By Aaron Greenway

A PLAQUE commemorating 600 years of the Blanchminster Trust was unveiled in Bude this week.

Deputy Mayor Jackie Diffey was joined by the Blanchminster Trust’s Senior Stockwarden, Chris Nichols and fellow trustees in the ‘triangle’, formerly known as Blanchminster Square for the unveiling of the plaque.

The wooden mount for the plaque was made from wood derived from the historic ‘Triangle tree’, which was in the area until it blew down during the winds of Storm Eunice, in 2022.

The plaque is located near where the tree formerly stood and commemorates the role the Blanchminster Trust has made in its 600 year existence, including its current aims to provide help for education, for people in need and the community in Bude, Stratton and Poughill.

The trust reached its 600th anniversary in 2021.

It is believed that the Trust is one of the oldest charitable trusts in the United Kingdom, and potentially the world.

The trust has origins stretching back to 1421, starting out as the Blanchminster Charity providing assistance to people, originally in Stratton and Poughill before expanding to Bude.

In the early years the trust had religious objectives as well as providing help to the ‘needy’.

The current form of the charity has existed since 1893, when the Charity Commission made an order which regulated the activities of the trust, making further orders since then with the most recent being made on March 16, 1982.

Today, the trust is a parochial charity existing for the benefit of the people living in the area of ‘the former urban district of Bude-Stratton as constituted on March 31, 1974, with the areas of benefit listed as Stratton, Bude and Poughill.

The board of trustees comprises 13 local people, who do not receive payment or allowances for their work.