Littlehampton mayor marks Sussex royal titles of Harry and Meghan

It is hard to believe it is October already with the weather we have had over the past week and it was on a lovely sunny Tuesday morning that I had my first engagement.

Earlier this year the nation celebrated the wedding of Harry and Meghan who were bestowed the title of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and when this news was revealed the town council agreed we would like to mark this special occasion.

A Night At The Musicals show by Littlehampton Players Operatic Society at the Windmill Theatre

A Night At The Musicals show by Littlehampton Players Operatic Society at the Windmill Theatre

After much thought and deliberation it was agreed we would plant not one but two trees in the gardens of the Manor House. One was a native English alder tree to represent Prince Harry and the other a native American red oak tree to represent Meghan.

With it now being the best time for tree planting we invited pupils of River Beach, Lyminster, White Meadows and St Catherine’s primary schools called Harry and Meghan to join myself, deputy mayor Tracey Baker and fellow town councillors for the planting on that glorious morning.

Following the planting the students were welcomed back to the mayors parlour for refreshments where each of the students was presented with a commemorative keyring as thanks for taking part.

Later in the week I was invited to the Windmill Theatre for Littlehampton Players Operatic Society’s review show A Night At The Musicals.

The show featured songs from musicals that the company has not performed before and do not plan currently to perform, and gave them the perfect opportunity to showcase their strength in choral harmonies with some great ensemble numbers.

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Particular highlights were a selection from Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, Seasons of Love from Rent and – as many of you will already know – my personal favourite, 42nd Street, which saw the full company tapping away to close the first half.

The second act featured some lovely numbers from the circus musical Barnum and a duet of Send in the Bailiffs from an as yet unstaged new musical Humbug and a particularly moving performance of Papa Can You Hear Me? from Yentl sung by Gudrun Lehmann-Shanks, before a rousing chorus filled the stage to perform The Rhythm of Life from Sweet Charity to close the show.

Praise must go to all involved but particularly director Sarah Smith and musical director Daniel Paine. The company’s next production will be the musical Fiddler on the Roof from April 3 to 6 and anyone interested in joining them for this is welcome to attend a presentation evening and open rehearsal on Tuesday at 7.30pm at St James Church Hall, East Ham Road, Littlehampton.

Finally, on Saturday evening I was over the other side of the river to join the Arun Yacht Club for its Trafalgar night celebrations. Having attended this meal last year I was looking forward to an evening of celebration, traditions and merriment.

On entering, myself and Tracey were immediately made to feel welcome, the whole of the venue was laid out beautifully with Union Flags adorning the tables and a portrait of Lord Horatio Nelson presiding over the festivities.

During the evening we enjoyed a four-course meal including a beautifully prepared course of beef Wellington prepared by inmates from HM Prison Ford.

The port was flowing for toasting and all were obviously thoroughly enjoying the occasion, entertainment was provided by the Shoreham rouges the Wellington Wailers who performed a mixture of traditional sea shanties as well as some of their own compositions and you could not have asked for a more fitting, humorous and engaging group.

They even came with their own CDs to sell, with £5 of each sale going to the RNLI of which the whole evening was raising money for and you can see them performing on my mayors Facebook page.

I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know more of the groups and their members within our town and being given the opportunity through the Littlehampton Gazette to share these with you.

I would like to continue to attend as many as possible and cannot urge enough to please send your requests in as soon as you are able to the mayor’s office on 01903 732063 as my diary is filling up very quickly. I look forward to hearing from you.

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