Beside St George’s Church gates is a smart white painted building that opened in 2014 and is called The Micro Museum.
Founders Carol and Mike Deer recognised how much people care about their former computers. The Museum of London provided Mike with valuable experience and he has long harboured the idea of this Micro Museum. The invention of transistors and circuitry shrank enormous mainframe computers to the size of the BBC Acorn and the ranges of Sir Clive Sinclair and Alan, Lord Sugar.
Games and technology to master at home helped micros sell by the million. Now that small children and all ages use mobile phones it is hard to recall that the computing power in each one is far greater than what was used for the moon landings. Games and programmes are accessible for all and advice in the Museum is enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
Entertainment is almost infinite and whole families return for days that are affordable and not weather dependent. Naturally the Deers use the world wide web and social media to promote their Museum and as a result tourists now visit Ramsgate just for the Micro.
In this, the second year, visitor flows increased three-fold. That is an achievement for any attraction or museum and this one now has visitors from Europe and from Japan and America. When the Museum reopens next Easter ‘Tech Treasures’, the Museum shop, will feature technology-themed items made by local artists, including pixel art postcards, games-related fabric items and digital art works.
Prices will be inexpensive but just over a century ago in Paris, Picasso and hungry artists exchanged pictures that would soon be worth millions for a few centimes in junk shops or just for food in cafes. The Micro has got it right so far: it could become massive.
The 2016 season starts on Good Friday and production of a Ramsgate Society membership card will secure £1 discount on the entry price.