Kind messages from Littlehampton civic service to be planted in Mewsbrook Park

It was a packed week with much running around so that I could be ready for the civic service on Sunday, however there was still time for a few engagements.

The first was to attend the Nautical Training Corps awards presentation evening. The group is currently keen to recruit new members from the ages of eight to 16, both boys and girls, and states it is a fun and exciting youth group, which offers challenging and exciting activities for all ages.

Civic service at St Marys Church

Civic service at St Marys Church

I was pleased to watch a display by the band and a demonstration of their drill practice before being asked to present some of the awards to their members.

They meet in central Littlehampton on what they call Deck Night between 7pm and 9pm. Depending on the time of year the activities can include sessions on first aid, uniform standards and maintenance, rope work, communication skills, barbecues, hikes or swimming at the beach.

If you would like to know more about them or are interested in joining them please visit their website or find them on Facebook.

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Nautical Training Corps awards presentation evening

Nautical Training Corps awards presentation evening

The following evening I started by calling in at the New Inn, Norfolk Road, where Becky and the team had been selling numbers for a bumper Valentines Day package I had arranged including chocolates, prosecco, flowers kindly donated by The Flower Shop in Wick and a £50 voucher for dinner at Bailiffscourt Hotel.

In total this raised £152 for my fundraising efforts and I was pleased to draw the wining number and present the prize to one of their regulars who was present to collect his prizes on the night. Becky then went on to present me with further donation of nearly £300 from their quiz nights and other fundraising activities.

Following this I was at the Windmill Theatre for Star Ignited Performance Academy’s performance of 13 the musical. Despite being a fan of musicals this is not one that I had previously seen or knew much about and was looking forward to seeing something new.

I was blown away by such an amazing performance by these talented youngsters, and while this could easily have been classed as a kids production, the performers and creative team showed pure professionalism, talent and energy throughout and I applaud this group for taking on such a different show and for executing this so well.

Billy at the civic service

Billy at the civic service

It would be unfair to single out any one of the cast, as all were fantastic and I am sure all will have enjoyed performing with a live band which is a first for this group which continues to grow.

Finally come Sunday afternoon it was time for the civic service at St Mary’s Church. It was lovely to see the community coming together to share thanks for our town, its groups, organisations and businesses which make this town special.

As guests approached the church they were welcomed by the vibrant sound of the steel pans being played in the church by Littlehampton-based Sussex Steel. Once all were seated uniformed groups paraded with their standards through the church, followed by myself, the High Sheriff of West Sussex Caroline Nicholls and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant John Godfrey.

The service included hymns which were lead by the Edwin James Festival Choir and Inspirations Choir, accompanied by James Rushman on the organ. The service was excellently lead by the Rev Martin Seymour with the service taking a theme of planting seeds for the future.

One of the highlights of the service was when the congregation were passed squares of paper and pens to write a message for the town or to capture a memory, only to then be revealed that the paper was filled with wild flower seeds and that all these messages will be planted in Mewsbrook Park to create a wild flower meadow for the future.

The service closed with the traditional Sussex By the Sea performed by the Littlehampton and District Scout Band. It would be impossible to thank everyone involved or in attendance at the service, however I would like to add special thanks to Martin Combes who stepped in at the last minute to read the poem Littlehampton


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