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Kent Archaeological Society

Kent Archaeological Society.2016.Obituaries.Archaeologia Cantiana.137:331-334.



ian coulson, b.a. (hons), p.g.c.e., f.s.a.

Council members were shocked to learn at their June 2015 meeting that Ian Coulson, President of the Society since 2011, had just been diagnosed with a brain tumour and would be stepping down immediately. He died in December at the age of 60.

Ian was born and brought up in Sunderland and attended the Bede School there. He read history at University College, Cardiff, at the time also displaying a deep interest in, and love of, archaeology. He taught in state secondary schools in Kent for ten years before becoming Adviser for History in the County in 1987 and then History Adviser and Inspector from 1994. He remained with Kent County Council until retirement in 2010. He made a really significant contribution to the teaching and learning of history in both primary and secondary schools, utilising his particular talent for inspiring students of all ages with his infectious enthusiasm for the past, wherever possible making history a hands-on experience. His ground-breaking work in education included major roles in projects to open up the then mysterious contents of the National Archives and in developing the Schools History Project. Working with local and national organisations, he wrote, contributed to and edited a wide range of textbooks and other historical resources for schools and wider audiences, ranging from The Roman Empire, through Medicine and Health and The Armada to Britain and the Great War. He was a pioneer in developing and promoting educational websites.

At various times he was a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on National Records and Archives and was actively involved with organisations such as the then Public Records Office, the Council for British Archaeology and the Victoria County History.

From the early 1990s Ian involved himself in the educational work of the Canter-bury Archaeological Trust, helping them to build an educational website and pro-vide the immensely popular CAT Kits and CAT Boxes, hands-on classroom teach-ing aids, containing archaeological artefacts and other materials. He also assisted with the educational initiatives for the Interreg-funded BOAT 1550 project that saw the CAT Kit model rolled-out in Belgium and north France.

Although not the originator, he became the driving force behind the 10-volume series of the Kent History Project. He was assistant editor of, and contributed to Kent in the Twentieth Century (2001), subsequently taking over the general editorship of the series. The final volume, Early Medieval Kent, is scheduled to be published in June 2016. He involved himself with the project on the early history of Folkestone, acting as co-chair and editing A Town Unearthed: Folkestone to 1500 that is one of its key legacies.

Ian devoted considerable time and energy to the Kent Archaeological Society, a life member from 1982. He was a founder member of the KAS Education committee (set up in 1991) and became its Chairman in 2004. He was elected President of the Society in 2011 and pursued a modernising agenda with his customary great enthusiasm. He sought to involve more members in Society activities and championed all aspects of archaeology. Particular concerns were the reform of the Society’s committee structure and improving and bringing up to date the style of its publications. Ian carried out his onerous duties extremely conscientiously, attending nearly every committee meeting as well as chairing Council with great insight.

Ian was a charismatic figure in Wye, his local community, frequently being asked to host large meetings of the village and taking on various roles over the years. He was chairman of the Wye Village Design Group (2001-2010) and of the Parish Plan Group (2006-2008).

A celebration of Ian’s life and work was held before a packed assembly in Wye Church on 22 December where former colleagues and friends paid tribute to his many achievements. It was appropriate that, following this, his final journey was in a side-car hearse powered by a Triumph Adventurer, reflecting his love of his own motorcycle, used both for daily travel and for exploring many far-flung parts of Europe.

His sad loss at an all too young age, after an illness borne with immensely moving courage and dignity, affects all who knew him.

john williams and terence lawson



peter stutchbury, m.a.,, ph.d.

Peter Stutchbury died in September, aged 71. He had been Honorary General Sec-retary of the Society from 2010 until stepping down in May 2015.

Peter was born in Ruckinge and grew up in the Kent countryside which he always loved. His father ran a coal business from their home at Oakhurst. He attended Ashford Grammar School and in 1962 he went up to Nottingham University to read mathematics. It was towards the end of his University career that his life took a tragic turn with both his parents passing away leaving Peter and his brother to run the coal business. He worked hard to build up the business which flourished. In his spare time he studied for an m.b.a. and an m.a. in Marketing at Kingston University and finally achieved his doctorate in Marketing.

In September 1983 he and his wife Rosemary moved to Lympne Hall. This old fifteenth-century house became the centre of their happy family life for the next 32 years. Peter even decided to add to his earlier academic achievements and study at Bournemouth University (under the aegis of the Weald and Downland Museum) for an in timber-framed buildings. This so that he could forecast exactly which bits of timber at the Hall might collapse next! He joined the KAS in 1985.

Stutchbury Fuels continued to prosper, with an oil and gas distribution business added as well. Peter served as an Ashford Borough Councillor and was an active member of Ashford Rotary. In 1991 he sold up the business and joined Brake Brothers.

In 2005 at the age of 61, he decided to retire. He founded both SHAL (Studying History and Archaeology in Lympne) and also the Ragstones cycling group, finding the time to compete in the Cape Argus cycle race (Cape Town, South Africa) nine years running.

As Hon. Gen. Secretary he was a pivotal member of the team which steered the Society into the 21st century, a process which required considerable care and tact. He was great supporter of its educational activities and extremely helpful when it came to arranging conferences, study-days and workshops.

Sadly, in 2013 Peter was diagnosed with cancer but it was no surprise that he battled through his illness while continuing to attend with his usual thoroughness to Society business.

terence lawson and rosemary stutchbury



peter draper,, ph.d., d.i.c., f.r.s.c., m.inst.p., c.phys.

Peter Henry George Draper passed away on 14th February 2015 and was buried at St Mary’s, Stansted. He was born in 1933 in Dartford, the son of a local house builder. He attended Dartford Grammar School and went on to study for his first degree at Imperial College, London, in Chemistry, as was his ph.d., based on the Royal School of Mines. However, he left his first discipline to qualify in dentistry and medicine becoming a lecturer and researcher in Dentistry at the University of London.

Peter maintained a close connection with Dartford living at the family home until he moved to Stansted in the 1980s. He served as a councillor on Dartford Borough Council and later on the Kent County Council. He was an active member of the Dartford Historical and Antiquarian Society being chairman from 1987 to 2006, then president from 2006.

Without doubt Peter’s greatest interest was antiquarian books on Kent and he built up a collection of over 16,000 books, pamphlets and prints (the vast majority of which have been donated to Leicester University for their local history collection).

Peter joined the KAS in 1964 and, not surprisingly, took a keen interest in the Society’s Library. He was elected Honorary Librarian in 1975 and served until 1999. In 2000 he became a Patron of the Society.

In June 1977 a serious fire in Maidstone Museum penetrated into the KAS Library. Prompt action by the Museum staff and the Fire Brigade cut the losses to about ten per cent of the value of the books and furniture, and speedy action was taken to remove some rare and valuable volumes – Peter was alerted and soon arrived on the scene to supervise. Many of the items lost were replaceable, which Peter organised. Fortunately, very few of the rare and early volumes were affected, although some frail bindings had suffered. Using his immense knowledge of book conservation, Peter had these items rebound.

Pending reconstruction of the Library, Peter arranged for its contents to be removed to the attic of Gad’s Hill, the former home of Charles Dickens. Peter worked closely with the architect and supervised the reconstruction of the KAS Library in ‘Queen Anne’ style. The layout of the interior and the restitution, carting, cleaning, sorting, shelving and indexing of the collections was supervised by Peter, assisted by a dedicated volunteer group of members whose meticulous efforts enabled the substantial heritage of the Library to be largely restored and recreated. The Library opened for business again in Autumn 1979.

Peter was no stranger to controversy and he will always be remembered for the purchase of a £1,000 Turkish carpet and £250 chandelier for the Library (which raised eyebrows). He will also be particularly remembered for the enormous amount of work he did sourcing interesting and suitable books and materials to enhance the Library’s collections.

In the late 1980s Peter and the late Dan Jones initiated a scheme to enter the cat-alogue of books on to a computer. After purchasing the Society’s first computer and with the aid of many volunteers, the Society’s extensive collection of photographs, prints and watercolour paintings also began to be catalogued. The work they began is being continued by the latest Library team.

ted connell



patricia hyde, b.a., m.litt.

Born in 1930 Patricia was sent to board at Ashford School for Girls at the age of nine. She studied Modern History at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, entering the college in 1948. She stayed up to write a thesis comparing the Bishop of Win-chester’s manors in Witney and Adderbury (Oxon.), 1215-1485. As a result, she was delighted to be able to help archaeologists date the foundation of the bishop’s palace at Witney. In 1953 Patricia married John Bean Hyde (1927-1985).

Patricia joined a group under Professor Bindoff studying the Tudor section of the History of Parliament at the Institute of Historical Research. In the 1970s Patricia became interested in a Leicester University project on the development of small towns in the early modern period. It was on the advice of Rosemary Weinstein that she became involved in delving into the history of Faversham. She thought it sounded an interesting place and had endless records. Patricia joined the Faversham Historians group when they first met up under the chairmanship of Professor Theo Barker in 1980.

Her first publication on Faversham was an article that appeared in 1985 in Archaeologia Cantiana, cii (1985) on ‘Henry Hatch and the Battle over his Will’, the controversy that did so much to shape the modern town of Faversham. It was about this time that Patricia teamed up with Duncan Harrington whilst they were both working at Canterbury Cathedral Archives, a collaboration that continued until her death. In 1993, the Faversham Society published her work on Primary and Secondary Sources for the town A Faversham and District Bibliography. Then followed a Faversham paper (no. 45) on Faversham Ships and Seamen in the sixteenth Century. An epic tome on Thomas Arden; the man behind the myth (1996) was next.

Patricia’s next joint publication with Harrington was the Faversham Hundred Records Vol. 1. These microfiches provide a catalogue of thousands of records. They have now been superseded by a CD version. Vol. 2: Hearth Tax returns for Faversham Hundred 1662-1674: with supporting documents (1998) was followed by Vol. 3: Faversham Tudor and Stuart Muster Rolls (2000); Vol. 4: Faversham Oyster Fishery: Through Eleven Centuries (2002); Vol. 5: Faversham Hundred Rentals on CD (2008). The Early Town Books of Faversham c.1251 to 1581 (2008) was one of the more ambitious projects.

Finally, November 2014 saw the last joint publication with Duncan Harrington of Faversham Abbey, Collections towards a History. She died in her sleep on the 27 July 2015 leaving a daughter Susannah, a son-in-law and five granddaughters.

duncan harrington