Clifton Village Community Association -
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So far as I am aware they are all members of the Clfton Lodge of the Ancient Order of Foresters and the medal that several are wearing is a symbol of rank. They were one of the Friendly Societies formed in around 1830 to assist families with their finances, a sort of Artisan's Freemasonry. All the Clifton Hirsts were members and my father insisted on me being initiated as a teenager, although I never took an active part. They were responsible for the building of Foresters Terrace.
They originally held their meetings at the Black Horse, outside which this photo was probably taken around 1850/60. They are probably dressed in their best suits and you will see that several are wearing watch chains in the Albert style. I can definitely identify one of them. The one on the right with the moustache and the flamboyant hat is Joah Hirst, who was my Great Grandfather, born in 1822 and a wiredrawer by trade.
Joah was married to Mary Ramsden, daughter of Thomas Ramsden, the person Anna Best sought to implicate in the murder of Elizabeth Rayner.in her book. Thomas was, of course, my 2x Great Grandfather, and I must say that I took exception to many of the suppositions in the book, about which I will not go into detail. I adhere to the view that one should not without certainty speak ill of the dead. They cannot answer back.