Welcome to Salt Hill Society

Instituted 1783

For the protection of Persons and Property from Felons & Thieves

A Brief history of the Society

Without much ado, the Salt Hill Society was founded at the Three Tuns Inn, Salt Hill, Slough, one Tuesday in April 1783.

Since that day, members have convened every year - with the exception only of two World Wars. The society can claim to be older than Republican France - and almost as old as the United States of America. To further place things into context: Mozart was just 27 years old; Napoleon, Wordsworth and Wellington were mere teenagers; London had just 900,000 inhabitants and the cost of the society’s first dinner, which included food and wine for 40 members, totalled £5.

The society can also claim to have royal ties. Salt Hill, from which the club takes its name, was the place where Eton boys waylaid travellers to collect 'salt money' - an annual ancient ceremony known as 'Montem', which traces its roots all the way back to the 1400s. As a patron of Eton College, King George III was an enthusiastic supporter of the Montem ceremony, although an excess of unruly behaviour brought the tradition into disrepute and it was abandoned in 1844.

Originally functioning as a personal service to its members - the very first words on the first page of the first minute book read “for protection of persons and property from thieves, vagabonds and footpads.” - the society had support of many local gentry.

Despite this, the Society has served the local community for more than seven generations. Although the earliest members will have greatly relished the fellowship as a means of renewing acquaintanceships, which poor communications may have otherwise rendered lost, it is perhaps even more important in today’s world, where time is increasingly precious and hard to come by.

Rules

The Society has been running since 1783. It retained some interesting, if somewhat arcane, rules, such as:-

"THAT the Money so raised shall form a Fund, to be applied and disposed of towards paying the several REWARDS hereinafter mentioned; and defraying all such reasonable Costs, Charges, and Expenses… in advertising, taking, and prosecuting such Person or Persons as shall be (or be strongly suspected to have been) guilty of the Crimes hereinafter specified."

The various rewards that were available also make interesting reading e.g.

£sd
For a Burglary, Highway, or Footpad Robbery, a Reward not exceeding10100
Stealing or wilfully killing or wounding any Horse, Mare, or Gelding15150
Stealing or wilfully killing or wounding any Cow, Calf, Sheep, or Lamb10100
Stealing or maliciously killing Hogs, Pigs, or Poultry220
Burning or wilfully setting Fire to any Building, Hay, Corn, Straw10100
Robbing any Orchard, Garden, or Nursery Ground110
Robbing Fish Pond or breaking open Fish Boats, and stealing Fish therefrom110

A copy of the complete rules from 1908, showing the membership of the time, can be seen here:

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Committee

Ian Anderson (Treasurer)
Philip Astles (Secretary)
The Lord Burnham (President)
Jo Davis
Ian Friend
John Frost
Andrew Hillier
Robert Lidstone (Chairman of the Committee)
Nigel Pausey
Mark Thomas

Honorary Life Members

John Barker
Robert Farr
Clive Lidstone MBE
Paul Sherriff

The committee are always looking for members to join them. If this is of interest, please contact the Secretary Philip Astles.

Joining the society

We are always pleased to welcome new members. There are no particular qualification required, other than an interest in the local community. Membership entitles you to attend the AGM, book your own tickets for dinners and obtain them at a cheaper rate than non-members. If you would like to apply for membership of the Salt Hill Society, please download and complete the forms below and return them to the Secretary - Philip Astles. The annual subscription is £10. Please note that your application requires a Proposer and a Seconder. If you do not already know a member of the Salt Hill Society, please contact the Secretary – Philip Astles, who will be happy to help arrange a meeting for you with members of the Committee.

Application For Membership Standing Order Mandate

Our 'Next Merry Meeting'

The 238th annual dinner will be held on Thursday 9th June 2022 at the Marriott Hotel, Langley, SL3 8PT (Junction 5 of M4). At 6:45 for 7:15pm. Bookings may be made online below.

Speakers

The Reverend Fergus Butler-Gallie

The Reverend Fergus Butler-Gallie The Reverend Fergus Butler-Gallie is a clergyman and author who once accidently appeared on Only Connect. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in Theology from the University of Cambridge. He is (according to his own taxonomy) a Bon Viveur first and foremost, with a soupçon of Roguishness and Prodigality. He delights in researching weird and eccentric characters in the Church of England (of which there have been many) and his book, A Field Guide to the English Clergy won Best Book of the Year for the Times, Mail on Sunday and BBC History.

Tan Dhesi MP

Tan Dhesi MP Tan Dhesi was born in Slough and spent his early years in Chalvey. He has a bachelor's degree in mathematics with management studies from University College London, studied applied statistics at Keble College, Oxford, and has a Master of Philosophy in the history and politics of South Asia from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He is a former mayor of Gravesham in Kent, where he stood unsuccessfully during the 2015 general election. He became Britain's first turbaned Sikh MP in the 2017 general election after gaining the nomination following Fiona Mactaggart standing down as MP for Slough. He retained the seat in 2019 with a majority of 13,640. Tan is currently Labour’s Shadow Minister for Transport.

Tom Binns

Tom Binns Tom Binns is an English comedian who was nominated at the Edinburgh Festival for the Edinburgh Comedy Award 2007. He has been twice nominated for the Adelaide Fringe Comedy Award, in 2010 and 2011. He was voted a Foster's Comedy God in 2010. He also was nominated for a Chortle Award in 2011 and was also named in a list of their 50 Most Memorable Gigs of the decade. He won the Best International Act at the 2013 New Zealand International Comedy Festival and was nominated for Best Comedy Show at FringeWorld, Perth in 2015 and 2016.

Booking for this year's annual dinner

Tickets can be booked by members of the Salt Hill Society only, using the form below.

Please confirm your intention to book by pressing the 'Proceed to book' button, which will send an order to the secretary and treasurer.

Contact Us

SECRETARY:
Philip Astles
392 Edinburgh Avenue
Slough SL1 4UF
T: 01753 532541
E: PAstles@kiddrapinet.co.uk