Walking guides by former editor to receive an update
The works of a respected journalist and author who chronicled his walks through the Kent countryside are set to be revived.
Sir Charles Igglesden served as the editor of the Kentish Express for 64 years after taking on the role from his father, who had founded the newspaper in 1855.
He was knighted for services to journalism but was also a keen writer of novels and accounts of his saunters through the Kent countryside.
His life has been charted in history magazine Bygone Kent by writer Malcolm Horton, who describes how Sir Charles produced a series of reports with illustrator Xavier Willis for more than 45 years.
Called Saunters Through Kent with Pen and Pencil, they were published in the Kentish Express and also printed in 34 volumes.
But nine of the villages that Sir Charles visited were never featured, so Mr Horton hopes to publish a 35th volume of the works early next year, including a look at how the villages have changed.
The villages are: Selling, Stalisfield, Stowting, Postling, Bonnington, Otterden, Oare, Norton and Luddenham.
Mr Horton said: “He was a man of unbounded energy and wide-ranging abilities. I believe that the 34 volumes of Saunters through Kent with Pen and Pencil will be his lasting testimony.”
Sir Charles was offered the chance to be editor of The Chronicle in Fleet Street but turned down the post to remain in Kent.
He lived at Heathfield, a town house in Canterbury Road, Ashford, now opposite Simone Weil Avenue.
Mr Horton reveals details of the former editor’s sporting prowess at cricket, rugby, lawn tennis and chess.
Remarkably he twice beat Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at billiards in the finals of the Author’s Club Championship.
Sir Charles was also a prominent public servant in Kent, as an elected county councillor and later alderman. He died in 1949 at the age of 88.
The full article is available in issue 38 of the Bygone Kent magazine, which can be purchased online by visiting www.bygonekent.org
Former Kentish Express editor Charles Igglesden; below, A Saunter Through Kent with Pen and Pencil