The Ancient Order of Foresters

Thanks to Audrey Fisk, archivist with The Ancient Order of Foresters who has kindly provided the following information.

There were five Courts (branches) of the Foresters in the Stockton-on-Tees District. It is possible that the picture may be of the Committee of Management of Court Royal Alexander, No. 4442, in Norton which opened in 1864. The picture might record that Courts amalgamation with a Court in Stockton in 1909. The imposing gentleman in the centre was probably the Trustee of the Court. I also think that from the style of dress (trousers and knee socks) the man in front row 2nd from the left was a gamekeeper; also the younger man (?his son) 2nd from the right. The rest of the men look like estate workers. It was never a very big Court  37 members in 1885 and 40 members in 1909, but had a steady membership year on year. They just ran out of sufficient funds. Information from Cliff Thornton.

9 thoughts on “The Ancient Order of Foresters

  1. I have a 1904 AOF Victoria, BC CANADA membership photo and wondered about the history of this group. There was one lone female member. Could you provide any info, or the name of a contact who might know some details?

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  2. My great grandfather George Ashbee (Dover) was a member does anyone have any information on him? I do have a picture of him in full dress as a member.

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  3. MY GRANDFATHER WAS A PAST CHIEF RANGER.HIS NAME IS LAWRENCE ANGELLO. COULD YOU TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR CLUB AND ANY INFO ON MY GRANDFATHER. THANK YOU CHUCK H oid addressing it to an individual. Email, postal or web addresses should not be added.

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  4. James Openshaw – you can contact the Foresters Friendly Society at 29-33 Shirley Road, Southampton, SO15 3EW, or visit their website which has a page devoted to the history of the organisation.

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  5. I have been asked by a friend to research an “old” collar/sash of the Ancient order of forresters. It is basically a pale green colour.Can you advise me from where I might obtain full information on this rather lovely object. Regards James

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  6. I agree with Lindsey I think its Jackson Walker in the Middle and some of his Sons I too am descended from the Walkers of Norton if anybody has any more info on this picture please contact me.

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  7. My great great great grandfather was Joseph Warnock who was with the Court of St Hilda (Whitby?)from 1852 as Treasurer for 10 years, then secretary for 20 years. Does anyone know more?

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  8. I have a photograph of my G/Grandfather and G/Grandmother as a family group which would have been taken approx. 1900. The Gentleman 3rd left front row is identical to my G/Grandfather and the man on the far right front row looks like my Grandfather. They were both named Jackson Walker. Could anyone put any names to this photo?

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  9. Thanks to the Picture Stockton team for examining the sashes in more detail, this has shown that the men were members of the Ancient Order of Foresters. This was a sort of victorian friendly society, although it is still on the go today. The men were probably meeting as a “court” to discuss the business and finances of the local branch. Not sure who are 2nd and 4th from the left on the front row, they look like brothers and are better dressed than their colleagues.

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