The story of CHAIN 1977 -2012

by Ron Rowlands


From the outset, controlling the finances of CHAIN has been of the utmost importance.  Initially there was the need to raise funds to get the organisation up and running.  There was also the need to account for money coming in and going out on a regular basis, mainly donations from those being helped with transport and the payment of car expenses to drivers.

CHAIN has had just five treasurers since 1977.  R.S. (Bobbie) Winser was the first until 1981, then Mrs Harned and Revd John Fry covering the next four years until 1984.   R.S. (Bob) Scott took over for thirteen years until 1997 and then, M (Michael) White from 1997. 
So we have:-
1977 to 1984        Bobbie Winser : Mrs Harned : Revd John Fry
1984 to 1997        Bob Scott
1997 to                 Michael White

Another important figure on finance has been Dennis Cryer who generously audited CHAIN accounts  for twenty  years from 1977 to 1997.  From 1997 the auditing has been undertaken by the accountancy firm Chapman Worth.

Income        Early Days

With the need to get the organisation off to a good start, donations came in from various sources, including other Groups in the Town and from individuals.  One individual in particular was a ‘dedicated fund raiser’, She was a Mrs (Moffie) Moffatt.  Moffie undertook ironing to raise money and over six years raised nearly £2000.  (2012 equivalent, say £5000), and in 1987 her contribution accounted for ¼ of CHAIN’s annual income. In that year she increased her charge for ironing to 80p per hour! There are frequent minutes recording Moffie’s plea for more ironing and the occasional complaint from her that her request for more ironing had not appeared in CHAIN MAIL !

Another fund raiser in the early days was Peter Hibberd who, with strong support from Bill Acworth, organised with help from his two daughters, the collection and sale of waste paper.  Unfortunately the price paid for waste paper fell to the point where it was not worth the effort of collecting but he managed to add £168 to the funds.

Other sources of income from 1977 to 2010 were annual grants towards running costs from the Local Authorities, Berkshire County Council plus a nominal  sum from Newbury District Council and later from the West Berkshire District Council.  Grants by Hungerford Town Council started in 1999/2000.

Donations in recognition of CHAIN’s work in the Community were made by individuals and organisations and some were substantial. Unfortunately, donations were usually shown in the annual accounts in total, just listed as ‘donations’, so although some are shown below it is possible that some have  been missed..  Sincere apologies to any donors not recorded.

Main donors:-

Round Table of Hungerford and the Hungerford Rotary Club, £1000
Bequest –Charles & Ada Fry     £6900     (see separate write up).
Awards for All England      £1968               
Jimmie Weir, Proprietor The Plume PH From Xmas parties in 2000 and 2001 together with donations in memory of Jimmie  following his death early in 2011 Donations in excess of £4000 

Handybus receipts have usually produced a net income.  However, in contrast, donations from those using CHAIN’s car service have usually fallen short of expenses (see below).

EXPENDITURE – Operating Account

The main annual expenditure has been

1  The running costs of the office i.e. rental (since 1997) telephone, etc:- (Rental cost from 1997 – originally £160 per month:  £202 pm in 2010)

2  The car service (mainly taking people to and from hospitals.

As mentioned above, donations from users of this service, were not enough to cover drivers’ expenses. e.g.:-
1986/7 1993/4 1999/2000
Donations individuals £156.90 £2159    £4760
Reimbursement from Health Authority £390 £1364        n/k
Drivers’ Expenses £748.75 £4033    £8512
SHORTFALL £201.85 £510    £3752

There were similar shortfalls in most years and the management committee worked hard introducing various initiatives to try and increase donations.   The local authority grants were always intended, in part, to make up the shortfalls as well as contribute to general running costs.  However, in the three/four years prior to the period under review the local authority grants system was restructured to take into account journeys and mileage undertaken and this resulted in a worthwhile increase in grant aid for CHAIN


It is pleasing to note that with just a few exceptions (none very substantial) CHAIN  managed to show a modest annual surplus on running costs.  This enabled CHAIN to build up a reserve against unforeseen commitments.

At the eighth Annual General Meeting in 1985 the Treasurer, Rev John Fry, reported:-

CHAIN is in a strong position and there is perhaps no need to build up the emergency fund much more”

The amount in reserve in 1985 was just over £2000 and it stayed much the same for the next few years.

It was at the turn of the century when reserves started to increase substantially.  There was a ‘one off’ grant from ‘Awards from All England’, Hungerford Town Council gave CHAIN £400 (thereafter annual grants) and donations increased.   

With potential additional costs for the new office (should the proposal for library development take place), a fairly regular transport deficit of about £2000 and other rising costs the extra income was obviously welcome. In 2001/2, CHAIN had been given a ‘Chairman’ vehicle to transport those in wheelchairs, a gift that would involve fairly substantial running and replacement costs.

As at 31st March 2012 the amount held in reserve was £21,400.  

A substantial part of this figure will be used in acquiring a replacement  ‘Chairman’ vehicle.

Updates from 2021

George Ham became the new Treasurer from Michael White in 2015

The account in 2015 for the Fry bequest was held on deposit at the bank. It currently (2021) stands at just about £6000 although the committee have agreed that to maintain our donations to good causes we may have to draw down on the capital slowly.