December

Wednesday 2nd December - Started the month off with a visit to the Women's Institute to help with its 6th Anniversary Party where a cake was cut to help with the celebrations.

Malmesbury Abbey - West Face - geograph.org.uk - 198795Friday 4th December - A trip to the beautiful Malmesbury Abbey to attend a Carol Service which was a fund raiser for Youth Action Wiltshire which supports young carers who are often looking after a parent or family member. These young people can often feel isolated or miss out on education and development.

Saturday 5th December - This was the third time that I have been invited to the Marlborough Concert Orchestra event held in St Mary's Church. It's all under the energetic baton of Rosalie Gentile, the conductor. Besides the rendering of The Christmas Song played by the whole orchestra, there was an unusual Double Bass Concerto by Koussevitzky and an engaging Hungarian Dances by Brahms.

Sunday 6th December - I went to the Wroughton Prospect Hospice Service, "Light up a Life" which was held outside. I was invited to read a piece on the stage, the Ridgeway School Choir sang beautifully and Aldbourne Band kept the mood very festive. The moving and underlying theme was to light a candle and celebrate a life gone of a loved one.

Tuesday 8th December - A night to remember! I was invited to the 4MI Mess Dinner. This was an insight into the inner circle of how the army celebrates and their own personal etiquette. I was able to stay the night, so thoroughly enjoyed entering into the spirit of the occasion.

Thursday 10th December - I was invited up to London to the Old Malburian's Carol Service at St Michael's Church, Chester Square. It was lovely to see some of my old students from Marlborough College and I hope to receive a donation for my Mayoral Charity.

cropped chapelFriday 11th December - Held in the beautiful Chapel, the Carol Service at Marlborough College is always a highlight in the Council calendar. The rendering of the Choir, the lessons and the hospitality in the Adderley Room all helped to ensure it was again a wonderful occasion.

Saturday 12th December - Off to Hungerford to the Brass Band concert where there were a lot of Berkshire Mayors whom we normally do not have a chance to meet due to the county boundary.

macmillan Christmas concert 2015Sunday 13th December - I was invited to the Kennet Valley Brass Band concert. It featured a Male Voice Choir and was held in the Town Hall. What an excellent concert! This put everyone in the Christmas spirit and raised over £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support, a very worthy cause.

Monday 14th December - An invitation to St John's Academy to cut the ribbon for its new Sixth Form building. It was nice to see Dr Hazelwood there who did so much in setting the high standard of the Academy and its proud reputation.

In the evening, it was back down to earth to chair our Full Town Council meeting. This included discussions about setting up a committee towards another Civil War re-enactment. This event was very popular when held in 2014 and helped to put Marlborough on the map.

carols on the greenTuesday 15th December - Carol singing in the rain on The Green with the Revd Heather Cooper. Our musicians - keyboard and recorder players - had to be sheltered from the rain under a large umbrella. These played for some brave and hearty carol singers. Afterwards we enjoyed some welcome flapjacks provided by our very own kind Tesco Manager, Nick Helps.

Then on th St Mary's Church to celebrate with MENCAP, the Christmas story beautifully acted with great enthusiasm. My thanks go to all the Councillors who have given their own time to help me support all these local groups this year.

Thursday 17th December - A fund raising evening with Dr Nick Maurice and the Marlborough Brandt Group.

With the run up to Christmas, it was quite an eye opener when the police exhibited a car in the High Street that had crashed that year in Savernake Forest. It was a mangled wreck, a sharp reminder to us all about safe driving over the Christmas period.

Thursday 24th December - I very much enjoyed going to the Children's Nativity on Christmas Eve at St Mary's. The Church was packed with families supporting their children who re-enacted the nativity scene so beautifully.

Friday 25th December - On Christmas Day I visited the residents at Coombe End nursing home to wish them a Happy Christmas. Father Christmas gave out presents which were unwrapped with joy. It was then on to Merlin Court to greet the residents there.

I arrived at the Town Hall at noon and all the guests were in a festive mood, enjoying each others' company. Nigel Kerton wished Lisa Farrell and his granddaughter, Vicky Ellis, together with their new team, every success in carrying on the tradition. I was pleased to be able to thank him and Joy for all the dedicated Christmas Dinners that they had put on over the last 6 years. There were a lot of supporters helping to make the occasion go well and I left them to enjoy the rest of the day at 2 pm to drive over to my family in Oxfordshire.
Happy 2016

Thursday 31st December - New Year's Eve. I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown" and he replied "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God, that shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way".

May I wish you all very happy and successful New Year 2016.

 

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