Hereford City Heritage

The Mayor’s Chain

Venn’s Mill, Bath Street

The Reverend John Venn was a local philanthropist, humanitarian, writer, preacher and social reformer. The vicar of St Peter’s Church from 1833 to 1870, he had a perfect faith in God, Man, and the Future of Man, and he founded many local societies, including the Herefordshire Friendly Society for Aiding the Industrious in 1841.

The Society for Aiding the Industrious was a non-profit making organisation which made loaves, let land for allotments and served as a bank for the poor classes who paid what they could and repayed the remainder as soon as it was possible for them to do so. One ofg the Society’s most successful undertakings was the erection of the Steam Corn Mills which provided facilities to the poor to get their corn ground at a low rate, which was then sold back to them at cost price.