Do You Gollop Your Beer With Zest? If so, ‘You should become a Member of Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers!’ claims this small booklet I discovered recently. As it concerns two of my favourite places, Sussex and drunk, I’m featuring it here. The light-hearted society (Motto: Lubrication in Moderation) was begun in November 1924 in The Swan Inn, Fittleworth, West Sussex. Surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp had saved the life of ex-soldier Bert Trimble, and in gratitude Trimble pledged to raise funds for the ‘Wee Waifs’ of Fripp’s East End charities. This they did in fine style. Over the next six years the A.O.F.B. recruited a quarter of a million members all of whom paid five shillings to receive a copy of this booklet, some cufflinks and the right to ‘Blow Froth off your own beer, other members’ beer, and occasionally off non-members’ beer, provided that they are not looking or are of a peaceful disposition.’ The membership booklet is hilarious and features the Froth Blowers’ Anthem, silly rituals for meetings and spoof advertisements. The Order became well-known all over the country; raised a great deal for the truly needy and you can find out more about them here. I would have joined. Perhaps their modern day fans – and there seem to be many – should consider re-starting the A.O.F.B. to tie in with the centenary in 2024. See you at The Swan!
AOFB, 1927. Reprint.