The Local History Group
The objective of the Local History Group is to encourage the study of Tunbridge Wells and its past. We do this through research, publications, education and the collection and cataloguing of historical material.
The Group is an integral part of the Civic Society. All members of the Society are welcome to join in the activities of the Group, without additional charge, though they are encouraged to register their specific interests with us.
Research and Publications
The Group publishes the results of its research in a number of formats.
- Short articles are printed in the Society's Newsletter (see 'Newsletters' page).
- Longer pieces may be published as books or booklets, for sale from bookshops, or from the Society itself (see 'Publications' page). We have published more than twenty of these. The most recent (2023) was an account of how Trinity Church was saved from demolition in the 1970s; and before that (2020), a history of the breweries in the town.
- The Group provides at least one talk in the Society's annual programme of events.
- We support Heritage Open Days, with talks and walks.
- Members of the Group have provided talks to local schools and other groups, and would be happy to work with local teachers in developing teaching resources.
- The Group subscribes to the Victorian Society. Their Newsletters are available to members on request.
- Volunteers from the Group worked with Dr Ian Beavis of the Amelia Scott Centre to catalogue the Town Hall archives.
- Another group has worked on Oral History projects to record memories of life in the town.
- In 2011 the Group 'rescued' a collection of old newspapers dating back to 1872 when the local paper, the Kent & Sussex Courier, moved to smaller premises.
- The Group has worked with TWBC to copy lists of planning applications from 1867 to 1913, a very useful source for the development of the town. These lists are now available from the Local Studies section of the Amelia.
Sue Brown, a member of the Group and ex-Reference Librarian, has produced a bibliography of Tunbridge Wells sources.
Ann Bates, another member of the Group, has produced a list of Notable Residents.
For many years, Ed Gilbert, a member of the Group who lived in Canada, maintained a web-site with detailed articles about Tunbridge Wells. A selection of these articles is available
If you would like further information about any of these activities, please email us.