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In last year’s report I outlined possible options for the way forward in acquiring premises for the Museum. I very much regret to report that all of these have fallen through for the reasons given below:

1. Stone Lodge - The current position is that the land still has not appeared for sale on the open market because:

2. Purchase of Private Land/Property - We have been closely monitoring estate and land agents in the south east over the past year and have found that suitable land and property rarely comes onto the market. As expected, when it does, the asking price is well beyond our current means.

3. The Castle Hill Development - This new housing development at Ebbsfleet in Kent will be far larger than originally anticipated now that it forms part of the Government initiative for new “Garden Cities” around London. This means that the Ward Homes Marketing Suite will now remain in use for some years and will not therefore become available within a reasonable timescale.

4. Beacon Wood Country Park - The local organisation “Friends of Beacon Wood” have informed us that serious vandalism problems exist at the park as although entrance gates are locked to prevent vehicle access outside of opening hours, perimeter security to the site is minimal and pedestrian access can be made at any time day or night. Security and insurance costs would therefore prove prohibitive.

* * *

During 2017 we will therefore be considering: - alternative solutions; - engagement of a professional fundraising agency; - registration with a land agent that specialises in properties ouside of the mainstream.


The Collection
Barring exceptional “too good to miss” items that come onto the market and specimens acquired via field trips, we are no longer actively collecting further fossils, rocks, minerals, meteorites or gemstones. Instead during the last year we have concentrated on enhancing our display and art collections where this will add value to the interpretation of existing items, particularly with respect to the industrial heritage of the south east.

The Museum Website
Our website reached two milestones this year with the 1000th weekly update made since it’s launch in 1999 and the number of visitors to the site exceeding 200,000. Library After almost 15 years of using the Yahoo UK search engine as our primary source for geology related news and developments, their engine was no longer providing us with the breadth and depth of material that it once did and so, following extensive testing of alternative sources, we have selected Google as our standard provider. The benefit of this is that not only are we collecting many more articles than we were, we are also able to access information from a far wider number of sources such as national and international newspapers, foreign television stations and third world news agencies. Our electronic news archives total almost 20,000 articles and our library holdings contain over 1300 books, magazines and information leaflets. The

Museum Shop
It has been a fantastic year for our shop with sales reaching an all time high. Much of this increase was as a result of our purchase and subsequent resale of a number of model railway wagons at auction which we undertook as the lot contained a rare specimen of one of the Kent Coalfield Wagons we wanted to add to our collection. The remainder of the lot was sold via eBay UK to collectors and enthusiasts around the UK and three even sold to a gentleman in Canada.

Field Trips
We only conducted two field trips during the year. The first to Paradise Park in Newhaven, Sussex, the second to the Tilberthwaite Mixed Mine in the Lake District. Full details of these can be found here.


Donations were up by 1.8% over 2015/16. Costs rose by 8.4% but these were more than covered by the income from our shop sales.

Fixed assets increased in value by 16.5% while total assets (including the value of the Museum collection) showed an overall growth of 8.2%. Total asset growth was a healthy 8.8%.

Operating costs increased by 20.5% due to increases in insurance premiums, energy usage, zoological sundries and shop costs but admin costs have been maintained at under 10%

Brian R J Glover

Notes to the Accounts

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.

Breakdown of Expenditure

Breakdown of expenditure

Expenditure by Department

Expenditure by Department

2. Tangible fixed assets and depreciation

Fixed assets at 31st March 2017 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 assetMaximum period
Computer equipment10 years
Laboratory and display equipment20-40 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.

3. Disposals

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.

Balance Sheet

Position as at 31st March 2017

Gift Shop Sales201.460.00
Stock in Hand1021.301002.32
Cash In Hand1893.631328.33
Interest Received3.402.02

Purchase of Fixed Assets610.78894.02
Operating Costs1350.881124.36


Interest Received3.402.02
Cash in Hand1986.271927.73
Stock in Hand1021.301002.32

Position as at 31st March 2017

OPENING BALANCE4465.853855.31
Less Disposals5.740.00
CLOSING BALANCE5202.064465.85

Working Capital3010.972926.07
Value of Collection37147.0134338.68
Current Assets333.76229.378
Fixed Assets5202.064465.85
TOTAL ASSETS45693.8041960.37

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