Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society October 2019

posted 4 Oct 2019, 07:50 by Phil Handy   [ updated 4 Oct 2019, 07:51 ]
“Village Friendly Societies “

A talk by Philip Hoyland  

Wednesday 16 Oct 2019 at 7.30pm.

Zion Church
Woodend Road

All welcome. Entry £4
Free to members, annual subscription £15
Includes light refreshments

Village Friendly Societies, were founded  during the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th century, and were  started by the poor for the poor. Members were required to give a regular monthly amount into their particular Society, they could then draw out money in times of need, they were a kind of local ‘Welfare State’.

Our area had many of these Friendly Societies, documented ones are The Golden Hook Friendly Society, Coalpit Heath and four which met at The New Inn, 4 Mill Lane, Frampton Cotterell:

1794   Friendly Society,
1799   The Worthy Society of Felt Makers,
1809   Female Friendly Society, 
1810   Benefit Society

On the society's annual feast day the members would hold a parade around the village, with the officers, or sometimes all of the members, carrying poles.  In the West Country, the poles were commonly headed by a brass finial with a distinctive shape and decorated with ribbons. The Museum of  English Rural Life, Reading holds a large collection of these brass pole heads, including two which are thought to be from Frampton Cotterell.