Category Archives: Forthcoming Event

Forthcoming events

Thanks to Covid-19, our society is unable to hold any events for the time being, although we are reviewing the situation regularly and intend to resume our meetings as soon as we can.

We currently hoping to hold our AGM on Monday, 9th November 2020, at the Jubilee Hall, Horton Kirby.

Newsletter 140 – March 2020

The start of our 2020 season gave us Steve Hookins performing his talk “Doing our Bit”. Steve has a fantastic collection of WW2 badges worn by civilians that showed what organisations they worked for during the war. From the wide variety of organisations, both local and national, that had their own lapel badges, cap badges, and cloth badges, badge manufacturers may well have had a very profitable time in WW2. Whilst dressing as a man who helped repair potholes in the roads after air raids (that had no badge), Steve gave us a number of impersonations using his broom as an essential prop, keeping us all amused. He had kindly brought in his badge collection to show us, and it attracted a great deal of attention after the talk.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 9th March at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall, when Christoph Bull is going to give us a talk entitled “Dartford Rural Rides”.

Our 2020 schedule:
18th May            Murder, Madness, Mayhem – the Belgian Royal Family – Melanie Gibson-Barton
13th July             Up the Junction (Old Swanley) part 2 – Keith Whitworth
14th Sept           Leeds Castle – Ann Kneif
9th Nov              AGM followed b y a short talk and Cheese & Wine

The new book “Horton Kirby and South Darenth – Yesterday and Today” will be available at our meeting if you have not purchased your copy yet.

Newsletter No. 139 – December 2019

Our last meeting was the AGM, and although we did not manage to come close to our record of 3 minutes, it was under 10 minutes, and we did co-opt a new committee member – Stephen de Winton.

Stephen then kindly gave us a short talk about his research into Sutton’s longest serving vicar – John Hallett Hotham – who spent all his career in the parish and made major changes in the parish, including the building of the church at Swanley Village, as well as building Sutton’s school. Afterwards we held the traditional Cheese & Wine evening.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 13th January at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall, when Steve Hookins is going to give us a talk entitled “Doing our Bit”, about the roles carried out by some of the Home Front’s unsung heroes during WW2.

Our 2020 schedule:
9th March      Dartford Rural Rides – Christoph Bull
18th May        Murder, Madness, Mayhem – the Belgian Royal Family – Melanie Gibson-Barton
13th July         Up the Junction (Old Swanley) part 2 – Keith Whitworth
14th Sept       Leeds Castle – Ann Kneif
9th Nov          AGM followed by a short talk and Cheese & Wine

The new book “Horton Kirby and South Darenth – Yesterday and Today” will be available at our meeting if you have not purchased your copy yet.

Newsletter No 138 – September 2019

Wilf Lower gave us a very entertaining and well-illustrated talk “Lost Empires – the last days of Music Hall and Variety” at our July meeting. Wilf grew up surrounded by actors and entertainers as his mother ran theatrical digs of a very superior kind in Chatham, at a time when theatrical land ladies were legendary for their petty rules and appalling cooking. We were given a brief history of the Music Hall and Variety from the Victorian era to the dying days of the Theatre Royal in Chatham (it eventually closed when the electricity was cut off with an unpaid bill of over £300 in the 1950s). Wilf’s home life influenced his career as he ended up working for the BBC, although not as a performer, instead he worked in Scenic Operations.

Our next meeting will be on Monday 9th September at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall, and our speaker will be Terry Moyle talking about “Fun with Family Trees”. As an aside, there will also be a large number of free back copies of the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine available at the meeting.

Our 2019 schedule:
11th November        AGM & Talk by Stephen de Winton followed by Wine & Cheese

And finally, our 2020 schedule
13th January            Doing our bit – Steve Hookins
9th March                Dartford Rural Rides – Christoph Bull
18th May                  Murder, Madness & Mayhem – the Belgian Royal Family Melanie  Gibson-Barton
13th July                    Up the Junction (Old Swanley) part 2 – Keith Whitworth
14th September       Leeds Castle – Ann Kneif
9th November          AGM, Short Talk followed by Cheese & Wine

Newsletter No 137 – July 2019

Our May meeting was another thought-provoking talk by Christoph Bull about the Great War from the German perspective. Christoph is of English / German parentage, with his grandfathers’ fighting on opposing sides during the Great War. We were given some background about Kaiser Wilhelm II and the (relatively) new country of Germany, and then Christoph told us about the impact on the ordinary German and the problems they faced during the war, with acute food shortages (thanks to Allied blockades) and restrictions on raw materials. The Germans had to give up eating sausages during the war as the casings were used to make the gas bags for Zeppelins (and it took the guts of 250,000 cows to make a Zeppelin).

Our next meeting will be on Monday 8th July at 8pm in the Horton Kirby Jubilee Hall, and our speaker will be Wilf Lower talking about “Lost Empires – the last days of Music Hall and Variety”.

Our 2019 schedule:
9th September                          To be confirmed
11th November                         AGM & Short Talk followed by Wine & Cheese

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.