A History of YALDING, Kent, England


All Act of Parliament in 1894 established that each parish should have a civil Parish Council, to take over the running of local affairs from the Annual Vestry and churchwardens. The first council members consisted of C.E. Fletcher of Kenward chairman, A.S. White vice- chairman, Daniel Savage farmer of C.S., W. Galpin headmaster of Y. national school, H. Barton, C. Rayfield, A.J. Everest grocer, W.H. Reeve, Rev. D.C. Chapman curate living at willow Grove, W.C. Killick grocer and draper with shop where Cobblestones is, and H.T.Wickham of Laddingford House.
Initial considerations of this committee were to enquire as to their duties and responsibilities regarding the various local charities, repair of Hampstead Lane, and requested "the clerk to take steps as may deem practicable to supply all householders with pure water, and at a convenient distance from their dwellings.
Throughout their history not all parish council decisions have produced satisfactory results, as some strange planning applications have been approved, and many discussions took longer than needed, or longer than other councils, which is why the first local telephone exchange was located at Hunton. Thus all local businesses were identified with a Hunton number, and late as the 1970’s the author’s number was Hunton 716, now they are all under Maidstone.


The committee successfully arranged funds to embrace everyone in the Parish celebrations. On Thursday morning June 22nd 1897, the new cricket ground was transformed into a Gala Field, with tents profusely decked with bunting, “coker-nut stands”, merry-go-rounds, "Aunt Sally's", and booths fill) of sweets, cakes, ginger beer, "and a hundred other delights to attract us, and - probably make us ill next day".
A tent was erected adjoining the new cricket pavilion capable of seating 400, with a larder of huge joints and rounds of beef, and juicy hams, "sufficiently, seemingly, to feed an army - but then, Yalding is a hungry place".
All the committee were hard at work with Rev Leigh in an apron carving up ham, Dr’s Pout and Wood cutting massive joints of beef, Mr Fletcher (of Kenward) mixing salads, and the ladies under the direction of Mrs Leigh, were plying their customers with tea and bread, and the best cakes, until their elastic capacities had to cry 'enough'.
The weather was fine so the 400 children sat down on the grass, and the 800 adults were seated in relays. The sports group organised numerous events including cycle races, three legged, wheelbarrow races with blindfolded wheelers, all winning substantial prizes. As the day wore on the band struck up dance tunes, and the final crowning point was a firework display, chiefly given by Mrs Alexander (of Cheveney).
Each child on the School Registers received a medal to commemorate the 60th year of the Queen's reign, and a very successful day.