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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 31
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

who as a member of Council had from time to time been critical of, as he thought, the unbusiness-like handling of the Society’s affairs, was properly requited by being elected Honorary Secretary in 1925. He, and Sir Edward Harrison who succeeded him in 1935 and remained Secretary throughout the difficult years up to 1950, showed that even a society of antiquarians could manage its affairs with thorough competence. Charles W. Stokes, Honorary Treasurer from 1925 until his death in 1947, tended the Society’s finances con amore, and explained the accounts with such pride of craftsmanship that not to have understood them would have seemed plain ingratitude. Aymer Vallance continued to edit Archaeologia Cantiana until 1929, when he was succeeded by Mr. Alec Macdonald; and when Mr. Macdonald left the county in 1934, Mr. W. P. D. Stebbing took over from him. Finally, a transformation was wrought in the Society’s Rooms at Maidstone Museum by the industry of Walter Ruck, that most friendly and helpful of Librarians.
   Then, for a second time in one generation, came the disruption of war. Until the late spring of 1940, Kent was as relatively peaceful as the rest of the country, but from then on, until the end of the war, conditions here were hardly conducive to routine archaeological pursuits. Excursion meetings were cancelled, and Council itself met only once a year. Membership fell, from almost 1,000 to 750. In spite of all the difficulties, Archaeologia Cantiana appeared each

year, admittedly no more than a slim version of its former self, but an encouraging reminder of the existence of other things than the drab monotony that largely constituted everyday life. In two directions the Society—or, more accurately, some of its devoted members—was stimulated into energetic activity directly by the war: large quantities of documents, many of potentially historical importance, were rescued from the indiscriminate collection of salvage campaigns; and quick investigations were made of a number of archaeologica1 sites exposed by military action, friendly or hostile.
The twelve years since the end of the war have been a period of vigorous revival. Excursion meetings began again almost at once, and now there are five or six such meetings every year, as well as a residential week-end meeting at Kingsgate College, an innovation of 1948 which has proved an annual success. Membership rapidly increased, and by 1948 had passed 1,000. The raising of the subscription to £1, for new members in 1949, and for all members in 1951—the first and only alteration in the subscription since the Society was founded in 1857— inevitably led to a small decline in numbers, but the membership has consistently remained at about 1,000 to 1,100. Archaeologia Cantiana has resumed something more like its pre-war appearance, and in quality of content certainly has manifested a high standard. The Records

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