a result of his quiet, informed diplomacy a number of
historic buildings were saved from demolition.
He gave invaluable practical help in producing the New
Records Series for the Society as a very positive contribution to the work
of the Publications Committee, of which he was a long-serving member and
whose wise advice was much appreciated.
He was equally active in Surrey and Sussex. He had been a
member of the Surrey Archaeological Society from the age of 14, later very
active on the Council and a Vice-President. As Chairman of the Surrey
Local History Council he organised its publications and annual conference
for many years.
Kenneth was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in
his thirties and was a benefactor to its Library as also to the
Collections of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Archaeological Societies. He
was a keen and knowledgeable photographer and the largest single
contributor of pictures to the National Monument Record.
Kenneth's friendly, helpful nature and invariable kindness
and good manners will all be long remembered by his many friends and
A. P. DETSICAS, B.A., M.A., D.Litt., F.S.A., F.S.A.Scot
Alec Detsicas died on 24 December 1999, aged 73.
I had the good fortune to be among the many students who
benefited from the eight annual Eccles Training Excavations run by Alec
Detsicas with Arthur Harrison in the late 1960s/early 70s. To someone just
dipping their toes into the world of archaeology, this was the ideal
introduction: an opportunity to take part in the meticulously organised
excavation of a significant site, learning excavation techniques, methods
of surveying and field recording, and being treated to first-rate lectures
on and off site. I can still remember being mesmerised by Stuart Rigold,
on Saxon Shore forts, fascinated by Professor Strong's introduction to
Romano-Celtic sculpture, being cooked by the lantern-slide projector used
for Lt Col Meates' talk on Lullingstone, and, finally, masterfully led
through Roman Kent by Alec himself. Alec's lectures, like his excavation,
were clearly structured and backed up by deep and thorough scholarship.
They were also witty, clever, sometimes idiosyncratic, for he was at his
most fulfilled on site, animated, eager to communicate his enthusiasm to a
willing audience. A memorable experience, although if you stepped out of
line, fell below the expected standards, the schoolmaster in him soon let
you know, and his tongue could be acerbic as well as honeyed.