THE DRAYTON AND MUCHELNEY WOMEN’S FRIENDLY SOCIETY met on Thursday 6th June, at Drayton Village Hall. The Society has been in existence since at least 1880 and has continued to meet every year, with the exception of a few years during World War II, to the present day. It is now only one of three remaining Women’s Societies in the country.
It was therefore fantastic that this year, the first of the new 5-year term, 56 members joined the Society ensuring the continuation of this cherished tradition.
Following a group photo – echoing photographs taken in the 1940s and 1950s – we processed to St Catherine’s Church for a short service taken by the Reverend Jane Twitty. We also used our Service to remember those who had died during the D-Day invasion on 6th June 1944.
We followed our Service with a supper at the Village Hall presided over, this year, by Frances Filsell who welcomed three new members to the Committee – Margaret Burton, Lucy Johnson and Jacqui Price. Thanks were given to retiring Committee members Cynthia Curtis and Margot Lock who between them have given many, many years service to the Friendly Society! As well as thanks given to Jackie Tottle for playing at our service, to the bellringers who rang while we processed and to Bill Broomfield who took our photo for us, thanks were also given to Jane Twitty for taking the Service and, through her sermon and thoughts, showing us that our motto “Bear Ye One Another’s Burden” is still of importance in our modern, daily life. When the Society was formed at the end of the 19th century life was extremely hard for women in the two villages of Drayton and Muchelney and Frances reminded us how much the support of the Society must have helped them. Our aim today is to keep that spirit of friendship and support alive.
In years past membership payments have been used for the provision of a small legacy to any bereaved member. The legacies continue but nowadays, instead of a payout at the end of each term, surplus funds are donated to an agreed charity and accordingly, Frances reported that last year we donated £500 to The Angel in Langport. Our Church collection this year will be donated to The Active Living Group based in Curry Rivel.
Our 2019 Festival concluded, after an evening of great food and company, with a raffle. Thanks were given to The Drayton Crown, Steve Burrows (Northwing Nurseries), Santa Checkley (Santa’s Food Workshop), Nikki French (Eustace & Arthur) and Frances Filsell for the donation of prizes.