Billy at Pier Road Coffee & Art
Billy at Pier Road Coffee & Art

For a change I started my week off by taking a road trip out of town to Guildford.

I had been invited by Rev Martin Seymour, of the Littlehampton Baptist Church, to join him and Father Tom Robson, of All Saints Church, Wick, to visit organisers and members of a town centre chaplaincy project in Guildford.

Jade Wadey and Kelly Manch�e as Thomasina the Cat and Dick Whittington

Jade Wadey and Kelly Manch�e as Thomasina the Cat and Dick Whittington

Knowing my positive attitude and approach to the town, they were keen to engage my interest in the scheme in the hopes that a similar project could be set up with their support in Littlehampton.

The aim of the project is to provide a presence in our town which will add to the care of the community in the first instance, engaging with our community on several levels.

Trained chaplains would be a point of information to listen to issues and problems that arise within the community and would be equipped with information to be able to signpost to relevant help and support groups.

It would be their aim to build relations between businesses, visitors and residents within the town, act as a point of information and give an atmosphere of security and support particularly for the elderly and vulnerable.

The visit to the existing project was very informative and demonstrated the benefits of the service.

Whilst not imposing their Christian beliefs on anyone, the town centre chaplain provides a free and strictly confidential service to everyone regardless of faith, and where existing chaplaincies have been set up across the UK they have rapidly become part of the town’s fabric and viewed as an asset to the town.

I was pleased to be able to find out more about this scheme and look forward to following the progress of this initiative and supporting where I can.

The following day I was back at home in Littlehampton to visit one of the newer businesses within the town at Pier Road Coffee & Art, the business which opened in the latter part of last year offers the opportunity for local artists and photographers to display and sell their works in this gallery style shop.

It also offers customers the opportunity to meet and view the work whilst enjoying the coffee shop facility.

Many of the works offer local familiar scenes of the picturesque river, seashore and countryside and caters for many different tastes.

Proprietor Mike Traille had invited myself, local photographer Kevin Hicks and town centre manager John Edjvet to judge entries in a photography competition that he had been holding for his contributors.

With three different classes and many interesting and varied entries it gave us a very challenging task to decide the winners in each class especially with art in any form being so subjective.

Luckily though, we the judges did not fall out and after much deliberation were able to arrive at a mutual decision.

I would encourage you to visit the shop opposite Floyds Corner, Surrey Street, in order to view their ever changing exhibitions and maybe pick up a piece of local art as a treat for yourself to brighten up your home or workplace.

I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone who took part in the competition for reaching such high standards.

Finally the latter part of my week was spent at one of my favourite places in the town – the Windmill Theatre on the seafront.

As many of you will already know, I and my husband are very much involved with the Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society who were presenting their annual post-Christmas pantomime Dick Whittington.

I will leave you to read the impartial review by the Gazette’s James Butler, who attended the show on opening night, however I was delighted that the committee of the society had volunteered that their regular bucket collection in the theatre after each performance would on this occasion go towards my mayoral charity appeal, this being particularly fitting when the story revolved around the tale of the Lord Mayor of London.

The generosity of the audience resulted in a collection of £170.

It was lovely to see the theatre sold out for every showing with all ages thoroughly enjoying the performances and appreciating all the talent and hard work that everybody involved puts in to make these local productions such a success, keeping the theatre alive in the town.

I am proud to say that the Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society is one of the eight local performance groups who will be treading the board on Saturday, March 3, for my main fundraiser this year – the Mayor’s Gala Performance, Curtain Up!

Tickets are on sale now and are selling well so I would encourage you to book early to avoid.

Tickets are £15 each, with two performance – please call the box office 01903 730775 to book your tickets now.


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