MAYOR’S MOMENT: Busy first week for new mayor

Billy with members of Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society at their 65th anniversary tea party
Billy with members of Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society at their 65th anniversary tea party

I hope this to be the first of a weekly section to tell Littlehampton residents about what events I, your new mayor, have been invited to and the many people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

My year of office commenced with my inauguration at the annual meeting of Littlehampton Town Council on Thursday, May 18, where I was presented with the chain of office by outgoing mayor Ian Buckland.

Billy with Sarah Biggs, from Biggs Bakery, and some of the special cakes

Billy with Sarah Biggs, from Biggs Bakery, and some of the special cakes

I announced that for this year I will be focusing my efforts on raising funds for the Friends of Mewsbrook Park – www.mewsbrookpark.org.uk – and the Littlehampton Heritage Railway Association – www.littlehamptonminiaturerailway.com

Following the meeting I was joined by fellow councillors, guests and members of the public who attended the meeting in the mayor’s parlour for tea and the launch of a selection of delicious ice cream sponge cakes embellished with an edible town crest – these being made and sold by Biggs Bakery of Wick, with a donation of 20p from every cake sold going towards the mayor’s charities.

Friday saw me visit the baker’s to meet with Mark and Sarah Biggs for a photo shoot to launch the cakes, and orders have already started coming in.

My first weekend and I already had three celebratory events booked in to attend, the first being a 65th anniversary tea party and reunion for the Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society at Wick Hall where they held their very first production 65 years previous to the very day.

Littlehampton Concert Band's 29th birthday concert

Littlehampton Concert Band's 29th birthday concert

It was lovely to meet with many members, past and present, some of whom had even taken part in the very first production.

It was also lovely to see former Gazette reporter Brian Shewry, who did the press review on the very first show, The Arcadians, in 1952.

In the evening I was delighted to attend the 29th birthday concert of the Littlehampton Concert Band at the Woodlands Centre in Rustington.

The band of mixed ages performed a varied programme with something for all tastes ranging from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Overture from The Pirates of Penzance, to a medley of favourites from Disney classics which, along with the rest of the audience, I couldn’t help but sing along to, especially having been encouraged to do so by their enigmatic musical director Bob Haselip, who compered the evening wonderfully.

Billy and visitors at the Littlehampton miniature railway in Mewsbrook Park

Billy and visitors at the Littlehampton miniature railway in Mewsbrook Park

The band’s chairman Andrew Reed made an appeal to the public to encourage new members to join them, particularly any horn or bassoon players, for their varied programme of events and encouraged anybody interested to visit their new website – www.littlehampton-concertband.co.uk

A sunny Sunday morning saw me visit the volunteers at the Littlehampton Heritage Railway Association in Mewsbrook Park, spending time chatting to residents and out-of-town visitors who were enjoying a day trip to Littlehampton, and were surprised to meet the town’s new mayor.

Sunday afternoon saw me take a trip to Chichester Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Modern Hospice Movement by the Friends of Sussex Hospices.

This was a very fitting service conducted by Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester, and included readings by actors David Robb and Virginia McKenna OBE detailing the good work done by this organisation.

I look forward to my year ahead in office and the opportunity to meet with the many interesting and varied organisations, and as many people who make this town so special.

This year I am here for the people and organisations of this town and would like to experience as much as possible that it has to offer.

If you would like to invite me to an event please contact the mayor’s office on 01903 732063 – I look forward to hearing from you.

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