Spring Concert at St Mary's Church

concert st marys march 2017Saturday, 18th March 2017

Marlborough Choral Society and Devizes Chamber Choir joined forces under the direction of David Ripley for a delightful Spring Concert in St Mary's Church, Marlborough. The concert is to be repeated on 1st April in St Andrew's Church, Devizes should you wish to attend.

The evening began with an impressive rendition of Zadok the Priest, one of Handel's Coronation Anthems and a piece that most of us would recognise, very stirring! The second piece was the beautiful Gloria, composed by Vivaldi and featuring the Soprano, Emma Banham and Alto, Alice Simmons.

Finally, after the interval we were treated to a seldom performed piece by the more modern composer, John Rutter, as the choir sang Six Canticles of Creation, The Gift of Life.

The joining together of these two choirs proved to be an excellent and successful venture with their voices filling the Church.

My wife and I look forward to the next Choral Concert in June.

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The Bobby Van Trust

The Bobby VanThursday, 16th March 2017

The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust provides home security for elderly, vulnerable and disadvantaged people throughout Wiltshire who have been the subject of burglary, harassment, house crime, domestic abuse or fire. I was pleased, on behalf of the Town Council, to present the Trust with a small cheque for this excellent mission chaired by Robert Hiscox. The Patron is HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.

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Mencap morning at the Conservative Club

mencap logoTuesday, 14th March 2017

This is a regular Tuesday morning meeting with members at the Conservative Club and as President my wife and I attend when we can to speak to everyone and watch the various activities going on supervised by the excellent Sue Bailey and her husband David plus a few other volunteers.

These endearing people come from mainly Marlborough and outlying villages plus Devizes. We need more volunteers to come forward to help us with outings from Marlborough and this year we hope to go to Bristol Zoo and other events to keep our members happy and contented. Do please call Sue Bailey on 01672 514513 for further information.

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Fairtrade Presentation and Reception

thanks to Nick Helps for the photoSaturday, 4th March 2017

Thanks to the efforts and kindness of Dr Nick Maurice, Susan and I attended this Fairtrade Reception in our Town Hall. It was extremely well attended - more than 100 people - and we all sat at circular tables and enjoyed Fairtrade refreshments courtesy of Nick Helps, the Manager of our local Tesco.

I warmly welcomed Sophie Long and Patrick Kaberia to Marlborough. Sophie, from the Fairtrade Foundation, explained the principle of the set-up and the way in which it helps people to help themselves by offering viable local employment and thus improving living standards and allowing people to choose how to spend any monies.

The highlight of the evening was a presentation by Patrick Kaberia, a tea planting farmer, who was able to explain just how he had personally benefited, having worked as a tea farmer for the past 24 years in Eastern Kenya. Patrick spoke straight from the heart and it was illuminating to listen to such a personal success story.

Now that Marlborough has Fairtrade status we must continue to support the Foundation and all that it stands for, and pass this message onto future generations.

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Civic Dinner

The regimental flag flying to welcome 4MIFriday, 24th February 2017

There is something special about seeing our wonderful Town Hall lit up on a winter's evening with the front doors open in welcome. It is a few years now since we hosted a Civic Dinner here in Marlborough, and this evening our honoured guests were Lt. Colonel Matt Jones and some members of his Battalion of 4 Military Intelligence. Other guests included the Mayors of Devizes, Highworth and Wilton, some of our own Councillors and many stalwarts from our community. The atmosphere was friendly and the food excellent and I believe that everyone enjoyed themselves.

I was presented with a cheque for £500 by 4 Military Intelligence which was for the benefit of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, once of my nominated charities for this, my Mayoral year.

Since receiving the Freedom of Entry of our Town some years ago, 4 Military Intelligence have continued to support us on many occasions throughout the year and we were all glad to have a chance to recognise their continued support.

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The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain Lunch - Swindon Hilton

showmensguildlogoTuesday, 28th February 2017

This is an annual event for the Showmen's Guild where they host their own members (from the western section) as well as Mayors from many of the towns that are visited by their Fairs throughout the year. The Fairs were once a seasonal event with a period of respite for the Showmen. This is no longer the case and they now travel throughout the year with very little time off.

Everyone received a very warm welcome and my wife Susan and I were seated at a table with three generations of the Whitelegg family, namely Billy and his wife Louise, two daughters with their husbands and one grandson - also called Billy.

It was both interesting and enlightening to get an insight into the close 'family ties' that are clearly vital within the larger family of the Showmen's Guild.

It was an excellent lunch and we listened with interest as we learned of the many charities and organisations which benefit from the generosity of the Showmen.

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Westbury Civic Service

Sunday, 29th January 2017

Mayor and Mayoress of WestburyWe were greeted at the Laverton in Westbury by the now familiar Mayor Stephen Andrews and his wife Mayoress Mary.

The weather was appalling and we, along with the other Mayors from across Wiltshire and a Deputy Lord Lieutenant braved the pouring rain for a group photograph prior to processing to the beautiful Parish Church of All Saints.

The Church dates back to the 14th Century and we enjoyed a service which included an address by the Venerable Alan Jeans, Archdeacon of Sarum.

After the Service, everyone who had attended was invited back to the Laverton for refreshments - a most welcome hot cup of tea.

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Prospect Hospice Outreach Centre

Wednesday, 25th January 2017

Prospect Third Party LogoI attended, along with my wife and the Deputy Mayor, Mervyn Hall, an evening presentation with Prospect Hospice at Savernake Hospital. We were a mixed group, including a retired nurse, local solicitors and the Marlborough College Proctor, William Finlay, who was accompanied by a sixth former who intends to read medicine at university. There was a tour of the facilities available and a presentation explaining their set-up (mainly volunteers) and available services. This was undertaken by Mike Kennedy who is the Communities and Events Fundraiser and Genevieve Arney, the events and Community Manager.

We are lucky to have this fantastic facility here in Marlborough - mainly funded through enthusiastic local fundraising.

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Carer Support Wiltshire

Friday, 20th January 2017

carer support wiltshireI attended the launch of the appeal for £25,000 for Carer Support Wiltshire which was held at Deacons the Jewellers and Clockmakers in the High Street.

The Carer Support Wiltshire Appeal aims to raise £25,000 to help some of the county's 45,000 unpaid carers win some time back for themselves.

I said: "It is very important to recognise the unsung heroes who go about the business of giving loving care or support to family members, children or friends day in and day out, sometimes without a break or respite for themselves, I understand, and I venture to say, that there may be some that nobody knows about. I am pleased to be lending my support to the appeal".

Catherine Hurford, Chief Executive of Carer Support Wiltshire said: "All the money we raise through this appeal will go directly to enabling carers to have a bit of time for themselves".

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Christmas Day Lunch in the Town Hall

christmas tree in Assembly Room window25th December 2016

The weather was more like spring than winter, but the atmosphere in the Town Hall was distinctly festive and full of good cheer. This event is now run by one of our Councillors, Lisa Farrell, Vicky Ellis (granddaughter of Nigel Kerton who started the idea and ran it for many years) and Alison Bates plus an army of supporters and volunteers. Mark Shire was the very capable chef who worked hard to produce a splendid lunch for all the guests. Alex Arkwright and his two children, a brass trio, provided the Christmas music which was a real delight. The food and drink were supplied by various local, generous benefactors and there were some splendid gifts for the raffle prizes. The surprise of the day was a 'motorised' Santa who did his tour around the tables on an electric scooter, making sure that all 57 guests had a present!!

All in all, a cheerful and successful day - long may this tradition continue.

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