THE CLARKE Foley Addingham Trust annual distribution to the senior citizens of of the village will take place this month.

The distribution will be in the form of vouchers to be spent in shops and businesses in the village. Eligibility is for those who reside in the village and whose name appears on the electoral roll for men aged 65 and over and women who are 60 and over.

The distribution will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at the Addingham Memorial Hall from 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 3pm.

The origins of the Addingham Clarke Foley Charitable Trust lie in Ireland around 1870, when a shepherd called Martin Clarke, married Bridget Clinton.

At the time of the potato famine Martin and Bridget left Ireland and came to Addingham. They settled in Low Mill and whilst Martin worked as a stone dresser and a farm labourer, their seven children all worked in the mill.

Eventually all the children emigrated to America and that is where the story really begins.

Their daughter, Sarah married an attorney, Mr Foley, and became Sarah Foley, hence the Clarke Foley Trust, and they bought tenement property in what turned out to be Manhattan.

When the land was redeveloped, not surprisingly, Sarah found herself extremely wealthy.

Sarah died, childless in 1972, and wanted to remember her beginnings in Addingham. Her brother, James Clarke, came to England and went to see the Bishop of Leeds, Bishop Wheeler, and asked him to distribute monies to Addingham and Ilkley.

The initial gift to the village of Addingham amounted to £50,000 of which £5,000 was given to the Memorial Hall to pay of its then overdraft, and the balance was to be invested to help the elderly of Addingham.

Since the establishment of the fund, some small further contributions had been received. However, in 2010, the charity received a significant legacy from the late Phyllis Holmes which has a major impact on the size of the fund. The fund is currently worth in the region of £750,000.

Only the income can be distributed, the capital has to be preserved. The trustees meet each year to determine the amount that shall be distributed in the form of vouchers that can be used in the village shops. The distribution of vouchers takes place on the third Tuesday in November each year.

The charity can also support any individual needs of the older people in the village. If you know of anyone who is suffering hardship contact the trust chairman, Mr Alan Jerome on Addingham 01943 830267. The same can also apply to any clubs and societies that cater for the elderly in the village.