It’s all looking very Friendly here in Askrigg tonight.
Members of the Askrigg Friendly Society originally banded together to help each other avoid the dreaded workhouse.
The Askrigg Equitable, Benevolent and Friendly Society, often abbreviated to just Friendly Society was set up in 1809. It was one of thousands of fraternities established to help working members in time of sickness. Particularly, people were desperate to avoid the Union Workhouses, an unremitting Poor Relief, known unflatteringly as The Bastille, and for thirty years not a single Askrigg member had to avail himself of that feared roof over his head.