Littlehampton Town Show and Chestnut Tree House 10k

Last week all my engagements fell on the weekend with the first being the ever-popular town show and family fun day at Rosemead Park.

I was up bright and early as, like many of the community groups, I had booked space in the community marquee to do some fundraising.

Littlehampton mayor Billy Blanchard-Cooper with fastest man Andrew McCaskill and fastest woman Lucy Thraves at the Chestnut Tree House 10k

Littlehampton mayor Billy Blanchard-Cooper with fastest man Andrew McCaskill and fastest woman Lucy Thraves at the Chestnut Tree House 10k

| Also in the news – history will repeat itself next month in a battle of the sexes at Worthing FC to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day; a Littlehampton pub and hotel claiming to be one of the South East’s most-haunted pubs has appeared on ghost-hunting TV programme Help! My House is Haunted; and entries have officially been opened for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2019. |

With the help of my husband, I had arranged a big tombola with lots of prizes and a cake stall stocked up with cakes, biscuits and fudge all donated by local people.

I must thank deputy mayor Tracey and all the others who gave their time to man the stalls on my behalf so I was free to do my mayoral duties on the day. A total of £329.86 was raised which is almost double what I was raised last year.

By midday crowds had started to form and I officially opened the event, and it was soon time for the first arena event to take place, display by the Sussex Tornado Cheerleaders.

This young group demonstrated their energetic acrobatic and gymnastic abilities to an upbeat, modern music compilation. This was soon followed by a well-attended dog show to which I had the very difficult task of judging the four different classes.

Between this I took the opportunity to visit the various stalls in and around the community marquee which welcomed members from a wide range of local groups showing how much this town has to offer.

This included groups demonstrating their creative skills such as photography, needle craft and performance, community support and youth groups.

During the day many took the opportunity for a bite to eat from the various food stalls while enjoying the live performance from The Gangsters.

I had the pleasure of presenting the awards for the garden and allotments competition, which I, along with others, had judged earlier in the year.

I hurried back to the community marquee for 3.30pm to draw the first ticket in the Wick Wicked Quilters’ grand raffle. This group had an amazing array of 50 hand-produced patchwork prizes, all made to an extremely high standard and I cannot imagine how many hours must have gone in to producing them.

The money raised from their raffle is going to help the Snowdrop Trust and my fundraising efforts for the Arun Youth Projects Arts and Social Club Bursary, and I would like to thank them all for their support.

Before the day was through I visited the town show craft and horticultural marquee. This competition tent featured an impressive range of entries in all classes demonstrating the townspeople’s skills in flowers, vegetables, baking, craft and home produce. It was a pleasure to present the many prizes and congratulate the successful winners.

I would like to thank the town show committee, the Littlehampton Town Council events team and all the many volunteers who took part in the day and made it such a success. It was clearly enjoyed by all who were attending, and I look forward to this event again next year.

Sunday morning saw me on our seafront to support the Chestnut Tree House 10k run, and although not taking part myself I was there to start the race.

Competitors followed a route along the seafront, around Mewsbrook Park and back through the town before finishing back on the seafront.

The fastest man to complete the course was Andrew McCaskill from Lancing with a time of 33.01, beating his time of 33.30 last year when he was also fastest.

The ladies competition was won by Lucy Thraves of London who completed the course in a time of 37.45, a personal best, and I was delighted to present them with their trophies.

Tyndall Jones was of course on hand with collection bucket to collect any money spectators had to help up the total for the event.

The organisers were aiming to reach a target of £50,000 from this event, which will help with the great work they do in helping care for 300 children and young adults from birth to 19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions.

In the afternoon I was off to Rustington for the annual civic thanksgiving service at the Methodist Church, followed by the community awards reception at the Woodlands Centre.

At the service the congregation included members of the public, parish councillors and local dignitaries who were welcomed by Jamie Bennett, chairman of Rustington Parish Council.

The Rev Bob Sneddon led the service which included readings read by Jon Street, vice-chairman, and Peter Warren, and hymns for all to join in with. While ‘Be thou my vision’ was being sung, a collection was taken in aid of the Lavinia Norfolk Centre.

The congregation then made its way to the Woodlands Centre where Jamie Bennett presented prizes to the winners of the garden competition, the allotments competition and finally the parishioners award.

The parishioners award was presented to Sally Holmes in recognition of her outstanding commitment, dedication and service to, and for the benefit of, the Rustington community.

Among her extensive list of things she is involved with she is a volunteer community first responder with the South East Coast Ambulance Service and is a Beaver Scout leader.

This weekend really has just underlined why community working together is so important and why when working together we all achieve more.

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