Lunchtime Talks

During these exceptional times and we are closed, please to watch one of our earlier talks which were filmed and available on links provided below.

‘Bookishness’: Writing, Sharing and Collecting Books in Early Modern Kent – Claire Bartram

Watch this talk online on youtube here

10 June 2019

Claire examines famous and not-so-famous writers, readers and bibliophiles living in Kent and considers the social circumstances that underpins what Peter Laslett famously termed the ‘bookish’ reputation of the Kentish in Tudor times.

Claire Bartram teaches early modern literature at Canterbury Christ Church University and is especially interested in writers and readers living in Kent in the sixteenth century. She is editor of a book of essays forthcoming with Peter Lang on Kentish Book Culture 1400-1660.

Ypres: transforming a Belgian city into an outpost of the British Empire, 1919-1939 – Mark Connelly

Watch this talk online on youtube here

15 July 2019

As soon as the war ended, visitors began to arrive. Some wanted to find out where loved ones had fought and died while others wanted to see something of the reality of the battlefields for themselves.

Mark Connelly is Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kent. He works closely with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and has assisted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport with its activities during the First World War centenary.

The Orchard Family: Loss, Heartbreak and Remembrance – Liz Finn

Watch this talk online on youtube here

29 July 2019

More than 740,000 British servicemen were killed or died in the First World War. The story of the Orchard family from Folkestone illustrates the human cost of the war.

Liz Finn is an archivist with the Kent Archives Service, based at the Kent History and Library Centre. She currently combines her post of Community History Officer with a role as Manorial Documents Register Project Officer for Kent.

Clergy and Criminal Violence in later medieval Kent – Peter Clarke

Watch this talk online on youtube here

9 September 2019

A presentation of the speaker’s current research on clergy and criminal violence in later medieval England and Wales, with special reference to pre-1500 church court records in the Rochester and Canterbury diocese archives.

Peter D. Clarke is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Southampton and specialises in later medieval religious history, especially the papacy and canon law.

The White Horse of Kent – James Lloyd

Watch this talk online on youtube here

21 October 2019

The White Horse is the ubiquitous symbol of the county but what exactly does it mean and for how long has it been used?

James Lloyd gained a Cambridge doctorate for research into local government in Anglo-Saxon England. He currently combines roles as an archivist at the Kent History and Library Centre and Librarian at Aylesford Priory.

Kent Inn Names – Paul Cullen

28 October 2019

Paul considers fresh research in this follow-up to an earlier talk on how Kent alehouses, inns and pubs got their names.

Paul Cullen is the English Place-Name Society’s editor for the Survey of Kent. His academic background is in historical linguistics, especially Old English, Old Scandinavian, and Old French. He is known to dozens as the folk troubadour, Paul Carbuncle.

Kent Voices from VE Day

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day we have recorded ‘Kent voices from VE Day.’

8 May 2020

Watch our film and listen to readings from Personal Diary entries, Local Newspaper articles, Parish Magazine items and Local Government Literature which describe the experiences of VE Day & VJ Day in Kent.

Dunkirk & East Kent – Isaac Naylor

Watch this talk online on youtube here

1 June 2020

The first of several World War II anniversaries in 2020, Operation Dynamo took place eighty years ago. This talk examines the contribution of East Kent, within the wider story of what Churchill later described as a ‘miracle of deliverance’, with particular attention paid to the epic saga of the little ships and the invaluable support of the local population.

Suffragettes of Kent  – Jennifer Godfrey

Watch this talk online on youtube here

15 June 2020

A talk by Jennifer Godfrey about her book, Suffragettes of Kent.  Hear about Kent women like Ethel Violet Baldock born in Maidstone and their campaigning for votes for women. Learn who was imprisoned and force fed in Maidstone Prison and how badly Mrs Charlotte Despard (founder of the Women’s Freedom League) was treated on her visit to the town.  Jennifer is a first time author.  She enjoys listening to and learning from other people’s stories.  Having previously been a Solicitor she trained to accurately convey accounts of an event or situation.  Whilst working at a mental health charity, Jennifer listened to stories and experiences and used these to create resources for  young people.  Writing Suffragettes of Kent has enabled Jennifer to become an advocate once again, but this time for historic Kent voices.  Come and learn about the many stories and journeys of hope, determination, courage and sacrifice of those involved in the women’s suffrage movement in Kent.

To find out more about Suffragettes of Kent and/or contact Jennifer please visit her website at