This is a lovely piece of labour movement ephemera - the contribution card of a member of the Nottingham Typographical Association, the local printers' trade union. The card was a way of demonstrating that you were up-to-date in paying your union dues. And as you can see, it was the secretary's job to be in the pub every day but Sunday at a particular time to pay union provident benefits - principally their out-of-work benefit.
In the days of letter press, the printers were labour aristocrats. And as you would expect of printers, their contribution card is clearly and elegantly produced. This one is in stunningly good condition for a document almost 130 years old.
The 1893 card only seems to record the member W. Allen's 10/- (50p) entrance fee to gain membership of the society. But he was still a member of the union - now national and called the Typograhical Association - fully forty years later, as the red contribution card demonstrates.
How's that for loyalty!
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