Mayor’s Diary - Cllr Alison Gibson
The Mayor of Wells, Councillor Alison Gibson has a regular slot within the Wells Journal newspaper every Thursday where she recounts the events of the last week.
They are also listed below:
March 2017 (week 1)
My week started off with the AGM at Abbeyfield House at Bath Road.
This was actually the very first engagement booked in for me when I became Mayor back in May 2016, so finally I got to undertake it!
I've chaired a few meetings now and whilst I am used to it, it's a little different turning up at an unknown place to Chair a meeting with people you may only know a little, or not at all. But my nerves were calmed when I got through the front door and one of the kind housekeepers handed me a cup of tea, always a welcome sight!
The meeting went well and I was made most welcome, we also had a lovely speaker in Jenny Jones who talked to us about the Wells and District Floral Art Society, it was a lovely talk and very interesting too.
My thanks to the residents, staff, and committee for inviting me and making me so welcome.
On Wednesday afternoon I had a meeting with Becky & Sally from Wells Film Centre to discuss arrangements for my Mayors Charity Film Gala, which is on Sunday 30th April, to raise monies for my Mayors Charities, It's the very last day of the film festival, if anyone is interested in coming along please go to the Wells Film Centre for more details.
I'd like to thank Becky & Sally for their time & help so far!
Wednesday evening saw our Annual Parish AGM Meeting at the Town Hall. A chance to meet residents and for them to question us about the City, luckily for me there weren't too many difficult questions! I'd like to thank Felicity, our Town Clerk, Steve, our Responsible Financial Officer, and Kevin and Nick, the Town Hall Managers for their help on the evening.
On Saturday evening my Consort and I attended the Wells Lions Charity Concert to raise funds for dementia charities in the City. The concert was performed by the Caerphilly Male Voice Choir. (http://cmvchoir.wixsite.com/caerphillymalevoice)
Well if they were upset over the Rugby score they didn't show it! It was a really lovely concert, we both thoroughly enjoyed it, there's nothing like the sound of a choir to make the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up. A lovely choir with a beautiful sound, thank you so much to President Ian Burt of Wells Lions for inviting us, and to the rest of team Wells Lions for making us so welcome.
My last engagement of the week was on Sunday. It was the Annual Legal Service were the new High Sheriff is sworn in.
The High Sheriff is the Sovereigns's representative for the County for all matters relating to the judiciary and the maintenance of law and order. It's a service and ceremony steeped in tradition, with gowns, wigs, Judges, Barristers, Police Officers, Mayors, Chairs, and even a sword! We must be quite a sight for anyone in the Market Place on a Sunday morning! My best wishes to the new High Sheriff, Richard Hickmet, and my thanks for being so kind to me in his year of office to Edward Bayntun-Coward, the outgoing High Sheriff.
Dates for your diary :-
Saturday April 8th Concert by Wells City Band for my charities, at the Town Hall ( tickets available from the Town Hall)
Sunday April 30th Film Gala Afternoon for my charities at Wells Film Centre (tickets available from Wells Film Centre - http://www.wellsfilmcentre.co.uk)
February 2017 (week 3)
This week saw our City Council meeting on Thursday deciding on our next Mayor for 2017 - 2018, our Mayor Elect and their Deputy Mayor.
So my congratulations and best wishes for the year to come to Cllr John North, our Mayor Elect, he will become the 644th Mayor of Wells, and his Deputy Cllr Celia Wride.
On Saturday I visited St Mathews Church in Wookey for a very special musical evening.
The concert was in a aid of The Amber Trust who give music lessons and support for blind and visually impaired young people.
The concert featured Derek Paravicini, a world famous blind & autistic pianist. Who's talent is simply breathtaking.
It also featured Ashleigh Turley on the piano, who despite her disability, played the piano just beautifully.
The other two musicians were Poppy McGhee, on violin and oboe & Alice Cooper on the oboe.
Poppy and her Mum, Angie, were the organisers of the concert, after hearing Derek play 6 years ago Poppy wanted to help raise money for The Amber Trust.
Both Poppy and Alice were simply amazing on their respective instruments, so calm & composed. I have to admit just sitting and watching them was quite humbling, I can't even play " Chopsticks" on the piano!
It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday evening, with a audience participation of "Fly me to the Moon" ( did they know I love Frank Sinatra ??!) my thanks to Angie McGhee for inviting me, to Wookey PCC for being so welcoming and to all of the musicians for sharing their amazing talents.
On Sunday afternoon I visited Axbridge for their Civic Service and Community Awards.
It was a really lovely church service, with some great hymns to belt out, a choir and a brass band to listen too, as well as hearing about two inspiring people from the Axbridge Community.
The Civic Award went to a lady called Wendy Mace, who since moving to Axbridge has thrown herself into the community spirit, and become a much loved part of their town.
An Honorary Freeman Award went to a gentleman called James A Lukins, who amongst other things spent 50 years on the Town Council. What an achievement!
My congratulations to both of them.
Something for your diaries :-
Saturday 8th April Wells City Band Concert for my Mayoral Charities, at the Town Hall.
Tickets £5.00 from the Town Hall.
Sunday 30th April A Gala Film Evening for the Mayoral Charities at Wells Film Centre The film is called Secret Scripture, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Aidan Turner, of Poldark Fame!
Doors open at 2.00pm, film showing at 3.00pm Tickets and more info from the Wells Film Centre
February 2017 (week 2)
Wednesday saw me visit Abbeyfield House in New Street for lunch and a tour around.
Abbeyfield House is a home from home for the more mature folk. It's a lovely house, with a beautiful garden, you have your own room with all of your own possessions, en - suite bathroom, there are yummy home cooked meals twice a day and most importantly friendship, care and happiness which is something many of us need and desire in our lives.
After meeting the Chair of Trustees and the Administrator, I had a cuppa and a chat with some of the residents before joining everyone for a lovely roast dinner and crumble pudding, the lunch was as good as the company. I even met a lady who knew my late Nan, it was lovely to chat to her. After lunch I was shown around some of the house and the rooms, if I could've taken my animals with me I'd move in!
My thanks to Isobel Panton, the administrator, and the residents at New Street for making me so welcome, looking forward to seeing you at your AGM in March.
On Saturday evening I attended the Wells Carnival Committee's Prize Giving.
It was a very well attended event with plenty of laughter, friendly rivalry and banter between the clubs. All of the clubs wished each other well, and it seems we are in for another great Carnival this November with the clubs having many ideas and plans already being discussed and decided upon before the hard work of constructing their cart starts.
Wells Carnival Committee maybe small in numbers, but they are so dedicated and hard working to make sure we get the greatest free show in the City they deserve our very grateful thanks for working so hard year in year out.
My thanks to Maurice, Martin, Nancy & Charlotte for inviting me along on Saturday night and good luck to all of you for the year ahead and thank you for all you do for Wells Carnival.
February 2017 (week 1)
My duties for this week sadly included attending a funeral for one of our past Mace Bearers, Mr John Harris.
My Chaplin, Alistair Glanvile took the service, and although it must have been a difficult time for the family, I felt I learnt so much about Mr Harris. How he became so much a part of the City's landscape. He volunteered and dedicated so much of his time to many associations, not just becoming part of the Wells City Council family.
He will be much missed, but an inspiration to me on how to really be part of your community.
On Thursday evening as usual it was off to the Council Chamber for two meetings.
Friday saw myself and the Town Clerk attend the City of Wells Dementia Action Alliance Recognition Event, held at the Bishops Palace.
It was a lovely evening, made special because Bishop Peter allowed us into the beautiful chapel of the Palace.
The Wells Dementia Action Alliance is the brain child of Arnold & Julie Wills, the alliance brings together both Carers, who may find it a struggle to cope and local organisations to give support to those living with dementia.
It's a fairly young group, having only been around for 18 months but they've achieved so much in a short space of time. My thanks go to Arnold & Julie for inviting me to a lovely evening, if anyone would like to know more about the alliance do please contact Arnold or Julie at Pilgrim Financial Planning.
January 2017 (week 4)
On Thursday myself and my consort had the pleasure to attend the opening of the TePe Headquarters, down at Cathedral Avenue.
TePe are the original creators of the oral hygiene brushes we see in dental surgeries, and have celebrated over 50 years in the business.
What a lovely afternoon! We were made so welcome in their lovely new headquarters, we had a fabulous lunch followed by a tour all over the building then afternoon tea, it's hard work being the Mayor at times!
The firm had outgrown both their Cheddar & Wedmore premises and have been in need of a new premises for a while, it's a real coup for Wells as we are their headquarters in the UK, so I hope they will enjoy their new home in Wells and business will prosper & flourish for them.
Just so you know I do some serious council work sometimes, I then left TePe and went onto Chair our Full Council meeting, not so much fun as the afternoon but all part & parcel of being the Mayor.
One of the items on the agenda was a presentation by Fair trade Wells. So a heads up for everyone reading this, Fair Trade Fortnight is from the 27th February through to 12th March, look out for their stall in the market on Wednesday 1st March & Wednesday 8th March. Please pop along and learn more about the group and what you can buy to support Fair Trade.
Friday saw me have a visit at the town Hall from the Wookey Primary School Council.
What a impeccably behaved council! I was blown away, the children deserve much praise for their good manners.
They asked me some very thoughtful, insightful questions and enjoyed squash and chocolate cake in the Mayors Parlour, before having a tour of the Town Hall.
I had a lovely time, I hope they enjoyed it too!
Thank you to their teachers for taking time out to visit me.
January 2017 (week 3)
This week Has seen me back to my Mayoral Duties.
On Thursday I opened the new Boots Opticians. I was made very welcome as soon as I stepped through the door and then asked if I'd like to be the very first person to try out their new machines, well as Mayor I've done such a lot of interesting and unusual things it would be s shame to say No, so off I went to the examination room.
Boots have the most state of the art equipment, including a machine which takes digital retinal photos of your eyes.
It was all very impressive, and I hope I was a good 1st patient for them!
My congratulations & best wishes to Pete and the team for a prosperous 2017 in Wells.
Later on at lunchtime on Thursday I was invited to the Connect Centre to meet the candidates for the Vicar of St Cuthbert's. It was a lovely informal buffet, and not only a good way of meeting those who may join our City but also to meet others who I only know by name, and have not yet met. I don't know who has been lucky enough to get the job, but whoever it is you are very lucky, St Cuthbert's is a beautiful church with a very welcoming congregation .
My last duty of this week was the Bishop Bekynton service on Sunday afternoon.
This is where we give thanks to the Bishop for giving the City of Wells our water, which runs for the Conduit down though the City.
It's my favourite Civic service, and this year was no exception, beautiful music in a beautiful, setting.
My thanks to Kate Fry for providing me with the posy to place at the tomb of Bishop Bekynton, my Chaplin Alistair Glanvile, and the Dean & chapter of the Cathedral for their hospitality.
This week sees me at meetings and the consecration of the new part of the Cemetery,
January 2017 (week 2)
Happy New Year Everyone
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year Firstly I'd like it thank all of you who came up to the Town Hall and bought a bauble for the Mayors Charity Christmas Memory Tree, it raised £41.98 which is wonderful, thank you for taking the time to do this.
My week this week has including the first round of 2017 Wells City Council meetings, it's been hard work focussing on council businesses after the Christmas break but I'm sure we've all felt like that when going back to work!
This week I'm opening the new Boots Opticians, which I welcome to Wells, have a buffet lunch to meet candidates for the job of Vicar of St Cuthbert's and Wookey Hole, and my favourite Civic Council Event the Bishop Bekynton Water Service on Sunday, which is when we thank him for giving the gift of water to the City.
Finally congratulations to Tim Lethaby for becoming the new Editor of the Wells Journal, I look forward to reading my journals with you at the helm!
December 2016 (week 4)
On Wednesday I opened the Extra Days of Christmas Market. It was a lovely morning, the weather was kind to us and our fabulous Town Crier, Len Sweales, had written some great cries for everyone to hear. My thanks to Market Manager, Stuart Beeton for inviting me, I hope the event went well for all concerned.
Also on Wednesday, in the Market Place myself, with help from Father Christmas! Did a collection for my Mayoral Charities with musical help from the fantastic Grey Dogs Jazz Band. I am very pleased to announce we raised £308.04, thank you to all of you who put money in our buckets, and thank you to the Grey Dogs Jazz Band, you were brilliant.
On Wednesday evening I joined my Chaplin, Mr Alistair Glanvile, the Carnival Queen & Princess and the Carnival Committee, along with the staff and residents from Fletcher House for a lovely Carol Service. It was great to see everyone again and thank you for making me so welcome.
Friday saw my last Mayoral engagement and it was the Carols by Candlelight Service at the Cathedral. The cathedral looked lovely with a huge tree and candles surrounding the altar. It was a lovely way of rounding off the week, and starting the real festivities of Christmas.
I'd like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017.
December 2016 (week 3)
On Tuesday I visited St Cuthbert's Infant School to present the children who were the winners in the Mayoral Christmas Card Competition with their packs of cards and book vouchers. It was a lovely visit, as not only did we have a little presentation but the children sang me one of their christmas songs too. I'm thrilled with my christmas cards and my thanks go to the children and teachers of St Cuthbert's for their time and effort, and also thanks to Kevin Westwood the Town Hall Manager for printing them.
On Wednesday I was back at school for St Cuthbert's Christmas Fair. It was great to see the children again, and this time I had a chance to look around and see the classrooms, and the christmas decorations the children had made. Thanks to all who made me so welcome.
On Wednesday evening I attended the Carol service at the Bubwith Chapel at the Almshouses, a dear little chapel and a lovely service, with a drinks reception in the guild hall. The Almshouses are a beautiful asset for the City, and very well looked after and managed. I was given a lovely welcome by everyone, thank you for looking after me so well.
On Thursday I went to the Heads Up Christmas Party. It was great to go up their again and see everyone, the charity is such an important lifelong for so many, so if you are still in need of a Christmas gift, why not buy a Heads Up Pants Down Calendar which has been published to raise money for the charity, they are available from Heads Up or City News Newsagents in the High Street. A great gift and it will help a great cause, it's a win win! Thanks to Bridget and the team for looking after me.
My last engagement of this week was to attend the Wells City Band Christmas Concert at the Town Hall on Saturday evening. Always lovely to see everyone for the band, and a great line up of music, my favourite piece was " Everybody needs somebody" by the Blues Brothers, which featured a brilliant solo on the drums from Ben, absolutely cracking! Thank you to the Band for my beautiful for flowers, very, very kind.
I would like to wish the Wells City Council Officers, Councillors, the Admin Team, Town Hall Managers, my Consorts Steve & Debbie and the team at Protec a very happy & peaceful Christmas and thank them for all the support they have given me since becoming Mayor.
My Christmas wishes to all who live and work in a Wells, and the surrounding areas, I have had so many kind wishes since becoming Mayor, thank you so much.
A very happy and peaceful christmas to you all too.
December 2016 (week 2)
Firstly I start with an apology I missed off an engagement from my diary from last week.
I turned on the Christmas lights at Queen Street, which was a lovely thing to be asked to do but slightly unforgivable to forget as I work in Queen Street and spend my week there!!
Thank you to Joe Borastero for taking my pictures and thank you to the Toy Shop for my early Christmas gift of a cuddly reindeer. I know I'm biased but Queen Street is really lovely, please pay us a visit soon.
So this week has been full of Carols, the singing variety not the Ladies.
On Monday I attended the Somerset Youth Music Carol service which was a fabulous evening with schools and colleges from all over Somerset taking part.
The children, some of whom were sitting in front of me, were so well behaved, and they all performed brilliantly.
The whole evening must have taken a lot of organisation and hard work, my thanks to all of the organisers for a lovely evening.
On Tuesday I attended the Wells Cathedral Junior School Christmas Celebration.
There was beautiful music, readings and singing. All of the children were so accomplished in all that they do. Special mention to the solo musicians, I am full of admiration for their talent at such a young age.
My thanks to the Head of the Junior School, Mrs Julie Bryant for inviting me.
It was special for me to attend as I remember watching the Christmas Celebration when my nephews were young and performing in them.
On Wednesday afternoon I attended the Somerset County Federation of Women's Institutes Carol Festival at Wells Cathedral.
It was one of those spine tingling moments as Mayor, as the organ started up with the WI anthem, "Jerusalem" I was escorted up the nave of the Cathedral, I do admit to thinking is this really happening to me, it was a lovely moment and a lovely start to what was a lovely Carol service. My thanks to the SCFWI for inviting me.
On Wednesday evening another Carol Service but this time at St Cuthbert's Church for the St John Ambulance Carol Service. The service was a joint one for the Badgers, Cadets and adults it also included the presentation of certificates to the Badgers and Cadets.
The service was full of fun and included the songs "Santa Claus is coming to town" & " When Santa got stuck up the chimney" but the best was saved till last when I got to channel by inner Mariah Carey and sing ( and I have to admit to a little jig too!) "All I want for Christmas is you" absolutely great fun! My congratulations to all those who gained new skills and awards and my thanks to Alex and the team at the Wells Division of St John Ambulance.
On Thursday we, as a Council, attended the Mid Somerset Carol Concert at a Wells Cathedral. I also had to do a reading, my first time in the Cathedral pulpit, a slightly scary moment but I think it went all ok. It was just lovely listening to the children who all sang their hearts out, well done to all those who took part and their teachers for their hard work.
My thanks this week to my Sister in Law, Mrs Debbie Bevan she is my other Consort, Steve my partner who is also my Consort has not been well and has not been with me. So Debbie has spent her evenings with me, thank you very much Deb.
Thanks also to all of the Vergers at the Cathedral for looking after me, thanks guys I wish you all a lovely Christmas.
This week I have meetings, school visits, and a Carol service too!
December 2016 (week 1)
What a busy week! It's defiantly started to feel like Christmas.
On Monday I attended the AGM of one of my charities, Arthritis Care, where I was their speaker for the meeting. I was made to feel most welcome,it was lovely to see all of the members, who may I say have a fabulous time within the group as they have a year long programme of events, outings and holidays. I must try and stow away next time they have an outing!! My thanks to Mr Jim Parfitt, the Chair for his kindness and hospitality.
On Wednesday morning I decorated the Council Christmas Tree at St Cuthbert's Church, with help from Andrew from the Open Spaces Team. It really put me in the festive spirit as the WI were also in the church rehearsing for their Carol service, and a team from St Cuthbert's were decorating the church ready for their Crib Festival, it was Christmas Central on Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon I had some pupils from St Cuthbert's Junior School make a visit to the Mayors Parlour. During tea and cake I explained to them about the role of the Mayor and told them some history of the City Council, we then went on a tour of the Town Hall, what was their favourite part?? The Cells! Sadly no one could lock anyone in them, much too much protesting of but " Miss he really should go in there!". Thank you to those who came and visited me, I hope you had a good afternoon.
If anyone from a school or nursery would like to come and visit me, please contact me via the Town Hall.
On Saturday I had two engagements. Firstly I went to the camera show, organised by DH James. It was a real eye opener for me I never realised how many different cameras there are or what they all do, I'm not a big technology fan to be honest! But it was interesting, and you never know one day I may learn to take some really good photos. My thanks to Nick and Chris for their hospitality.
Then I went to St Cuthbert's Church for the Crib Festival. Oh my days, what a brilliant start to the festive season. It was fantastic, never knew there could be so many different nativity sets. They also had a selection of miniature scenes which were beautiful too. My thanks to Jill Deane and the team for inviting me, and to the ladies who made me a lovely cup of tea - always welcome!
On Sunday, more festive stuff in the shape of the Wells Rotary Club Reindeer Parade. This is a really great event for the City, congratulations to Wendy Lucas and her team for a fantastic event, and well done to the competition winners. My thanks to the Rotary Club for making me feel so welcome.
My last event for this week was to attend the St Margaret's Hospice Light Up a Life Service at St Thomas Church. It was a really moving, lovely service, and I was made so very welcome. Sadly many of us have lost loved ones to Cancer and it's hard at this time of year to be without them, this service meant we could light a candle and have a quiet moment with our memories of the loved ones. My thanks to Rev Clare Cowlin for her lovely welcome.
This coming week I will be singing a lot of carols!
November 2016 (week 5)
Well the beginning of this week has been spent outside helping the Outside Spaces Officer and Team put up the Christmas Lights. After the weather on Monday halted our plans, we had three nights work to do in two, but with great team work we did it!
My grateful thanks to JenBee Builders, the Open Spaces Officer, Manager and team, Dickie Day and Dan Webber for all their hard work over the two nights. Thanks to to all those who had strange journeys as we had to close roads to carry out the work, and to the businesses in Sadler Street who were a little bemused at the nocturnal goings on, thank you all for your patience.
Thursday saw me at two meetings. The first was at Chubb Bullied, where I attended a meeting for a very small charity, the Brittaines Charity, which has been making small donations to individuals and charities for well over a 100 years, I knew nothing of this before I became Mayor but it was not only good to learn some more local history from our City but being able to decide on those most worthy of monies and then being able to tell someone they were going to receive some monies was a really lovely thing to do.
Thursday evening saw what was possibly the most challenging Full Council meeting for me as Mayor, or on Council ever. It was a LONG evening, with much to discuss. It was tough but a lot needed to be talked over and I hope I was fair to all in the discussions.
My thanks to my members for their patience, and to the RFO, Steve Luck for clerking the meeting.
Next week sees me at Arthritis Care AGM, decorating a Xmas Tree, having visitors to the Mayors Parlour, and council meetings, life is certainly not dull!!
November 2016 (week 4)
This week I attended a coffee morning at Mondyes Court on behalf of Save The Children.
The event was organised by a former Mayor of the City, Mrs Pat Robinson along with the Save The Children Committee. It was a lovely event and great to see Pat again, along with other residents of Mondyes Court, and special thank you to the lovely lady who let me have a look around her apartment.
I was looked after so very well, many thanks. I hope the event raised much needed funds for a very worthwhile charity.
On Friday one of the main events of the Somerset Calendar came to Wells. Yes it was Carnival day. I arrived at Seager Hall, as invited by the Carnival Committee for tea and crumpets, very welcome it was too as I had been at work all day and needed a warm up! Thank you to Carnival Secretary Nancy Dodd and her ladies for looking after me. Myself and my consort then got into our waiting limo, driven beautifully by Danny Unwin, for our trip around the Carnival route. And despite the fact I did ask for a dry evening, my prayers were not answered and the first part of the evening was very wet. I did keep dry as I was in the car but I did feel mean because so many of you were wet and cold, but I couldn't have given you all a lift - sorry!
The journey around the route, was possibly one of the more surreal moments of being the Mayor but I was determined that I would wave to as many of you as possible so I adopted a two handed approach to waving, Wells you didn't let me down, you waved, cheered, shouted, offered me chips, and generally made my journey one of the funniest duties I've ever done THANK YOU!
A big, big thank you to all of Wells Carnival Committee for looking after me, you maybe small in numbers but it was a big welcome.
On Sunday I attended the installation and institution of the new Dean of Wells, the Very Revd Dr John Davies. It was lovely to attend a very important occasion in the Cathedral as Mayor of the City. It was a beautiful service in an equally beautiful setting, I welcome you Dr Davies to Wells, I hope you will be very happy here.
Next week I will be busy putting up Christmas lights in the City, and chairing Full Council.
November 2016 (week 3)
The first engagement of my week was " blooming" lovely! I went to the Wells Floral Art Group Presentation Evening at the Little Theatre. What a lovely evening watching a floral art demonstration on how to make some beautiful creations ready for the Festive season. And then the best bit, I won one in the raffle! My thanks to President of the Wells Floral Art, Jenny Jones for making me feel so welcome and for looking after me and my consort so well.
It was a lovely evening.
On Friday I was at the Conduit in the Market Place for the Act of Remembrance. It was so good to see so many people stop their day and join us in the 2 minute silence to remember all those who have fought in and are still in active service.
My thanks to my Chaplin Mr Alistair Glanvile for leading the prayers.
On Sunday we had the service of Remembrance at St Cuthbert's Church. It was lovely to see St Cuthbert's so full, and the service was both moving and poignant. I felt very proud and honoured to be laying a wreath on behalf of the City, unfortunately I struggled with my reading due to a very sore throat, my apologies to those who possibly didn't catch the end of the reading!
My thanks to St Cuthbert's, the Royal British Legion and my Council for making the service go smoothly.
November 2016 (week 2)
Things have been a little quieter this week, mainly meetings.
As the mayor I still have Committee Meetings to attend as well as the extra Mayoral Meetings to host, Chair and participate in.
I'd like to have this opportunity to thank all those who I sit on committees with, or participate in any of the meetings with, it's good to work with you all.
As many of you will know a very sad event took place on Saturday 5th November.
Our brand new play area was torched and burnt down, now luckily not all of it, but the biggest part of it, the main Fort area was completely damaged in the act of vandalism which took place.
I cannot understand this meaningless,heartless and thoughtless act of destruction.
Why, just why? It is so,so sad for our City.
So much hard work was put into this project by so many people, and in one evening it was destroyed.
I visited the play ground on the Sunday morning, and I felt so,so sad, it was just awful, the Sunday before had been such a lovely afternoon, seeing all the children and their families having such a great time, and now I was looking at charred remains.
If anyone has any information that could help find these vandals, please, please contact the Police.
This week I am attending the Wells & District Floral Art Society Open Evening, we have the Act of Remembrance on Friday at 11.00am in the Market Place, a Concert at a Wells Cathedral School, and the Remembrance Day Service at St Cuthbert's Church on Sunday 13th November.
November 2016 (week 1)
Well what a busy week!
My first engagement of the week was attending the Wells in Bloom Presentation Evening at the Town Hall. It was a really lovely evening, and a great opportunity to catch up with my pals from the Wells in Bloom Team. What was great to see was all the pre schools, nurseries and schools who had entered and won certificates and prizes, well done to all of them, maybe we will have some future Wells in Bloomers amongst them? to see I'd like to thank Cllr Maureen Brandon and the committee for inviting me along. Well done to all the winners, keep gardening!
On Wednesday I met a group from our Polish Friendship agreement over on a visit from Kluczbork. The visit was arranged by the Wells Twinning Association, and it gave our visitors a chance to see not only our beautiful City but also visit other local attractions whilst here, I can safely say they enjoyed themselves greatly, and it was a pleasure to not only serve them lunch but also show them around my 2nd home, the Town Hall. My thanks to Mrs Pat Reynolds, Cllr Colin Price and Cllr Maureen Brandon for helping me with the washing up.
On Thursday I chaired Full Council, where a lot of business was discussed and dealt with, my apologies to my Council for getting my words in an awful muddle, it'd been a long day!
Friday saw me at the Town Hall for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Concert with the Wells City Band playing. What a great night, and what talent we have in our City Band, some good old favourites were played, my personal favourite from the night "Fantasia on British Sea Songs", what a rousing number, hoping they play that for my concert next year ( hint hint!).
My thanks and congratulations to Derek Cooper and the team from the Royal British Legion for a great night. Please give generously to this years appeal, every penny counts.
On Sunday the new play area was officially opened, what a fabulous asset for the City.
My thanks and congratulations to MDC Officers, Councillors, Trustees, and Better Play Areas for Wells in their hard work to make this project happen. I hope all the children and their families from Wells and the surrounding areas have lots of enjoyment from this newly built facility.
October 2016 (week 4)
Well what an eventful week.
So apart from my usual meetings with the officers of the council and my committee meetings I had a very surreal but interesting and privileged Friday.
In the morning my Consort and I went to a reception hosted by the Literary Festival in the grounds of the beautiful Bishops Palace to meet a special guest, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.
So there I was in the line up waiting to shake hands with the Duchess, and all kept thinking was how did I get here? The role of Mayor is a varied and interesting one, but it did feel a little surreal as only a couple of hours before getting to the palace I was walking Rosie my chocolate Lab and mopping the kitchen floor, and now I am going to meet the wife of a Prince! It's a crazy world.
The reason why the Duchess was here was to celebrate the work of the children's literacy charity, Beanstalk. The children had the new Winnie the Pooh book read to them, I was very envious as Pooh Bear is my absolute favourite.
It was a wonderful occasion, in a beautiful setting, a morning to remember.
A very big thank you to Emma Lefevere and the Literary Festival for inviting and looking after me.
Friday evening was a great event too. I got to meet some real life Olympic Heroes, and future Olympic athletes. It was a reception to celebrate the work of the charity TS5C, which was founded by Alan Gloak to raise funds for local young people to help them achieve their sporting goals. I was surrounded by gold, silver and bronze medals, more bling than my Mayoral Chain!
Saturday evening was my Mayors Charity Quiz Night. WOW, I was blown away with the support. The ballroom in the Town Hall was full, and everyone enjoyed a good fun quiz, with a Buffet, raffle and bar. I am so very grateful to all who attended, who donated raffle prizes, bought raffle tickets, and helped in anyway possible.
Special thanks to Mare Andrews, Scribbles, David Gibson, Sylvia Guy, Present Company, Studleys, LilyRoo Cakes, Lesley Rickets, Anne Mitchell, Jim Parfitt, Tescos, Kevin Westwood, Derek Cooper for donating the raffle prizes.
Terry & Lesley Rickets for doing the quiz and the scoring.
My charities Arthritis Care and Wells Little Theatre for their hard work.
Rob & Debbie Bevan from Protec for sponsoring the Buffet.
The Town Hall Managers for their hard work.
Coming up this week I am meeting a group from Kultzburg who we have a Friendship agreement with, there are over visiting Wells and are coming to the Town Hall on Wednesday to visit the market and have lunch in the Parlour. Friday is the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Concert at the Town Hall on Friday evening, tickets available from Wells Cinema.
October 2016 (week 3)
A quiet week for me this week, with mainly meetings to attend.
A chance to catch up!
On Friday my consort and I were invited to the Swan Hotel for the Destination Wells Event. This event brings together tour operators to show them all the best we have to offer in Wells and the surroundings areas, to encourage them to bring their customers to Wells to stay and enjoy our beautiful City.
It was a lovely evening, with great food and good company, the itinerary was a full one and I hope enjoyed by all of the guests.
My thanks and continued best wishes to Mark Tobin for all of his hard work on this project.
And my thanks to the team at the Swan for a lovely evening.
This week I have meetings to attend and some special guests to meet on Friday.
HRH Duchess of Cornwall on Friday morning and a reception to welcome home the Olympians from Rio in the evening. I feel very honoured to be in such a privileged position.
On Saturday is my Mayors Charity Quiz, which I am hoping will be a fun night for all who attend, thank you if you have already bought a ticket, if you can get a team together there are some tickets available at the Town Hall reception. If you can't make Saturday evening but would like to donate a raffle prize, which would be fantastic, then please take that to the reception desk at the Town Hall.
October 2016 (week 2)
A busy evening on Monday.
Firstly to Wells Fire Station where they took delivery of a new Defibrillator, supplied by the British Heart Foundation, and kindly paid for by generous donations from local individuals and businesses.
This is a great asset for the City and will benefit the whole community, hopefully it won't be needed but it is very reassuring to know where it is incase of an emergency.
I then went on to meet royalty - well local royalty where I met the new Carnival Queen and Princess.
Up in the Mayors Parlour, at the Town Hall we crowned Ella Winter from Godney who raised an amazing £1,142 to become Carnival Queen, and Rosie Ham, also from Godney who raised a great £215.00 to become Carnival Princess. A huge congratulations to both of the girls, I look forward to seeing you on carnival night.
As Mayor I get to be part of the Carnival procession this year and I'm really looking forward to it, although it will be strange not to be out and about watching the carnival from the pavement.
A date for your diaries Wells Carnival is Friday 18th November starting at 7pm, don't forget to buy your programme when you see them for sale.
My thanks to Maurice Day and the committee for a lovely evening, and a constructive meeting afterwards.
The amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes of the carnival is immense, we only see carnival once a year in November, the committees hard work carries on throughout the year, If anyone is interested in helping Wells Carnival Committee in anyway please contact the secretary Mrs Nancy Dodd.
Carnival Club website - http://globecc.co.uk/
Tuesday night saw me at the Moat Boat Race Presentation Evening at the Swan Hotel.
It was a lovely evening, filled with anecdotes about the race and the day itself.
It was also good to meet the representatives from the rafts, the sponsors and the winners themselves.
Next year the event is to be sponsored by the Swan Hotel which is fabulous, a very big thank you to Mark Tobin for organising this, which means along with the hard work from the Air Cadets and the Lions, our annual day of fun at the moat will be assured for next year.
My thanks to Squadron Leader John Health, Lion Ian Burt and the Moat boat race team for looking after me so well.
Sunday evening saw me at Wells Cathedral for a service of Thanksgiving & Reflection at Harvest Time with the Somerset Young Farmers, Wells Cathedral School & representatives from Rural life in Somerset.
It was a lovely service, filled with those great "Harvest time" hymns and stories and anecdotes from some young farmers themselves. We are so lucky to live in Wells and the surrounding villages and towns as all those who work in the countryside really are fantastic guardians of our beautiful countryside.
My thanks to all who made this service possible, and to the vergers at the Cathedral for making sure all of us Mayors were in the right place at the right time!
October 2016 (week 1)
On Wednesday morning I visited the Work in Wells Week at the Town Hall organised by Judith Ludovino of the Mendip Hub.
Now in it's fourth year Work in Wells Week brings together business leaders to help improve, enhance and encourage local businesses. It's a great way for local businesses to network and showcase their talent.
I'd like to thank Judith for inviting me to the event and would encourage anyone with any small local business to find out about the event and it's seminars as it's all really good positive, useful and informative information happening right here in our local area. Do contact mendip hub.co.uk for more information.
Friday morning I spent some time at Alphabet Pre School in Easton to help fundraise for the Macmillan Worlds biggest Coffee Morning.
I was put to work straight away icing gingerbread men and decorating them with smarties, unfortunately some of the smarties had to be tasted, well you need to make sure they taste ok don't you? It was a really lovely morning with the children and staff, we sat down and talked about the Mayoral Chain and thought of words to describe it, "sparkly" & "diamonds" were two of them but my favourite was "excellent".
I'd like to thank Claire Blackmore for inviting me and the staff & children for allowing me to play and eat cake. It doesn't get much better!
Saturday saw two engagements.
First I went to open the newly refurbished Armandine Gallery in Sadler Street. Now owned & run by Nick & Chris from DH James, it will be a one stop shop for all your art supplies & picture framing needs. Good luck & best wishes to the whole team.
My second trip out was to Wells Soup, a local charity fundraiser held in Seager Hall.
The soup is made by the students of Wells Blue, and very good it is too. You pay £5.00 for soup & bread, then listen as 4 speakers from local charities make their 4 minute pitch to you, on how, why and what their charities do and how the money would be spent. You then get one vote for whichever charity is the most deserving in your mind, the monies raised from the soup sold and matched by local businesses is then split, 50% for the winner, a third to each of the others. The winner this time was Beanstalk, a children's literacy charity.
It's a great way of fundraising, the next event is on January 14th 2017, pop along, eat, drink and raise money.
My thanks to MC Paddy O'Hagan and the team for inviting me.
On Sunday I went to the Burnham on Sea & Highbridge Town Council Annual Civic Service & presentation of Civic Awards. It was a really lovely service, and a chance to say thank you to those who do tireless & much valued services for the Town and it's residents.
It was also great to hear a brass band in church, especially when one of the hymns was "Mine eyes have seen the Glory" a really rousing hymn boosted by some brilliant brass!
My thanks to the Mayor & Mayoress of Burnham & Highbridge for making me feel so welcome, and also to my consort for the day Mrs Debbie Bevan.
September 2016 (week 4)
So back into my Mayoral Duties straight away.
I arrived back in Wells and after only a couple of hours I was attending the St John Ambulance Presentation Evening at the Town Hall.
How lucky we are as a City to have such dedicated volunteers as those in St John Ambulance. I was feeling so humbled as the awards & certificates were handed out, the team that make up the Wells Division give so much of their time to volunteer not just in Wells but all over the County, as well as their time volunteering at events they study various aspects of First Aid resulting in the awards and presentations given to them.
I was especially impressed when I found out that younger members, the Badgers, some are whom are only 7 years old are out and about helping the community in their own time whenever they see an accident or emergency.
A huge congratulations to all involved within the St John Ambulance, the volunteers, their families and friends it really is a team effort.
Thank you to Alex for inviting me, and to all who made me feel so welcome.
On Thursday afternoon I met a Dragon, it wasn't breathing fire or looking scary it was though in it's new home of the Bishops Palace.
The new attraction at the Bishops Palace is the Dragons Lair.
It's awesome! I really wanted to climb on, under and through it (because you can, not because I'm mischievous!!) but I resisted too as I was wearing my Mayoral Chain and I didn't want to get it dirty or damaged before Full Council.
The Brownies were there and having a great time, not just with the Dragon but also with the waterwheel you can also have a go on.
It's a great attraction for the City set in the beautiful surroundings of the Palace, if you get a free day or afternoon, go and visit the Dragon, I promise it's friendly!
After the fun of the Dragon I then had to Chair Full Council. It was a full and constructive meeting. My thanks to my Councillors and visiting Councillor Nigel Taylor for their time and patience.
This week I am visiting Work in Wells Week, Alphabet Preschool in Easton, the Armandine Gallery, Wells Soup and I have a Civic Service in Burnham.
September 2016 (week 3)
My Mayoral duties this week have taken me to Fontenallto.
Fontenallto is our Italian twin town chosen because it is like Wells and our surrounding countryside. It has a castle and a moat, we have the Bishops Palace and a moat, we both have a cobbled market place area and both are blessed with beautiful countryside, which I saw a lot of travelling around the area.
My consort and I met up with a contingent from the Wells Twinning Association, our first engagement was a visit to have a tour of the castle in Fontenallto with Francesco, my Italian counterpart, he and the Italian Twinning Association Chair & his wife gave us an excellent tour. It really is beautiful inside and out.
A swan of Wells sits in it's grounds and on special occasions sits in the moat there, for those who remember Cllr Danny Unwin's swans back in 2012, it's the rugby player swan who was shipped over by Richard Hibbard, the chair of Wells Twinning Association so our twin town would have it's very own swan.
After our tour of Fontenallto we were very lucky to have a beautiful dinner laid on for us, those of you who know me know I love my food, especially pasta and this didn't disappoint.
The food and the company was both great and many a story told and shared, luckily my speech I had to make was short so it didn't ruin a good meal.
I also presented Francesco with some gifts from Wells, a picture of Wells Cathedral, a calendar ready for him to book in a visit to Wells and some English tea because nothing beats a good cuppa!
My very grateful thanks to Julie Bollini for translating and reading my speech in Italian, my Italian is limited to a few words so to have such help was great.
The next day we met up with the others who have come over for a Twinning Conference. We visited an Art exhibition and again shared a lovely supper of local delicacies, and yes more pasta.
Whatever happens in the future I feel our bond with Fontenallto is strong and many visits back & forth will take place.
My very grateful thanks go to Wells Twinning Association for organising the trip, special thanks to Julie Bollini, Richard Hibbard, Tony D'Ovidio and Dawn Payne.
If you are interested in joining Wells Twinning Association - you don't need to go abroad to enjoy yourself either as they have lots of fund raising events in Wells to enjoy, then please contact the secretary Dawn Payne on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01749 675858 for more information.
September 2016 (week 2)
WOW! What a brilliant day I had on Saturday.
It was my first event for my Mayors Charities, I held a collection morning, ably assisted by The Grey Dogs Jazz Band.
We raised a fantastic £306.80, thank you to all of you who stopped and put money in our buckets, I am beyond thrilled with the amount.
A HUGE BIG thank you to Jim Parfitt & Derek Cooper for their help collecting the monies with me.
Saturday also saw the Heritage Open Day, the Town Hall was open and saw 585 visitors come through the doors,many rooms were open including the Mayors Parlour. I had a chance to speak to so many people, it was lovely to meet you all, I hope you enjoyed looking around my "2nd home"!
Also on Saturday I went to visit St Cuthbert's Church.
They had a Hidden Histories Tour, the tour I went on was conducted by Judith, who was really enthusiastic and very knowledgable. I learnt a lot, thank you to her for making her talk so interesting.
I then was invited to climb the ( very narrow & steep!!) steps to the Bell Tower, where I got to ring a bell! And then up even more steps to see the bells. A real bonus and complete treat.
I'd like to thank all at St Cuthbert's for their kindness and looking after me.
Heritage Open Day has many, many volunteers all of them deserve my thanks but one person who needs special thanks is Dr Julia Woods, our City Archivist.
She works so very hard putting this together, and it was a brilliant day which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Other news, I am off to Fontenallto, our Italian Twin Town next week, it'll be great to meet up with my Italian counterpart and see their town and it's attractions.
Dates for your diary:
Nancy Dodd's giant knees up in the market square to mark 20 years of being a freeman of the city on Sunday 18th September.
Mayors Charity Quiz Night Saturday 22nd October, tickets available from the Town Hall.
September 2016 (week 1)
After a lovely holiday in Greece, I'm back to Mayoral duties.
On Sunday I was joined by Consort, Town Clerk, My Chaplin and Cllr Brandon at the Patronal Festival at St Cuthbert's Church. The service was to celebrate the life of St Cuthbert, and we heard all about his life and good works during the service. I would like to thank all of those at St Cuthbert's for making me feel so welcome, it was lovely to see you again,
On Wednesday I am meeting one of our Freemen of the City, Nancy Dodd. Nancy is an inspiration to me, always doing something, constantly busy and completely involved with life in Wells, it'll be great to catch up with her and have a cuppa!
This Saturday coming, 10th September I will be (hopefully, weather dependant!) doing a collection for my Mayoral Charities. If you have any spare time and more importantly spare change pop along to the Town Hall and listen to the Grey Dogs Jazz Band and say hello.
Also Saturday is Heritage Open Day, the Town Hall is open, come and see see our exciting new local history displays.
Hope to see some of you there.
August 2016 (week 3)
I only had one official engagement this week and that was to attend Rail Wells in the Town Hall.
WOW! Who knew there was so much interest and enthusiasts over model railways, trains and railways in general, not me!
The Town Hall was so, so busy, which was great to see and the place packed with stalls, displays and information.
My particular favourite display was that on our very own City of Wells steam train. The Railway Fraternity put up a great display of then and now pictures which was very interesting.
I feel sad that we've lost our stations and trains but even though I'm Mayor I don't think I can magic them back.
My very grateful thanks to Organiser Chris Challis who took time out of his morning to show myself and my consort around. Thank you Chris you were fabulous.
Also thanks to Roger who taught me how to solder, a skill I'm not sure I'm that good at but thanks for his patience.
For anyone who loves trains and railways put a note in your diary for next years Rail Wells, you won't be disappointed.
I wish everyone a lovely rest of the Summer, please take time to enjoy our lovely City in the sunshine.
[The photo to the right is of The Mayor of Wells Alison Gibson on behalf of the Fraternity handing a cheque for £700 to David Maidment, founder of Railway Children.]
August 2016 (week 2)
This week I am looking forward to my visit to Railwells which is organised by the Wells Railway Fraternity. The whole of the Town Hall will be filled with layouts, demonstrations and exhibits. I am sure it will be a very interesting visit for me, where I will learn even more about our City's history.
I also want to congratulate the Wells in Bloom Team for a brilliant display of flowers this summer. Wells looks really, really great. I was busy on plant out day so I missed my duties but I think I may be doing a double stint in the Autumn! Also I would like to say well done to the team at Sheldon Drive, they have planted out a little community garden and it looks great! I believe it's the handiwork of Mr Dickie Day, so well done to him.
August 2016 (week 1)
Thursday saw my 3rd Full City Council meeting of my Mayoral Year, and the last one till September.
Some important matters were discussed, one being the Street Trading Policy.
Jason Kirkwood, the Officer in charge, will be at the Town Hall on Thursday 11th August between 4-7pm to discuss this policy.
Details on this policy can be found and read on the MDC website but it's important to remember comments need to be sent to MDC by AUGUST 25th.
Saturday 10th September sees the annual Heritage Open Days event.
This is a nationwide event, and our very own Town Hall will be open and you can even visit the Mayors Parlour, I will remember to do the housework before you visit!!
On the same day, in the morning between 10am - 12noon the Grey Dogs Jazz Band will be playing outside of the Town Hall and myself and my Mayors Charities will be doing a street collection, to raise monies for my charities, which are Arthritis Care and the Little Theatre. So please don't spend all your money at the market save a few pence for my collection pot and come and say "hello" to me.
Another date for your diary, On Saturday October 22nd there will be a quiz night for my charities at the Town Hall, 7pm for a 7.30pm start. More details of this will follow.
But if anyone would like to donate a raffle prize these can be left at the Town Hall, thank you in advance!
July 2016 (week 4)
Friday evening saw me at the Town Hall, or as I call it my 2nd home! For a concert by Pink Bra'ss, in aid of Breast Cancer Now.
The brass band is made up of mainly ladies, but a few men too, from all over Somerset.
It's based on two similar female brass bands; Boobs & Brass based in Nottingham and Blushing brass in Verwood.
It was an absolutely brilliant night, the band were spectacular. Special mentions must go to Stephen Sykes and Beverley King, the two soloists. But everyone was great, and gave it their all. Thanks to the committee and all who made the evening possible, and thanks for inviting me.
On Saturday I went to Prison. But so not to worry the Town Clerk, it was an Civic Event organised by Chair of MDC, Cllr Jeanette Marsh. I hadn't sold the mayoral Chain or anything!!
We got to look around the highs, lows, cells and courtyard and all the other bits in between of the Prison. A really interesting chance to learn more about our local history and a building which I've driven past so often but never thought I'd get to go in, unless I'd done something really bad!
My thanks to my Sister in law Debbie for accompanying me as my Consort, Cllr Marsh and the team at Mendip for the very interesting visit.
July 2016 (week 3)
Friday evening saw me attend the Annual Wells City Band "Chip Concert" at the Seager Hall.
The evening started with the training section of Wells City Band playing a selection of pieces, both together as a band and also solos and duets too.
Some of those taking part had not long started playing, and yet their practise and dedication was clear to see as they tackled their pieces.
We then heard the intermediate section, who were really great, and played some fabulous toe tapping music.
We then broke for our supper, hence " Chip Concert"!
The food was brought over from The Greek Taverna, just opposite the Seager Hall, not far to travel so nothing got cold!!
After supper the main band picked up the pace and played some cracking tunes for us all to enjoy, including practising a piece to be played at a concert for my Mayoral Charities next year. It's quite a challenging piece but it was sounding good.
My thanks to all of Wells City Band for making me so welcome, with special thanks to a Jane Hill for her kindness.
Ok so what do you get when you have the Mayor of Wells, a Pirate, a choir and Elizabethan Dancing.... The answer is Open Day at the Little Theatre!
I arrived at the Little Theatre, clutching cakes and was transported into the theatrical world, of make up, costumes, props, music & dance.
I even got to try out some of the Elizabethan dance routines the company will be performing in Twelve Night, thank you to Tina Eyers for her patience with me whilst I interpreted her routines ever so slightly!!
It was a great event, well attended and I hope everyone who attended will come back and visit the theatre again, whether it is to watch a performance or take part in one.
The Little Theatre is a fantastic asset to our City, and I hope it continues to go from strength to strength.
My Sunday afternoon engagement was to attend the Romulus and Remus Festival at Beech Barrow. It was a lovely afternoon filled really good Italian food and music, there was a bouncy castle too but I thought it best not to bounce in my chain of office!!
The Romulus and Remus Committee have held this festival for over 20 years and use it as an opportunity to not only get all their Italian families and friends together but to remember the Italian prisoners of War, two of whom built the Romulus and Remus statue situated at Beech Barrow, and also to raise much needed monies for local charities.
The committee looked after me so very well, I was even presented with a Italia baseball cap, which I feel makes me an Honorary Italian, a special thank you to Tony D'Ovidio and Julie Bollini for their kindness.
Look out for the Festival next year, it's a really great event for all the family.
Sunday evening saw myself and my Consort, Steve attend the Somerset Dance Umbrella and Wells Ballet Schools performance of Alice in Wonderland.
It was an event in my diary I was really looking forward too, and it definately did not disappoint. The whole performance was brilliant, with everyone putting their heart and soul into it, it blended both traditional ballet with jazz, contemporary and my personal favourite tap.
All of the performers were fantastic but the star for me was " Alice", she danced the entire performance and was barely off the stage!
My huge congratulations for a wonderful show to all the teachers and performers.
With thanks to Zoe Burton and Sandra Davey for inviting us.
July 2016 (week 2)
This week I have been to visit our Almshouses and meet the CEO there, Kate Knight.
The Almshouses really are beautiful and are a real architectural asset to the City.
Sadly they need constant maintenance due to their age to keep them in pristine condition, but it was heartening to see all the works being carried out to keep them looking there best.
My thanks to Kate Knight for taking time out of her schedule to meet me and show me around.
On Friday, I joined the Civic Society, Wells Rotary and others at the Wells Blue School for the unveiling of the blue plaque for Edgar Wright, the writer and film director who went to school there.
It was a lovely occasion, Edgar genuinely looked really moved by tributes paid to him and then was in stitches when our Town Crier, Len Sweales read out a poem he had written specially for him. Len's poem was brilliant, we are so lucky to have such a great ambassador for the City in Len. And so lucky to have Wells immortalised in film by Hot Fuzz.
Saturday saw me at Wells Cathedral School for their Speech Day.
A lovely event, and at times quite moving for those about to move on from Wells to pastures new. The speech made by the retiring Head Boy and Girl was brilliant, I loved how they managed to make us laugh and thank all those who made their year as Head Boy and Girl so memorable at the same time. I wish them both the very best for their future.
After the prize giving, we went to the Cathedral for a service paying tribute and thanks to all who make school life so special. At the end of the organist, a pupil who was also on her final day, started playing " The Final Countdown" as her peers walked out of the Cathedral to applause from all, it was the best walk down the nave of the Cathedral I've ever seen, full of tears, laughter and hugs, sums up life really doesn't it?!
My thanks to the Head, Elizabeth Cairncross for making me feel so welcome.
My best wishes to all 2016 leavers from Wells Cathedral School. Don't forget Wells, do come back and visit us.
On Sunday I attended a Civic Service at Weston Super Mare with Cllr Alan Peak, the Mayor of Weston, his Mayoress and Council.
It was great to see some now familiar faces!
The Mayors Parlour is set in a lovely park in Weston, and the blessing was that it wasn't raining so we had a dry, but short walk to St John The Baptist Church for the service.
The service was really uplifting
I would like to thank Cllr Alan Peak and the council for making myself and my consort so welcome.
July 2016 (week 1)
This week I have had the pleasure of visiting Wells Cathedral Junior School to watch their production of "The Seven Sided Dice". A wonderful story incorporating lots of different board games, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly and Chess, interwoven with singing, dancing and a story full of morals and meaning. The cast whose ages range from 7 - 11, were fantastic, you forget their ages and just see truly polished performers.
My congratulations to the cast, crew, hair and make up, Mrs Judy Burns - the director, Mrs Jill Edmonds - Musical Director and Miss Leanne Wilson - Choreography.
May I also wish Mrs Judy Burns a very happy and restful retirement from the school.
Friday was a day to remember. I started the day at 7.20am at the War Memorial in St Cuthbert's Churchyard, where the Royal British Legion met for the Whistle Blowing in commemoration for the battle of the Somme. It was really very moving and touching.
At 2pm I joined the Royal British Legion for their service of remembrance for the Battle of the Somme. It was so lovely to see St Cuthbert's with so many people in the congregation all coming together to pay our respects to those who lost their lives a hundred years ago.
A very moving and poignant service. We can look to the future but we must never forget the past.
My thanks to all for the Wells Branch of the Royal British Legion, for their organisation and for looking after me so well.
On Sunday evening I attended the Patronal Evensong Service at St Thomas Church.
It was a lovely service, with an augmented choir who sang just beautifully.
St Thomas is a most beautiful church, and I'm very lucky to be a Mayor of a City with such lovely places of worship, we are truly blessed!
My thanks to Rev Tobie Osmond and all at St Thomas Church for making myself, my Consort, my Chaplin and Cllr's Brandon and Mackenzie so well come.
June 2016 (week 4)
My week has been a little quieter, which has been nice although the time I thought I'd have hasn't happened!!
On Tuesday I went to Strode Theatre to the Somerset Music and Lions mid Somerset Musical Spectacular. What a fabulous evening, many local schools took part over the 3 evenings it was on. The children and their teachers had obviously worked so hard, rehearsing their performances. As I am Mayor of Wells, I had chosen to attend on the Tuesday evening when one of our schools, St Cuthbert's C of E Junior School were performing.
My congratulations to the Head, Elspeth Salmon, the music teacher, and the children on a wonderful performance of a selection of songs from the Lion King. I really loved your performance and your costumes, Lion King is one of my favourites.
Thursday saw my 2nd Full Council, my thanks to my Councillors and Officers for their time, patience and involvement in the meeting.
Friday saw me attend the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists opening night of their annual exhibition. A wonderful exhibition of the most beautiful paintings, pencil drawings,watercolours etc in miniature form. I couldn't have picked one favourite but as Wells is my City, I have to say I did love the ones of Wells - the smallest City in miniature, what's not too love!!
This week sees me visiting Wells Cathedral Junior School on Wednesday and taking part in the Royal British Legions 100 years commemorating the battle of the Somme.
June 2016 (week 3)
So this week has been filled with Mayoral meetings, Mayoral Duties and plenty of City Council work too. All in all a busy time for me.
Wednesday saw me visit the charity Heads Up at South Horrington.
I was made most welcome by manager Bridget Harvey and her team, it's the most inspiring, positive place, I would recommend anyone to donate their time or money to a wonderful hard working team.
Wednesday afternoon I met Richard Hibbard, the Chair of the Wells Twinning Association. It was a useful,informative meeting where I learnt more about the association and the towns that we are Twinned with.
Friday saw a very busy time for me. After two meetings, I headed off to Fletcher House to join in with their National Care Home Open Day. What a great day they had organised! The theme was "Seaside". There were ice creams, drinks and sweets. A Punch and Judy show. A paddling pool with fishing nets, sand with buckets and spades, but best of all were two real life donkeys. The whole event was organised by mother & daughter team, Mandy & Lauren Charles who are the Activities Co-Ordinators. The Staff, residents and family members were joined by some of the children from Rockers and Rollers Nursery, so a really great fun day for all ages!
From there I went to Shepton Mallet to present certificates to a group who had been working with the Active Plus Charity. A really positive experience with a group who had overcome personal difficulties and issues to do something more positive with their lives.
From Shepton, back to Wells to meet Martin Sawyers, Alison Leyland and Flora Myer from the Councillors Collective. Martin was doing a sponsored cycle ride from Lands End to John O'Groats, to raise money for the Councillors Collective, if anyone would like to sponsor Martin please find his details on the Councillors Collective website. He has my admiration and praise for tackling such a long journey.
The final part of the day was so very sad but also so touching. Our Mp James Heappey had organised a vigil outside of Wells Library after his surgery to remember the MP Jo Cox, who was so brutally murdered on Thursday.
Myself, the Town Clerk and other members of Wells City Council, along with various Clergy from the City, and members of the public stood together in silence to reflect on the tragedy that happened. You can't really take it in, it's too awful for words.
Although Friday ended on a sad note, it was a great day meeting so many lovely people, thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome.
Next week holds for me a concert, full council and a exhibition.
June 2016 (week 2)
This week has been very busy, it saw me attend the opening of a newly furnished function room and bar area at the Swan Hotel.
It's a great area for any event in the City, my congratulations to Kevin Newton, Mark Tobin and all the team at the Swan.
Wednesday saw me attending two events, the first was a Afternoon Tea Party for volunteers from various charities and organisations in the City.
It was to thank all those who give their time and energy so freely to make Wells the vibrant, unique City it is. The event was brilliantly organised by Deborah Pottinger, Emma Lefevre, Siobhan Goodwin and the team. I have to thank them very much for looking after me so well.
Secondly I attended the Milton Gallery at Wells Blue School to view a showcase of exciting artworks by GCSE, AS & A Level Students.
The creativity was amazing, there were many pieces of work I would've gladly paid for & brought home, I was in awe of the work, form someone who can just about draw a matchstick man my congratulations to students and teachers alike.
Saturday saw my biggest event I've attended so far.... Dancing on the Green.
It was a fantastic event, so many people turned out to watch the children, Everything was going so well until the rain set in and we had to finish earlier than expected, but I did get to dance the very last dance with pupils, parents and teachers from Stoberry School.
My thanks to the organisers, SAPHTO - Somerset Association of Primary Head teachers and Officers, Cllr Harvey Siggs, Globe Carnival Club, all the teachers, parents but mostly to the children who kept on dancing despite the rain!
Sunday saw me attend two events, the first being the St Thomas Street Secret Garden Event.
I have to tell you there were secret but oh so beautiful, thanks to the owners of the three gardens I visited sorry I couldn't see all of them but I had to get to my next event. My thanks also to Mr Williams who looked after me so well.
The next event of the afternoon was to Wells Cathedral. My first event there as Mayor.
It was to celebrate her Majesty the Queen's 90th Birthday.
A rousing, patriotic event with beautiful music and singing.
I felt very proud to be Mayor.
This week coming, meetings and a very busy Friday.....
June 2016 (week 1)
Another busy week!
The first two committee meetings of the new Mayoral Year took place on Thursday.
Good luck & congratulations to one of our New Councillors, David Swain, who has been chosen to steer City Centre and Open Spaces Committee.
On Saturday, myself and my Consort for the day, my Sister in law, Mrs Debbie Bevan, attended the Bath Mayoral Ceremony. It was held in Bath Abbey, a most beautiful venue for a very special occasion.
Before we got to the Abbey we processed from the Guildhall, another beautiful venue, along to the Abbey through the Tourists and residents, a lot of the tourists were taking photos and selfies alongside us it's a strange thought to know you will be in someone's holiday snaps but a day which I felt so proud to represent my small, but just as beautiful As Bath City.
Sunday saw the Annual Tortoise and Hare Motorcycle Run. I had to wave off all the entrants, i was really looking forward to this as I love motorbikes but am not brave enough to own one!
I also had to choose my favourite bike, this was a really tough job as there were some really lovely bikes, but the one I choose was a 1942 Harley Davidson WLC.
My thanks to the organiser Mr Chris Weeks, his wife Joan, the committee members and everyone at the Wells Classic Motorcycle Club for all their hard work to make this a very enjoyable day.
Hope to see you all this Saturday for Dancing on the Green, let's hope for good weather for the all the children taking part.
May 2016 (week 4)
We are now one week into the job and I think so far, so good.
On Thursday I chaired my first Full Council meeting, always a busy agenda as it's where all the Councillors decided on which committees they will sit. I'd like to thank the Town Clerk and RFO for their help.
Some of the committees are popular and therefore we need to vote to get the required number of members we need.
Also thanks to my fellow Councillors for their patience during the meeting.
Sunday saw the Wells Fun Run, organised by Wells City Harriers. Which I had the great pleasure to start. It was an absolutely beautiful day, although the runners may have preferred it a little cooler. I was amazed by how many participants there were, I felt quite lazy as the only exercising I had done was walking Rosie, my chocolate Lab. Everyone was giving it their all, but I feel I should just mention a group of ladies who formed the "Up and Running" team. The ladies were all new to running having only starting running 8 weeks before and they ran the 5K race, and ended up winning a trophy to boot. Well done ladies you are an inspiration.
My thanks to Andrew Deamer and his family for all their hard work and making me feel so welcome.
This photograph was taken from http://www.wellscityharriers.org.uk/
My next engagements I am looking forward too are Bath Civic Service on Saturday and the Tortoise & Hare Motorcycle Run on Sunday, starting from the Market Place, hope to see you there.
May 21st 2016 (week 3)
Let me introduce myself I am Alison Gibson and at the Wells City Council meeting on 21st May I was elected the 643rd Mayor of Wells.
I congratulate Cllr John North on being elected Deputy Mayor.
I would also like to take this opportunity of thanking the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Gordon Wilson for doing a great job throughout his term of office.
I feel excited, proud, humbled and somewhat nervous about becoming Mayor. I am looking forward to my year ahead and thank all of you who got me elected to the City Council and to my fellow Councillors who have entrusted me with this responsibility.
So thank you everyone I hope to serve the City and it's people to the best of my ability.
My first engagement as Mayor was to attend Mayors Sunday in Glastonbury. My congratulations to Cllr Jon Cousins and his wife Lucia, I hope they have a wonderful year in office.
My Mayor Making was a very special day. I'd like to thank my fellow Councillors, friends and family for making it so special. My very grateful thanks also to everyone at the Town Hall for working so hard to make the evening go like clockwork.
This photograph was taken by Kevin Westwood
Cllr Alison Gibson, The Mayor of Wells.