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St Ethelburga’s Orphanage, Deal England's Immigrants Project Refugee Committees WWII  
WW1 Anglo-Scottish Migration Folkestone public houses Schools and the Boleyn Family
The Scottish Rifles (Cameronians) during World War 1 Irish - Kent connections sought Birth, death, and health in Leigh Speed Trials at Littlestone on Sea
Request for Photographs/postcards Feakins Folkestone Fire Brigade 1931 Riley “Monaco Plus” Saloon

Victorian clergymen in Kent

My interest is in Victorian clerical 'scandals' 
including stories involving the Revd John Woodcock of Littlebourne and the Revd Frederick Murray of Stone-next-Dartford

I would be delighted to hear from members who might have information along these lines as
I will be keeping the blog updated, as well as publishing more books in the Clerical Errors series (Englandwide).

It is my belief that this is an unexplored area of local history.

Thank you very much indeed.

Tom Hughes


more information

WWII Refugee Committees  

Dr Susan Cohen is researching history relating to the numerous refugee committees that operated in the county during the second world war.
These were located in Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gillingham, Gravesend, Hayes, Maidstone, Malling, Margate, Rochester,
Sandwich, Sevenoaks, Sittingbourne, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and possibly Ashford.
The research is on nationwide committees for a book on the subject.
Dr Cohen is having very little success locating archive material on any of these committees. 

Any help gratefully received!

England's Immigrants Project

As a partner in the England’s Immigrants Project, the British Association for Local History is offering societies an opportunity to become involved in an exciting and innovative new project.
England’s Immigrants 1330-1550 is a nationwide project to collect evidence of ‘resident aliens’ of all types during the late medieval and early modern period. A dedicated research team, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has now completed the vast majority of the data-entry, namely the alien subsidy records at The National Archives. There are now
60,000 names of aliens on the database. In addition, work is about to begin on the Tudor subsidy records, with a focus on specific regions, and the 1544 Westminster denizen roll (which contains 3,000 names) is just about to be uploaded. The focus is now shifting to more detailed work, and refining the data to make it consistent and easy to search. With this extensive dataset in place, there are now opportunities for local history societies to look at aspects specific to their areas.
From case studies so far much previously unknown and perhaps unexpected information has come to light. Because the data relates to individuals, it’s also important for a wide range of studies and interests – occupations, surname development, family history, trade and industry, and so on.
You can find out more about the project and its associated case studies from the their website or from Dr Jessica Lutkin (

For publication in the Journal of Kent History during 2014-2018 (and on the website too)

We are looking for possible ‘snippets’ and pictures from affiliated societies about events within their village that occurred as a result of World War I

More than enough will be written about the men and women of the armed forces during the centenary year, but we want to look at it from a different angle – what went on in the Kent countryside and villages.

Not long articles, as there won't be room to fit everything in (I hope), but pictures and stories of around 200-500 words.

Contact the Editor for more information

Anniversary of WWI

The Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone are keen to gauge what history and heritage groups in Kent are planning to do for the above anniversary. We'd also love to hear about any particular links with World War I which their areas have. This is for the purpose of making plans of our own to mark the anniversary, that they will hopefully complement events and activities being put on elsewhere.

As you will probably know, the KHLC is effectively the successor building to the now-closed Centre for Kentish Studies, East Kent Archive Centre, County Central Library Springfield and the Maidstone Library in Faith Street. We now offer archive and local studies services under the umbrella of 'History' and I am the service's new Community History Officer. I would be very happy to talk to anyone about their plans for commemorative events and activities if they think I can help, for example by advising on, and providing access to, research materials and original sources for the history of the period.

Mark Bateson
Community History Officer
KCC Libraries and Archives
Internal: 7000 6415
External: 01622 696415
Mobile: 0754 0642747

Anglo-Scottish Migration

I am writing from the University of Manchester regarding a project that is currently taking place in the Department of History. The project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is entitled ‘Anglo-Scottish Migration and the Making of Great Britain, 1603-1762’.

The primary aim of the project is to bring together people interested in migration between Scotland and England in this period, to assess how well (or not) Scots integrated into English society. It is our hope to enlist the expertise of members of local history societies and genealogical societies who would like to share their research and ideas.

There are two aspects of the project in particular that might interest your members. The first is that we are working to develop an interactive database (a wiki) with genealogical information of Scots who made their way to England in the 17th and 18th centuries. This will eventually be open access, however to ensure its ease of use and functionality we are initially adding the information ourselves. We would very much like to encourage members of local history and genealogical societies to send us information regarding Scots they have come across in their research, an in particular the types of sources in which they appear. This will greatly help us get the database up and running and will provide an invaluable resource for the future.

A second opportunity for your society to be involved would be to undertake a preliminary study of the role Scots played in your local communities between 1603 and 1762. If a member of your society is interested in doing this, we will be hosting a conference in 2014 to bring representatives of local genealogical and historical societies and academics from across the UK together to discuss the subject and to brainstorm how such research can contribute to all of our research interests.

We would ask that you communicate this twofold invitation to your members and encourage them to contact us if they would like more information. They can write to me at There is also additional information on our project website, which can be found here:

Many thanks for publicising our project to your members and we hope to hear from some of them soon.

Folkestone public houses

I am tracing my family history and was wondering if anyone can help me or try to point me in the direction of someone who can.

I have ancestors who used to run 2 public houses in Folkestone in about 1861 onwards.

One was called 'The True Boston' or could be 'The True Briton' and was at 3 Kingsbridge Street, I think

The other was called 'The Blue Anchor Inn' It was at Beach Street I believe.

Does anyone know if they are still open to this day and where I might be able to get photos of them. If I can find out who had the licence on them, I may be able to find out what year my ancestors ran them. Many thanks Email reply
or post a comment on our forum

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Schools and the Boleyn Family

We have been contacted, via the Museum, by a scholar in Nova Scotia who is trying to trace an elusive figure called Louisa Neville, born in late 18th cent., who was, according to a tradition in her family, at  school in a house which had been connected with the Boleyn family and which disappeared in the early 19th cent. There were Maidstone  connections but no certainty that the school was in Maidstone, and in fact it may have been in the Hever area.

Does this ring any kind of bell with anyone, or are you aware of anyone who might be able to help him?

The Boleyn family had manors by the dozen and goodness knows how  many of them acquired
new lives after passing out of the family, or even while leased from them

Contact: webmaster

The Scottish Rifles (Cameronians) during World War 1

I am carrying out research into The Scottish Rifles (Cameronians) during World War 1.
The 15th Bn Scottish Rifles were formed in 1917  and were based  at Deal in Kent. I believe they also had a brief spell at Walmer in early 1918.
The 15th Bn were a Home Service Battalion and never saw action overseas.

I would be grateful if you could help me with any information, documentation or photographs relating to the 15th Bn and their time in Kent.

Contact: Stewart Munn

Irish - Kent connections sought

I’ve been trying to research my family tree for a number of years now and have come to a dead end. My family name comes from England but all of my ancestors going back to at least 1740 (from birth and burial certificates) were born in Ireland. I am trying to find the link between the Irish and English Egertons. I would be grateful if you could help me in this regard or even point me in the right direction?

Contact: Berty J Egerton

Birth, death, and health in Leigh

Leigh Historical Society are setting out on a project on this subject and want, among other things, to find out about changes in numbers born, died, life expectancy, and the incidence of disease, and to get stats as close to Leigh as possible.

They are trying to find statistics that would illustrate the state of health in Leigh, Kent from the first quarter of the 19th century: ages at death and causes of death is what they have in mind.  They have some national statistics but would like some closer to home.  Tonbridge figures would be helpful but so would figures for other villages.  Leigh HS assume that Tonbridge would, as with any other town, be less healthy than a rural village and know that Tonbridge was affected by periodic cholera outbreaks. 

Contact John Stevens

Speed Trials at Littlestone on Sea

Clive Roberts is researching into the Fiat Mephistopheles which he believes competed in a Speed Trial at Littlestone on Sea in October 1925 driven by L C G M Le Champion.  The only other information he has of this event is the mention that a girl was thrown out of the car. So this may have been a motoring incident or during the Speed Trial. 

Additional information which may help to locate the site of the track: Prior to 1924 to the north of what is now Blenheim Road there was a field called Lawrence’s field adjacent to a golf course (two golf courses are still there).  A grass race track for cars was set out there.  This was extended to what is now St Mary’s Bay, then called Jesson or Jessons.  Between 1924 and 1926 the race track was turned into a grass airstrip.

If you can help him with this or give him any information about Speed Trials at Littlestone on Sea, it would be greatly appreciated.

Contact Clive Roberts

Request for Photographs/postcards from Gillian Chiverton

Does any one have photographs/postcards of schools in Deal and Walmer, particularly old ones?  She is also looking for pictures of Cattermoles bathing machines. 

She wants a copy of these to go with an article you can read in the most recent LPSS Newsletter and it has been suggested that she could revamp it a little and submit it to the East Kent Mercury


Thomas and his wife Sarah Feakins, buried in St Nicholas, Pluckley

Ms Jecklin (USA) is interested in exchanging genealogical information with anyone related to
Thomas (1737-1819) and Sarah Wise (1749-1821) Feakins.  
Email her at

History and records of the Folkstone Fire Brigade between about 1870 and 1900.

My Great grandfather was a member of the brigade during this period. I have his long service medal from the fire brigades union and the clock presented to him on leaving the brigade in 1899 when he left Folkstone to move to Canterbury in the Council post of Foreman of works.
I  have a number of group photographs  of members and competition certificates of the brigade from that period and it would be interesting to try and put names to any of the men in the photos. I also have certificates awarded at various competitions attended  by the brigade.  
I would welcome any additional information regarding records of service and call outs for the brigade during this period .

Ian Fagg

Searching St Ethelburga’s Orphanage, Deal

I wonder if you can help me. I am looking for information/admission & discharge records for the St Ethelburga’s  Orphanage in West Street Deal which was run by the Sisters of Notre Dame des Missions. My husband’s Great Aunts Kathleen Hearn and Violet Higgins were both sent there sometime after their mother died at the Chatham Workhouse in 1927. They also had older siblings who were twins, Stanley and Phyllis Hearn (who is my husband’s Nan), who were sent somewhere else but we don't know where. Eventually Stanley the twin was sent to Canada and the other twin, Phyllis, eventually ended up in London but we don't know where they were sent before this. We do know that Phyllis was also looked after by nuns in a convent and all three girls had awful upbringings in these convents.
I would be grateful for any advice/help anyone can give me about where to search for the convents.
Emma Collyer

1931 Riley “Monaco Plus” Saloon

I am seeking help to establish the early years ownership details of a 1931 Riley “Monaco Plus” Saloon which I have “rescued”, in derelict-but-restorable condition, many years after it had disappeared from the roads.

As you know, I’m sure, Rileys, built in Coventry, were among Britain’s most successful and much-loved sporting cars, often pioneering in design and extremely successful in competition, where their light and nimble characteristics often enabled lady drivers to rival the men.  They were purchased by discerning owners who could afford higher-than-average prices, but without spending to the extent of a Bentley or Lagonda.  While many modern families can recall, for example, that a grandparent had an “old car”, such was the distinctiveness and quality of Rileys that to-day’s descendants often remember particularly that someone in the family’s past owned a Riley.  The name, and the reputation, have lodged in family recollection.

My Riley Monaco, fitted with the famous Riley “Nine” engine, was first registered as HX 5747 in Middlesex, in May 1931.  It was a fabric-bodied car, using leathercloth over its timber coachwork (a traditional method of body construction) and was built to special order, being finished in non-standard Lovat Green (at extra cost!).  It must have been the pride and joy – and a symbol of the status – of its first owner, and would surely have caused quite a sensation in its family and immediate neighbourhood, perhaps even figuring in a newspaper feature.  I attach a photograph of a similar model.  HX 5747 was transferred to Kent Vehicle Licensing in 1934.  Although official records of the later years have been lost, I know that it came into the ownership of a Mr Kenneth Smith in about 1963 and eventually ended up with him in Edinburgh, where I obtained it.  Mr Smith purchased the Riley for 15/6 from a farmer who had a field full of unwanted elderly or scrap cars, but readily revived the Monaco and drove it for many years.

I hope that you may be able to help me to recover any of the following details by data, family recollection and/or photograph:-

  • If it was traded via a local company in 1934, that firm’s details or any other aspect of the presumed sale to someone in Kent.

  • The first owner and any subsequent owners, in Middlesex and in Kent (including addresses and family details).

  • Any details of the car and its ownership, during the “lost” years 1934 to 1963.

I fully understand that with the passage of over 80 years, my enquiry is very much a “long shot”!  However, I’m sure that there lies, in a family archive somewhere, the story of the early years of this Riley and perhaps even a photograph of the car in its prime – possibly a family shot or an image of a local avenue with the Riley parked outside its owner’s home.

Thank you, in anticipation of your interest and possible help.

Gordon McAllan

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