Wiltshire Friendly Society was founded in 1887 to provide income replacement insurance to working men and women, under the Holloway system
The system was first described by George Holloway of Stroud who was a clothing manufacturer, social reforming justice of the peace and latterly the Member of Parliament for the town. In his Prize Essay on Superannuation and Old Age Pensions, George Holloway set out his ideas on how to reform current Friendly Societies. At this time many were closing due to lack of funds and as much of the population had no provision for old age or being unable to work due to sickness he wanted to explore how Friendly Societies could reliably help towards this.
Fortunately, George Holloway’s ideas were approved and in 1875 he founded the Mid-Gloucester Working Men’s Benefit Society (later known as The Original Holloway Friendly Society in Gloucester) having become the parent of the Holloway Societies established on the same principles in many other towns.
Wiltshire Friendly Society was founded in 1887 and originally known as the ‘Wiltshire Working Men’s Conservative Benefit Society’ and then ‘Wiltshire Holloway Benefit Society’ and in 1995 became ‘Wiltshire Friendly Society Limited’.
We have always had our head office rooted in Trowbridge with ‘lodges’ dotted around the local area making it easier for members to pay their contributions before the days of Direct Debits. After being built in 1929 Wiltshire Friendly Society occupied the then Holloway House until 1987 when we moved to new offices on Market Street. In 2008 we made the move to our current office on the White Horse Business park in the new Holloway House. One of our other previous head offices can still be found on Stallard Street in Trowbridge.
Whilst moving from Market Street to the new Holloway House several artefacts were found, and most were donated to either the Trowbridge Museum or The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes. We do hold a small number of items ourselves and these can be seen below.