Last night I attended a meeting of the TDC artefacts management review task and finish group. The result being very positive and full credit must go to all the TDC Councillors and TDC officers involved for realizing there has been a problem in the past with the collection and for dealing with it . Last night TDC members agreed policies that will ensure the management of the collection will remain on a professional footing and in doing so will become a huge asset for the area. Never again will the collection allow to drift into a moribund state ever again. I do think for an area that places heritage tourism as part of its regeneration plan, this has to be a plus and at the meeting some very good planning was outlined.
There were one or two points I did pick up on. Firstly the policy is all based around the Margate Museum and its statement of purpose and when I asked a question of what ratio of the collection is from Broadstairs, Ramsgate and the villages the answer was 2%. So out an estimated collection of approximately 6,000 objects excluding photographs and printed material , 120 items are attributed to Broadstairs and Ramsgate. It does not sound at all good but then I am not surprised because in the past Margate has been a recipient of collections from some very generous donors whereas Broadstairs and Ramsgate has not.Also after local reorganization in 1974 Broadstairs did retain its town council and some of its assets. Ramsgate was different because Kent County Council took over the entire collection within the library and TDC took on the contents of Albion House. So this does account for the low numbers on the TDC books.
Regardless of their original origin the new TDC policy does list all the Broadstairs and Ramsgate items on the Margate Museum books. Also in the same policy these items can be either donated or loaned to a Broadstairs or Ramsgate venue in the future. So in effect the Margate Museum is looking after these items until such a time they can be rehoused. I suppose it cannot be indefinite because as Margate museum develops they are going to need the space but then if they are going to need the space the easier it would be to transfer items to Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
Today I saw Richard the Town Clerk at Ramsgate Town Council explaining what went on at the meeting. First to explain what TDC has on its books belonging to Ramsgate at Margate . Also under the new Margate museum policy the museum will not now accept items from Broadstairs and Ramsgate as it has done in the past. So items could be redirected to the town councils in the near future.
Finally, I will be doing a report for Ramsgate Town Council for members to consider.