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.


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.

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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Ian Anderson (Treasurer)
Philip Astles (Secretary)
The Lord Burnham (President)
Jo Davis
John Frost
Andrew Hillier
Clive Lidstone MBE (Honorary Life Member)
Don Lidstone (Honorary Life Member)
Robert Lidstone
Nigel Pausey
Paul Sherriff (Chairman of the Committee)
Mark Thomas

Honorary Life Members

John Barker

Robert Farr

Clive Lidstone MBE

Don Lidstone

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 237th annual dinner will be held on Thursday 5th March 2020 at the Marriott Hotel, Langley, SL3 8PT (Junction 5 of M4). At 6:45 for 7:15pm. Bookings may be made online below.


Sir Stuart Hampson - Past Chairman of John Lewis Partnership

Sir Stuart Hampson - Past Chairman of John Lewis Partnership Sir Stuart Hampson joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1982 and was appointed to the Board as Director of Research and Expansion in 1986, adding The Deputy Chairmanship to his responsibilities in 1989 and he became the fourth Chairman of the Partnership in 1993 retiring from the role in 2006. Sir Stuart presided over a programme of modernisation including the expansion of the product range and the establishment of an online presence through John Lewis Direct and Ocado, the home-delivery grocery service. He is also a past Chairman of the Crown Estates.

Admiral Sir James Francis Perowne (RN) - Retired Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic

Admiral Sir James Francis Perowne (RN) - Retired Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic Admiral Sir James Francis Perowne joined the Royal Navy in 1969. He was given command of several submarines and ships during his career and served as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic from 1998 to 2002 when he retired. In retirement, Sir James is the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, Chairman of the Council of the British Red Cross Queen Mother Memorial Fund and Chairman of the Central Region of the Consumer Council for Water.

Richard Digance

Richard Digance Richard Digance is a BAFTA Nominated TV Entertainer of the Year and Gold Award recipient from The British Academy of Composers born in West Ham, London, the son of a lorry driver and a sweet factory cleaner, before leaving for college in Glasgow. Known fondly for his 14 year TV career, including his own ITV show, Richard has supported Robin Williams at The London Palladium, and supported Steve Martin across the USA. Not to mention gigs with Brian May, Status Quo, Supertramp, Jethro Tull, Joan Armatrading, David Essex, Tom Jones and Elkie Brooks.

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

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