About Herne Bay Museum and Gallery
This delightful museum is crammed full of surprises – where else can you find out about: Art, Birds, Dambusters, Floods, Fossils, Piers, Punch & Judy, Romans, Shells, Smugglers, Souvenirs and Storms – all under one roof? So visit the Museum & Gallery to find out more.
Displays include local paintings, prints and photos, mammoth tusks and fossils from local beaches, coastal wildlife and a Barnes Wallis Bouncing Bomb prototype from World War Two.
The seaside themes include holidays and attractions (including a full Punch & Judy set), the town's piers, clock tower and the development of the resort. Displays also cover more serious topics including the 1953 flood and smuggling.
The art gallery has a programme of regularly changing temporary exhibitions featuring touring shows, local history displays and work by local artists.
Events include creative workshops and special activities for schools and groups and fun hands-on activities for families.
Collecting towards a museum for Herne Bay dates back to at least the 1930s and the museum you see today is in no small part thanks to the efforts of Tom Bowes (a local doctor and keen amateur archaeologist who founded what is now the Herne Bay Historical Records Society, and became its President). His work was enthusiastically continued by local librarian Harold Gough who was honorary curator, and later president of the HBHRS, as well as a prolific local historian.
At various times the museum collection was housed in Mortimer Street and then above the Library in the High Street before moving to its William Street premises in 1996, where it is funded and administered by Canterbury City Council, who also own part of the collection.
From the outset, the Museum has hosted a changing exhibitions programme in its special exhibition gallery, including national touring exhibitions as well as local art and photography.