THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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266                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
THE FORESTERS.
Court " Hand-in-Hand," No. 4,660, of the Ancient Order of Foresters is the largest and oldest of the local permanent benefit societies. It was opened at the Dorset Arms Hotel on June 18th, 1857. Some six years later the Sussex Arms was made its head quarters, and even≠tually it migrated to the Crown Hotel, which house has remained its place of meeting ever since. Mr. W. Harding, the present librarian of the Literary Institute, was its first secretary, a position which has been held for the past 36 years by Mr. John Moon. The membership roll totals 481 and its funds to-day reach the very gratifying total of £10,104. 12s. lOd.
THE SHEPHERDS.
The Ancient Order of Shepherds was founded as an off-shoot of the Ancient Order of Foresters, the rules of the latter at one time not admitting of the payment of more than 14s. a week sick pay. The Shepherds was started in order that those Foresters who could afford it might secure an extra 7s., and for many years no person was allowed to join who was not already a Forester. A Sanctuary was opened at the Dorset Arms Hotel a year or two after the founding of the Foresters' Court. The late Mr. William Tooth was its first scribe, or secretary, and he was succeeded by Mr. A. M. Betchley. The membership in time became so small that those remaining eventually amalgamated with the " Star of Sussex" Sanctuary at Brighton, about a dozen members passing over. In 1882 Mr. Charles Betchley took the matter up in earnest and was instrumental in re-establishing a Sanctuary in East Grinstead. This was opened on September 26th of the year named at the Railway Hotel, and Mr. Betchley became its first scribe. The position has since been held by Messrs. W. Grove, J. W. Brown and Geo. Bristow. The Sanctuary has, for some years now, had its head quarters at the Crown Hotel. There are at present 71 members, with accumulated funds amounting to £390. 15s. 6d.
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