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Farningham  &  Eynsford
Local History Society
 
Publication Review
MISCELLANY OF LOCAL HISTORY PAPERS - NO. 5
£3.00   A4, 25 pages, 2 sketches, 6 maps, published 2002

The first and longest of the articles it contains is a history of her own house by a local resident, confirming the hypothesis that it was once a malthouse, and going on to consider the structure of the building and its recent occupants. In the course of this, we learn something about malting. Of course, we are not all lucky enough to live in an old house with an interesting history, but the 1930s are history now. The second article is on a pre-war housing estate which was never completed. The streets that never were, are mapped out for the modem reader. Another article describes roads and tracks which once were, in the seventeenth century, but have now been closed, although some discontinuous traces can still be made out. The building of the M20 and M25 has done away with much of the old road pattern. The motorway junction itself covers part of the site of Farningham racecourse, although it was the railway track which gave it the coup de grace in the 1860s. This is the fourth component of the Miscellany. This is what local history societies are for, to give the present generation a time dimension to the locality they inhabit, to help them read the landscape as a palimpsest where the past shows through behind the text which they are now writing.

Edward James
This review is a reduced version of that in the J. Kent History, March 2003