In Friday's Gazette (25/03/11) there is an article on the proposed opening of the Margate Museum to coincide with the opening of the Turner Center, something that is well overdue. As to whether the decision to open the Museum is influenced by the up and coming District Council elections I will leave the reader to decide.
I would like to think that this is a massive u turn by the Conservatives at TDC who have finally realised that the history and heritage is important after all. Then as the Thanetlife blog quoted Margate culturally is now going through a "Renaissance" and I wonder where the author picked the "R" word from.
Four years ago the Museum was a going concern and as the voters went to the polls nobody was aware of the terrible financial mess that was going on behind the scenes and if re elected the Conservatives were going to stop the grant and close the facility.
I am pleased there is a friends group, I am pleased the museum will be open in time for Turner, but most of all I love the enthusiasm of the volunteers. However, we are dealing with Thanet District Council and being a ex member myself and involved with the Museum for many years I just cannot help feeling a bit cynical.
Even reading the quote in the article by Thanet District Council "There are some items which were collected by the East Kent Maritime Trust for the Margate Museum and discussions are ongoing about the future of these items" is a touch inaccurate. It is true that the EKMT purchased and collected certain items that belong to them. However, there are many items that were donated under EKMT management to the Margate Museum by Margate people for the Margate Museum. Also there are Ramsgate items in the Museum that have been accepted into the Margate Museum collection simply because they do not have a home, yet that is. So it is a question of who owns what and once this is sorted it will be full steam ahead.
Even though this is a technical issue, I am starting to think that this summer season could be one of the best the Museum has ever had thanks to the army of volunteers. The biggest concern will be when the season ends and the new TDC administration looks into the issue again especially if it is a Conservative one.