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 2024
8th February on Zoom
'Victorian Funerals' - the elaborate customs and rituals of our forefathers are explained and illustrated by funeral director Brian Kempster, who for many years ran J. Kempster & Sons, the prominent Tunbridge Wells firm of funeral directors. He observes that nowadays we seem divided between reintroducing some of the elaborate aspects of the Victorian funeral and abandoning all forms of ceremony and ritual. It is fascinating to learn about the funeral customs of the 19th century and the important part they played in allowing and even encouraging people to mourn and express their grief in public. His presentation, including specific references to Tunbridge Wells, looks at some of the history associated with the way things were done during that long period that we call the Victorian era.
14th March at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'A Brief History of Time in the Planning Department' - Ruth Chambers gives us the inside story from her 36 years of involvement in the TWBC department crucial to shaping Tunbridge Wells.
11th April at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Explore Rye' - How well do you really know Rye? Local expert guide David Clarke brings some sense to its orderly and disorderly streets and history.
9th May at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'History of Sissinghurst Castle Garden' - Stephen Harmer presents an extensive history of the world-famous garden and some of its owners.
13th June at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'An 18th Century Entrepreneur: Sarah Baker and her Kentish Theatres' - Dr. Jean Baker (no relation) tells how an illiterate fairground performer went on to open four purpose-built theatres, ending with one in Tunbridge Wells in 1802.
Garden Party - at a venue and on a Saturday to be arranged.
- Friday 6th September to Sunday 15th September
Heritage Open Days in and around Tunbridge Wells.
- 12th September at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'Herbert Caley: the Father of the Town Council - Neil Spalding traces the life and work of this influential Tunbridge Wells architect, mayor and benefactor.
10th October at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society Awards Evening - presented by Dr David Wright.
10th November - 10.30 at the War Memorial
Remembrance Sunday - members are invited to attend the parade in Civic Way.
14th November at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
Annual General Meeting followed by an open forum for members.
12th December at Christ Church, High Street, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1UT
'There's No Accounting for Magic!' - our Treasurer, Chris Weller, a Chartered Accountant and member of the Magic Circle, will keep us intrigued.
As this is the Christmas meeting the traditional refreshments of wine and mince pies will be provided after the presentation.
Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society - Registered Charity No. 276545