How the Museum is Managed

The Museum is run as a charitable Trust by a team of dedicated volunteers.

Membership is by application to the Board of Trustees from anyone wishing to support the charity click here for membership. The Board of Trustees is elected by the membership at an annual general meeting and this Board are responsible for the Museum’s general management and financial security in accordance with an agreement with Canterbury City Council signed in July 2018.

If you would like to know more about what we do come to the Museum and speak to any of the volunteers or click here.

Registered charity No. 1171101

A Brief History

Early deeds of sale record that the land on which the Museum hall now stands dates back to 1709. In 1860 the hall, which now houses our main collection, was built as a school, the Whitstable Commercial Academy. This building runs at a wide angle behind the shop fronts and the original school stepped façade is still visible above the portico.

In 1881 the hall was purchased by the Ancient Order of Foresters as their local headquarters and meeting hall and the present front portico was added to provide some dignity by proudly facing the street. The Foresters shared the hall for many years with local groups. The first meeting of the Whitstable Urban District Council’s was held here in 1894. In 1941 it was leased by the Foresters to the British Legion.

In 1985, Canterbury City Council, in collaboration with the Foresters and the Goldfinch Trust, opened the hall as Whitstable Museum. The Council continued to manage the Museum until April 2016 when, threatened with closure, it was contracted to the community to be run as registered charity by volunteers.

More information about the history of the building and the foundation of the Museum can be found in the publication History in Whitstable, People and Places by Geoffrey Pike and John Cann. Available to purchase from the Museum reception.