Earby fund-raiser will help to maintain schools old and new

The Old Grammar School, Earby
The Old Grammar School, Earby

An Earby charity running low on funds is holding an open top sale on charity so it can continue to support local good causes and maintain a historic former school in the town.

The Robert Windle Foundation has run and paid for the upkeep of the former grammar school in the area since 1599, but also supports exisiting local schools.

The charity is now holding a sale this Saturday at the Old Grammar School, School Lane, from 10am to 2pm when there will be a large stock of bric a brac and craft items for sale, as well as homemade cakes and other refreshments.

Rachael Taylor, from the group, said: "The money we raise goes partly as grants given to any group working with young people or local schools. We have given out over £2,000 in grants so far which include all the local schools (Thornton in Craven, Earby, Kelbrook, Salterforth, Barnoldswick Church and St Joseph’s), Earby Brass Band, Guides and Brownies, local football teams and others.

"The rest of the money goes to maintain and upgrade the building. As this is a Grade II listed building it is expensive to keep in good order.

"As trustees we would like to thank all the people who have helped us to keep the building in good order. This includes Tom and Alan who cut the grass and do some outside maintenance, all the ladies who help us with the catering for our events, and all the people who donate and buy items from our web page and other sales."

The Old Grammar School is owned and has been run by the trustees of Robert Windle’s Foundation since 1599, when money left by Robert Windle for the people of the ancient parish of Thornton in Craven was used to build a school.

The school closed in 1911 and the foundation then let the building to various community groups. The last of these, the Lead Mining Museum folded in 2015. The trustees then took the decision to run the building themselves, turning it into a centre for learning, helping well-being, supporting arts and crafts and to make it available for community use. This has taken a lot of time and effort.

Rachael added: "So far we have installed a downstairs fully assessable toilet, improved the drainage at the rear of the building to reduce the amount of damp on the rear wall, redecorated downstairs and other improvements.

"We are currently upgrading the kitchen which includes replacing the rotten window and draughty door, tanking of the rear wall, lining the walls and installing a new non-slip floor covering.

"This work was partly funded by a Lottery grant and a Co-op grant. We are now fund-raising to put in new units and to decorate. The kitchen will then meet modern hygiene standards and will be of great benefit all our users."

For more information visit www.robertwindlefoundation.org.