Preserving & Promoting Southborough & High Brooms' Heritage


                       Retiring Chairman


At our May AGM our Chairman Michael Howes said goodbye to his role after over three and a half years. Mike brought to the Southborough Society his youth and enthusiasm and we are sad to see him leave this post.  I am sure Mike will continue to be involved in all our exciting projects, he was instrumental in leading the Society to create a database of all our archives, which we will very soon be finalising and in exploring and clearing our land called “doctors meadow”. We all wish him well with his other interests and his academic pursuits. Thank you Mike.

Thank you everyone who attended our exhibition in High Brooms today (9-9-17). A special thank you to the Rt. Hon Greg Clark MP who kindly opened the exhibition and showed a great interest in all of the exhibits. Many thanks to Rev. Chris Wicks of St. Matthews Church, High Brooms for his kind hospitality. Thank you also to Cllr. Dianne Hill, Diana Blackwell, Judy Rose and others for supporting and helping set everything up. Our thanks goes to the Mayor of Southborough and High Brooms Cllr. David Elliott for attending and giving his support. What a wonderful community spirit we have in Southborough and High Brooms!

Please don't forget our Heritage Open Days

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Ralph Usherwood Exhibition

A highly successful exhibition that was held on 27th June 2015 as a joint event between St Thomas' Church and the Southborough Society. At the plaque unveiling for Ralph Usherwood last year, many local people brought along paintings by the artist and this gave us the idea of holding a dedicated exhibition of his work. We were thrilled to be joined by Ralph's two sons, Martin and Paul, and their families. Many of the exhibits on display were kindly lent by them.

News on the Summer 2014 Plaque Unveilings

One of the latest plaque unveilings was to commemorate Ralph Usherwood - Artist and Art editor for the Radio Times. Michael Howes, Chairman of the Southborough Society gave the tribute to him at the unveiling in Pennington Road, Southborough. The plaque was unveiled by Daphne Todd, one of Britain's foremost prestigious figurative painters, who expressed her delight to honour this artist. An exhibition of some of Ralph's paintings were on display in his former home after the unveiling on 11th September 2014.

Ralph Usherwood was born in 1912 at West Wickham, Kent. He was educated at St. Dunstan's College, London and read classics at Oxford. During the Second World War he served in the RAF, later joining the Radio Times as Art Editor. After his retirement he concentrated on his painting of mainly local Southborough scenes in water colour and pen. He was an active member of his local church, St Thomas'.

He lived in Pennington Road until his death in 2000.

Daphne Todd and Michael Howes at the Ralph Usherwood unveiling


Some of Ralph Usherwood's local Southborough watercolours

please click on image to enlarge

The unveiling of Southborough Society Commemorative plaque to Amelia Scott - Suffragist & feminist, took place on Saturday 16th August 2014.  The plaque was unveiled by Dr Anne Logan who is a Senior Tutor and Lecturer in Social History at the University of Kent's School of Social Policy, Sociology & Social Research's Medway campus. Dr Logan is a historian specialising in 19th & 20th century British Social history and women's history.  The BBC South East covered this unveiling and have included the piece below on their website. Kent Online have also featured this event - see below.

Please click on image to enlarge or go to the BBC South East website and follow the links.

Commemorative Plaques

The unveiling of a plaque to Roger Webster (who is famous for campaigning against the "closed shop" for members of a trade union) was kindly unveiled by our MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark. Greg has included a news feature on his website, a copy of the feature is shown below.