From the Chairman of the Council for Kentish Archaeology, Brian Philp.
The year 2004 marks the 40th anniversary of the Council for Kentish Archaeology, formed in October 1964. Earlier that year four young men, representing newly formed archaeological groups in Kent met to discuss mutual interests and problems. They readily agreed that some form of inter-group co-operation would be greatly beneficial, particularly where sites were threatened with destruction.
The result was the formation of the CKA. This had officers, a committee, a quarterly journal (Kent Archaeological Review) two conferences a year, a rescue-archaeology scheme and much more.
As the years went by more local groups joined and more people gave their support and voluntary services. By 2004 the KAR had reached its 158th edition under several excellent editors. There had been more than 80 highly successful conferences and many sites had been saved from destruction by prompt action.
It was from the CKA that the first fulltime team in Britain was formed to cover a county (the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit) in 1971. Drawn mostly from the CKA member-groups it has gone on to work on hundreds of Kent sites and to publish very many to a high standard.
A book dealing with this work ("Archaeology in the Front Line", by Brian Philp) was published in 2002 and the first copy presented to H.M. the Queen.
Another early advance was the formation in 1972 of the "Friends of CKA" with now over 500 people from a very wide area, supporting the activities of the CKA.