Young people in the Scottish town of Cromarty – population 730 – have received £600,000 from a retired diplomat who grew up in Edinburgh and wants to ensure that they have the same kind of start in life that he had. He decided that the freedom he experienced as a youngster was harder to come by, nowadays, without adequate funds, and elected to provide those funds out of his private fortune.
Henry Mackenzie Johnston, who now lives in Kensington, London, inherited his money from his late wife, Marian, who in turn inherited it from the Salvesen shipping company. Marian Johnston’s links with Cromarty went back many generations – she was the great, great grand-daughter of Hugh Miller… a famous polymath. In the past, Mr Johnston has donated a similar sum to preserving Hugh Miller’s Cottage and Museum. Now he has set up a charitable trust (the Middleton Trust) “to advance the social, cultural, educational and recreational development of young people” (very similar aims to my own Chreda Foundation‘s). Youth workers in the town are said to be delighted: they anticipate providing for children of all ages, in particular through a ‘youth café’ that they have set up.
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