Listed below you will find the programmes for the Otford and District Historical Society (ODHS) and the 1940s Society, both of which meet regularly in Otford Village Memorial Hall

If you wish to be added to the email distribution list of the (free) ‘Otford History and Heritage Newsletter’, published three or four times a year, and also receive emails about history-related events in Otford, (a total of approximately 9 emails per year) please email your name and email address to info@otfordhistoricalsociety.co.uk

ODHS WINTER PROGRAMME  2019-2020 

Meetings are held in the Village Memorial Hall (with adjacent free parking after 18:00).   Doors open at 19:30 when refreshments will be available.  Talks start at 20:00.  Membership for the year costs £10 and visitors are very welcome at £3 per meeting (there is no charge for students).  You are able to renew your membership (or join the Society) at any meeting during the year

2019

18th September   Otford Goes to War’ (part 1).  75 years ago – ‘Doodlebug’ flying bombs down the Darent ValleyAlan Williams.  Alan will explain the nature of the ‘doodlebug’ attacks during the summer and autumn of 1944 and their impact on Otford and the surrounding area.

16th October     Black Travellers in 19th Century Africa.  Professor David Killingray

20tht November     Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, Master Architect. Martin Lutyens

11th December    AGM with mulled wine…  Speaker to be confirmed

The 2020 programme will be added shortly

1940s SOCIETY PROGRAMME FOR 2019

1940s SOCIETY.  The 1940s Society also hold regular meetings about the history of the 1940s in Otford Village Memorial Hall, High Street, Otford TN14 5PQ.  Parking in the adjacent car park is free after 18:00.  Meetings begin at 20:00 and refreshments are available during the evening.  Admission £3.  All are welcome to the informative, entertaining and often thought-provoking evenings.  You can find out more about the Society and see the programme on the web site: http://www.1940.co.uk/ 

NEXT 1940s SOCIETY MEETING: 29th November 2019.  Over-paid, over-sexed and over-here’.  The American Invasion of Britain 1942-1945 by Alan Williams.  Between 1942 and 1945 American service personnel flooded into Britain in what George Orwell called ‘the invasion of Britain’.  Alan will explore this ‘invasion’ and show the 1943 War Office film ‘A Welcome to Britain’ which explained to American servicemen and women how strange life in Britain was, from ‘funny money’ and driving on the wrong side of the road to warm beer.  Prepare to be amused and perhaps shocked in equal measure.

Come along to what will be an informative, entertaining and thought provoking evening. 8pm at Otford Village Memorial Hall, High Street Otford TN14 5PQ (near Sevenoaks), Kent.
Further details on 07927 748773 Admission £3.

We look forward to welcoming you to the meetings.

1940s Society 2019 meeting dates.  

25th January 2019.   Maidstone Grammar School for Girls at War by Mary Smith.  As war was declared in 1939, a Kent art teacher set out to document in paint and pencil the lives of schoolgirls and their teachers at the school at which she worked. Her paintings and drawings provide a fascinating and unique insight into secondary school life during wartime. This talk features example of her work, and the story is enhanced by contemporary photographs and by the reminiscences of pupils who recall the lessons in underground shelters, sharing the school with evacuees, and dodging the doodlebugs under their desks.

29th March 2019.The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum by Jemma Johnson-Davey, Museum Director of Biggin Hill Memorial Museum.  Jemma will talk about the the development of the Museum.

31st May 2019. The Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Incident, 3rd March 1943 by Peter Nixon.  Peter will explore one of the most tragic domestic disasters of the war in which 173 people died.  The tragedy was ‘hushed up’ at the time.

26th July 2019.  British Women War Artists in World War Two by Carol Harris.  Founded during World War One, the official British war artists scheme was re-established at the start of World War Two as the War Artists’ Advisory Committee (WAAC). The idea was to create a comprehensive artistic and documentary history of Britain at war.

Many leading female British artists took part, usually assigned to produce home front scenes and portraits.  A few of the women were already established but for many, their work for the scheme established their reputations. Today, Laura Knight’s portrait of Daphne Pearson, and Evelyn Dunbar’s scenes of life in Kent are among the most recognised paintings from the War.

Over the course of War, the WAAC commissioned, bought and and otherwise acquired over 5,500 works of art by 400 artists, most of which form the art collection of the Imperial War Museum.

This talk will look at how the scheme worked; the artists — especially, but not exclusively the women; tensions between the committee, the artists and chiefs of staff, and the impact on the artists themselves.

It will, of course, be thoroughly illustrated with many of the artworks that created a unique and influential record of aspects of life here and at home during the War.

27th September 2019.  Sword, Jelly and Gold.  The Unknown Story of D Day by Andy RobertshawWell-known historian and TV presenter Andy Robertshaw will talk about D Day.

29th November 2019.  Over-paid, over-sexed and over-here’.  The American Invasion of Britain 1942-1945 by Alan Williams Between 1942 and 1945 American service personnel flooded into Britain in what George Orwell called ‘the invasion of Britain’.  Alan will explore this ‘invasion’ and show the 1943 War Office film ‘A Welcome to Britain’ which explained to American servicemen and women how strange life in Britain was, from ‘funny money’ and driving on the wrong side of the road to warm beer.  Prepare to be amused and perhaps shocked in equal measure.

Titles of talks for 2020 will be posted very shortly

ARCHBISHOP’S PALACE CONSERVATION TRUST (APCT), OTFORD

ARCHBISHOP’S PALACE CONSERVATION TRUST (APCT): The APCT (a registered charity, number 1173486) has been set up with the aim of acquiring the Otford Palace site and buildings and creating a visitor centre that will not only present the history of the Palace and its Tudor history, but also act as an interpretation centre and springboard for the Darent Valley.  You can find out more about the work of the Trust and subscribe to its (free) email distribution list for information and updates at the following link: http://otfordpalace.org/background/ The APCT web home page will enable you to find out more about the Trust’s aims and objectives, the Palace, the Darent Valley and the APCT blog.  You can can access the home page here:  http://otfordpalace.org/ .You can also contact the Trust Secretary by email: secretary@otfordpalace.org