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Ida Linfield on the proposed Heritage Museum closure

February 23, 2017 11:00 AM

C&C logoCanterbury Council is being very short sighted in thinking that tourists come to Canterbury for anything other than our history and our visitors follow in the footsteps all the Pilgrims who "went on pilgrimage" from the 12th century onwards.

The Poor Priests Hospital was founded in 1240's with, it seems, Simon Langton heading up the fundraising. It cared for the elderly and infirm priests of Canterbury but now houses the Heritage museum which showcases the history of our city and its inhabitants over the years.

A couple of years ago the Tories introduced new "opening hours" for the museum (which closed it for half the year) and then upped the entrance fee. There has been little publicity for the museum; limited signage or directions to it and there are never any enough publicity leaflets available at the council run Tourist Office - which only opens 6 days a week anyway! Given all these facts Its obvious that visitor figures would decrease.

To close this museum and say the exhibits can move to the Beaney is not acceptable. Already the exhibits from the Buffs Museum have largely gone and residents have told us that the council is looking to sell other museum exhibits which are hidden away in storage as there is no room at the Beaney for them.

If the Tory run council is keen to save this museum one answer could be for the Heritage museum to copy the Seaside Museum in Herne Bay which is "run entirely by volunteers through an independent Trust in partnership with Canterbury City Council " - to quote their website. Plans are also afoot to run the Whitstable museum along similar lines.

Or they can follow the council officers' plans and close it.

For starters I'm more than happy to collect the names of everyone who would volunteer their time at the Heritage Museum: or phone 01227 750 146.

And please remember the council consultation runs until next Wednesday March 1st on Canterbury Councils website so there's still time to have your say.