Ramsey Arts Festival was founded by Raphael Terroni and Norman Beedie. It came into being in 1990 with the aim of highlighting the importance of music and the arts in the cultural life of the area. The objectives of the group are the promotion of concerts, performances and other activities of a cultural nature, so as to provide opportunities for school groups, students and amateurs to work together under the guidance of locally based professional performers and artists and invited guests, for the enjoyment of people of the area.
(extract from the Constitution, January 1991)
Another year has come and gone in seemingly no time at all and I have now been Chair of Ramsey Arts Festival for three years which is very hard to believe.
It has been a difficult year for the committee with everyone being pulled in various directions due to family commitments which, of course, must take precedence.
Our 2018 programme was consequently rather more limited than it has been in recent years though we still managed to present some interesting and well supported events.
The Festival opened on March 17th with our ever popular Quiz Night. This event has become very popular (and a good fund raiser) due largely to the excellent hosting by Elspeth (together with Ann's help this year). We can guarantee being able to fill the village hall with determined quizzers. The 2019 Quiz Night is in the planning and will again be on a Saturday in March with the exact date to be confirmed.
Following the success of the Autumn live music events at The Drill Hall and requests for more live music, we then presented a 'Rock Night' in April featuring The Phantoms from London and local rock band, Treble Damage. This attracted a reasonable sized crowd of around 125 and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Mid-July saw our annual event presented in conjunction with Upwood Village Hall Performing Arts under the stewardship of Doug McLeod. This featured the fantastic 'Cosmic Sausages' who were zany, humorous, colourful and excellent musicians. The concert was meant to be outdoors but had to move inside Bury Village Hall due to inclement weather. It was still a big success, greatly enjoyed by everyone and we hope to have collaboration with Doug in 2019.
In late July we were again happy to support and promote 'Peterborough Morris', this time alongside 'Ouse Washes Molly', who performed outside The Railway and The Jolly Sailor. If we can do our bit to ensure that English traditions such as Morris Dancing continue through the generations then we are all for it and will be happy to support them again next year.
Our final event of 2018 was the hugely successful 'Bring Back The 60s and 70s' dance night in October at The Drill Hall featuring local band '10 o'Clock Curfew' who had the crowd of well over 200 up and dancing from 8pm through to 11:30pm. As I always mention, there seems to be a huge appetite for this kind of event in Ramsey and we will be putting on similar in 2019 for which we already have a band pencilled in.
I would particularly like to thank Susan and her team in The Green School Shop for once again selling so many tickets for us – 80 for the '60s and 70s' night alone. This really is very much appreciated by the committee.
I would also like to thank the Arts Festival committee for their continued support.
Due to pressure of work and other commitments I am hereby giving 1 year's notice that I will be standing down as Chair at the 2019 AGM and intend to make 2019 as successful as possible.
Jon Novice, November 2018