It’s history in the making

Fran Taylor

The cartoon published on the front page of the Times commemorating the borough’s defiant remain vote during the EU referendum has been acquired by Tunbridge Wells Museum.

Although it will not go on display for several years – until it is ‘history not current affairs’ – the acquisition means a seminal moment in the town’s distinguished legacy will be immortalised for future generations.

The cartoon was drawn by Chris Burke who was commissioned for the project by this newspaper to mark the historic occasion.

Mr Burke, who has 30 years of experience as an illustrator, has an impressive portfolio of work, including creating the album cover for Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence with David Bowie.

Ian Beavis, Curator for Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery said: “The original cartoon being part of the permanent collection means it’s preserved for posterity as part of our ongoing documentation of the town’s history.

“We were interested in acquiring it because it illustrates an interesting moment when Tunbridge Wells made its mark on a notable national event. We have no plans to display it currently – it’s archived for some future time when it becomes history rather than current affairs.”

Tunbridge Wells was the only district in Kent, and the surrounding area, to ‘stand alone in a sea of blue’ when the referendum took place in June.

Voters in the borough supported remain by 54.9 per cent to 45.1 per cent, while just 40.7 per cent of those in the county as a whole voted remain. Nationally 48 per cent voted to Remain with 52 per cent voting to Leave.

See our Arts and Culture section for more on the work of cartoonist Chris Burke

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