4. Between the Wars

From 1916 to 1938, the Free School building was used from time to time as an annexe to the Elementary School, and by the Girl Guides, the Silver Band, and various committees. The income of the trustees was primarily used to maintain its properties, although there never seemed to be enough to do that properly! In 1938 the Charity Commissioners worked out a new scheme of management which registered the Foundation as a charity. The income that year was £106, and after maintenance costs and the grant to St.George’s, up to £20 could be given to the school, and other educational benefits provided in the village. The Free School itself was to be used as a Sunday School and for other educational and church purposes, although the main user group  came to be the band.

There were changes in the schedule of property over the next few years, partly because the rental income of the Foundation rarely exceeded the outgoings. In 1952 the field known as Jeffs Close was sold to Shipston Rural District Council for £625 – a pittance in today’s values, but in the 50’s land fetched very little. In 1966 the six cottages in School Lane were condemned and sold for £1700, which went towards modernising the Friars’ Lane properties. Various smaller parcels of land were sold and the crown rent of £8 1s 8d finally redeemed by the Marquis of Northampton.

With less responsibility of maintenance for the Foundation, its financial state slowly began to improve and in 1981 the trustees, with the support of  Canon Nicholas Morgan (Vicar 1979), took the decision to spend £9000 on renovating the Free School in order to provide for its proper purposes. Additionally, modest grants were made available again for the school and individuals with educational needs.

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