MAYOR’S MOMENT: Outside entertainment!

Billy at Littlehampton sandcastle building competition
Billy at Littlehampton sandcastle building competition

With school holidays well underway, what better way to spend a morning than on our glorious beach.

The annual Littlehampton sandcastle building competition, organised by the town council, was well underway with lots of families on the beach showing their artistic flair with everything from elaborate sand sculptures including turtles, hippos and mermaids to traditional bucket and spade sandcastles.

The memorial in Climping church grounds

The memorial in Climping church grounds

I was asked to judge the senior age group along with councillor Ian Buckland as chairman of community resources, while representatives from LOCA dressed as pirates judged the youngest age group, and Wes Smart and Sandy the Sandcastle mascot from Harbour Park judged the middle age group.

Between us we were given a very hard task given the high standard of entries and the fact that we were facing a rapidly incoming tide, although some castles were clearly prepared having incorporated a moat into their designs.

The event was also supported by the Spirit FM radio roadshow, who were broadcasting live from the event, and prizes including passes to Harbour Park and fishing rods, donated by local business Hook a Fish, were awarded to the winners along the prom.

It was great to see so many people enjoying this free event and the summer sun.

Friday morning I was invited by the parks team and Arun District Council to jointly raise with councillor Jacky Pendleton, chairman of Arun District Council, the recently reobtained Green Flag awarded for the high standards within Mewsbrook Park.

This is the 13th consecutive year the park has attained this status and is a credit to the parks team, volunteers, residents and all that work in the park for all their support in making this a pleasure for all to enjoy.

Later that day I, along with other guests, was invited by the Littlehampton branch of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) to attend a service and wreath laying in Climping church grounds.

This memorial was originally erected by the ‘Captain, Officers and Men of the Royal Naval Air Station Ford, in memory of those who lost their lives as a result of enemy action on 18th August 1940’.

The memorial goes on to name the 23 who died as a result of this enemy action and wreaths were laid at 2.45pm, coinciding with the official time of the raid that took place in 1940.

The Littlehampton branch of RAFA stated: “With many other similar events being commemorated this year, it seemed only right that the sacrifices made, leading to the erection of this particular memorial, should be recognised in the local community.”

I was honoured to be able to lay a wreath on behalf of the people of our town in recognition of this.

Having started my week on the seafront I was back there again on the East Green for another of the town’s big free summer events – Screen on the Green.

Now in its fourth year, this year saw a public vote resulting in the 80s classic The Goonies as the choice of film for the evening.

A large crowd gathered, many bringing chairs and picnics to set up on the green to meet up with friends and family in this informal relaxed setting.

The event was sponsored by Littlehampton Exotics and Domino’s, who also supplied catering with a range of pizzas on offer, other refreshments from Hey Amigo Mexican street food and a range of snacks provided by the Littlehampton Lions Club were also enjoyed by the crowd.

Despite showery weather earlier in the day, fortunately it remained dry throughout and it was a lovely atmosphere.

Tyndall Jones was on hand doing a collection on behalf of my charities for the year, raising £447.52.

I am enjoying my year in office and having the opportunity to meet with the many interesting and varied organisations and many of the 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. So 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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