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North Kent Scottish Association

The 75th Anniversary Celebration

Cake cutting group

Club News

The 70th Anniversary Celebration

Cake cutting group cake

About the Association

A Brief History of the North Kent Scottish Association

This history was presented at the 70th anniversary dinner of the North Kent Scottish Association

NKSA was founded on May 6th 1939 just a few months before the outbreak of World War II. The founder members consisted of a breakaway group from Bexleyheath & District Scottish Association. The new Association was formed not as a dance club but as a social club where likeminded Scots could meet and make new friends. The aim was, 'to promote Scottish Customs and friendly intercourse'.
The first Hogmanay Dance was held during the latter part of the war. This proved to be very successful and became an annual event for many years.
The first Burns Supper was held in 1942 and after the war became a Dinner and Dance at the Electricity showrooms, Erith, where the Hogmanay dances were held. These events were the highlights of the year and were graced by the company of the local Mayor and Mayoress for many years. In 1946 the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr Peter Fraser, who had relatives in the association, and his wife, were guests of the association. The Burns Suppers and Dances were so popular that there was a waiting list for tickets.
Dance Circles and Whist Drives were also started after the war on alternate Wednesday evenings. By this time the membership was well over a hundred, the majority being active and participating members. Most members were young with young families, so children were always welcomed.
Annual picnics were held in Shenstone Park in Crayford. Friends of the members also attended the picnics. The weather was of no consequence - the picnic took place come rain or shine - if it rained we just moved under the trees!
The children's Christmas Party was another very popular event. At the height of the membership there were over 80 children attending.

In the thirties Scottish Societies sprang up over all the Home Counties. NKSA members would visit many of these societies by coach and welcomed return visits to their functions. The furthest we travelled was Enfield and District Scottish Association. We had very strong ties with Crown Court Church in London, a great meeting place for exiled Scots. Every October we travelled to Crown Court Church. Their members would join us for tea and a dance at St. Paulinus Church Hall, Crayford, usually in February. Tea was a real 'sit down affair'.
In Kent our longest association was with Sheerness & District. Each summer NKSA members would travel to Sheerness by coach for the day meeting for tea as guests of Sheerness & District at the Conservative Hall, then over the road to the Labour Hall for a dance, (or vice-versa). Most visits were by coach then as few of us had our own transport.
NKSA were founder members of KASS (Kent Association of Scottish Societies), which opened up contacts with other Societies in the Medway Towns and East Kent. KASS held an Annual Ball in the Star ballroom in Maidstone and for a number of years NKSA would have two coach loads attending this Ball
The NKSA were founder member of the Kentish Caledonian Society, which catered for member Societies in North Kent and South East London. This meant that NKSA formed strong links with member societies and we all tried to support each other's dances and social occasions. Kentish Caledonian dances were held twice a year for chosen charities. The Kentish Caledonian Society ceased to function in 2008 after 40 years.
NKSA was the first society to arrange annual dancing weekends. April 1955 saw two coaches setting out for the Savoy Hotel, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, complete with our own music. This was repeated for three more years when we changed our venue to Sandown, I.O.W. After that we had many changes of venues, the favourite being The Lawns Hotel, Eastbourne, where we went for a few years.
We have come a long way since 1939 and although interests have changed, the aim remains the same - to foster Scottish sentiment, promote cordial friendship and to maintain as far as possible the traditions and customs of Scotland.

Founding Members

Mr G Cassie (President) & Mrs Cassie
Mr & Mrs A Robertson
Mr & Mrs J Smith
Mr & Mrs H Cooper
Mr & Mrs W Doig
Mr & Mrs S Winton
Mr & Mrs R M Fox
Mr & Mrs J R Whyte
Miss E Cassie
Mr & Mrs A MacFarlane
Mr & Mrs G Wilson
Mr R Doig
Mr & Mrs J Campbell
Mr & Mrs T Fyffe
Mr Fyffe
Mr & Mrs J Ness
Mr & Mrs T K Anderson
Mr H Turnbull
Mr & Mrs J Powrie
Mr & Mrs D Butchart
Mr & Mrs A Powrie
Mr & Mrs J Muckart


To qualify for Full Membership one had to be Scottish by birth or have Scottish parents or grandparents. Associate Members were welcome but on a strict ratio of 25% of the full membership, later to become 33%. Associate Members could serve on the committee but they could not take office. Membership fee was 2/6d (12 1/2p per year) or 1guinea (£1.05) for life membership.
The annual fee of 12 1/2p was dropped some years ago but the life membership of £1.05 remained unchanged until 2000 when it changed to £5.
The term 'Associate Member' was also dropped and all members are the same. It was agreed unfair that so many Associate Members worked very hard for the association but could never become President or hold Office.

North Kent Scottish Society at the Bexleyheath Central Library

Library display

Click on the image above to access the full story of the association

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