Mayor’s Diary – Final Instalment
It is quite a long time
since I wrote my last Diary, and so much has happened, but I still feel a
little sad that this is my last entry. It has been an interesting
experience writing these notes, and I have been gratified to meet people
who have read them. When I started out, it was with the intention of
giving people a glimpse of what being Mayor of Wivenhoe was like, and I
think that it has probably done that as far as the ceremonial side of the
job. I am sure that most people realise that a large part of the job goes
on behind the scenes with paperwork, meetings, working parties, telephone
calls and endless balancing acts with the limited amount of time that
anyone has if they also work full time. It has been a fascinating year,
and I would not have missed for the world, but I feel I am running out of
steam and energy, and am looking forward to having more time with my
family. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me this year,
enabling me to raise a staggering £4,040 for the Mayor’s Charity Fund,
as well as the money we raised for the Community Bus and the Meningitis
Trust. THANK YOU EVERYONE!
back to April, on 15th Keith and I went to Stuart Pawsey Court
to present bird tables for the Court and for Britannia Court (that the
Town Council workmen had made). We were made very welcome by the residents
and had tea and cakes with them afterwards – a very good cup of tea, may
On 16th Keith
and I went to Chelmsford for a Reception at Maynetrees as guests of the
Chairman of Essex County Council, to see the exhibition of memorabilia
collected from all the parishes in Essex. Wivenhoe donated two Silver
Jubilee mugs, which are on show in a large display cabinet along with
plates and mugs from the other parishes. It was a lovely evening, and we
were able to wander around the garden and the house with our drinks and
canapés. It is a house that is also used by Judges when sitting at
Chelmsford, but luckily no Judge was in residence that evening.
Shooting back from
Chelmsford, we managed to get to the private view night of the exhibition
at the Nottage in aid of the Wivenhoe Engine Shed Project. It was a good
exhibition, with a wide range of pictures (including three of my own), and
I understand that a goodly number were sold.
The next official event
for me was on 24th of April in Wivenhoe Library, where I
attended the official launch of the Re-Create Project. It was good to see
so many people turn up to see the main exhibit and to take part in the
various computer exhibits. I have since talked to the Librarian and she
has said that there has been a lot of interest in the ‘boat’ and the
computers, and this must make all the effort put in by the team
worthwhile. It is certainly unique, and I recommend everyone to get down
to the Library to see it before it goes on its travels around the Borough.
It will, of course, come back to us in the end – so if anyone misses it
this time round, there is always a second chance.
The St Georges Day
Service in the Garrison Church on 25th was very moving – I
have never been in that church before, although I have driven passed it
many times. It is really a very striking church in a stark sort of way,
and it is beautifully light and airy. We had a very good collection of
hymns – ones that you knew the tunes and could sing out - and we were
accompanied by a military band. Afterwards we were guests of the Officers
Mess, for drinks and nibbles – I have never before seen gin and tonic
being served by the jug! Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) I was
driving, and had to stick to the juice – but the wide selection of
freshly cooked canapés etc made up for it. We were extremely well looked
after, and made to feel welcome, and many thanks must go to everyone who
organised such a super bash.
On 29th we
sadly said goodbye to Susannah at the Office. We had a small gathering of
Councillors, so that we could express our thanks for all her work over the
years and give her a small gift (she had indicated that she had always
wanted a digital camera – so we were able to oblige!) Susannah gave a
lot of support to Councillors and Mayors over the years – not only in
her official capacity, but often in her spare time, and she will be missed
by us all. We have been very lucky to find two ladies (Maureen Goodchild
and Xiaomei Li) to replace her on a job share basis and I am sure that you
will join with me in welcoming them to the team.
Later that evening,
Keith and I went over to Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve to see an
exhibition of paintings by local artists in aid of the Essex Wildlife
Trust. It was wonderful to see so many people there including the Mayor
and Mayoress of West Mersea, with whom we have become very friendly over
this past year.
Moving on to May, the
Bank Holiday Weekend was filled with the exhibition at the William
Loveless Hall of Wivenhoe Memorabilia, put together by John Stewart. It
was a wonderful glimpse into our past and attracted a lot of visitors.
John very kindly donated all proceeds to the Mayor’s Charity Fund, and,
along with refreshments and a raffle, we managed to raise £360! A big
thank you to John, and everyone who contributed.
Each year the
University of Essex Sports Department have an award evening, to which the
Mayor of Wivenhoe is invited – this year was no exception, and on Friday
7th Keith and I made our way to Copdock, where we were treated
to a wonderful evening. It was a heady experience being surrounded by so
many fit young people determined to enjoy themselves, and it was with
great delight I handed out some of the awards (and not a little relief
that I did not have to make a speech!).
Once again I was seen
down at the Nottage on 8th to launch their Summer Season in
grand style. Every time I visit the Nottage I find something of interest
that I have not seen before – it is a unique institution and we should
be very proud of having it in our community. Of course, it is only able to
run and open to the public because of the enormous amount of work put in
by volunteers, and on behalf of everyone in Wivenhoe I take this
opportunity of thanking them for all the hours they put in so that we have
such a treasure in the Town.
9th we took part in the Mayor’s Last Fling – a coach trip,
thanks to Cedrics . It was a wonderful trip to France and Belgium via
tunnel, an opportunity to stock up on supplies, and to explore briefly a
wonderful town called
(I have already had lots of requests from people to revisit this lovely
town, and hope to arrange it sometime next year). Not only did everyone
have a great day out (as can be seen from the picture), but we also raised
more money for the Mayor’s Charity Fund – winners all round!
On 12th we
had our Annual Town Meeting, which is an opportunity for residents to ask
any questions of the Town Council, offer any advice and generally question
them on the previous year's showing. It is also an opportunity for the
Mayor to hand over cheques to the various groups that have been chosen.
was wonderful to hand over monies to my chosen groups of sufficient size
to make a significant difference. Included in the list were the Essex Air
Ambulance, the St Johns Ambulance, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme group,
The Over 60s Club, The Monday Club, the Communty Bus, the Nottage and the
Ferry Trust. I was also able to announce that a substantial amount of
money has been put aside to go towards a Loop System in the William
Loveless Hall, to help the hard of hearing. We are hoping to get matching
funds from Colchester to enable us to put in the Loop sooner rather than
later. A big thank you goes out from me to everyone who helped raise such
a large amount of money.
for report and pictures.
Finally, today (16th
May) I attended the May Fair and Festival of Transport at the Colne
School, on a glorious sunny afternoon. It was a perfect day for an outdoor
event, and the crowds turned up. I had the pleasure of seeing Terry
Creissen (the Headmaster) dancing with the Morris Men (an image that will
stay with me for a long time), and of seeing a large collection of vintage
and veteran vehicles gleaming in the sunlight. It was a glorious way of
ending my year, and I have only to hand over to Peter Hill officially at
the Town Council Meeting tomorrow night to complete my duties.
It has been an amazing
year, filled with a wide variety of experiences and a lot of wonderful
people. I will never forget my year as Wivenhoe’s Town Mayor and I feel
honoured to have had the opportunity of holding the post. For those of you
who think that means you are shot of me – I still have three years more
to do as a Town Councillor!
Cllr Gilli Primrose
Town Mayor (until tomorrow night)