It all started when…
The Clan Trust was established in 1968 by the late Robert Alston of Witton Hall, North Walsham, Norfolk.
With no heirs, but an outstanding sense of community and generosity, Robert decided to make a legacy of all his land, the farming business and his considerable equity portfolio.
To manage the legacy, the assets were split into two sections. To lead by example and indeed fitting with Robert’s intentions to support the young in agriculture, the farming business was given to his then farm manager, William Donald.
The land and equity assets were put into Trust, registered as a charity and a limited company. Inaugurating the Trust at his 60th birthday, Robert appointed nine trustees to take care of its affairs henceforth. Over time the baton of responsibility has been passed on to carefully selected successors.
His words below are from the Clan Trust Foundation Book.
The Young People
I have always taken a keen interest in Young Farmers’ Clubs, and many times think, how much help they could have been to me.
Young Farmers’ Clubs are open to any young member of the public who is interested in agriculture, to join, whether from Town, or Country. They make a wonderful liaison between the two, and bring our people closer together, with better understanding of each others’ problems.
Young Farmers’ Clubs members can be taught a great deal about agriculture, though some things still have to be learned the hard way. (By trial and error, and self sacrifice.)
One thing is certain, they must have complete agricultural technical knowledge to carry them through, sheer hard work is no longer the only requirement. Money must be made available to see some of those, who have the ability, through their training programme.
And what of all this if at the end “No Farm” is available to hire, and buying one is out of the question at present prices? Surely for these young farmers, the ultimate end must be more than having “just a manager’s job” for one or other of the big money lending groups?
The date of my birth, and inflation during the time of my active farming life, has been in my favour. But what of the new generation of young farmers coming forward? What are the conditions time will hold in store for them?
It is hard to say! Estates with farms to let are almost things of the past. Family Farming is without doubt “a way of life” and different from other occupations, and is the backbone of British agriculture.
As I see it, a body must be formed as caretakers – to hold Agricultural estates, farm land and property for agricultural purposes – who can help young farmers get a start in their own right – to help organise groups, and set up Central Storage and Handling Plants, to be run by the farmers themselves.
With thoughts like these running in my mind I have been prompted to try and do something tangible in this direction for the future, and I have formed an Agricultural Charitable Trust to be known as “Clan Trust” to administer this need.
My one regret is that I am not in a position to launch “Clan Trust” in a much more substantial way. I have placed the Old Hall Farm at Witton in the hands of the Trust, and have become myself the “Clan Trust’s” first tenant.
Welfare: “The Old Folk”
As a member of “The Anglo Scots” concert party for over thirty years now, I am very much aware of the great need to support the many hundreds of people, who give so much of their time, and work so hard, to help, comfort and eleviate boredom, amongst the old, infirm and disabled people, in Old Folks Homes & Clubs. People who by their fortitude and cheerfulness are determined to be as self-sufficient as they possibly can.
Our concert party was always appreciated by the organisers as well, who find it most difficult to get variety of entertainment, and are always grateful for any help we could give them.
Throughout my life I have tried in every way to support such Homes, and to give as best I can some enjoyment and additional comfort to those who are spending their days of retirement in them. These establishments will not be overlooked when the Trustees have funds available for distribution.
IN CONCLUSION, I appeal to everyone, especially those interested in Agriculture, for donations, for bequests, and above all for gifts of land.
The venture I have started must grow and snowball into something really big. Thousands-not hundreds-of acres of land must gradually be made available for letting to deserving members of the Agricultural community in East Anglia. The young farmers of today are the Famers of tomorrow.
This is as worthy a cause as any could be, and the Trustees will much appreciate the help you can give them.
HELP Yourself in a NEW way
HELP in a BIG way
HELP “CLAN TRUST”