Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Ramsgate's Cinque Ports trophies ?

Since January I have been auditing the Ramsgate town Council collection of art and artefacts. Out of curiosity I have been taking a look at the Ramsgate town silver. Among the town silver collection I have come across three trophies with military connections. The town council has no provenance on them and I am looking at the possibility they may have Cinque port connections.

The first trophy of interest is known as the Ramsgate rifle challenge trophy. It has no engravings or base. The maker of the trophy is  William Aitken of Vyse Street  Birmingham and the year the trophy was assayed was 1902. Below is a close up photograph of the top with a rifleman with a bent rifle due to the top being dropped. The uniform of the rifleman may be a indication of  what unit he belonged to.

The next cup photographed is one of a pair of the same size . The one photographed above and below  is hallmarked sterling silver, made in Birmingham in 1904. The maker is William Aitken Vyse Street Birmingham, the same makers of the Ramsgate rifle challenge cup dated 1902.
It is engraved on the front " Best Aggregate, Challenge Cup, presented by Regimental Sergeant Major J. W Chapman." On the back it is engraved "1906 B.M Stirrups, 1913 F.G Friend".
There are no records or references to the cup so this cup is now up for a bit of research. I also have reason to believe that this small J. W Chapman cup once had a lid and that is also missing. 

The next cup photgraphed below is hallmarked London 1869 and has a Victoria young head duty mark. The makers mark is HH and that is the mark of Henry Holland of Holland, Aldwinckle & Slater. It is engraved "The Ladies Cup" “A challenge cup presented to the 1st company CPAV on behalf of the ladies by Lieutenant John Croker Barram September 1869". It also has engraved the names of previous winners of various military rank. They date from 1869 to 1881, 1890 to 1899 then 1905, 1911 and 1913. The last winner was bombardier F .G Friend 1913, the same name appears on the best aggregate cup above for that year.
 On the ladies cup  most of the winners are either a gunner of bombardier and because of this  I now suspect that CPAV stands for Cinque Port Artillery Volunteers.

I do welcome any comment that will be of use to Ramsgate Town Council in piecing together their history.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

An up date on the Ramsgate Town Council collection.

Part of press for the Ramsgate town seal undergoing restoration.
It has been a long time since I last researched something continuously starting virtually from a blank piece of paper with little else in the way information on a subject up until now I know very little about. Looking back over the past six months I have made some measurable progress on the Ramsgate Town Council collection and today I have reached another milestone by breaking all links with Thanet District Council. It is not that TDC is something bad it is because today I have straightened out the inventory by returning all TDC owned items in the RTC collection back to TDC. This includes returning 22 items that were as loans,unlisted loans,misplaced items and strays.
It is important that everything in the RTC collection now belongs to the Town of Ramsgate whether it be a Civic item, Cinque port item, insignia or a gift to the Town and we (RTC) have our provenance intact. This is the key to a future Town Council collection and if my report gets through intact on Tuesday I will move forward on the next phase. That will be to take on Kent County Council.
It may sound confrontational but it is not, I just feel more needs to be done in Ramsgate regarding Ramsgate's art and artefacts because it does feel as if the fire at Ramsgate library was the day Ramsgate's artefacts died of which it is not.

When I challenged TDC regarding its Thanet collection at Margate there was so much denial and lack of action. It was a bruising battle and looked like a forlorn hope at times but the end result has made it all worthwhile because TDC are now acting as a responsible authority. Plus I am the one having the last laugh because I know there are a few people out their thinking they have turned me over big time by pushing me out to the fringes. When really they are now doing is exactly what I set out to be done ten years ago and that is to get them to manage the collection responsibly and come up with a plan.

So what would be my KCC objective ?

The first thing to do will be to have a list of everything single Ramsgate artefact KCC have on their books and scrutinize each item that has a pre 1974 Borough of Ramsgate provenance. 
Under the 1974 local government agreement all Borough of Ramsgate civic items were transferred to the Ramsgate Charter Trustees and KCC retained the library and museum collection. For some reason some civic items did remained in the museum collection even though  they were the property of the Ramsgate Charter Trustees.
Then in and around 1990 due to severe damp problems at Albion House civic items from the Albion House cellar were stored in the basement of Ramsgate library. They were still there at the time of the fire and it is never been made clear what was stored there, what was lost and what was salvaged. The only salvaged items returned to the Charter Trustees was the press for the town seal and the Dame Janet Stancomb Wills silver scroll box that contained the scroll giving her the freedom of the Borough of Ramsgate.