The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF
Telephone: (+44) 020 7283 2373 Fax: (+44) 020 7283 0477 E-mail:

The Court of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen is the corporate trustee for the Company’s charities - Royal Benevolent and Educational Fund for Watermen and Lightermen  (Charity number 1086890)  and Company’s Poor's Fund (Charity number 231320).

The principal beneficiaries of Royal Benevolent and Education Fund are Freemen of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen and their widows or widowers.

The Charity provides accommodation for retired Freemen (and their widows or widowers) who find themselves in reduced circumstances at Watermen’s Close, Hastings. (See Almshouses page)

The Charity also assists with the training and education of its apprentices  and other interested parties who are keen to learn the skills associated with the use of inland and estuarial waterways. (See Thames Career)

The Charity has an obligation to preserve the building - Watermen’s Hall and to encourage reasonable public access to view its historic and architectural features, works of art, furniture and artefacts, During the year guided tours of Watermen’s Hall are arranged as well as a participation in the Open House Weekend each September.


Donations are always most welcome as the charities have many calls on their reserves. If you would like to make a donation please contact It is more tax efficient to make your donation by way of Gift Aid and we would be happy to provide you with the necessary form.

The Charities held several fund raising events during the last  year, including a Garden Party at  Watermen’s Close, Hastings as  part of the 500th year celebrations. Such events as well as being great social occasions, raised much needed funds to allow us to continue our charitable activities to benefit Watermen and Lightermen of all ages.

Watermen’s Close
The Watermen’s Charities

Company’s Poors Fund

The  Company’s Poors Fund  was established by Act of Parliament in 1700 for the relief and assistance to needy Watermen.

Each year over 45 Watermen and Lightermen or their widows/widowers receive a ‘Christmas Box’  from the Company’s Poor’s Fund.

For further information or an application form  please contact the Assistant Clerk.

Why not make a regular donation to the charities by way of a standing order? Please contact the Assistant Clerk for further information.