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Thelma Dudley

Thelma was born in Farnborough Kent and after leaving school she trained to be a hairdresser. She lived and worked in Orpington and Bromley for several years before getting married and having a family.

The family moved to Newington in 1979 and have all been actively involved with village groups and clubs ever since. Thelma is currently the Secretary of the Newington History Group where she is part of a team researching the military and civilian history of the WW1 heroes named on the Newington War Memorial.

It was in 1987 that seeds were sown to awaken Thelma’s interest in Newington’s village history. One was a memorial slab in St Mary the Virgin Church and the other was a hand written history of Newington, compiled by a school girl in 1931. Thelma then began collecting old photographs and her research took on a more serious note. She wrote a brief history for the village appraisal report in 1987 and has been a keen researcher and writer ever since.

Thelma’s first book ‘Newington Times Past’ was published in 2002 and has been well received both at home and abroad. This publication is in black and white and contains very early history up to the 1960s. It also includes many old photographs from the early 1920s plus maps and drawings from local artists.
Newington Times Past


Newington Street
Thelma’s second book ‘Newington Street and Place Names’ was published at the end of 2013 and hopefully answers many questions so often asked about Newington. This publication is in full colour and explains the meaning and history behind all the streets, farms and original manor estates in Newington. It also includes more maps and drawings, plus a pictorial of the village as seen today.

It has been written that Newington is a place of no interest. If you ‘dig’ and ‘delve’ deep enough you will uncover a wealth of fascinating knowledge about the past and the people who were here before.


Both publications are available from thelma@newingtonhistory.co.uk

Through family history research, Thelma has discovered that her paternal roots are in Sittingbourne and Faversham, unknown to her until she moved to the area. She discovered that her grandfather Albert Davis was born in Milstead and that he and a brother Percy were removed to Newington for a short stay in 1898 (reasons unknown, probably came to stay with relatives) but then by 1901 the brothers are in Faversham with their parents and siblings.

After serving and surviving the Great War, instead of returning to Faversham, Albert went to Bromley where he met and married Annie, Thelma’s grandmother. It seems Thelma’s ancestry is closer than she ever imagined!

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