By Ces.Mowthorpe (Copyright 2004)
Like many East Yorkshire villages, Hunmanby had its own 'Club' which brought a number of both social and health benefits. For a small weekly sum its members received sick benefit and a shilling a week upon retirement. Founded in 1840, and named the ' STAR OF BETHLEHEM LODGE OF FREE AND INDEPENDAENT SHEPHERDS' its members met each month in the 'Club Room' at the White Swan where a ceremony was enacted. Unfortunately, details of these ceremonies have been lost but the 'Making Ceremony' and it's song were recorded by that fine Hunmanby historian Miss L.M.Owston in her book 'HUNMANBY' - A story of ten centuries'. It was given to her by the late T.P. ('Tinner') Young in his 86th year. He had been 'apprenticed' to the Lodge when a teenager, as indeed were many similar boys. He like his father and grandfather were the village tinsmiths and although call a 'Shepherds' lodge', any village boy was accepted subject to having a proposer and seconder and being successfully voted into the Lodge. He had to pass a number of simple exercises and wait until he was 21 years old before becoming full member. Apprentice 'Shepherds' had smaller versions of the traditional shepherds crook as their badge of office. Full members had a full-sized crook and wore a green silk sash over their shoulders. To attain such a prized and privileged position in the Lodge apprentices passed through a 'Making' ceremony whereupon this song was heartily sung:

Now you're a Shepherd made
Our social plan to aid
In Union true
Now you a crook must bear
A shepherd's badge must wear
O may it be your care
To be humane

We bid you welcome here
To our fraternal care
When fortune frowns
Honour and honesty
Friendship and harmony
True love and secrecy
With us are found

Come all you brothers round
Let us in love abound
Till we're no more
And when we bid adieu
To this our friendly crew
Reign with our Lord anew For evermore

Every June, the Lodge held its Feast Day when members assembled, initially outside the White Swan but after about 1900 the assembly point was in Lower Stonegate outside the Horse Shoe Inn. They then, preceded by the Hunmanby Brass Band, which after 1923 became the Hunmanby Silver Band, paraded up to All Saints Church, Apprentices first, followed by the Lodge in full regalia. After the church service a fine meal was provided in the Club room - known as the Club Feast - which their ladies were invited. Anticipating this, the ladies, all dressed in their Sunday best tended to follow the procession through the village. Arriving at the porch of All Saints Church the Apprentices formed up on either side making an archway with their crooks through which the Lodge members entered into the church.

20th August 1893 was the 53rd anniversary and typical of such gatherings. As recorded in Miss Owston's book:- The chairman was the Vicar of Seamer Rev.F.G. Stapleton ''who proposed the toast of Queen Victoria, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the rest of the Royal family. In his speech he detailed the outstanding events of Her Majesty's reign and the progress of the country since 1837. He alluded to the forthcoming marriage of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales with Princess Mary of Teck'' One hundred and twenty people were present. It was customary for the procession to reform in the evening and wend its way to Park House field, where sports were indulged in until darkness fell - weather permitting!

With the coming of the National Health Insurance Act of 1911 these benefit clubs fell into demise. The First World War and the sale of the Hunmanby estate by Sir Denis Readhead Bayley in 1921-22 finally ended the Ancient Shepherds ceremony and Feasts although the 'Club' benefits were carried on until the late 1940's with a small committee whose last Treasurer was Jim Sharp, faithfully carrying out payments of ten shillings a week to all paid-up members when the need arose.