to all those incredible people who serve our community so passionately. As a care home we work closely with many of these services and we are always looking at ways to give back and say thank you. We want the community to know that you have a warm and friendly place which you can go to catch up on some paperwork, take a comfort break or enjoy a cup of coffee.”

Those attending as part of the Refresh & Respond initiative, will also receive a complimentary, limited edition ‘Chartwell House Coffee Tumbler” to use on each visit. The patterning which has been inspired by designer geometric shapes to ensure they are stylish as well as practical.

If you would like to learn more about Refresh & Respond please contact Jude at Chartwell House on 01843 264 896.


  1. “real world”- No. It makes me appreciate the amount of time and energy people put into their organization and survival.

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