This article appeared in the Summer 1971 (Issue #24) edition of the Kent Archaeological Review.
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News from the Groups --
Group Progress report.
Annual party.The first event of 1971 was the annual party, which was well attended by members, evening-class students and friends. This annual get-together gives all concerned a chance to look back over the previous year's excavations and to hear the plans for the coming year. Slides were shown of all the "digs" which the Group had undertaken during 1970, and also the large excavation at Dover, on which many of the members had helped. An archaeological slide-quiz between a team from the CKA led by its Chairman, Mr R Walsh, against a team from the WKBAG was organised. This event appeared to be rigged: both the question-master and the scorer were biased and it was no surprise that the home team won by one point. The Chairman also presented the awards (a new trowel) to the best diggers for 1970: to Miss P George and Miss A Button (West Kent); to Mrs J Newbury (1st-year student); to Dr W Soper (2nd year student) and Mrs T Dutton (3rd-year student)
Field visits.In order to give members first-hand knowledge of some of the major sites in West Kent, monthly field visits were organised during the winter months. These included trips to the Iron Age Hillforts at Oldbury, near Ightham; Squerreys, near Westerham and Dry Hill, near Edenbridge. The complete circuits of these huge monuments were walked. In March and April the annual trips to Lullingstone Roman Villa, Eynsford Castle and the "Walk through Keston" were undertaken. A survey was also made of part of the proposed line of M25. This includes part of the disused railway branch-line from Westerham to Dunton Green. The deserted station of Brasted and several interesting nineteenth century brick and iron railway bridges were inspected.
Monthly lectures.The six monthly lectures held from October to March were continued and these proved to be popular and very worthwhile. In this way the Group's activities are publicised, as is the work of the CKA and much support is given by the public attending these meetings to our various activities. Speakers are drawn from the CKA panel of lecturers and they are all warmly thanked for their lively and interesting talks. Mr A Gidlow spoke on the Faversham gunpowder industry and was ably assisted by Mr B Bunting; Mr C Ward gave an illustrated talk on trade in Roman times; Mr A Selkirk lectured on current archaeology in Great Britain and Mr B Philp spoke on local excavations and the rescue excavation at the famous villa-complex at Darenth, the most extensive Roman site in the Darent valley
Rescue.The Group was well represented at the interesting meeting held in London on January 23rd to inaugurate 'Rescue.' Support will certainly be given to this organisation, but it is hoped that practical short-term schemes will also be put into operation. Although committed to a heavy programme of preparing work for publication group members continue the watch on building sites, new roads and service trenches in the area.
Funds.In addition to the annual subscriptions which group members pay, the main source of income has again been the annual jumble sale. This was held at Bromley in February. Mr E Connell organised this event and must be congratulated for all his work, as must all his many willing helpers. About £80 clear profit was added to the Group's funds and well rewarded the effort. Preparation for a jumble sale can be kept to a minimum and expenses need not exceed £10-£15.
Research Centre.Previous jumble sales and a CBA grant helped to purchase our all-important research centre (a prefabricated wooden building) in 1967. This has proved invaluable and this winter it has been in use three or four evenings a week and also at weekends. Work has been going on steadily in preparing plans, sections, maps and drawings for publication. Without this essential facility this task would have been impossible