Getting back to the original issues raised by this thread, as someone
who lives about as far south east as anyone (Dover) I'd say that I'm not
at all against the principle of exhibiting finds as close as possible to
their place of discovery. If we ever do find ourselves in the situation
of repatriating various iconic museum collections, can I put in a claim
for the Kentish elements of the Mayer collection in Liverpool Museum, in
particular the Anglo-Saxon finds. Most of these, including the famous
Kingston brooch, were not only found in Kent, they were made in Kent,
and I'm afraid Liverpool is about as convenient a place to visit from
east Kent as London is to many of our northern friends.
I could also add that the problem of London's dominance can also be felt
in parts even of the south-east, especially in a peninsular like east
Kent where you can be a good two hours by train from central London.
Once when I suggested a meeting in Dover, a former London-based
colleague exclaimed that Dover was "at the end of the earth"! The fact
is that anywhere that lies beyond convenient (say about 1 hour)
commuting distance to London seems to pay a serious economic price, and
that includes most of east Kent.