'A Day in Kemsing'

32nd AGM and Family History Day
8th May 2010


Kemsing, St Edith Hall

Left: St Edith Hall.     Right: The village centre & well


The 32nd Annual General Meeting of the North West Kent Family History Society was held at St Edith Hall, High Street, Kemsing nr. Sevenoaks, Kent.

The village of Kemsing lies in an area of natural beauty on the North Downs and was the birthplace, in 961, of St Edith of Wilton, an illegitimate daughter of the Saxon king Edgar. The well in the centre of the village is dedicated to her.

St Edith Hall at the village centre is adorned with a statue of the saint surmounted by a clock and a bell on the front of the most eye catching building in the village. It is a very well equipped recreational and social complex, erected in 1911 by a local benefactor. It was ideally suited for our AGM needs, comprising a main hall and a smaller hall adjacent to each other.



This was the programme for the day:

9.30amRegistration and Coffee
10.00amWelcome by the Chairman, Walter Eves
10.15amIllustrated talk about Kemsing by Monty Parkin: "A Village Remembered". Monty has always lived in Kemsing. The area has provided an inspiration for his work as a professional artist, but he has always taken an equal interest in local history. For many years he has lectured to historical societies on the original material he has gathered through oral history research. Since 1990 he has published several local history booklets. His published work has been supported by Kent Arts and Libraries and Kent Archaeological Society.
11.45am to 12.50pmAnnual General Meeting

The AGM was attended by the President and around 100 members, the main items were as follows: agm 2010
View of the hall
agm 2010
Presentation of a bursary award prize
agm 2010
The AGM in progress: view from back of hall
agm 2010
Top table: Vera Bailey (secretary), Jean Stirk (president), Walter Eves (chairman), Isabel Leslie (treasurer)
Minutes of the 31st AGMApproved without comment. You can read them here [file to be added].
AccountsPresented by Treasurer Isabel Leslie.
Report of the CommitteeA detailed report had already been circulated to members with the March 2010 journal and can also be read here.
Josephine Birchenough Bursary AwardPrizes were awarded in respect of 2009 journal articles: to Janet Rose for "Lorenzo Fuller and Family of Dartford" (Mar 2009 journal) - £40 prize; Terry Hart for "Six Feet Under Dartford" (Sep 2009) - £30 prize; Val Brown for "The Intriguing Life of Samuel Jackson Reid" (June 2009) - £10; Mari Alderman for "The Tangley Tale of Charles Guernsey" (Sep 2009) - £10; & Pamela Goodwin for "Family History in a Biscuit Tin" (Sep 2009) - £10. See also photo, right
Honorary MembersAn honorary membership was awarded to John Carter who had been the Society's Independent Examiner until 2009.
President & Vice PresidentsNo changes.
Election of Society CommitteeNo changes for 2010-11, except that Barbara Phillips replaces Bob Woodward as the Publications & Projects Rep. The Publicity Officer role remains empty. For the current committee, see the Society Officers page.
Report from the Library Sub-committee
David CufleyDavid Cufley (left) gave a detailed report from the Library sub-committee which has been meeting since the beginning of the year. Click to read the Executive summary.
Raffle Draw
2.00pmMembers chose from the following Workshops and Visits:


  • "Ancestors in the Community", led by Jean Stirk.   Jean is the Society President, has taught family history and is well known for her interest in Papermakers. This year Jean demonstrated how to find out what our ancestors were doing in the community where they lived, apart from working and bringing up a family. There were a number of documents to look at as usual, promoting thought and discussion.
  • "Sources at the National Archives, Kew", led by Joyce Hoad.   Joyce is a Vice President of the Society, has taught family history and has researched at Kew for many years.

Village and Church Tours

Kemsing village tour
  • Our guide for the tour of the village was Erica Cole, a leading member of the Kemsing Heritage Trust, and one of her colleagues. Members enjoyed the tours despite the inclement weather! (photo, right)
  • St Mary’s is a medieval church that stands in a very well kept churchyard. The church itself contains all manner of beautiful features. The churchyard also has many unusual gravestones and monuments and makes a very interesting walk. Our guide for the afternoon was Janet Eaton, the Churchwarden.
4.00pmRe-assemble for Tea

Photos: David Turner, Steve Archer, Ron Anthony