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Phil Spain - The Ramsgate Tunnels

Home / Our Community / People of Ramsgate / Phil Spain - The Ramsgate Tunnels
How long have you lived in Ramsgate?
Apart from 18 months, elsewhere in Kent, I’ve lived and worked in Ramsgate all my life.

Why did you start helping the local community?
I’ve always been very fond of Ramsgate and have endeavoured to help out where I can. In 2011, I was asked to join the group trying to reopen the Ramsgate Tunnels and thought it would be a good opportunity to do something positive for the town.

What are your earliest memories of Ramsgate?
Childhood memories of the Western Undercliff and of course the fantastic Merrie England amusement park and seafront lights. As a young boy, growing up in Ramsgate was fascinating. With thousands of visitors, a working harbour and military airfield nearby there was always something of interest to see or get involved in.

What are your ambitions?
I’ve already achieved many of my ambitions but I still have the urge to travel and do a few more unusual things.

What are you currently working on or towards in Ramsgate?
I’m still involved with the Ramsgate Tunnels and I’m also working on a project to bring Motorcycle Sprinting back to the Western Undercliff.

Why did you start this current project?
I have very fond memories of the motorcycle sprints in the 1950s and 60s. I used to compete in motor cycle racing and when the opportunity arose I thought it would be a good idea to combine my passions for Ramsgate and motorbikes.

Where did you get the idea from to start this?
The idea wasn’t mine. An enthusiast who had dreamt of bringing the sprint back to Ramsgate for many years approached me.

What can Ramsgate look forward to from you in the future?
I really don’t know. I’m of an age where I can please myself but if something catches my imagination who knows what might happen.

How do you feel your contribution has helped or made a difference to Ramsgate?
I suppose the most obvious contribution would be helping with getting the Ramsgate Tunnels open. They’re already a tremendous success and have a very promising future.

Where do you see yourself helping the community in a year’s time?
I will probably still be contributing to the Tunnels and with any luck I will be preparing for a bigger and better Ramsgate Sprint Revival for 2016.

Interview by Dean Williams, Technical Officer
Interview Date: 20th November 2014