KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 28
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

generally came to an end. Year by year, membership declined, and by the end of the war it totalled scarcely more than 600. Some members left the county for safer parts of England; others left the country on active service, several of them never to return. The traditional two-day annual excursion meeting was replaced by a one-day lecture meeting at Maidstone. Council found no answer to the letter from a member who, in 1917, plaintively asked that there should be less "flatness" and more "life" at our meetings. The most that Council could do was to hold on, in the hope that at last the day would come when the Society could resume its normal way of life.
   By 1919 our fortunes were recovering. Not only was there a two-day summer meeting in that year, but also the annual dinner was revived. The excursions again became a regular part of the Society’s activities, and their popularity grew; in 1928 a one-day autumn meeting was instituted in addition to the two-day summer meeting, and in 1929 the excursion to Romney Marsh drew over 200 members and their friends.
   The membership, which the war had so seriously reduced, slowly grew again—by 1923 it stood at 760, and five years later it had climbed to 916, only to suffer a set-back during the economic depression of
1929-32. Compared with the 1,100 members that the Society could boast by 1868, these post-war figures seem unremarkable, but it must be remembered that in the 1920s

several local societies were established, with no intention to rival the County Society, but to cater for the needs of those whose interest in antiquarian pursuits was sometimes not accompanied by the leisure or means to indulge them on a county scale. The Canterbury Archeological Society was founded in 1919, the Ashford Society in 1920. They, and many of the other newly formed local societies, affiliated to the County Society. A cordial relationship has always existed between the County and the local societies, and there is no doubt that, through them, many more men and women have been introduced to the delights of archaeology, and some valuable field work has been accomplished.
   Another sign of the return to normal conditions was that the Society was soon renewing its grants towards the cost of the excavations at St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, whose merits were so ably canvassed by Canon Potts, Sub-Warden of the Abbey and for many years a beloved and respected member of Council. These grants went on at irregular, but fairly frequent, intervals until 1929. In 1932 excavations were undertaken by Mr. F. C. Elliston Erwood, on the Society’s behalf, at the site of the Abbey Church at Mailing. Help was also given, during the years between the wars, with excavations at Ospringe (Roman cemetery), the Roman forts at Reculver and Richborough, Finglesham (Jutish cemetery), and the Early Iron-Age hill-fort at Bigbury. In

Page 28 

Previous page     Back to Page listings    Next page

Back the Contents page   Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line  Back to Research Page  Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 2003     

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too research@kentarchaeology.org.uk