£30m donated to good causes over 30 years

Ann-Marie Whitehouse (LCVS volunteer Receptionist), Esta Siggs (LCVS), David Fannin (LCVS CEO), Kevin Edwards (LCVS), Kevan Mugleston (BVCC, Centre Manager), Mandy Exley (LCVS), Carolyn Oliver (LCVS volunteer Receptionist).
Ann-Marie Whitehouse (LCVS volunteer Receptionist), Esta Siggs (LCVS), David Fannin (LCVS CEO), Kevin Edwards (LCVS), Kevan Mugleston (BVCC, Centre Manager), Mandy Exley (LCVS), Carolyn Oliver (LCVS volunteer Receptionist).

Over the last 30 years a charity set up by a businessman from Boston has donated more than £30 million to good causes.

The Medlock Charitable Trust, created by Leonard Medlock, has donated the money to projects in Boston, his adopted home of Bath and beyond.

The boy from Fenside, who went on to found and run one of the country’s most successful engineering firms, never forgot his roots and remained dedicated to helping the disadvantaged and deserving.

When granted the Freedom of the borough by the council in 1991 in appreciation of his charitable giving, Leonard - Len to his friends and family - was able to share some words of wisdom.

“An old farmer once said to me that money is like manure,” he said. “If you allow it to pile up it stinks, but, if you spread it around a little it can do an awful lot of good.”

He donated generously towards a vast range of projects including Boston Grammar School, Fenside Elderly Person’s Unit, Boston Adventure Playground Association, the University of Bath, Bath’s Royal United Hospital, Minerva Bath Rowing Club, and many more.

Born on March 21, 1924, Len launched his business career at the age of six by selling worms to local Boston fishermen.

After attending Staniland Primary School then Boston Grammar School, he went to work repairing cables in and around Hull. He was then selected to attend Hull Technical College on a course designed to provide engineering recruits for the armed services.

He joined the Navy in March 1945 and spent some time on HMS Rodney before transferring to the Fleet Air Arm. Len was then posted to Bath, Somerset, where he met his future wife Brenda and remained until his death in April 2013 aged 89.

After completing his engineering training at night school during the post-war years, Len set up the engineering firm, Hebron & Medlock, with his partner Geoff Hebron and two employees in 1951.

The firm had its first big break the following year when Marconi won a contract to redesign British and NATO radar systems for the Admiralty and subcontracted work to Hebron & Medlock’s four draughtsmen.

Now trading under the name Sitec Group Ltd, it remains one of the UK’s leading engineering services firms employing more than 800.

Despite his achievements he remained a humble man, shunning the publicity so often associated with charitable giving, determined only to make a difference.

“One of the greatest pleasures I have had from managing my own engineering business for the last 40 years has been the chance it has given me to found the Medlock Trust,” he said during a speech in 1991.

“Whatever the level of taxation, at national or local level, it is decided by the community at large, but there will always be a shortfall in the amount of money available to fund deserving projects.

“Now that my professional life is coming to an end, I have been able to devote my energies to identifying a few of these gaps and providing some of the resources that are needed. For me, this has been the real reward for a modestly successful career.”

The Len Medlock Centre in Boston stands a permanent reminder of the legacy left by the man who it is named after.

Centre manager Kevan Mugleston said: “It was Len Medlock’s vision that the centre would be built to provide accommodation for the social, charity and voluntary groups and activities in the Boston community. “

The centre is owned and run by Boston Volunteer Centre Charity through a board of local voluntary Trustees.

LCVS are original tenants and in addition it has permanent occupants of Boston Community Transport, Bringing Learning into Communities, Clarity Lincs, Headway Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, Your Day Your Say. CRUSE and LCC Special Educational Needs & Disabilities are soon to take up permanent occupancy.