Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Heritage open days in Thanet this weekend

We are once again at that weekend in the year when local people have the opportunity to look inside some of our important local buildings. It also allows you free entry into buildings that usually charge for entry. With some of the venues the opening times are fairly short, or the free opening periods are, so if you want to make the best of this series of local events you need to plan it fairly carefully.

Here is the list from http://www.visitthanet.co.uk

Heritage Open Days
Thu 8 Sep 2011
Fri 9 Sep 2011
Fri 9 - Mon 12 Sep 2011
Sat 10 Sep 2011
Sat 10, Sun 11 Sep 2011
Sat 10 Sep 2011
Sun 11 Sep 2011
Tue 13 Sep 2011
Wed 21 Sep 2011

I am not sure if this is a complete list, I will try to find out if anything is missing and add it to this post.

In Ramamsgate Montefiore Synagogue Ramsgate is one that is well worth a visit, picture above. If you have a head for heights I can also recommend taking as tour up the tower of St George’s Church.  

http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk has a slightly different list for Thanet

NameTownOpeningPre-Booking Required
St Peter's Churchyard TourBroadstairs
Saturday: Tour 1400
St Peter's Village TourBroadstairs
Thursday: Tour 1345
Saturday: Tour 0945
Margate 3 Squares' WalkMargate
Friday: dep. 1145
Saturday: dep. 1145
Margate Baptist ChurchMargate
Friday: 1000-1200
Saturday: 1000-1200
Margate Museum: Former Police StationMargate
Friday: 1100-1700
Saturday: 1100-1700
Sunday: 1100-1700
The Tudor HouseMargate
Saturday: 1200-1600
Sunday: 1200-1600
Theatre Royal MargateMargate
Sunday: Tour 1400 & 1600
St George's Church, RamsgateRamsgate
Saturday: Tower tours 1130, 1230, 1430 & 1530
Sunday: Tower tours 1200, 1300 & 1430
The GrangeRamsgate
Friday: 1000-1600
Saturday: 1000-1600
Sunday: 1000-1600
At this point I was a bit confused about some of the entries, so this is by way of explanation.

My questions were is the Powell Cotton Museum doing something different for the heritage open day – free entry or a special event – or does this just mean that it is open as usual? 

Why doesn’t the Tudor House opening appear on the council funded tourism site and is it in fact open?

Margate Museum opening does appear on the council’s tourism website but the link there takes you to http://www.margatemuseum.org/ a website of few words.

Anyway I went back onto http://www.visitthanet.co.uk and tried to phone up the tourist information office to check this out, the number given there is Thanet 577577, phoning this number is an education in itself and mostly seems to suggest that one oppresses buttons that eventually lead you to an automated message telling you to look on http://www.visitthanet.co.uk

As an effort to deter tourists it is a very powerful device that takes one agonisingly slowly through a list of alternatives the very last of which is to speak to a tourist information officer.

Eventually I managed to speak to an officer who told me that The Powell Cotton Museum has free entry but only for the two hours between 11am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.


  1. I agree Michael, the Montefiore Synagogue is well worth a visit. I went last year.

  2. Michael,

    I have just spent the past two months in Bulgaria near the town of Shumen. Shumen is much smaller than Thanet; but it has its own TV channel. TV Shumen runs 24hrs it shows films, discussion programmes, news both national and local, in fact all that you would expect from a national channel. Importantly, it conducts vigorous interviews with local politicians and holds them to account. Now wouldn't that be fun on a 'TV Thanet!'.


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