Community news: Camera club, MND fundraising, Maurice Morris, Ursuline, Birchington Heritage Trust, Armed Forces parade, Oasis event and CMK

Club Chairman Andy Shaw (right) presenting the Photographer of the Year Award and Certificate to Terry Scales

Isle of Thanet Photographic Society

The club’s Annual General Meeting on 6 June ended another very successful year. 17 talks and 9 competitions had taken place and these attracted a very high number of entries from members.

Clare Pickett LRPS won the Mick Talbot Trophy; Toni-Luan Ellerington achieved top marks in Group 2 and was promoted to the Advanced Group for next season, whilst Terry Scales ARPS won the “Photographer of the Year” Award for the highest number of points scored in club competitions.

Andy was re-elected as Chair for a further year until the AGM in June 2025.

The club’s annual exhibition at York Street Gallery, Ramsgate is open now and runs through until the 19th June.

During the summer break members have the opportunity to attend some external meetings as well as completing a project set by the Chairman.

The 2024/25 season begins on 5 September. Meetings are held on Thursdays at 7.30pm, at the Portland Centre, St Peter’s, Broadstairs. The new Programme will be available in August.

More information about the club and our programme can be found at and on our Facebook page.

MND fundraising

Vikki Foat, who runs the Tollgate Kiosk in Wellington Crescent, has continued her fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association with another half marathon – and she’s not done yet.

Initially Vikki and pal Deb Castle completed 15,000 steps a day in January and finishing with a walk from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace (Africa Gate) on January 31 to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Sinfield. The pair raised £400 for the charity.

Then in May Vikki  took first in a climb of Scafell Pike, this time in aid of Cancer Research, and then in the Rob Burrow’s half marathon in Leeds, completing the course in just under 6 hours, and raising around £185 for the MND Association. Rob Burrow was a rugby league footballer who died in June aged just 41, four years after his MND diagnosis.

Vikki has now pledged to take on the marathon again next year.

She said: “Although I only walk them it’s inspired by Rob and Kev and the determination to raise greater awareness for MND and much needed funds to find a cure for this awful disease.”

Find Vikki’s MND fundraiser at:

Maurice Morris

A headstone to mark the final resting place of Margate character Maurice Morris has been donated by Thanet Stone and is now in place.

A bench has also been donated by Orbit Housing and is due to be installed in July.

Maurice passed away at his Dane Valley home in March, aged 91.

From the 1950s to 1990s Maurice worked in various roles at Dreamland, including as an usher at the cinema. He was also known to many of the big bands, including The Who and The Yardbirds, which came to Dreamland in the 60s and 70s as he would bring in their equipment.

In May Maurice was taken to Thanet Crematorium by horse and carriage from Acorn Carriage Hire, following a route that included Dane Valley and Margate seafront. The arrangements were made through Aston Walker funeral directors and the service carried out by funeral celebrant Christopher Dell.

Ursuline College anniversary

Former Students from The Ursuline College and Convent Schools will gather on Saturday 13th July for a celebratory reunion to mark 120 years of Ursuline Education in Westgate on Sea.

The school in Westgate-on-Sea was established in 1904 when a group of Ursuline Sisters fled Boulogne with a number of their pupils. Although our school in Boulogne-sur-Mer had existed since 1624 (400 years ago) , laws passed in France had made it impossible for the Sisters to continue their work of Catholic education in France.

In 1995, following the sudden closure of the neighbouring St Augustine’s College the school became coeducational.  In mid-1998 the school was reborn as a voluntary aided comprehensive for children aged 11 to 19.

Today the Ursuline College is run by the Kent Catholic Schools Partnership Trust

Its alumni include Prof Dame Ann Dowling, former President of the Royal Academy of Engineers and Colonel Paddy Williams MC, (Royal Armoured Corps of the British Army) both of whom are Patrons of the Westgate Ursuline Alumni Association (WUAA).  Actress Rula Lenska was also a pupil at the school.

Professor Dame Anne Dowling has been the only woman ever to serve as President of the Royal Academy of Engineers.  Colonel Paddy Williams led the King’s Coronation Parade in London last year on behalf of the British Army.

Commenting on the event, Secretary of the Ursuline Alumni, Alice Odeke, said “This is a truly historic event – 400 years the school has existed – 120 of them in Westgate.  It is a significant achievement that the Ursuline values and ethos of education have survived the test of time – and hopefully will continue to serve for many years to come”.

The event is being supported by former students of St Augustine’s College and Abbey School.

The event begins at 12 noon on Saturday 13th July at the Ursuline College, 225 Canterbury Road, Westgate on Sea.  CT8 8LX.

Former students at the Ursuline Convent School, Ursuline College and St Augustine’s College and Abbey School are welcome to attend the event.  Booking is essential via the link.

For more information about the alumni event please email the Westgate Ursuline Alumni Association: [email protected]

Birchington Heritage Trust

Birchington’s heritage museum, based at the Burley Gallery in Birchington Library, is being re-displayed. This will make part of the collection more visible and provide greater space for visitors and researchers who make use of the museum’s extensive archives.

The museum will be closed from 17th June for a week to enable the re-display work to take place. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but look forward to welcoming visitors back to the museum from the 24th

.Meanwhile, it is worth remembering that membership of the Trust is open to everyone. Our new year started on 1st May. Single adult membership is only £10; or £15 for two adults living at the same address. Members receive 4 newsletters each year and are entitled to attend our talks free of charge. The next one is on 25th July when Rod LeGear will be our guest speaker on the topic of “Thanet’s Underground Heritage”.

Members will be very welcome to attend our Annual General Meeting on 27th June 2024; we are also looking for more volunteers at the museum, helping with archive queries and caring for our collection.

Membership details and forms are available from the museum or can be downloaded from the website at: Facebook: @birchingtonheritage

Armed Forces Day parade

To commemorate Armed Forces Day this year, arrangements have been made for the representation of ex-Service Organisations and other bodies to attend a parade around Ramsgate Royal Harbour and a Drumhead Service on Saturday 29 June.  The Mayor of Ramsgate, Councillor Pat Moore, Ramsgate Town Councillors and other guests will also attend.

Harbour Street Parade will be closed from the entrance/exit of the Pier Car Park along to the turning circle (by Wetherspoon) from 8am until 12pm on that day. All parking bays along this area will be suspended during this time.

The actual parade will march along Harbour Parade to the turning circle between 10.40am and 11.00am when a Drumhead Service will take place in the turning circle.  On conclusion of the service the parade will march along Harbour Parade and dismiss at the end of the road at approximately 12pm.

At the conclusion of the Drumhead Service, the Parade will be reformed and return along Harbour Parade and dismiss at the end of the road.

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service

For the third consecutive year, Oasis Domestic Abuse Service has partnered up with BroadstairsLit to bring great literary minds to our coast, all in aid of Oasis’ important work in the community. This year local author Caitlin Davies took the stage exploring in fascinating depth her latest book ‘Private Inquiries’ which delves into the lives of female sleuths from 1850s to today.

She told the captive audience about the struggles women detectives have faced over the decades, and what makes them so good at their job. One of the many reasons being that people tend to be much less suspicious of a woman than they are of a man, therefore revealing information more candidly.

One guest said “It was a really enjoyable way to spend my afternoon – I learned a lot, not just about these really interesting and inspiring women solving mysteries and supporting other fellow women, but also about the important work Oasis does here.”

Caitlin also recounted her journey to becoming a private investigator herself. The talk was followed by a Q&A session led by Denise Martin-Harker and a book signing, and the books sold on the day were provided by Waterstones Thanet.

Proceeds from the event will go to support Oasis’s services, which support thousands of people affected by domestic abuse in East Kent, Medway and North Kent each year.

Oasis Senior Fundraising Officer Claire Fenley says: “As an ardent fan, it was a real pleasure to welcome author and journalist Caitlin Davies to this special fundraising event. Alongside BroadstairsLit, we love bringing such esteemed authors together with Oasis supporters at our annual literary event. Events like this raise vital funds, we would like to thank all of our guests for supporting our work. Special thanks to Spurling Cannon for their ongoing support.”

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service has been working with peopled affected by domestic abuse for nearly 30 years. The charity began with a handful of dedicated people opening a refuge service in 1994 in Margate. Back then 2 women a week were being murdered as a result of abuse in the home. Sadly, that statistic remains the same today. Every day the charity’s staff are confronted with the distressing results of this issue on the lives of the adults and children whom they work for.

Today, Oasis delivers services for adults, children and young people affected by domestic abuse in East Kent, Medway and North Kent. The award-winning charity has built an innovative, committed approach to not only intervening, but also preventing the cycle of abuse from repeating in the future.


Free Mental Health First Aid Courses Thanet VCSE groups

This is being funded via The National Lottery Community Fund as part of our ‘Blue Umbrella Project in Thanet’ and we have a further 12 courses scheduled once our new training academy website pages go live.


June 28, 1pm-4pm, online Book here

July 3, 10am-1pm, online youth mental health aware

July 19th and 26th, Newington Community Centre Ramsgate, 9.30am-4.30pm both days

Maximum 2 bookings per organisation. Book here

July 31, 10am -1pm Online. Book here