Charney Bassett & Lyford Educational Trust

A Brief History

 Soon after the 1870 Education Act, the Bouverie Pusey family of Pusey Estate built Charney school for the village.  They owned the land around Charney and had built the New Road and its houses for their estate and farm workers.  The school continued to educate the children from Charney and Lyford from five to fourteen years until just after the Second World War when it was closed through lack of numbers.

 It was re-opened later due to the efforts made by Vic Hodgkins, the Parish Council Chairman.  This time it was for five to eleven year old children who would go on to Faringdon and later Wantage Schools.  When Denchworth School closed, the children from Denchworth also came to Charney.  In July 1981 the number of children attending the Charney (Bouverie Pusey) School dropped to thirteen and the school was closed for the last time.  The Charity Commission were persuaded to appoint five trustees, E J Clarke, Colonel J J Dingwall, D Douglas, V A Hodgkins and the Revd Canon H J Stuart.  By an Order dated 14 October 1986, the Charity Commissioners authorized the Trustees to sell the School for not less than £65,000.  The premises were sold at that price on 27th November 1986 to R & D McBain Ltd, a business owning the site next to the School.  The sale proceeds were invested in an interest bearing account and in 1991 were worth £100,622.54.  Neither the capital nor the accrued interest could be spent without the consent of the Charity Commission or a Court Order.

At first, the Church (the Diocese not the local Church) claimed the money because it had been a Church Maintained School.  The Charity Commission decided, however, that the money was a local educational charity.  There then followed a lengthy dialogue between the Trustees (ably assisted by Marian Gardiner as Secretary) and the Charity Commission as to what form the Charity would take.  The Charity Commission were for giving the whole amount to Hanney School.  This was the school that the current Charney and Lyford children went to, as they do now.

 Eventually, in 1999, the Charity Commission decided that we could give grants to persons from Charney and Lyford providing that they were 25 years or under for individuals and for groups of any age (e.g. the Village College) and the grant was for educational purposes.  In addition, we could give grants for purposes that would be of help to either village if we felt that there was some sufficient educational content.  (We gave £15,750 for Charney Field play equipment).

 At present we have given grants in excess of £36,000 to 21 individuals and organisations (some of them more than once).  

  David Douglas                      

 Applications to be considered at the next meeting must be with the Clerk  by 1st. May. Forms and further details from Mrs. Frances Rothwell, Old Walls, Buckland Rd, Charney Bassett. Tel:-868704  e-mail:- [email protected]