History of the Society
Friendly Societies were originally formed to provide an early form of social security – long before anyone had thought of state welfare benefits. For example, they would help when members hit hard times, and provide assistance with funeral expenses on the death of a member and helping members when times were hard due to illness.
The Westbury Friendly Society was founded in the late eighteenth century, and is one of only five remaining in Somerset and continues to support these traditions. Each session of the Westbury Friendly Society ceases to exist for a short period. This period is known as the club break. A village meeting is then convened to decide whether to re-establish it for another three years. So far, the decision has always been in favour of carrying on, at which point a new committee is elected to lead the Society for the next three years. The most recent club break was on 31st October 2019.
Membership and protection of personal data
Friendly Society Events
Our traditional annual event of the year is Club Day usually held on a Sunday in May. The day begins with a children’s fancy dress competition, followed by a parade through the village led by a brass band. After the award of prizes and a roll call of members at the Westbury Inn, there is a special service at the village Church followed by lunch in the Village Hall.
Village Day on the village playing field is facilitated by the Friendly Society and gives all community organisations to promote there activities. Events have traditionally comprised is then followed by an afternoon of events and attractions These include children’s sports, skittles, a tug of war contest, a coconut shy, and various other side shows. In addition to facilitating the annual Village Day event, we provides an ‘Children’s Easter Egg Hunt and in September a Mystery Outing for our senior citizens every year
Friendly Society Grants
Westbury Friendly Society is proud of our village, striving to keep local traditions alive providing a great deal towards the social and community life of Westbury-sub-Mendip. All funds raised by the society are directed back to benefit the community within Westbury in the form of donations, grants and supporting events. During the last three years we have provided over £5000 in the form of grants in addition to the free events for the community. Grants up to £500 have been given to the Village Hall, Community Shop, PTA, the Playing Field, and many others.