origins and later history of Appledore,
Benenden, Stone and Ebony churches. With Alec Miles and the help of other
KAS members, the excavation of of the site of the Norman/Later Medieval
church of St Mary's at Chapel Bank, Reading Street was conducted from
Cecily's enthusiasm and energy is sorely missed among local
amateur archaeological circles in the area she so enjoyed studying.
John Parkin, as he was always known to his family and friends, died on
16th October 1999, soon after his 96th birthday, following a fall at home
in King's Lynn.
John was born in Iden near Rye on 23rd September 1903 and was
educated at Reigate Grammar School, where he gained a Whitworth
Scholarship to study engineering at Northampton College of Engineering.
His early career was in the aircraft industry, with Boulton and Paul, and
then working on the ill-fated R.101 airship. However, in the slump of the
1930s, when the industry was in the doldrums, he joined his father's
drapery firm in Norwich and later established the business in Folkestone.
He joined the Society in 1960 when his dormant interest in
structural engineering was re-awakened on seeing Durlock Grange in
Minster-in-Thanet being demolished. He recorded and published this
particularly fine 'wealden' house in Archaeologia Cantiana in 1962,
and from that time until 1989 there is an almost unbroken series of
articles on houses in the eastern half of the county. He served on the
Council of the Society for fifteen years.
John served on the Kent Historic Buildings Committee for over
20 years and compiled a file of notes, drawing and photographs on each
house he inspected, which are now at the National Monuments Record. He was
an active member of several local history groups in East Kent and lectured
widely on the old buildings he loved to record, assisted by his wife
Mollie, who operated the projector.
His friends remember a quietly-spoken, unassuming man, who
imparted his extensive knowledge of Kent houses in a relaxed and friendly
manner and inspired others of similar interest to go and look for