Our aim is to investigate, record and promote the history of Sittingbourne and the local area by research, study, education and publication.

We believe that History is the Glue that holds Communities Together

Our Patron

Sir Anthony Cleaver

Sir Anthony Cleaver

Sir Anthony kindly agreed to become the Patron of the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne earlier this year.  We are delighted that he has accepted this new role within HRGS. In that role, he has offered to lend his support to our research areas and be a figurehead to the group.

Following National Service, Sir Anthony read Greats (Latin, Greek, Ancient History and Philosophy) at Trinity College, Oxford.  In 1962, he joined IBM as a trainee instructor, rising to be Chairman and Chief Executive of IBM (UK).  He then chaired a range of organisations including the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Medical Research Council, various companies and Birkbeck College and the Royal College of Music.

As Chairman of Engineering UK, he became the driving force behind the founding of the country’s ‘Big Bang Fair’ which was first run in 2009 and by 2015 had become one of Europe's largest science, engineering and technology fairs for young people.

Tony, as he likes to be known, retired from his role at Engineering UK in 2010 and as Patron of the Big Bang Fair a few years later.

Our President

Paul Auston

Paul Auston, DL

Paul has also served as Trustee and Chairman of Demelza House, a children's hospice based in Kent, Sussex and South East London for 6 years. On retiring he was elected honorary Vice President and he continues to support the work of the charity.

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.

Paul who is Kent based, has also been 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 has 3 children one of whom, Oliver, is Chief Executive of the Checkmate Lifting and Safety business at Sheerness, a family business that is the proud recipient of 2 Queens awards for enterprise in the fields of export and innovation.


All of our work is carried out by volunteers.  

With over 15,000 hours of time clocked up in 2016, the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne ‘Heritage Team’ volunteers are at the heart of what we do. We carry out local heritage investigations by documentary and archaeological research.  Much of this work is then published and or presented both visually and orally to the community via our exhibition centre, known as The Heritage Hub.

We wish to thank all our volunteers and appreciate the time and effort they put in.  Their work and enthusiasm is appreciated and celebrated  as can be seen below.  We also always welcome all offers from volunteers.  There is always work to be done and whatever your skills and whatever time you can give, we can find something for you to help and enjoy doing.  Call into the Heritage Hub and have a chat with us.  

HRGS 2017-2018 Committee

"One of the best things that has happened in the last 25 years in Sittingbourne was the establishment of HRGS” [to research the fantastic history of the area].

Bill Croydon, past President of HRGS and former CEO, Swale Borough Council.