/ Our Community
/ People of Ramsgate
/ Ralph Hoult - Starlite Entertainers
How long have you lived in Ramsgate?
70 years I have been living in Ramsgate.
Why did you start helping the local community?
I joined the Cubs as an 8 year old back in 1951 on the Newington Estate, Saint Lawrence 'B' Pack. A great deal of the training in those days was doing your service to the town and helping others. I stayed with the Scout Movement through Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rovers and on route won the top Scouting Award, the Queen Scout Award, mine was the first in Thanet for seven years.
All this ten years of training, stayed with me all my life. I really feel that everybody should give something back to their town. To quote the words of local resident Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo: "If you should love no one, you should love the Town that you dwell, that is what I do."
What are your earliest memories of Ramsgate?
Going to school at Ellington Infants in Ramsgate and having a school photograph taken with my arm around the neck of a very large stuffed German Sheep Dog. I always had a great fear of dogs and it was reflected on my face.
What are your ambitions?
To carry on as I am with my Theatre and Event production Team, staging many Family Fun Events for Ramsgate. My favourite two being “Make Me A Star” Thanet's Top Talent Show and a more recent addition our “Thanet Obelisk Award Gala Nights” when we award trophies to all the Top Acts, Shows and Events of Thanet.
What are you currently working on or towards in Ramsgate?
My on going project is sharing my 4,000 amazing Old Ramsgate Collection of photographs going back to the very first photography nearly 200 years ago.
Once a month, on the third Thursday of the Month at 7.30pm, at the King's of Ramsgate Community Theatre we stage a Nostalgia Evening re-visiting days of Old Nostalgia not a History Lesson and supported by up to 180 people.
Why did you start this current project?
I love the good old days and many people of my age do likewise, are living in the past, some say Nostalgia is a thing of the past (joke) but it does prove to be very popular.
It all started way back in 1978, when I had the first of my 12 shops (only one at a time) and an old lady wanted to put some old postcards in my window, I only did it to please her, but it was so popular that I copied them and blew them up – photographic enlargements of course – and people came from far and wide to show off their pictures, which I copied and “Blew up & displayed”, within 12 months I had over 1,000 views of Ramsgate and staged a photographic exhibition at the Castle Arts Centre on Harbour Parade and it was opened by John LeMesurier – it was the Thanet's Arts Councils Top Exhibition that year with over 1,000 visitors.
Where did you get the idea from to start this?
Mrs Gibbens, The Ramsgate Lady with the old postcards.
What can Ramsgate look forward to from you in the future?
More of the same hopefully.
How do you feel your contribution has helped or made a difference to Ramsgate?
All of my activities are mainly for the young to gain experience on the stage and to build their confidence and experience, to raise funding for good causes and entertain family audiences.
Where do you see yourself helping the community in a year’s time?
Our events are very popular and we will continue them in the future, we also link up with any historical events in the town to stage a suitable event.