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Charities in Long Eaton
Before the days of the National Health system and the benefits system that we know today, the poorest inhabitants of Long Eaton and Sawley had to rely on the charity of those who were better off. There follows a brief outline of the several charitable benefits set up by various individuals in the town, to make life more bearable for their poorer neighbours.

"Thomas Hollingworth in 1675 gave a close of land adjoining Bramcote to the poor of Sawley, Long Eaton and Bramcote. This land was exchanged in 1842. The rent, 15 yearly, is divided equally between Sawley, Long Eaton and Bramcote. The Poor's Close, rent 12 a year is distributed at Christmas amongst the industrious poor."(taken from White's Directory of the County of Derbyshire in 1857).
The land which Thomas Hollingworth gave in 1675 (which was exchanged for different land at enclosure) is still owned by the trustees of the charities for Sawley, Bramcote and Long Eaton. The annual rent is now 270, shared equally. Erewash Borough Council administers the Long Eaton charity.

Six almshouses for six poor persons were built by public subscription in 1858. They were situated on the front of the High Street between where the Post Office then was, and the Zion Church, the site is now occupied by a row of shops. The proposed building of the almshouses is recorded in the Parish Minutes of 1856. A subscription fund was opened and a total of 177 8s 4d was collected. The total cost to build the almshouses was actually 190 and they were further insured for 100. In 1859 a causeway was laid down in front of these houses and a water pump provided, but when piped water was supplied to the town, it was also laid on to the almshouses and the pump became obsolete and was later sold off.

Mr Henry Moore painted and cleaned the almshouses at a cost of 3 3s 0d in 1896. There was an offer to purchase the whole site and property for 500 in 1894, but objections were raised to this, and some people talked of building new almshouses and a public meeting was called to consider the matter. Nothing came of this proposal. Around this time Mr E. T. Hooley offered to erect 10 almshouses on the area known as The Green at the top end of the town. Eventually this offer was made to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee, but this never matured either.

White's Directory of 1857 has the following record:

"The township of Long Eaton's Poor's Close, about two acres, in the parliamentary returns of 1786 is mentioned as given by some person unknown, and vested in the hands of the freeholders. It is now in the occupation of James Huss, who pays 5 0s 0d to the poor and 6/8d to the perpetual curate of Sawley, for preaching a sermon on the first Sunday in Lent in the Long Eaton chapel. Some timber was sold from the estate for 21 0s 0d, which together with the 20 0s 0d supposed to be Mr Howitt's donation, is now vested in the hands of Mr John Burton. It appears to us these sums ought not to remain on personal security, and that an account should be kept distinct from the poor's rate. The whole should be given in coals about Christmas, but we understand it has not been paid for several years. John Howitt gave 20 0s 0d to the poor of this township in 1786, producing 20/- per annum."
The Poor's Close was a piece of land on the west side of Stanley Street between Northcote Street and the Brown Brook. From 1865 it was used for gardens and remained so until 1885 when it became the first Public Recreation Ground at a rental of 12 0s 0d a year. At this time only half of Stanley Street had been developed, and a vestry meeting in 1890 rejected a proposal for the widening of Stanley Street and setting out the remainder of the land for building.

During 1894-5 keen interest was displayed in the Long Eaton Charities, and many proposals were considered. Eventually, the Charity Commissioners were consulted and in 1898 the future administration of the Long Eaton United Charities was vested in the Long Eaton Urban District Council. Under this authority of the Charity Commissioners the almshouses were sold for 500. In 1901 the Commissioners authorised the sale of the Poor's Close for 922. The Long Eaton Urban District Council used to issue an annual statement of the Long Eaton United Charities.

A cash investment of 1,369 8s 2d was made in the Nottingham Corporation Inscribed Redeemable Stock 1920-1960. The stock was redeemed by the corporation in May of 1947, and the proceeds were temporarily invested in the Post Office Savings Bank. In July 1948, this account was closed and the proceeds, with interest, were invested in the stock of British Transport Guaranteed Stock 1968-1973. The Trust Fund income was used to pay 2/- per week to a selected number of old people residing in Long Eaton. These usually numbered about 10 people who visited the Treasurer's Office at The Hall every four weeks, and draw the amount of 8/- each.

From time to time as vacancies occurred. the old Long Eaton Urban District Council advertised in the Long Eaton Advertiser, inviting applications from old people without independent means for consideration as pensioners. Preference was normally given to the oldest people having lived longest in the town.

Charities In Sawley
In 1684 a Mr Francis Hacker gave to the town of Sawley 200 to be lodged in trust with the Company of Salters of London, until they found something suitable to purchase with the money. It isn't recorded what was acquired with the money. For the first five years 40/- was to be distributed to the poorest men and women of the town, and 50 was to be added to the stock. Four coats and six gowns of coarse cloth were provided every other year, and given to poor people. About 20 tons of coal was provided and distributed with half a ton given to each person at Christmas. Later, a sum of 40/- was paid towards the salaries of the schoolmaster and mistress of the National School.

In 1721, Joseph Towle left Lucy Butt Close charged with the payment of 20/- a year forever to the poor of Sawley. It formed a part of a close attached to a house belonging to Mr John Smith, purchased from his father by Richard Towle. It was recorded in 1954 that this 20/- per year had not been paid for upwards of 30 years.

A Mr Fosbrooke gave 10/- per annum from the estate of a Mr Parkinson, for the poor of Sawley to buy bread. When Mr Parkinson examined his title deeds, there was no mention of this gift, nor was there any evidence to show that his estate was liable to this charge. However, when Mr William Bennett succeeded to the estate, he still continued this charity and gave 20/- per annum to the poorest widows and widowers of Sawley. The Sawley Charities were administered by the Sawley members of the old Long Eaton Urban District Council.

The Sawley Charities is now governed by 6 trustees, four of whom are independent and two are appointed by Erewash Borough Council. Apart from the Bramcote land, Sawley charities' assets are in investments approved by the Charity Commissioners. Benefits are paid annually, usually around Christmas, to widows or persons in receipt of a state pension who have resided in Sawley for a minimum of six years and who state that they are in need of assistance. Application forms are usually available at local post offices, or from the Secretary of the Sawley Charities.

Sums of money are also paid to Treetops hospice at Risley which caters for Sawley residents in need of terminal care. One of the benefactors of Sawley Charities left money for educational purposes and this is now distributed annually to schools in Sawley for the purchase of library books.

Information taken from 'Sketches Of Long Eaton & District' by Arthur Hooper, additional information courtesy of Mr Keith Reedman.

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