Ramsay Memorial Gardens

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Postby Richard James » 08/01/02 03:30 PM

I recently received a telephone call from Mr. Alex Proctor - the President of the Scottish Conjurors Association. He was concerned over plans to turn the Ramsay Memorial Gardens in Ayr into a Beer Garden!

Mr Proctor felt, and rightly in my opinion, that this was a disgrace. The next day, I received an E-Mail from Alex. Here's a snippet of that E-Mail:

"Having spoken to a Caroline Patterson, who was putting the article together and is on our side, she was very surprised to find out of the respect that John Ramsay has in the Magical Fraternity throughout the world.

...

maybe someone can help!"
Shortly after his E-Mail, Alex very kindly sent me a copy of the article from the Ayr Advertiser. A copy of that article has been uploaded HERE .

The article details plans to turn the Ramsay Memorial Gardens in Ayr into a Beergarden, and I'm sure that all Magicians will find it of interest.

To keep up to date with any progress, Login to the Connoisseur Conjuring Forums where I'll let you know of any further details that I hear of, and hopefully Alex will Login and keep us up to date.
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Postby Richard James » 08/03/02 10:58 AM

Here's an update on the situation:

I think we must operate on a psychic wavelength because I was just about to contact you about a matter that has recently come to light concerning the John Ramsay Memorial Garden in Ayr. It appears the local Council wants to sell off part of it to an adjoining pub to become a beer garden. In my capacity as Hon Life Pres. of both the Scottish Assocn of Magical Societies and the Scottish Conjurers' Assocn and Historian of The Magic Circle I immediately wrote a strong letter of objection and ensured that The Circle also raised objection. But the case will obviously be strengthened if John's international reputation (which I emphasised in my letter) is confirmed by letters from overseas, so I wondered if you (and any of your CA pals who are also Ramsay fans) would be willing to send a fax objecting to any move for alternative use of the Ramsay Garden. The address is:

The Estates Manager, Burns House, Burns Statue Square, Ayr KA7 1UT, Scotland

Fax: 01292 616260

Many thanks in advance for any help you might feel able to give us in this matter.
The above message was sent to me by my good friend Marc Caplan. The author of the message is Eddie Dawes.

I hope some, or all, of you guys (especially from overseas) can help. I'll be sending in my complaint on Monday.
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Postby Richard James » 08/03/02 04:14 PM

Here's another message of support that I was sent. This one comes from John Carney.

Re: the Ramsay Gardens.....

It might be easier to send an e mail to the man in charge. I have only just managed to get an email address for the Ayr Council.

Ronald Sheed is the Director of Environment, Land & Property of South Ayrshire Council and can be reached at ronald.sheed@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Thanks for your interest and help with this problem

John Carney
The more E-Mails we send him, the better. We can turn this situation around if we ALL show our support.

So send off YOUR E-Mail... NOW
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Postby John Carney » 08/03/02 07:00 PM

Hello all,

It would be great if everyone could write a few sentences regarding Ramsay and his long reaching influence in the world of magic.

It would be a disgrace if the Ramsay Gardens were replaced by a beer garden.

If the citizens of Ayr knew what high regard Ramsay was held in, perhaps they would do MORE to keep alive the memory of one of their most artistic and influential native sons, rather than erase it.

Time is short, so please write a few words and e mail them to:

Ronald Sheed
Director of Environment,
Land & Property of South Ayrshire Council

ronald.sheed@southayrshire.gov.uk

Thanks guys,
John

..

..
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/04/02 12:54 AM

I tried to send an email, but it was bounced back to me (I triple checked the address, it was as posted). I just forwarded my letter to Mr. James in the hope that he can forward it to Mr. Sheed.

I was wondering if anyone has thought to contact the Magic Castle BOD (especially Billy McComb and/or Ron Wilson)? I think a letter from the BOD on behalf of the membership of the AMA is in order here. If no one has, could someone post a complete and proper regular mailing address, and I will forward it on to each of the BOD members with an explanation.

Thanks!
Dustin
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Postby Richard James » 08/04/02 01:23 AM

Many thanks for your support guys.

Dustin, I have printed a copy of your letter and will forward it on to Mr. Sheed tomorrow morning.

Everyone else, PLEASE add your voice to our attempt to save the Ramsay Gardens.

Mr. Carney has given you all the information you require. All you have to do is USE it!
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Postby Richard James » 08/04/02 07:33 AM

Several Magicians have contacted me regarding the E-Mail address supplied to us by Mr. Carney. It seems that the E-Mails are being 'bounced' back to you.

I checked it out, and it seems that a hyphen is missing! Here is the correct address to send your E-Mails to: ronald.sheed@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Now you have no excuse for NOT sending an E-Mail in support of keeping the Ramsay Gardens.
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Postby Richard James » 08/04/02 07:45 AM

Here's a further update from Mr. Alex Proctor (President of the Scottish Conjurors Association).

Once you have read the article, and you feel as strong as I do, you may want to voice your objection to these proposals. If you do, the address to send individual lettered objections to, because block bookings of complaints, i.e., a petition of signatures will be treated as one objection, are as follows:

South Ayrshire Council
Burns House
Burns St. Square
Ayr
KA7 1UP
Scotland

Fax; 01292 616161

Email - Chief Executive; george.thorley@south-ayrshire.gov.uk
Director of Development; graham.peterkin@south-ayrshire.gov.uk
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Postby Guest » 08/04/02 09:40 AM

I read the article on the web site and all the comments made by genii forum members and although I know who John Ramsay was and understand how respected he was, it seems to me that a lot of people are going to write in to save some garden that they will never visit.

The council insider said "I can understand why people would want the Ramsay Gardens kept. But those who live near them know they are used by winos. They would be quite happy for something else to happen in the area."

If it's being used by drunks and bums now doesn't it make sense to change it to something else. Why couldn't it become "The John Ramsay Beer Gardens", and I'm sure the council could keep a lot of the look and feel. Would a beer garden in his honor be any less of a tribute than a garden that winos lay in?

Donna.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 08/04/02 10:01 AM

Recently Andrew Galloway, Ramsay's star pupil turned up at the Magic Circle and was refused admission because the "powers that be" didn't know who he was.
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/04/02 10:02 AM

Frankly, I don't know anything about the "Ramsay Gardens" -- but... (and I am being serious for a change) ... would it be possible that far more people would visit a beer garden? And would it not be possible to be named after Ramsay and have a tribute area, photos, props, etc. nearby?

Perhaps Ramsay liked pubs and beer gardens?

Perhaps magic entertainment would be included?

If done properaly MAYBE it would be good.

Just a thought. :cool:
Stay tooned.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/04/02 12:26 PM

Originally posted by Donna Star:
I read the article on the web site and all the comments made by genii forum members and although I know who John Ramsay was and understand how respected he was, it seems to me that a lot of people are going to write in to save some garden that they will never visit.

The council insider said "I can understand why people would want the Ramsay Gardens kept. But those who live near them know they are used by winos. They would be quite happy for something else to happen in the area."

If it's being used by drunks and bums now doesn't it make sense to change it to something else. Why couldn't it become "The John Ramsay Beer Gardens", and I'm sure the council could keep a lot of the look and feel. Would a beer garden in his honor be any less of a tribute than a garden that winos lay in?

Donna.
It's nice to know that politics and politicians are the same no matter where in the world they execute their civic duties.

Are "winos" anything like what we in the states call "the homeless"? If so, then the South Ayrshire Council needs to learn that simply turning over a piece of property (property that they are currently responsible for) to a private enterprise will not solve the issue of the "winos." They will simply find another place to "lay in." It sounds to me that the council has a much deeper problem to solve and should concentrate their efforts there.

There are countless memorials to people great and small around the world. The fact that I may or may not ever visit them all is of no relevance. John Ramsay was a native son of Ayr. He was honored while still alive (not after his passing, as implied by the article) by the town where he spent his life. John Ramsay was an award winning gardener as well as magician. He contributed to the economy of Ayr by being a business owner. He was charitable. The town chose to honor him with a garden - not a beer garden.

Dustin
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Postby Guest » 08/04/02 03:06 PM

I never said it would solve the problems of the winos (yes I think a 'wino' is a homeless person, I'm guessing its a scottish word). But if it was near my house I'd rather have a beer garden than a garden full of smelly drunks. Sure they will go somewhere else, but at least they wouldn't be on the precious memorial to Ramsay!

Give him a new memorial, he doesn't know he has a garden - he's dead. Keep a plaque on the wall or something. He was just a magician. I know that magicians have huge egos, but I'm sure he won't mind a nice garden where people can come and enjoy a beer. It has to be better than being remembered as "the magician who has a garden that smells of drunks urine as a memorial."

If we gave a garden to every good magician, we'd soon have a lot of land tied up across the globe that could be put to better use.

At least this way it's still a garden and people can enjoy it.

Donna.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/04/02 07:27 PM

Originally posted by Donna Star:
I never said it would solve the problems of the winos
Donna,

I never meant to imply that you did. I was speaking of the “council insider” (a phrase generally used to describe a bureaucrat wishing to remain anonymous, wary of having his/her true beliefs and/or opinions associated with his/her name until the direction of the political winds become clear. I have had more than my share of experience with this political creature). Tearing down parks and gardens are timeworn and ineffective solutions to the homeless problem. Yes, they may no longer be near “your house,” but now they are near someone else's house – and so, and so on. This is a classic case of NIMBY (“Not In My Back Yard”) – something of which most of us are quite guilty. Like I said, I believe that the South Ayrshire Council has a much deeper problem than what to do with a magician's memorial.

In regard to Ramsay being “just a magician,” I suppose you and I will have to agree to disagree. No, I don't believe that a memorial needs to be erected for every great magician. But I do believe that when one is already in place; when a town feels strongly enough about one of their own to present him, while he is still living, with such an honor, then future generations are absolutely obligated to maintain it. That is why they are called memorials. Many years ago in my community, a new high school football field was named after the man who was that school's first principal. A man who died at the school he loved so much. 47 years from now – when he is long forgotten by those who attend and teach at the school, should the name be changed?

Dustin
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Postby thecardman » 08/05/02 11:32 AM

Hi folks

As a Scot, I thought I should clarify a couple of things.

First, a 'wino' is not necessarily a homeless person. Just someone, can be of any age, who walks around the streets drinking alcohol (in Scotland, the generally preferred beverage is "Buckfast" - a fortified wine, whatever that is!).

Secondly, my impression regarding the Ramsay Memorial Garden is that it was opened for ALL - not just for those over a certain age who just happen to drink in a certain drinking establishment!

Just my 2-cents (or pence in this case!).

Peter
:)
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Postby Andy Hurst » 08/05/02 04:43 PM

I used to live in the UK and unless the law is different in Scotland, children and minors are allowed in pub gardens.

And since I am posting... Beer Garden or regular garden - I don't think it matters. It can still be a memorial. Times change.

Andy.
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Postby Marco Pusterla » 08/09/02 04:38 AM

Hi!
I think the most annoying thing in this matter is that the gardens were actually tendered by Ramsay himself, and he donated them to the city while still alive. John Ramsay was also a keen gardener and these gardens were his property. All this information comes from the Andrew Galloway's books.

I think it's a sad thing that a public place, built with love in a lifetime by anyone (John Ramsay or not) and then donated to the public, has to be converted to a private property, regardless this being a pub or a private home.

Just my 2 cents...
Marco Pusterla - http://www.mpmagic.com

Paradise Lost out now - Christian Chelman's latest effect!
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Postby Guest » 08/09/02 04:54 AM

Well said Marco. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that councils have seen fit to change the puropose an item that has been bequeathed to them.

Much the same thing happened with the Burrell Collection (a collection of priceless art left to Glasgow City Council). The only condition placed upon the items was that they remain in Glasgow for the people of the city. However, in an attempt to raise money, the lion's share of the paintings were taken around the world. :mad:

I suppose you can't fight city hall!!

Sean
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