May 8, 2013
Today marked the end of the Mayoral year for Elaine and myself. At this morning’s meeting I reluctantly handed the mantle of being the Mayor to Paul Buckley, with his wife Jackie as Mayoress.
This last year has been a very busy and exciting one for us.
It has seen the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and Paralympics and the Freedom Ceremony in Havant Park for 4-7 Regiment, Royal Artillery.
These are just a few of the year’s special memories but, having attended over 350 engagements, there are many more that we will continue to talk about over the coming months and years.
We have had tremendous help from many people, and we could not have carried out our duties without them.
But now the Chain of Office has been passed over to Paul, and both of us would like to wish him and Jackie well for the next year and, when the time comes, we hope that their memories will be as sweet as ours.
May 8, 2013
The last official function of this Mayoral year took place in the upstairs meeting room at Havant’s United Reform Church,
As was also the case last year, this was the Annual General Meeting of the Havant & Waterlooville Child Contact Centres.
Started in the 1990′s, the centres provide a safe place where children are able to meet up with an absent parent in a friendly environment in the company of an independant volunteer.
The centres operate from two sites and the aim is to provide a neutral, friendly, non-threatening environment where children can maintain contact with the parent they no longer live with.
They provide a meeting space, games and activities & light refreshments, together with hand-over facilities. There are no restrictions on who can use the service as it is available for any children who are separated from one of their parents.
The centres can be contacted on 023 92253335.
May 5, 2013
Starting from Havant’s BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, or Hindu Temple, this was a 10 kilometre walk that went along the Billy Trail as far as the ESSO garage on Hayling Island and back to the Temple at the rear of Havant railway station.
Before setting off.
This was a charity walk, with the funds raised being split between their own charity, KIDS, which is the national charity working with disabled children, young people and their families across England, and one of my own charities, Smile Support & Care.
The weather was warm, but with a slight cooling breeze, and made for a very pleasant and unhurried walk.
About to leave the walkers.
Elaine and I walked to the half-way point and then returned home.
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May 5, 2013
Early this afternoon, Elaine & I visited the Classic Vehicle Show and Autojumble that is a regular feature at the Hayling Billy public house in Elm Grove, Hayling.
We were met by Dave Smith who kindly escorted us while we looked at the many interesting cars and motorbikes.
There were many old cars present, with many old manufacturers, such as Triumph, Austin and Morris, represented, as well as several different models of Ford, Rover and Vauxhall cars.
Also in evidence were a number of people selling car parts and books, together with other accessories in the Autojumble section of the pub car park. Here I was able to buy something for my daughters 1971 VW Camper Van!
May 5, 2013
The parish hall of St.James’ Church, Emsworth, was the venue for the bi-annual visit of the Twinning Association from St. Aubin-sur-Mer, which lies in the Calvados region near one of the Normandy D-Day beaches.
We were met by the Chairman of the Emsworth part of the Twinning Association, Hazel Willard, and introduced to several of the guests.
After talking for a while, the evening proper began with a very nice buffet supplied by local firm, Fresh Catering, after which Hazel gave a welcoming speech, in English, which was translated by one of the members from Emsworth. I then gave a short speech in French which seemed to go down quite well. That was a great surprise to me, as my Fench is not very good. Thanks must go to Google Translate! At the end of my speech I made a presentation of a small clock set in glass with the Borough crest to the Deputy Mayor of St. Aubin.
Entertainment during the evening was provided by the ladies of the Devil’s Dyke Clog Dancers and the Fishbourne Morris Dancers.
The evening finished with singing, firstly from the Emsworth members, then by the French and, finally, all joined in.
Giving my speech in French!
Presentation of the clock..
May 4, 2013
Straight from Waterlooville we went to the AMF Bowl in the retail park on Portsdown Hill Road, Bedhampton.
The main reason for this visit was for the presentation of Sport England’s ClubMark accreditation to the Havant Youth Bowling Club.
The aim of this award is to provide a focus around which all organisations involved in sport can come together to support good practice in sports clubs working with children and young people.
The ages of those members of the HYBC who enjoy Ten-Pin Bowling range from 4 years of age, up to 18.
The running of the Club is in the hands of a dedicated team of adults, and Elaine and I were very impressed by the enthusiasm of the younger bowlers, and their families, who were there waiting for the doors to open at 10 o’clock.
After the presentation of the ClubMark certificate, I was asked to present a bowling ball to one of the young members to reward her enthusiasm and progress.
Presenting the bowling ball.
With the team behind the club.
May 4, 2013
Started in Liverpool by Tom Morris more than 30 years ago, Home Bargains now has more than 280 stores throughout the country and is still privately owned.
With some of the manangement team.
The store that Elaine and I opened this morning in the Wellington Retail Park in Waterlooville, and which occupies part of the old Focus D-I-Y store, is the first to be opened in Hampshire.
Many of the employment positions in the store have gone to local people, and there should be more opportunities for jobs once the store becomes established.
When we arrived, the shop had opened a bit early to save customers waiting outside in the cold and, by the time we left, there were already a lot of people with loaded baskets and trolleys, many of whom said that they had only come in to look!
With all the new housing coming into the local area over the next few years, it is to be hoped that more new buisnesses will be attracted to the area in the near future.
May 4, 2013
During the first two or three weeks of May the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and all of the Hampshire Mayors and Chairmen come to the end of their year in office.
This year the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Derek Burke, decided to hold a farewell dinner in the Southampton Guildhall. All were invited but, due to other engagements, not all were able to attend. There were however, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, six Mayors and Mayoresses and three Chairmen with their consorts.
On the steps.
We were all asked to wear our robes, so that a group picture could be taken on the Guildhall steps, much to the bemusement of passers by!
Following this, we went inside for an enjoyable evening full of reminiscing over the year’s events.
May 3, 2013
This afternoon Elain and I went to the new hair and beauty salon, TreatYourSkin.com in North Street, Havant.
Having traded online for almost 7 years, working from a warehouse in Downley Road and selling health and beauty products, it has been decided to open the first, of what is hoped to be several, high street salons.
Chris & Rachel.
About to cut the ribbon.
We were met by the owner, Chris Hobbs, and Rachel Willis from NatWest Bank, who explained the ethos of the company, and said that they have already been able to expand the workforce and hope to recruit more in the future.
Hopefully this will be another step in the expansion of the company, and will bring with it further local employment.
May 2, 2013
Straight from Hayling Park we went to Hayling College to visit their ‘Growing Together’ project.
This is a project that brings together pupils from the College to grow their own fruit and vegetables and to keep and look after about 40 free-range chickens.
Some of the funding has come from Hayling Lions Club, so the official opening of the new, and quite large, fruit and vegetable cage was performed by the President of Hayling Lions, Gill Sutherland.
Having been given the bird!
We were all shown around by a happy band of very enthusiastic pupils, who took great delight in showing us around, and also getting out the newly hatched chicks for us to hold, not to mention the full grown chickens! Most of the chickens are rescue birds, and have come from the British Hen Welfare Trust.
We also saw the new, large, poly tunnel, where they are growing such diverse things as Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Strawberrys.
Much of the funding for this project has come from the Hayling Lions, the National Lottery, the Hayling Island Horticultural Society, Sainsbury’s, the Woodland Trust and Havant Borough Council.
The College is to be congratulated on what has been achieved, and in selling us 1/2 a dozen eggs!
May 2, 2013
This afternoon, in glorious sunshine, Elaine and I were in Hayling Park, near the community centre, to carry on the tradition, begun by the Charter Mayor of havant, John Derben, in 1974.
Since then there has been an annual tree planting, usually an Ash in Legion Field.
Today, having been met by George Fulcher and his wife ex-Mayor June, the tree to be planted was a Tibetan Cherry. Oddly enough the Tibetan cherry originates from the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of China, rather than Tibet itself.
This was the first tree to be planted by any Mayor in Hayling Park, this being due to the disease which is affecting Ash trees across the country. I was therefore given the honour to plant the first non-Ash tree since 1974. It is a lovely specimen and should blend in well with the other 175 trees, of 31 different species, in the park.
Ready to go!
The first spadeful of soil.
With George and Elaine, and ‘The Trees of Hayling Park’ booklet.
May 1, 2013
Once again Elaine and I went to a very sunny and warm Emsworth, this time for the official launch of a new legal practice.
LK Family Law is a new venture by Kristy Nelson and Lisa Carter specialising in family related law, and located in Fiscal House.
With Lisa, Elaine & Kristy.
Both Kristy and Lisa have worked in the field of family law for some time and they have now decided to branch out on their own to offer a friendly and non-confrontational service.
The launch was attended by many other professional people from companies both in the area and from further afield.
Following the launch and ribbon cutting, a reception was held across the road in the King’s Arms.
April 29, 2013
This morning, together with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and the Mayors of Fareham and Gosport, Elaine and I went to the Anglican Cathedral in Old Portsmouth for the annual Portsmouth Legal Service.
Many members of the legal profession were in attendance together with the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, and the High Sheriffs of both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The service was led by the Dean, the Very Reverend David Brindley, with the first lesson, taken from the book of Amos, being read by His Honour Judge Hetherington who is the Resident Judge for Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight and the Honorary Recorder of the City of Portsmouth. The second lesson, taken from Luke, was read by the High Sheriff of Hampshire, Rupert Younger.
After the service there were refreshments and the chance to mingle and talk.
A lunch at the restaurant of Portsmouth University, Chimes, followed.
April 29, 2013
In company with other Hampshire Mayors we went to the Gosport masonic hall for an evening’s entertainment on behalf of the Mayor of Gosport’s Charity Appeal.
The entertainer was the former Royal Navy sailor, Shep Woolley who, having forgotten some of his equipment, had to go back to Southsea before he could begin!
He still managed to start only about 1 minute late!
Shep Woolley with the Mayor of Gosport, Cllr. Richard Dixon.
Shep’s act comprised a mixture of Folk music and comedy, and he had the audience applauding and laughing all the way through both halves of his performance.
The evening included a basket meal of Chicken and Chips, and there was the usual raffle.
The funds raised will go to Gosport youth, Hampshire Autistic Society and the Beneficial Foundation.
April 28, 2013
This morning Elaine and I were, once again, on Hayling Island.
This time we were there to participate in the annual Wag Walk to raise funds for the Ark at Stubbington.
There were a lot of people there with their dogs and, although it was quite chilly, it was not as cold as last week.
The walk was officially started by Kerry Swain from Meridian TV, who had come from Southampton with her own dog. Starting from the Coastguard station, the walk went to the inn on the beach, before retracing the route back to the start.
As we had to get ready for a lunchtime get together, we only walked to the turning point, before we stopped for a warming coffee at the cafe and then came home.
Meeting one of the dogs.
Ready to go.
With Kerry Swain.