DURING 2016, two new almshouse flats were built on the site of a former office at Whitecross. The first residents moved into their new homes in November 2016 and the almshouse flats were officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire (The Countess of Darnley) at a ceremony on March 22. The chairman of Herefordshire Council, Brian Wilcox, attended on behalf of the local authority.

The new flats have been designated the John Ellis Almshouses in honour of John Ellis, a well-known local business man who was a Trustee of HMC for more than 35 years and chairman of the Board for 14 years (1996-2012).

John was a devoted supporter and advocate of the Municipal Charities and a great ambassador for its work in the city. Unfortunately, John was unable to attend due to ill health. However his wife. Anne, his daughter, Sarah, and his son, Mark, were present.

The chairman of the Board of Trustees, Derek Duffett, welcomed Lady Darnley and Cllr Wilcox and the invited guests to the site and thanked them for coming.

After the official opening and prayers of thanksgiving, the guests visited the two almshouse flats and talked to the new residents, Mrs Grace Hoskins, and Mr Mike Kerrigan.

A reception and buffet lunch were then held in the Tomkins Theatre, Whitecross Road, next to the almshouses. As well as the VIP guests, all the residents of the almshouses were invited to attend.

The chairman of Herefordshire Council spoke at the reception and gave a toast to celebrate the work of HMC over the centuries.