History

The report of the Municipal Corporation Commission of 1876, issued in 1880, made it clear that drastic changes were required at Yarmouth. The Corporation requested the Home Secretary that the town's Council "should be an elected and representative and not a self-elected body" as was then the case. In 1883 Yarmouth petitioned the Government for a new Charter but was unsuccessful. In 1890 the Mayor and Burgesses were notified that, under the Municipal Corporation Act of 1883, the Corporation would be dissolved. (It was a "Rotten Borough") All protests were in vain and the last meeting of the Borough Council was held on 27th February 1891.

The government of Yarmouth was placed in the hands of the Charity Commissioners who appointed the Yarmouth Town Trust to act on their behalf. The Charity Commission Scheme dated 30 December 1890 sets out the Trust's composition, management and responsibilities. For a number of years the new Trust seems to have done much good in the town. Money borrowed by the old Corporation to build the Pier was repaid, some old buildings were purchased and then demolished in 1894 to form Pier Square and new offices and waiting rooms for the Pier were constructed. Further old buildings were purchased (for £4,000) and then demolished to provide space for a new slipway.

Until 1931 the Trust's responsibilities included the Pier, the Quay and the Harbour. Evidently that became too onerous and, as a result of its representations, the Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) Pier and Harbour Act, 1931, gave effect to the formation of the Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners. The Charity Commission reformed the Town Trust in the same year under its Scheme dated 16 June 1931 to reflect its more limited responsibility. It is now only responsible for the town's property. This includes the Town Hall, the Common, the Recreation Ground, Mill Terrace and the town's archives and artefacts.