Society chairman Mike Bundock welcomed six new visitors to the meeting and called on committee member Ian Tittley, who is also a trustee of the Herne Bay Museum Trust, to update members on the position of the negotiations with Canterbury City Council. He explained that things have moved on quite quickly since the January Newsletter and that the plans submitted by the Seven Museum Trust Trustees to take over the running of Herne Bay Museum have been approved by the city council overview committee. The final decision is due to be made at the full meeting of Canterbury City Council on March 12 after which an open meeting for all friends of the museum trust has been planned for Friday, March 27 at 7.30pm at The Retreat (Formerly British Legion) Central Parade Herne Bay. He said that volunteers would be the key to the successful running of the museum in the future and urged all members to give it their support.
Speaker for the evening Richard Wheeler explained that he had been undertaking a PhD study on the influence of London on the Thames estuary towns for the period 1789-1914. He outlined the background of the huge development of London during this time culminating into it becoming one of the largest commercial cities in the world by the mid 1800s. His particular subject for the evening was how and why a collection of London business men had become involved in the building of Herne Bay’s first pier in 1831. He looked at each individual listed as company directors on the 1831 William IV Act of Parliament and did a brief résumé of their family histories and possible business links with each other. The names and men he examined were George Burge, Thomas Homans Cook, James Jenkins, Samuel Pocock, George Randall and William Wiggins. He also looked at Thomas Telford and his chief engineer Thomas Rhodes’ involvement in the design and building of the pier. His conclusions and hypothetic theories about how all these people came together and their links with Sir Henry Oxenden, the major landowner in Herne By at the time, was thought provoking and provided members with many new ideas and theories to take home with them.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, March 19 at Lower Hall Herne Bay United Church. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. There will be a display of all the project work that members have been undertaking on shops, cinemas and war memorials in Herne Bay together with a quiz and a short visual presentation of some of the photographic images researched. Visitors are welcome paying £2, members free. For information on meetings or society projects contact 01227 366863 or email HBHRS@gmail.com
Herne Bay Gazette, March 19th 2015