Your Councillors

Agenda item

Annual Report

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of Ms Samantha Harris, Collections Manager which provided an overview of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment’s collection activities during 2018.

 

Ms Harris highlighted to the Committee that:

 

·  The Learning Team had run several workshops based on WW1 and WW2 which related to the artefacts and history of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust (QORWKRMT) throughout 2018.  In total 680 school children engaged specifically with the collection and gallery in formal learning activities since January 2018.

·  There had been increased social media presence in 2018 relating to the QORWKR, which related to posts and blogs regarding the Regiment’s involvement in WW1 in the final centenary year.  The Keys of Jerusalem were due back in the next week having been on loan to the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem.

·  During 2018, 73 items had been donated, accessioned and added to the Trust’s collection  The new items consisted of:

* The Invicta (the magazine of the 1st Kent Regiment)
* Various items of the uniform worn by the Regiment
* Accessories which included a respirator, bottle, bayonet frog and 
  holster

·  No major redisplay work had been undertaken in the permanent gallery in 2018.  However a number of the medal drawers had now been made secure after developing faults over time.

·  Café Culture sessions have continued to be popular and have included talks/discussions and object handling. 

·  A series of events named ‘What’s in Store?’ were scheduled to begin in January 2019 with monthly tours behind the scenes. These sessions are bookable in advance by the public.

·  Mr Finnis continued to work on the QORWKRMT archive and the large photographic collection.  Following completion of the 3D objects, he was now cataloguing the 2D items.

·  There had been no new collections care issues raised in 2018.  However this would be reviewed in line with display needs and budget allowing.

·  A large number of enquiries had been received during the last year possibly as a result of the final year of WW1 centenary commemorations.  The enquiries were received by contact form, email, phone, letter or in person and can be quite resource orientated.

In response to a question from the Committee, Ms Harris replied that Ms Barlow, the Museum’s Director had contacted the National Army Museum but they would not be looking to take on the collection were the Trust to dissolve, whilst they felt it would be of enormous interest to people in Maidstone, it would hold little interest in the National Army Museum.

The Committee requested that their thanks be expressed in a letter to Mr Finnis and the officers and other volunteers at the Museum for all their hard work.

 

The Committee also requested that a report be brought to the special meeting of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Trust Committee in February providing an update on the transformation plan and evidence of the written response received from the National Army Museum about the collection.

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

1)  The annual report be noted.

2)  A letter be sent from the Chairman to Mr Finnis and the officers and other volunteers at the Museum expressing the Committee’s thanks and appreciation for all their hard work.

3)  That an update on the transformation plan be provided to the special meeting in February.

4)  That evidence of the written response from the National Army Museum be provided at the February meeting.

 

Voting:  Unanimous

 

Supporting documents: