The Clothing Club

We received a book via Vernon Birkinshaw that was used for the Tollerton Clothing Club. The initial date inside the book is 1904.

A clothing club was one in which sheets, bedspreads, towels and other material was brought, possibly in large quantities, then people in the village would choose the items they wanted and pay so much a week until it was paid for.

Most of the book is lists of names: The people of the Club are listed on the left then, as weeks go by, what they pay in is listed against their name. There are also receipts from  the wholesale merchants.

The first entrant states “Paid Mr Macdonald on 1st March 1906 £4 – 10 – 0”. We presume this was the amount that had been paid in. In 1909 the money is paid to Mr Prentice until 1915 (he was the Vicar that ended up in prison).

List of names

There are a lot of names the History Group recognise because of other work we have and still are undertaking eg Mrs Chambers, Mrs Hickling, Mrs Sweet. At the start, everyone was paying a shilling a week.

In 1927 this increased to 2 shillings for most. There are also chitties from Edwin Harrington & Son in 1927 (a wholesaler based in Carrington Street), and also Frederick Harrington – described as a draper and house furnisher in 1928.

Harrington’s shop

We cannot tell exactly what they were buying at this time but you will see on the following bill that sheets and pillow cases were also available and even a discount for cash!

There are lots of loose pieces of paper in the book, some are from the Wholesaler, some from the Post Office when the club have sent in their Post Office book (also present covering 1927 – 1933). Interesting to note on the Post Office papers is the wording:

The last piece of paper is perhaps the most interesting:

Money was received via a solicitor from the late Mrs Burnside. Also the Mother’s Union and perhaps a donation from the Magazine of the Parish.

It is not clear from the Clothing Book how this money was distributed but one would presume every member had some benefit.