A History of YALDING, Kent, England

VILLAGE SHOP (next to the George Inn)


On 26th Nov. 1870 James Butler a labourer from Boughton Malherbe married Maria Warnett of Yalding, and they settled at Wolsey where James set up as a journeyman bricklayer. The family they brought up were Henrietta baptised in 1871, Ellen in 72, Albert in 76, Ernest Harold in 82, Alice Maud in 83, and Leonard in 1894. They moved into the village where James diversified his activities as a general labourer into the fuel business, and became a coal merchant. As a result of this move he found himself living in one half of Hope Cottage, along Vicarage Road, next to David Hope, wheelwright, who was using the now Eden barn as his workshop.

James’s son Albert took an active interest in the craftmans trade being practiced next door, just as David was coming to the close of his working life. When David died in 1900, Albert was 24, and with his new wife Mary Ann from Hunton, he took over the function of the fully established wheelwright business. At this time his father James continued his occupation as a coal merchant elsewhere in the village, and operated from a coal storage site in the station yard.

Albert immersed himself in his field as a wheelwright and business flourished, but kept his eye open for fresh opportunities as new technical innovations were introduced into his changing world at the start of the twentieth century. As the First World War ended he was still an active wheelwright, but now he was also starting to assemble the new fangled machine of a bicycle.


As this new field of activities in the mobile age took hold, he moved down with his parents to Orchard View, where he was selling and repairing pedal cycles, and commencing maintenance of the more sophisticated motorcycles. By the early 1930’s he was a fully qualified motor engineer, and his shop and workshop next to the George Inn, also sported a petrol pump outside.


The first of this family to pass away was Albert’s mother Maria in 1920 at the age of 60, then his father James in 1927 at 78, Albert himself in 1942 at 65, brother Leonard in 1957 at 62, and then Albert’s wife Mary Ann in 1958 at the age of 83.


By this time the business was run in the name of Milsted.


This photograph of the Orchard View shop was taken during floods of 1935.


This facility at the beginning of Benover Road supported many motoring needs, and like Reg Phippen then at The Swan, and Charlie Beech at Cheveney Institute, they also charged accumulators that powered the early village radios.

This was an adventuring family that helped to introduce the village to the motoring age.