How long have you lived in Ramsgate?
Since I was a baby.
Why did you start helping the local community?
When the package tours to far flown places began, it affected the main industry of Ramsgate the tourism, I would like to create a Ramsgate label for the small businesses and raise the awareness overseas as to our local talent and then start re-exporting like we used to.
Only smaller industries though - at that time you had Martells who used to do all the clothes for Marks and Spencers that’s all dead, but there are still people around that can fill that export, because people love to buy exclusive things from England if the price is right, we do it in Paris every year for the town.
What are your earliest memories of Ramsgate?
Cockling at Pegwell Bay with my parents, riding from Dumpton to Merrie England which is on the Ramsgate main sands on the scenic railway through the newly reopened Ramsgate Tunnels and the Cinderella coach and horses that used to trot along the harbour all year around.
What are your ambitions?
To create a Ramsgate label for the small businesses but also to include that in and around the petanque, we are hoping to open up a club petanque, which would be good for the game and good for Ramsgate.
We have brought back the international status of the piste here at Charlotte Court, we have already played France and Belgium here.
What are you currently working on or towards in Ramsgate?
We have 36 teams in the East Kent league and we all play once a week either here in Ramsgate or we go to a country pub.
We are working through the league and working towards the trophy, that ended in October but within our league we are incorporating foreign teams and foreign players. We have four new pistes in Margate, we are hoping to have one on the main sands and our big ambition is to have an international site down on Pegwell Bay hoverport.
We need somewhere huge if we are going to grow this for our town, we need an international size boulodrome now, they already come up from Dover because we are getting well known over there, they come over in coachloads at a time – its moving in the right direction. We have challenged Brooklyn, New York to come next year.
Why did you start this current project?
I have been working abroad as an engineer for years and on my return home I was appalled at the tragic state of Charlotte Court, this once proud active international piste was just a dump, and I just said ‘I’m going to do something about it’.
That is why I got involved, it was just so sad, but look at it now, its full of people, its lovely, its clean, remade, there are businesses fighting to open up there.
Where did you get the idea from to start this?
When I came back to England, it was the year of the Olympic Games, the French tried so hard to get petanque included as an Olympic sport, they didn’t quite succeed but it’s getting there and I thought it would be good if we could, which we are working on now.
What can Ramsgate look forward to from you in the future?
They can look forward to more sporting action from me as the secretary of Ramsgate Harbour petanque and Charlotte Court petanque team.
As mentioned above we have played France and Belgium and beat them and intend to beat them again in June, the coach is full – look out France here comes downtown Ramsgate.
How do you feel your contribution has helped or made a difference to Ramsgate?
Petanque has raised its profile and shown that Ramsgate is sporting proud, we already have coachloads of French coming over to play, shop, eat and drink not to mention visiting the local entertainment, the cinemas, theatres, museums and places of historic interest.
Where do you see yourself helping the community in a year’s time?
Pushing Ramsgate with its very social friendly and family support of petanque, growing the Ramsgate label for the benefit of the small Ramsgate businesses by exporting products and increasing the footfall back this way to Ramsgate.
We can do it with the help and encouragement of Ramsgate Town Council and Thanet District Council, we can grow a family petanque piste on the Ramsgate main sands and have a huge international petanque boulodrome at Pegwell Bay for the Ramsgate International Petanque Festival, that’s our dream.