I suppose in the local political order of priorities the local artwork and artifacts belonging to the towns and villages of Thanet are pretty well down the list. It is something I am not complaining about as dealing with social deprivation in Thanet is a must and does top the list of priorities.
As an elected member who is very much near the bottom of the list of the local political who's who I do have this luxury of picking out an obscure local issue and just work on it, very much like a back bencher does in the house of commons. Mine just happens to be the whereabouts all the art and artifacts that once belonged to Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and the not forgetting the villages.Recently KCC have been caught out by some clever research that leads to the Kent History & Library Centre "acquiring" items that once belonged to Margate that are now in their collection at Maidstone. Once known as the Parker collection belonging to the people of Margate it now has become fragmented into the KCC system.Fortunately when the items in the collection were taken away from Margate someone just happened to leave the volume detailing the collection on the shelf in Margate reference library. So you can imagine the fun at present picking out items in the volume and asking KCC where are they ? The silence is deafening.
Recently I went into Ramsgate library and asked if they had records of all the art and artifacts that were in the Ramsgate library museum that once belonged to the old Borough of Ramsgate. Obviously most of it was lost in the fire at the library but I know for a fact that things did survive and that some items are at Maidstone. The answer was there are no records as they were lost in the fire and there were no duplicates. I was told that they do have a few items at the library that survived the fire that are being cataloged by volunteers.
Bearing in mind what happened at Margate with the Parker collection being absorbed into the Kent History & Library Center collection and KCC losing the provenance to items. It has made me very suspicious that KCC has in its collection Ramsgate items that has no record or provenance, that is if the information I received from the library is true.
I do find it interesting that the few surviving items from the Ramsgate library fire in the public domain just happen to items that are obviously once the property of the Borough of Ramsgate like a Borough of Ramsgate badge for example or Dame Janet's casket.. Whereas anything like a print, painting etc. that have a generic provenance to Ramsgate are nowhere to be seen and there are no records. It does make you suspicious ?