Brian Baker: First became interested in Family History having realised that he had no relatives left that he could ask about his. As he searched each generation back he learned much about the places where his ancestors had lived and worked, from articles written by others who had published information about those places. He then wrote over a hundred history related articles for the local newspaper, the Whitstable Times. In addition he provided local history walks during the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival. He worked alongside the established local historians, but concentrated in social history to avoid crossover into their fields of knowledge. Those historians have since passed on; Robert Goodsall, Tony Blake, Wallace Harvey and Geoffrey Pike. In the main their work is published and available, but the gap that they left was immense.
Ernest Brindle: Was a reporter for the Daily Mail. In 1904 he was sent to cover and report back from the Russian-Japanese war, alongside an American reporter from the New York Times, Lewis Etzel. Lewis was tragically killed by the Chinese. Ernest returned and wrote a book about the conflict, “With Russian, Japanese and Chunchuse: The Experiences of an Englishman During the Russo-Japanese War.” Ernest later appeared living in Gladstone Road, Whitstable and through 1940 to 1950 wrote articles for the Whitstable Times. This gave him the opportunity to interview the locals, business people and the aged, many of whom were born during the previous century. In doing so he was promoting those businesses with his word-craft and at the same time recording the history of Whitstable and its people for future generations.
Oystertown transcribes the articles from both Brian and Ernest, often with common references but different styles. The sharing of our history creates a shared sense of belonging for residents, native or newcomer.