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Benefits, Brass and the Girtest Day Out

November 21, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Philip Hoyland will be talking about local Friendly Societies.

The title, ‘Benefits, Brass, and the ‘Girtest, Grandest Day’ relates to the village Friendly Societies, which were set up in the 19th and  20th century. The societies were set up  by the poor for the poor. Members were required to give a regular monthly amount to their particular Society and this allowed them to draw out money in times of need to, for example, pay the doctor, or pay for a funeral or sometimes, in especially hard times, to keep a member out of the poor house.

Each Society had its own symbol and many of them were known by the name of the pub where meetings were often held, such as The Swan, The Lion, The Lamb and Flag, The Bell and The Ship.

The ‘Girtest Grandest Day’ was the great feast day, which took place around the villages on the 29th May, or Oak Apple Day. Friendly Society members would parade in their best clothes, wearing sashes and proudly bearing their tipstaffs. The staffs had a brass sign displaying the society’s symbol, there would be a brass band and the children would all  wear their Sunday best. This was, without doubt, the biggest day of the year for many villages.

Philip promises an amusing talk!!


November 21, 2018
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Cross Memorial Hall
BS26 2EL + Google Map