Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Sunday, 19 June 2011

South East view of Ramsgate at the Margate Museum

I know I have posted this print before, however a few things have changed since the last posting. One of them being my election to Ramsgate Town Council and my remit by RTC to look into and compile data of the whereabouts of Ramsgate art and artefact's in local government ownership that may have been once the property of the Borough of Ramsgate before local government organisation .
This print titled "South East view of Ramsgate from Mount Albion" spent about twenty years of it's life hanging up at the Judges lodgings at Stone House in Maidstone and was returned to the Margate Museum sometime in 2006. The lodgings were sold off in March 2007 , the main complaint about the Maidstone lodgings was about the furniture and style of decoration. 'They are a bit vulgar and naff. Not really to the taste of an elderly gentleman - or anyone for that matter,' said one former High Court judge. "Independent on Sunday".
Amongst the "vulgar and naff" were twenty loan items from the Thanet District Council art collection loaned out some time in the 1980's (not sure of the date). When the loaned prints were returned back to the Margate Museum most of them were hung up in a line above the seating of the upstairs former magistrates court at the museum and can be seen today when the museum is open . Amongst the collection is a modern Broadstairs print and the Ramsgate print which have never been on public display since local government reorganisation in 1974 until 2007.
Today, I had a look at the Ramsgate print in the Margate Museum to glean some further details , the text below the print reads as follows "South East view of Ramsgate from Mount Albion" "As it appears on the morning of July 23rd 1840" "When a beautiful water spout crossed the sky from S.W to N.N.E thirty eight before twelve at noon continuing about ten minutes". To the right of this text is a poem and to the left there is seventeen references to parts of Ramsgate. The artist or engraver was difficult to read but I will return with a jewellers loup to carry out further examination.
On the Margate side of things there are two small oil paintings that caught my eye one on the far right and one on the far left of the line of prints above the seating. The one on the far right I found especially interesting as it is of the stone pier and shows the first lighthouse (pre 1828) and there is no Jarvis Jetty (1824), the cliffs at Fort Point are visible. These three features pre date the painting.
All this line of prints and paintings that have been out of public view for thirty years until 2007 and then that has been for about a year as the Museum closed on a permanet basis except for one offs manned by volunteers. So for any visitor to the Turner center, if the Margate Museum is open I suggest give it a quick look at this line of prints especially the two oils and also the painting by Alfred Clint above the stairs.


Ogmios said...

Being a Ramsgate Town Councillor would you care to comment on the likelihood of the Maritime Museum ever re-opening? Our increasingly Margate-centred Council seem not to care for the future of this part of the Island; I would hope that the Ramsgate block vote might start to herald a change in attitude.

Tony Beachcomber said...

As it stands at this moment in time I do not know and as far as I know everything rests on TDC and the lease to the clock house. I think it is unacceptable that the Maritime Museum remains closed and that everything is hinging on someone or for the cabinet to make a decision. What worries me is that the Steam Museum Trust, even though they are acting honourably I think they cannot wait forever.

I should also add I am not part of the Ramsgate TDC "block" as you put it. But purely a town councillor. However, I do know that Labour TDC councillors want the maritime museum as open just as much as you do.

Commenting as a Ramsgate Town Councillor I think Ramsgate heritage is safer in RTC hands as we are more directly accountable.
I think that like AFC Wimbledon it is best for RTC to start from the absolute bare bones and work our way up , this will include building our own collection, museum etc., as a long term goal while all the business of the Maritime museum rambles on.

I have set the ball rolling and have written a collections management policy and a aqusition and disposal policy for RTC which is the very start of a town collection and the beggining of a museum one day.

At the same time I am mindful of the cost and impact on the Ramsgate council taxpayers. So everything over the long term will have to be done in stages and thought out very carefully.

Personally, I think the objective wil have to be center of excellence from day one and the customs house fits the bill, so everything that will be aquired will be of the utmost quality and relevance to the history of Ramsgate and utilised to the maximum, in other words no tat.

TDC has a lot of Ramsgate stuff from the borough days which really has to investigated, however some of that may not be of the requried standard.

So stage one would be to set out a plan, then build a small tight center of excellence quality exhibits at the Custom House. At the same time build a data base of Ramsgate items.
So far I have a very good museums collection consultant on my side. I have approached some people to work on this with me and they have declined.

Ogmios, even if I have to do this by myself I will not give up and I will set up a blue print for a Ramsgate Museum even if I have to do it by myself and even it takes years.

Like the Ramsgate tunnels it starts of as a idea.

Retired said...

Well done Tony and well said sir.