A History of YALDING, Kent, England

This social and fellowship group had been running from 1953 led by Bert Blake, and then from 1974 until 1998 organised by Ron Tompsett. It was run on a Friday evening at the Village Hall, but like many recreational pursuits, as people's leisure pastimes and activities changed, so numbers of established groups reduced.
As an active village group over this length of time of 45 years, fund raising for others was one way they made their contribution to the community. Donations were made at various times to all three schools, the church, and amongst others, towards the setting up of the Youth Club in 1976 at the Baptist Chapel. The club itself held social events, outings, and especially Christmas parties, but the drop in numbers caused it to finally close on the Friday before Christmas 1998.
For a period around 1965 to 1970, this group was run in a hall next to the Chequers public house, organised by Gordon Singyard. It featured a series of social occasions, ranging from bingo evenings, outings for an over 60's club section, and a Christmas club. Jumble sales were held to help finance and subsidise these events.


The Victorians were very keen on celebrating the 5th of November, and every village had an active group, with the 1884 demonstration in Yalding ‘promising to be the second to none in Kent’. Monthly meetings were held throughout the year, with the January meeting for that year at the George Hotel. Mr Gabriel Hards (grocer at Coates) in the chair, and Mr Alfred Hards (baker and postmaster) in the vice-chair, subscription cards were supplied to members (who each pay 4d per month). After business had been transacted, several excellent songs were sung by those present, assisted by musicians from Maidstone. The committee were then to hold a meeting at the Railway Hotel Wateringbury, the following Wednesday to enrol new members from that district.
The March meeting was held at the Woolpack Inn, with the Yalding brass band in attendance, playing some capital marching tunes on the way, which had the effect of bringing a goodly muster, upwards of 150 attending. Again Mr G Hards was in the chair, with Mr Robert Edmund Chantler (wheelwright & smith of Benover) the vice-chair. Twelve new members were enrolled. During the evening Messrs Unicume, Walters, Baisden, Foster, and others sang some excellent songs, and a capital glee was given by members of the band, which combined with music and toasts, helped to make the evening a very pleasant one. The next meeting on April 3rd was back at the George Inn.