For those of you interested I have put together some facts regarding Museums in Margate.
A brief History of Margate Museums
Margate Museums were founded in 1951 when the Tudor House then known as the Hosking’s Memorial House, King Street, Margate was opened to the public to display collections in the possession of the Borough of Margate. The former Margate public library on the corner of Victoria Road and Thanet Road also displayed items from the same collection.
In 1974 the Tudor House and existing collections with the exception of some civic material and some unframed prints became the property of Thanet District Council. In 1987, part of the Old Town Hall, Market Place, and Margate was inaugurated as a Museum of local history. After 40 years of operating as a small Museum the Tudor House closed with items being transferred to the Margate Museum as we know it today.
In 1991 the collection consisted of approximately 500 Archeological items of which 100 had been acquired from local excavations. There was a collection of 17,000 miscellaneous sea shells that were held in the former public library at Victoria Road known as the “Cobb Shell collection” which at the time were loaned to the Powell – Cotton, Museum and Quex House Museum in Birchington.
The major part of the collection including some loans consisted of local History material dating from the 19th and 20th Centuries. This includes approximately 500 prints, paintings, drawings and a few maps of Margate owned by Thanet District Council. The archive consisted of 143 volumes of newspapers from the local area known as the East Kent Times collection dating from 1896 – 1978 acquired in 1978. Also held are approximately 10,000 negatives and prints from the East Kent Times collection and the Sunbeam collection. There are also approximately 1,000 items relating to the local history of Thanet which does include non Margate items from Ramsgate, Broadstairs and from outside the area. The Ramsgate and Broadstairs items were stored at the Museum on behalf of TDC. Some of the Ramsgate and Broadstairs items were displayed in council offices throughout Thanet and were audited by Margate Museum staff on a regular basis.
In 1991 there were approximately 40 paddle steamer items on loan from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and the Medway Queen Paddle Steamer Society.
Source : TDC documentation 1991
From 1991 to 1994 Thanet District made additional purchases and accepted donations that were added to the collection. In 1994 the East Kent Maritime Trust managed the Margate Museum in conjunction with the Ramsgate Maritime Museum receiving a annual Thanet District Council grant to manage both venues. In the 2008 budget the grant ceased and the Margate Museum closed. Estimates put the grants received in the 1994 to 2007 period at over £1.5 million.