Back in Time: Feeling was mutual with Hearts of Oak

Hearts of Oak, probably photographed in the 1890s
Hearts of Oak, probably photographed in the 1890s

In the late 19th century friendly societies were established in Aylesbury and most of the prominent businessmen in the area were members of them.

The banner displayed here is for the Hearts of Oak Benefit Society, probably photographed in the 1890s.

Members who paid into the society would be paid for sickness, funerals, loss by fire etc.

Each year, on Whit Monday in late May there would be a gathering of the Aylesbury Friendly Societies in such locations as Hartwell Park or Walton Grange.

Both of these sites had plenty of space for large numbers of people.

It was a major event of the year.

There would be brass bands, sports races, fairground attractions and would conclude with a grand fireworks display.

The Hearts of Oak was still in operation well into the 21st century and in 2007 it was taken over by Reliance Mutual.