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Remembered Today:

The Buffs Canterbury Museum


Valerie corby

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For those of us who have an interest in the "the Buffs" you might like to know that the artefacts etc presently on display at the Beaney museum in Canterbury are to be moved (albeit temporary) to the National Army Museum in Chelsea. Last date to see them is 8th November.

The city council was granted lottery funding to refurbish etc this museum not least because it has no wheelchair access. The National Army museum will be packing up the artefacts, restoring them and then storing them until the Beaney opens in 2011 - a long way off. So if you want to go and view you have only a few days left to do so! Canterbury City Council has published a press release about this and can be downloaded from their web site. I was advised yesterday that the refurbishment will allow more room to store the artefacts including some that are presently stored in Chelsea. I am not sure if any will be displayed at Chelsea (during the closure) or whether the public will have to wait until 2011 to see them again.

"Steady the Buffs".

with thanks to Member 'Mick' who alerted me to this news.

Valerie

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Hello valerie.I sent a email to the Beaney museum over a week ago asking about information on the 10th hussars and the barracks in canterbury, i have not had a reply am i likely to get one .thanks tom

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This museum has gradually gone down hill ever since it was taken over by the local authority (Canterbury City Council). The last time I visited the place in 2004 the person in charge wasn't even aware that the NMP sold the regimental history (Moody)! I complained bitterly to the council only to be told I was wrong and that it wasn't available... :lol:

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Hello valerie.I sent a email to the Beaney museum over a week ago asking about information on the 10th hussars and the barracks in canterbury, i have not had a reply am i likely to get one .thanks tom

I will try and find out for you and write to you again. I guess if the beaney is closing next weekend, I suspect they have a 'skeleton' staff. No excuse though.

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This museum has gradually gone down hill ever since it was taken over by the local authority (Canterbury City Council). The last time I visited the place in 2004 the person in charge wasn't even aware that the NMP sold the regimental history (Moody)! I complained bitterly to the council only to be told I was wrong and that it wasn't available... :lol:

Hi Neil. How disappointing. I have never visited the Beaney although I once lived in Kent - I have only just learnt about a relative who was in the 6 Btn the buffs and am now an avid fan of this web site. I did ring and ask if the museum if they had a list of artefacts and they said they did not. I am sure they must have. However I am not giving up. I shall be writing to the National Army museum in Chelsea.

I will, contact you again with any new information. Thanks for writing and letting me know. I wont give up on this.

Regards

Valerie

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Packing the artefacts away to restore them; enlarging the museum to allow more of the collection to be shown; improving wheelchair access. Sounds great doesn't it? Regardless of what the Beaney Institute / council tells you, the vast majority of the exhibits that are currently on display will never see the light of day again.

The council have turned their back on the Buffs.

The exhibits are not being taken away for restoration , neither is the museum being refurbished to enlarge it and allow wheelchair access.

They are setting up a trail to tell the history of the city at various locations. There may be a tiny display case at the locations eg if there is a location for the Victorian period, you may have a Zulu sword and a pith helmet in a case.

The battle has been fought and lost.

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Mick, thanks for responding.

I am gutted to hear all this. Thanks for letting me know. As I said, I can have a go but no doubt you have done everything there is to do.

I wont be fobbed off, though. I will contact you again.

Regards

Valerie

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Alas I can confirm what Mick Mills says above (and if anyone knows the truth, he surely does). The museum has been run by local authority employed career civil servants for years now. I genuinely fear that the vast majority of artefacts will merely be kept under lock and key in some obscure vault somewhere.

Personally I'd like the museum to be taken over by carefully appointed trustees (people who care about the museum and the Buffs as a whole).

We need to al realise that these artefacts were originally donated to the museum by private individuals who are all now probably turning in their graves over what is happening here!

These people should hang their heads in shame. The Buffs museum surely belongs to the people of East Kent and surrounding areas NOT career local authority officers whose only interest is earning money and advancing their own careers.

I have already made my views known to all these idiots. I have even sent them a link to this thread.

THIS IS SURELY AN INSULT TO THE MEN'S MEMORIES...

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I managed to speak to the Head of Collections at the National Army Museum in London a Dr. peter Boydon today on the phone and seems to be aware of the concerns about the artefacts of the Buffs being moved out of Kent.

I can only tell you all what he said to me which was. Ie 'hear all sides'

The Beaney is not 'fit for purpose' esp. as it does not have a lift which, by law, public buildings must offer disabled access. The medals, photos and documents will remain at Chelsea but a small portion of the collection will return to the Beaney in Spring 2011. other artefacts will have to be stored elsewhere as there is simply not enough room. When I originally phoned the Beaney I was advised that 'no list exists' of the exhibits and artefacts however Dr. Boydon said there is and will be e mailing me. When received I will post it. Unfortunately I hear that many regional military museums are closing and artefacts moved elsewhere somewhere 'central'.

Who were the original Trustees of the museum before it was taken over by Canterbury? Does anyone know? What was the reason to transfer the responsibility of the museum over to Canterbury CC?

like all of you I would prefer all the artefacts concerning this well loved regiment to remain in Kent however unless someone wins the lottery and can afford to lease or buy the freehold of a building in Canterbury and restore uniforms etc and register the museum as a charity and run it then there is not much we can do. I left Dr. Boydon in no doubt that a lot of people were very unhappy.

Thank you all for your interest.

Valerie

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I would like to apologise to Dr Peter Boyden if I inferred in my post that the National Army Museum was in any way responsible for the current situation. The National Army Museum are the custodians of the Buffs Collection. This is a vast collection of artefacts and ephemera and a very small portion of it was ever on display at Canterbury. When the NAM agreed to take the collection there was a real threat that it could be broken up. There are obviously huge costs involved in storing and preserving such a collection and I imagine that the NAM could well do with the shelf space to store other things. Remember, the NAM don't make any money out of this - in fact it is a drain on their resources.

We should therefore be grateful to the NAM for keeping the collection together for us and future generations. Yes, perhaps it should be in Kent but at least it's in one piece and being very well looked after. It is also accessible which can't be said for all regimental collections. In fact, I imagine that if any other regimental museums close, the NAM will not be able to step in and keep the collections.

Please don't vent your anger on the staff at NAM. They are always very courteous whenever I visit the museum for research and go out of their way to help me.

I have also looked at my original post in the cold light of day and toned it down a bit. I am angry with the council but some of the words I used were not appropriate.

So, in conclusion, please don't badger the staff at Chelsea. Lets just be grateful that the collection is being looked after

Mick Mills

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I would like to apologise to Dr Peter Boyden if I inferred in my post that the National Army Museum was in any way responsible for the current situation. The National Army Museum are the custodians of the Buffs Collection. This is a vast collection of artefacts and ephemera and a very small portion of it was ever on display at Canterbury. When the NAM agreed to take the collection there was a real threat that it could be broken up. There are obviously huge costs involved in storing and preserving such a collection and I imagine that the NAM could well do with the shelf space to store other things. Remember, the NAM don't make any money out of this - in fact it is a drain on their resources.

We should therefore be grateful to the NAM for keeping the collection together for us and future generations. Yes, perhaps it should be in Kent but at least it's in one piece and being very well looked after. It is also accessible which can't be said for all regimental collections. In fact, I imagine that if any other regimental museums close,

the NAM will not be able to step in and keep the collections.

Please don't vent your anger on the staff at NAM. They are always very courteous whenever I visit the museum for research and go out of their way to help me.

I have also looked at my original post in the cold light of day and toned it down a bit. I am angry with the council but some of the words I used were not appropriate.

So, in conclusion, please don't badger the staff at Chelsea. Lets just be grateful that the collection is being looked after

Mick Mills

Hi, Mick, no worries as I did not vent my anger at NAM, nor would I, that is not 'my style' One gets more out of people anyway by being courteous. We had a interesting conversation and he explained the history behind the collection. I did not ask to speak to him specifically, I was just put through to him and he had no problem in taking the call. to be honest I was surprised that I was put through to someone in authority. I agree that we must be thankful that they are finding room for the collection and I did say that to him. We parted on the best of terms...

Regards

Valerie

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Mick,

I don't think that ANY of us (including you) were directing our comments at the National Army Museum. My gripe is with CANTERBURY CITY COUNCIL and the local authority officers who have ruined the Buffs museum since taking over responsibility. No need to apologise to anyone, you said nothing wrong.

I think the general feeling is one of shock and resignation... There is nothing we can do to change things.

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with thanks to Member 'Mick' who alerted me to this news.

Valerie

I'll take this oportunity to thank Mick again for his help with 2nd Lt. Charles William Laing, 2/East Kent. I finally got his uniform/gear all pulled together. See attached file. He was quite a soldier. Thanks again Mick! Cheers, Bill

mick.doc

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