A.O.F.B. Facts, Trivia & Titbits

The Sporting Times produced a £10 prize A.O.F.B. crossword in the December 25th 1926 Edition. No prizes this time around but here is the crossword in MS Excel format (right click and 'Save target as' to download)

It has been suggested that the acronym A.O.F.B. was used as in Any Other Further Business , if not then off to the bar for drinks as the traditional 19th hole at golf. It certainly crops up a bit , Ancient Order of Froth Blowers, Angelic Order of Fairy Belles, Auto Outings for Bairns and the canine arm, Amiable Order of Faithful Bow-Wows .

Although figures of 1 million members worldwide have been quoted it is thought the truer figure was around 700,000.

Highest Membership book number seen to date is 674,125, Fairy Belle Katherine Kinney from New York USA . Issued Spring 1929.

Ashtead Potters employed 32 disabled ex-servicemen, and the Birmingham Medal Co. employed many disabled servicemen. .

The Swan Inn at Fittleworth was Bert Temple's "local" and was known as Vat 0. The Swan Inn has a visitors book and entries from A.O.F.B. members can be seen including Bert's own hand.

Hannah McDonald informs that CAMRA has recently awarded the Swan Inn a 'Pubs in Time' plaque for its connection to the A.O.F.B.. 
The Swan Inn, Lower Street, Fittleworth, RH20 1EN .  February 2006.
Further information can be found at the C.A.M.R.A. website.     Thanks Hannah.

No Heel Taps :- To completely empty ones drinking vessel. A nautical term to turn over to one side, especially of a ship. In our context used relating to the tilting or tipping of a cask or barrel , or direction to the drinkers of a toast to drain their glasses and leave no dregs remaining. 

Mary Jane Temple , Bert's mother was a director of the A.O.F.B. and was also Fairy Belle No.1 .

Famous Froth Blowers include : thespian Harold Lloyd (made an honorary tornado by Sir Alfred), aviator Charles Lindberg ( elected a Froth Blower when drinking at a  golf club function in Honduras) , author J M Barrie ( he gave the rights to his book Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Children's hospital ) who was a personal friend of Sir Alfred, both shared the interest of child well-being, Bonzo cartoonist George Studdy, (Sir) John Betjeman Poet Laureate, Jasper Maskelyne magician ( who famously made Alexandria in Egypt 'disappear' during W.W.II )  and Irish/American Tenor John McCormack. 

At the inauguration of the Bury Vat a special menu was prepared ( all courses had the initials of A.O.F.B. ) the main course being An Orthodox Feathered Biped. The menu was rounded off with other acronyms, Auto's Ordered For Blasters, Ambulances Ordered For Blowers and Arrested Ones Found Bail.

The Bricklayers Arms , 26 Cable St, London , had a 'pet Brazilian monkey' which was registered as a Froth Blower , membership No.243776. His  A.O.F.B. links were worn on a collar around his neck. The monkey was also partial to a tot of Whitbread Stout, which he was allowed in cold weather.

References to the A.O.F.B. can be found in several publications including novels. Some of them are - Lord Peter Wimsey by Dorothy L Sayers, Sappers's - Exploits of Bulldog Drummond especially ' The female of the Species',  Behind the Rising Sun by James Russell Young, Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene and (Sir) John Betjeman's 'Varsity Students' Rag. 

Back to Home

Back to Regalia / Merchandise