"Oh to be in England now that April's there" - Robert Browning
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.
This 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.
I 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.
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.
Tuesday, 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.
Friday, 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.
In 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.