The Historical and Antiquarian Group of the Old Bexley Civic Association had its first meeting at 8pm on Monday 17 December 1951 at the Toc H room next to Cray House in Bexley High Street. Mr P. J. Tester was elected Chairman. Mr Laurence Mildwater, Hon. Secretary, gave a talk on the general history of Bexley and district and this was followed by a lively discussion. Forty-three members joined up and proposed activities included lectures, transcribing parish registers, visits to local places of historical interest and fieldwork.
As envisaged from the group's inception, it became independent from the Old Bexley Civic Association in December 1952, with the name Bexley Local History and Antiquarian Group. The name was shortened in 1956 to Bexley Antiquarian Society, and it was 'modernised' to Bexley Historical Society in 1982.
The Bexley Historical Society is the longest-established of all the local history societies in the London Borough of Bexley and over the years its members have contributed their knowledge and experience to a number of published works and archaeological excavations. In December 2011 we celebrated our 60th anniversary and the tradition of active participation continues with our 'Then & Now' and 'Changing Times' projects.
Bexley Historical Society 1951-present
Over the years, the society has met in a variety of places, including the Girls’ Technical School in Townley Road, Lower Geddes Hall at the United Reformed Church, the Boys’ and Girls’ Hall, the Pop-in-Parlour in Graham Road, the British Legion Hall in Parkhill Road, the Huxtable Hall at St Martin’s Church and the hall of St John Fisher RC Church in Thanet Road, Bexley.
The Chairmen of the Society during the last 60 years:
Peter Tester: 1951-1972
Dr G. E. Foster: 1972-1977
Mrs Ruth Hutcherson: 1977-1981
Jim Packer: 1981-84 and 1996-2004
Mrs Margaret Eatch: 1984-1996
Sally Kirkpatrick: 2004-present