Ellingham United Charities

Here is a link to relevant pages for local charities from this old book found at the Norfolk Record Office

Reports of the Commissioners.pdf

(See detailed pictures of the land at the end of the article.)

(Note: Unless otherwise stated, all information and quotations are taken from the charity records that are with the secretary’s to the Ellingham United Charities, or deposited at the Norfolk Record Office. Dates are mentioned in brackets where they might be useful.)

What are Ellingham United Charities you might ask and why should they be of any concern to me? Well, for a start, the Ellingham United Charities distributed around £26,000 around the village in the five years 2005 – 2010. Do you know where this money went? Ellingham United Charities have over 44 acres of land in the village which is let to farmers. Do you know where this land is and how much it is rented out for? The charities have many thousands of pounds invested from which a yearly income is derived. Do you know how much is invested and what the yearly income is? These are quite substantial village assets being required by the Charity Commissioners to be managed by trustees. Do you know who the trustees are and how they are appointed? So, now are you interested in finding out more? If so, then read on:

Whilst the earliest of the charities can be traced back to the fourteenth century, this story starts in the early 1900’s, but there are some general points to be made to set the background to what follows.

·      Parish Councils had been introduced by the Local Government Act of 1894 and Ellingham Parish Council held its first meeting in December of that year. This Act had the effect of transferring many of the duties that had been carried out previously by the Parochial Church Council to secular authority.

·      The horrors of the Great War of 1914-18 saw revolutionary movements across Europe and a gathering force for the enfranchisement of the people, including women. It seems that this new found confidence amongst the ‘middle and lower classes’ is reflected in the dealings between Ellingham Parish Council on the one hand and Ellingham’s Rector and the Charity Commissioners on the other.

  • It is very probable that the collective psyche of the ordinary people of Ellingham and Kirby Cane would still be influenced by the events of the early 1800’s, when the local common lands were enclosed by Act of Parliament by the inhabitants of Ellingham Hall and others, including the church. It is interesting to note here that; “All the inhabitants of Geldeston, Ellingham and Stockton had the liberty of Common in Micklefen which stretched from Pewter Hill to Dunburgh. But, as the historian E Thornhill noted: ‘Alas, it has long since been taken from them.’” (Suffolk and Norfolk Magazine, April. 2011). There had been much anger and civil unrest amongst the dispossessed across the country at this enclosing of the Common lands by those in power and there is no reason to believe that the people of Ellingham and Kirby Cane were any different. Indeed, even in recent years there has been an attempt in Parliament to repeal the Enclosure Awards. 

The charities are:

·      Henry Bonfellow, known also as the Partable Lands. Will dated 1650.Link

·      John Packard. Will dated 1819.

·      Poor’s Allotment. Enclosure Award dated 1806.

·      Town Lands. Deed dated 1392-3

(These notes taken from Charity Commissioners Scheme for Ellingham Charities Jan 1918)                                                         

It seems that by 1918 the Charity Commissioners had been trying for a number of years to get a “Scheme” adopted for the management of the various charity bequests relating to Ellingham; the newly arrived Reverend J T Hendley tells us that the matter came to; “…a crisis in my predecessors time, he was no more to blame than the man in the moon”. (Leaflet: Appendix 1)  In 1915 the Parish Council had passed a resolution; “That the new scheme for the administration of the Parish Charities should be applied for.” (Parish Council minute book) Ernest George Youngman, Frederick Barber and Harry Culley being the Parish Councillors named on the application. However, in early 1916, the Parish Council was keen to wait for the arrival of the new Rector (Rev Hendley) before going forward with the scheme. By December 1916 the Parish Councillors were showing their concerns about the draft scheme of management proposed by the Charity Commissioners; “… we postpone the scheme until after a Parish Meeting”. (ibid) The Parish Meeting was held on February 28th 1917 and the following resolution was passed; “The Parish Council, in conjunction with the Parish Meeting, agreed to oppose the Scheme of the Charity Commissioners.” (ibid)

What was all this fuss about? In the early 1900’s there had been a large investigation of the Ellingham Charities historic documentation by the Charity Commission with many letters being sent to and fro.  The charity accounts were in rather a mess and the Charity Commissioners, in 1913, finally lost patience with the then Rector, Reverend W G Aston and the Churchwardens Mr F Barber and Mr D Barber, for failing to provide accounts and other information about the Ellingham Charities. Charity Commission Assistant Commissioner Wallace was sent to Ellingham to go through all of the charity details. By October 1914 Wallace had finished his work and full details of, and instructions for the governance of, the Ellingham Charities were sent to the Rector. Particularly, the Charity Commissioners insisted that the different charities should have their accounts kept separately. (See ** below)

These instructions were later sent to the Parish Council as the Charity Commissioners had received no evidence that their instructions had been acted upon by the Rector and Church Wardens; which was perhaps why the Parish Councillors are later seen to become very angry about the way the charities had been managed.

During this upheaval the Charity Commissioners could find no evidence that there were “…specific trusts for the repair of the church or other church purposes.” (Box 4 Charity papers Norfolk Record Office)  Also, the Charity Commissioners accused the then trustees of; “…misappropriation of charity funds.” (ibid) Inexplicably we might believe, the 1918 Charity Commissioners Scheme for the management of the Ellingham Charities (Appendix 3.) goes on to allow some of the charity funds to be directed towards the church in a separate “Church Branch Endowment”. We might not blame the then Parish Council therefore for writing to the Charity Commissioners, July 11th 1917; “Why does the Charity Commissioners want to enforce the scheme on the Parish? Is it because the Poor have robbed the church, or the church robbed the Poor? Why have they been corresponding with the Rev. Blair, in preceding (sic) with the scheme and not the clerk or chairman of the Parish Council? Why have they been so lax in not forcing the scheme before? Will you please give us a reason?” (Parish Council minutes) The dividing up of the Town Lands Charity by the Charity Commissioners is the major item at Parish Council meetings for some months during 1916 and 1917. For example a resolution passed unanimously by villagers at a meeting in April 1917 was against the church having any money from the charities. (Eastern Daily Press 18th April 1917) Again, the parish minutes on May 16th 1917 reads; “This meeting is strongly opposed to the proposed scheme and dividing up the Town Lands.”

Unfortunately, there is no evidence of what the Charity Commissioners replied to these questions, if they bothered to reply at all, as the evidence seen above would seem to suggest. What we do have is a continued refusal of the Parish Council to accept the “1918 Scheme” and a refusal to appoint trustees to the Ellingham United Charities until November 4th 1919. Then Mr L Chapman and Mr J Oldman were appointed for two years as Ellingham United Charities trustees and Mr E Snowling and Mr G F Hinsley for four years. (Parish Council minutes) Again, no written record can be found for this change of heart by the Parish Councillors so we are left to interpret the events for ourselves. However, the following information might help to explain the situation that the Parish Council found itself in. The new Rector, Rev. Hendley, seems to have been very blunt in his dealings with the Parish Council as can be seen in his printed statement; “Why, even if the Parish Council had a treasury overflowing with money to meet heavy law costs, no Court of Law in the land would today grant even permission to appeal against the Scheme. If you don’t believe this all I can say is, don’t wait and see, or even talk and see, but try and see, and then perhaps you will be convinced.” He has thrown down the gauntlet; the Parish Council must take on the power and wealth of the church in the law courts if they wish to try to get their voice heard.

In 1920 the relationship between the Parish Council and the Rector was sufficiently restored that Rev. Hendley was thanked for presenting the charity accounts to the Parish Council.

However, it seems that relations never thawed out enough for the matter of the Ellingham United Charities 1918 Scheme of Management to be ratified by the Parish Council. Despite the Charity Commissioners lack of evidence that any monies from the charities be diverted to church use, provision was made in the Scheme for some funds to be used for such purpose. Furthermore, the Charity Commissioners, out of the blue so to speak, made it a condition that the Rector and the Lords of the Manors of Stockton with the Soke and Ellingham Nevells be the three “ex-officio” trustees of the charities. The Parish Council though did have the advantage of appointing four “representative” trustees so gaining a majority voice in the management of the charities.

From the 1920’s onwards there is evidence from the records of both the Ellingham United Charities minute books and the Parish Council minute books for the involvement of the Parish Council in appointing trustees and receiving the accounts of the charities. In fact, the evidence from the trustee’s accounts book shows the annual accounts being audited by the four Parish Council representative trustees from 1920 until 1936. ** However, very controversially some would say, up to the present day there seems to be no attempt to distinguish between the management of the charities in terms of appointing trustees for each of them. This, it can be seen in the charity records, has led to the accounts of the charities becoming muddled over many, many years.

There are other issues from time to time concerning the management of the Ellingham United Charities. Here are two examples: starting with the very first meetings from 1918 and then some of the latest up-to-date meetings from 2000; but first a bit more background information is needed to make sense of the story:

The Charity Commissioners had in the 1918 Scheme divided the Ellingham Charities into two “Branches”:

1. The Church Branch, to be managed by the Rector and churchwardens of Ellingham.

2. The Town and Poor’s Branch, to be managed by the Rector, the two Lords of the Manor’s of Ellingham Nevells and Stockton with the Soke and four Representative Trustees appointed by the Parish Council.

Now, as the Church Branch of the Ellingham Charities had no legitimate (by the findings of the Charity Commissioners themselves) charitable funds to call on, the (previously called) Town Lands were identified by the Charity Commissioners and Rector for this purpose. A good choice for them as this is the charity which dates back to the fourteenth century and seems to have been amongst some of the papers/parchments missing at that time. With the exception of a property known as Leet House, there were some twenty-odd acres of arable land and two further cottages which were now to be called “The Estate Charity”. The net returns from the renting out of this land and property would be divided into two parts; half going to the Church Branch and half to the Town and Poor’s Branch. The Estate Charity would be managed by the trustees of the Church Branch and the Town and Poor’s Branch acting together with the addition of the (two) occupiers of the Estate property.

Now back to the story; at the very first meeting of the Ellingham United Charities held under the provisions of the new Scheme on December 10th 1918, there was present the Rector and four others who were signed in as trustees. Of the four others; one was L. Col. H L Smith Lord of the Manor of Ellingham Nevells, another was a Mr H J Sprake, Attorney to John Kerrich, Lord of the Manor of Stockton with the Soke; and the other two, E J Snowling and D Barber, who were churchwardens. These people now proceeded to manage the Ellingham Charities, despite this being contrary to the management conditions set out in the “Scheme”.

·      The Charity Commissioners expressly forbid anybody acting for, or on behalf of, a trustee. This was later confirmed to the trustees by the Charity Commissioners in a letter of 16th June 1921.  (Box 4 NRO) So Sprake should have been immediately disbarred from holding office as a trustee. Rather than being disbarred, it was Mr Sprake that declared; “…that there was a quorum present and that it would be possible to proceed with the necessary business.” (Ellingham United Charities minute book 10th December 1918)

·      This left the Rector and the Lord of the Manor of Ellingham Nevells as the only two people present at that meeting who were in fact entitled to manage the Ellingham Charity and the Town and Poor’s Charity. As the quorum for a meeting is four for the Estate and three for the Town and Poor’s, no meeting should have taken place at all. Remembering that the churchwardens are only entitled to be at the Church Branch meetings. The Rector and these others carry on in this manner until January 1920 when the first Parish Council representatives arrive at the trustees meeting.

The actual extent of the problems surrounding these first meetings, in that the Rules of the Charity Commissioners Schemes were ignored, can be seen by studying the scheme itself.

Coming right up to date, close to one hundred years later and a similar situation exists:

·      It seems that there had not been a single appointed Parish Council Representative Trustee involved in the management of the Ellingham Charities for many years. This despite the “1918 Scheme” stating quite clearly that the trustees should notify the Clerk or Chair to the Parish Council immediately of any such vacancies. Obviously, the Parish Council is also responsible for failing to attend to its duties of management of these village assets. This, having been brought to the attention of the Parish Council, is now rectified and there are now four appointed Representative Trustees from May 2012.

·      So it was that only the Rector was rightfully a trustee of the Town and Poor’s charity for many years.

This is not in any way to question the integrity of our past fellow villagers, our neighbours in time, nor the present trustees. This is merely to present the evidence so that past mistakes may not be repeated in the future.

What of Mr Sprake the Attorney who had been, against Charity Commissioners rules, standing in as a trustee for the Lord of the Manor of Stockton with Soke? Soon after the appointment of the Parish Council trustees in 1919, Mr Sprake presented the trustees with a bill for £6.15s.0d for his services to the trustees. This is recorded in the minutes, March 29th 1921; “Mr Sprake’s bill gave rise to considerable discussion, much of the eloquence being rather beside the mark.” Reverend Hendley wanted to pay the bill, but eventually agreed to check with the Charity Commissioners first. The trustees finally agreed to pay the bill in June 1921 (Charity Minute Book) but not without further “considerable discussion” and a split vote; four in favour, Reverend Hendley, Col. Smith, Mr Snowling and Mr Barber and two against, Mr Oldman and Mr Hinsley. The vote is interesting for, as we have seen, Mr Barber was not legally a trustee. Mr Snowling, who was by now serving as Parish Council appointed trustee was also a Churchwarden and perhaps had torn loyalties. Regardless of these points however, to pay the bill was wholly against the Charity Commissioners rules as laid out at that time and since.

From around 1935 Col. Smith is no longer present at any of the trustees meetings and, as the Lord of the Manor of Stockton with the Soke was still absent, this left the trustee’s management in the hands of the Rector and the four Parish Council representatives. However, the minute book continues to show the presence of extra bodies at meetings throughout the next fifty-odd years. So much for the “1918 Scheme” and the conditions for management of the Ellingham United Charities set out therein.

Coming up to more modern times it is possible to see the charity lands being rented out to one of the trustees, the other trustees agreeing what rent should be paid by this person. (No names mentioned here because it is within living memory.) Now condition 39 of the Scheme expressly forbids this; “No Trustee shall take or hold any interest in property belonging to the charities otherwise as a trustee for the purposes thereof…" However, this practice continues over a number of years, indeed up to the present day. (Charity Minute book 1975 and letters) Imagine how poor old Jack Oldman would have felt to see such goings on; having allowed himself to be appointed a representative trustee for the Parish Council in 1920, he found that he was; “…debarred from his little benefit…” of coals. (ibid)

Coming away from more controversial issues; over the years the trustees have sold off various bits of the Ellingham United Charities property and land. This has been done with the agreement of the Charity Commissioners:

In 1933 a piece of land was set aside for Mr Whinns (?) for the; “…setting up a cycle repair garage and petrol pump.” (Ellingham United Charities minute book) This seems to be the land at Crossways that was later sold in the 1950’s in two pieces, the proceeds being £37.10.0 and £200.0.0., these funds were invested by the Charity Commissioners in the trustees desired fund of 3.5 % War Stock. (ibid August 1955) Further land at Crossways was sold in 1982 for the sum of £3,000 to Mr Penfold and the trustees agreed that the proceeds should be invested in the Charities Official Investment Fund. “The Estate Charity now held 5648.76 shares.” (ibid October 1982) There were some problems with this sale later on when in 1986 the Beccles Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses wanted to build on the site. The Ellingham Rector, Rev. Roger Blankley, protested strongly to the Department of the Environment that the land was sold on the understanding that there would be no development. Rev. Blankley went on to point out that the villages of Ellingham and Kirby Cane were already well supplied with two parish churches and a Methodist church and had no need of a Kingdom Hall.

Land was sold to Norfolk County Council (three very small sections) for minor road improvements in 1946; compulsory purchase. The £10 raised from the sale of this land was invested in War Bonds according to the Ellingham United Charities minutes October 11th 1946. This, by the way, is the only mention of war at all in the minutes although the charity account books do show a “War damage contribution…£1.7s.7d.” from 1940 to 1944.

A plot was sold in 1967 to the Postmaster General for the telephone exchange on the by-pass for £110. This money was invested by Charity Commissioners in 3.5 % War Loan. (Ellingham United Charities minute book August 1968)

By 1968 the property held by the Leet House Charity was; “…unoccupied and in poor condition…” and advice was given that it should be sold at auction with a reserve price of £500. (Alfred Savills letter 6th April 1968 and Appendix 5) The property was sold by auction at the King’s Head in Beccles on 14th June 1968 for £1,650. After expenses were paid the proceeds of £1,539 were invested by the Charity Commission in 6.75 % Treasury Stock.

The Town Land cottages 1 and 2 Station Road were sold at auction on 26th June 1970 for the princely sum of £3,700. The upkeep of these properties had been a problem to the trustees for some time, having to be “…made presentable and fit for habitation…” in 1937, (Ellingham United Charities minute book, November 1937) and they had become very dilapidated again. The proceeds of the sale were invested with the Charity Commissioners Official Investment Funds.

Land was compulsory purchased from the Ellingham United Charities in 2002 by Norfolk County Council for the building of the Ellingham and Broome bypass for the sum of £580 net.

As to the Charity Commissioners Official Investments Funds; the Bonfellows and Packard Charities in 1919 are shown in the accounts to be realising dividends worth £21.6s.4d a year; in 1974 they are realising exactly the same. However, this matter seems to have been rectified somewhat with present day COIF share value of the Ellingham United Charities standing at around £64,000 (2011) giving dividends of £1,533 for the six months ending 31st July 2011. 

Here the problem with the accounts does seem to be evident again:

In 2011 the investment holdings of the Ellingham United Charities with the COIF are given as:

·      Town Lands Estate Charity: Total Unit Holding 5,648.76 worth £56,751.40

·      Town and Poor’s Branch: Total Unit Holding 741.11 worth £7,445.71

However, in the 1918 Scheme, the values of the Consols are shown as:

·      The value of Consols in the Estate Branch is £54.

·      In the Town and Poor’s Branch is £853, 

From a position of a portfolio worth around sixteen times more than the Estate Branch portfolio in 1918, the Town Branch portfolio is today worth seven and a half times less. This raises questions about; why is this so? Whilst Property from both Branches has been sold, perhaps not so much as to create such a vast difference in the values of each of the Branch portfolios. Why is this of any importance? Well it is a matter of distribution of funds; the Town and Poor’s funds go directly to the people of Ellingham, whilst half of the Estate funds go to the Parochial Church Council.

The first distribution of charity funds, under the 1918 Scheme, was made in 1919. Four trustees were present; Reverend Hendley, Lt. Col. Smith, Mr Sprake and Mr Snowling. (As seen above, they were acting outside the conditions set by the 1918 Scheme, with only Rev. Hendley and Lt Col. Smith being entitled to be there.) Fifty-one names had been drawn up to receive the fund distribution and tickets had been made worth two shillings and sixpence each. Bread, given out by the terms of the Packard Charity, had to be collected from the school room on Thursday May 29th 1919 at 4 o’clock. (See Appendices 2 and 4) There were no niceties given in those days about keeping the distributions secret! The names of the recipients are all listed in the minute book. The number had risen to fifty-three in 1920.

The upkeep of the Town Land properties was not the only problem for the trustees; in 1930 a complaint was received from one of the occupants about their neighbour; “…neighbours were greatly annoyed and upset at the vile language used by the woman housekeeper…” (Ellingham United Charities minute book, November 1930) The Rector explained what he had done and that there had been no further complaints. However, a year later, the trustees are taking steps to remove the tenant, Mr Brown, unless he put a stop to the bad language. (ibid 1931) At this same latter meeting, after a complaint that the dealings of the trustees were being discussed around the village, the Reverend Hendley pointed out that the trustees were not pledged to secrecy and that villagers could question the trustees at the Annual Parish Meeting.

In April 1940 the trustees met in the Church Hall for the first time.

A curious entry appears in the Ellingham United Charities minute book in August 1955; “The Chairman spoke of the damage done to the life belt, and it was agreed that steps should be taken to have it recovered.” Were the trustees involved at the river in some way? Whatever the case, the trustee’s accounts book (1956) shows that the repairs cost £2.3s.

In 1968 the trustees begin their first deliberations about letting the land that had been used as allotments be transferred to a “…representative body…” for the use of a playing field. This body was the Parish Council and it is clear from the minutes of both the trustees and the Parish Council at this time that there was a strong wish for the project to go ahead and succeed. At this November 1968 meeting the trustees paid tribute to “…the late…” Mr Hinsley. This seems to be the same Mr Hinsley who had been one of the first Parish Council representatives.

The natural gas pipeline going through Ellingham is mentioned in the minutes of 1969 as it passes through the charity land. The £195 way leave money was invested.

In the 1980’s the trustees were taking a greater interest in the village assets held by the charities and for the first time since 1918 asked questions about the investments of the charities. At that time, October 1985, the holdings in the Charity Commissioners Official Investment Funds were; Town and Poor’s £2,208 and the Estate £16,833. There was also a move to find out exactly where the charity lands were and how they were let. For example, it seems that the shooting rights over the land were being sub-let at that time.

There is perhaps a firm lesson for current and future Parish Councils in the minutes of Ellingham United Charities, 16th September 1986. The Parish Council had written to the trustees with some suggestions; “1. The gratuity made to the secretary should be revised to a more realistic figure. 2 All rental charges should be revised and rents brought up to present day levels. 3. At future Parish Council meetings the Trustees should put before the Council a report of current activities.” Very reasonable suggestions it might be thought, but the response of the trustees was rather short and cutting; [the trustees] “…felt that the Council had no power to make these suggestions or in any way control what the trustees did. Mrs Mitchell was to write and point this out to them.” (Ellingham United Charities minutes 16th September 1986) Two points can be made here; first of all, who are these trustees? It seems that only one is a Parish Council appointee. The second point to make is that the 1918 Scheme, as has been seen above, (Appendix 3) makes the provision for a majority of the trustees to be Parish Councillor Representatives. It seems that the failure of the Parish Council to attend to their responsibilities in the election of representatives has led here in 1986 to the trustees taking powers of management unto themselves. The Parish Council responded by resolving at their meeting of 10th November 1986 to; “…close the correspondence, but to recommend future Councillors to ensure that acting Parish Councillors are elected as Representative Trustees.” Sure enough, at the next Annual Parish meeting 16th July 1987, the one Parish Council trustee was confirmed and three more appointed. From then on until recent times United Charities reports were given to the Annual Parish meetings.

It is pertinent to add here that the Ellingham Church Branch of the charity, set up by the Charity Commissioners in 1918, is receiving rather large sums of money from the Estate Charity during 1979 to 1990. The then Rector, Reverend R G R Sission, stating incorrectly in the book that the proceeds of the Ellingham Charities are; “One half to church and one half to trustees.” (Box 6 NRO)

What of the Sand and Gravel Charity? This is a small parcel of land on the boundary between Ellingham and Geldeston and in 1986 the sum of £105 was granted for the planting of trees on that site. It seems, through the Parish Council minute books, that the Parish Council has been responsible for the charity and in 1989 resolved that all Parish Councillors would be trustees for the Sand and Gravel charity throughout their terms of office. This was notified to the Charity Commissioners and the Rural Community Council. Parish Council minutes for 1991 also show that the charity was still in the care of the council. However, by 2011 the Sand and Gravel Charity become pretty much lost in the records. Now re-established, (after the author’s research), the Parish Council decided to pass the management of the charity to the trustees of Ellingham United Charities.

In the 1970’s the Ellingham United Charity trustees can be seen to be donating towards the playing field, the play group, All Hallows hospital and school visits. Regardless of the nature of these good causes, no mention is made from which charity the funds are to be used, nor is reference back to the 1918 Scheme conditions which might allow or disallow these donations to be made. In 1977 £50 is given to a school building project; in 1983 £150 for a strimmer for the church; in 1984 £200 for repairing the church wall; in 1986 £100 for school books; in 1987 £200 for church hall renovation, £100 to the school, £100 to the bowls club. The report of the Ellingham United Charity accounts to the November 2000 meeting of the Parish Council mentions “approx. £400 given to the school.” Similar payments continue to be made by the trustees up to the present day with a £1,500 donation to the Ellingham Parochial Church Council in the 2010/11 accounts. No mention is made of clearing these payments with the Charity Commissioners, or declaring by which Clause of the 1918 Scheme they have been made. Without separation of these financial transactions in the minutes it is not possible to tell whether or not these payments are within the 1918 Scheme conditions.

The Church Branch, whether or not there is agreement about the propriety of this charity as the aggrieved Parish Councillors of the early 1900’s would contend, is instructed to spend its income solely for the upkeep of the church property one way or another. The conditions laid out in the 1918 Scheme for the Town and Poor’s spending are rather more non-specific, but do disbar areas that are provided for by the “rates”.

What is very certain from this look at the history of the Ellingham United Charities from 1900 onwards is that there have been long periods when the importance of these major village assets seems to have become lost to most villagers. Indeed, they had become lost to the Parish Council, not for the first time, for several years up to 2012. This does seem to be rather unfortunate when such valuable assets and investments are involved. Bearing in mind that the village is expanding and that there are pressures to provide much more building land, the fact that charity land occupies prime positions should perhaps exercise some minds.

If you have enjoyed this little foray into an aspect of village history, you might like to become involved in looking after these charity assets. A note of caution however; bringing Ellingham United Charity matters into the light of day has caused quite a few upsets. However, the facts stand and speak for themselves. Here follows the 1918 Scheme of Governance for EUC which still must be followed by the trustees: