|Memories of the early days of the
Jonathan Feedham Charity
by Alex Paterson
These are the details of affairs when I became one of
the Trustees of the Jonathan Feedham Charity. Dates and amounts of money
are beyond me since this occurred 30 years or more ago.
Wivenhoe U.D.C appointed me one of the Trustees of the
Charity in succession to the late Percy Chaney, whose photograph hangs
above the stairs to the Council Offices.
The other Trustees were Rev D. B. Gaye and W. Cracknell,
both now deceased, and I do remember that it was the last time we
distributed money received from the tenants of the land, whoever they
Much work had been done to start the project of building
the Almshouses, with Wivenhoe U.D.C being most helpful. The council
buildings look similar to the Feedham ones and are in fact a full copy as
Sparrow and Clater were the architects for both buildings.
The amount received from the sale of the land at the top
of the village, off Elmstead Road, was a very pleasant surprise, being £41,000.
This land was later developed and the road called Feedhams Close.
I think the expenses from the sale were £3,500.
Instructions were received from the Charity Commissioners regarding the
cash and we started on beginning the building. Many letters were exchanged
with them so I suggested we visited the Charity Commission in London, in
order to clarify a few matters. This we did with Rev Gaye and myself doing
so many times, which did speed things up. We dealt with a Miss somebody
and a I have always imagined that upon our departure that she would report
upstairs and receive some more orders from her superiors, because within a
few days of our departure, another letter would reach us. However,
eventually permission to commence the building was obtained.
Sexton were the builders (I think), with R. Sparrow the
Architect. Payments for work completed in due time were made, but as you
know 10% of the value done was held until completion, when 5% was released
leaving 5% of the total which would be held back until the end of the
maintenance period (6 months) subject to the architect's approval This
caused consternation at the Charity Commission and Rev Gaye and I had to
go to London again. It took me some time to explain this matter to them,
along with a telephone call to R. Sparrow to collaborate the fact.
The number of Trustees was increased by the addition of
Tony Forsgate and Roger Bacon. Reeman & Dansie undertook the running
of the houses, rent collection, etc, with things going pretty well indeed.
Eventually. I decided to stand down as a Trustee as I was due to retire
from work and I also felt 1 had done enough.
During my time as a Trustee I was Treasurer and the bank
account was under the name of "The Trustees of the Jonathan Feedham
Charity", c/o A. Paterson at my address.
One day I received a letter from the Inland Revenue
addressed to Jonathan Feedham c/o myself, asking him about himself, etc. I
ignored this letter, but a second came so I wrote back saying that
Jonathan Feedham did not live at my home and that the only Jonathan
Feedham I knew of died in the early 1700s and that as I did not know where
he was buried, I could not dig him up. Complete silence.
24th March, 2003
Note: It was in 1974 the Charity Commissioners approved the
expenditure of £23,500 by the Trustees for the building of seven
bungalows which constitute Jonathan Feedham Court, a process started in
for the home page of the Wivenhoe Housing Trust, the registered
almshouse charity, which now manages Jonathan Feedham Court
almshouses consequent to the merger of the Jonathan Feedham Charity
and the Mary Ann Sanford Charity.