Bridge & District History Society



5th November 2020

Dear Members of the Bridge and District History Society,

The Committee wanted to bring you up to date with our present thoughts on future Meetings.  As you will no doubt already have seen on our website, we have cancelled all meetings up to and including our Christmas Social.  Alas, we have also felt it prudent to cancel the Talks planned for January and February 2021.  However we have had a kind offer from Alan Walton to give the BDHS a guided  tour of the old Workhouse area, as part of their 185th Birthday celebrations.  Restrictions permitting,  we  hope this visit might go ahead in January or February 2021.  Of course we cannot know what the situation will be by then, but if  the visit can go ahead, we will give you all the details in plenty of time.  A hopeful and positive future event in these difficult times.

In the meantime, we hope you will all stay safe and well.

Jenny Vye - Secretary BDHS

Bridge & District History Archive and Oral Histories now on-line

During the lockdown, members have been busy scanning documents from the History Archive so that they will be available to view online. Good progress has been made and you can see the results these in the Archive section.

Also fascinating are the Oral History interviews which have been compiled in the last few years.

“A Schoolgirl’s War” – a Christmas gift idea
The story of school life during WW2 in Kent is told in this book through a unique combination of the testimonies of wartime pupils and a fascinating set of contemporary artworks. Helen Keen, a wartime art teacher in Maidstone, documented the lives of schoolgirls and their teachers in paint and pencil as the war unfolded. The record provided by her exquisite paintings and drawings is enhanced by the memories and anecdotes of those at school at the time. The book would be of interest to anyone, of any age and from any part of the country, who is interested in life on the WW2 home front. Copies are available through the website of Maidstone Girls’ Grammar School,, at a cost of £10 each plus p&p. The sale of the books is helping to fund the exploration of a second air-raid shelter uncovered at the school, and the development of a dedicated wartime classroom for educational visits.



Bridge & District History Society was formed to promote interest in aspects of local history in and around the villages of Barham, Bekesbourne, Bishopsbourne, Bridge, Kingston, Littlebourne and Patrixbourne in Kent.

Each year we arrange a programme with a mixture of talks on topics of historical interest and visits to historical places, some of which are only possible to visit in pre-arranged groups.

Talks in the past have included Jane Austen in Kent, Nelson in Kent, Old Ramsgate, John Tom of Bossington Wood, The Star Hill dig at Bridge, The City Gates of Canterbury. Richborough Castle, The Domesday Book, The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, The Green Man, Stained glass windows in Canterbury Cathedral, Canterburyís medieval hospitals, Bekesbourne Aerodrome, Soldiers of the First World War, Victorian Herne Bay, Bourne Park House, Higham House and Medieval Manuscripts.

This is a small selection of the many talks we have enjoyed over the years. As well as talks our visits have included Bourne Park House, Denton Court, Provender, Cobham Hall, Dode Church, Ypres, Lambeth Palace, Tenterden Railway again a very small selection of the many visits. We also arrange film evenings where we have shown films of Bridge in the 1930s, films of Canterbury in the 1940s, and a selection of old films of Kent.

Our current programme, which runs from September to July, is on the programme page.

A Membership application form is on the membership page.

Our evening meetings are informal and sociable and transport can be arranged if required. For those without cars we offer seats in memberís cars for the visits.

Information on the Society can be obtained by from the Secretary - email:

St Peter's Bridge

High Street, Bridge

Bourne Park


PLEASE DO NOT contact the Society for genealogical information:

Bridge History Society does not hold any records regarding the family histories of Bridge residents nor any record of burials in the churchyard.

ALL historical parish council records have been transferred to the Kent County Archive in Maidstone and all church records to the Cathedral archives.

NB: From 1830, there was a workhouse in Union Road (now The Close). The local registrar lived at 10 Union Road and, in order to spare the embarrassment of relatives, workhouse residents were often recorded as living at that address.