At the May meeting Mark Bateson, KCC community history officer, gave an informative presentation on The Kent History and Library Centre at Maidstone. Mark began by introducing the new History Centre – formerly the KCC Archives, which opened in 2012. He explained how to access the collections in person from the public search room. The index to the centre’s collections is available online. Resources such as ancestry and find my past are also available online and at KCC libraries. They are accessible with library membership.
The history centre’s earliest document is a 7th century charter relating to church immunity of taxes by King Wihtred of Kent. Examples of items to be found in the archive collections include estate maps, registers of apprentices and ale house keepers and 19th century diaries and journals. Documents are consulted for many historical reasons including family history research, buildings and village histories, and many varied aspects of Kent’s social history. Mark’s talk included particular reference to records relating to the Blean Union Workhouse once situated at Herne Common. These records cover workhouse admissions, discharges and births in the workhouse, as well as vaccination records and outdoor relief payments. They give a fascinating glimpse of early 19th century life in Herne.
The next meeting of the group is on Tuesday, June 3. Mike Bundock will give an illustrated talk entitled: Broomfield Re-Visited. The talk will follow in the footsteps of one time Broomfield resident Arthur Matthews who made many attractive drawings of Herne, Broomfield, Beltinge and surrounding areas in the 1920s. A Rural Sketchbook, the book containing Matthews drawings with accompanying text will be available on the evening at a reduced price. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm at the Institute Hall, Canterbury Road, Herne. New members and visitors (£2) always welcome. For information contact chairman Alan Dilnot on 01227 373695; look on the website; Herne and Broomfield History, or find the group on Facebook.
Herne Bay Gazette, May 29th 2014