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Victorian shelters on Ramsgate seafront repaired by volunteers from The Ramsgate Society

By Matt Leclere

Historic sea shelters which were falling to pieces have been given a new lease of life by volunteers.

Residents repaired and redecorated the Victorian structures located on Ramsgate seafront earlier this month.

The Ramsgate Society took on the job of renovating 14 shelters in 2011 raising £540,000 to carry out work.

Volunteers from the Ramsgate Society help restore the sea shelters along the seafront in the town. Picture: Ramsgate Society (15175284)
Volunteers from the Ramsgate Society help restore the sea shelters along the seafront in the town. Picture: Ramsgate Society (15175284)

The shelters had fallen into disrepair over several years and the society secured grants from groups including the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Sainsbury Foundation.

In the last seven years, the Society has spend £10,000 just replacing damage and broken glass after vandals trashed the buildings.

The project to restore them was hampered by vandalism from its initial stages including the smashed windows and graffiti.

But it has not put off volunteers who have been determined to make sure the shelters are maintained to boost the community and visitors who appreciated them when coming to Ramsgate.

'It's really great that people in Ramsgate have retained a strong sense of civic pride,' Ramsgate Society chairman John Walker

Earlier this month, a team of residents turned out for three days to help repair and redecorate two of the shelters in The Paragon.

They were led by Davena Green, vice chairman of Ramsgate Society, and fellow society members and residents looking after nine shelters along the Eastern Esplanade to The Paragon.

John Walker, chairman of The Ramsgate Society, said: "It's really great that people in Ramsgate have retained a strong sense of civic pride at a time when local authority funding has become a national problem.

"Councils are not longer able to maintain the public realm in a condition that the community are entitled to expect but rather than just complain about the situation some people are prepared to get out there and do something about it."

The society secured a lease on the shelters from Thanet District Council on the grounds they are maintained and kept in good condition.

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