Last night I brought up the matter of Ramsgate art and artefacts at the Ramsgate town council meeting (5/2/14) at the Custom House. My concerns being around the former assets of the Ramsgate Borough Council that ceased to be due to changes in local government re organisation in 1974 this also includes Ramsgate items from Margate collections that went under KCC , TDC and Ramsgate Charter Trustees control at the same time.
Following the recent changes to the managed system of the Thanet District Council collection at the Margate Museum I was horrified to find out that out of 6,000 items objects at the Margate Museum only 2% represent of the collection represents Ramsgate and Broadstairs. To deepen concerns I now have information that suggests that there could only be up to 250 items in local government collections in Thanet that represent Ramsgate. Comparing this to the ever growing Margate total of 6,000 plus if the Margate Charter Trustees collection is included. I have not mentioned photographs , postcards and printed matter that could easily push the Margate collection to 20,000 items.
So at who's doorstep does the Ramsgate situation lie, well there is no point in blaming TDC or KCC or the fire at the library that has conveniently covered up a multitude of sins. As the blame lies entirely within Ramsgate itself because over the past 40 years there has been no one or any organisation that has looked out for the collections. Even the Ramasgate Charter Trustees have been incredibly slack since its very existence.This is evident by the items that were handed to the Ramsgate Town Council on its inception. I even have serious concerns about the two clearances that took place at Albion House.I know for a fact that with the TDC clearance it was carried out by East Kent Maritime Trust staff and not TDC staff so there was no paper trail. The reason I know that because I was at the end destination which was the Margate Museum when items arrived and there were discrepancies. I do have other information.
So what is the solution, well the answer is simple. I am going to obtain every single piece of documentation I can going back to the 1930's that lists any Ramsgate items then I am going to account for each item. I have been in the Ramsgate Library and asked for any records relating to the collection before the fire and the answer was they were all records were " lost in the fire", I thought yeah right . It will take time but I can ensure readers that I am persistent as TDC have found out.