History of the Society

Our Society was formed in 1920 by members of Ashford Grammar School (now The Norton Knatchbull School Academy Trust). Mr. Rand, a History teacher at the school, was an early Chairman. The Reverend Canon Stanley Graham Brade-Birks (1887-1982), Godmersham resident, great historian and author of Teach Yourself Archaeology participated from the earliest days and may have been instrumental in founding the Society.

In the years before the Second World War members – including a cross section of local luminaries from the Vicar of Ashford Church to head teachers and business people – actively participated in the occasional dig and visited many places of interest.

Regular meetings resumed from 1946 and the Society continued to flourish. In the 1970s renowned amateur archaeologist Jim Bradshaw settled in Challock, bringing new life to the group. Weekend activities included field walks, digs, looking for barrows and other lost archaeological features; travelling all across eastern Kent from north to south!

Latterly our meetings have been held in Ashford’s Church of St. Mary the Virgin parish rooms and – nowadays – the Friends Meeting House in Albert Road.

Information kindly provided by the late President of the Society, Mr. John Hammon.
Reverend Canon Stanley Graham Brade-Birks photo by kind permission of Rowland M. Shelley, Ph. D. www.nadiplochilo.com
Jim Bradshaw photo from Kentish Express, Thursday, August 30, 2001 by kind permission of Alastair Irvine, News Editor: Kentish Express www.kentonline.co.uk and www.kmfm.co.uk.