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Cash grants for history groups

Friday 7th August 2015

LOCAL historical groups have received almost £3,000 in grants from the Kent Archaeological Society this year.

The society’s Allen Grove Local History Fund has paid out more than £35,000 since the fund was founded 20 years ago, following the death of Mr Grove, a former curator of Maidstone Museum.

The museum itself was one of the beneficiaries in 2014 /2015, being awarded £1,000 for further work on researching, cataloguing, conserving and displaying the "Boughton Malherbe hoard" ­ - 346 Bronze Age artefacts, including swords, knives, scabbards and spears, recovered from a field by metal detectorists Wayne Coomber and Nick Hales from Headcorn.

Other recipients include the Boughton Malherbe History Society, ­ Harrietsham History Society, Kent Gardens’ Trust and Smarden Local History Society.

In Boughton Malherbe, the society was awarded ­£500 to cover the cost of printing a second book on the history of the parish, following the publication of ‘Boughton Malherbe ­ A Journey Through Time’ in 2010.

A free copy of each book is given to every household in the parish and profits from sales are donated to local good causes.

Harrietsham History Society received £300 to buy a digital voice recorder to assist with an oral history project, interviewing some of the elderly residents about their lives in Harrietsham.

The Kent Gardens’ Trust was awarded­ £500 towards the printing and editing costs for a book on five Kent gardens associated with Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the renowned 18th century landscape artist while Smarden Local History Society ­received £450 towards publishing transcriptions of recordings of local residents’ memories in a 28-page colour illustrated book.

Society secretary Yvonne Bonham Miller said: “Recording the memories going back to the 1920s and 1930s, began in the 1970s. These tape recordings have now been transcribed, edited and digitized by volunteers in our heritage centre. The publication draws from work undertaken by the society and will be of interest to many visitors to our centre, the relatives and descendants of those identified in the book, and also to a wider audience, including Smarden School pupils.”

Amounts of up to £1,000 are offered annually to individuals, groups, organizations and students to help cover the cost of research, publications, exhibitions and other projects focused on the county’s history and heritage.

Kent’s local, social and family history enthusiasts have until March 31, 2016 to apply for the next tranche of grants to be awarded.

Application forms can be downloaded from or obtained by email from or by post from the KAS c/o 8 Woodview Crescent, Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9HD (please enclose a s.a.e.).

Allen Grove was curator of Maidstone Museum from 1948 to 1975, Hon. Curator of the KAS for 26 years (and its president in 1987/88) and chairman of the Kent History Federation for eight years.

When he died in 1990, he left £26,000 from the proceeds of the sale of his house to the KAS, with instructions that the society should invest the legacy and distribute the interest in ways that would promote the enjoyment of Kent's local history.