sevsocagm1dAn evening in the company of local author and photographer Ed Thompson is sure to delight long-standing residents as well as those keen to learn more of the history of the area in which they live. In presenting pictures from his latest book focusing on the St. John’s area of the town, he made good his intention to transport us ‘back to a less complicated age’, a time nonetheless when people worked hard in heavy industry (bricks, sand, water and energy) in this Pleasant Town of Sevenoaks.

Take a walk if you will from the bottom of Greatness Lane towards Otford and experience industrial heritage and wildfowl on the quarry lake, in an area rich in ammonite and belemnite fossils. No point hunting for Greatness House (left: blown up for a war propaganda film in the early 20th century) or the house ‘Linden Chase’, lived in by ‘Skipper’ Gordon, 1914-18 hero of the Royal Flying Corps. Such a wealth of images remain imprinted on the brain (and for those that do not, you can purchase the book), not least a band of people transporting the St John Ambulance hall to its present location, as an entity, on poles!
2nd October 2013


Though the main personnel remain largely the same there are new volunteers becoming involved with the activity of sub-groups, for example the Townscape and Planning Group and the Local Listing Project chaired by the President, Michael Harrison. It was confirmed that a bench would be placed at the Chevening ‘Keyhole’ viewpoint in memory of Rowland Oakeley who worked so hard to create a set of footpath guides for the District, to which a new one will shortly be added. Suggestions will be welcomed for the Society’s exhibition at Knole on ‘Remarkable Trees’, to be held in Autumn 2014.

sevsocagm1eThe winner of the Frank Marshall Award for Townscape Improvement was the Vine Restaurant for its smart extension, with the Malabar Coffee House being commended for its courtyard cafe area.

Russell Harper presented a selection of photos from his excellent new book “Sevenoaks and Around, Through Time”, using carefully positioned comparative shots, many of which demonstrate the easily recognisable profile of many of our roads, though particular comment was made on the difficulties that must have been posed for traffic in the pre-tarmac days at the start of the 20th century.

“Raley’s Corner”