Community news: Gang Show, Vindicatrix, Police Panto, IOTAS, Coastal Striders, Coastal Finds, Alpha launch, Southeastern, Old Augustinians, Diabetes UK and Crocus Walk

Thanet Gang Show 2024

Thanet Gang Show

On the 28th 29th and 30th March Thanet’s Annual Gang Show returned to the stage of Birchington Village Hall, with a total of four shows.

Each year the cast choose a charity to raise money for and this year it was the Thin Blue Paw which looks after serving and retired / injured Police Dogs. At the final show on Saturday 30/03/24  Chairman Terry Pankhurst presented a cheque to Jenny Preston for £950. He thanked the cast and  supporters for their help in attaining this amount.

Thanet Gang Show has been in existence since 1946 but did not become a “Gang Show” until the 1960s when they were seen by Gang Show Assessors. They were then presented with the coveted Red Scarf which is worn by ALL Gang Shows since it was start by Ralph Reader in the 1930s at the Golders Green Hippodrome.

We are able to do these things because of our cast, under the guidance of our producer Denis Burring and the support of Birchington Village Hall staff and everyone involved with the show. The audience was treated to a real family variety show care of Thanet Scouts and Guides along with an appearance by Cubs and Brownies from around the district.

As Chair of Thanet Gang Show I am very proud and humbled by the quality of the show the cast turn out and having been on stage myself know what is involved –  costumes, scenery, make-up, sound and lights. I personally would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the show, here’s to next year’s one.

We would like to hear from anyone involved with past gang shows who have any items which we can have or photocopy and return. Please call me (Terry Pankhurst) on 07927 845505.

Closing meeting of The Independent Vindicatrix of East Kent Assoc;  –  M.N.

We held our closing down meeting on April 11th; 2024 at our usual venue, The Racing Greyhound pub in Ramsgate and we would like to offer our sincere thanks to Keith and Debbie for the way they have accepted and treated us over many years, they truly are great hosts.

We had a slightly larger attendance than normal which enabled us to discuss the disposal of our funds and the “Laying Up” of our Standard.  The meeting was informed of the received apologies and our previous minutes discussed.  A full Financial Report for the year 2023 / 2024 was given which gave us a very healthy profit which members agreed should be shared between the RNLI, the Macmillan Cancer, the Alzheimers and the Sailor’s Church.

It was hoped for many years that we could “Lay-Up” our Standard in St; Andrews Church in Sharpness where the ship was berthed but this is proving a problem now so members have proposed that we contact the Ramsgate Sailor’s Church where it was dedicated.

Reaction to our closure was given to the members from Vindi Boys in the UK and overseas plus many other associations and supporters with whom we’ve worked with over 30 years.  The Mayors of Margate and Ramsgate have indicated that they will continue to fly the Red Ensign on September 3rd; which is National Merchant Navy Day each year and for that we thank them all.

Our major National Merchant Navy Day parade at Tower Hill, London this year will be on Sunday, September 8th; so mark it in your diaries, members will make their own way there this year as no coach transport is arranged now.

Sadly it was announced that our member Jack Hart had sadly “crossed the bar” following a long illness and we sent our Condolences to his widow and family.  His funeral will take place at the Margate Crematorium on April 16th; at 12.15 hours.  R.I.P. Jack.

Members agreed that our closure will not stop shipmates from meeting socially and discussions will continue about this.  The meeting AND association finally closed at 2045 hours and the Red Ensign lowered.

Kent Police Panto

The cast of the Kent Police Panto met with representatives of East Kent Independent Dementia Support as well as Thanet Disabled Riding Centre and presented them with their equal share of the £7500.

The funds were from the February show where Ma’Tar, Jim Hawkins, Captain Crook as well as others took to the stage at the annual Police Panto, held this year at Taylor Hall, St Lawrence College, Ramsgate.

From speaking to the local Thanet charities this year the money will assist in the outings that EKIDS take their members on and for Thanet Disabled Riding Centre will go towards the £250 daily running costs.

The Police Panto has been raising funds for local charities for the last 25 years and now their fundraising total is amounting to more than £225,000 raised.

Planning has already started for the 2025 show, and we will return to our traditional February half term dates, and the 2025 show will be ?

Well, you will have to follow us on Facebook and look out for details on our website

Isle Of Thanet Archaeological Society

Ozengell Pendant

IOTAS is pleased to announce that we have two exciting talks coming up in April and May.

Our President, Andrew Mayfield, who is also Community Archaeologist for Kent County Council, has for a number of years been carrying out archaeological investigations at Shorne Woods Country Park, where he and his team of professional archaeologists and volunteers have been working at for over 15 years. The early work focused on the site of the medieval manor known as Randall Manor, but the team have recently also joined other Kentish archaeology groups in helping them with their projects. One of these was some years ago at Ebbsfleet in Thanet, when IOTAS were also delighted to be involved in excavations to try to find traces of Caesar’s first landing in Britain.

In the last few years Andrew has split his working week between Kent and as Community Archaeologist for Greenwich Royal Parks, which is part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site, and contains two scheduled monuments, a Roman Temple and an Anglo-Saxon Cemetery. A number of other sites have also been investigated during his time there, using local volunteers and schoolchildren.

His talk at 7.15 pm on Monday 22 April 2024, at Crampton Tower Hall will be Andrew’s Presidential update on these activities for IOTAS. Our Members enjoy free admission, and visitors are also welcome for a small donation. If you join IOTAS on the night, you will also have free admission. Please let us know if you are planning to come to what is sure to be a lively and fascinating talk, to make sure we can accommodate you all! For this and all other enquiries you can email us [email protected], or find us on Facebook at you will find details of all our activities and much more. Don’t forget to Like us!

On Monday 20 May time and venue etc. as above – we will also welcome Andy Ward of Kent Archaeological Society (KAS) who will bring us up to date with the work on cataloguing and conservation of the Ozengell collection of artefacts from Thanet, acquired by KAS last year, and his work as KAS Curator.

Coastal Striders

Introducing the Coastal Striders Couch to 5k session for 2024. Run by qualified run leaders and it’s free to join. No previous running experience or fitness required.

Couch to 5K is a running plan for absolute beginners. Whether you’ve never run before or you just want to get more active, This programme slowly builds up your fitness level to be able to complete 5k after 9 weeks

We shall be meeting for two runs each week per below, starting Tuesday 7th May through to 4th July;

Tuesdays: Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs at 6:30pm

Thursdays: The Boating Pool, Ramsgate at 6:30pm

To Register your place Please click on the following link. Places are limited so don’t delay, book on today.…/a2bf3a84-53a6-4b05…

Thanet and Sandwich Coastal Finds

Monday, April 15, 6.30pm to 9pm, Lilie’s, Cliff Terrace, Cliftonville

A bring/show and tell for items found on the beach with a Q&A in the basement bar with expert panel with Frank Leppard, Steve Tomlinson and Carl Hudson.

All welcome.

Alpha launch event

The Alpha launch party is on Thursday 23rd May. It’s very much a come and see if you’d like to find out more about the Alpha course we offer. It’s free, there’s no obligation and certainly no pressure.

Alpha is a series of interactive sessions exploring the basics of Christian faith. It runs over 10 weeks, from June 6 at 7.15pm-8.30pm at the Parish of the Holy Family, 44 Minnis Road, Birchington (opposite the medical centre).

The sessions consists of food, a short talk and a discussion. Free of charge for anyone who is curious to explore life, faith and meaning.  or email [email protected]

Coastal clean up

Southeastern is organising a beach clean at Margate on April 26 from 10am to noon.

Meet outside Margate railway station at 9.45am.

For more information email [email protected]

The Society of Old Augustinians

Thanet based St Augustine’s College Alumni are publishing their historic school archive online on the website on Monday 15th April.

The Archive will include all our school magazines going back to the first edition in the Winter of 1886 to when the school closed in 1995.  We will also be publishing other books and documents, such as Monastic and Scholastic Century and school prospectuses.

The magazines, which were mainly written by the pupils of their time, depict life mainly through the eyes of those schooled at this Benedictine School with diaries and reports of activities.

There are some fascinating stories to read including depicting school life in the late Victorian reign through two World Wars, right up until the school closed in 1995.

Commenting on the publication of the archive, Andrew Sharp, Chair of the Old Augustinians said: “The project to digitise and publish our archive provides a wonderful opportunity to share our history with the public.”

With the archive being published on Monday 15th April, he went on to say: “We hope it will be of interest, not only to those who were connected in some way with the school, but to the local community – it is very much part of our local Thanet history and heritage.”

In the first edition covering Winter 1886, (which is attached),  one of the boys recalls a visit he made to the site of the Battle of Waterloo in the 70th Anniversary year.  In another, the boys recall the basic facilities for borders, where washing facilities were very primitive even by standards at the time.

This is the link you will need to view the archive from next Monday, 15th March:

For further details, please contact the Chairman, Andrew Sharp on 07920 424990 or by email:  [email protected].

For more information about the Old Augustinians, please visit our website

Diabetes UK

On Wednesday 22nd May from 11am to 3pm Diabetes UK will be at Westwood Cross to offer diabetes engagement as well as looking for people who may well be interested in volunteering opportunities within the charity.

Drop by and talk to volunteer staff at Diabetes UK and hear about the roles on offer and how you can get involved.

For more details email [email protected]

Annual Crocus Walk

A crowd of 149 people put their best foot forward for Deal’s 19th Crocus Walk, raising money for Breast Cancer Now – the UK’s largest Research and Support charity.

The walk was dedicated to a local lady Wendy Aitken with the blessing of her family after she passed away the previous week. Wendy had previously had Breast Cancer however it sadly returned. Wendy had been involved with the charity and had previously modelled for a Debenhams Campaign.

The Associate Director of Nursing, Healthcare professional engagement and health information from Breast Cancer Now Sally Kum joined the walkers and also spoke at the halfway point; First Light Bistro in St Margaret’s about what a difference the  fundraising makes to the charity.

Some of the  team from Off the Street, On Our Feet which is supporting people with mental health issues and homelessness to get our walking and running, joined the walk to raise awareness.

There were walkers who were going through treatment  ,survivors and people walking in memory of someone plus so many more. So far, the event has raised over £4200.

Fundraiser and Ambassador for the Charity Kerry Banks BEM said: “Firstly, a huge thank you to each and every one of you that took part -you smashed it!

“This event only works well with the support of our incredible Sponsors, Marshalls and Volunteers -I couldn’t do it without them.”

There is still time to donate on the Just Giving page at: