Pride as museum earns Arts Council accolade
Work to improve the content and layout of the Ashford Borough Museum has been recognised.
The museum has been awarded full accreditation from the Arts Council of England.
Based in Churchyard in Ashford town centre, the museum received the sought-after award following extensive work by its team of volunteers to enhance and expand the layout and the displays.
The Arts Council’s panel commented that the museum had made excellent progress with its recent extension in such a short space of time, and congratulated all members and volunteers involved.
The accreditation scheme sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK. There are currently just under 1,800 museums participating in the scheme, demonstrating their commitment to managing collections effectively for the enjoyment and benefit of users.
The museum’s chairman Mike Boulding said: “I am very proud that the museum has been awarded this accreditation, and I congratulate my fellow committee members and the local museum advisers who contributed many hours of work in achieving this status.” Ashford Museum has been open for almost 30 years and is run entirely by volunteers, relying on donations and membership subscriptions. It also receives an annual grant from Ashford Borough Council (ABC).
Now situated in two adjoining buildings in Churchyard, the museum expanded into the former tourist information office last year and has carried out extensive research to include new displays covering the history of the railways.
ABC portfolio holder for culture and the environment Cllr Jessamy Blanford said: “This is a fantastic seal of approval for our excellent museum and its loyal volunteers. Ashford has such a rich heritage, and venues such as this preserve our history for future generations.
“It is vital the museum continues to receive the public support it so thoroughly deserves.”
Currently closed for winter, the museum will reopen in April, and will welcome visitors Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 2pm.
New displays this year will tie in with the centenary of the First World War.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the museum should contact Lynn Sharp on 01233 501372 or Mike Boulding on 01233 628963, or email michael. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Ashford Ramblers – five-mile walk starting from Tenterden steam railway car park at 10am. Dogs on a short lead welcome.
Canterbury Ramblers – 10.5mile walk starting at 10am from St Nicholas at Wade church, pub stop at Boyden Gate; six-and-a-half-mile walk starting from Lyminge library at 10am.
Dover & Thanet Rights of Way Society – six-mile walk starting from St Margaret’s car park at 10am.
East Kent Rambling Club – 10-mile walk starting from Eastry car park at 10am, pub stop at Goodnestone.
White Cliffs Ramblers – 13-mile walk starting from Grove Ferry car park at 9.30am, pub stop in Fordwich; six-mile walk starting from Deal Pier at 10am.
Wednesday East Kent Rambling Club – 10-mile walk starting from the Chilham lower car park at 10am, with a pub stop in Perry Wood.
Thursday White Cliffs Ramblers – 10-mile walk starting from Sandown Castle, Deal, at 10am, with a lunch stop in Sandwich.
Ashford Museum, chairman Mike Boulding and Cllr Jessamy Blanford