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Cash to display Ashbourne QEGS historic seal-die

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: August 12, 2014

Dr Paul Kirtley, Chairman of Ashbourne Old Trust receiving the cheque from Cllr Simon Spencer

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ASHBOURNE Old Trust has received a grant from Derbyshire County Council’s Community Leadership Scheme.

The £1,500 award was made by Councillor Simon Spencer to help fund the purchase of a display cabinet, which will house Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School’s (QEGS) original seal-die, currently displayed in the British Museum.

The seal will be loaned to Ashbourne as part of a larger exhibition planned for 2105.

The display cabinet will remain in Ashbourne afterwards and will be available for other organisations to use in the future.

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The Community Leadership Scheme provides small grants to community, voluntary, youth and other local organisations.

Its aim is to support worthwhile projects and initiatives that will benefit local communities.

Each county councillor is allocated an annual fund of £4,200 which can be used to support worthwhile projects in their area.

The Ashbourne Old Trust was formed in 1585 by Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I, specifically to “found, erect and establish” one Free Grammar School in Ashbourne.

Money was raised and the school was built in Church Street.

The Old Trust managed the school until 1910 when it came under the Board of Education and subsequent statutory bodies.

Members of the Old Trust have continued to be involved in QEGS and today four members are part of the governing body.

Following the foundation of the school the Old Trust administered various endowments to the school and subsequently many charities. It still carries out these functions and as a result owns and manages 46 almshouses within the town.

Dr Paul Kirtley, chairman of the Old Trust, said: “We are delighted that Councillor Spencer has generously awarded us this money, which will enable the display of the seal-die in Ashbourne for the first time.

“It is an important part of the culture and heritage of the town and the British Museum has been generous in its support for the loan.”

The exhibition of the seal-die and other Ashbourne treasures will take place next summer.

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