A Brief History of the A.O.F.B.


The A.O.F.B. was founded by Bert Temple eager to show gratitude to Sir Alfred Fripp , an eminent surgeon , and prolific fundraiser with many friends and patients in high places - including the British Royal Family, who had performed a life saving stomach operation on Bert . Remarks from Sir Alfred some time later in his consulting room in November 1924 during a post operation consultation regarding raising funds for the Invalid Children's Aid Association was all that was needed ; Bert offering to raise the sum of £100 for Sir Alfred's charities and the A.O.F.B. was born. No mean feat on Bert's behalf considering the average weekly wage was around £3 at the time.

Bert initailly produced around 100 Blower membership cards ( later to to become a booklet after 1,700 cards ) with silver A.O.F.B. cufflinks which were snapped up by the ex-members of Bert's regiment, The 1st Sportsman's Battalion. Membership being charged at a one off, life membership of 5 shillings. The first batch were quickly followed by another 500, some of which found their way to Southsea and the A.O.F.B. began to bloom. A very successful dinner was held in Southsea with attendees from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Volunteers and soon word was spreading right around the globe through HM Forces. Applications coming in from around the world for Froth Blowing permits to participate in the Arts and Crafts of Froth Blowing. And when Jack Haes sang the Froth Blowers Anthem 'The More We Are Together' in the London Stock Exchange the A.O.F.B. really began to take off. How many membership cards were produced before the booklet appeared is unknown. One of the earliest books in existence has a membership number of 29,198 issued around the 20th May 1926. 
Not to be outdone, and keen to be included, women of the day joined up and became Fairy Belles under the Angelic Order of Fairy Belles, life membership at 5 shillings as per male counterparts but an A.O.F.B. wristlet was designed consisting of a silver badge on a black silk ribbon. 

The A.O.F.B. operated out of a rented premises at 145 Cheapside in the City of London, a stones throw from St Paul's Cathedral.
Bert was in business there as a manufacturing agent in a partnership with Richard K Fowler in Fowler and Temple Limited. Bert and his able assistant Miss Dorothy Roper, personally dealt with applications, dispatching membership books and links from the premises. As the A.O.F.B. grew Dorothy's sister Gladys, was drafted in to assist. They were known as the Gentle Zephyr and the Welcome Breeze respectively. Fowler and Temple disappeared as a manufacturing agents sometime during 1927 just as the A.O.F.B. was booming. Whether this was because of the A.O.F.B success, or Richard Fowler passed away or retired is not known, there is no trace of Richard at the address or within A.O.F.B. paperwork.

Bert needed to call on all of his know how as a manufacturing agent in the procurement and manufacture of A.O.F.B. items. The membership books were produced by F.T. Goulding & Co. of London as was the A.O.F.B Christmas card of 1927 and much of the A.O.F.B. and Vat paperwork along with some paraphernalia supplied by Reginald Bowerman of Southsea. Reginald being awarded a special rank of Heraldic Typhoon. The membership booklets cost 6d ( half a shilling) to produce. The silver cufflinks and Wristlets (for the Fairy Belles) were manufactured by the Birmingham Medal Company. These cost 2/- 8d and coupled with the cost of the membership booklet ate a fair proportion of the 5 shilling life membership fee. It is documented that in the early days gross of cufflinks were produced per month, rising with demand, to 2,000 sets daily. Indeed as the A.O.F.B. grew so did some of the manufacturers, the Birmingham Medal Company moving to larger premises and employing more people (including disabled ex-servicemen) not once but twice. The Birmingham Medal Company were headed up by Harold Stewart Turner who was instrumental in the cufflink production process, awarding a slight rebate when bulk orders came in. The rebate was 1d per 52 pairs of cufflinks made, a tiny amount per set of links but when totted up with the quantities involved, a rebate of £2,500 was returned to the A.O.F.B. funds. Harold, or Hal as he was better known, was awarded the A.O.F.B. rank of Grand Typhoon and Armourer . The Birmingham Medal Company also produced a multitude of other items including tankards, cigarette cases, cigar boxes, vesta (match) cases, ashtrays, tunic buttons, pennants and yacht burgees, Vat 'tools' - oast boxes, piffle snonker and mallet and block, and Fairy Belle items ; shingle brush and comb, glass powder jar, powder bowl, powder boxes (compacts),vanity boxes, and ladies cigarette cases. They also produced car and motorcycle mascots ( the jolly brewer ) and promotional wall placques (sic), advertising tankard shaped mats and trays with the jolly brewer mascot as a centre piece. Other items were manufactured by others, Clifton pipes of Bristol - tobacco pipes, Higgins Eagle & co (Bert's fathers company) - socks, ties and handkerchiefs, Minerva Engineering - faux tortoiseshell cigarette cases, and Fripps limited of Bristol- Froth Blower toiletries- toilet and shaving soap, it is unknown if there is a family connection to Sir Alfred.

A.O.F.B. takes off.
The fundraising was slow to gain momentum initially with only £5 raised for Sir Alfred during 1924, rising to £150 during 1925 . But as more prominent individuals came on board lending credence as well as much needed publicity things and funds escalated. The Sporting Times, colloquially "The Pink 'Un", run by David Henry Cain became an official A.O.F.B. organ and mouthpiece, printing news from the A.O.F.B. at home and abroad. David founded the Pink 'Un Vat at Bury Street, London, leading the recruitment drive, for which David was awarded the A.O.F.B. special rank of Grand Hurricane. With Jack Haes so successfully promoting the A.O.F.B. through the Stock Exchange membership exploded , Jack being awarded the special rank of Cloudburst .

As Bert wrote in the Sporting Times in his Christmas message to blowers 18th December 1926 ' In June of this year we totalled 6,000 A.O.F.B.'s; September 25, 25.,000; November 10, 70, 000; December 10 112,000 and before the year ends over 150,000 Blowers will have received their little booklet and silver cufflinks or wristlets. Every moment of the day and night new recruits are falling over each other, hastening to the cause of Companionship, Charity and Cheerfulness, in their rush, scattering their gifts to the wee waifs.' Bert going on to say ' Sir Alfred Fripp has acknowledged £7,500 already , and before Christmas Day ten thousand pounds will have definitely been paid to the Sir Alfred Fripp's Wee Waifs' funds by Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers. And not a single penny will be wasted. All this money from the little booklet in addition to many donations which are to a great extent anonymous and are not included in this amount !' Indeed the following years saw a total of £76,000 (1927) handed to Sir Alfred rising to £100,000 by 1928. Bert's Christmas address also said ' My first Christmas wish to you all is astounding good health and astonishing good times ! To all at home, to all overseas, and especially to all those boys in the outdated British Sentry Boxes dotted all over the world who were the first to acclaim with boyish glee the advent of Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers and all it stands for : CHARITY, COMPANIONSHIP and CHEERFULNESS. Our Blower's Booklet will be read round hundreds of camp fires this Christmas by wandering sons of old Mother England; wandering, and perhaps wondering why things are not as they might be. Possibly there are of my opinion, and that is, if everybody in this great big nation sang our Froth Blower's Anthem once a day, a spirit of cheerfulness and give-and-take duty might prevail. Anyway, tens of thousands will insist on singing the inspiring refrain during this festive season. We have no class or creed distinctions, and in castle and cottage, battleship and barracks our own little song will make for jollity and good-fellowship, and wherever it is sung the British boys and girls will let themselves go. Sing it on Christmas day and give a little thought for the Wee Waifs. Sing it on New Year's Eve just before 12 o'clock as a good finish to a mouldy year. But, above all sing it one minute after the New Year steps in as a good augury for a really happy year, with no labour or class dissentions, international strife, or interference from anybody. Would that the League of Nations adopt a spirit of the F.B.'s Anthem, and then the world would be worth living in. A.O.F.B. wireless waves are linking TIENTSIN with PATAGONIA, COCOS ISLES with TEXAS, DEMERARA with ADEN, VANCOUVER with IRAQ, and the boundless ether will be for the next few days VIBRATING with the strain of 'The more we are together, the merrier we'll be.' There is one bad lad in Britain whose heart is busting with pride at the spontaneous answer to his appeal. His name is No. 0. and it is not only the boisterous and brawny Briton who answers, but the dainty, angelic, Fairy Belle who is helping Sir Alfred and Lady Fripp's wonderful work in the East End amongst the Wee Waifs.' Bert finishes his 'message with a direct reference to the American prohibitionists and the Temperance Movement ; ' A MERRY CHRISTMAS AGAIN, and may next year be a merrier one for all of us - a merrier one for the Wee Waifs and a merrier one for No. 1 and his good Lady, a merrier one for all A.O.F.B.'s , and don't forget our slogan "LUBRICATION IN MODERATION, " and thus give old Pussyfoot Johnson, and all his freakish tribe, no opening for foisting his unnatural tastes on to our British beer-loving, baccy-loving and beef-loving palates.'
The following week, as expected, the monies received allowed Fairy Belle No. 1; the Mother Superior, Mrs. Mary Temple (Bert's mother) to call upon Sir Alfred and present a cheque for £2,500 (the largest single amount to date) bringing the total for the Wee Waifs to £10,000. 

What made this even more remarkable is the fact that the country was still recovering from the effects of the First World War some years earlier as was the whole world in general ; the surge in popularity being during the General Strike of 1926, times were hard and becoming steadily more so. Bert's rallying call had struck a chord, originally within the British Armed Forces, then capturing there imagination of so many members of the public. The fact that it was fun only added to its appeal as well as transcending class and creed boundaries and giving the 'ordinary person' the notion of belonging to an organisation like the secretive elitism of the Masons could only have added to the appeal. 

Objection and dissension
As the A.O.F.B. grew, beyond all expectations, so did various allegations; that the order was being run by the brewers, some critics claiming that it encouraged children to drink beer. Questions were being asked - even in the British Parliament ( It is even reported that Bert attended the Houses of Commons at one point to re-iterate and scotch the misapprehension that A.O.F.B. artifacts were being made abroad, as claimed in the House, and not in Birmingham, as was the case). Bert acted quickly to refute any wrongdoings, further re-iterating that ' We have no public collecting boxes or agents . Don't hand your subscriptions to strangers.' This maybe where the idea of Oast Boxes was conceived; for official collection of fines and donations within Vats. The order decreeing that two thirds of funds raised through the Oast Box could be distributed to charity locally with one third going to Sir Alfred. This possibly encouraged further good deeds and larger donations . There also seems to have been quite a few 'entrepreneurs' keen to cash in on the A.O.F.B. successes with unauthorised and unofficial merchandise, none of the proceeds of which went to aid the wee waifs. From accounts of the day we know that Bert acting as the A.O.F.B. was spending a fair amount of monies on registering designs and trademarks in a bid to counteract this.

Bert Temple A.O.F.B. No. 0 and Sir Alfred Fripp A.O.F.B. No. 1  circa 1926

Picture courtesy and copyright © Richard Temple 2008

The A.O.F.B. had very vociferous opponents too, American prohibitionist and 'temperance' advocate William Eugene "Pussyfoot" Johnson being amongst them. Pussyfoot Johnson embarked on a 'World tour' preaching his message of temperance, something that seemed to rankle Bert as he felt compelled to counter in his Christmas message of 1926. William Johnson eventually traveled around the world 3 times delivering over 4000 lectures, winning many friends, moreso for his kindly and pleasant demeanour than for the message portrayed. A 'home grown' objector was a Methodist minister , the Reverend Sam Rowley from Bradford. He did not object to the cause or motive but rather the methods used . He published leaflets in late 1927 stating that the A.O.F.B. was nothing more than a subtle method of beer propaganda, Vat implements being alcohol related and operating from licensed premises ' We have not heard of one (Vat) applying to the YMCA' being written. He was disappointed that the phraseology used in the membership booklet was 'beery, though alleged to be cheery and humourous, though it's humour needs the incoherent mentality created by association with a Vat to appreciate it. Our impression of a Vat is, it is a place where beer drinking predominates.' Sam's attacks on the A.O.F.B. centering on the morality issues of the 'promotion' of beer drinking and the fact that children were enlisted to the A.O.F.B. by parents. Sam offering that 'Britons raised on beer will always produce Wee Waifs. 'Tough arguments countered by both sides , preaching to the converted, Sir Alfred taking the view that , in moderation or otherwise, it was better to have beer drinking for charity than beer drinking alone, especially in a country where total abstinence was not going to happen. Sam had to concede that there were more causes of poverty than beer consumption and drunkenness alone as the American experience had shown. In fact there were many teetotal members of the A.O.F.B. as well.

A.O.F.B. becomes a Limited Company 
One answer was to register as a Limited Company ' without share capital and not for profit' all above board and legal . Godfrey & Godfrey , 10 Grays Inn Square acted as the A.O.F.B. legal team and on 23rd June 1927, with relevant paperwork filed, the A.O.F.B. became a limited company, under the Companies Acts 1908 to 1917, the documentation signed , sealed and delivered between 23rd June and 6th July 1927 when the certificates were issued. The fees and deed stamps amounting to a sum of £7 10/- . The three directors of the A.O.F.B. were Sir Alfred Downing Fripp, Dame Margaret Scott Fripp ( Alfred's wife ) and Mary Jane Temple ( Bert's mother ). 




The Memorandum of the Association declaring that ' The first Members of the Association shall be :-
The Signatories to the Memorandum of Association and these Articles .
Every person who at this date of registration of the Association shall be a Member of the unincorporated Association known as "Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers" who shall on or before the 30th day of September 1927 agree in writing to become a Member of the Association. The Council shall have power to permit any person who at the date of the registration of the Association is a member of the before mentioned unincorporated Association and who refuses or neglects to become a Member of the Association as provided by Article 5 hereof to have such privileges of Members of the Association and upon such terms and conditions as the Council may from time to time determine and particularly without payment of any further donation or subscription. Provided always that such persons shall not be entitled to attend General Meetings, to vote, or be elected to the Council and shall be enrolled as Life Associates. 
There shall be two classes of Members namely 1. Permanent life Members and 2. Subscribing members .
The qualification of a Permanent Life Member shall be the payment at one time to the Association of the sum of £5. The qualification of a Subscribing Member shall be the annual payment of the sum of 10s to the Association. But the qualification of Permanent Life Members and Subscribing Members respectively shall be liable to increase or reduction as may from time to time be determined by vote of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association.

Original subscribing members and members of the Association Council were :-
Herbert Temple , 145 Cheapside, Honorary Secretary No.0
Dame Margaret Scott Fripp, 19 Portland Place, married woman
John Andrew Haes, The London Stock Exchange, Stock jobber, The Cloudburst
David Henry Cain, 20 Bury Street, journalist The Sporting Times, The Grand Hurricane
Alfred Downing Fripp, 19 Portland Place , Retired Surgeon , Froth Blower No. 1
Dorothy Roper, 145 Cheapside, Assistant secretary A.O.F.B., the Gentle Zephyr
Alexander Bangley Croft, The London Stock Exchange, Stock Exchange member


A.O.F.B. meetings were held in the Vats, primarily pubs, clubs and hotels where alcohol and food was available for consumption. 
As the membership book tells us ' The word Vat will be used for discriminating the Gatherings, Meeting places and Haunts of A.O.F.B.'s.' Vat gatherings were conducted with the senior blower acting as 'chair', seniority determined by membership number or rank . Invariably the publican or licensee recruited blowers and as such had the highest seniority or rank and therefore the 'chair'. Badges of rank were awarded , along with privileges, for the recruitment of blowers to the cause. To become a Blaster 25 members were needed to be recruited , 100 members to be a Tornado , 500 members a Monsoon , 1000 members a Grand Typhoon and Cloud Burst for 2000 members . The seniority ranking also distinguished the seating order at gatherings with the higher the membership number seated furthest from the liquid refreshment. 
The membership book tells us ' The Senior Blower (or higher rank) will inspect his immediate surroundings making sure that he is amply equipped with tankards (full) , a paviors beetle or piffle snonker, cash or oast box, cork screw, thumb screw, booklet, pennant and other Froth Blower's implements deemed necessary to preserve dignity and order. Before any ceremony is permitted all tankards or glasses must be filled. After all are seated the S.B. will appoint a hefty sub assistant vice-gargler who will create silence when necessary. A crypt like damp silence having been obtained, the S.B. will then give the command SHOOT YOUR LINEN, BLOWERS. All blowers will then jerk both arms to the table, to their immediate front, and at the same time using sufficient energy to fully expose BOTH cuff links. The S.B. will then inspect the cuffs of his neighbour on his left side. This action will then be carried out automatically round the table. Any irregularity to be immediately reported and the defaulter to stand up to receive sentence.'
Penalties for defaulters ranged from a round of drinks ( or fine to the oast box if a large number of blowers were present ) for both links missing and be served his beer in an egg cup for one hour precisely. no limit to the quantity of cups to be consumed. 
For the absence of a single link the defaulter had to sing the Froth Blowers Anthem, in an audible manner, solo with the offending cuff raised above his head. If a Senior Blower or ranked member had both links missing he had to buy a complete round ( or suitable fine) and sing the Froth Blowers Anthem down the telephone to a complete stranger, the number being determined by sticking a corkscrew into the telephone directory. If the Senior blower had one link missing he had to retire and reverse all of his clothing back to front , and pay a suitable fine to the oast box, before inspection by the gathered ranks. Failure to comply with the clothing forfeit resulted in the fine doubling. 
The gatherings usually consisted of an evening of drink , Lubrication in Moderation of course, the partaking of Baccy and a beef meal with singing and toasting part of the proceedings. The evenings were concluded with the singing of the Froth Blowers and National Anthems.
The Sporting Times carried news of A.O.F.B. gatherings from the Vats from all over the world including forthcoming events. Vat attendance by one of the main players (council members) ensured a good turn out and consequently a good evenings return for the Wee Waifs fund, with the member expected to make a speech and toast or two ,something Bert was uncomfortable and unaccustomed to but regarded as a necessary evil. Bert was reported to perform imitations of birds, animals and fishes at Vat meetings, whether the fish imitation may have to drink like one is pure conjecture. Grand Hurricane David Henry Cain was very prolific in promotion and attendance of A.O.F.B. meetings nationwide, possibly to further his own interests. He certainly did no harm to the circulation of the Pink 'Un, of which he was owner and had plans to float it on the Stock Market.

Not to be outdone Sir Alfred's family also got in on the act with his eldest daughter Betty launching an appeal for the collection of tin foil ( another first for the A.O.F.B. ? not originated by Blue Peter then " ) in July 1928. Betty writing to the Sporting Times ' Dear Grand Hurricane , -- I should be so grateful if , through the columns of the PINK 'UN, you would let me express my very sincere thanks to all Fairy Belles and Blowers who have been collecting silver paper for me. I am able to get a very good price for it-- the last cheque I had was for £6 -- and my sister and I use that money for taking Wee Waifs to camp in the summer. The kiddies, of course, adore it, and they come home looking so fit and happy !. I do thank EVERYONE who has helped in this way , and, if it is not too much trouble, may I ask them to go on collecting for me ? With all good wishes, BETTY FRIPP Tornado. 

Betty, with her sisters Margaret and Venetia and mother Margaret regularly arranged trips to the countryside for Wee Waifs and tired mothers, often to camps run for Girl Guide and Boy Scouts. A fund was set up in April 1928 with £14,000 endowed to enable young people who could not afford it to attend these camps.

Another aspect of the A.O.F.B. saw Monsoon Lieutenant Colonel P.C. Saunders organising and running Auto Outings For Bairns. From late 1926 onwards he asked for Blowers with motor vehicles to 'lend' them for a day for the purpose of taking Wee Waifs on day trips to he countryside and seaside. P.C. Saunders was not awarded a special rank for this though - he was a military man through and through, serving in the Boer war, Indian Army in the Great War and later the Indian Army Service Corps, setting up Auto Outings For Bairns on his retirement from the military.

Sir Alfred and Lady Fripp distributed funds in many areas. There are documented reports of toys and clothing for wee waifs, especially at Christmas time, monies for building projects - West Wickham home for the Invalid Children's aid Association, garden and roof garden provision in St Marylebone slum area re-generation ( the infant mortality rate here being one of the worst in the country ) , School Playing Fields Appeal, the Thames Barrage Flood relief fund at Gravesend and the investiture of hospital cots and beds for children. The cots bore an A.O.F.B. plaque and there are records of them being endowed in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Northampton and Leicester to mention a few, over 50 cots endowed in total. It is worth considering that there was no National Health Service in those days, it is generally believed that the cost of provision and annual running costs of a single cot was around £500 per annum.

The beginning of the End
In July 1928 the Sporting Times reported that people were asking 'has the A.O.F.B. died out.' The Pink 'Un replying that the A.O.F.B. was alive and kicking, although some areas had reached 'saturation point of enlistable members' and as oast box collections could be distributed locally, less money was reaching A.O.F.B. funds. There was a definite slow down in membership take up, not helped by the fact that Sir Alfred had retired from the medical profession some years earlier (in 1925) and had started to spend more time at his beloved home in West Lulworth, Dorset, building a second home nearby 'Weston' built on the clifftop at Lulworth Cove in 1927. His absences, from the metropolis that was London, diluting his promotion of the A.O.F.B. and attendance of functions. This combined with other events at the Sporting Times, the A.O.F.B. official organ, resulting in a lack of much needed publicity which was to seriously affect the A.O.F.B..

David Henry Cain joined S T Publications limited as a journalist and director in 1920 after a lengthy stint at the Daily Express. Over next few years he became a shareholder of S T Publications eventually building up his holding, mainly through 'services rendered' to the point where he was almost the sole owner of S T Publications Limited. Although listed as salaried to £1000 per annum in 1924 he only drew half salary as the company was suffering from a lack of capital. David started Stock Market flotation proceedings for the Sporting Times 1928 Limited in October 1928 in association with Sir John Foster Fraser (Journalist), Sir David Hughes Morgan (Chairman of Western Mail Ltd) and Ronald Cullimore Huggett (Director of Chepstow Racecourse Ltd) who were named as the other directors, in a bid to raise capital of £150,000. Whether is was a calculated risk or pure greed is not known , but David acted as partial underwriter and guarantor for several large loans associated to the company. It was intended to float 1,500,000 shares in the Pink ' Un at a cost of 2 shillings per share , payable in installments over a set time period. Unfortunately for David the final share installment payment was due around the time of the Wall Street Crash of 1929 as well as being massively under subscribed, the public only taking up £17,000 worth of an expected £40,000 worth.. It is possible that he was relying on the A.O.F.B. success to further the success of the Sporting Times. Creditors called in debts, the Sporting Times 1928 Limited stuttering in need of capital , and the much needed publicity machine lost impetus , publications ceasing as the 1930's were ushered in . The Sporting Times went into liquidation, legal proceeding instigated 21st January 1930 and David, being a underwriter and guarantor, filed for personal bankruptcy. The legal proceedings taking almost 2 years to be fully completed.

Sir Alfred Fripp died shortly after the legal proceeding were started on 25th February 1930 at home in Dorset. A double hammer blow for the A.O.F.B. especially as the repercussions of the Wall Street Crash were rippling round the globe. Letters of condolence were received by Dame Margaret from all over the world and from all walks of life. Sir Alfred was buried in Lulworth churchyard. A memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields on 4th March 1930 was conducted by the Bishop of Guildford with Sir Hugh Rigby representing the King with family, friends - knights, ladies, doctors. colonels and majors cheek-by-jowl with actors and Froth Blowers present. The Times newspaper listing over 300 attendees including Bert Temple and the ' Misses Roper'. The A.O.F.B. Chairmanship was taken up by Alfred Thomas, Sir Alfred's son, on his passing. 

On 24th March 1930 Major Ian Hay Beith launched the "Sir Alfred Fripp Memorial Fund"' Major Beith writing ' Only one form of memorial seems possible for Sir Alfred Fripp . His whole life can be summed up in the single lovely phrase "All sick persons and young children". Therefore, to perpetuate his memory best, let us do something to reflect his life's work.' The fund was set up devoted to the development , building and upkeep of the Children's department of Guys Hospital , 'in a manner as the governors of the Hospital or Sir Alfred's own relatives may decide.' The fund invited people to subscribe ' according to their means and inclination', subscriptions to the Honorary Secretary, The Sir Alfred Fripp Memorial Fund, 145 Cheapside . Could it be that Bert , assisted by Dorothy Roper, was the honorary secretary of the fund as well as the A.O.F.B.? The fund was kicked off with two donations , £1,000 from the A.O.F.B. and 10 shillings in farthings ( a quarter of a penny ) collected by children at a local school.
The trustees of the fund were Major Ian Beith, Lord Lonsdale and Wilfrid Godfrey. 

Bert's health further deteriorated and he was to leave his current home at 3 Richmond Bridge Court, 373 Richmond Court Road , East Twickenham, London, and move into a nursing home at 22a Devonshire Street, Marylebone, London, where he was to finally succumb , passing through respiratory failure brought on by pulmonary tuberculosis on 18th February 1931. Bert's death was certified by Alfred Thomas Fripp, Sir Alfred's son and current Chairman of the A.O.F.B. , who had followed his father into the medical profession. Bert's funeral service was held at St Marylebone Church, York Gate, N.W.1, Monday, Feb 23, at 12 noon, followed by private cremation at Golder’s Green. 

The bell tolls
With No.0 and No. 1 both dead and the Sporting Times in its death throes it was decided to wind up the A.O.F.B. Alfred Thomas Fripp, A.O.F.B. Chairman, called for a special resolution which was passed at an Extraordinary General Meeting , duly convened and held at 4 Raymond- buildings, Gray Inn WC1 on the 20th May 1931 which was resolved " That the association be wound up voluntarily and that William Percy Ancliffe Banks of 90 Cannon Street EC4 , Chartered Accountant , be appointed liquidator for the purposes of such winding up." Notice being posted in the London Gazette of 22nd May 1931.



A further article in the London Gazette 5th June 1931 states " Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the creditors of Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers Limited will be held at the offices of Messrs. Evans, Fripp, Deed & Co. . 90 Cannon Street in the City of London, on Friday the 12th June 1931, at 2.30 o'clock in the afternoon, for the purposes provided for in sections 238, 239 and 240 of the Companies Act 1929. Dated this 29th day of May 1931. Dorothy Roper, Secretary." 

Mr W.P.A. Banks of Messrs. Evans, Fripp, Deed & Co. acted as liquidator in the voluntary winding up of the A.O.F.B. The accounts showing that the A.O.F.B. had no debts, in fact another £110, 18 shillings, 3d were received by the liquidators between the announcement of the liquidation and the conclusion of proceedings. The monies received mainly from subscriptions and donations from Colonial or Foreign sources, with some who had enrolled prior to liquidation commencement and some who subscribed notwithstanding the liquidation.


The accounts show that all creditors were paid in full including the rent ( with dilapidation payment ) on the premises of 145 Cheapside, sundry expenses at the address and Dorothy Roper's salary. including a payment ' for help in the liquidation afterwards.' Even after remunerating fully there was still a surplus of monies remaining , which was distributed between the Invalid Children's Aid Association (Hackney Branch), Foundling Hospital Site appeal Fund, Lady Fripps' Children's Xmas Dinners Fund and Bisley School. 

The A.O.F.B. (as it was) ceased to be on 8th December 1931.

There is a charity still in existence in 2007 - The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers Girl Guides and Boy Scouts Charity, reg no. 05348658, which still administers and runs the 'Heartsease' Guide and Scout hut at West Wickham that was set up by Sir Alfred Fripp with A.O.F.B. funds.


Pre decimal currency overview.
1d was a penny ( 1p Decimal )
6d sixpence or half a shilling ( 2.5p decimal )
1/- a shilling or 12d ( 5p decimal ) 
2/6 half a crown or 30d ( 12.5p decimal )
5/- a crown , 60d (25p decimal)
10/- 10 shillings or 120d ( 50p decimal )
£1 20 shillings or 240d ( 100p or £1 decimal ) 

Friends of the Froth Blowers March 2007

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