The Society provides a programme of monthly talks and other meetings thoughout the year. Meetings start at 7.30pm on the second Thursday in the month (unless otherwise stated), and will take place at a specified venue or on Zoom, details of which are emailed out to members in advance. Non-members are welcome.
Programme for 2023
9th February on Zoom
'Archaeology on the border - National Trust excavations at Smallhythe Place' - an illustrated talk by Nathalie Cohen of the National Trust making a return appearance. Although Smallhythe is perhaps best known today as the former home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry and her daughter Edy Craig, it was a location during the medieval period for royal shipbuilding, and it was also a hive of activity some 2,000 years ago. This talk will explore the results of archaeological investigations during the summers of 2021 and 2022 in the house's garden, as well as the nearby Elfwick and Forstal Fields, and will throw light upon life along the Kent/Sussex border over the centuries.
9th March at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'John (Mad Jack) Fuller' - a performance by Geoff Hutchinson. It is seven years since Geoff introduced Rudyard Kipling to us; this time he takes us back to the year 1828 for an informative and entertaining experience in the company of the eccentric Georgian squire of Brightling as he relates tales from his eventful life. Geoff Hutchinson has lived in East Sussex all his life, and has a tremendous enthusiasm for local history and the colourful characters associated with it. He also has a passion for drama, and his ability to combine the two has proved a successful formula.
13th April at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Bayham Old Abbey - from Canons to Camdens' - Roy Porter, a Senior Curator with English Heritage, reveals the lives of the abbey's occupants, from medieval canons through to a rich social life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
11th May at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Lost Structures within Tunbridge Wells' - an illustrated talk by Nigel Stapple whose extensive archaeological research reveals an inhabited landscape far pre-dating our town's commonly recognised founding date of 1606.
8th June at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Michelham Priory' - an illustrated talk by Helen Poole who traces the story of this property on a moated island in the Cuckmere river from its foundation in 1229, via Thomas Cromwell, to its modern life welcoming visitors to a place of tranquil beauty.
Saturday 8th July
Garden Party 6pm to 8pm - at a venue to be arranged.
- Friday 8th September to Sunday 17th September
Heritage Open Days in and around Tunbridge Wells.
- 14th September at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
The Local History Group presents its most recent work.
12th October venue to be confirmed
Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Awards Evening - presented by Dr David Wright.
9th November at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
Annual General Meeting followed by an open forum for members.
12th November - 10.30 at the War Memorial
Remembrance Sunday - members are invited to attend the parade in Civic Way.
14th December at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Overture, Beginners, Curtain up! Then 40 Years of Trinity' - an illustrated talk by Brian Lippard and Roger Norton who take us through a remarkable success story.
As this is the Christmas meeting the traditional refreshments of wine and mince pies will be provided after the presentation. Tea and coffee will also be available.
Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society - Registered Charity No. 276545