The Banks Lyon Memorial Trust

The Banks Lyon Memorial Trust was set up in by Dr Walter Lyon, just before he died in 2003 [Dr Walter Lyon, 1917-2003]. Dr Lyon was born and grew up in Lancaster and attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School. He qualified and practised as a doctor. He later bought Stanley Farm at Quernmore near Lancaster and enjoyed the practical aspect of that life. When he later returned to medicine, it was to psychiatry and, in particular, to the medical and social issues arising from alcohol and drug misuse. He was instrumental in setting up the Lancaster charity, Inward House, to help address these issues. A separate charity called the Walter Lyon Trust continues that work to this day.

Dr Walter Lyon
Dr Walter Lyon 1917-2003

In his will, Dr Lyon transferred ownership of Stanley Farm at Quernmore to the Banks Lyon Memorial Trust. However, plans to use the farm for charitable purposes could not be realised, and the farm was sold a few years later, with the proceeds of the sale forming the basis of the Trust’s funds, which are now invested and used for making grants.

Dr Lyon was very aware that he had had excellent educational opportunities and wanted to help local young people who were not so lucky. He was particularly interested (but not exclusively so) in helping young people into non-academic trades. The current trustees aim to honour his wishes as much as possible.

Walter is related to the family which run well known businesses in Lancaster, but the charity is not formally connected to those businesses. One the Trustees of the charity is Kirstie Banks‑Lyon, who is married to one of Walter’s nephews. Kirstie remarked that Walter himself would “do cartwheels” to think how his gift was helping exactly those people in our local community who he himself would have helped during his lifetime.