1843: A group of concerned individuals in the ironmongery and hardware trade meet in London and agree to set up a fund to provide pensions for distressed members of the trade and their widows. The Iron, Hardware and Metal Trades Pension Society is born.
1857: The society extends its activities by creating a benevolent fund, to give assistance beyond the provision of pensions alone.
1893: The Prince of Wales attends the society’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Guildhall, and announces that Queen Victoria has confirmed royal patronage. The Iron, Hardware and Metal Trades Pension Society accordingly becomes the Royal Metal Trades Pension Society.
1897: To coincide with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the society expands its activities again and creates an endowment fund to enable it to provide assistance in cases which fall outside its constitutional commitment to the provision of pensions and benevolent care.
1908: The Old Age Pensions Act creates the first national pension scheme, paying five shillings (25p) a week to people over the age of 70 whose annual means are less than £31.50.
1921: Reflecting the effect of the national Old Age Pensions Act, and the increasing shift towards benevolent work, the society amends its name again and becomes the Royal Metal Trades Pension and Benevolent Society.
1927: The society establishes an annual fund-raising golf tournament, with a silver challenge cup donated by the president RW Kennedy.
1941: The society’s office in Knightrider Street in the City of London is totally destroyed in a bombing raid and nearly all the records are lost. Temporary accommodation is provided by Guest, Keen and Nettlefold Ltd.
1943: The society celebrates its centenary but under wartime conditions the celebrations are modest.
1945: Hardware Trade Journal, now DIY Week, offers the society a longer-term home in its offices in Bouverie Street, off Fleet Street.
1957: Somewhat belatedly, the society holds a centenary dinner hosted by the president, Sir Geoffrey Summers, with the Earl of Verulam as guest of honour.
1972: Hardware Trade Journal’s owner, Benn Brothers, moves out of Bouverie House, and the society moves to new offices in Ilford, Essex.
1973: The Royal Metal Trades Pension and Benevolent Society drops the reference to pensions and becomes the Royal Metal Trades Benevolent Society.
1974: Celebrating its own centenary, Hardware Trade Journal records that since its formation in 1831, the Royal Metal Trades Benevolent Society has raised a total of £719,000 and has assisted a total of 3,625 beneficiaries. There are currently about 160 beneficiaries, down from an inter-wars peak of about 300.
1991: MDA launches the Home Enhancement Clay Pigeon Shoot, which has raised over £250,000 in the past 21 years for charity.
1993: First Events, organiser of the Totally DIY exhibition, launches the DIY Dinner alongside the London DIY show. It goes on to become an annual event, and over the last 14 years has raised more than £250,000.
1999: Stax Trade Centres launches the RMTBS Karting Challenge, which goes on to become an annual event – and which has to date raised more than £50,000.
2004: In order to reflect the charity’s changing responsibilities by providing for that rainy day, the charity sheds it’s Victorian name and renames itself as the Rainy Day Trust.
2011: The Rainy Day Trust launches the Partner scheme, which encourages companies to sign up as long-term supporters.
2011: The Rainy Day Trust launches a fund-raising sponsored parachute jump. 18 participants make the jump raising a combined total of £19,800.
2012: In its annual review, the trust reports that since 2003 it has given away more than £1.1m; so for every £1 raised in donations it gives away £1.20; that its beneficiaries are aged from 47 to 103; and that its longest-standing beneficiary has been receiving help from the trust for 37 years!
2012: The Rainy Day Trust merges with the Pottery and Glass Trades Benevolent Fund and substantially enlarges its range of activity.