Although Marden Village Club exists for its members and so is not open to the general public, it is easy to apply for membership – see our FAQs page for details.
Membership is open to anyone over the age of 16 subject to acceptance by the committee and application forms are available at the club.
Our current fees are:
Joining fee £10
Annual subscription £10
There is a 50% discount on the above fees for people aged 65 and over.
The club offers a comprehensive range of drinks to suit all tastes including: real ales; draught cider; craft lagers; spirits and a good selection of wines. We have been awarded CAMRA’s Kent Club of The Year several times including in 2016 due mainly to our excellent selection of real ales and cider but also for the general ambiance of the club and value for money.
The club is administered by a committee of volunteers along with a manager and a team of staff who endeavour to make everyone welcome.
President: Ted Towner
Chair: Ian Grimes
Treasurer: Les Stracey
Secretary: Louise Horton
Vice Chair: Chris Barker
Management committee: Chris Barker; Ian Grimes; Louise Horton; Nigel Kennaird; Bev Reid; and Les Stracey.
General committee: Andy Brooker; John Caddick; James Davis; Roy Hildige; Suzanne Kavanagh; Kate Spanier; and Barbara Warrener.
The club is affilliated to The Royal British Legion, members of those clubs are welcome on production of their own membership card.
The Club’s rules can be downloaded here: Club Rules – 9 July 2018.
The Club was founded in 1907 and the Old School rooms were used for social evenings which included, in those days, the playing of Billiards & Bagatelle and reading.
The Reverend R.E Johnston was the first club chairman and F.S.W Cornwallis (Lord Cornwallis) was elected as President and served the club until his passing in 1935. The club was then known as Marden Club and the membership had been drawn from a list of one hundred village people who had favoured the formation of such a club.
After the first World War the use of the school rooms became uncomfortable, and the club moved into its current premises in 1921. Mr Fuggles had purchased The Poplar Tree public house, and he was prepared to allow the club to loan the £600 purchase price at 5% interest. It was also at about this time that the club became known as Marden Working Men’s Club, and remained so until our Centenary in 2007.
In 1922 there was a proposal to start selling alcoholic drinks, but after the Rev Johnston spoke strongly against the idea, the proposal was defeated. This ‘teatotal’ situation only remained until 1926 as the members finally had their way, and a license was granted.
In 1938 a part of the club premises was set aside for the local Boy’s Club, but with onset of the Second World War the boys club finished and that part of the premises was rented out to a local hardware store.
By 1943 all outstanding loans on the building had been re-paid and since then there have been many alterations to the premises. In the early 1950’s the Billiard room, which had been added in 1922, was extended and the bar made bigger to allow additional social area.
The first Fruit Machine was introduced in 1963, and revenue from this provided useful additions to club funds thus allowing further improvements and additions to the premises during the remaining years of the 20th century.
In 1971 a Bowls section was formed after a new bowling green was built on land rented from the Sutton family. The Bowls club has become a well established club within Kent and has been used to host county competitions including county finals day.
In 1985 an extension was built to accommodate a function room and in 1990 the club premises was completely refurbished at considerable cost.
Throughout the club’s history a Steward has been employed, but due to the recent decline in pub and club trade, the committee have found it to be beneficial to run the club themselves. Trade has steadied and even shows signs of recovery, and much credit can go to the bar staff we now employ.
In 2007 the club celebrated its centenary and a dinner, enjoyed by 250 members and guests, was held in a marquee on a local sports ground. The function was attended by the Mayor of Maidstone, and at midnight the name was officially changed to Marden Village Club.
In 2017 the club was extensively refurbished internally giving it a modern, contemporary look. It now boasts a newly opened out bar area, wooden and carpeted floored areas, sofas and comfy chairs, local artwork and much needed new windows giving it a light and airy feel.
With continuing good management and good support from local residents we will continue to provide the excellent facilities we now enjoy.
For a complete history of the club 1907-2007 a booklet is available at a price of £3. Apply to the Secretary for a copy.