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Museum bosses tore down a poster promoting Herne Bay Pier Trust, despite the fact that the latest exhibition is dedicated to the iconic seaside structure. Despite protests from staff at the William Street museum, managers insisted the poster had to be removed because it did not fit in with the council's corporate branding.

Pier trust members who complained were told the poster had been put in the wrong place.

‘New regime’ clashes with Pier Trust

Museum bosses tore down a poster promoting Herne Bay Pier Trust, despite the fact that the latest exhibition is dedicated to the iconic seaside structure. Despite protests from staff at the William Street museum, managers insisted the poster had to be removed because it did not fit in with the council’s corporate branding.

Pier trust members who complained were told the poster had been put in the wrong place. Trust chairman Julian Jennings said:

“It’s bureaucracy gone mad. I don’t think the staff knew there was a right and wrong place for posters, so they were not happy when it was taken down. But it’s now been put up in the right place, so we hope everyone is happy.”

The row is the latest in a series of grumbles since the museum shop was taken over by the council’s visitor services team in a bid to make more money. Staff now wear Canterbury-branded uniforms, and city-branded leaflets are on display around the museum. Visitors who do not have a residents’ card issued by the council must also pay to enter the exhibitions, after a review initially recommended shutting the museum.

David Cross, secretary of the Friends of the Museum, said:

“There is a completely new regime in charge of the museum and they are still trying things out. They are aware they will get things wrong, and have done so, and we the Friends are concerned about that. But we are confident we will arrive together at the right conclusion.”

Council spokesman Steve James added:

“We’ve always been very supportive of the Pier Trust and its work in the community, and only removed the posters from the Herne Bay Museum as part of a general tidy-up of the building entrance. But after being contacted by a trust member, we agreed to put the posters back, and these posters will complement trust leaflets which are always on display. No offence was intended, and we hope that we can continue to display trust posters in a co-ordinated manner. We’re proud that Herne Bay Museum and Gallery forms an integral part of the community, and we always respond positively to feedback supplied by local residents.”

HB Times 15th Jul 2011

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