Friday, May 25, 2012

Hearts Of Oak

Another artifact from the Nevard trunks. This 1906 Hearts Of Oak Society calendar turned up. Apparently Ernest Nevard belonged to the society. I'd never heard of it and had to look up a little information on it.

The Hearts of Oak Benefit Society was established in 1842 to provide a means for persons to save into a mutual fund that could draw upon and provide financial protection in times of sickness. Criteria for membership were strict, for example around 1900 the Society expected all applicants to be of “good character” and earning a minimum weekly wage of 24 shilling (£1-4s-0d) which excluded the lower paid such as labourers, lower skilled artisans and unskilled workers. Membership therefore tended to comprise of the higher artisans, skilled mechanics, small shopkeepers and those who had newly risen into the growing ranks of the ‘middle classes’.
The Society was named in honour of Britain’s navy whose wooden ships of oak had become renowned for saving the country from invasion. With the passing of the Friendly Societies Act in 1850, the range of services and activities of Benefit societies increased and included maternity (lying-in benefits) and death benefit schemes. Following the 1911 Health Insurance Act, the Hearts of Oak Benefit Society were among the first to provide insurance and financial schemes.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sarah Wagstaff Nevard

My great grandmother, Sarah (Wagstaff) Nevard posing in front of her home at 36 Straight Road, Lexden , Essex, U.K. At age 95 she was still capable of baking bread as evidenced by the two loaves she is holding. Pretty impressive.
This photo accompanied a news story in the local Lexden newspaper at the time. I couldn't find it today so just inserted the original photo.