The story begins with Fred Bulmer, who was born in the Rectory at Credenhill, a few miles from Hereford, in 1865. His father was Rector of Credenhill.
The family, which originally came from the village of Bulmer, near Castle Howard in Yorkshire, had been alternately in the drink trade and the church for several generations. Fred Bulmer did well at school and earned himself an exhibition in Classics to King’s College Cambridge.
After Cambridge, Fred joined his younger brother, Percy, in what was to grow into the largest cider company in the world. Their father the Rector took out a loan to help start the business while his mother wisely remarked, “If you want to make something, it had better be food or drink – that will never go out of fashion”.
As the firm became successful, and he became better off, he worked on practical ways of helping the poor. As Mayor of Hereford in 1909 he organised the Hereford Co-operative Housing Trust, which built 120 houses in the City. He negotiated with the local doctors the new “Panel Patient Scheme” – the beginning of a National Health Service.
Finally, in the act that made the Fund and the Fred Bulmer Centre a reality, in 1938 he gave a block of his shares in the Company to the E F Bulmer Benevolent Fund. He was determined to take care of the employees that had helped him and the company become successful, as well as the community of Hereford in general.
The Trustees are descended from Fred Bulmer or otherwise connected with the Bulmer family. The current trustees are:
- Penelope Murray (Chairman)
- Jocelyn Harvey Wood
- Timothy Bulmer
- Theodore Bulmer
- Gillian B Bulmer
- Andrew Murray
- Susan J Bulmer
The Trustees meet four times a year to discuss, among other items, the running and investments of the Fund, grants to pensioners and former employees of H P Bulmer Holdings plc and grants to Herefordshire charities and other organisations whose beneficiaries are in Herefordshire.
The Administrator of the Fund is James Greenfield who can be contacted using the E F Bulmer Benevolent Fund contact form by clicking here.