Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Friday, 25 November 2011

They're off !

Thanet District Council has now released details of the forthcoming sea defence works that are to start with immediate effect. Full details of the works programme can be found on the TDC website.

At present I have now have a collection of 42 items from the main sands area that have some form of historical and local interest, and that is before the work has started.
Looking at the plan I see the works are in four sections which is very convenient as each section does have its own individual history and it will make it easier to put a location to the items as they are found. Historically it will be the area of the North Wall and Revetment that has the most potential. This can be further backed up by studying prints and the maps on the margate local history website on my side bar and even for the amatuer historian this is not rocket science. In a way Tony Lee has provided us with all the information we need so it is really up to us to go out there and see what we can find. Personally, I am not really interested in the gold, jewellery and money that can found around the south wall area. My interests will be to find of historic items from the 1690's to the early Victorian era for the Margate Museum which we have very little of, if any. So I really do hope that if people do find things that they are recorded and shared with the museum even if they are going to keep them.
During the digging the Margate Museum will be open at the weekends and I am sure that as things unfold this will be a local interest attraction on top of what is going on at moment in Margate at present.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Cash for coins

A few days ago I had by chance a conversation with someone who owns five crates of coins, with each crate full to such a degree that it takes two people to lift each one an inch off the ground. I dread to think how many coins there are in each crate and what denominations they are, but one thing is for sure they are certainly sitting on a lot of money.
We have all heard of cash for gold well the latest little wheeze for those on the make is cash for coins and what a clever idea that is. Even the Royal Mint is in on the act and all those pre decimal coins and large size decimal coins that went out a few years ago can now be redeemed at face value at the Royal Mint. The banks are also in on the act and if the write ups on google are true the banks will redeem pre decimal coins and withdrawn decimal currency for some of the new stuff. However, it is the cash for coins that has attracted my attention because every single coin regardless of country, condition, age or denomination has some form of value even if it is scrap. Some coin websites now quote the metal value of each coin as well as the collector value which is a indicator of the investment potential of coins in this world of uncertain economic conditions we live in. At present a one pound coin has about 6 pence of metal in it but the copper in a bronze penny and bronze two pence is now worth more than the denominational value of each coin, this is something that has capabilities .
Pre decimal coins are a real premium because compared to their decimal value the metal value is worth far more. Considering the Royal Mint sets the rules who can and cannot melt down British coins they have set themselves up for a source of metal by buying the pre decimal coins at denominational value. Which does highlight the point that all British coins on British soil are still subject to British law.
The cash for coins people are even eyeing up foreign coins mostly for exchange which certainly is in the national interest. However there is a market for the scrap value of foreign coins especially all the pre euro ones which in this country we can do whatever we like like with them.
Anyway I think I have said enough so try cash for coins websites for further info.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Ramsgate pot lid

This pot lid is currently on ebay as a " Royal Harbour Staffordshire pot lid c 1870's " and judging by the bidding it is going to be hot property.
Before the fire at the Ramsgate library in 2004 the library held a collection of pot lids similar to this one that was once a private collection donated to the town. Like most items held in local government collections you will find that the vast majority were given to the town collection by a benefactor.
Some Town's , like Margate have had generous benefactors in the past like Dr Arthur Rowe whose bequest built the basis of the fine collection we see today. In 1933 the Borough of Margate collection of art, prints and illustrations stood at 9,539 . Ramsgate has never been a recipient of such generosity and this explains why Ramsgate has very little in the way of art, prints and illustrations in local government collections.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Ramsgate remembers

Ralph Hoult has sent me this for anybody who is interested.

If you love the past then you should come to the KING'S of Ramsgate for Ramsgate Remembers a two hour Variety Show and remembrance ceremony Friday 11th Nov from 7.15pm or my Ramsgate at War Slide show on the 17th Nov at 7.30pm both will bring back memories of those great bygone days.”

Ralph Hoult

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Something for Ramsgate - a Town Collection

At last nights (02/11/11) meeting, Ramsgate Town Council agreed to start a Ramsgate Town Council collection of art and artefact's as a long term objective. Something I have been working on ever since I was elected to the Council in May. This followed a report I submitted to the Town Council on the dire situation of Ramsgate art and artefact's . Such as closed museums, items lost in the fire at the library, items belonging to Ramsgate stored or displayed elsewhere etc.,
I always think there is a practical solution to everything and it is always down to how hard you are prepared to work to achieve it. So last night, members agreed to set up a working party and I will chair with the purpose of rebuilding a Town Collection. The collection will be separate from the civic collection that goes with the office of Mayor and the new collection will start a new beggining from blank. The objective to pass an aquisition and disposal policy that was passed last night which is our rule book, mindful that this whole project is to have no impact on the budget and will all be down to dedicated work by RTC councillors who will sit on the working party to make this work.

Starting from blank is not such a bad thing as we will have the benefit of hindsight of other past failures. So the first objective is to educate ourselves and form a data base of Ramsgate art and artefcats , especially items that were former assets of the former Borough of Ramsgate. We will then decide on repatriation on some items or not.
Second objective, to put ourselves in a position to accept donations or bequests into the collection from members of the public.

Below is the Aquisition and Disposal policy passed last night.


1. The purpose of the Ramsgate town collection is to acquire, preserve and interpret art and artefacts and associated information relating to the historic borough of Ramsgate and present town of Ramsgate.

2. The current collection of framed prints and paintings were the property of the borough of Ramsgate and became the property of the Ramsgate charter trustees in 1974 due to local government reforms. In 2009 when the Ramsgate charter trustees ceased to be, the collection became the property of the Ramsgate town council.

3. The acquisition policy will be to acquire art and artefacts associated with the borough of Ramsgate and the geographical area of the current town of Ramsgate. With the inclusion of acquiring art and artefacts that were once the property of the historic borough of Ramsgate 1884 to 1874.

4. The town council will compile a data base of all the art and artefacts that were once the property of the historic borough of Ramsgate 1884 to 1874 and will compile a data base on past Ramsgate civic history.

5. The town council recognises its responsibility, in acquiring additions to its collections, to ensure that care of collections, documentation arrangements and use of collections will meet the requirements of an accredited standard. It will take into account limitations on collecting imposed by such factors as incurring cost, storage and care of collection arrangements.

6. The town council will take account of the collecting policies of other museums and other organisations collecting in the same or related areas or subject fields. It will consult with these organisations where conflicts of interest may arise in order to avoid unnecessary duplication and waste of resources.

Acquisition and Disposal Policy

1. The acquisition and disposal policy will be published and reviewed from time to time, at least once every four years.

2. The town council will exercise due diligence and make every effort not to acquire, whether by purchase, gift, bequest or exchange, any object , unless the town council or responsible officer is satisfied that the town council can acquire a valid title to the item in question.

3. The town council will not acquire any biological, geological material, archaeological and human remains.

Disposal policy.

1. By definition, the Ramsgate town council has a long-term purpose and holds collections in trust for society in relation to its stated objectives. The town council therefore accepts the principle that sound reasons for disposal must be established before consideration is given to the disposal of any items in the town council collection. The town council or responsible officer will confirm that it is legally free to dispose of an item and agreements on disposal made with any donors as applicable will be taken into account.

2. The town council or responsible officer will ensure that the disposal process is carried out openly and with transparency. The method of disposal will be by sale or exchange.

3. Ramsgate town council or the responsible officer will not undertake disposal motivated principally by financial reasons.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Autumn beach shards - a new hobby for some ?

November is always my favourite time of year just walking along the main sands at Margate picking up shards and pieces of worn beach glass. This autumn the beach is sloping well as it generally does when we experience still autumn weather. This morning I walked the beach below the high water line walking from one end of the beach to the other gradually working my way down.
In total I picked up 147 shards of earthenware, china and pottery excluding glass.
As mentioned earlier three pieces were of special interest. However, the main interest and enjoyment is dating finds. There is no monetary value attached to anything as the value is entirely historical and each piece is authentic Margate and represents our seaside history. With the recent planned sea defence works I have upped my game collecting beach shards because I know the beach will change and this is the time to record finds before the event, then during and then after. The potential to build a meaningful substantial collection is there and it is all free. My collection will eventually be on public display. This Alfred Meakin piece from today's little haul is dated around 1907 to 1914, thanks to google.

For anyone looking for a new hobby ( or something to do with bored kids) there is no better time than to start now, and if anyone does find a piece of interest please email me or contact the Margate Museum.

Doric Star - a mystery

At daybreak this morning I carried out a thorough search of Margate main sands as the tide went out. Starting from the high water mark I walked the sands end to end following the tide as it went out. The purpose being to pick up as many ceramic shards before the sea defence work start, just to keep my finds list up to date.
Overall I spent just over two hours on the beach and half filled a large bucket with everything imaginable from pieces of ginger beer bottles to pieces of someones best china.
Everything was most or less what I expected to find except three pieces of broken plate. Two pieces of broken plate bore part of the motif of the GSNC, the General Steam Navigational Company which ran paddle steamer from the Jetty and the Stone Pier which is a unusual find. However, one piece is really interesting as it bears the name "DORIC star CM" and this piece has really got me thinking. Could this be a piece of plate from the Blue Star Line liner Doric Star which met its fate in 1939 at the hands of the Graf Spee in the South Atlantic or could it be part of piece made by the Doric China company.

The jury is out.