The Grey Court Fellowship (A Brief History)

A Guest House With A Story And A Meaning

Grey Court an attractive house standing about a mile inland from Morecambe Bay, high above the coastal plain. From almost every one of its large windows you have uninterrupted views of the Bay and the Cumberland hills.

The house was put up for sale in May 1935 and soon became the property of a Lancashire business man. He had no desire to live in it himself but glimpsed the possibilities of helping those less fortunate. Unemployment was rife at this time averaging two and a quarter million with unemployment benefit being twenty four shillings per married couple.

The gentleman in question turned to T Arthur Leonard for advice. T. A. Leonard had been instrumental in setting up The Countryside Holiday Association. In a very short time the two gentlemen had gathered friends and the first provisional committee was formed.

parkside-history

Their first decision was that Grey Court should be used to benefit Mid Lancashire women being the wives of the unemployed men. They felt ‘she’ needed relief from trying to make ends meet. The members of the committee took every opportunity to advertise this new venture approaching organisations such as:

  • Lancashire County Officers Social Service Fund
  • Gerrards Cross Unemployment Committee
  • Mid –Lancashire Unemployment Advisory Council

During the coming months with the help of various organisations they managed to furnish Grey Court, not lavishly but sufficient enough to provide accommodation for guests.

It soon became evident that more than a provisional committee was necessary in order to put the undertaking on a legal basis. The Register of Friendly Societies was approached and as a result it was considered that the registration should be taken out under Industrial and Provident Societies Act. Thus a company was formed under the name of Grey Court Fellowship Ltd.

The Fellowship had come into being…

Quote from a manageress at Grey Court very many years ago:

"Grey Court is a phenomenon, a dream come true, an ideal made manifest. A new and significant development of social service has come into being there, which in a few months has become definite and purposeful in character. A unique combination of holiday making and social service is its distinguishing feature, benefitting both those who can afford to provide change and recreation for themselves and those many others who, without help, are denied them".