Local history considerations this week, first the future of Ramsgate Maritime Museum, as some of you will know there was a court hearing relating to the Cervia steam tug and the liability of the East Kent Maritime Trust trustees.
I phoned up the chap who owns the tug and asked him what he wanted, a lot of his answerer was what he didn’t want, so lets get that out of the way first. He said he doesn’t want to step in and take over Maritime museum, he doesn’t want to take away the collection, he doesn’t even want to take his tug back.
So what does he want that is going to annoy some people? His contention is that neither the museum or the tug are significant enough to be tourist attractions on their own and he wants both to be run in conjunction as a tourist attraction.
What he says that he would like to do is meet with the councillors and work out a solution, as he said they hold all the keys, he says he won’t ask for anything that they can’t afford and that he has volunteers ready who want to help with the problem.
He very much stressed that he didn’t want to be seen to be taking over what was the people of Ramsgate’s and didn’t want to play a day to day part in running our maritime heritage.
He also told me that he had heard the some of the windows at the maritime museum had been broken in the last few days and asked me if anyone was looking after it, I had to say I didn’t know.
I told him that I doubted he would get much help and cooperation from the council as it was Ramsgate and they were mostly interested in putting their resources into arts projects in Margate, indeed IOTA the arts group in Ramsgate had recently been told that they wouldn’t get any support from the council unless they moved to Margate.
My own feelings are whatever the ins and outs and the legal niceties of the situation, sooner or later the tug will have to be towed out put on the slipway and assessed, we can’t just leave it there to sink, it’s too damned big.
As far as I am aware the councillor in charge of harbour related things is councillor Latchford, the last time I wrote to him was at the beginning of this year, to ask if we could have some temporary leisure and or parking use, for the Pleasurama site for the summer that has just passed. He didn’t bother to reply to me however as I believe he reads this blog I am hoping that he will at least speak to the owner of the Cervia.
Now I go on to another local history issue Aldred’s Minster, you may remember Gerald has been transcribing a pile of old documents relating to the Rising Sun public house in Ramsgate, the earliest of these dates back to the 1600s, when it comes to transcribing and understanding these old documents Gerald is an expert.
He has just finished transcribing the whole bundle, no small task I can assure you, he said that the some most difficult ones were the more recent ones as they used so many abbreviations.
Aldred’s Minster is a local history book that is almost entirely made up from these old documents, pretty much all of our local history that predates Lewis’s history of the Isle of Thanet comes from these old documents and the inscriptions on gravestones. They are not however at all easy for the layman to understand.
With its help quite a few people descended from local families ought to be able to trace their ancestors back further than was previously possible, so it is worth persevering with.
Aldred is writing for an audience of Victorian genealogists and historians and pulls no punches when it comes to an inexpert audience, he even leaves abbreviations in, and unusual writing from the early-confused period before spelling. Leaving us with cases where yn ye means than the, names are often rendered as Wm, Ric, Thos, Hy, Ph, and so on which I think may be Aldred’s way of saving space.
So while the book is a valuable resource it is transcribed documents for the historian and being such is fairly heavy going, it is also fairly difficult to see how the documents inter relate, so I have asked Gerald to have a look at it and see if he can write and introduction for those of us who are comparative novices to this type document and don’t know all about gravelkind reversion and inheritance.
In the meantime I have published it on the web complete for other bloggers to contemplate and will run off a paper version without Gerald’s introduction, for those who don’t need it click here to read it.
I would also be grateful for any biographical information about Aldred he doesn’t appear in The Dictionary of National Biography, which is the main resource for biographical information about people in this country.
Next my son taught me how to peel an onion this week, I had been going through life assuming I knew, peel it from the top down and then cut off the ends, it really is a great deal easier and doesn’t make your eyes water.
I am working on a reprint of a Victorian local history book about the town of Deal at the moment and if anyone can send me copies of pictures suitable to illustrate it with it will be the better book.