Frampton Cotterell and District Local History Society
Zion Church and Hall, Frampton Cotterell
Philip Hoyland will tell us about the Village Friendly Societies. Our Secretary, Stella, says, "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 a kind of local ‘Welfare State’.
Our area had many of these Friendly Societies, documented local societies are :-
1794 Friendly Society, New Inn, Frampton Cotterell
1799 The Worthy Society of Felt Makers, New Inn, Frampton Cotterell
1809 Female Friendly Society, New Inn, Frampton Cotterell
1810 Benefit Society, New Inn, Frampton Cotterell
and The Golden Hook Friendly Society, Coalpit Heath, Gloucestershire
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. Has anyone still got a family pole head?"
All welcome. Entry £4. Free to members, annual subscription £15. Includes light refreshments.