IT MAY be some time before Royton elects a Conservative MP.
But the legacy of one of the town’s last Tory politicians lives on for the benefit of Shaw and Crompton residents.
Arthur Vernon Davies won the seat in 1924 and 1929, serving two terms.
By the time the constituency was abolished for the general election in 1950, Davies had been dead eight years.
But while a Welshman by birth, the eminent doctor and surgeon never forgot his adopted home and the people he met.
That is why residents who live in the boundaries of Shaw and Crompton who are facing hardship or distress can apply to the AV Davies Charity for assistance.
There is no minimum or maximum amount to the help that is offered.
But money from the fund which, due to careful and shrewd investment by the trustees, is estimated to be worth between £200,000-£250,000, cannot be used to pay council tax.
Instead, trustees, including OMBC opposition leader, Councillor Howard Sykes (chairman), parish councillor, Cllr Mike Dodd, and the Mayor of Oldham and borough solicitor Paul Entwistle will provide essential household items such as white goods, beds, vacuum cleaners plus help with special dietary requirements and medical needs.
“AV Davies died a bachelor and left all his money in stocks and shares,” explained Cllr Sykes. “He bought mostly good shares.
“It was designed for the relief of the poor in the parishes of East Crompton, St James, St Mary’s and Holy Trinity.
“I became a trustee shortly after I was elected in 1987. We sold off some of the shares that weren’t doing so well and re-invested the income.
“Assistance can be given at any time once application forms have been processed.
“It’s important though people who might benefit from AV Davies’s legacy know it is available.”
Mr Davies was born in Bridgend in 1872, educated in Cardiff but studied at Owens College, Manchester.
He joined a Shaw medical practice in 1898 and took over the practice the following year.
He later became factory surgeon for the district as well as police surgeon.
In 1919 he was appointed medical officer for Crompton Urban District but retired from practice three years later.
Mr Davies was also closely associated with St John’s Ambulance, becoming a Knight of the Order of Saint John and awarded an OBE.
He moved briefly to Woking but was selected as the Conservative candidate for Royton in 1924.
At the general election of the same year he defeated incumbent Liberal MP William Gorman.
He retained the seat in 1929 but stood down through ill health and was succeeded as Royton MP by fellow Conservative Harold Sutcliffe.
• For more information on assistance from the AV Davies charity write to the Honorary Secretary, AV Davies Charity, PO Box 33, Civic Centre, West Street, Oldham, OL1 1U or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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