Wednesday 26th June - Working Day visit to RAF Alconbury - Along with other chains we were welcomed by Jacqui Smith (co-ordinator for Molesworth and Alconbury). Several of the officers gave talks on the importance of the work that was carried out at its NATO Fusion Centre including Dog Handling and Security
Friday 28th June - I was invited by the Chichele Society to their monthly meeting. This month was 'The History and Role of the Bedesman and their Present Day Roles' by Bedesman David Hudson. This was well attended by members of the Society and most of the Bedesmen and Bedeswoman. Afterwards we were served tea and biscuits.
Saturday 29th June - Charter Celebration Day - This began at 8am with a Civic breakfast in the Council Chamber attended by many chains, organisers of the event, staff, Councillors and Bedesmen. A full spread of freshly baked breakfast goods were enjoyed by everyone, and we processed downstairs at 9am to officially open the Farmers Market alongside the May Queen. We were then led by the Mayors Sergeant to the Bede House to view the Charter Exhibition and view a film made by local school children. We then processed down the road to Castle Field where we were met by medieval knights in the encampment and escorted into the arena for the official opening of the Castle Field event site at 10am. It was a very hot day, and those who wore medieval costumes looked splendid and entered into the true spirit of the day. There were activities in the Church and Chichele College was host to another medieval encampment showing guests and attendees medieval craftwork and cooking etc. The day was finished off by a medieval battle re-enactment in the Castle Field arena at 4pm and I thanked everyone and officially closed the event. Mayoress Kath Meredith, myself, Deputy Mayor Cllr Tina Reavey, Cllr Pam Whiting and many others attended the Vespers service at the Church in the evening and enjoyed a peaceful, candlelit time to round the day off. Special thanks go to Cllr Anna Sauntson, who after working tirelessly for many months for the event was sadly unable to attend, Carol Fitzgerald, Pam Webbley, Gwen Tobin, Richard Oberman and in particular Alicia Schofield who saw this through from start to finish.
Wednesday 3rd July - Independence Day Celebration at RAF Alconbury - An open invitation was sent out to this event and many attended from Higham Ferrers, including myself, Mayoress Kath, Cllr Bert Jackson, Town Clerk Sandra and staff from the Town Hall Office. We were all made to feel very welcome and enjoyed a reception with Colonel Bromen, American-style food, funfair rides, live music and a fantastic Fireworks display.
July 7th - Higham Ferrers Football 9-a-side under 11 Inter-County Competition - Teams from London, West Midlands, East Midlands, Northants and Cambridgeshire competed in group stages, starting at 9am and finishing with a final 4.30pm game between Rugby and Halesowen. Both Kathleen and I presented medals to both teams, with Rugby winning on penalties.
Friday 12th July - My first Mayoral Charity event, a Quiz Night at Higham Ferrers Bowls Club. We had 70 players, 11 teams of 6 and 1 team of 4, which included Mayors and Chairmen from Raunds, Irthlingborough, East Northants Council and Northants County Council alongside Councillors Tina Reavey, Pam Whiting, Angela Gardner and Peter Tomas. The Higham Ferrers 'Mayor's Mad Hatters' team, consisting of myself, Kath, Zoe Ziemelis from CANDO, Alicia Schofield, Emily Arrow and Donna Anderson, lost on a tie break final question to North End Numpties. They won the prize hamper and winners medals, inscribed with the date of the quiz, and the runners up got medals too, including myself! The club were happy to support the event and we raised £520 for my charities with ticket sales and the raffle we ran on the night.
Thursday 18th July - Kettering Mayor's Fundraiser 'Jazz in the Gallery' - I joined Kettering Mayor Cllr Keli Watts at the Alfred East Gallery in Kettering to enjoy GPQ Jazz Band and enjoyed a great night of music and socialising. Many chains attended including representatives from Raunds, Northampton, Corby, St.Ives, Huntingdon and more.
Friday 19th July - Hachenburg Twinning Reception in the Town Council Chamber - Guests were welcomed from our twinned town of Hachenburg by myself, the Mayoress, Deputy Mayor and Town Clerk. We served refreshments and shared stories with our 28 German guests and their hosts here in the UK.
Sunday 21st July - Cheese and Wine Tasting at Raunds - This event was organised by Mayor Cllr Richard Levell of Raunds for our Twinning guests. Cllr's Tina Reavey and Pam Whiting joined Kathleen and myself for a nice evening where we were tested on 6 wines which we had to match to descriptions on a card. Ironically the coach driver was the only one to get all 6 correct! Guests were then presented with Raunds 2020 calendars to take away with them.
Monday 22nd July - Farewell to our Hachenburg guests - I arrived at the Market Square to wave goodbye to our German friends. We took photos and presented some final gifts. This was my first involvement with Twinning and I very much enjoyed getting to know guests from Hachenburg and all the events went very smoothly. My congratulations and thanks go to the Twinning Association members, in particular Kay, Virginia and John for doing an excellent job of co-ordination.
Tuesday 23rd July - RAF Alconbury - I was invited to Alconbury to see the change of command ceremony, an early morning but worth it! Many chains attended from Raunds, Ramsey, Rushden, Huntingdon, Godmanchester and St Ives and we all enjoyed the ceremony and fantastic hospitality that RAF Alconbury always provide.
Tuesday 23rd July - Kathleen and myself attended the University of Northampton Graduation Ceremony at the Royal and Derngate theatre, presented by Chancellor Rev Richard Coles. It was great to see hard work rewarded in such a way.
Wednesday 24th July - We both attended the Bedesman and Pressland Pensioners afternoon Summer Party at the Bede House. We were entertained by the U3A Choir and the ladies of United Charities provided delicious cake, sandwiches and tea.
Thursday 25th July - We travelled to Brackley to attend the Brackley Mayor's Fundraiser - 'A Series of One-Act Plays' by the Brackley Players at the brand new community centre. Mayor of Raunds, Cllr Richard Levell and his consort Mrs Magdalena Levell also attended and we enjoyed refreshments in the interval.
Saturday 27th July - Farmers Market - We put the Town Gazebo up to promote town events alongside my own Mayoral events. It was a dull, wet day and I had to leave around 10am to attend the Rushden Lakes Festival and Opening of the West Terrace and Garden Terrace. Luckily Cllr's Angela Gardner and Nigel Brown stood in until I could get back to the market to help close down.
Sunday 28th July - Rushden Mayor's Civic Service - We joined Rushden Mayor Cllr Cesare Marinaro at St Mary's Church for his Civic Service, followed by a reception at Hall Park. This was attended by many guests including local MP, Peter Bone and many chains from across the nearest counties. It was a very successful event.
Monday 29th July - BBC Radio Northampton - I joined presenter Helen Blaby at the studio to go on air and talk about my role as a Mayor and my upcoming events as part of a series of interviews being held with local mayors. Feedback from the interview was very positive.