Rammy the Raven will be coming to town in all sorts of guises over the coming months! His first visit will be in miniature form where you will find him in 25 shop windows across the town centre. Each little raven will have a letter attached and if you can work out the secret message once you have found all the letters, hand your completed trail form (available from most participating shops and the Visitor Info Centre in Harbour Parade) to win a Rammy the Raven or RAMSGREAT badge! The trail will start on Ramsgate Day which is on 21st October and will run through half-term week until 31st October.
You can print a copy of the flyer to complete the trail or collect a copy from some of the participating shops!
Rammy the Raven Route 21st – 31st October 2023
Happy Raven Hunting!
Local artists Joni Belaruski and Lucy Troubridge will also be continuing work on their new mural on the New Look hoardings which has started to take shape this week. The work will depict buildings in Ramsgate and will also feature ravens and they are planning to paint in the ravens over Ramsgate Day – here’s a sneak preview of the mural!
Ramsgate has a long relationship with ravens ever since the first recorded name for Ramsgate, named by the Anglo-Saxons as ‘Hraefns Geat’ meaning ‘Raven’s Cliff Gap’ – I imagine they had spotted ravens flying between our two cliffs and heading up what is now the High Street! All very Game of Thrones! In fact, Ramsgate is listed in the opening credits map in the Game of Thrones series!
The image below will form part of a set of illustrations at Ramsgate Station Subway, created by a local, neuro diverse artist who has researched how ravens were depicted over a thousand years ago! Meet Rammy’s distant ancestor! The artist has carefully ‘carved’ the various names for Ramsgate though the ages, even marking out the ‘H’ to look like a small ‘h’, which is how it was written hundreds of years before.
Pugin, who lived in Ramsgate for what turned out to be the last 10 years of his life, also loved birds and featured them in many of his designs. Pugin’s use of the fictional black martlet bird (the bird that never rests), resembles a raven and can be found on much of his work at The Grange, his family home here in Ramsgate. The Royal Harbour Academy students who worked on the Pugin Steps project back in 2020 learnt about Pugin’s bird and Ramsgate’s links to ravens and two of them were inspired to create tiles featuring the birds!
Pugin inspired martlet/raven tiles that feature on Kent Steps (AKA Pugin Steps)
Students at East Kent College are also using Pugin’s work for their new art installation which will be appearing on Abbot’s Hill panels soon so there may be more ravens to find! Another exciting raven project is being developed by our youth Cultural Consortium who have opted for a rave of ravens (my favourite collective noun for these glorious birds!) but their commission is still under wraps so keep a beady eye out for more of our feathered friends appearing in town soon!
As a further nod to Ramsgate’s relationship with ravens, local author Maggie Gee’s most recent book, The Red Children, set in Ramsgate, 2030 features two wonderful characterful ravens and Ramsgate based children’s author, Peter Erlam has written Ravi the Brainy Raven! Peter describes ravens as the Einsteins of the bird kingdom and he’s not wrong! Both books are available at Book Bodega in Harbour Street.
Ravens are considered one of the most intelligent birds and can even mimic voices and other animal sounds, and although they really do ‘guard the Tower of London, it is a fallacy that they were used as messengers (I’m back to Game of Thrones!) but we are using them to help direct people through our town. They can also remember faces so make sure you smile when you see one! You will see Rammy on the top of some of our monoliths and finger posts in town as part of a new wayfinding project funded by the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) legacy programme through Cultural Consortium and Ramsgate Town Council.
Mock-up of how the monoliths at Ramsgate Station, Harbour St and Main Sands will look with the discs sitting on top. Images and design created by local creative director Guy Sawtell.
We will also be creating a special map featuring Rammy the Raven and he will guide you to iconic buildings and attractions in Ramsgate so look out for the ‘look up raven discs’ that will be appearing in town!
And finally, I can’t write a blog without mentioning our very own ravens who have taken up residence here on the coast, spotted frequently over the past 5 years. To read more about Ramsgate’s ravens and how you might be able to spot them, click on the blog link below.
Town Promoter on behalf of Ramsgate Town Council