Saturday, 20 April 2013
Another TDC document
The document describes the collection as a "sadly neglected public asset" however it does state that it is a situation TDC inherited in 1974. In detail it recommends immediate action for a short term development of the Museum service and recommends " a major stock - taking exercise to assess what is in the collections and how far it tallies with the accessions register must be the first priority for the MSC researchers" (7.1.1). The MSC being specially trained auditors from the Manpower Services Commission.
The document does run into pages making endless recommendations that even today 30 years on most have not been fulfilled. There are concerns about the conservation of parts of the collection requiring specialist care and I doubt even them TDC would not have had the finances to fulfill, plus such a project would also have had low priority.
I am intrigued that TDC inherited the Cobb shell collection of 17,000 sea shells and also a butterfly collection.The recommendations alone in 1983 would have made the long term cost of upkeep of the butterflies and sea shells horrendous. I am surprised the collection was not passed on to the natural history museum or something. From a 1991 internal TDC document it does state that these items are on loan to Quex House.
The recommendations in 1983 must have raised serious concerns at TDC as the recommendations suggest the employment of professional staff , specialist conservators and even a educational officer just to maintain the complete collection alone. The report even suggests that the old town hall building is too small to house everything and suggests something along the size of the sea bathing hospital would be more appropriate to house the entire collection., something that is way beyond the budget of any district council.There is even a mention that there is enough material for a national sea side museum if items from other resorts were added to the collection.
Eventually in 1987 the Margate museum opened and part of the collection was on permanent display in a small town museum.
However all the problems and recommendations regarding the remaining collection in 1983 were put aside and even when they were highlighted again in 1990 they were conveniently forgotten, That is until now.