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Now in our 137th year!

Chatham Book Society was founded in 1883 and is still going strong.  In the following pages you will learn something of the history of this rather unique Society and of its members from the Founders through the turbulent history of the 1st and 2nd World Wars until today.

It was apparently the custom for the gentlemen of the Chatham area to take country walks together to Gads Hill and Cobham during the summer months.  In the winter it was desired to maintain this companionship in some form, and the outcome was the Chatham Book Society. 

At the first meeting definite Rules were drawn up, and their character has no doubt been the secret of the extraordinary success of the Society.  All subjects of a controversial nature such as politics and religion were rigidly excluded; although all shades of political opinion and religious thought have been represented in the Society. The wisdom of this course has been apparent, as no instance of broken friendship can be traced to membership of the Society.  It has remained from its first meeting essentially social in its character; every member has always considered it a personal duty to maintain and if possible enhance that 'esprit de corps' which stamps the highest hallmark of good fellowship.  One of the greatest has been the stability of membership; indeed this has been its greatest charm and has contributed in no small degree to the continued success of the Society.

Today's members hope you enjoy reading about the history of our Society on the following pages.

2020 Officers:

Chairman Len Ralph
Vice Chairman Paul Turner
Secretary John Wright
Treasurer Derek Abbott
Literary Secretary  John Peskett
Webmaster  Robin Blackwell