MAYOR’S MOMENT: All the pennies add up!

Billy with Friends of Mewsbrook Park and staff from Morrisons collecting at the store
Billy with Friends of Mewsbrook Park and staff from Morrisons collecting at the store

Other than various meetings this past week my diary remained reasonably clear until the weekend and this was rather handy on a personal note as I, like many of you, have lots of other jobs and things that I needed to catch up on. Still, come the weekend it was full throttle again with lots to do.

I started Saturday by taking a trip to Morrisons in Wick where community champion Alison had invited me and my charities for this year to do a bucket collection.

The store had buckets at the tills all week collecting spare change and we were there to drum up a little more and take the opportunity to let people know more about the causes, and the Friends of Mewsbrook Park also took the opportunity to sign up some new members.

With it being January and us all feeling the pinch we were amazed by people’s generosity and were delighted when Alison came back to us to let us know we had raised £181.01!

After assisting with the collecting I took a trip to Littlehampton Museum to see one of the latest exhibitions, Vote! Littlehampton and the Suffragettes, which runs until Friday, March 2, and is tribute to 100 years of the suffragette movement.

The museum are working alongside local historian Kevin Page to tell the forgotten story of Littlehampton’s suffragettes and their fight for votes for women in 1918.

The exhibition tells the story of the lives of suffrage activists Mary Neal, Millicent Fawcett, Cecily Hale and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence.

This exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of women over 30 getting the right to vote which subsequently took another ten years until this was lowered to the age of 21 making it the same as for men at the time.

I would recommend popping in and finding out more about this and, as always, the museum is free.

Later that day I found myself in St James Church.

As many of you will have heard the church will cease being used for worship and services, however the church will become a Chapel of Ease.

This will allow more time to consider the building’s long-term future and, meanwhile, the church and the hall can continue to be used for various activities.

The Bishop of Chichester will celebrate a final Mass at St James on Sunday, January 28 at 6.30pm.

One of the ways this beloved church, which has served our community for more than 100 years, is serving other purposes is for concerts by the Edwin James Festival Orchestra, and that is what found me there this day.

The group had contacted me to invite me to their Earth, Wind and Fire New Year Concert and I was delighted to accept.

Having been to their concerts before I knew I would be in for a treat but, if possible, they actually managed to outdo themselves again.

With performances including of Land, of Mountain, Sea and Flood, Thunder and Lightning Polka, Radetsky March and, by chance, one of my personal favourites Troika, this performance was simply divine and a wonderful collection performed to perfection.

When conductor James Rushman and his partner Chris Allen contacted to invite me I was also delighted when they said donations from the concert would be towards my mayor’s fund – and was astounded once more by the generosity with the Edwin James Festival Orchestra donating £250.

I am loving the experience of being Littlehampton’s mayor and feel this a privilege. I am enjoying being able to share with you all the engagements I am attending and am eager to attend as much as possible, so if you have an event please do give the office a call on 01903 732063.

Thank you.

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