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Unique group has £12 for each of 370

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 25, 2013

By Leslie Jackson

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A TOTAL of 370 people in the parish of Ipstones all had an envelope containing £12 delivered to their homes in time for Christmas by a unique charity group.

Ipstones Frothblowers is a long standing organisation which raises funds by holding auctions at pubs in the parish during September and October.

The sales are held at The Fox and Goose at Foxt and The Marquis, The Red Lion and The Sea Lion, in Ipstones.

Items auctioned off including cakes, jams, fruit, vegetables, bric-a-brac, flowers and household goods.

The money is then given as a Christmas present to all women over 60 years of age and men over 65.

Last week the charity group met to put all the names on envelopes each containing the £12.

Each member then has an area to deliver the envelopes across the parish, which includes the villages of Ipstones, Foxt and Bottomhouse, and parts of Froghall, Winkhill and Consall Forge.

Secretary Julie Riley said: “It was exceptional to raise enough money at just four auctions.

“We have a committee of 13 members and everyone has been so enthusiastic. We are very pleased to say that all the items donated, which included households good, flowers cakes and many unusual items, were all sold. Newcomers to the village are amazed when they found out about the association.

“A lot of hard work is involved, but we have a very hard working committee.”

One of the auctioneers, Gene Goldstraw, said the auctions had been well supported considering the economic climate.

He said: “This is a tradition which was started more than 50 years ago and people want it to continue.

“People really enjoy the auctions. It is hard work, but worth it when you take all the envelopes around as people really appreciate it.

“We even manage to sell a large bucket of rusty nails for £10.”

Pensioner Margaret Clowes, aged 75, of Ipstones said the money was very appreciated by people in the parish.

She said: “A lot of work goes on behind the scenes by members of the committee. We are very lucky to have younger people taking on the volunteer roles to help keep the tradition going after more than 50 years.

“I visit a lot of people in the village and they all say what a brilliant, unique organisation the Frothblowers is.

“The people who donated items for the auction are also to be praised as without these no money would be raised.

Mrs Riley added: “It is hard to keep a check on people and their ages. We do not want to miss anyone out, but if someone knows anyone who is entitled to the money, but has not received it, please contact one of the committee.”

The Frothblowers was formed more than 50 years ago following a flower and vegetable show at the former Red Lion pub at Ipstones Edge.

After the show, exhibitors did not know what to do with the items, so they were sold off to raise money.

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