Author Archives: admin

Our Peace was won by the Men who Fell – Horton Kirby’s War Memorial

Our Peace was won by the Men who Fell – Horton Kirby & South Darenth in the Great War

As has been frequently mentioned in our recent newsletters, the Society has now published our latest book.

This book looks at what happened in both the villages during the Great War and also features all the men mentioned on the War Memorial in St Mary’s Church, Horton Kirby as well as the men listed in the “Farningham Homes for Little Boys” Roll of Honour, also housed in St Mary’s Church.

Copies cost £6 (£5 for History Society members) and can be purchased from the Parish Office at the Village Hall.

If you are not a local resident but would be interested in purchasing a copy, please contact Sarahvlewis@yahoo.com.  First class postage will cost approximately £1.90 per copy.

Newsletter No. 133 – October 2018

Malcolm Scott was our speaker at our September meeting and he showed us the development of South Darenth before 1900, using old maps and his own collection of local postcards and photos. It was a fascinating look at buildings that have disappeared and what has since taken their place, especially around the bottom of Holmesdale Lane. However fragments remain, such as the bridge over the Darent to Malley’s Place, which we could see in photos from the 1880s showing mill buildings that have now gone.

Our AGM will be held on Monday 12th November at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall, and as usual, we will be aiming to complete formalities within 10 minutes, and then I will be giving a very short talk about our new publication “Our Peace was won by the Men who Fell” – Horton Kirby & South Darenth in the Great War, followed by our Cheese & Wine evening.

Our 2019 schedule:
14th January          Woolwich Women at War – Steve Hookins
11th March            The Romance of London’s River – Tony Farnham
20th May                The Kaiser’s War – Christoph Bull
8th July                    Lost Empires – the last days of Music Hall and Variety – Wilf Lower
9th September      To be confirmed but will be a talk by one of our members
11th November     AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese

As we have mentioned in previous newsletters, our new publication “Our Peace was won by the Men who Fell” – Horton Kirby & South Darenth in the Great War will be launched on Armistice Day, Sunday 11th November after the Armistice Day service in St Mary’s, Horton Kirby. Copies will also be available at the Beacon Lighting that evening.

Newsletter No. 132 – September 2018

Our last meeting was on 9th July when Alex Ferris told us about ‘1917 – Bombs in Kent’. In a fascinating talk he outlined the development of flight in Europe, the German Operation “Turk’s Cross” (the first blitz on East London) and the appalling casualties suffered in Folkestone on 25th May 1917. Who knew that blind people were used as spotters at Dungeness, listening for Gotha bombers flying from Belgium, or that Brocks, the fireworks manufacturer, invented the tracer bullet? Or that the House of Saxe Coburg Gotha became the House of Windsor in 1917 as our royal family did not their name to be associated with an enemy plane bombing our country?

Our next talk, on Monday 10th September at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall will be given by Malcolm Scott, on the Development of South Darenth before 1900.

Our 2018 schedule:
12th November            AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese
2019
14th January                 Woolwich Women at War – Steve Hookins
11th March                   The Romance of London’s River – Tony Farnham
20th May                       The Kaiser’s War – Christoph Bull
8th July                           Lost Empires – the last days of Music Hall and Variety – Wilf Lower
9th September             To be confirmed but will be a talk by one of our members
11th November            AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese

We will be launching the our new book on Horton Kirby and South Darenth’s war memorial and life during World War One at our November meeting. It will make an ideal Christmas present for family and friends.

Newsletter No. 131 – July 2018

Our May meeting was given to us by Melanie Gibson-Barton on “In Flanders Field” and Melanie gave us a tour through Flanders showing villages and towns whose names are familiar from the Great War, but have their own histories and customs that carry on despite the devastation they suffered one hundred years ago.

Our next talk, on Monday 9th July, at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall will be given by Alex Ferris on “1917 – Bombs in Kent”, talking about how Kent suffered during WW1 from Zeppelin and Gotha airplane raids in 1917.

Our 2018 schedule:
10th September       Development of South Darenth before 1900 – Malcolm Scott
12th November        AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese
2019
14th January             Woolwich Women at War – Steve Hookins
11th March               The Romance of London’s River – Tony Farnham
20th May                   The Kaiser’s War – Christoph Bull
8th July                       Lost Empires – the last days of Music Hall and Variety – Wilf Lower
9th September         To be confirmed but will be a talk by one of our members
11th November        AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese

At our recent committee meeting we had a long discussion about the date of our May meetings in future years. Our problem is that the May meeting will now always clash with the Annual Parish Meeting, and some of our members are also Parish Councillors and need to attend the Annual Parish Meeting. Next year our meeting will be held on the third Monday in May, and this is likely to be the new date going forward.

Newsletter No. 130 – April 2018

Our March meeting was given to us by Doug Lindsay on “Kent and East Sussex Railway – Then and Now” and he explained how this branch line had been created after the Light Railway Act of 1896, the area it served, and it’s history until it was closed in 1961. We learnt that re-opening a railway line after closure is very hard work, not only with the physical work in rebuilding buildings, engines and railway lines, but also having to deal with British Rail and all the other public authorities. It says much for the determination of railway enthusiasts that we have any heritage railways at all…

Our next talk, on Monday 14th May, will be given by Melanie Gibson-Barton on “In Flanders Field”, talking about some of the less well known World War One sites.

Our 2018 schedule:
9th July – 1917 – Bombs on Kent – Alex Ferris
10th September – Development of South Darenth before 1900 – Malcolm Scott
12th November – AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese
Our 2019 schedule:
14th January –  Woolwich Women at War – Steve Hookins
11th March – The Romance of London’s River – Tony Farnham
20th May – The Kaiser’s War – Christoph Bull
8th July – Lost Empires – the last days of Music Hall and Variety – Wilf Lower
9th September – To be confirmed but will be a talk by one of our members
11th November – AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese
Please note that next year’s May meeting will be a week later than normal.

As was mentioned during our last meeting, new data privacy laws come into effect on 25th May 2018. You will find a GDPR Consent Form with this newsletter, and we would ask that you return this form to us as soon as possible as the Society needs your consent to process your data. If you have any questions about this form, please do contact our Chairman or myself.

Forthcoming Local Events:
Friday 11th May at 7.30pm – Quiz Night at Sutton Court, Sutton at Hone in aid of  St John the Baptist Church
Saturday 23rd June at 2.00pm – St Mary’s Church Fete at Court Lodge, Horton Kirby

Newsletter No. 129 – March 2018

Our January meeting was another fascinating talk by Christoph Bull, on “Gravesend – Gateway to the Thames” and we were shown lots of slides of Gravesend, including many places that have been demolished in the past 50 years as part of the town’s ‘modernisation’. Buildings that were condemned would these days be restored rather than demolished, and their replacements in some cases are now being considered for demolition…

Our next talk, on Monday 12th March, at 8pm in the Jubilee Hall, Horton Kirby Village Hall, will be given by Doug Lindsay on “Kent and East Sussex Railway – Then and Now”, and many of you may have visited the railway already.

Our 2018 schedule:
14th May                          In Flanders Fields – Melanie Gibson-Barton
9th July 1917                    Bombs on Kent – Alex Ferris
10th September              Development of South Darenth before 1900 – Malcolm Scott
12th November               AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese

Terry was very busy in January and our 2019 schedule is virtually complete, and the list will be on our next newsletter.

The society has received a generous grant from the Parish Council towards the cost of publishing our book on the war memorial and the villages during the First World War, which we are planning to publish in the autumn.

Please note that there are two more “Talks at St Mary’s” in the next few weeks, and Stephen de Winton is giving a talk on “Churchill : Journalist, Author (Statesman)”.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting,

Newsletter No. 128 – December 2017

The formalities of our AGM were completed in under ten minutes (as intended), and then Malcolm Scott gave us a short overview of the records held at Queen’s College, Oxford which relate to Horton Kirby. The College was a major landowner in the parish until the inter war period, and they hold records such as court rolls from the eighteenth century. The evening was ended with our Cheese & Wine party, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Doreen Jack and Paddy Eaton for all their help with the preparations.

Our next talk, on Monday 8th January, will be given by Christoph Bull (who recently featured in a BBC website story) on Gravesend- Gateway to the Thames, and Christoph’s talks are always very interesting.

Our 2018 schedule:
12th March                 Kent and East Sussex Railway – Then and Now – Doug Lindsay
14th May                     In Flanders Fields – Melanie Gibson-Barton
9th July                        1917 – Bombs on Kent – Alex Ferris
10th September        Development of South Darenth before 1900 – Malcolm Scott
12th November         AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese

At the end of November, our founder Secretary Keith Saunderson sadly passed away after a short illness. Keith was a founder member of the society and as Secretary he booked all our speakers and wrote the newsletter (although it was typed by his wife Christine). Keith and Christine also worked on many of our early publications and other society products, and made a huge contribution to the running of the Society for many years. Terry Moyle and I represented the Society at his funeral just before Christmas.

Newsletter No. 127 – October 2017

Our September meeting was a talk by Anne Carter on the life of Queen Victoria, covering the background to Queen Victoria’s existence (the death of Princess Charlotte of Wales in childbirth meant that there was a lack of legitimate heirs), her rather unusual upbringing and what she was really like as Queen. The talk helped to give a more rounded view than is possible in a TV historical drama.

Our next meeting will be our AGM (which never lasts more than 10 minutes), followed by our colleague Malcolm Scott showing us some of the documents that Queen’s College, Oxford has in its archive about Horton Kirby (the College used to own much of the village). This will be followed by the Cheese & Wine evening.

Our 2018 schedule:
8th January        Gravesend- Gateway to the Thames – Christoph Bull
12th March        Kent and East Sussex Railway – Then and Now – Doug Lindsay
14th May            In Flanders Fields – Melanie Gibson-Barton
9th July               1917 – Bombs on Kent – Alex Ferris
10th Sept           Development of South Darenth before 1900 – Malcolm Scott
12th Nov            AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese

A reminder to our members who were not at the last meeting, our new publication “A Walking Tour of South Darenth & Horton Kirby” is now available, and costs £1. This booklet will make an ideal stocking filler for friends and family (and it will be much cheaper to post than a calendar). Copies are available in the parish office, and other local stockists, and you will see posters around the village very soon.