About the Trust
Clare Milne and The Clare Milne Trust
Clare Milne was the granddaughter of A.A Milne, the author and creator of Winnie the Pooh.
Clare was much loved by family and friends, and was full of life despite the challenges of living with cerebral palsy. Clare was always keen to try new things and she loved to be sociable.
In 1998 Clare received a significant sum of money following the sale of the copyright royalties from her grandfather’s books. A home was purchased for Clare in Otterton, East Devon, and it was decided that the rest of the money should be placed in a charity to help other people with disabilities.
Sadly Clare died in 2012.
Clare’s Mother, Lesley Milne said that her dream "is to know that my girl will be remembered for something that brings happiness where it is most needed.”
The current Trustees strive to honour Lesley’s wishes and to keep Clare’s memory alive.
The Trust in more detail
The Trust was formally set up in 1999 by Lesley Milne and their family Solicitor and friend of many years, Michael Brown.
Michael was Clare’s Guardian and their representative on the Pooh Properties Trust (of which he became an Executive Chairman).
Lesley and Michael were soon joined on the Board of Trustees by Roger Jefcoate who had a long and outstanding reputation in the field of care for people with disabilities, and by Margaret Rogers who was Clare’ s principal carer and by other Trustees.
Clare had inherited an interest in the Pooh Properties Trust which had been set up in 1972 by a group of beneficiaries to manage the copyright royalties from the children’s books by Clare’s grandfather, A.A. Milne. In 1991 it seemed likely that Clare would receive a very large sum from a sale of copyright royalties by that Trust.
Lesley and Michael decided that if that should come to pass, as it did in1998, a home should be acquired and managed for Clare, and that the rest of the money should be placed in a charity to help people with a range of disabilities and complex needs.
Once appointed the Trustees resolved in accordance with Lesley’s wishes to concentrate their grants within Devon (where Clare had always lived) and Cornwall, and the South West region has remained the focus of the charity.
After many years serving as Trustees of The Clare Milne Trust, Michael Brown became the Trust’s President and Roger Jefcoate became the Patron. Both Michael and Roger had important roles in the development of the Trust. Roger still donates his time to guide and encourage the Trustees in their work for the charity. Margaret Rogers, Clare’s principal carer, continues her work as a Trustee and remains committed to Clare’s legacy.
Michael John Brown
23rd September 1932 - 12th June 2021
President of the Clare Milne Trust
The Trustees were hugely saddened to hear about the passing of their former Chairman, Michael Brown.
After graduating from Oxford in 1954, Michael joined the law firm Denton Hall and began training as a solicitor. He quickly rose through the ranks, taking on the works and estate of the then relatively low-profile client, AA Milne.
Thus began his friendship with AA Milne’s son Christopher, Christopher's wife Lesley and their daughter Clare and a passion for Winnie-the-Pooh was triggered. This became a cornerstone for the rest of Michael's life as the long-time Chairman of the Pooh Properties Trust and then, in later life, Chairman of The Clare Milne Trust. Once Michael stepped down from that role in January 2016, he became President of The Clare Milne Trust.
Michael had not only enormous intellect but also a deep insight into the Milne family. It is very sad for The Clare Milne Trust to lose someone with such a close connection to each member of the Milne family.