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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 127   2007 page 456

Book Reviews

Members of local history societies collectively know a great deal about their locality and they often put great effort into writing, designing and publishing books and pamphlets. And yet all too often they ignore the basic conventions of book production and thus sell themselves short, as has the Horton Kirby Society with their book on the paper mill. The book cannot be identified by an author or editor, the title of the book is not printed on the spine, and no ISBN number is given (these are easily obtained) and thus the book is unlikely to appear on booksellers websites and thus be more widely sold (also it is unlikely to be listed in the British Library catalogue). References to sources are loosely handled, there is no price on the book, and despite the local authority’s logo on the front cover the role of that body is unclear. All of this could have been avoided with more care. But let me end on a more helpful note. The Times Digital Index (the newspaper of record) for the period 1785-1985 is available in many public libraries and should be used by local historians. Entering Farningham resulted in 2,239 mentions – news, articles, photographs, obituaries, properties for sale, etc., and Horton Kirby 708. Other key words for the locality might have been entered to provide more data. Use it now, for tomorrow many local newspapers will be similarly indexed and available locally.


Shoreham at War: The People of Shoreham, Kent, 1939-1945. Edited by Edward James. 216 pages, 44 b/w photographs and 6 b/w illustrations. Shoreham and District Historical Society, 2006. Hardback, £9.99 (+ £2.50pp) from Jill Webster, Rising Sun Cottage, Church Street, Shoreham, Kent, TN14 7SD (cheques to be made payable to Shoreham and District Historical Society). ISBN 0-9539543-2-3

Shoreham, Kent, is a village of some 1,000 inhabitants. Situated in the Darent valley, where it cuts between the chalk hills of the North Downs, it lies 6 miles to the north of Sevenoaks. At the outbreak of the Second World War Shoreham was an estate village belonging to Lord Mildmay, which preserved it, unlike some of the neighbouring villages, as a farming community.
   The front dust jacket bears the inscription ‘We decided to create a monument not in stone but in the spoken words of those who lived through the conflict’. The Shoreham and District Historical Society have managed to do just that. By diligent research the authors have managed to track down many of those who lived in Shoreham during the war years, including original residents, service men and women stationed in the military camps, Land Girls, prisoners of war and evacuees. Paradoxically, many evacuees who were sent to Shoreham found themselves in the middle of what was known as ‘jettison alley’, where German bombers returning from raids on London ditched any remaining bombs. In addition to the

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