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Slate Club Memories

The Shepherd and Dog Slate Club In the early part of the century, many of the village pubs ran Slate Clubs and the Shepherd and Dog was no exception. To create a club, a committee was formed and a treasurer duly elected. People would pay into the club what they could afford, as the wage for a farm labourer was not much more than 1 per week, they would probably put in no more than a shilling a week. The monies collected were then deposited into the bank to accumulate a little interest. The club would pay out just before Christmas. 

When the day arrived all the members would assemble in the Shepherd and Dog's main bar, and one by one they would be called into the 'paying out' room. It was by all accounts a lively evening, with the hat passed round for beer for the evening. In 1916 the Slate club treasurer lived nearby in the thatched cottages which were attached to the Shepherd and Dog, (cottages demolished in 1960). As well as members in Moulton the club also had members in Kennett and Kentford. When pay out day arrived, it was found that the treasurer had disappeared, it was later found out that he went to Canada. At the time it caused considerable hardship as many relied on the money to pay for their Christmas. 

Food and presents must have been ordered on the strength of the slate club money. There was at the time a large number of people in the club and it is said that there was over 100 to be paid out. Unlikely as it may seem, somebody from the area who knew the treasurer, met him while visiting friends in Canada, he was serving in a shop. The next day returning to the shop to see him, found that he had left the day before, after the meeting. To the treasurer's credit, he did return to Moulton some years later, to face the music and repay all the money he had taken.

by Mr E W Plume, with additional information by JRG.
This story was told to me by Gilbert Vincent in March 1995. JRG.
 

 

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac