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By This is Kent  |  Posted: April 15, 2011

<P>Back in business: Westgate Towers attendant Bob Collins  GIBG20110408F-002_C</P>

Back in business: Westgate Towers attendant Bob Collins GIBG20110408F-002_C

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AFTER two years of closure, Canterbury's Westgate Towers museum has opened its doors to the public, and former attendant Bob Collins couldn't be happier.

Bob, 32 who lives in Broad Oak will be back selling tickets and souvenirs within the towers.

He was given his old job back by new owner Charles Lambie, a businessman and history lover who invested £1million to restore the museum.

Mr Lambie plans to turn the old prison into a cafe and create a small hotel using the 19th century cells as bedrooms.

History buff Bob grew up in Canterbury and took a history degree at Canterbury Christ Church. After completing the course he got the museum job in June 2003 when he was 23.

He said: "I happened to see an ad in the paper, attended the interview and was fortunate enough to get it.

"I came up here two days before the interview just to have a look around and I thought it was a great space. Like a lot of people living in Canterbury I had never been inside Westgate before."

It was a learning curve for Bob who knew little of the towers' lengthy history.

He said: "I was the youngest of all my predecessors, I didn't know much about the history at first but I soon got to know it when people kept asking me questions."

The museum was threatened with closure after the city council could no longer afford to run it.

It shut in 2009 but was re-opened on Saturday, April 2 with Bob back in the guardhouse.

Bob said: "What I like most is interacting with people and meeting those who are interested in history as well.

"It will be exciting for people going across the bridge. We had to say no beforehand, but now they will have a lot more freedom to walk around the towers."

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