Betty Chadwick legacy helps young couple rent an affordable house.

Date published: 09 October 2017

Thanks to former Rochdale resident Betty Chadwick, a young couple have been able to rent an affordable house.

After she died in 2015, Betty, who was born in Langford, bequeathed sufficient funds from her estate for Langford Parish Council to purchase a house in the village specifically for renting to a young Langford family.

With Betty’s legacy, the Parish Council were able to purchase a three-bedroomed house at the end of a terrace and name it after her: ‘Chadwick House’.

With the rent set at a lower than average rate, a young couple and their child moved in at the beginning of October after wanting to move back to Langford where they were brought up as children.

John Shipman, of Langford Parish Council, said: “Following Betty's instructions, the house has been let to a young couple and child who wanted to stay in Langford, and they are very pleased with the house.

“Betty’s kindness has brought great happiness to a young family. Sadly, we do not have a picture of Betty or any other information about her so if anyone can assist with information, this would be appreciated.”

In addition to this gesture, Betty, who lived on Rochdale’s Clay Lane, also left £10,000 to Langford Village Hall in her will, which has been used improve their heating and air conditioning system. The system has made the indoor environment more comfortable in the colder months and also will save money on running costs.

A plaque has been erected in the hall to remember Betty and her mother, Phyllis Dixon, and Betty's very kind gesture. Chadwick House also carries a name plaque.

Mr Shipman explained: “In about 2003, I had a phone conversation with Betty, who was reminiscing about her happy and earlier time when she lived in Langford and Biggleswade [a town three miles north of Langford]. Betty was keen to talk about her earlier life and she asked me if Langford had changed very much. This was a difficult question to answer so I suggested that I should take some photographs of Langford and Biggleswade and send them in the post. This was done within a few weeks and Betty was most grateful.

“She subsequently wrote to me again and phoned me one day with a proposal. She knew I was chairman of the Village Hall Committee and she suggested that she should make a donation for some improvements at the hall. She explained she had no living relatives and that it would make sense to make a donation.”

A sum was never discussed as Mr Shipman says he was reluctant to make a suggestion and Betty did not mention a figure. They discussed recent projects at the hall including replacing the main hall floor and repairing the flat roof.

Mr Shipman continued: “Betty seemed pleased we were looking after the building. Without a figure, it was difficult to choose some project that might be suitable. I suggested that it might be better if she went to see a solicitor, and if she still felt inclined to make a donation, to organise it through a will. I suggested that she might be glad of her own money in later life. Betty said she would see a solicitor and my suggestion of a will was a good idea.”

They remained in contact, exchanging a couple of Christmas cards, and with John occasionally sending copies of The Langford Diary and The Biggleswade Chronicle newspapers.

If anyone has any photographs or further information about Betty, please contact the Newsdesk:


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