From 1994 to 2007 the East Kent Maritime Trust received a minimum grant of £1.3 grant funding to manage both the Maritme Museum and the TDC collection at the Margate Museum. It was not specified what proportion of the funding was to be earmarked for each venue. As stated previously no audit was taken of the collection by TDC when the Museum closed and EKMT vacated the premises. So given the current situation that confronted the Friends of the Margate Museum and the Council officer in charge when the Museum reopened in 2011. Perhaps TDC should start looking at what exactly was our money spent on and surely this must be scrutinized.
I am starting to think that even though some of my concerns can date back decades I just have this feeling that I could get knocked back as they could be classed as historic. So I am concentrating on the year 2005 a year before my FOI request to TDC leadership.
In 2005 TDC paid a grant of £100,000 for the EKMT to manage both the Maritime Museum and the Margate Museum, so what was the current state at the Margate Museum then.
- The Museum was being run by someone who had no Museum experience.
- There was nobody present at the Museum with conservation experience.
- Donations of items were being accepted and no receipts given.
- People were coming in enquiring about certain items, they could not be found.
- The George Philip Hoare wartime scrapbook was found to have been looted of most of it's photographs.
- Items were being accepted into the collection that have no relevance to the Thanet.
- The backroom had racks of paintings and prints poorly stored and suffering from neglect.
- The book collection was not cataloged in any recognizable library system.
- TDC items were found not to be on any list.
- The back store room was also being used to store items from other TDC locations that were unrecorded or in any managed syatem
- Photographic negatives were decomposing.
- The archive were 90% photocopies very little original material.
- Some items were listed under three numbers.
The list goes on. This prompted me to ask for a FOI request from TDC and request help from the Margate Charter Trustees this was denied.
All these faults were confirmed when the Museum reopened in 2011 and the 2012 audit began. Recently I have been coopted onto the executive of the Museum friends group to assist to help establish some provenance on some items. One thing I do not want is anything to be swept under the carpet.