I look back on the Community Picnic held on Sunday June 27th as a great success and a clear indication that there is a great will within our community to work together for the benefit of all. The response from clubs and organisations was truly amazing with over 50 different groups taking part in the event.
My steering committee and I thought that we had all of the bases covered following 3 months of hard work organising the event. We asked the Churches to organise the weather and the prayers of all of us were answered when we experienced the hottest day of the year to date.
The ‘rec’ was a hive of activity from before 9am when Charles Cole’s funfair rides arrived along with Tony’s Hog Roast and the Rodeo Bull Ride. The chaps from New Milton Rugby Club ably assisted by the Lions, Rotary and Round Table members soon had the tents in place and ATech and Double D Builders supplied generators to ensure we had power where needed. From then it was a steady stream of cars and people all bringing their own special displays and items of interest to share with the community.
Sadly, two members of the Steering Committee could not be present on the day. Ros Bowles due to a broken leg sustained falling off a horse (I think that she was secretly getting some practice in for the Rodeo Bull !) and Valya Schooling who, due to a change in travel arrangements was out of the country. Steve Clarke did a magnificent job directing everyone to their spot and producing order from apparent chaos. My partner, Patrick, assisted him – who needs weightwatchers boys in that heat ! I am also very grateful to Steve Tuddenham for his invaluable assistance throughout the planning process and during the afternoon.
I still cannot believe that so many people managed to squeeze onto the ‘rec’ and out of the apparent chaos we ended up with a very colourful and vibrant display of what our community is all about. Centre stage were the Hoburne Holidays team of childrens’ entertainers. What a fabulous job they did entertaining the little ones, mind you, from what I saw there were a number of adults who were every bit as enthralled with the magic show as the children !
I am not sure what I did all day but I know that I was very busy doing it and was extremely tired for about a week afterwards. I do know that I met some wonderful and inspiring people during the day and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a lot of people for helping to make this event a success. Hopefully this will lead to more Community Days in the future.
The one thing that we didn’t expect was that England would be playing football on the Sunday afternoon – the plan was that they would be playing on the Saturday evening. If Fabio had got the same level of commitment and dedication from his team as Team New Milton displayed they would have definitely won the World Cup.
All in all the day was a huge success and with the money taken on the day, of which the sale of plants donated by Double H Nurseries contributed a significant sum as did the raffle, and also the granting of funds by Cllrs Mel Kendal, Paul Woods, Steve Davies, Alan Rice and John Ward we have over £900 in the Mayor’s Community Fund. I cannot say at this stage how the fund will be allocated but be assured that it will be used for the benefit of our community as a whole. I am hoping to significantly add to it in February when we hold a Mayor’s Ball ………watch this space !