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Mayors blog 2016-17

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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Carol Service at St Mary's Marlborough

Sunday 18th December 2016

Nativity - window in St Mary'sA warm welcome by Rev. Dr. Janneke Blokland for a packed church on this last Sunday before Christmas. Young and old enthusiastically joined together for the singing of familiar carols and the choir sung a couple of pieces.

There were seven readings of which I read the fifth, Matthew 2 v.1-11 a Christmas Reflection by our Rector Revd. Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy.

Marlborough's community spirit at it's best.

May I wish all the people of Marlborough A HAPPY and peaceful Christmas and a BRIGHT AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR.

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Mencap Carol Concert St Marys Church

Tuesday, 13th December 2016

Susan and I attended St Mary's Church for the Mencap Carol Service and were delighted to see a re-enactment of the Nativity performed by members of Mencap and their wonderful supporters. The Rev. David Maurice was the celebrant for the Service, ably assisted by his son. Everyone joined in the carols and it was a happy occasion.

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Town Hall Concert for Marlborough Macmillan Cancer Support

Sunday evening, 11th December 2016

at the Macmillan concert with the Pewsey Male Voice ChoirJanet Buck, the Secretary of Marlborough Macmillan Committee, was there to greet us to a Christmas Concert and to introduce us to Steven Goodrick, the Fundraising Manager for the whole of Wiltshire (an enormous territory). This concert is organised locally by the Committee and funds raised will help provide specialist nurses to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

The Kennet Vale Band and Pewsey Male Voice Choir provided an evening of top notch entertainment with audience participation encouraged in the singing of carols. This was a fun evening and many of the audience attend every year. Both the Kennet Vale Band and the Pewsey Male Voice Choir perform without fees and they certainly put on a wonderful show.


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Town Hall Craft Fair

Sunday, 11th December 2016

swiftlogoThese Craft Fairs are organised by Fred Wilcox who collects donations for the Mayor's Charity every year instead of charging an entrance fee. Fred is a kind and generous person and he travels here from Wells in Somerset to set up and supervise the fairs.

We first met him in November when he raised £380.65 over a weekend. This will go to be shared between Swift Medics and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Today, Sunday, he had raised a further £152.12.wiltshire air ambulance logo

Thank you and well done Fred.


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A Christmas Celebration performed by Marlborough Choral Society at St Mary's Church

Saturday evening, 10th December 2016

St Marys sideThis was our first encounter with this wonderful local Choral Society and their performance was highly impressive.

The programme was truly varied and offered something for all tastes. The opening Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saint-Saens was a beautiful seasonal offering. We were then treated to a traditional Irish piece in the form of a Harp Solo played by the accomplished Katie McClaughry. There was a selection of Australian carols and further pieces by various traditional composers, culminating in a choral fantasy on old carols by Gustav Holst.

The spirit of Christmas was very much present and the performance excellent.


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Mencap Christmas Party

mencap logoSaturday, 10th December 2016

My wife and I arrived at Kennet Valley Hall in Lockeridge in the pouring rain, but our spirits were immediately lifted by the warm welcome and smiling faces, all much in evidence. There was an excellent live band which encouraged many to take to the dance floor and the sense of enjoyment was obvious.

Father ChristmasThere were many familiar faces among the members and helpers whom I greatly admire. They are all unpaid volunteers and it was a great pity that we had to leave to attend another event. There was a great sense of anticipation... for a surprise guest!!! WHO?

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Marlborough College Carol Service at the College Chapel

Friday, 9th December 2016

College Carol ServiceThis is always a much anticipated occasion and never disappoints. The Council were graciously hosted by the Master, Jonathan Leigh and his wife Emma, to a drinks reception prior to processing to the Chapel for the service of Lessons and Carols. I read Lesson 6 Matthew 2; 1-12. This is a moving service and marks the beginning of Christmas in a time-honoured way. The Choir is truly marvellous and its rendition of Bogoroditse Djevo in its original Russian was especially beautiful. An evening to remember.

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