Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Donors , loaners and the Margate museum

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.


MAC said...


There can be no question that it is technically and legally correct to say that all items donated to Margate Museum from 1994 were gifts to EKMT - those donors that expressed any opinion were adamant that they were not making gifts to TDC! EKMT was the Governing Body and the charity that accepted any acquisitions.

However SMT have always made it clear to TDC that, although they may inherit title to all EKMT assets, they would prefer Margate items to remain available to and displayed in a re-opened and sustainable Margate Museum.

Assets such as IT and office equipment, shop stock etc. can be dealt with separately - but artefacts and archives which are of overwhelming Margate interest should stay in Margate, though physical and intellectual 'ownership' might rest with SMT.

That remains the case, and I have often expressed my willingness to make my collections knowledge and profesional museum links and skills (if I have any!)available to any project to reopen the museum.

Always happy to discuss this openly.


Tony Beachcomber said...


I just think that someone really needs to make a decision it is all going on to long and Margate is suffering because of it.

MAC said...

SMT has not put any obstacle in the way of EKMT's withdrawal from Margate Museum - if that is being offered as a reason for not allowing a new volunteer group to open it again.

It is simply a matter of noting that certain items - in the collection and in the stationery cupboard - are technically EKMT assets which will be transferred to SMT. Hopefully this will be completed before too much longer!

You are aware that I wrote a report to TDC last year offering advice on the transfer of collections responsibility and some of the recent failings in proper collections management procedures, but since then TDC have been 'unable' to grant access for completing a collections audit.

I repeat that as far as SMT is concerned - as long as the Margate collection is adequately documented, insured and invegilated - it would applaud any initiative to reopen the museum.