MONEY left to benefit the people of Warminster almost 50 years ago is still making its way into town life, and could even be given out in future in larger amounts, after a hold-up when it was not sure who should have charge of it.

The Dewey Trust was set up after the community was left a substantial legacy by Harold Dewey, a former headmaster who served the townspeople as a councillor for many years.

Now town councillors are to review the grant-giving process, after a query over the Trust's administration following the last local government re-organisation has been resolved.

Speaking after a recent meeting, Cllr Pip Ridout, chairman of the town council’s finance and audit committee, said: “I am glad that the finance and audit committee supported the principle that more of the Dewey Trust money should be spent and is recommending that a report goes to full council so it can decide how much of the Dewey Trust to keep back and how much to spend.”

Assistant town clerk Tom Dommett explained: “We have been giving out grants grants from £1-2,000 to groups and organisations in the town.

“Harold Dewey left his money to the Urban District Council and when that was abolished the beneficiary became WWDC, but that in turn was abolished too.

“There was some question as to whether the successor to WWDC should be Wiltshire Unitary Council or Warminster Town Council, so no money was given for two years, but that is all resolved now.”

This year Alzheimer’s Support, Cop Heap Volunteers, Sustainable Warminster and Warminster Town Football all received £1,000.

Mr Dewey was headmaster at The Close School in 1914 and then became the head of the Avenue Secondary Modern School when it was built in 1931, until he retired in 1953.

For 49 years he was a member of the Warminster Urban District Council and was chairman on three occasions.

After he died in 1971, he left £20,000, which today would be worth around £280,000, for the benefit of the Warminster community, to be managed by a trust and the council.

Harold Dewey’s name is remembered at Dewey House, the previous home of the town council on North Row, and the Dewey Collection, which is housed in the town library.