Friday, 13 April 2012


Ramsgate’s Maritime Museum is set to re-open to the public in time for the May Day bank holiday weekend.

The museum was first opened over 25 years ago and prior to being closed down in 2008 by the East Kent Maritime trust, had become a well established, nationally recognised community asset, housed in the landmark grade 2 star, listed Clock House building in the Pier Yard. In it’s prominent position at the Royal Harbour , it was visited and much appreciated by many local residents and visitors to the town. This included students and tourists from across the world, as the museum visitor’s book would testify.

In February 2008 a petition signed by almost a thousand local residents called on Thanet District Council to “Save our Maritime Museum”, demonstrating their concern regarding the closure and possible disposal of the valuable collection of maritime artefacts. This petition was noted and then completely disregarded by the Conservative administration of the time and the listed building has remained closed up and forlorn since 2009, with both the fabric of the building and it’s collection at risk, due to damp, rot and vandalism.      
Labour TDC Leader Cllr Clive Hart said "I'm delighted members of the public will soon be able to view the artefacts again, with displays and information that details the work, courage and sacrifice of our maritime nation’s seafarers. This includes the 18th century jack tars of Nelson’s navy aboard the HMS Stirling Castle sunk on the Goodwins, the brave 19th century Ramsgate Lifeboat men and the 20th century servicemen during world war 2, at Dunkirk and in the Royal Navy coastal forces based at Pleasurama. From “England Expects” to the “Dunkirk Spirit”, they all deserve to be remembered and honoured by both the people of today and future generations".

Photo Cllr. Clive Hart, TDC Leader, hands the keys of the museum to Mr. Michael List Brain, Chairman of the Steam Museum Trust, who will now operate the museum, following the signing of a 25 year lease for the Clock House and Smeaton dock.


  1. Michael it will end in tears, you mark my words....

  2. from the tdc site


    The Museum ceased to function approximately 2 years ago, since when the building has not opened to the public. A new Trust would like to operate the building as a museum and encourage additional visitors to visit Ramsgate. Significant repairs are required to the building which are estimated to cost £300,000. In consideration for doing these works, the Trust would not pay rent for the first 20 years of a 24 year 9 month lease but would meet all other running costs. This results in a saving of £328,000, over the period of the first 20 years of the lease.

    Councillor Bayford moved, Councillor Latchford seconded and Members agreed:

    That Cabinet notes the principles of how a proposed 24 year and 9 month lease with the Steam Museum Trust will be drafted, and agrees that leasehold documents be produced, and subject to the agreement of the Chief Legal Officer, be entered into with the Trust.

  3. and a link

  4. A victory for the conservatives getting the museum open in 2010 then.

  5. It was rather more complicated than that as is any deal here in Thanet as experience shows. Margate football club and Pleasurama being excellent examples. Not infrequently such delays involve trying to get financial detail or clarity from individuals.


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