September brought with it a bout of laryngitis which meant that I was unable to Chair the Town Council meeting on Monday 6th. Despite being prescribed antibiotics the size of rockets I was unable to speak for four days. I just wonder whether the Town Clerk and my fellow councillors had been praying for such an eventuality. It was certainly very frustrating to not be able to communicate effectively.
The following week I attended the meeting of New Milton Round Table where a cheque was presented to representatives from the new community radio Park FM which serves local communities. Cllr Mrs Jan Hawker, the Mayor of Lymington, was also in attendance and a cheque for £1,000 was presented to Park FM by the chairman of Round Table.
Wednesday 22nd arrived bright and sunny which was a great relief as I was hosting a coffee morning in support of Macmillan Cancer’s Biggest Coffee Morning in the World event. It never ceases to amaze me the fantastic support given by people in New Milton when it comes to raising money for a worthy cause. Rose Toms and Doris Stanley took charge of the tea and coffee making. Bashley WI, the Rectory Quilters and Peter Homan from Age Concern supplied delicious cakes for us to sell and the tea and coffee was donated by Tesco and Morrisons.
It was a very jolly event and well supported – especially by the Police – I understand that the police bicycles are now in the workshops having strengthening work undertaken after the amount of cake consumed by the PCSO’s. Desmond Swayne, our local MP, dropped by to support us and I was ably assisted hosting the event by Sharon Adams from Tesco who has special responsibility for community events and Bernie Day, one of the hardest working volunteers in the town.
The following evening Patrick and I attended the Forest Arts Centre to see the Premiere by Forest Forge Theatre Company ‘For the Record’ written by Joyce Branagh. It was a thoroughly enjoyable performance – we are so lucky to have such a wonderful facility within our town.
Friday was spent as the guest of the Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Nicholas Geary and his wife Gillian, on their Civic Day. It was a very interesting day viewing various facilities within the Borough of Christchurch and I came away with lots of ideas regarding how we could improve our own facilities within New Milton. Patrick and I were very well looked after and enjoyed our time with Nick and Gillian and other representatives from Dorset.
On the way home from Christchurch we stopped at Stamfords Letting Agents who have just relocated to Old Milton Road and were holding an event in support of Macmillan. It is always nice to have the opportunity to meet and chat with the people of our town and hear their views on what we are doing right as a council and what we can improve on. I wish John Chambers and the team at Stamfords every success.
Saturday 25th meant an early start to play in a golf event as I had to be finished in time for my evening visit to New Milton Community Association at the kind invitation of Brian Bayman. I can tell you that at 6.45am it is still dark as that is when I was heading for the 1st tee. The evening was a real tribute to what community spirit can do. Brian told me that they have a membership of approximately 1600 now, 100 of those had joined that week while the Association was showcasing what it offers the people within our community and celebrating their 50th Anniversary. I met so many interesting people that evening and managed to speak with quite a number of them. There was lots of laughter, a delicious buffet and it just showed what a warm welcoming community we have in the town. I reckon us ‘oldies’ can show the youngsters a thing or two when it comes to having a good time !
Sunday morning saw the running of the New Forest Marathon so another chilly start at 9am. Having felt fine the night before I awoke with a burning throat which turned into a really heavy cold so I spent the morning wrapped in a rather large, warm coat.
Photo courtesy of New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times
Due to my cold I had to cancel appointments on Monday so could not attend the Finance & General Purposes committee meeting that evening but did manage to visit the Park FM studio in Lymington with the Mayor of Lymington on the Tuesday evening. It was extremely interesting and truly inspiring to see how much hard work and commitment has been put in to getting this up and running. Hopefully it will go from strength to strength.
Heading into October I hope that I am over the worst of the bugs and will be fit and able to fulfil my engagements up until Christmas. Looking at the diary it already looks like being a very busy time.