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Mayors blog 2016-17

Civic Service at Trowbridge

Sunday, 17th July 

mayor of trowbridgeThis evening Susan and I attended a Civic Service and Celebration at St. James Parish Church, Trowbridge.  The Service was preceded by a reception in the Civic Centre where we renewed our acquaintance with the Mayor, Linda Self and many other Mayors from across Wiltshire.

We then assembled outside and were led by a Scottish Piper and processed to the Church.  The Service was led by Revd. Dr. Rob Thomas and was also attended by Dr Andrew Murrison, MP and Angus Macpherson who is Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner. 

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Skittles with Mencap

Saturday, 16th July

mencapIn the evening, as President and accompanied by my wife Susan, we visited Marlborough Football Club where we joined the organisers and Mencap members for an evening of Skittles. Just about everyone took part in a couple of rounds with the final involving an attempt to knock down just a single skittle - not very easy!

There was a wonderful atmosphere, a generous buffet and also a raffle where I had to draw the winning tickets. We were made very welcome and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

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Visitors from Marlborough New Zealand and the Opening of the Jazz Festival

Friday, 15th July

We greeted our visitors from Marlborough New Zealand, Councillor Cynthia Brooks, her husband Graham and two fellow travellers.

There was an exchange of books between us and we also received a gift of an oil painting, a view of their Marlborough, presented to us by Cynthia on behalf of the Mayor and Councillors.

After a tour of the Town Hall we processed, including our guests, along to the Castle and Ball to attend the opening of this year's Jazz Festival.  Mrs Sarah Troughton, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, graciously declared the Jazz Festival open, noting that this was it's 30th year.  We were then treated to a performance by the pupils of St. John's Academy Jazz Band.  They were brilliant!

Later in the evening, we attended a reception in the lovely garden of the Merchant's House hosted by Wiltshire Life.  Lots to read about Marlborough in their July edition.

Book Swap

Marlborough New Zealand

Opening Jazz Festival 2016


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Civic Service at Malmesbury Abbey

Sunday, 26th June - My wife and I attended Choral Evensong at Malmesbury Abbey in England's oldest Borough. This was well attended despite very heavy rain accompanying us as we processed from the Town Hall.

The Service was also a blessing for the new Mayor of Malmesbury, Wayne Jones. He, his wife Caroline, members of Malmesbury Town Council, many Mayors and Dignitaries from across Wiltshire were also joined by James Gray, the local MP and Allison Bucknell, Vice Chair of Wiltshire Council.

The choral singing was spectacular, but one would expect no less as the Vicar, Neil Archer, spent some 20 years as an opera singer prior to his ordination.

Impressive surroundings, wonderful singing and a true joining together of Church and the Community.


Interior of Malmesbury AbbeyTown Hall and Museum Malmesbury - - 861282Malmesbury Abbey - West Face - - 198795

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Mantonfest Poster 2016Saturday, 25th June - MantonFest

Luckily we were not greeted by mud, unlike certain other outdoor festivals! We were instead warmly greeted by Roger Grant who organises this increasingly successful event.

There, we chatted to a few stalwarts who had 'set up camp' at 8 am and also to some members of the 'Brighter Futures' team who were this year's nominated charity at the 2016 festival.

The event is growing in size and popularity as each year passes and is a huge success thanks to the hard work of Roger and his team.

Councillors Mervyn Hall and Justin Cook and other members of the MANP team were in attendance with information about the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

Drfeelgood4captionedNP at MantonFestBF-appeal-logo

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Summer Concert

MCOSaturday, 18th June - Susan and I attended a Summer Concert in St Mary's Church given by the Marlborough Concert Orchestra to mark their 10th Anniversary.

The programme under their wonderful Conductor Roselie Gentile, was varied - something for everyone. It began with a lively piece by Rossini and culminated in the very stirring Marche Slav by Tchaikovsky.

In the interval we all adjourned to the grass outside the Church where we were offered 'Rossini' cocktails and William Tell cake!

We are so lucky in our town of Marlborough to have a concert orchestra of this calibre - an exceptional evening was enjoyed by everybody.

MCO rossinisWe very much look forward to the MCO concert on 3rd December.


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Happy Birthday Your Majesty

Sunday, 12th June - Her Majesty's official 90th birthday. This was always going to be a special occasion, but I believe that it exceeded all expectations. The Service of Thanksgiving was made particularly poignant by the screening of the film clip from 1947 of then Princess Elizabeth making her memorable broadcast from Cape Town.

Two residents of Marlborough who were also born in 1926 were presented with posies by the Clergy, Rev. Canon Studdart Kennedy and Rev. Dr. Janneke Blockland.

The reception in the Town Hall was well attended and 'Royal' cupcakes and a glass of Bucks Fizz marked this very auspicious occasion. Lots of lasting memories on this happy day, not to mention an historic 'Civic Selfie' photograph.

My thanks to everyone who worked hard to make the day such a success.


 More pictures in our gallery

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Sensory Garden

Wednesday 8th June - The weather could not have been better for our visit to the Brendoncare Nursing Home in Froxfield, a Registered Charity.  The sun shone, a harpist played in the garden and I, with the help of one of the residents, cut the ribbon to open the newly created Sensory Garden.

The garden has been many months in the making and included some lovely sculptures and raised flower beds.  Donations of both money and time have allowed its completion and it will be a real haven.

Susan and I chatted to all the residents and many staff including Carole Sawyers, the Chief Executive of Brendoncare and Tina Manterfield who is the Manager at the Home.  She and her staff have created a wonderful atmosphere and all those living there seemed happy and contented.  A very good visit.

Froxfield2carole  mayor at froxfieldFroxfield1



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The Mayor's Cup

running trackTuesday 7thJune - A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at Marlborough College Athletic Track watching some of the students competing against St. John’s Academy.  The last event of the afternoon was a very exciting relay race.

Once all the various scores for all the events were added together then this year’s winners turned out to be Marlborough College.  All of this took place under the supervision of Marcus Sharrad - Master in charge of Athletics, and I duly presented the winners with the magnificent Mayor’s Cup.


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Melksham's Civic Service

Melksham churchSunday,  5thJune - Today, Susan and I attended the Civic Service in Melksham. The Mayor, Ms. Terri Welch, who has previously been Mayor, spoke in Church about ‘community’. The Church of St. Michael and All Angels is in a delightful setting and the weather favoured us after so many unseasonably cold days.

The service was well attended by locals and some now familiar Mayors, Deputy Mayors and partners from across Wiltshire plus the local MP, Michelle Donelan.

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