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Mayors Blog

Cllr Cleasby's Blog May 2024

{Play}Councillor Kym-Marie Cleasby's acceptance speech at Mayor Making on Monday, 13 May:



Ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests, and cherished residents of Marlborough,

Past-Mayor-Badge-for-Cllr-Fogg The Mayor presents Councillor Fogg with his third "Past Mayor" badgeThank you for entrusting me with the privilege of serving as your Mayor.  Before I delve into my vision for our community and the initiatives close to my heart, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to my predecessor, Nicholas Fogg MBE.

Nick Fogg MBE has been a beacon of leadership to our community, and his dedication to the arts in Marlborough has left an indelible mark.  I’m honoured to accept the passing of the torch from Nick and I hope to continue serving Marlborough with dedication and innovation.

When we first moved to Marlborough, we didn’t know anyone…  We instantly felt at home, it was just before Covid.  We immediately got to know our neighbours and council staff by volunteering doing shopping & the like.  We also found a wonderful set of friends here at St. Marys Church who share our desire to serve, to try and love like Jesus did.  Those of you who know me, know that my faith is really important to me and informs everything I do.  Thank you to everyone from all walks of life and social groups who have been so welcoming to us both.

Cleasby-family The Cleasby family shopping for others during Covid lockdownsAs we move forward, I am excited to share with you two charities that are particularly close to my heart – Love Marlborough Kids Meals and The Jubilee Centre.  These endeavours embody the essence of community, care, and resilience that define Marlborough.

Love Marlborough Kids Meals (which is a community project by St. Mary’s Church) is a testament to our commitment that no child in our town should go to bed hungry.  We believe that every child deserves access to nutritious meals, regardless of their circumstances.  Through this initiative, we will work tirelessly to address food insecurity among our youngest residents, ensuring that they can focus on learning, playing, and growing without the burden of hunger.

The Jubilee Centre, on the other hand, is a haven for support and empowerment.  It offers a myriad of services, from a friendly ear, to skill-building workshops, fostering resilience and self-sufficiency among our VIP’s facing challenges.  Together, we will create a nurturing environment where everyone can feel valued and secure.

Speaking of resilience, our community has shown incredible strength during challenging times, such as the floods that devastated Marlborough in January.  In moments of crisis, I’ve experienced our town as a united front, where neighbours support one another, and the spirit of community prevails.  We will work together to implement measures that enhance our preparedness and response to such challenges, ensuring the safety and well-being of every resident.

crowds of people in a street, some in hi viz However, it's not just in times of crisis that we come together.  Our community has shown its celebratory spirit during events like last year's biggest Coronation Street Party.  These moments of joy and unity are integral to the fabric of Marlborough.  I am committed to fostering a sense of belonging and shared celebration, creating opportunities for us to come together, connect, and rejoice in the vibrancy of our town.

In conclusion, I am honoured to serve as your Mayor, and I am eager to embark on this journey with you. United in our commitment to making Marlborough a place where every resident thrives, we will build on the strong foundation and continue to make Marlborough a place we are all proud to call home.

Thank you, and let's make Marlborough's future as bright and resilient as its remarkable past.


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May 2016

St Marys Sculpture April 20-16Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May

Firstly, I'll just slip quickly back into April when, on Friday 29th April, I visited an exhibition in St Mary's Church. This was an exhibition with a difference which was meant to be thought provoking.

Then on Saturday 30th April I was in the High Street before 8 am for my street collection for The Brain Tumour Charity. I had five members of 4MI Battalion who very much helped to swell my total, and with a cake stall we were able to pass our previous year's total and brought in £1,064.

duckhats-001Friday, 2nd May - the day of the Duck Race. This involved a lot of hard work beforehand for Peter Povey (Marlborough Scouts) and myself. As this was a joint venture, we were seen on a regular basis wearing our duck hats in Waitrose car park selling bright yellow ducks. There was great excitement at the launch, the Mayor Duck went in first and after a few turbulent moments when she got caught in the weir and needed rescuing, all the small ducks were released. Then as every duck was urged onto the finishing line, Cllr. Kirk Wilson was chivvying on wayward ducks as they drifted in on waves waiting to be caught by valiant members of ARK. This is an event that, in the future, can be built on for the enjoyment of Marlborough. My grateful thanks to all who helped and to the businesses that sponsored it. If anyone finds any stray ducks, please hand them in at the Town Council offices.

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Wednesday, 4th May - this was the evening of my reception to thank all who had donated or supported me over my Mayoral year and to hand over the cheque for £11,193.42 to my chosen charity, The Brain Tumour Charity. It was a very nice evening supported by my old colleagues from Marlborough College, the Old Dames, who helped bring together the reception and Tesco Manager, Nick Helps, who very generously provided the wine. My thanks also go to 4MI and all those others who have helped me to more than reach my total.

4MI captioneddames captionedjust cheque

Friday, 6th May 
- The Stonebridge Meadow Wetlands project, which is an ARK initiative, includes a reed bed which will encourage wildlife and includes a viewing platform and a boardwalk. Claire Perry, MP was introduced by the Chairman of ARK, Dr. Geoffrey Finlay, who talked about the project and particularly praised Anna Forbes, ARK's project manager. Claire Perry then cut the ribbon.

stonebridge claire perrywetland May 2016AnnaWetland Opening May 2016


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"Oh to be in England now that April's there" - Robert Browning

Town Flag blue sky-squareI can't believe that this is my last month of my Mayoral year. Where does time go?

The month started with the flag being flown on the Town Hall to celebrate my birthday which was a great honour and made my day feel very special.

We saw the shutting of the George Lane toilets and several Councillors volunteered to leaflet shops to make everyone aware. This could really be the start of a very positive move with the chance to upgrade these old toilets to something special. We are looking at including a coach driver's rest room and a small Tourist Information Point too.

mencapThis month, I attended a committee meeting with MENCAP and we were all delighted with the grant awards from the Area Board. We had discussions about the summer party and how we could include celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday. This group works hard to give a social life to its members.

Mayor Duck Race May 2016I have been very busy working hard with Marlborough Scouts to organise a Duck Race on Monday, 2nd May at 2.30 pm in Waitrose car park. I had forgotten how much red tape you have to go through even for very small events. The proceeds will be shared with the Scouts and the Mayor's charity - The Brain Tumour Charity. Hopefully, we'll have a fine day, enjoyed by all.

Saturday, 9th April - Tesco very kindly gave me permission to collect for my Charity and I added £266 to my total.

Sunday, 10th April - today found me driving to Warminster to get to a Civic Service by 10 am. It was a very fulfilling service and I was able to say goodbye to other Town Mayors who I have shared my year with. I have very much enjoyed their support and company.

Monday, 11th April - I enjoyed going to the Open Studios preview held at the Mount House which was sponsored by David Dudley who hosted the event. Open Studios is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It really shows us that art, with its many diversities, plays a very large part in our culture of everyday life and we would be very much the poorer without it.

Saturday, 16th April - a disco with Mencap with the music taking me back to my youth. Unfortunately, the knees are not so young and remind me of my age, but it was enjoyed by all the members.

Sunday, 17th April - a civic service at St George's, Preshute with the flag of St George flying in the breeze. This has to be one of the most beautiful churches in Wiltshire in an idyllic setting by the River Kennet. The Mayor and Councillors were welcomed by the Rector Miri Keen. Included in the service were the Civic Service Colour Party, members of which helped read prayers with others from the congretation. Mike Tupman was with us for the first time as our Beadle and made his presence felt as did Mace Bearers, Bob and Geoffrey, who lend so much dignity to these civic occasions.

1024px-Preshute St. George macebearers civic service st george

Monday, 18th April - today saw me chairing my last Full Town Council meeting which always takes a lot of thought and preparation from the office.

duckTuesday, 19th April - I was invited up to Merlin Court with students from St Francis and St Mary's to bury time capsules so, who knows what will be made of the artefacts in 100 years' time! I was then invited to visit St Mary's assembly to talk to the children, wear my duck hat and given the opportunity to sell some yellow ducks for the Duck Race on 2nd May which is fundraising for the Scouts and the Mayor's Charity.

embroiderersFriday, 22nd April - I went to Lockeridge to view The Marlborough Embroiderers Guild exhibition which was pretty impressive and showed off the skills in many interpretations. All the husbands of members were also present.

Saturday, 23rd April - this was a very busy day - first to Ramsbury to help unveil a plaque in memory of soldiers from Ramsbury and Axford who had fought and died in the two wars. This took place in the Memorial Hall. Ben Tottenham had done the research and there were maps of Europe's battle sites and framed regimental cap badges.

Then onto Tidworth to support the Marlborough Scout Group in joining in an all-areas Thanksgiving Service. The Chaplain, Amanda, gave a very good lesson on the Good Samaritan with help from various members of the congregation, including the Colonel, all taking part.

Annual parish 2016In the evening, I went to St Mary's for a rendering of the Marlborough Choral Society with a very ambitious programme singing the Haydn Harmoniemesse and then Rutter's Requiem which is one of my favourites.

Monday, 25th April - today was the Annual Parish Meeting and all our Chairs gave their reports and I gave a presentation of my year. This meeting is a chance for our electorate to ask questions and the main topics were toilets and parking - two problems that we will try to resolve in the next council year.

Tuesday, 26th April - Hungerford and a reception for the Mayor of Hungerford with Berkshire Mayors at the British Legion. It was far less formal than our Mayor Making ceremony in Marlborough.


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greyhoundTuesday, 1st March - St David's day saw Cllr Hannaford-Dobson and myself being chauffeured to a visit of 4MI Battalion at Kiwi Barracks, Bulford. We were very warmly welcomed, given a tour of the building and introduced to a number of personnel. Col Matt Brown gave us an insight into the work and training of the Battalion, the ethos of 4MI as an intelligence unit and it's close connection with Marlborough.Brain Tumour Charity logo

I was presented with a cheque for £285 for my Mayoral Charity The Brain Tumour Charity raised by soldiers playing a football match, whom we enjoyed meeting. Also, Capt. Mickey Yendall who, alongside his team, hopes to fund raise through a 1,000 mile sports activity finishing up in Marlborough on 30th April, again in aid of my Charity.

I presented the 4MI Library with a collection of books on Wiltshire regiments and one about the Battle of Gallipoli which were well received. We had lunch in the new Sergeants' Mess and then went on to visit the Welfare Office Department and met many who support the Battalion before being safely chauffeured home by a delightful young soldier.

Prospect Third Party LogoWednesday, 2nd March - All Councillors were invited up to Savernake Hospital to tour the new Outreach Centre run by Prospect which had recently been opened by the Duchess of Cornwall. Over £300,000 was raised in a very short time by the community enabling this worthy project to go ahead. We were given an overview on how much it cost to run and what could be done to help often terminally ill patients. The unit offers a community room with a kitchen, an Occupational Therapist and counselling and therapy treatment rooms. We came away pleased that Savernake Hospital offers a new project enabling a secure future to a much loved building.

CClearn for the QueenSaturday, 5th March - Today saw the Youth Council, under the guidance of Cllr Lisa Farrell, work towards the Clean for the Queen campaign, a national initiative to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. We all had a photo taken on Marlborough Town Hall steps before setting off down the High Street all armed with gripper gloves, plastic bags on hoops and tongs for picking up rubbish. We all became quite adept at picking up cigarette butts. Can I make a plea for all smokers to dispose of these in the right receptacle? There are a number of these attached to the bins in the High Street.

The youngsters entered into the spirit of it all with great enthusiasm. After the High Street, we carried on to the Recreation Ground and I left them as they made their way up the Salisbury Road to Tesco. I gather they were rewarded for their endeavours by cakes and cola back at the Town Council offices. From what we saw on our route round the town, it's clear that more certainly needs to be done to encourage everyone to take their litter home or bin it properly.

marlborough concert orchestra logoAfter attending a Memorial Service in the afternoon, I made my way to St Mary's Church in the evening to attend the Marlborough Concert Orchestra perform its Spring Concert. It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Janet Tanner who played the violin, a founder member of the Orchestra and a former teacher at Marlborough College. The programme had overtures from Mozart, a symphony by Schubert and the programme ended with Johann Strauss and The Blue Danube which set all feet tapping.

On 3rd December, the Orchestra celebrates its 10th birthday with a special programme to include young international soloist, Irene Enzlin, cellist and Mathieu van Bellen, violinist, so a date not to be missed.

OldandNewTownCryerMonday, 7th March -  A very full start to the week. In the evening, we held a welcome ceremony in the Court Room for our new Town Cryer/Beadle, Michael Tupman, a former Special Constable. I gave a brief introduction of the history of this ancient position of the Town Cryer/Beadle recorded as going back to at least 1699. Our now retired Town Cryer, Alfie Johnson, handed over the bell and staff.

Michael gave a rendering of acceptance of the position which includes Ale Tasting in all the public houses in Marlborough. We feel very lucky to have someone with such a big personality who will grow into this position and become very much a part of Marlborough. He will soon become just like his predecessors who are depicted in the paintings in the Council Chamber. We now just wait for his distinguished outfit to be delivered.

We then retired to the Chamber for a Full Town Council Meeting where there was interest in staging a street party to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. It was then on to Planning Meeting with discussions about the new school in Ducks Meadow. All in all, a long day for Councillors and Staff.

Thursday, 10th March - Today gave us the 34th Marlborough Brandt Group Annual Lent Lecture in Marlborough Town Hall which was given by Harriet Lamb, CBE, CEO of International Alert who was introduced by Lord Joffe, a leading member of the defence team in South Africa for Nelson Mandela 1963.

fairtrade-logoThe evening started with a reception and speech given by Alison Burden who has spearheaded the successful campaign towards Marlborough's Fairtrade status. I was presented with a certificate in recognition of the Town Council's support. In my acceptance speech, I said I was pleased to accept this as a sign of our ongoing support to the farming community around the world, aiming for a fairer world where everyone has an equal opportunity to work and make a living. I also praised Alison and her team for their perseverance which enabled all of this to come about. The Manager of Tesco in Marlborough, Nick Helps and Poppy, Community Co-ordinator from Waitrose, gave a perspective from a Supermarket's view.

Harriet Lamb's lecture was based on 'To Bomb or not to Bomb' - That is the Wrong Question!'. She talked with great knowledge, having worked with these countries with Fairtrade for many years.

Peace is when people are able to resolve their conflicts without violence and can work together to improve the qualities of their lives, everyone has fair and equal access to the basic needs for wellbeing such as food, clean water, shelter, education. Peace can only last when human rights are respected, where people can practice their own beliefs, where individuals and nations are free to live their lives in safety from oppression.

So, we have a long way to go before everyone around the world enjoys the freedom and equality that we take for granted in Marlborough.

Salisbury Cathedral attributedSunday, 13th March - Today was the Service for the Rule of Law in the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral. This is held to commemorate the Office of the High Sheriff which goes back over 1,000 years, its roots going back to Saxon Times. It's the oldest secular office under the Crown until when, in 1908 under the right of King Edward VI, the Office of the Lord Lieutenant became the Sovereign's personal representative in a county. Whilst the duties of the High Sheriff have evolved and reduced over the years to a mainly cermonial role, he or she still remains the Sovereign's representative in the county for all matters relating to the judiciary and the maintenance of law and order.

So, all of Wiltshire's Mayors processed into the Cathedral in their red robes and ceremonial chains leading onto the main aisle followed by the judiciary who looked very impressive in their High Court wigs and robes.

The service was very moving with a reading from Roman 13:1-10 read by the Hon. Mr Justice Dingemanns - "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities".

There was a reading from the Quran, some rousing hymns and we ended up singing the National Anthem before processing out to queue for a nice cup of tea and chocolate chip cookies!

mayorandladygoochSo we say goodbye to Lady Gooch who has done so much in her year, not only with youth groups, SPLASH and YAW but, supporting the Probation Service, the Royal Cadets, the Asian Women's Group and many others.

Here, I quote from Magna Carta 1215:

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send other to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land

I would like to think this still works for us all today, that a man is innocent before being proved guilty but, sadly, I think not.

Commonwealth Day 2016 with flag captionedMonday, 14th March - We celebrated Commonwealth Day and Members of the Town Council met on the Town Hall steps, all holding the Commonwealth Flag. I then read a message from the Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, reiterating the bond that binds the Commonwealth of 53 countries and 2 billion people. The Commonwealth Charter asserts that everyone is equal, deserves respect whatever their status in life and seeks to build a better world.

Alan, our Caretaker, raced up to the roof top to fly the flag which fluttered proudly over our historic town on a beautiful spring morning.


shopmobbluerightWednesday 16th March - Wednesday evening saw many Councillors supporting the Shopmobility evening when traders from the High Street were invited to a reception with a welcoming glass of wine to learn about what the Town Council, the Area Board and the Mobility Shop are trying to achieve. It was to highlight Marlborough's committment to support disabled people in enabling them to shop in Marlborough.  This scheme is up and running in Salisbury very successfully. Sadly, the evening was not well attended.  I was asked to name 3 of the mobility scooters and now we have Henry, Bella and James, perhaps with Thomas the tank engine in mind - great fun they are too.

We are looking for volunteers to give a few hours a week to support this venture.

Victorian CemeterySunday 20th March 2016 - In the morning the Friends of the Victorian Cemetery met up.  It was a lovely day and we put in valuable time raking up old grass and digging up brambles.  The daffodils are beautiful so, do go and look. Sadly all the new bulbs that were planted have not materialised and the damage done by the contractors has not helped. However, in May we are invited to talk on wild flowers in churchyards and be presented with our first certificate for ongoing efforts. We also are discussing bees which is something important to work on. 



The Common daffs 2rWednesday 23rd March 2016 - A Common Users Group meeting in the Council Chamber with different groups coming together and discussing main issues on the use of the Common.  It's important to keep a fine balance of use and users and to protect and repair this beautiful piece of land which belongs to use all and is for everyone to enjoy.

As we now celebrate Easter and the start of new life, it is a great joy to see the fritillaries coming up and the daffodils in full bloom, a pure white heron feeding on the Kennet and the Kites flying over head.  I am reminded, in these troubled times, how blessed we are to live in Marlborough.  May I wish you all a peaceful Easter.







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Monday 1st February - Preshute School. I very much enjoyed my visit, being shown around by Mrs Hicks and meeting Mrs Joyce White, a school governor and former Mayor. Also, having the chance to talk to the children. I was so impressed by the standard of behaviour and their keen interest in everything. I couldn't believe that there were 200 children in such a small space but, all the pupils were so attentive and charming. My congratulations go to Mrs Celia Hicks and her dedicated staff for attaining an excellent Ofsted report. I gather that she is retiring at the end of the academic year - she will be a hard act to follow but, will certainly have left a school with a reputation to be proud of. We wish her a happy retirement.

Alzheimer Gala DinnerWednesday 2nd February -  Altzheimer's Association. I was invited to host a table for a Gala Dinner in the beautiful room in Devizes Town Hall along with the Mayor of Devizes. There were 10 tables of carers and their partners or parents with dementia. We were treated to a lovely dinner with spring daffodils on each table. All those waiting on tables were staff from the Alzheimer's Association and had given their services free. A talk was given on how to eat well. I enjoyed talking to carers who were all very upbeat. I think the whole occasion was appreciated by everyone who attended.

Prospect Third Party LogoTuesday 9th February - it was with great anticipation that we were all taxied up to Savernake Hospital from the George Lane car park on a lovely sunny day (a relief after such a wet Monday) to witness HRH Duchess of Cornwall officially open the new Prospect Outreach Centre. The Duchess is the President of Prospect Hospice.

The Outreach Centre project was achieved by the amazing effort of raising over £260,000 and the foresight of Kevin McNamara, Director of Strategy at the Great Western Hospital, to charge only a peppercorn rent. I was honoured as the Mayor, by being presented first and introduced by the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Sarah Troughton. The Duchess was escorted around the unit by Mrs Angela Jordan, Prospect's Chief Executive. It was clear that she enjoyed talking to everyone, especially the patients whom she put at ease with her quiet charm. During her tour, she was shown the counselling room with its soft furnishings, watched a collage being made and chatted and thanked volunteers who give so much dedicated time to the hospital. Before she left, she signed the register and was presented with a beautiful cream posy of flowers by a young pupil from Ogbourne St George who made the most elegant curtsy.

Savernake Hospital is very dear to us all in the Marlborough area so the effort that has gone into this project will not only help to give this building a new impetus but, support patients in overcoming and working with their disabilities which is to be applauded.

Tuesday 10th February - today I attended two meetings. One as a representative to the Stonebridge Management Committee with Action for the River Kennet where we discussed projects and the maintenance in Stonebridge Meadow and then down to the Football Club to discuss land for a possible football pitch. Before the day finished, I had a quick look at Cooper's Meadow to get ideas for future projects.

I now go off to Spain for a week to tend a very different garden.

I returned from Spain with a suitcase filled with Seville oranges, large oranges and lemons too, all from the trees in my garden.  I also tackled the prickly pears which had taken over but, are now dying with a fungus

Saturday, 20th February 2016 - today saw Councillor Marian Hannaford-Dobson and me playing bingo with the local MENCAP Group.  Marian actually managed to win a prize.  I wasn't so lucky! 

Mayor.HorseThursday, 25th February 2016 - Councillors were invited up to Greatwood for a guided tour to learn more about how looking after retired race horses was combined with a work programme with schools helping disadvantaged children. Sasha Thorbek-Hooper, FundraisingGREATWOOD CHEQUE 250216 Manager for Greatwood, who clearly has wide expertise in this field, took us round.  It was apparent right from the start that helping to look after these beautiful animals in such a happy environment really contributes to building up confidence in these children's own abilities.

The Town Council congratulated and praised Greatwood for its work with young people and the educational programme it provides, enabling many to eventually work in that field of employment or simply find their way back into society with confidence, believing they can contribute.  We were fortunate to be able to meet and talk to many cheerful youngsters as the mucked out stables and fed the chickens. "It takes courage to grow up to become who you really are". EE Cummings. 

I had great pleasure on behalf of the Town Council, in presenting the Co-founder and Managing Director, Helen Yeadon, with a cheque for £928 which will go towards ongoing programmes.

girl-guiding-logoFriday, 26th February - Friday saw me in the wilds of Wiltshire along farm tracks, wandering around looking for Winkworth Farm whilst hoping I was not lost forever.  I was invited to the North Wilts Annual Awards and Celebration of Guiding and Achievements so, it was a relief when a glimmer of light appeared in the distance.  (More signs please).

I was greeted and made to feel very welcome.

The event was attended by Sir Mike Pitts and the Mayors of Malmesbury, Swindon and Chippenham along side Guides and their Leaders from around the county.  I was particulary proud when four young Guides from the Ogbourne St Goerge Unit, which is counted in the Marlborough division, went up for the Baden Powell Challenge Award - the highest award a Guide can achieve.  I was honoured to have a photo taken with them afterwards.  I have to be honest and say I knew little of the guiding movement in Wiltshire so to see so many dedicated Leaders go up for 10, 20 even 30 years' service awards was very impressive.  Sir Mike spoke with affection of his Skipper (Scouts) and camping days.  There was an interesting exhibition and I was shown a picture of the camping ground which is owned by the county.  We were also treated to some delicious hot chips served in cups and a large bowl of fruit.

So, I quote the Guiding promise which is something we all could aspire to for better communities and a better world to live in:

I promise that I will do my best
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs
To serve the Queen and my community
To help other people
To keep the Guide/Brownie Law


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January 2016

DSC 2184Happy New Year to you all!

Well what a wet season we have had. Daffodils out before the snowdrops, what is happening? We sympathise with towns and villages in the north which have been so badly flooded. A lot of thought will be needed to try to safeguard these places if this weather pattern is going to be the norm.

Wednesday 6th January - I had a meeting with Churches Together to discuss the merits of a Civic Service, a service which is held in most towns to welcome and introduce the new Mayor into the community. At present, here in Marlborough, we visit all of our churches in rotation.

Thursday 7th January - The Gazette & Herald celebrated 200 years of publication in Devizes Town Hall. Our own Nigel Kerton, who was a reporter for many years, told a tale about how the bus to Swindon would pick up his written reports and when it arrived in Swindon the bus would be stopped and those reports collected, ready to go to press.

Wednesday 13th January - A visit to Lydiard Park and the AGM of the NSPCC which was celebrating 30 years of the organisation in Swindon. The guest speaker, Jon Cameron, OBE, spoke very movingly about the organisation's work to combat child abuse, the work of ChildLine counsellors and the dangers of the internet. The main concerns for referrals were neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. This is a charity which deserves all our support.

George Lane ToiletsCaptionedFriday 15th January - Time for the Penguins Annual Presentation, an event which is always so well supported by parents. It was with great pleasure that I presented trophies to some very accomplished young swimmers. Enormous credit goes to all who support this successful club which has about 400 young members.

Tuesday 19th January - A visit with Cllr. Barrett-Morton and the Town Clerk to Chippenham to discuss the issue of public conveniences with Wiltshire Council, and also whether the Town Council may be able to take on the toilets at George Lane - that's the building and the service provision. This decision will need careful thought from the Council.


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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 - - 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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