I suppose like all meetings more gets discussed amongst groups of people after the meeting than during the meeting. So true to form last nights meeting of the newly formed Friends of the Margate Museum was no exception and discussions finaly ended up in a bar over looking the harbour.
In the discussions afterwards I know for a fact that some people present were unclear and frustrated about the position regarding East Kent Maritime Trust asset's in the Margate Museum which does appear to be hindering any sort of progress at the Margate Museum. To be honest I doubt if Thanet District Council is chuffed about it either even though some of this maybe due to its own doing.
When the EKMT funding stopped and the museum closed it was widely assumed the Margate Museum collection would become property of TDC. However, this was only to be the case if the EKMT had folded completely and writting to the Charity Commission confirmed this. The EKMT was not folding infact the EKMT entire asset's at the Ramsgate Maritme Museum were to be transferred to the Steam Museum Trust and this does include EKMT asset's still left in the Margate Museum.
I have covered this on many occassions so getting straight to the point, the big issue is the donations of artefacts to the Margate Museum collection by the people of Margate. In August 1994 the EKMT started accepting donations to the Margate Museum collection with the first item accepted on 12th September 1994. Everything was done correctly to ensure that the item become part of the collection. There were many donations to the collection which included the archive and it is now claimed by the SMT that the donations were made to the EKMT and not to the Margate Museum collection itself. Therefore as EKMT asset's are now SMT asset's the SMT are now claiming title to all donations to the Margate Museum after 12th September 1994 to the time of the final closure.