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Peter Thompson – Pearey House Treasurer

I always made sure there was sufficient reserves.


Photo of Pearey House main entrance

Pearey House approaching main entrance

I was the treasurer of Pearey House, the Honorary Treasurer, from 1991 to 2016, 25 years.  We have had a big family connection with Pearey House.

In 1991 my mother said, “Peter we’ve got a slight problem, the treasurer at Pearey House, which is the council, said they can’t do it anymore.  It’s not a big job, you’re a chartered accountant would you wish to take it over?  Oh,” she said, “it’s not very much,” so for that period for the next 25 years I was treasurer, and it was a very interesting time.

I was 19, I started with a firm of accountants Robinsons Sinton and Benton in Newcastle. Those days you didn’t go to university you did five years night schools and courses that sort of thing and I qualified 1967.

I’ve got the minutes where it says in March 1991 under Any Other Business, the Honorary Treasurer who was the borough treasurer, “Due to staff problems and pressure of work in the finance department the council will be unable to carry on indefinitely the duties of treasurer; no successor was immediately available and obtaining someone to carry out the work on a voluntary basis might prove difficult.  Enquiries would be made.”  The enquiry was, my mother comes home and says, “Oh Peter…”.  So somehow or other, I wouldn’t say it turned out to be more than I thought, but I was working myself a bit at the time.  But it was very interesting, I was glad to get involved in it.

As I say we had various investments [bequests], we had one or two large ones I seem to remember there was one of over £100,000 at one time, it varied over the years, but it was surprising.

I was on the committee.  The main thing I was doing was producing the accounts which used to take me more than my mother might have thought and I haven’t brought any copies of them down, because when I first started there, computers were only just coming in and stuff and I’ve got a lot of handwritten stuff because they were being produced by the 2 or 3 staff that we had there and I had to take everything.  So that was the main thing and also once or twice there was one or two suggestions that I thought wouldn’t have helped our funds and stuff but there was always different things.  It was part of my job to make sure that we stayed solvent and I like to think we did and we still do. I used to enjoy all the meetings.

I think at times we were quite lucky because it was surprising how many bequests we got. I can remember £25-30,000 would be coming in, it seemed to me I wouldn’t say we were ever really in any major problem at all financially.  I always wanted to make sure we always had the funds for what we were doing.

We didn’t have much difficulty finding the funds, maybe other members of the committee might think differently, but I like to think I always made sure there was always sufficient reserves.  I like to think that they were always in a good position for the residents and the users.  I think probably on occasion there was suggestions made which I thought wasn’t the best thing, probably like any committee.

The time came, after 25 years, from an accounting point of view I’m not up to date with all of the latest systems.  Now you do things in a flash and I certainly wasn’t going to learn all the new things and I thought the time had come to call it a day.

One of things we used to do about money raising, we used to have a big flag day and we used to go round the houses and when I first started that used to be quite big.  I don’t think they do it now, knocking round the doors because getting people to do it and stuff, that was one of the big things.  A lot of people don’t have any money now you know, everything is on cards.


Peter was interviewed as part of the Pearey House 150th Anniversary Project.

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