A large crowd gathered in All Saints Square to welcome the Prince as he arrived by car at the entrance to the Almshouse. He was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire and his wife, the Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, her consort, the Chair and Chief Executive of the Almshouse Association, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Hospital and Sermon Charity and the Clerk to the Charity. The Prince received a short tour of one of the Almshouse flats before meeting the Trustees and other guests in the Governors Hall. The residents enjoyed tea and cakes in the Residents Lounge where he joined them, moving from table to table so that everyone could enjoy his company. He was presented with gifts including a water colour painting of the Almshouse by local artist David Kearney, and a book about Nicholas Chamberlaine written by local historian John Burton. After signing the Visitors Book the Prince planted a Whitebeam tree using the same spade that his Great-Uncle Edward had used in 1934 to plant a still thriving Oak. The Prince acknowledged the crowd before being whisked away to his next appointment in Nuneaton, ending a highly successful visit to the historic and iconic Almshouses, its residents, staff and Trustees.
We are most grateful to Dean Wainwright for giving us permission to use his photographs from the occasion.
Bedworth Almshouse was alive with stories, songs and laughter when local lass Diana Butler entertained a large and appreciative audience in January 2020. Her talk entitled “From Bedworth to London” took her listeners on a journey that began with a young Diana discovering an early talent for performance and music. Diana was a pupil at Nicholas Chamberlaine School and after A levels was awarded a place at the Royal Academy of Music. She went on to perform as a pianist and as a singer in major London venues and in many parts of the world. Diana interspersed her talk with a variety of piano excerpts encouraging her audience to join in the songs and she ended with a patriotic “We’ll Meet Again.” The audience comprised members of several Bedworth Churches, as well as Almshouse residents, and members of Diana's family including sisters Jean (centre) and Barbara (right).
Over £300 was raised for Cancer Research UK.
Almost 1000 Bedworth schoolchildren sang their hearts out at the special service in the Quadrangle of the Almshouses. There were hymns, historical readings, a short address and prayers. Rose, Lady Daventry, also presented local Schools with a financial gift for their libraries. The bells of All Saints Parish Church rang in thanksgiving as the service ended. Guests were then invited to the Church for the unveiling of a memorial plaque to Nicholas Chamberlaine. Music was played on a Clavinova by the Rev. Rupert Jeffcoat who had chosen a special piece composed by the Rev. Richard Mudge, a former Bedworth Rector who died in 1763.
Glorious sunshine welcomed hundreds of visitors to the Almshouses to enjoy stunning floral displays by members of the Nuneaton Flower Guild. Eighteen arrangements reflected Bedworth's history from weaving to hats and from coal mining to engineering. Each one had been sponsored and added to the beauty of the Elizabethan-styled cloisters and panelled Governors Hall. A vintage pram collection was hugely popular as were the delicious home-made cakes that together with donations raised 729 pounds for Myton Hospice. A huge thank you from the Trust to everyone who took part and to all those who came to support the event.
Nicholas Chamberlaine Trusts launched it's website on Heritage week-end - September 14th 2013. The Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Councillor Bob Copland and Mayoress Elaine Copland were guests of honour joining residents, Governors and members of the public as the site went live. Councillor Copland pressed the computer button launching the site which was designed by Paul Beedham, an IT professional. They both cut a special cake and sent balloons into the sky.