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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 18
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

intimations such as this that notable discoveries have been made, and that our collections, from time to time, have been enriched.
   The Society, too, used its influence to prevent the destruction of several buildings of historic importance. No public authority, local or central, then had any such responsibility, and although the Society sometimes failed—it could not secure the reprieve, for instance, of Astley House, Maidstone—a number of buildings would not now be standing if it were not for the vigilance of our members in the last century. Where a building could not be saved from demolition the Society busied itself in getting a photographic or other record made of it before the opportunity was lost. We were also able, on occasion, to intervene effectively when an old building was to be altered. The War Department was persuaded to consult the Society when the Constable’s Tower at Dover Castle was modernized in 1882 for the use of the Commanding Officer, and although the Tower now wears a somewhat incongruous look, it is certain that, left to their own unaided inspiration, the Royal Engineers would have produced an even less happy effect. The Council was not making an unsupported claim when, at the 1871 Annual General Meeting, it referred to the Society’s influence in conservative Church-restoration and in the tasteful handling of domestic architecture, ancient and modern; to the very general respect and preservation now given to all antiquities in place of the ruthless sacrifice to 

convenience of a few years ago; to the largely increased general knowledge, and desire for knowledge, of the minuter, but not always less important, History of our County and Country
"a considerable share of this advance may be traced distinctly to the influence of the Society."
   The one cloud in the Society’s sky during these early years of youthful zeal was the problem of money. The subscription was only ten shillings a year (and it is a tribute to the way in which our affairs have been managed that it remained at this figure until after the 1939-45 war) but members were lax in payment. The same phenomenon is noted by Mr. L. F. Salzman and by Mr. A. W. G. Lowther in the histories of the Sussex and the Surrey Archaeo1ogical Societies. At every Annual General Meeting a cri de coeur went up from the Honorary Secretary about arrears of subscriptions. Certainly the method of collecting them through the Local Secretaries, who were also responsible for distributing Archaeologia Cantiana, seems, in retrospect, to have been clumsy, especially as the Local Secretaries paid in the subscriptions collected by them either to Messrs. Randall, Mercer’s Bank at Maidstone, or to Messrs. Hammond’s Bank at Canterbury, and the only way in which the Secretary could compile an up-to-date list of subscribing members was from the Bank pass-books, which were often wrong, or at least required explanation. Some of the Local

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