Maidstone Museum is housed in an Elizabethan Manor House in the centre of Maidstone – Kent’s County town. Established in 1858, it now holds over 660,000 artefacts and specimens. Collections range from Ancient Egyptian works to Local Historical finds.They include* Early Lantern Slides of China/Japan * , * ,Glass Plate Images of the Royal Mews London * and * Glass Plate images of the building of the Panama Canal * .
Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre can be found in the Clock Tower building in Strood Kent. It is the best place to visit for anyone interested in researching the history, geography and people of Medway. Among its extensive resources are collections on Charles Dickens and Chatham Dockyard.
EDEN VALLEY MUSEUM
The Eden Valley Museum has more than 4,000 photographs, paintings and drawings in its collection. The majority are historical images from the first half of the 20th century or earlier including c.400 images donated to the museum by Alan Dell in 2000. More recent images relate to special events in the Eden Valley or comprise special collections donated to the museum, including those in the Roy Coles Hop-Picking Collection.
Snodland Museum prides itself on being a research centre on the area and its people. The Historical Society who run the museum have established an archive of old local maps and written histories including a file relating to Thomas Waghorn (1800-1850) a famous parishioner who established the overland route to India via Egypt.
As well as photographic records Lydd Town Museum boasts a fine collection of three restored horse-drawn vehicles, and comprehensive exhibits of the Lydd Fire Brigade. Other exhibits include wartime artifacts and information relating to projects such as P.L.U.T.O. – Pipe Line Under The Ocean, which supplied fuel to our forces.
Housed in a 17th Century grade 11 listed building, the museum is located close to Ashford town centre and features exhibits associated with Ashford’s history. A new feature currently under construction (September 2012), is a display of material relating to the town considerable railway history.
THE WALLIS COLLECTION
Harold Gordon Wallis was born and lived most of his life in Southborough Kent. He became a Pupil Teacher at 14 years old, later graduating from Goldsmiths College London. His career progressed to being Headmaster of a school in Sevenoaks Kent. His photography was carried out during the years 1912-1950. He had a particular love of the River Daren’t valley in Kent; he gave talks on its history backed by his photographs. But his photography extended to all areas of the South East. This collection contains images Harold took in the County of Kent.
Cranbrook Museum houses a unique archive covering all aspects of the town’s history including the collections of photographs and postcards shown here. It is also a valuable resource for local family research with new material constantly being added to their collection.
GOUDHURST & KILNDOWN LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
Goudhurst & Kilndown Local History Society was founded in 1964 and meets monthly at the town Church Room.
Their archive, of which these photographs and postcards are part, also includes a transcript of the Parish records for 1558 to the 1930’s providing valuable information on local family history.
WESTERHAM HERITAGE ARCHIVE
A collection of images from Bill Curtis of the Westerham Society depicting Westerham Town and the surrounds.
In addition to hosting a series of interesting talks, visits and social events, the society aims to protect the beauty and character of Westerham and the surrounding countryside.
KEMSING HERITAGE CENTRE
A selection of old images of Kemsing from the extensive archive of photographs and other material relating to the village and its inhabitants held at the Kemsing Heritage Centre.
The Centre, situated at the rear of St Edith Hall, was officially opened by Eliza Ecclestone on 23rd October 2010.
ISLE OF THANET COLLECTION
The Isle of Thanet was once seperated from Kent by the now silted up Wantsum Channel. These prints and postcards, from Simon Sackett, show locations on the ‘Isle’ predominently Ramsgate but also Margate, Broadstairs and other smaller towns.
KENT’S HISTORICAL SITES
A selection of old images ‘shared’ from the Facebook pages of Kent’s Historical Sites. All images contain a link to their original Facebook post and comments.
KENT CHURCHES COLLECTION
A collection of images showing in detail the interior of many of Kent finest old churches. These glass plates are currently being stored at the new Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone.
THE SHEPWAY COLLECTION
This collection of glass plate images (1900 and 1940) are the work of the Borough Engineers Department at Folkestone. Many show work being carried out in the town – such as Road repairs/widening and other civic projects. The plates are stored at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone.
THE STEPHEN GOLDING COLLECTION
A fine selection of old postcard images from local historical enthusiast and collector Stephen Golding. The majority show Maidstone town Kent, but the collection also contains a number images of other Kent towns as well as a few from places elsewhere in the UK.
THE BOB RICHARDS COLLECTION
A good selection of images from the personal archive of Kent history and conservation enthusiast Bob Richards. Images depict past Canterbury as well as many other towns and villages of Kent. Also included are a number of special interest images under the ‘Miscellaneous’ Selection Category.
THE FREDERICK CARLEY COLLECTION
Frederick Carley was a professional photographer who had a shop/studio at No.20 Gabriels Hill Maidstone Kent during the 1930’s. The images shown here were taken by Carley in the course of his work, predominently in Maidstone town, but also in villages and towns elsewhere in Kent.
ROY COLES HOP PICKING COLLECTION
A selection from the Roy Coles private collection of images showing Hop Picking in Kent held at the Eden Valley Museum in Edenbridge. Roy was born in 1927 in Hastings, Sussex. After National Service he went to Regent Street Polytechnic, London to study photography, which became a life-long passion.He was former Head Warden at Bough Beech Visitor centre where he worked from 1968 devoting much of his spare time to this reserve over the following years and, along with many others, worked hard in creating a range of habitats, attracting countless species of birds and providing enjoyment for many visitors. Roy was recognised for his contribution by receiving the RSPB ‘Certificate of Merit’ in the 1986 Birds and Countryside Awards and ‘The Marsh Volunteer Award for Nature Conservation’ from the Kent Wildlife Trust in 2000.
SIMON BARCHAM GREEN’S PAPERMAKING COLLECTION
During the late 19th Century the Loose Valley was home to Kent’s paper making industry One of the largest mills in the valley was Hayle Mill. Owned and operated by J Barcham Green and Sons, it was known for the production of high quality handmade paper and at its peak in the early 1900’s employed over 100 workers.Sadly with the introduction of new technologies in the mid 1900’s and cheaper more efficient production methods the industry declined and the mills closed down.Hayle Mill was the last full production hand paper mill in the UK when it finally closed its doors in 1987.Today, most of the infrastructure has gone – Hayle Mill has been converted to residential properties – but the old mill ponds are still very much in evidence along the valley.The Barcham Green family, however, have continued to take a keen interest in the industry and have accrued a vast archive of photographic and other material from the old Hayle Mill and elsewhere.
The images shown here are just part of the large railway collection of photos, plans and related documents held at Ashford Museum. Numerous collectors have donated their railway photographs and memorabilia to the museum including: John Iron, who was an Engineering Manager at the Ashford Railway Works in New Town, Ashford. When he passed away his son thought it would be fitting to donate his father’s collection to the museum. John Blackford who worked at the Ashford Railway Works as a Laboratory technician and was a founder member of Ashford Museum’s Committee. His wife Betty decided that his collection would be served best in the museum for everyone to see. And Bert Hazeldon who was the Apprentice Tutor/Manager at the apprentice railway workshop within the Railway Works. When Bert passed away his family offered several items from Bert’s collection to the museum, which included an apprentice model of a ‘Steam Traction Ploughing Engine’ built in the late 1960’s. This is now on display in the museum.
THE KENT & SHARPSHOOTERS YEOMANRY COLLECTION
A collection of images held by the Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum depicting serving members at home and abroad in the early part of the 20th Century. Names, dates and places are included where known, but many images come with little or no such information.
CHATHAM DOCKYARD HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Chatham Dockyard Historical Society is a registered charity composed of about 280 members all of whom are volunteers dedicated to upholding the memory of Chatham Dockyard’s contribution to serving the Royal Navy over the past four centuries. The images shown here are a small selection from the Society archives.
Smaller collections of prints and postcards received from individual collectors, local historical societies and other Kent archive groups.
SANDGATE SOCIETY COLLECTION
A selection of images from the Sandgate Society – a civic society campaigning for 60 years to preserve and enhance the heritage of Sandgate village.
HYTHE CIVIC SOCIETY COLLECTION
A collection of historic images from Hythe Civic Society – a society of Hythe residents who share an interest in their community, its built environment and its open spaces.
BRIDGE & DISTRICT HISTORY SOCIETY
This collection shows a small selection from the large archive of images and documents held by the Society. Most of the archive is available online for examination by anyone interested in the history of Bridge and the surrounding villages.
HISTORICAL RESEARCH GROUP OF SITTINGBOURNE
Images from the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS), which is a non-profit making organisation, set up in 2004 by a group of local volunteer historians. Their aim is to investigate, record and promote the history of Sittingbourne and the local area by research, study, education and publication. They showcase their research via an exhibition called ‘The Heritage Hub’ in The Forum, Sittingbourne.There is a research room available to members, which contains a large collection of local resources, including documents, microfilms, maps and over 20,000 photographs, as well as its own local history and archaeology library (circa 1500 books).