Friday, 17 August 2012

The Zestful Gollopers

click to enlarge
In a couple of posts I've mentioned in passing the Ancient Order of Froth Blowers (A.O.F.B.). If you missed them, this was a humorous charitable organisation found by one Alf Temple in 1924 to raise money for children's charities in gratitude for life-saving surgery by Sir Alfred Downing Fripp, who became a leading light in the society's management until his death in 1931, when A.O.F.B. came to an end through various factors, personal and financial.

A.O.F.B. was essentially a drinking club whose chapters ("vats") met in pubs nationwide, with weird rituals and hierarchies; it collected charitable donations through membership fees, merchandise, and various forfeits (such as failing to wear membership cufflinks). Its motto was "Lubrication in Moderation" and part of its description was:
"A sociable and law abiding fraternity of absorptive Britons who sedately consume and quietly enjoy with commendable regularity and frequention the truly British malted beverage as did their forbears and as Britons ever will, and be damned to all pussyfoot hornswogglers from overseas and including low brows, teetotalers and MPs and not excluding nosey parkers, mock religious busy bodies and suburban fool hens all of which are structurally solid bone from the chin up".
- Wikipedia quote from the AOFB handbook
Then, as now, the promotion of drinking attracted criticism, and it may well have not been a terrifically healthy pursuit. But it must have a significant source of bonhomie in an era still reeling from World War One.

This repeat post is because I just got a flyer about the 130-page book The Zestful Gollopers (The Amazing Story of Bert Temple, Sir Alfred Fripp & Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers) by David L. Woodhead and Ian Brown.
The full story of Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers from its inception in 1924 when it had its first two members, Bert Temple and Sir Alfred Fripp, to 1931 when both men were dead - but 688,000 people had joined their charitable Order and over £100,000 had been collected for all 'Wee Waifs'. It describes its rapid growth in 1926-7, its fight with the Temperance Movement and the reasons for its sudden decline.
The book - a definitive account of the A.O.F.B. - is the fruit of considerable research by David and others into this largely forgotten organisation. For background and photos, see Ian Brown's Friends of the Froth Blowers (" a site dedicated to the memory and preservation of the A.O.F.B.").

The Zestful Gollopers is available for £6.49 + p&p from eBay (you can also get it via at various prices depending on format).

- Ray

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this 'plug': I have now set up the Froth Blowers Brewing Company for my stepsons to run.