Ancient Order of Froth Blowers
Two short news articles
extracted from the
by kind permission of David Dawson, News Editor of the
JUST WHO WERE THE ANCIENT ORDER OF FROTH BLOWERS?
Browsing through some ancient back numbers of the Standard the other day, I stumbled across one of those stories that leaves you wanting to know more.
In July in 1927 we reported on the good work of an organisation by the name of the Ancient Order of Froth Blowers!
The good Blowers established a convalescent home at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, near Wallingford, for ‘wee waifs and strays’ and in that month a group of them paid a visit to the home, which at the time played host to 22 youngsters.
The party consisted of the wonderfully named Sir Alfred Fripp, who boasted the title of Frothblower No.1, Cloudburst Jack Haes, Blaster Fred Leftly of Henley and Blowers A. Axtell and E. Willis.
Before dinner, the Blowers entertained the residents with a rendition of Onward Christian Soldiers and The Froth Blowers Anthem before sitting down to dine. The guests stated their intention to pay more visits to cheer and entertain the lads and also said they would strive to raise the cost of long capes and goloshers for them.
So just who were these Froth Blowers? Where did they hang out? How was the money raised? What happened to the home?
Not for the first time, dear readers, just what was that all about?”
'BE DAMNED TO ALL PUSSYFOOT HORNSWOGGLERS'
All has been revealed. Two weeks ago I brought you news of the Ancient Order of Froth Blowers who had established a home for waifs and strays at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and asked if any reader could enlighten me to the background of this body of men.
So my thanks go to Chris
Murray who writes from
lowbrows, teetotallers and MPs and not excluding nosy parkers, mock religious busybodies and suburban fool hens all of which are structurally solid bone from chin up.”
Their meetings must indeed have been lively affairs which took the form of ‘general business, gargling and mutual recriminations, followed by singing, fights and diversions generally’.
To supplement the funds, fines were imposed for such misdemeanours as late attendance, moaning at the bar, early retirement, breaking furniture and throwing bread, corks or pianos at the senior Blower!
Members were given titles dependant on how many new Blowers they could recruit. One hundred members made them a Tornado, 500 members a Monsoon, 1,000 a Grand Typhoon and, if they introduced 2,000, they became a Cloud Burst.
Blowers wore with great pride cufflinks enamelled with AOFB and most would have had their own beer mug with the same initials. Their badge depicted a young child stretching upwards towards a portly gentleman who is blowing the froth from a foaming tankard of ale.
Sadly, the Order seemed to sink without trace after the Second World War, but by then they had established groups throughout the country and raised thousands of pounds for various charities.
If anyone wishes to revive this organisation, my pals at the Gentlemen’s Debating Society would be most interested.
If you have information about any aspect of the Froth Blowers please leave a message on our Guestbook.
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