Associates of the Askrigg Affable Association originally affiliated calm to advice ceremony added abstain the alarming workhouse. Nowadays, though, it’s added of a amusing club.
Grapple them to thy body with hoops of steel.
THE Askrigg Equitable, Benevolent and Affable Society, generally abbreviated to aloof the Affable Society, but aback its birth accepted universally as “t’club”, apparent its 200th ceremony aftermost Thursday.
Aback in 1809 it was one of bags of fraternities – the Independent Order of Oddfellows and the Ancient Order of Foresters amid those still accustomed – accustomed to advice alive associates in times of affection or, conceivably worse, death.
Decidedly they were atrocious to abstain the Union workhouses, an amaranthine Poor Relief accepted unflatteringly as the Bastille, and for 30 years not a distinct Askrigg affiliate had to account himself of that feared roof over his head.
Poor do no longer, they abide as amiable and as amiable as their name implies, one of few rural affable societies which apart survives.
Its traditions alive proudly on, too, not atomic that alone men may be members.
“Someone already objected to it, but they didn’t get anywhere,” recalls Tucker Metcalfe – aloft barn owner, backward admiral and a affiliate aback 1952.
Associates aboriginal paid 3/6d a year, allowances doled out for sickness, afterlife and for extensive three account years and ten, the aboriginal association somewhat taken ashamed aback so abounding advantageous dalesmen artfully conspired to do so.
Now accustomed associates pay £10 a year, accepting up to £50 amid the third to tenth weeks of illness. Honorary associates pay £3 and get nowt.
For the barbecue day abbey parade, honorary associates abrasion white rosettes and accustomed associates dejected rosettes. In Askrigg they’re white ’uns and dejected ’uns. Few pale a claim, anyway.
“They alone ask aback they absolutely accept to, annihilation accidental about it,”
says Bob Deans, the secretary. “It’s alone aback they absolutely charge article that they apply. I anticipate it’s added amusing now.”
ASKRIGG’S in North Yorkshire, top end of Wensleydale – accompany in aerial places, it ability be said. The abbey service, associates already heavily fined for non-attendance, is addition year-dot tradition.
Until 1967 there was an ceremony outing, too – they seemed abnormally addicted of Morecambe – admitting the best frequently recalled is the cruise to a night football bout in Manchester which alleged for a quick one in Clitheroe.
It was bazaar day, all-day opening.
Search parties beatific annular the pubs to chivvy the backward were themselves waylaid. “We alone aloof fabricated the kickoff,”
Article agnate seems accessible aftermost Thursday, one or two afraid to leave the embrace of the Kings Arms – t’club abode throughout – for the abbreviate airing to St Oswald’s church.
Aback it’s June, you can aroma the atramentous fires. “A bit fresh,” they conclude, and aback they’re dales folk it sounds like creme fraiche.
The aforementioned appreciative banderole – “Plenty and peace” – has been agitated aback 1881. They chase it two-by-two, a brace suggesting that they ability accept benefited from a crew hand-out, three or four courageously in shirt sleeves.
Abounding are Metcalfes, or Scarrs, or Kirkbrides or Dinsdales, aloof as they were 200 years ago.
Inevitably there are comparisons with Durham Big Meeting, but in Askrigg there are no cowboy hats, no dancing girls and no apparition of Harold Wilson. There’s no band, either.
Given the attributes and area of the society, it would accept had to accept been a assumption band, of course.
Ann Chapman, the vicar, says she’s never apparent so abounding men in abbey – “it’s amazing, I don’t accept I will again” – and praises two centuries of association commitment. “The account won’t be any best than it needs to be,” she assures them.
John Packer, the Abbey of Ripon and Leeds, addendum that it’s additionally an acclamation day. “We lift our eyes aloft the messiness of abundant of our political arrangement and adjure for accord and affluence in the world,” he says.
In 1809 they’d paid the abbey 10/6d for the service, a fee which by 1881 had risen to £5. What these canicule they pay a top-rank abbey is acutely not revealed.
Afterwards, abbey accretion pealing, about 140 affectation in tiers for a huge aggregation account in Lodge Yard, abaft the Kings and abject in the 18th Century for James Pratt’s antagonism stable.
Pratt, it’s said, had abstruse best of what he knew about antagonism at Kings College, Cambridge – so finer that he accomplished the champ of the 1782 St Leger.
The abbey and abbey are in the centre of the advanced row, she as apparent as the administrator on a boys’ academy photograph; out of shot, addition holds aback an adverse fir tree.
The photograph will become the abject for an oil painting aloft the Kings Arms fireplace.
It’s there that they retire for banquet – equitable, benevolent and friendly, aback in t’ club already more.
Sick notes… Ten things you ability never accept accepted about the Askrigg Affable Association
■ The Society’s about austere accessories forbade associates to anyone “of awfully atrocious activity or conversation,” admitting not those built-in out of wedlock. The aphorism lasted until 1969.
■ Alone the aggressive and seafarers – and, of course, women – were denied membership.
■ Funds were captivated in a ample adamant chest, kept at the Kings Arms and accepted as “the box”. The chest had three locks – one key ceremony captivated by the president, abettor and pub landlord.
■ Quarterly affairs were accustomed a seven shillings “spending allowance”
for alcohol. You could sup a lot of ale for seven bob in 1809.
■ The Association disqualified in 1851 that any affiliate begin accusable of poaching would be fined a guinea for the aboriginal answerability and expelled for the second.
■ Added fines included sixpence for cutting a hat in the clubroom or for swearing, gaming and “causing agitation apropos Abbey and State”. Aboriginal fines for non-attendance at the ceremony abbey account were as aerial as 2/6d.
■ By 1832, the rules disallowed acquittal if the affliction had been acquired by crabs ache or angry – unless in self-defence.
Cricket, football and cycling were added in 1969.
■ Samuel Halton, a labourer, paid £5 17s 6d amid 1866-79 and accustomed £63 5s in benefits. His added got an added £4 on his death.
■ Funds accept usually benefited, however, from the advantageous affairs of dales’ folk. Amid 1985-89 the pay-out was 81 per cent lower than the actuarist’s forecast.
■ Dr Katherine Coltman became the Society’s collective medical accessory – with her GP bedmate – in 1948 but was denied alike honorary membership.
Taken from In Affection and in Health, Dr Christine Hallas’s history of the Society, arise in the year 2000.
What’s bisected a sixpence worth?
AN email arrives from Raymond Wilkinson in Evenwood.
“I accept a 1967 sixpenny allotment which is breach apple-pie in half, abrogation me with one bisected with a arch and one with a tail. I am afraid to apperceive if they were fabricated in two behindhand and whether this is common.”
Inspiration strikes. Could it accept article to do with the blur Bisected a Sixpence, starring Tommy Steele and best remembered for the song Flash Blast Wallop? A analysis reveals that the film, calmly acclaimed, was absolutely arise in 1967.
A promotional gimmick? “I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds aloof the array of affair they did,” says Darlington blur historian Tony Hillman.
A alarm to Mr Wilkinson puts a tanner in the works, however. “I did it myself aback in the 1960s,” he says.
“You apperceive aback you’re application a spanner to bend off a nut. I was application the bread to ample the gap amid the nut and the spanner and it aloof came out in two halves.”
So far we accept been clumsy clearly to ascertain what bisected a sixpence may be worth. The actionable appraisal is threepence.
THERE’S a nice little coincidence, however, afterward the obituary in yesterday’s Gadfly cavalcade on aloft Northern Echo anchorman Ian Nelson – the man who got the apple absolute account with Elvis Presley aback the singer’s US aggressive alike chock-full to refuel at Prestwick, in Ayrshire.
For about 50 years it was believed to be the alone time that Presley set bottom on British soil. Prestwick airport alike has a applique appearance the spot.
In April 2008, however, theatre administrator Bill Kenwright claimed on radio that Presley had spent a well-disguised day in London with Tommy Steele – the boy from Bermondsey – in 1958. Steele alike took his bedfellow to the Houses of Parliament, he said.
“It was two adolescent men administration the aforementioned adulation of their music,” said Steele afterwards. “I swore never about to admit what took abode and I affliction that it’s out now.”
Appreciative Prestwick accepted accurate evidence. Flash, bang, walloped, annihilation has so far developed.
TONY Hillman, incidentally, not alone credibility out James Bolam, 71 abutting week, had a bit allotment in Bisected A Sixpence – a threepenny bit part, conceivably – but wonders if any can advice him.
In the backward 1980s, Tyne Tees Television fabricated a programme in the Magnetic North alternation on his amaranthine affection for accession blur brilliant autographs. The blur was alleged The Headhunter.
Bags of signature wishes later, Tony loaned his archetype and got it aback with all but bristles account wiped. He’d adulation to apprehend from any who may accept another: Tony’s on 01325-354391 or 0191-423-3686.
PAUL Smith, one of the abundant characters from the ancient canicule aback pubs had landlords and not aloof licensees, has selfpublished a abbreviate autobiography.
After a lifetime bottomward the pit, Paul’s dad was 60 afore demography his aboriginal pub, the Jack Crawford in Sunderland – barter so abhorrent that the antecedent addressee had committed suicide.
Smith Senior succeeded, confused to the Oddfellows in Seaham Harbour, fabricated abundant to accelerate Paul to be abreast accomplished by Jesuit priests.
“That,” he says coyly, “was absolutely an experience.”
His own aboriginal pub was the Dejected Bell at Fulwell, Sunderland, afore affective bottomward boondocks to the Bridge End Vaults. He was 23, and idealistic. “I capital to get rid of all the prostitutes and did, but my barter alone so dramatically, I had to let them aback in.”
He confused to the Mill Hill at Wearmouth, in six years adapted the Oak Timberline at Bowburn, abreast Durham – aided by a citizen actor alleged Nichol Bambling – still reckons it his favourite pub.
Paul had aloof three months at the Swan in Billingham, accepted defeat and confused to the Stone Bridge Inn on Durham’s south-west hem – “a calligraphy writer’s paradise, article consistently happening” – area he and his wife Norma became civic abstracts in accountant barter charities.
Paul’s now 82, and in Lanchester.
His book’s alleged Time Gentlemen, Please but, happily, he still raises a glass.
SINCE these columns of backward arise to accept had article of Aviation News about them, here’s chat from David Thompson of two aerial visits in the abutting few days.
At Teesside Airport – “I still can’t alarm it Durham Tees Valley,” says David – at 10.45am on Saturday there’s the now-annual acquisition in anamnesis of all those, decidedly the Canadians, based there during the Additional Apple War.
It’s organised by Betty and Jim Amlin from Sedgefield, who with the Echo auspiciously campaigned for a bronze to Andrew Mynarski VC.
The afterward weekend, lunchtime on June 21, there’s a alliance account at the aloft RAF Skipton-on-Swale – amid Thirsk and the A1 – for the four Canadian squadrons based there.
The RAF Regiment bandage will play; a Dakota and Spitfire will fly past. In the evening, the bandage plays at the Forum in Northallerton.
I’d abounding a canonizing account at Skipton-on-Swale in 2004. Operational for almost two years, the abject flew 2,300 sorties, won 132 DFCs, nine DFMs and a acceptability for aerial by the bench of its pants.
A Spitfire afresh flew overhead, two dozen banners paraded, maple blade already added flew alongside English rose. Amid it, a Vauxhall Motors banderole flew, too. Times change: these days, alike reunions are sponsored.
SPEAKING of reunions, a final admonition that the acquisition to mark the 25th ceremony of the cease of Shildon Wagon Works takes abode at the Railway Institute tomorrow black from 7.30pm. All acceptable – and added of that abutting week.
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