A History of YALDING, Kent, England

On Tuesday 24th of November 1992 at 7.45 pm in the Village Hall, a meeting was arranged for anyone who was interested in the buildings, its people, and the past history of Yalding. This was not to be a practical group like the YNPS, but purely for study and information, and as such a series of talks and slide shows were arranged.
In 1994 the KCC Arts and Libraries department, in their series of `a century of Kent Writers', held a Celebration of Edmund Blunden, on Tuesday the 28th of June in the village library. The programme for this event was arranged and presented by the Yalding Society. Two years later to celebrate the birth of Edmund in 1896, the Society organised a Blunden Centenary Festival, with three events spread throughout 1996. The first, on Saturday 27th of July, was an organ recital in the Parish Church, interspersed with poetry readings. During Edmund's early years and whilst he was a scholar at Cleaves, his father Charles was organist here, and helped with the specification of our present organ when it was installed in 1905.
On Saturday 19th of October that year the Society presented a Festival Concert, that featured a local group called the `Relative Minors Orchestra and Singers' in an evening of music and song, that ranged from light classical to Victorian parlour, with selected readings from Edmund's work. The last of these Centenary events was a talk by Dr Barry Webb, who had written a biography of Edmund, and this was given on the actual centenary of Edmund's birth, Friday 1st of November 1996. This was held in the school hall.
The meetings of the Society, and New Year social evenings, continued but slowly declined when no-one with the necessary time to organise meetings was available to lead it. The Society closed its books in 1998, and donated its modest funds towards an Edmund Blunden memorial plaque on the Village Green.

In 1888 subscription from local gentry and traders totalled £ 22 12s 6d., of which £ 15 was donated by Rev D Lamplugh M A who was President and Treasurer. W Galpin was Secretary, with the remainder of the committee being Messrs Warde, Prebble, Longley, Tippen and Baker. For the previous few years the society had been operating in rented rooms, but in 1889 they transferred to the Institute to “a room now fitted up with everything which can conduce to the comfort and happiness of our boys who have left school, and Mrs Alexander wishes the lads to commence the Winter session in October.”
There was to be a change at this time, but whilst the society still remained affiliated to the Y M F S, the title would from then on be that of the BOYS BRIGADE. (See under that title.)