18 June 2023

Well, that’s another week over and another set of “firsts” for me.

The week started quietly, with only normal council committee meetings to attend. I had no formal mayoral duties until Wednesday when I was invited to a “Celebration of Life” at West Wiltshire Crematorium in Semington.

This celebration is an annual event organised by the company that operates the crematorium, and it’s aimed at offering anyone who has lost a loved one the opportunity to gather with others and, yes, celebrate the life of the person who has died. Far from being the morbid event that I feared it might have been, it was actually very uplifting. There were about forty people attending, and the celebrant, Hazel Mitchell, managed to inject a suitable element of solemnity while still showing her more humorous side. Music was provided by Macapello, a cappella group from Melksham whose performances hit exactly the right note. Sorry, that’s an awful pun, but I couldn’t resist it!

Thursday saw the first of my outings to a citizenship ceremony at County Hall as Mayor of Trowbridge. I’d attended a few last year as Deputy Mayor, but somehow this was different. The King was represented by Lady Fiona Lansdowne, one of the Deputy Lieutenants of Wiltshire, who, as always, managed to put everyone (me included) at ease. We welcomed nine new citizens to our British family on Thursday, and I wish them all the best as they embark on their new lives.

Friday’s highlight was a visit to Trowbridge Future’s Seymour Community Hub. Last week, I happily announced Trowbridge Future, alongside Stepping Stones, as the second of my Mayor’s charities. Together, these two organisations do so much to make the lives of so many people in Trowbridge more meaningful and empowered. I was blown away by the “we just get on with it” attitude that was apparent amongst everyone I met at Trowbridge Future. From just chatting with the members of the community who use the Seymour Hub on Charles Street as a meeting point to the almost constant work put in by volunteers and trustees alike into preparing food donations for distribution to those who find themselves needing them, Meg and her team really do work miracles with minimal resources, and this pressure is only going to increase as they make moves to expand their presence in Trowbridge and offer help, encouragement, and opportunities to even more of our residents.

Alongside Stepping Stones, I really feel very confident that I’ve picked the right two charities to support this year.

Friday evening was spent relaxing in the Civic and listening to the fantastic sound of the Park Lane Big Band. This eighteen-piece band treated us to music from Irving Berlin to Sting, and when joined by one of the most evocative vocalists I’ve heard in many a year, I was really taken back to the golden age of swing. A very enjoyable evening indeed, and if I can be forgiven for some blatant advertising, this was only the latest in a season of jazz, funk, and soul evenings being put on at the Civic. On Friday, the audience included people from Bath, Corsham, and Westbury on Friday. The word is spreading! You can find out more about upcoming events at the Civic by clicking here. 

My last engagement as Mayor last week was on Saturday morning when I formally welcomed our recently appointed Mayoral Cadet to her new role. Rose Church is an Air Cadet with a very impressive back story of achievement, and I look forward to her presence supporting me at civic events during my mayoral year.

That’s it for now, so until next time, keep safe, and please be kind to each other/

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