In this months "Bygonne Margate" by the Margate Historical Society there is a very interesting article by John Robinson which will be of interest to Museum watchers. It really does highlight how bad local officials can be when it comes to conserving our heritage. I have reproduced the article as it stands for all to read with permission from the editor of the magazine.
It is a well known fact amongst local historians that many records and items went "missing" during the local government changeover in 1973/4. The late Dr Alan Kay donated a very old map of Margate to the Margate Museum that was salvaged from a skip by a workman during these so called clearances. He spoke to me on a few occassions on the subject and since then I have always kept a mental note of what I have seen. So in June 2006 when I gained access to the TDC records stored under the main Post Office, I just couldn't believe my luck. The same applies to the time I spent in the Margate Museum, plus the information I received from John Willliams a former curator when the museum was set up. Also my time as a District Councillor and being chairman of the joint museums committee has given me access to things Joe public will never know. This is perhaps the reason why TDC have denied my Freedom of Information Act request to a list of the art and artefacts they own on our behalf.
Even though I heap critism on TDC by the cartload I honestly believe the Art and Artefacts on their list to be correct to the time it was compiled in 1973/74.The staff employed by the EKMT have ensured that this has remained the case throughout the EKMT management period. The handover of TDC items from the EKMT will be a just a formality and TDC without doubt will look after the Art collection because of the immense value. However, there are many items donated to the archives and collection that may be unrecorded like books etc.,, Museum watchers need to be vigalent about. Plus recorded items donated to the Margate Museum when it was a charity as the items are subject to charity commission rules. Then there is all this post 1973/4 archive TDC have. What will happen to thisarchive ?
So Museum watchers there is plenty to look out for as John Robinson's article does highlight.