In my capacity as Chief Churner Out of Crap at the Ministry of Misinformation, I'm duty bound to report the latest rumour regarding the East Kent Maritime Trust, the charity that used to run our lovely museums (RIP).
If you recall, our beloved council stopped all their divvies and scuppered them after they failed to produce accounts for three years, and the question of what to do with all the artifacts, and who technically owns them, has been doing the rounds for several months, including a threat from the Preston Steam Museum to sue for the dreadful neglect to the steam tug Cervix, er, Cervia which the steam museum had placed in EKMT's 'care'. Now reader Walter of Ramsgate reports:
The rumour is EKMT has now given up and handed over all their assets to the Preston Steam Museum lot including the Sundowner (one of the Dunkirk little ships moored in the inner basin). If this is true we should be told. I have been reliably informed that a TDC solicitor was present when the dirty deed was done in London this week.
If the Preston lot take over they have not got Charity status, but I bet negotiations are taking place with TDC and the Charity Commission to apply for it. I hear that a sum of £80k goes with the settlement to the Preston three. Let's hope whatever happens that the Museum stays and the Cervia is removed, so the lock gate can be put back on Smeatons dry dock and it can be used again for what it was built for, 'repairing and building ships'.
My feelings are that the EKMT trustees knew from the start what way this was going and that they were personally liable, so did TDC.
Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser. We await the full SP with bated breath. In the meantime, here's an example of how not to preserve a piece of maritime heritage: