GMS Notes No. 36. June 2011




Next month the Society will have another stall at the Village fete. The photograph shows the stall at last year's Fun Day (as it was called then).


On the sign for the country park the name Fowlmead  is written. Of course we all know that on maps produced since time immemorial the spelling is Foulmead. The same spelling is written on documents dating from the seventeenth century onwards. Yet with one stroke of the pen a beaurocrat from Seeda has changed a historic name. So much for quangoes!

Wildflower of the Month




Walking home after geocaching at Fowlmead Country Park we came across a mass of marshOrchid_2 orchids (Dactylorhiza majalis). Orchids are unusual in that they have pollinia. Instead of the pollen being released as single grains the whole pollen mass (pollinium) sticks to the head of the pollinating bee and is transferred to the next flower.  

There are several sub-species of marsh orc hid and they freely hybridise. This one is probably the southern marsh orchid although it might be the early marsh orchid. Val took this picture with her phone. Modern technology, eh?




Last Month’s Meeting

Steve_Chappell_talkDr. Steve Chappell gave us an illuminating talk on some of the latest ideas in education, many of which are being introduced at Sandwich Technology School. Ideas of pupil based learning in large multi-purpose open spaces have been tried several times since the seventies and even before. Perhaps with modern technology they have a better chance of success.

A move away from exam focussed learning and knowledge based exams is also not new. I taught for ten years in New South Wales. The Science syllabus covered just 0ne side of A4, emphasised process rather than knowledge and was teacher assessed according to the school’s criteria. I believe it has now been abandoned in light of employer opposition in favour of a more traditional approach.

Steve’s enthusiasm was infectious, and I am sure that if it reflects the enthusiasm and commitment of the staff and pupils of the school it will be a great success.


Kent History Federation

Jim drove me to Maidstone on Friday 3rd June to attend the AGM and quarterly meeting in the Council Chamber of County Hall, a splendid venue with tiers of padded seats and a microphone on the table in front of each delegate. To speak one had to press the bottom button to switch on the red light to catch the chairman’s eye, a skill some did not master.

Federation chairman, Dr Maurice Raraty, was unable to attend, his annual address was read by Mrs Jackie Grebby who conducted the meetings in great style finishing all the business in less than two hours.

Treasurer Mr Robin Thomas produced accounts for the year ended 31st March which showed a surplus of £3,291.43. He asked members to encourage the sale of the Journal of Kent History.

The annual conference at Bromley had been a great success and had made a small profit. Next year it will be at Headcorn and is already being organized. A request to come to East Kent was made by the Friends of Dover Museum and History Society representative who was apprehensive at getting enough help. Jim stuck his neck out and said he was sure his Society and other affiliated organizations nearby would step in and assist in 2013.

Attention was drawn to the websites, Kent Past, Kent History Forum, Kent Archaeological Society and Kent History Federation, which has over 40 useful links.

The date of the next meeting is 2nd September 2011.

June Meeting

For our meeting on June 16th we will meet at the Hall at 7.30. Peter will lead a short walk along Mongeham Road into Church Path as far as the back gate to Mundels. He has set a natural history quiz based on the huge variety of trees in the "garden". Refreshments will be served by Barbara & Patricia.

If wet come straight to the Mundels.

July and August Meetings

More on this next month, but be warned of an early start.. On July 21st we will meet at the Hall at 7pm. We will make sure everyone has a lift but will not wait for late comers. We are gathering at the Car Park, Drop Ridout Road, Dover, CT17 9DY at 7.30. Member Paul Wells and a colleague from the Western Heights Preservation Society will lead our tour.

On August 18th Jim Rees will take a walk down Cherry Lane. We meet at the Church, again at 7 pm sharp.


Rescue Archaeology in Thanet

Thanet has probably the greatest concentration of archaeological remains in Britain, therefore before the new access road was built a full archaeological investigation of the route was made. Last summer Val and I visited an open day on the site and walked around excavations ranging from bronze age to mediaeval. It was most impressive, so when we heard that a lecture outlining the preliminary findings was to be held at Ramsgate Library last month we had to go.   We were not disappointed as we were informed of techniques and finds too numerous to recount in this small space. Just one find, at Cliffs end Farm, of a bronze age grave of skeletons of people from as far away as Scandinavia and Spain, complete with slides, gives a hint at the fascination of the talk.

Study of the finds is ongoing, and I understand there will be another public lecture when more is found out. If so I will certainly be there .



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