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REPORT AND ACCOUNTS 2020/21


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Stone, DARTFORD
Kent DA2 6DN
ENGLAND
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Forward

Strategy

We have actively pursued opportunities to secure a permanent home for the Museum over the past year but without success. Three sites were shortlisted as potentially viable locations:-

This reinforces the fact that we will need to be be reliant on negotiating a "partnership" arrangement with a local authority or organisation. One major concern foreseen however with partnering with the local authority for use of one of their open spaces is the level of vandalism and anti-social behaviours that are evident in their parks and country parks. Maintaining effective security will therefore be of paramount importance to protect the premises and, more importantly, the collection.

We shall nevertheless pursue this line of enquiry as soon as the pandemic declines to an extent that face-to-face meetings & presentations are allowed to take place once again.

The two long periods of lockdown during the year have allowed us to undertake a full review of the collection to identify gaps which could be filled to fully complete or enhance some of our displays and perhaps more importantly to identify what would best be displayed once we do acquire the use of premises. To this end and in keeping with standard museum practices, the collection has been split into "main" and "reserve" categories. The Main Collection will focus on items which we believe will be of most interest to visitors, whilst the Reserve Collection will be held behind-the-scenes for scientific study by any person or organisation who wishes to examine particular specimens and for any "special" temporary displays that we might consider worthwhile.

It is intended that the Main Collection will comprise:-

Sponsorship, Grants and Funding

Once face-to-face interviews and presentations are able to resume we will be able to progress lobbying for grant-in-aid and sponsorships.

Governance

Our annual reports & accounts are usually published very quickly after the end of our financial year at the end of March and so we are in a position to quickly comply with Charity Commission requirements to notify them of our annual income and expenditure.

Last year however, the Charity Commission did not enable the part of their website that allows charities to report these figures, presumably because of the impact of the pandemic on their own operations. We checked their site each month thereafter but by August 2020 their site was still not working and we therefore assumed (wrongly as it transpired) that they would notify charities when they were back up and running. We were therefore very surprised to receive a telephone call from them in March 2021 saying that as we were late in reporting our 2019/20 figures we were non-compliant and that this meant that we could have our charitable status removed.

Our figures were duly uploaded within 30 minutes of the call and I am pleased to report have been accepted by the Charity Commission. Our status has been preserved.

Operations

Whilst the Museum operations are covered in detail below, there is one headline that I feel I must include in this general summary. It has been said that "every cloud has a silver lining" and one of the few positive impacts of the pandemic lockdowns around the world that allowed people to spend much more time trawling the internet is that the number of visitors to our website has now reached a staggering 9,508,037.

Personnel

I am pleased to report that the Curator has successfully completed an examined undergraduate level training course with the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur and been awarded an Advanced Diploma in Structural Geology.

Anniversaries

2020 marked 21 years since the we became a registered charity but regrettably due to lockdown this event could not be celebrated in any meaningful way. As Stone Museum of Geology came into being on 8th September 1996 this year we will be celebrating 25 years of operation. If we are still not in a position to celebrate in an actual event then the Home page of our website will be redesigned to reflect our anniversary in the hope that achieving this milestone may enhance confidence in our credibility with prospective partners.

Brian R J Glover
Chairman


Operations

The policy of the Museum has for several years now been to only acquire new specimens on an opportunistic basis as and when they become available and then only if they can add significant value to the collection. Having said this, the review undertaken this year, mentioned in the Foreword to this report, did prompt active pursuit of items that would either complete or enhance our existing displays and details of these acquisitions are listed under the relevant Departmental Reports below.

The Museum collection now stands at almost 5,400 items made up of 1800 fossils, 1800 rocks, minerals, gemstones and meteorites, 29 botanical specimens, 160 photos, pictures and works of art and almost 1400 hardcopy publications.

Departmental Reports

Department of Palaeontology

Acquisitions by Purchase

Department of Geology

Acquisitions by Purchase

Model & Display Department

Acquisitions by Purchase

Art & Picture Department

Acquisitions by Purchase

Botanical Department

Our Wollemi Pine has now "come of age" by producing its' first seed bearing cones and we have harvested several hundred seeds - a sample selection of which were planted last October to test whether they are viable.

We have found that whilst there are many suppliers around the UK for Wollemi Pine saplings, there is only a single supplier of Wollemi Pine seeds and if our seeds prove viable we would eventually plan to offer them for sale to the public via eBay.

One surprising development this spring was that for the first time both male and female pine cones are growing from the same ring of leaves. This will undoubtedly help pollination this summer and perhaps produce a greater crop of seeds.

Acquisitions by Purchase

iT Department

The total number of visitors to our website has reached a fantastic 9,508,037 - up from only 214,847 on 31st March last year.

Library

Our library holdings now contain over 25,660 items comprising almost 1400 hard copy books, leaflets and magazines and over 24,000 books, booklets, leaflets and news articles held electronically.

Acquisitions by Purchase

Finance

Donations rose by 66.2% over the previous year's all time low which allowed us to invest more in terms of acquisitions and fixed assets. Costs therefore increased by 50.6%.

The Museum made an operating surplus of £12.92 and achieved an overall surplus of £36.55 with the addition of income from the Museum Gift Shop.

The total value of Fixed assets decreased by 11.8% partially due to depreciation but also due to a prior year adjustment that was made to account for assets proper to the Collection

The total value of Fixed assets increased by 14.1% and total assets, including the value of the Museum collection, increased by 4.1% overall.

Admin costs this year increased by 1.1% from 2019/20, slightly higher than the rate of inflation and mainly due to increased postage costs.

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 2021 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.

5. Grants

A donation of £10 was made this year to the National Coalming Museum as thanks for their assistance in helping us identify the types of safety lamps used within the Kent Coalfields.


Balance Sheet

Position as at 31st March 2021

2020/212019/20
INCOME (£)
Donations2240.831350.27
Gift Shop Sales145.46226.00
Stock in Hand1006.021057.02
Cash In Hand1395.601576.53
Interest Received5.214.91
TOTAL4793.124214.73

EXPENDITURE
Acquisitions701.16152.12
Purchase of Fixed Assets572.77153.17
Operating Costs1071.011258.09
Grants10.000.00
TOTAL2354.941563.38

BALANCE2438.172651.34

WORKING CAPITAL
Interest Received5.214.91
Cash in Hand1395.601576.53
Stock in Hand1006.021057.02
TOTAL2438.172651.34

STATEMENT OF ASSETS
Position as at 31st March 2021

OPENING BALANCE3501.733701.81
Acquisitions857.36153.17
Depreciation361.94353.25
Less Disposals0.000.00
CLOSING BALANCE3997.153501.73

Working Capital2438.172651.34
Value of Collection40452.6339080.32
Current Assets516.47283.24
Fixed Assets3997.153501.73
TOTAL ASSETS47404.4145516.63


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