Malling takes its names from the local country town of West Malling, some 8 miles north of Maidstone, but we find it more convenient to meet in Ryarsh where we have ample parking. Today, West Malling is a thriving community with a rich tradition of community art. The sculpture in Bronze by Sarah Cunnningham named “HOPE” provides another local point within the town where people can meet.
West Malling and surrounding countryside has a rich history some of which is depicted on the cloak of the statue going back to 1090. The statue was commissioned by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council to mark the Millennium. West Malling Airfield featured very largely in the Second World War. In 1704 the first recorded game of cricket took place here. For many hundreds of years the town was the site of a thriving market under a charter from the Abbess and the market continued even after the dissolution of the Abbey by Henry VIII. Wyatt’s rebellion against Mary Tudor was crushed by troops loyal to the Queen, stationed at West Malling. Wyatt was then executed in 1554. Scenes from the time of the Black Death (1348-49), when West Malling was the site of mass graves or plague pits, where the dead from a wide area of North West Kent were buried. Of the inhabitants of the whole town and the Abbey only 15 remained alive. A community of Benedictine nuns by Bishop Gundulph was founded in 1090. A centre of prayer for 5 centuries before the dissolution of the monasteries, the community was re-established at the start of the 20th century.
From the above you will see we have a great tradition to uphold. We are proud of our Church Recording Group who is at present engaged in recording St Margaret’s Addington. Besides the 10 lectures per year, we have two study days, one March and one in November. We also enjoy a British each year one British. Our Day visits also include a Theatre trip. In our founder’s words our aim is to ‘educate with “fun”’, to that end we support the local Music@Malling festival which encourages local schools to expand their music curriculum and gives children the opportunity to work with professional musicians and perform their own musical compositions. Our Young Arts Grant for this year will support a primary school in participating in this very worthwhile festival.
New members are welcomed to the group with a lunch. Malling was founded in 1989 and has flourished ever since due in no small part to the hard working committees.
We meet every second Thursday at 11.00 am.
Ryarsh Village Hall.
Birling Road, Ryarsh.
We meet throughout the year except for July and August.
There is free parking available nearby.
We have 350 Members.
Spaces are available for new members. If you would like to join, or find out more please email the Membership Secretary.
E-mail: Membership Secretary