Bexley Historical Society's talks are held monthly at 7.45pm for 8pm start at the hall of St John Fisher RC Church, 48, Thanet Road, Bexley Kent DA5 1AP. Talks are free for Members. Visitors are very welcome with a fee of £2.50 per meeting.


There is a small car park next to the St John Fisher Church and there is a public car park in Thanet Road which is free after 6pm. Bexley Village is served by bus routes: 132, 229, 269, 492, B12. Bexley Railway Station is a short walk away.


Talks in 2017


Monday 14 August 2017: Our August Quiz, by Sally Kirkpatrick


Monday 11 September 2017: Backstage to Front of House, by John Logan Short


John Logan Short is a retired Front of House manager at Churchill Theatre, Bromley.


Monday 9 October 2017: Along the River Cray, by Denise Baldwin and Katherine Harding


A look at the history of the River Cray which flows from Orpington to the River Darent at Dartford Creek, passing by the old mills and industrial and residential areas of St Mary's Cray, Foots Cray and Crayford.


Monday 13 November 2017: Hellfire and Brimstone, by Nick Hepher


Construction consultant Nick will tell us the fascinating history of cement.


Monday 11 December 2017: Tales of a Modern Day Plant Hunter, by Tom Hart Dyke


Tom Hart Dyke first shot to international prominence in 2000, when he was kidnapped in the Panamanian jungle on a plant hunting expedition that went dangerously wrong. After Tom's return home to his ancestral home of Lullingstone Castle, near Sevenoaks, Kent he created the 'World Garden', which now sees a steady stream of visitors every year.


Talks in 2018


Monday 8 January 2018: Waterloo 200 - The bits Abba got wrong!, by Steve Hookins


One, if not, the most pivotal battles of the 19th Century, Waterloo heralded the conclusion of the Napoleonic wars. A look at how the battle was fought and Steve's conclusions as to why Napoleon lost. Definitely not based on the 1974 Eurovision hit and proof positive that Abba hadn't got a clue what they were singing about!


Monday 12 February 2018: Short AGM, then The Life and Times of the Cutty Sark, by Roger Hodge


Roger has been a volunteer on Cutty Sark for nearly twenty years, initially as a guide. He was the onlyy volunteer to work right through the conservation project from 2006, very hands on, and since that was completed in 2012 he has moved to the office where he has worked on many projects including the identification and cataloguing of their plan collection, creating an index of the Cutty Sark's logs and writng a series of blogs on life aboard the ships in the 1880s, He is presently reasearching the seven Masters who captained Cutty Sark at some point in their careers.


Monday 12 March 2018: 2nd Lt Wilfred Salmon and the First Blitz, by Peter Daniel


November 30 2017 marks the centenary of the first flight of the Vickers Vimy, a plane that would go into aviation history as the first to cross the Atlantic in 1919. It was designed and built by Vickers in Crayford. This amazing development in the history of aviation arose from the death of a brave Australian RFC pilot, 2nd Lt Wilfred Salmon. He took off from Vickers’ airfield at Joyce Green to take on an armada of 22 Gotha bombers in his Sopwith Pup, which crashed at Slade Green, then part of Crayford, on July 7 1917.

Salmon’s demise came at the end of a deadly raid over central London, the First Blitz, and prompted the formation of the Royal Air Force and led to the ordering of a plane that could seek revenge, the Vicker’s Vimy.


Monday 9 April 2018: The History and Work of a Professional Toastmaster by Phil Shorthouse


Phil Shorthouse is a professional Toastmaster and Master of Ceremonies. He is a Graduate and now a Past Director of the prestigious UK School of Professional Toastmasters Ltd.


Monday 14 May 2018: Capability Brown in Kent, by Mike O'Brien

Find out more about Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, engineer, landscape architect and entrepreneur, from Mike O'Brien of the Kent Gardens Trust.


Monday 11 June 2018: Flemish Weavers in Kent, by Fred Lemont


Fred Lemont will tell us all about the Flemish Weavers and their importance to Tenterden and the Weald.


Monday 9 July 2018: Hall Place in the Second World War, by Kirsty Macklen


Discover how American soldiers stationed at Hall Place – code name Santa Fe – intercepted encoded messages sent by the Germans. GI veterans’ memories and declassified files reveal the importance of their round-the-clock, top-secret work which helped defeat the Nazis.


Monday 13 August 2018: Our August Quiz, by Sally Kirkpatrick


Monday 10 September 2018: The Foundling Museum, by Thomas Aird


A former volunteer at The Foundling Museum, Thomas will tell us the intriguing story behind London's Foundling Hospital and the children who grew up there.


Monday 8 October 2018: Jolly Colonel and Nitrate King, by Will Robley


John Thomas North, born in 1842, invested in the South American nitrate industry. Later known as the Col North, the ‘Nitrate King’, he created Avery Hill Mansion and its Winter Gardens.


Monday 12 November 2018: A Child's Life in the Middle Ages, by Imogen Corrigan


Where are the children in Medieval art? So often they are missing and it’s sometimes assumed that because of the high infant mortality rates, parents deliberately didn’t bond with their children. Nothing could be further from the truth; children were cherished, cosseted and spoilt, but they worked hard, alongside adults too. We know that they loved toys as well as word games, bunking off school and teasing their teachers. This lecture goes from before the cradle with superstitions surrounding pregnancy and childbirth, to the trials and tribulations of teenage years and all too often to an early grave.


Monday 10 December 2018: The Fighting Temeraire, by Alan Payne


The Story behind Britain's favourite painting of 1838 by the artist J. M. W. Turner.



Meetings are held at the hall of St John Fisher RC Church, Thanet Road, Bexley

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