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Exhibition of Folkestone Museum’s unseen treasures, Folkestone Library, July 7 -29

There will be a free exhibition in the Sassoon Room above Folkestone Library between July 7 -29. Entitled Behind the Scenes: Folkestone Museum’s unseen treasures, the exhibition will feature displays of fossils, geology, archaeology, natural history, social history, paintings, drawings, photographs and museum records.

In preparation for the exhibition, Rebecca Stockley, Project Officer for the History Resources Centre at Folkestone Library, has been having an interesting time over the last few  months, sorting through some of the 9000 artefacts in the collection of Folkestone Museum that have been hidden away for many years in the basement of Folkestone Library on Grace Hill.  Rebecca said, “It has been wonderful rediscovering all of the exciting artefacts we have in store. I am glad the local community will get an opportunity to see items that have not been on display for some time.” 

Though most of the collections and much of the art portray local history, there are a number of artefacts, donated over the years that, like the small Egyptian collection, give the collections a broader appeal. These include the important Amy Master collection of drawings, watercolours and prints from the 16th century, of which some prints and film will be on display.

Funded by Folkestone Town Council and by the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the ‘Treasures Revealed’ project of Kent County Council and organised with help from A Town Unearthed and Folkestone Heritage Working Group the exhibition is part of a project to revive Folkestone Museum.

Rebecca Stockley Said “The exhibition has been designed to show visitors something about the history of the museum and it collections, but we hope it will also encourage people to look to the future and decide what they would like for the new museum planned for the Town Hall.”

On July 20 from 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm, there will be two talks: Richard Cross, archaeological officer at Canterbury City Council, will tell the story of Samuel Joseph Mackie, his collection of local fossils and the the development of Folkestone Museum to 1888, while Local Historian, Eamonn Rooney, will explore the life and work of Alexander Montague Brown-Anderson, the mysterious first director of Folkestone Museum in 1918.   Recent research will allow us to hear more of the world of this previously little known character and his work at Folkestone.

Activities for children, include  “Bugs and Butterflies” on the 26th July from 10.30am to 12.30pm when children, aged 6-11 will be able see the bug and butterfly collection, make their own butterfly, find out why Victorians liked to stuff animals and learn about birds eggs