The people who influence HRGS...


Chair & Research Project Co-ordinator - Richard Emmett

I have a background in Emergency Planning, but seemingly always had a passion for history, particularly military-history.  Most recently, I  have been involved in taking part in a variety of archaeological excavations, such as the Randall Manor project at Shorne, the Thames Discovery Programme and the Digging Dad's Army project.  Although, my main interest area is 20th century conflict archaeology, which allows a fresh interpretation on events. If you would like to know more about me check out this link - Get to know your Chairman

I would be pleased to hear from you: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice Chair - John Beaumont

John is actively involved with various archaeological groups, including Bredhurst, Shorne, and Wychling. John is never happier than being in a test pit!

Treasurer - Theresa Emmett

The Treasurer's role is to ensure the smooth financial affairs of the organisation. Paying bills, and balancing the books with our membership fees, donations, book sales and fund raising monies, to enable the accounts to be signed off by the HRGS accountant.

I have a banking background, previously working for Lloyds Bank for 18 years. Whilst I enjoy playing with spreadsheets and looking at investments, my real passion is for history. I have been involved with projects such as MOCO (Mass Observation Communities Online) as well as Digging Dad's Army which gets my hands dirty and involved in conflict archaeology. My interest in history is far reaching, and any kind of view into the past which helps us make sense of the present interests me.

Events Secretary & Assistant Treasurer - Jenny Kearney

Jenny became a member of the group in 2014 - through the Bredhurst 'diggers'. She enjoys the outdoor archaeological opportunities the group offers, as well as getting involbed with the WW1 memorials project by researching the background of fallen men. Jenny has been the Assistant Treasurer since 2015.


Secretary, Editor, Printer, and Researcher - Pat Robinson

Pat was known as Dr Bellingham when she wrote her book 'An Illustrated History of Sittingbourne and Milton' and has always been interested in the history of the town in which her mother was born and where she was also brought up. She has been actively involved with the group since 2013, and is currently involved in the WW1 Memorials Project. In 2016 she wrote 'A Town at War', published by HRGS, which tells the story of Sittingbourne and Milton during the First World War. She now holds several jobs on the committee and has previously been the Membership Secretary.

Membership Secretary - John Weeks OBE

John has been a member of HRGS since 2009, and a committee member since 2015, and is very interest in Aviation History, and local history. He is an avid model airaplane flyer and a past president of the Sittingbourne branch of Probus. John was awarded an OBE for his services within the Civil Service before he retired.

Archivist & Chronicle Keeper - Janet Halligan

Janet has a wealth of knowledge about Sittingbourne and Milton Regis, as she and her family have lived in this area for many generations, and has her own personal Archive records which are very useful to our researchers.

Webmaster - Peter Hudson-Paige

Peter became the HRGS webmaster from September 2015 taking on the responsibility of its maintenance and the publishing of 'the fallen' names in remembrance of all those that lost their lives during WW1, on the centenary of their death.  A keen history enthusiast since his youth in the 1960's, he spent 13 days experiencing his first archaeological dig at York in 1974 - whilst on holiday with his parents!

Although never far from his mind, his involvement in all things historical ceased when he married and had a family.  Now with less family commitments, he is again immersing himself in the world he most loves.  Peter is now an active member of the group and became a committee member, also in September 2015.

Peter is a serving councillor for both Bobbing and Borden Parish Councils, and a former Executive Member to the Kent Association of Local Councils.

IT Support - John Townsend

John has been a 'digger' at Bredhurst for the last 6 years and enjoys both the delicate work as well as the 'harder digging jobs'.  He has a technical engineering background, which has meant that he was able to build his own resistivity meter to help identify potential archaeological areas on site. He has been the Chairman, Membership secretary and Treasurer for his radio club.

Heritage Hub Support - John Cockrell

John has been a volunteer in the Heritage Hub before HRGS took over the running of the exhibition. John will turn his hand to anything from painting the walls to dressing the windows. He joined HRGS committee in 2015, and volunteers for many other organisations as well. John has been nominated for the Swale Volunteer Awards in March 2017 (Good luck John!)


Heritage Hub Shop Manager

Volunteer Wanted!  - please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to chat to us about helping with this vacancy.


 Media and Press Officer - Tony Gray

Tony re-joined the group in 2016 and offered to help with administration for the Heritage Lottery funding feedback; and then offered to become the Press Officer when the position became vacant. Tony has expanded the role to include social media and has been instrumental in moving HRGS into the world of Twitter.

HRGS' Honorary President - Paul Auston Esq. - Deputy Lieutenant

Paul has attended various HRGS heritage events during 2016 and 2017, so when Bill Croydon CBE, our previous President, asked to step down due to family commitments, Paul seemed the obvious choice as a successor. 

The hand-over ceremony took place on Saturday 20th May 2017 and Paul said that it was a "great honour" and that "he felt humbled to be asked to become President of the group and to take over the role from Bill." He ended by saying that he would do his best to be a good President, and he was very interested in and supportive of what HRGS is doing and wanted to "see the group prosper for the long term”.

Paul is Kent based, and has also served as Trustee and Chairman of many worthy charities, including Demelza House, a children's hospice based in Kent, Sussex and South East London. On retiring he was elected honorary Vice President and he continues to support the work of the charity.

He was also instrumental in setting up 'Classics on Track for Children', encouraging fellow motor sport enthusiasts to use their classic and GT sports cars on circuits in Southern England to raise funds for local charities. He is a trustee of The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children's Fund based in Portsmouth, and is actively involved in raising funds and awareness in the wider community of the needs of families and children "The forgotten casualties of conflict". He also serves on the development group raising funds for the restoration of Canterbury Cathedral.

He has three children, one of whom is Chief Executive of the Checkmate Lifting and Safety business at Sheerness, a family business that is the proud recipient of two Queen's Awards for enterprise in the fields of export and innovation.


And click here to see all our valuable volunteers