page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76

Left: High street view of the Beaney Institute, 2012Below: Dr James Beaney,1828-1891 The Beaney Institute is a much-loved part of Canterbury's High Street that will return to the community later this year after a three-year absence behind hoardings. During that time, its size has been doubled, and it is being transformed at a cost of £14m from a Victorian amenity to a 21st-century social resource. Everyone in Canterbury knows about the Beaney, but hardly anything about the picaresque Dr James George Beaney - the man who gave his name and £10,000 to create Canterbury's combined central library and museum."He was a doctor in Australia," says Janice McGuinness, the city's Head of Culture and Enterprise, "but there was something shady about him, something 'back street'. He was known as Diamond Jim because of the amount of jewellery he liked to wear."Born in Canterbury in 1828, he got his medical degree in Edinburgh. He served in the Crimea, studied venereal diseases in Paris and worked as a ship's surgeon en route to the USA, and eventually settled in Melbourne where he set himself up as a surgeon. In 1866, he was charged with murder after an abortion on a barmaid went wrong, but was acquitted for lack of evidence.A fl amboyant self-publicist, Beaney was largely shunned by Melbourne's medical establishment and the course of his fortune is obscure, but he nevertheless gave popular lectures after which he served champagne to the attendees. He died in 1891 leaving money to establish scholarships in All images: Canterbury City Councilpaediatrics, as well as to create the museum and library in his birth city. It opened on the site of the George and Dragon pub in 1899.The museum was a new home for the collections developed from the 1820s by the local philosophical society, sharing with the new public library. Designed by the city architect, its mock Tudor frontage was devised to chime with some of the older surviving buildings in Canterbury."It was basically a 'cabinet of curiosities'," says Joanna Jones, the Canterbury City Council's Director of Museums and Galleries. "Lots of natural history and objects brought back by adventurers and explorers." At least half of what is going on display has not been seen for at least a generation, the decision having been taken in the 1950s to limit the exhibits to local material. Jones will take delivery of the museum in mid-March, at least six months later than she had hoped. Completion was delayed fi rst by the discovery of archaeological treasures beneath the foundations, some of which will have a special display in the museum's offer. They range from the complete and undamaged Roman gold bracelet of about AD150, which will take pride of place when the Beaney reopens in September, to 18th-century pewter tankards from various inns that ? Opposite: The George and Dragon pub which occupied the site before the Beaney was builtwww.nadfas.org.uk NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 33 THE BEANEY

occupied the site. "We knew there would be archaeology and had planned for it," says Project Manager Matt Soules, "but we hadn't bargained for it being as complex as it turned out to be."They also found rotting foundations, and caverns where structural support should have been, so much of the building has had to be underpinned. The intricate façade was also found to be in very bad repair; much of the carving and mosaic-work having to be remade by modern craftspeople."There was wet rot, dry rot and death-watch beetle in the frontage," says Janice McGuinness. "Practically everything that could have been wrong with the building was wrong."But the opening of the Beaney will mark the fi nal part of a 12-year programme to switch the emphasis of the city of Canterbury from a medieval centre of pilgrimage to a modern cultural centre. Its more prominent place refl ects the new demography of Canterbury which, with three universities in its precincts, has 30,000 students to match its 45,000 residents.An estimated £75m has been invested in the programme - a process initiated when Colin Carmichael became Chief Executive of the City Council in the late 90s. He recruited McGuinness from Newcastle where she had been working with the Arts Council on developing the Tyneside cultural footprint."Till then culture operated in the margins in Canterbury," she says. "Colin restructured the authority creating a new department, and I came in 2000 to head it up. "There'd been massive cultural development in the North East - visionary, with enormous risks that were fully justifi ed because they have had a massive impact," she says. A similar approach was needed in Canterbury. In the north of England, the impression had been that resources were concentrated on the south, but she discovered that they hadn't permeated to Canterbury. "All partnership here was immature, the 34 NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 www.nadfas.org.ukTHE BEANEY