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Photo collection delves into town's rich history

By Faversham Times  |  Posted: January 18, 2013

  • ENTHUSIAST: Peter Kennett more than 4,000 postcards of Faversham in his collection

  • IN PRINT: Peter's book, Faversham From Old Photographs

  • MEMORIES: Preston Street in the early 1920s

  • DOWN TO MARGATE: A bespectacled Peter and his mother Edie (centre front) on the Brents Sunday School outing

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POSTCARD collector Peter Kennett has been taking people on his nostalgic photographic tours of Faversham for the last 20 years.

Peter, 65, has amassed a collection of more than 4,000 vintage photographs from fairs across the country and shares them in a popular slide show where he talks residents through their town's not-so-distant past.

His book tells the story of Faversham through vintage photographs from the 1890s to the 1960s.

Mr Kennett, of Broomfield Road, explains: "I love looking back at pictures of Faversham and how it has changed over the years because it's where I was born and lived all my life. The town had such talented photographers so I am very fortunate to have so many excellent images in my collection.

"The Victorian's used to send postcards to each other regularly and with six posts a day you could send and receive one by the end of the day. Their popularity meant a lot of images were taken of all parts of life."

In the coming weeks we will look at some of the remarkable scenes that feature in his book, from war to fire and flood.

And while there are examples of many long-gone scenes, some have hardly changed over the years.

This 1920s scene of Preston Street is Peter's favourite image, and one which shows the shop where many of his postcards started life.

He said: "The photograph was taken by Theo Barber, one of the most prominent photographers of that period, and shows his shop where people would go to have their photo shoots. I know my mother Edie used to go there often as she was only married to my father for a year before the Second World War broke out.

"Women would regularly send their sweethearts portrait shots so that they wouldn't feel so far away when they were away on service. Mr Barber also shot their wedding, which is nice for me to be able to have in my collection."

As a brewery town Faversham had more than its fair share of pubs and in the photograph you can make out the old Dolphin Hotel, boasting fine ales and stout, and a few yards away The Swan Inn, now the Swan Cafe in East Street.

Peter has also collected some photographs that are even closer to home. He said: "This one is of me and my mother going on one of the Brents Sunday School outings in the 1950s. I'm sure it would have been Margate that we were headed for. Everybody in the town seemed to go to Sunday school so the trips were well attended. You didn't have holidays abroad in those days. It was just a few years after the war and rations were still in place.

"I'll never forget those woollen swim suits we wore on the beach!"

Faversham from Old Photographs is available for £12.99 from Bowstring Bargain Books, West Street and KGN News, Preston Street or as a DVD for £8. To buy from Peter directly, email claire.mcwethy@KRNmedia.co.uk

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