High Sheriff of Essex visits Saffron Walden Almshouses

DIGNATARIES, guests, trustees and residents turned out for a very English tea party at Saffron Walden Almshouses.

The party on Friday was held to celebrate the visit of the High Sheriff of Essex, Lady Ruggles-Brise, who looked around the facilities properties and chatted with residents.

And she was suitably impressed.

“The standard of accommodation is first class,” she said. “It is my first visit and I had no idea the extent of the set up. I feel very privileged that I was allowed into three properties just to see what they are like.

“Everyone is exceedingly happy and proud to be here. It is well run by the trustees and clerk.

“The whole place is buzzing – it is a great asset to the community.”

Clerk Ali Maslen said: “Lady Ruggles-Brise wanted to come and look around. I like to think that she was impressed with what she has seen.”

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The Almshouses has been in existence since The Trinity Guild set it up in the year 1400. Its purpose now is to provide accommodation for those living in the ‘old borough of Saffron Walden’ who are ‘poor’ and of ‘good standing’ in the community.

The facility is run by The King Edward VI and Rev Joseph Prime Almshouse Charity and has 46 areas of accommodation administered by eight volunteer trustees and one part-time clerk.

The charity received �10,000 Big Lottery funding in January to spruce up the communal area of the historic Abbey Lane premises.

The cash will predominantly be used to build a new kitchen area in the main hall of the grade-II listed building – The Chapel – but, as part of that, toilet and disabled access facilities will also be improved.