The Widford Relief In Need Charity is made up from three charities:
- Mary Mason’s Charity, founded by a will dated November 2nd 1808.
- The Charity of an Unknown Donor.
- The Charity known as the Poor House.
These three were amalgamated in 1896 into one, which was thereafter known collectively as Widford Relief In Need of Charity.
Back in 1896, donations were given to cover various needs, as you will see from the extract of the “Scheme for Distribution of the Funds’. The handwritten part, shown, comes from a copy made by Revd J Traviss Lockwood in 1896 of a much earlier memorandum written b the Revd Henry Hamond in an old account book.
Thankfully things have moved on since then. Other entries in the Minutes Book range from a £5 donation to the nursing fund (“as long as a clause is put in the rules that the nurse does not attend any contagious cases”), 10 shillings for urgent dental treatment and help for “two poor boys” to attend school. In later years, I remember that my own grandparents, who lived in North View, were always pleased to receive their sack of coal at Christmas time.
The only income nowadays comes from the rental of Poors Land, a field of some 14 acres situated along Green Lane. (Green Lane, unsigned, leads off Medcalf Hill to Howletts Road).
There are five Trustees, the Chairman being the Rector, with two Trustees appointed by the Parish Council and two others who have knowledge of the Parish of Widford. We have two meetings per year, usually in June and November, which we attempt to attend.
The Committee of Trustees is very aware of the changing needs in our community and strives to make the best use of a small fund.
The trustees of this charity make annual distributions to a number of residents who would benefit at Christmas time. This means planning ahead, and we hold our meeting in early November. So we would like to hear from readers before the end of October if they know of any person or persons who might be helped this year. Please let one of us know. Thank you.