On Friday 1 December, Julian Waltho, Canterbury City Guide and Chair of the Canterbury Branch of the Historical Association, got the Society’s Christmas Party off to a cracking start with an excellent talk, full of historical detail, wit and anecdote, on the life and extraordinary career of one of the city’s most famous citizens, James Simmons (1741–1807): banker, newspaper proprietor, miller, philanthropist, mayor, and MP. The talk was followed by genial socialising with wine and fine food in a seasonally decorated church, ending with good cheer another successful year for the Society.

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