REPORT AND ACCOUNTS 2011/2012
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2011/2012 has been an extremely busy year that has seen our opening of an interest paying current bank account with the Charities Aid Foundation along with an extensive programme of acquisitions.
A major addition to our Model & Display Department was a 1:48th scale model of Down House – the home of Charles Darwin – constructed by Herdwick Landscapes of Cannock, Staffordshire. This will form the centrepiece of a special exhibition on the early life of Darwin. To complement this display we have also acquired a copy of his field journals A naturalists voyage: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle round the World published in London in 1890.
The museum has been successful in acquiring casts and replicas of each early hominid species associated with the south east of England, including Homo neanderthalensis (Dartford, Kent), Homo steinheimensis (Swanscombe Kent), Homo heidelbergensis (Boxgrove, Surrey) and the world famous 1912 hoax - Eoanthropus dawsoni from Piltdown, Sussex.
Summer 2011 saw a major field trip undertaken to the Lake District of Cumbria with many fine rock, fossil and mineral specimens collected.
The museum is pleased to report the appointment of an additional part-time volunteer - Mr Antony Hills of Hua Hin, Thailand – who will hold the honorary title of Collections Director Far East.
Donations rose by 67.7% over 2010/2011 more than offsetting a 56.9% increase in costs, attributable to major investments in our Model and Display Department and from exceptional expenses (see below). Total assets showed growth of 11.3% year-on-year but due to the write-off and disposal of a number of fixed assets - obsolete computer equipment that had passed its’ useful service life - this hides a real growth in the value of the collection of 16.0% Administration costs increased by 25.9% due to a major publicity exercise during the year. Even with this increase, running costs have effectively been reduced to 17% of total expenditure from 21% last year.
An exceptional item of expenditure last year was a £50 donation to the Swansea Valley Miners Appeal following the tragic deaths of four miners trapped underground in Gleision Colliery. Our thoughts and condolences go out to their families.
Brian R J Glover
A number of marine fossils from Kent and Sussex ranging from the Cretaceous to the Eocene from E.R Matheau-Raven of Peterborough.
A fine phosphatised fish tail from the London Clay of the Isle of Sheppey from Fossils Direct of Stalybridge.
24 carboniferous coral and bivalve fossils were collected from the Carboniferous (Visean) strata of the Cumbrian Lake District.
Our team of volunteers kindly donated a number of specimens ranging from Scotland to Iceland:
21 specimens were collected from the Cumbrian Lake District including ignimbrites, tuffs, breccias, basalt and haematite.21 specimens were collected from the Cumbrian Lake District including ignimbrites, tuffs, breccias, basalt and haematite.
Specimens of Lake District copper and tungsten ores from Northern Geological Supplies, Bolton
A rare specimen of Seathwaite plumbago from Peter Sutcliffe of North Yorkshire
A fine cut gemstone of Alexandrite from Kittie Primrose of Berkshire.
During the year our Zoology Department has continued to refine and perfect practical skills in water management techniques that will be an essential precursor to development of our ‘living fossils’ collection.
It is hoped that this will in the future be able to include live freshwater organisms, such as lampreys and sturgeons and marine organisms such as dwarf sharks and horseshoe crabs (a living descendent of the trilobites).
Our Wollemi Pine, the centrepiece of our plant displays that form part of the ‘living fossils’ collection, is doing very well with much new growth over the past year. These prehistoric trees are extremely slow-growing and it will take many years to reach full maturity.
We are also cultivating a specimen of the largest tree in the world, the mighty Sequoia from California.
The website contains descriptions of the Museum, its aims and the scope of its collection, but more importantly, contains sections on where to go to see geological and palaeontological attractions and sites, where to go to collect rocks and fossils and also lists world news of earthquakes, volcanic activity, mining developments and major fossil finds.
There are special pages devoted to background and reference information on geology and pages including write-ups of Museum field trips and expeditions together with reports on the research that we undertake.
The website also contains numerous useful links to museums, institutions and commercial organisations around the world that display, exhibit, promote or exploit the science of geology.
The number of visitors to our site now stands at 15,207.
We are extremely grateful to the various news agencies around the world that supply us with up to the minute information on fossil finds, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, particularly Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, FARS, Xinhua and the Los Angeles Times. With their assistance, our library of information held electronically has now passed the 11,000 mark.
|Magazines & Publications||416|
|U.K. Newspaper Extracts||172|
|Video & Audio Tapes||15|
|Newsfiles (held electronically)||11474|
|The Entertainment Industry||71|
The Trustees top priority is to build up sufficient cash reserves to enable us to establish public exhibition facilities for the collection.
To encourage visitors we have identified major display items to complement our collection and to provide the “wow” factor for visitors and these include a replica dinosaur fossil of hypsilophodon and Neanderthal Man from a supplier in Portugal together with a cast of a mammoth skull from the United States.
We have made a number of special commissions that will be completed during 2012 and these include:-
To enable easier acquisition of items from the United States – where suppliers often are not prepared to ship items internationally - the museum will be arranging the opening of a local office in Portland, Oregon.
1. Museum Expenditure
As a non profit making organisation, the Museum aims to spend the minimum possible on administration and overheads so that funds can be channelled into curation of the collection and the acquisition of display equipment and new specimens.
2. Tangible fixed assets and depreciation
Fixed assets at 31st March 2012 are stated at the lower of (a) cost, less provision for depreciation - if originally purchased by the Museum, or (b) net realisable value, less provision for depreciation - if the asset was originally donated free of charge.
Depreciation is provided on a straight line basis, and is calculated on historical amounts, after providing for any permanent diminution in value. The period of depreciation being the estimated life of the asset subject to the maxima shown below and commencing when the capital expenditure was incurred or on acquisition of the asset by donation.
|Type of asset||Maximum period|
|Computer equipment||10 years|
|Laboratory and display equipment||20-40 years|
Estimated lives and residual values of individual items are reviewed periodically and amended when circumstances change. Asset values shown represent the estimated replacement cost of the collection with specimens of similar quality and size.
No specimen in the collection is considered to be a disposable asset - the Museum's charter provides strict safeguards and restrictions on disposals of the specimens themselves.
4. Interest Receivable
Current account interest is received gross of tax each quarter. Investment interest is received gross of tax each June.
|Gift Shop Sales||3.45||0.00|
|Stock in Hand||1028.87||747.35|
|Cash In Hand||1234.78||508.33|
|Purchase of Fixed Assets||81.13||467.73|
|Cash in Hand||1234.44||508.33|
|Stock in Hand||1028.87||747.35|
|STATEMENT OF ASSETS|
|Position as at 31st March 2012|
|Prior Year Adjustments||389.41||0.00|
|Value of Collection||26021.24||21051.02|