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Arthur Percival

Born in 1933, Arthur was brought up in Wembley and was educated at Wadham College, Oxford. After National Service, he worked for the old London County Council looking after its prints and drawings and researching.

He worked for the Civic Trust in 1965 to help local amenity societies throughout the country and he worked on the Civic Amenities Act of 1967, a bill which made conservation areas possible. His book Understanding our Surroundings, published in 1971, pioneered the concept of urban interpretation in the UK.

Arthur co-founded the Faversham Society in 1962 and was honorary editor of the Society's Faversham Papers from 1964 until his death in 2014. He taught adult education classes on the history and architecture of the town for the Worker's Educational Association.

Arthur played a big part in campaigns to save the town's health services, preventing developers from ruining the town's architecture, and had a prolonged and passionate love for Faversham.

In an interview in February 2013 with the Faversham News, Arthur said: "Towns can never be perfect, but Faversham comes pretty close. Setting aside its superb heritage, where else today can you find so many essential facilities within easy walking distance of one another. Its strong sense of identity must be almost unrivalled, too. All this set in glorious, varied and unspoilt countryside. We’re truly blessed!"

Arthur's Archive

Arthur was a collector. he would collect anything to do with Faversham and also collected objects to do with his many other interests. On his death in 2014 he left his Archive to the Faversham Society.

He had a great interest in photography, taking photographs of everyday scenes in Faversham throughout the 1960s until his death. Many of these were simple street scenes, or shops in the town which enable us to look at the development of the town in a different way.

He also had a large collection of Glass Plate Negatives (GPN.) Most of these were from the many early photographers in Faversham which give a fascinating insight into Faversham during the 1890 - 1920 period. His image collection consists of GPN, slides, photograph prints and negatives. He also collected Photograph albums, some to do with Faversham, some from elsewhere.

In total the image collection comprises over 40,000 items, in addition to his written archive, which consists of over 200 lever arch folders and numerous packets of papers. These include Lecture notes from WEA courses run by Arthur; local history information including enquires from the public researching their family histories within the Faversham area; weekly local newspaper articles and correspondence with people from all over the world regarding Faversham, it's development, people and it's industries.  


A small group of volunteers from the Faversham Society, of which Arthur was a founder member are slowly working their way through his archive, digitising it to make it more accessible to both voluntary curators in the Faversham Fleur De Lis Museum and eventually members of the general public.

To see a selection of low resolution Images from Arthur's collection click on the 'Image Collection' button above.

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