Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page
John Meads 2011

Charitable Clubs and Friendly Societies

Doling out the toabacco at the Old Peoples Welfare - 1930s
Doling out the tobacco at the Old Peoples Welfare - 1930s
The ladies would receive gifts of sweets

Burton Latimer had many clubs and societies into which their members paid a small amount of money weekly or monthly. Several of these were organised by the Church or Chapel but pubs and working men's clubs also ran schemes. Mentioned in the newspapers and parish magazines were such schemes as: the Goose Club, the Helping Hands Club and the Clothing Club and the Old People's Welfare was a joint Church and Chapel scheme which organised Christmas and New Year parties and other outings. Friendly Societies like the Foresters, Oddfellows and Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (R.A.O.B.) were well represented in Burton Latimer and played an essential role in providing financial relief for the sick before the creation of the National Health Service.

This is an extract from the Kettering Leader & Observer dated 31 May 1895: 

HELPING HAND CLUB - On Monday night a meeting was held in the club room at the Red Cow Inn for the purpose of forming a Helping Hand Club. Mr. A.E. Ayres was elected as chairman, and upwards of 20 members enrolled. The election of officers resulted as follows: President: Mr. A.E. Ayres; vice-president , Mr. W. Lawson; secretary: Mr. W. Cook; committee: Messrs: W. Wilks, J. Pywell, S. Panter, W. Ayres, F. Whiteman and Thos. Whiteman. Several names were received from persons wishing to become members at the next monthly meeting.

How long this club continued or whether another one was formed is not known but in November 1901 this item appeared: On Monday evening, members of the Band Club met with Mr. W. Meads in the chair. It was decided that a Helping Hands Club be formed. Mr. J. Shrive was elected President. Vice-president Mr. W. Meads, secretary Mr. G. Stickler and treasurer Mr. G. Lines."

From Burton Latimer Parish Magazine May 1895

THE FRIENDLY SOCIETIES' FESTIVAL - The amalgamated Societies observed Whitsun Day and the Monday for their annual gathering. On the Sunday a special service was held at the Parish Church at 2.30pm, an appropriate and practical service being preached by the Rev H. Priestland [Curate]. The Offertory amounted to £4.9s., half being devoted to the Kettering Hospital Fund and half to the local Ambulance Corps. On the Monday the annual dinner was held at the Dukes Arms and an extensive programme of sports, turnouts, and pony racing gone through in the Hall Field. The weather was very propitious and fully 3000 people paid for admission. Everyone is to be congratulated on the result achieved.

In October 1895, the Kettering Leader & Observer reported the following:

CLOTHING CLUB - We understand that the managers of the two clothing clubs hitherto existing in Burton Latimer have agreed to join in establishing a village club. In the past there has been one club connected with the Church of England and the second associated with the Nonconformists. The managers have now agreed that from henceforth there shall be one club, offering the same bonus as hitherto provided, and the subscriptions will be payable weekly on neutral ground, namely, at the office of the clerk of the Parish Council, Mr. J.B. Nutt. On Saturday evening next, Mrs. Jacques and Mrs. Collings wil be in attendance to enroll members and to receive subscriptions.

ODDFELLOWS JUBILEE - Also in 1895, the Kettering Guardian reported the Revival Lodge of Oddfellows, Burton Latimer, celebrated its jubilee with a sports day at which there was a proccession made up of officers of the local lodges of Buffaloes, a detachment of Foresters and the officers of the Oddfellows, followed by the Britannia Brass Band. The report goes on to say that "last came the general members of the friendly societies of the village numbering about 200" which proves that that friendly societies were popular here.

From the Burton Latimer Parish Magazine, January 1903:

THE INSTITUTE GOOSE CLUB - This has now become a permanent thing and is most popular. Twenty-eight members subscribed and 18 geese, 10 turkeys and 30 ducks were bought for them in Lincolnshire. The draw took place on Saturday December 20th. The method adopted by the Club makes it very easy for the members to have a goose or other bird for their Christmas dinner.

From the Burton Latimer Baptist Church Magazine “Home Messenger” June 1917:

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE - Parents are reminded that at the age of 16 their children, if employed, must become insured under the National Insurance Act. Every information and assistance will be provided by: Herbert Ayres, Secretary to the Foresters’ Court

The age of 16 is also a favourable one joining the Court (Adult Section) for private insurance against sickness and accident and also for funeral benefits, the rates at this age being very low. The Foresters’ Court has special rates for females. For particulars apply to the Secretary.

1930s Burton Latimer members of the R.A.O.B.

These 1930s Burton Latimer members of the R.A.O.B. include:
Back row L-R: Herbert Long, Joe Sharpe, Bernie Clipson, Walter Piper and …?
Seated: William Lovell, Jack Benford, Percy Copson and …? They belonged
to a Lodge which was active between the wars and met at the Dukes Arms.

Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the Local Charities Index