Thursday 25th April

Churchill and the Bomb, with Professor Kevin Ruane

More has been written about Winston Churchill than any other figure in 20th century British history. But up to now the story of Churchill’s role in the history of the nuclear bomb has been largely untold.

Kevin Ruane’s recent book on the subject has had rave reviews. Based on research in the United States and in Churchill’s archives, it traces how Churchill went from seeing the nuclear bomb as a weapon of war against Nazi Germany to viewing it as a weapon of communist containment, including the development of his strategy of ‘mutually assured destruction (MAD)’.

Kevin Ruane is not only an expert on Winston Churchill but delivers one of the best impersonations of a Chuchillian speech. An informative and entertaining evening is promised.

Thursday 27th June

A Walk through Time – Westcourt Lane with Keith Roberts.

This year’s ‘walk’ will be along Westcourt Lane. It will be a virtual experience – a film show and talk – taking place in the Village Hall.

As always, Keith will tell the history of people, buildings and artefacts with plenty of surprises, and much wit. The following week – 4th July – there will be an opportunity for those that want to see the real thing, to take part in an actual walk along Westcourt Lane

Saturday 7th September. 11.30am – 2.30pm

Big History Day is now well established on the Shepherdswell calendar. See below for full details.

Thursday 26th September.

Beating the Bounds’ with Steven Durbidge

7.30pm Shepherdswell Village Hall

Steven Durbidge’s presentation on Beating the Bounds, an ancient custom which goes back to the Anglo-Saxon period.

In the days before maps and written title deeds, a knowledge of the physical boundaries of property was very important. The custom grew up of walking the boundaries, stopping at intervals to strike boundary stones to ‘mark’ the bounds. The practice was often linked to Rogation Days, days set aside by the Church for prayers for the crops.

Steven will discuss the history of Beating the Bounds with particular reference to Shepherdswell. In particular he will recreate the route taken by villagers when the practice was resurrected during the 1920’s

Thursday 28th November

The Richborough Camp and Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, with Clare Ungerson.

This is remarkable story about how 4,000 refugees came to live in Sandwich. The year is 1939 and the refugees were Jews from Nazi Germany, many of them recent concentration camp prisoners.

After being given visas, they established a camp in Richborough, using buildings that had housed troops on their way to the Western Front during the Great War. It became known as the ‘Kitchener Camp’.

How did the people of Sandwich and East Kent react to an influx of German-speaking Jewish foreigners? The British Union of Fascists and right-wing newspapers tried to inflame tensions. But cultural life at the camp flourished, and fears did not materialise. The Kitchener camp had a positive impact on Sandwich and the region, and has left an important legacy in local memory.

Clare Ungerson has written an acclaimed book about the camp. It tells the story of salvation from the nightmare of Nazi Germany, but also describes how a Kentish community reacted to the arrival of so many German Jews in their midst.