The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers was a humorours charitable organisation which combined their benevolence with the love of a brew. The purpose of this noble group of beer drinkers was to '"to foster the noble Art and gentle and healthy Pastime of froth blowing amongst Gentlemen of leisure and ex-Soldiers".
Running from 1924-1931, it was founded by Bert Temple, an ex-soldier and silk-merchant, initially to raise £100 for the children's charities of the surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp. One of the Order's first meeting places was the Swan, Fittleworth, W. Sussex - the 'No. 0 Vat'
The A.O.F.B. (as it was) ceased to be on 8th December 1931.
But do not despair! Some quaffers preserve the memory of the Order and there is a modern English web site for it, showing happy young lads and distinguished gentlemen astride barrels of beer, tipping their mugs to the camera. The Friends of the Froth Blowers; a site dedicated to the memory and preservation of the A.O.F.B., www.frothblowers.co.uk
The Order’s founder, Bert Temple wrote a Christmas message in the Sporting Times dated 18th December 1926;
The reference above was to "Pussyfoot" (William Eugene) Johnson (25/3/1862–2/2/1945) an American Prohibition advocate and law enforcement officer. In pursuit of his campaign to outlaw intoxicating beverages, he openly admitted to drinking liquor, bribery, and lying. He gained the nickname "Pussyfoot" due to his cat-like stealth in the pursuit of suspects in the Oklahoma Territory.
For five years the Froth Blowers extolled Britishness and "Lubrication in Moderation". Their song The More We Are Together, an adaptation of "Oh du lieber Augustin" was heard everywhere.
The A.O.F.B's popularity was particularly upsetting to the Abolitionists who believed that it was alcohol which caused the "wee waifs'" suffering; not something a doctor and surgeon-to-the-King should be sponsoring. In 1927, Walter Greville of the Good Templars (a temperance group) described it as "the latest recruited ally of the liquor trade", saying that "for ridiculous vulgarity and foolish methods it took the first prize". Sir George Hunter, speaking for the Fellowship of Freedom and Reform in 1929, called the Froth Blowers "a disgrace to the country".
Nevertheless, the Lord Chancellor, Viscount Hailsham, described it as "a great charitable organisation". When the surgeon Fripp died in 1930 his Times obituary said of the Froth Blowers, "These, by their innocent mirth, assisted by a catchy tune, have contributed largely to charities, and have entertained and brightened the lives of innumerable children.
Quote from the AOFB handbook
"A sociable and law abiding fraternity of absorptive Britons who sedately consume and quietly enjoy with commendable regularity and frequention the truly British malted beverage as did their forbears and as Britons ever will, and be damned to all pussyfoot hornswogglers from overseas and including low brows, teetotalers and MPs and not excluding nosey parkers, mock religious busy bodies and suburban fool hens all of which are structurally solid bone from the chin up".
Sources (read plagiarised from)
* I have actually heard this song sung in a Melbourne Lodge with the word 'merrier' swapped for 'happier'.
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