Drayton and Muchelney Women’s Friendly Society





In the early 19th century Friendly Societies sprung up all over the country.   They were originally organisations through which ordinary men, mainly tradesmen, were able to save money to cover the costs of burial, provide pensions for dependants and make provision for loss of earnings through sickness, infirmity or old age.    At a time when Friendly Societies were growing in popularity it is likely that Drayton had some form of support for women in the village; it is believed that a Women’s Friendly Society has existed in the village since 1827.   What we do know for sure is that when the Reverend Walter Alford and his wife Lydia lived in the village with their four children in 1880, two of their daughters –  Jane and Emily – were committed leaders and organisers of the Drayton and Muchelney Women’s Friendly Society.

 Given the motto “Bear Ye One Another’s Burdens” the Society was set up as a self-help scheme for the poor and sick.   It gave women the opportunity to save money jointly with the aim of providing financial help, as well as emotional support and friendship, to women of the two villages in time of need, illness or bereavement.   

 The first meeting of the new five-year term of the Drayton and Muchelney Women’s Friendly Society will be held on Thursday 6th June 2019.

 There are two parts to the evening – Roll Call at the Village Hall at 7pm followed by a short service at St Catherine’s Church.   The Society then celebrates with a buffet meal and a glass or two of wine back at the Hall at 8pm.    If you are a woman living in Drayton or Muchelney please come and join us for either part of the Festival – or hopefully both – and help keep this cherished tradition alive.   

  For tickets, or information, please contact

 Mary Mullineux – 01458 251057/marybmullineux@gmail.com


Jane Watts – 01458 252916/littleplatts@btinternet.com

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