Pride as mu­seum earns Arts Coun­cil ac­co­lade

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Flying High -

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. bould­

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

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