A History of YALDING, Kent, England

There have been many attempts to organise clubs or activities for our youngsters over the years, and it is possible when compiling a list that some may be missed. At the start of the century there were many organisations for young people such as the:- Band of Hope, Band of Mercy, Boys Brigade, Boy Scouts, Girls Friendly Society, Kings Messenger, Communicant Guild, plus the Sunday School that over 100 attended. With all these activities yet another group was started in June 1911:-
Difficulties were experienced in finding permanent accommodation, but to help them get established Mr Ernest Alexander provided a gramophone and a bundle of magazines, nineteen volumes for a lending library by Mr J H Butt, magazines by Mr W C Killick, and magazines and indoor games by Mrs Wickham. Annual membership was designed to be 6d. The club mainly met in the winter,and at The Elms from November 1913, where it was also was allowed to use the Rifle Range. The balance sheet for that year totaled £ 8 10s.
With the outset of war the club activities appeared to have been put on hold, but were restarted in 1916. The recorded committee on this occasion were :- The Vicar, President, the Rev'd H T Southgate, Vice-president, Dr E J Wood, Treasurer, Mr Hurford,Scout Master, B Gilbert, Secretary, and Messrs. E Exell, D Richardson, C Richardson, and L Gardiner. Subscription was fixed at one penny a week, and apart from use of the Boys' School, the club was amalgamated with the Boy Scouts so greater facilities were available. In October 1917 the last two on the previous list were replaced by W Playford and G Acott. On May the 29th 1918 an entertainment was performed by the Yalding Girls' Club, not previously mentioned, at a cost of £ 2, resulting in a profit of £ 12 for the Local Needlework Guild.
During the 1930's a Boy's Club for those 14 and over who had left school, was using Cleaves in the winter months from 7 to 9.30 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The organisation of these meetings were made possible by a rota of men from the Working Men's Club offering their assistance.
In the winter of 1942 there was planned a Young People's Fellowship, for church members of both sexes between the ages of 14 to 30, to meet on every Monday, alternately at Laddingford and Yalding.
During the War at least, although it may have started earlier, was a GIRLS CLUB primarily organised to encourage girls to become involved with the Red Cross, but also gave them a meeting place for fellowship and involvement in drama. It was run by Miss Perrins and the Miss Bowring's, and was held in a hut in the grounds of Jasmine Cottage. Jean Smith (ne Daw, as she was then) remembers going home from the club and hearing explosions near the time when Mrs Singyard was killed.
As previously stated our records are not complete so this narrative will obviously have gaps.
In the autumn of 1946 a boys club was erected adjacent to the boy's school. The building, measuring 50 feet by 16 feet, was given by Air Vice Marshal Borton, the land donated by Mr Adin Coates, Miss Bowring supplied items of interior equipment, and a grant of £ 50 from the Cleaves Fund made it possible to re-roof the hut and re-decorate it throughout. Inside it was divided into a Library, a games room, and a canteen. It was for local boys between the ages of 12 to 18, and was open from 6.30 pm to 10.00 pm during the week , and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm on Sundays.