Friday, September 19, 2008

Museums Are History

Yikes! I see from caff-crushing car-crushing councillor Dave Green's blog that our lovely Maritime Museum is finally to close, along with Margate Museum. The move follows almost a year of wrangling after the withdrawal of £100,000 in grants from Thanet Council, and the failure of East Kent Maritime Trust, which runs the museums, to deliver any accounts for the past three years.

Apparently the Ramsgate museum will be vacated imminently. Rumour is it may become a fish restaurant. However, EKMT have another seven years of their lease to run over in Margate. What will happen to the exhibits and Thanet archives is currently uncertain, but one reader writes:

I suspect that a fire sale of TDC owned paintings etc or possibly an auction will shortly be forthcoming. No doubt an officer of TDC will be given this erroneous duty and he/she will no doubt be the nation's expert on this matter. As for me, this is my field of expertise and I have informed TDC/EKMT I want all my possessions on loan/gifted, back...Tout de suite.

Click here to read more on Councillor Green's blog

Update: I've now managed to get hold of the full statement from EKMT, which includes a quote from Deputy Rodge, the council's 'Culture and Economy' member. Click on the image to enlarge.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

How (not) funny i have been working in Margate this week and have been sending people (visitors, day tippers etc) to the museum, where shall i send them now? ...

Anonymous said...

Uranus c/o TDC of course (no offence intended). Like you i am utterly bewildered at the lack of foresight over the Museum issues.

I am of the belief that TDC has cast aside any aspirations of Ramsgate as being one of the Thanet tourist destinations and the new Maritime Heritage will be over at Margate... of course some or most of ECR readers [especially those that live in Ramsgate] Will rightly allege that TDC is discriminating and of course they will if this happens?

If any one watched 'who do you think you are' the other evening would have been delighted to know that our Ramsgate branch of the EKMT had a good role in the research of one particular part of the David Suche family history. This is what the EKMT do best and it should be retained in its entirety.

The Cervia problem could be enlightening?

Angry Ramsgatonian said...

may I suggest that the EKMT move all their artefacts just across the yard to the Royal Pavilion which as we all know is standing empty, or better still pile them all up on the proposed site of the Royal sands development until TDC sort this out. No one is saying just live in the past but we have so few heritage assets left. TDc are obviously not serious about redeveloping this area for tourists. They should be pumping money into our museums to upgrade them not destroying them.

Anonymous said...

Philistines is what you call it but if the leader is a carpet salesman what more can you expect, the Theatre Royal was the start, Northdown house and now the museums.
we live in a cultureless island good job we have the likes of Michael Wheatley-Ward and the Sarah Thorne Theatre club and The Kinghams and the Granville otherwise it would be bowling only in Thanet.
I took my kids to the Tudor house when it was open, we havent managed the Margate museum yet but it maybe too late.How can you have no museums to run adjacent to the Turner centre? Are they thinking no longer than to the end of their noses.

Anonymous said...

Margate & Ramsgate think they're the bee's testicles, when I grew up in Broadstairs, it hardly ever appeared on the map of East Kent.

Anonymous said...

Since I moved here we have lost an agricultural museum , a car collection , Bleak house , and lots of other wet weather attractions that make Thanet a tourist centre .
Allied to the selling off of loads of guest houses for buy to lets there is very little affordable accomodation. Rather than airports and speculative industrial estates we should have a Centre Parc type Chalet centre which would bring in the tourists that will no longer go abroad . Museums and culture are vital to keeping Thanet as a tourist destination soon there will be nothing here and Walmer and Dover castles will be the only thing worth visiting both not in Thanet

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add the caves to the list of attractions lost - there is Quex, peridically open, used not to be saturdays? Morellis for ice creams and that is about it if the weather is poor?
Don't our council know about lateral thinking?

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add the caves to the list of attractions lost - there is Quex, peridically open, used not to be saturdays? Morellis for ice creams and that is about it if the weather is poor?
Don't our council know about lateral thinking?

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add the caves to the list of attractions lost - there is Quex, peridically open, used not to be saturdays? Morellis for ice creams and that is about it if the weather is poor?
Don't our council know about lateral thinking?

Eastcliff Richard said...

Some good news today about the fart farm though.

Anonymous said...

Where exactly is the democracy in all of this. The closure of the museum was not in the Conservative manifesto so they can't claim that we voted for it. They haven't asked us what we think of the idea so they can't claim to have consulted us. They haven't put it to a vote for the Council to deccide and so they can't claim to have acted democratically. As usual it's a little bunch of dictators telling us what they are going to do with our assets and our tax revenues.

Rick said...

I think you may find it is more to do with the unlimited liability of trustees (whose names seem to be no longer listed as such on the Charity Commission site .... ) and the prospective Cervia litigation.

Check David Green' site from ECR's link

Tony said...

Excuse my ignoarnce ECR, but what news is that about the "fart" farm then?

Rick said...

The Trust must go but maybe a Heritage Association can do the job better ?

Would an Association not be subject to Charity Laws and disciplines though ?

Not that EKMT have complied for the past four years with the Charity Commission requirements to submit annual accounts.

I have copied the auditor remarks, on Eastcliff Matters, for their last accounts submitted 2004.

Paraphrased ? (My interpretation) "The Trustees are required to explain accounting anomalies to the auditor but if I was unable to ask them and if they did not answer can I sign the accounts off and cop my fee anyway"

Anonymous said...

So this bunch of moronic wankers can buy an over priced old branch of M&S with our money but cannot keep one museum going in the ilse,( I see the Crampton Tower museum is also looking like it will close too) .

You really could not make this stuff up, in any normal town the Tory councillors would be tarred and feathered and dumped at the edge of town the usual southern punishment for crooks and snake oil salesmen

Rick said...

Pretty much sums it up

Anonymous said...

Mmm. Fish restaurant! Yum.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Tony, front page of this week's Gazunder - 'Windfarm project takes off'.

Apparently the first (smallest) of the two wind farm projects have signed a 40 year lease with the council for land in the port.

It strikes me that this will bring in quite a substantial amount of dosh every year. Any ideas what TDC will spend it on? Answers on a postcard!

Anonymous said...

Dodgy flats, sorting out dodgy mates, rubbish fact finding trips overseas and car parks... vision-less fools.

Anonymous said...

Hadnt thought about the fact they can squander £5 million on M and S Building but not pay £100,000 to keep our artifacts together.
Yes its amazing how they just dont seem to have any opposition.
Where is Culture in Thanet?

Anonymous said...

I think the only culture to be found in Thanet soon , will be lurking in the back of a fridge in a half used yogurt pot.

Rick said...

anon 10.29

Don't forget the 2.5 million East Kent Maritime Trust has received in TDC grants since its creation quarter of a century ago.

I understand that a competent businesswoman took over Margate Caves and approached TDC and EKMT about joint marketing of the area's sites of historical interest.

To be told by the museum curator "Oh we don't need visitors we get a grant each year"

The question I raised when last on Thanet blogs last evening is why is the Charity Commission site now not listing Cllr William Hayton and Co as Trustees of the EKMT charity ?

EKMT has looming litigation over the deterioration of Cervia whilst entrusted to it.

And as far as I can tell this would call on the Trustees who have unlimited liability.

So in whose interests would it be to now torpedo the Trust ?

In short the 25 year Gravy Train seems to have derailed itself to dodge the incoming Gravy Boat (Steam Museum Trust suing for Cervia compensation)

Oh yes and a few years ago Kent Police conducted a firearms inquiry against EKMT after visiting Hereson school kids got to play with the curators collection of de-activated WW2 guns instead of learning about the history of the resort.

I have asked a few times if, many years into EKMT custodianship, Kent Fire Briagde picked up the Ramsgate museum for non complaince with visitor fire regs. Luckily no visitors so bit of a theoretical issue maybe.

Tony Beachcomber is asking questions about a 25 000 per annum consultancy fee.

Gravy trains and gravy boats ?

Nonnymouse said...

Its not just tory cllrs that decided the fate of the museums, Red Rose Iris agreed totally with the withdrawal of funding at full council when it was announced.

Anonymous said...

The area has great tourist potential, closing museums is short sighted. Maybe Tdc is more focused on turning the area into an industrial estate.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps ECR could invest in the community with all his millions, instead of spending it on champagne and lap dancers.

Or on the hand he might be a Tony crony "shaft the peasants" socialist?

Eastcliff Richard said...

I already invest enough in the community by keeping the local tills ringing!

As for lap dancing, there ain't any round here unless you count the private shows I put on at the old cliff top mansion. And yes, of course, I do shaft the odd pheasant for Sunday lunch.