MAYOR’S MOMENT: Dedicated people awarded at meeting

Stage-Door Theatre's cast for their show 'Nightmare'
Stage-Door Theatre's cast for their show 'Nightmare'

It has been great to have a week with engagements marked in my diary again, following on from a little bit of a quiet one last week.

That said, it has been astonishing over the past year finding out all the different things that go on within our town.

On Monday I met with Father Roger at St Mary’s Church to iron out the final details of the civic service that will be held on May 6 at 3pm. I am really looking forward to this occasion to celebrate all the good in our town, and it would be great to see the church at maximum capacity.

With the sun shining it was great to see so many people enjoying the weather and, having worked during the day, I decided to treat myself to a leisurely stroll along the seafront before attending Stage-Door Theatre Company’s latest production, Nightmare, at the Windmill Theatre.

The play, which ran from Wednesday to Saturday, was a true whodunnit thriller with lots of twists and turns in the plot making you continually question who the murderer was.

The show was well directed by Maureen Ayres and the cast of eight all played their parts well. Micki Darbyshire who played Marion Bishop, a dying romance novelist, really brought the character to life with a tour de force performance making you feel completely engaged with her.

Newcomer to the society Katie Berry, who gained her degree in drama at Liverpool’s John Moores University, gave a particularly noteworthy performance as Katherine Willis, the well-doing carer who had to overcome much adversity.

If you didn’t see this show then grab your diaries, as you’ll not have long to wait until the society’s next show, Not Enough Men, which will run from July 18 to 21.

The following day saw the weather continuing to brighten our days and the evening saw many residents attend the annual town meeting at the Millennium Chamber. The meeting began with me giving a short report on how my year as mayor has progressed and then moving on to announcing the winners of the Littlehampton Town Merit Awards. These are presented to groups or individuals who have shown particular dedication to the town and its people.

This year there were five winners but sadly three of them were unable to attend. I will keep it a secret until we are able to present these other awards.

However, I am pleased to say that I was able to present one to Mrs Sue West in recognition of more than 40 years of dedication to the 5th Littlehampton Brownies and Guide Groups, and one to June Caffyn, representing Littlehampton Shopmobility, for 20 years of service to residents and visitors to the town.

Unlike committee meetings of the town council, this meeting is really for the people of the town to raise their own items and the talk of the night was policing in the town. Many residents and shop keepers were able to direct questions at newly-appointed chief inspector Kris Ottery.

While I share the general concern of residents within the town regarding this issue, in talking with Kris I felt some relief and believe with him in this role and having heard concerns directly, the situation within our town will improve.

On Saturday morning I was invited to Regency Court who were taking part in the national Care Home Open Day. The team had organised a full day of events including a picnic lunch, carousel theatre with musical memories and afternoon tea to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

Before all of this was the sing-a-long with a choir from the U3A performing well-known songs such as Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again, and of course no event is complete without a raffle. It was great to meet the residents and team at this home and see everyone enjoying themselves.

On Sunday afternoon I found myself in Arundel to attend the Arundel and Littlehampton District Scout Council’s Annual St George’s Day service and parade.

The service at Arundel Cathedral included traditional hymns and the 1st Ferring Scout Group telling the story of St George with a few comical twists and modern references which very much entertained all present. Richard Moth, Bishop of Brighton and Arundel, led part of the service and gave the final prayer and blessing, and following the service was a parade of all the scout groups through Arundel.

With just three weeks remaining as mayor I am continuing until the very last moments to squeeze in as much as I am able, so please do continue to send through your invitations to both myself and my successor at Littlehampton Town Council by calling 01903 732063.

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