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Mayor’s Blog – Week ending Sun 14th July

Posted on 18th July 2013

It’s been quite a busy week for me due to the summer festival;

On Fri 5th July Chard welcomed the visitors from Helmstedt, its twinned town in Germany. The twinning has been organised by local people since 1980 and this year our town crier Stuart Cummins greeted the visitors on arrival in Chard. We had coffee and cake in the Town Hall where I attempted some schoolgirl German and the Mace bearer Mark Hambrey explained to the gathering all about the Mace. It was really interesting to meet so many locals and visitors to the town, one gentleman had been a German ambulance driver in the war and I enjoyed talking to him about his experiences. My Consort Andy and I met up with the group again on Monday to say goodbye and enjoyed a very jolly evening at Crowshute being entertained by the fantastic Farey family and eating fish and chips followed by a health portion of treacle tart!

In the evening I was taking part in the CATS (Chard Amateur Dramatic Society) show which was part of the summer festival, the Kittens performed a story about Rumplestiltskin in the first half followed by two comedy sketches by us older members to finish up the evening. I was both a dotty old lady who thought she had been abducted by aliens and sleeping beauty all in one evening – I did say it was comedy, however, I think my principle girl days are long over! This show was repeated on Saturday night and all monies raised will go to Chard Carnival committee.

Sat 6th July  The Guildhall once again hosted a summer festival event with the Hobbies and Regalia exhibition where local people came to show those interested their hobbies in the Town Hall for free. We had models of Chard shops, fancy dress costumes that had been handmade, model railways even a collection of buttons that were beautifully displayed. In the Mayors Parlour previous Mayors were on hand to show the residents of the town Chard’s regalia, the robes, chains and mace. They are all steeped in history and gave people a chance to see them up close. It was my job to get people through the door so that as many people as possible got to see both exhibitions.

Sun 7th July We were up early today to set up Jocelyn Park for the “party in the park” event.  I helped marshal the fantastic parade as it came down through the town swapping my mayoral robes and chain for a yellow hi viz jacket with “mayor” written on the back. All the entries were brilliant and they did us proud. We even had a formation of Robin Reliants in the parade. The party went on until about 4pm with local groups having a free stall in order to try and raise funds for their various groups.  There was also a drumming workshop and inflatable assault course that my sister Sara challenged me to race against her for the Mayors charities; we raised £17.50 in donations…..of course I won, but she was wearing a dress!

Thurs 11th July This was my second “Tea with the Mayor” event where local groups, volunteers and businesses are invited to get together to exchange views and form a network of Chard. Although it was very hot and the cakes nearly dried up on the stands, it proved to be a helpful and productive meeting. Richard Arnold from the Gideons presented me with a lovely bible to keep which was inscribed to commemorate my Mayorship.

Sat 13th July I attended the first Chard flower show for some years organised by Doreen Toms, the Carnival committee and many others as part of the summer festival. The whole of the Auditorium smelled of flowers and cake (17 victoria sandwiches alone). The entries were fantastic from the beautiful embroidery and flower arrangements to the huge cabbages and children’s vegetable animals. I was lucky enough to be asked to give out the Cups at the end of the day, well done everybody, let’s hope we can do this again next year.

In the evening I was present at the parade, fireworks and live music that signalled the end of the festival for another year. A lot of the entrants in last week’s parade turned up again to help us make the event successful. The band played to a varied audience which was mostly families followed by fire juggling behind the safety barrier. Of course we still couldn’t get the beacon lit first time but then it added to the evening’s entertainment. The fireworks all went safely thanks to the 20 or so volunteers who helped us keep everyone at a safe distance… another year’s celebrations draw to a close