Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Friends of the Margate Museum meeting 21/02/11 my opinion.

Last night (21/02/11) I attended the meeting of the newly reformed friends of the Margate Museum. I say reformed because there has been a friends group before from 1996 to 1998 which then went on to become the Margate Historical Society and of the original gang of four which formed it, I was the only one present as John Williams couldn't make it.
The meeting was held in the committeee room of the Old Town Hall and there was a really good turnout, infact it was standing room only if you didn't fancy sitting on the floor. From TDC was Chris Tull who has the responsibilty for the museums and Cllr Mick Tomlinson Mayor of Margate who also kindly allowed the committee room to be used. Members of the Civic Society, Margate Historical Society , the newly formed grouping to save the Margate Caves and other representatives were also present. As for myself, my colours were the Margate Historical Society and I was rather bemused at the suggestion that my reasons for being there were political. Now considering that I am not putting myself forward as a TDC candidate in the May elections I think that does rule that out a wee bit. However, Cllr Martin Wise did turn up later in the meeting which did make me smile looking at the faces of some of those present, it was almost as if Satan had appeared from under the floor boards.
The meeting did start as a bit of a free for all until Mick Tominson sort of took the chair, after elections took place a open debate took place. Chris Tull explained that there was a on going thing between the transfer of assetts between the Steam Museum Trust, East Kent Maritime Trust and TDC which also includes former EKMT assetts still in the Margate Museum. Also it was mentioned that the transfer of assetts between the SMT and EKMT at the Ramsgate Maritime Museum is still being finalised. I think it is a case of tying up legal loose ends than anything else. However, there is one big question that I feel remains to be mentioned. That being the items donated to the Margate Museum under the management of the EKMT from 1994 which is subject to a agreement and a legal decision transferring them to the SMT or not. This also includes the stock in the Museum shop.

The open debate was interesting and for the Friends Group it is early days as I feel that a mass of volunteers and enthusiasm does not garuntee sucess. There was a concern raised about untrained volunteers being let loose on the collection which is really the most important issue apart from finance. Martin Wise spoke on the issue of finance and the need of a coherant forward thinking business plan to show the Museum can work before approaching TDC which are my words not his . Cllr Shirley Tomlinson also mentioned that the group will be taking responsiblity of a valueable TDC assett.
I think some people present did take this as critism but in my book I would take it as advice and being someone who has been down this road before I think the friends group does need to take onboard critism as this is not all one way traffic.

Finaly, as mentioned previously it is early days for the Friends Group and last nights meeting is the very begining and there is a going to be a lot of hard work done before approaching TDC with a viable plan of running the Margate Museum. A committee has been formed and they need to go away and come back with policies for the members to work on on. It is going to be a slow process but I cannot see a reason why it shouldn't suceed.


Retired said...

Was the legacy left to EKMT (and undeclared on accounts submitted to Charity Commission) used to in effect underwrite the unlimted liability of the former EKMT trustees like tory Cllr Hayton ?

As you know I was the first person to report the Butler legacy to Charity Commission. My understanding was they already had an inquiry raised re EKMT.

I also notified the Charity Commission of the hearings (were they mediation of the Court ?) between TDC, Steam Museum Trust and EKMT but I gather that the Charity Commission were unable to get representation to the hearing.

It seems to me that Butler left a large sum to EKMT in the trust that it be used to provide a maritime museum to East Kent. If it was used to pay the trustee liabilities of the likes of Cllr Bill Hayton then that would surely have been fraud ?

Orf is this goiong to be yet another case in which Thanet fails to stand up for itself ? Like Sericol contamination of aquifer. Like Thor contamination of aquifer. Like mail intercept running at TDC. Like TDC standards cttee meetings sitting whilst their acting chair withholds complaint evidence from the cttee.

My understanding of the charity rules is that trustees of EKMT could not simply quit (To avoid legal action re the deterioration of Cervia) unless the trustees replace the former trustee.

If you recall it was me who told you that the Charity Commission record for EKMT was no longer showing Hayton as a trustee.

All in all I think in a quarter century EKMT received core funding from TDC totalling circa 2.5 million pounds ? Have you got two millions quid worth of value add to the museum over that period ?

Retired said...

For readers who have not followede this typical Thanet sleaze saga. The director of the Steam Museum Trust was formerly the salaried director of EKMT. As director of EKMT he was responsible for about twenty years for the maintenance of the steamship Cervia on loan to EKMT by Steam Museum Trust.

He quit EKMT and became director of Steamn Museum Trust. For about three years, as I understand it, no issues re deterioration of Cervia were raised.

Of course it would be coincidence that 3 years is the limitation period for the EKMT trustees to have taken action against their former director re the deterioration of Cervia.

By coincidence or otherwise the Cervia issue appears to have been raised once EKMT had allowed limitation to expire for them to bring a negligence action.

Then they found themselves on the end of one. And the trustees were looking at their unlimted liability being invoked through the Courts to compensate Steam Museum a couple of million quid for the deterioration of Cervia.

That was time for the trustee rats to leave the sinking Cervia and EKMT. And for TDC to stick an oar in to offer Steam Museum Trust loadsa goodies. The Charity Commission had not been furnished annual accounts by EKMT for three years and had not been told about the lump sum in EKMT coffers of the Butler legacy.

But I already know that Thanet won't stand up and fight. Thanet never does.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Off the top of my the EKMT were grant funded by TDC from 1994 to 2007 and I would say roughly to the tune of £1.5 million this includes the cost services received in kind. Margate Museum roughly received £500,000.

MA said...

Good write up, Tony. I know some people felt Cllr Wise's comments were a tad negative given the huge turn out. I've been to funded public consultations with tiny numbers, so perhaps Cllr Wise could bear in mind the effort it takes to come together as volunteers. The meeting was to form the Friends Group and that has now been done. Hopefully this will be the first big step towards a coordinated future for the museum and get in on the road to re-opening.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Michael, the meeting was minuted and I do believe the elected officers have been meeting.