Registered Charity No: 283177


14TH MAY 2019


Chairman Crispin Davies opened the meeting to an attendance of nearly 50 who were quickly fortified for the evening by free wine, soft drinks and nibbles.

Talk: “The Fifth Continent Project” by Dawn Apcar:

When everyone had settled down Crispin reminded us that it was Thomas Ingoldsby in 1837, in his “Ingoldsby Legends” who first described Romney Marsh as the fifth continent after Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Crispin then introduced Dawn Apcar who is working on the project to tell us about the “Fifth Continent Project”, currently under way.

The project aims to involve local people in restoring wildlife habitats, providing apprenticeships in land and livestock management and other activities to stimulate interest in preserving this unique environment. Organisers are Kent Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency, leading many other local organisations. The project is funded by the National Lottery. With excellent pictures, Dawn described the work going on and how the local community is involved.

Presentation of the Capon Shield:

This year one of our members, Annette Armour, suggested that the redevelopment of the Cannon Newman Hall in Dental Street should be considered. This building is remarkable in that it “enhances the visual quality of the neighbourhood” by having as little environmental impact as possible. The owners, Jules and Lore Boyd, wanted just that, so much of the original fabric of the building has been retained or repurposed and the Dental Street frontage is now a beautiful Kentish ragstone wall.

Complimenting Jules and Lore on producing a truly unique house with excellent environmental credentials, Crispin presented them with the Capon Shield. See a full account and pictures on the Awards page.

The Dental Street frontage

Society Business:

After apologies for absence and approval of the minutes of last year’s AGM, the Chairman reminded members that at last year’s AGM Chris O’Connor proposed that the Society considers a review of the Hythe Conservation Area as part of a national initiative led by Civic Voice (our national body). Crispin reported that a small group of Society members has visited Deal whose review is considered an exemplar project. This small group will now liaise with the Town Council before making a joint approach to the District Council.

Treasurer’s Report:

Copies of the Accounts for 2018-19 had been provided to all attending the meeting. Alan Joyce guided us through the intricacies, pointing out that a legacy of £10k made the balance look better than usual. By a show of hands the accounts were accepted and Alan thanked David Carter for examining them.

Chairman and Committee Reports:

Crispin explained that Committee members each lead on an area of interest to them (some with more than one). In previous years each has given his or her individual reports but this year the Committee decided to let the Chairman report on the wide range of activities on their behalf. Full details of these reports will be given in the Minutes which will be posted on this page in due course.

Crispin recalled that the speaker at the 2018 AGM, Anne Petrie. spoke about the World War One commemorations (funded by a grant from Cllr Michael Lyons). Biographies of the fallen of Hythe & Saltwood had been displayed in the High Street together with poppies made by pupils of Saltwood School, and a separate exhibition about the town and the war had been staged in the Library. As a by-product, Saltwood School said it would like to be involved in other HCS projects, including Eaton Lands. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Boyce, the Society’s Patron, has provided the foreword for a book of the biographies to be published shortly.

We continue to work in partnership with a number of other organisations such as the Hythe Town Council and the Hythe Environmental Community Group on Eaton Lands – both the wild flower meadow and the embryo community orchard, with Saltwood Village Society on “Remembering 1918” and at Sandling Station and with KCC Highways on bulb planting. These are just some examples of the Society’s work. Crispin also thanked those who help the Society financially and by sponsorship – For example: The Hythe Venetian Fete Society; District Councillor ward grants; sponsors of Hythe in Bloom; and the Sainsbury’s s106 Town Centre fund.

Crispin reminded everyone “on 1 February 2020 the Society will be 75 years old. A cause for celebration I feel! But how will we celebrate the anniversary? I would like to invite your ideas. There will be an opportunity for immediate ideas in the last item on our agenda this evening or email the Society. So you can take a little time but we do want to hear your ideas. And, possibly, could you give a hand in organising the celebrations as it will be an additional task for the Committee?”

Election of Officers and Committee:

Chris Melchers conducted the re-election of Crispin Davies, unopposed, to the Chair.

The following were then elected, also unopposed:

Vice-Chairman: Betty Black.

Hon. Secretary: Mary Hunter.

Hon. Treasurer: Alan Joyce.

The Chairman reported that Jane Twist is standing down for personal reasons. Jane has been a stalwart of the Society for many, many years. Jane was given our best wishes and our sincere and grateful thanks for her past service on the Committee. The Committee will certainly miss her. Crispin also thanked Christopher Melchers who is standing down from his post as Vice-Chairman.

The Chairman expressed delight in reporting that the Committee has co-opted David Hammond. His arrival has reduced the average age of the Committee significantly! With equal pleasure he announced that Sally Starbuck has allowed her name to go forward as a new member of the Committee. There are still vacancies if anyone else is interested!

The following were elected to the executive committee: Sally Chesters, David Hammond, Ian Hill, Christopher Melchers, Kim Murton, Anne Petrie, Sally Starbuck, Michael Tubman.

The Chairman then reminded us of the summer outing to Chartwell planned for 19th June, thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.






Click here for the minutes of the previous AGM.