Bowdens Charity evening

Bowden's Charity ev-w500-h500
A question for you?  What is a ‘feoffee?’  (see foot of post for definition?)
Jim Jacobs, Steward, gave members a fascinating insight into the history of this well known local Charity, together with a chance to see lots of pictures of projects and buildings that it has helped to fund in Market Harborough.
The Charity, based in St Mary’ s Road, was formed in 1994 when 3 local charities came together and is now valued at £15.9m.  Jim took us right back to the 1500s and the Enclosures Act (yes, remember that from school?) and up to the present time, where the Charity is now accountable to the Charities’ Commission.
Well known buildings and landmarks in the town that the Bowdens Charity has supported include the Old Grammar School (see slide in the picture above), Joules and adjacent jewellers, the cricket field, Scotland End flats, St Stephen’s allotments and those opposite Protheroes, the land between the Grand Union Canal and Forest Gate Motors plus the site of an old quarry that is now home to an abundance of wildlife and fauna.
Other funding opportunities include responding to applications from local families with little disposable income for grants (a sign of the recession), as well as funding for local musicians, uniforms for sports teams and the current refurbishment of the Harborough Museum and Library.  Challenges for the future will include the ‘big society’, school academies and looking after the people of the town.
Feoffees?   Dating back to the Crusades, they were tenants of land who paid no rent but if their owner went on a Crusade they would insist the tenants left!  Derived from ‘fief’ or ‘fee’.
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Market Harborough and the Bowden’s Charity – July’s monthly meeting

market_harborough_grammar_school1.jpgJim Jacobs will be the visiting speaker at the July monthly meeting.  Jim will be telling us about the invaluable work of the Market Harborough and The Bowdens Charity, the largest in the area.    This includes taking on responsibility for that famous local landmark, the Old Grammar School, that forms the basis of the Market Harborough WI logo.

The Charity dates back to 1570 and earlier.  Today it is the amalgamation of 2 local charities in 1994.  Importantly, it funds many local initiatives through amateur sport, arts, relief in need, community, education and the environment.  Organisations can apply to it for support.   So, join us on Wednesday 24 July at the Congregational Church Hall, Bowden Lane, Market Harborough to find out about the work it has been doing.

2013 Programme and Social Activities – out now!

The new 2013 monthly programme is now published.  Hard copies of the folded programme available at the November meeting.

A list of social activities is also planned.

There’s also lots of suggestions under Hobbies, interests and sporting activities.