A History of YALDING, Kent, England

The Scout Association was founded by Robert Baden Powell in 1908 to encourage boys to become enterprising members of society. This scheme quickly caught the imagination of youngsters throughout the country and Yalding started its own branch of the British Boy Scouts (B.B.S.) the following year.
A well attended preliminary meeting was held on 21st June, at which the movement was cordially and unanimously supported. The Vicar (Rev J R Leigh) was appointed Chairman of the Committee, Mr C Killick, jun., Scoutmaster, and Captain S J Reid Hon. Secretary. An executive committee included in addition Messrs. C E Blunden, F Perkins, and S Cowans to carry out the necessary details and superintend the working of the scheme.
At the next meeting held at The Elms, also attended by Colonel Borton and S Williams Esq., the scoutmaster reported that 34 boys had joined from Laddingford and Collier Street, with the majority from Yalding. Col. Borton presented the group with some bell tents for camping, and offered some of the boys work at Cheveney to earn pocket money towards buying their kits. The scoutmaster was well chosen as Cass Killick had previous training in the West Kent Yeomanry, including the signalling and scouting sections, plus a knowledge and appreciation of the wants and aspirations of the village boys. The Colonel gave permission for weekly free use of the gymnasium at Cheveney Institute, and in February presented them with a `trek' cart, giving the group an overall firm foundation.
On a combined fund raising entertainment event they joined with the Marden group, and performed two concerts on the 1st and 2nd of February 1911, firstly at the Institute and the next day at the Council Schools Marden, adding to the funds of both groups. Yalding again joined with a contingent from Marden when together on 4th of July that year, they met with 40,000 other scouts at a `Rally' at Windsor, where they were inspected by “B.P.” himself, and then at 3.0 o'clock by the King and Queen. An experience that they would remember with pride.
At the annual committee meeting of 17th May 1912 it was clear that there was a strong connection with Marden. They had been presented with 8 rifles for use at the Rifle Club, and also now had a band that was performing at local events. In 1913 two more successful concerts were held at Cheveney and Marden School. At this time Mr C Killick was Scoutmaster, L Butler and F Norton were Assistant Scoutmasters, A Cole and H Onions were Patrol Leaders, with A Pattenden, E Excell and H Mercer as `Seconds'. Mr C Killick was married in 1913, and by 1917 it is noted that the Scoutmaster then was Rev. H T Southgate who on Wed. 25th of July that year arranged a capital event of display and theatre in the vicarage meadow by the troop, to an audience of about 300, during a beautifully fine evening. At this time the number of local lads in the troop was 36 plus 8 from Collier Street, who in August of 1917 spent a few days on a successful camp at Matfield. Later that year they were offered to rent from Miss K Town-Smith part of a workshop formerly occupied by Mr Hodge builder.
A boys club for Yalding and Laddingford had been started in 1911 which had been slowly brought into the same committee as the scouts and the balance sheet for 1916/17 with a turnover of £ 28.11s. indicates this joint title of `Yalding Boy's Club and Boy Scouts'. A note in 1918 states that the troop were pleased to feel that scouts were not meant to be ornamental but useful, when on the request of the local Special Police, the Scoutmaster chose six of the older scouts to help guard the railway bridges, etc., at night.