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

The Winter 2018-2019 ODHS lecture programme will begin on Wednesday 19th September 2018.   If you wish to be one of the first to find out about the programme of talks please ask to subscribe to the free newsletter (details above).  This will be emailed in to our subscribers in early September.

ODHS WINTER PROGRAMME  2017-2018 

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

2017

20th September      Otford Palace.  Cliff Ward

18th October          Nurse Edith Cavell.  Paul Rason 

22nd November      Cadbury, Fry and Rowntree – The chocolate Quakers.  Fred Lemont  

13th December       AGM with mulled wine,  followed by a selection of films of Otford.  (The films date from the 1940s and 1950s and will include some kindly made available by Screen Archive South East)

2018

17th January            Bat and Ball – Sevenoaks’ first Railway Station.  Ed Thompson            

21st February           Medieval Deer Parks.  Dr Charles Shee

21st March               Joyce Green and the River Hospitals.  Francine Payne  

18th April                ‘Biggin on the Bump’… an airfield at War.  Bob Ogley 

16th May                  Through Kent to the Continent by Boat-Train.  Alan Williams

NEXT ODHS MEETING:  Wednesday 16th May 2018 at 20:00.   Through Kent to the Continent by Boat-Train.  An illustrated talk by Alan Williams.  Railways through Kent were the major ‘gateway to Europe’.  Alan will outline the development of railways to the Kent ports and the development of cross-Channel sea services.  Just in time for you to prepare for your summer holiday! 

1940s SOCIETY PROGRAMME FOR 2018

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:  27th July 2018.  ‘If War Should Come’ by Alan Williams.  Alan will explore examples of British film production and show a selection of British documentary and feature-film extracts from British cinema between 1936 and the early 1940s.  From the mid 1930s British commercial film producers, the documentary film movement and the government sought to predict and explain to the British cinema-going public what impact war would make to life in Britain.  Films and film extracts to be shown this evening include, amongst others, ‘Things to Come’ (1936), ‘If War Should Come’ (1939), ‘The Front Line’ (1940) and ‘Miss Grant Goes to the Door’ (1940).

(Film still from ‘The Front Line Dover’, Ministry of Information, 1940)

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.

30th March 2018 (Good Friday).  Kent at War 1939-1941 by Bob Ogley. During the Second World War Kent was the county closest to occupied Europe with many of the population living closer to France than to London. Well-known local Kent historian Bob Ogley will explore some of the major events and effects of the war on Kent, a county that was on the ‘front line’ of the war and experienced many of its effects at first hand.

25th May 2018.  Mary Ellis: Spitfire Girl by Melody Foreman. ‘Mary Wilkins Ellis’ was one of the 166 brave women ferry pilots who flew with the wartime Air Transport Auxiliary.  In this illustrated talk Mary’s biographer Melody Foreman examines the life and times of this determined aviatrix who flew and delivered 400 Spitfires and 76 different types of aircraft to RAF and USAF airfields throughout Britain.  Prepare to be amazed by her fascinating story.

27th July 2018.  ‘If War Should Come’ by Alan Williams.  Alan will explore examples of British film production and show a selection of British documentary and feature-film extracts from British cinema between 1936 and the early 1940s.  From the mid 1930s British commercial film producers, the documentary film movement and the government sought to predict and explain to the British cinema-going public what impact war would make to life in Britain.  Films and film extracts to be shown this evening include, amongst others, ‘Things to Come’ (1936), ‘If War Should Come’ (1939), ‘The Front Line’ (1940) and ‘Miss Grant Goes to the Door’ (1940).

28th September 2018 ‘It ain’t half dusty and don’t tread on that’.  A talk presented by members of the ‘Desert Rats’ Living History Group.  It ain’t half dusty is an insight into the living conditions, hardships and challenges overcome by the British and Commonwealth troops and supporting services in the Western Desert War 1940 to 1943.  Don’t tread on that! is an introduction to one of the new battlefield weapons of the second world war, the mass-produced land mine. Shedding light on what it was, how it was used and the methods used to disarm it.

30th November 2018.  Christmas on the Home Front.  by Mike Brown.  In this seasonal talk well-known historian Mike Brown will explore how Christmas was celebrated in Britain during the war years.

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.  Details to follow.  Make a note of the date in your diary!

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.  Details to follow.  Make a note of the date in your diary!

27th September 2019Details to follow. Make a note of the date in your diary!

29th November 2019.  Details to follow. Make a note of the date in your diary!

 

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