Mayor’s Diary - Cllr John North

Councillor John North
The Mayor of Wells, Councillor John North has a regular slot within the Wells Journal newspaper where he recounts the events of the last week. 

They are also listed below:

The Mayor of Wells also has a Facebook page which is here - https://www.facebook.com/mayorofwells

 20th August 2017 [week4]

Welcome to the twelfth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw the Mayoress and I host members of the Twinning association to discuss the programme of events for the visit by the Burgomeister of Bad Durkheim. Apart from watching the carnival, we are also looking to show him the triad of mediaeval historic sites in Wells. We also hope to include a visit to the museum, to see the historic charters granted to Wells by previous monarchs and bishops.

Normally there are no City Council meetings in August however, this year saw the Planning Committee meet to discuss a series of application that had come through.

On Friday, the Mayoress and I invited the Town Hall staff to Thai Restaurant in Sadler Street. Not only did we have an excellent meal (thank you to all the staff) we also had the opportunity to thank Charlie, for all her hard work over the years and, to wish her well in her new venture in Devon.

Secondly, for Gail and me to thank the team for everything they have, are, and continue to do for us both during our Mayoral year. A big thank you from the both of us, to all of you, for your ongoing support.

This coming week sees me in Paray-le-Monial where I will meet their Mayor Jean-Marc Nesme. This will be my first visit to Paray and I am looking forward to meeting as many people as possible during my visit. The programme of events looks very busy, but I am hoping we may have a chance to sample some French cuisine and fine wine (time permitting).

As soon as I return the Mayoress and I will be attending the Moat Boat Race on the Bank Holiday Monday. Let’s hope summer returns and it is as sunny and warm as it was in 2016. I am sure we are in for some exciting races. Thanks goes to the Lions for organising and Kevin Newton & the Swan Hotel who are this year’s main sponsors.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -

Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground. The holiday season is well in swing so I hope you all enjoy your holidays and this year’s summer season.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

13th August 2017 [week 3]

Welcome to the eleventh instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw the Mayoress and I attending a diverse range of events. Firstly, we welcomed 155 Squadron City of Wells Air Cadets to the Mayors Parlour where I had the great pleasure of installing Corporal Daniel Fawcett and Cadet Abby Jamieson as the Mayors Cadets for 2017 – 18.

May I congratulate them both on their appointment and I look forward to them attending Civic events with the Mayoress and myself. Thanks, must also go Jane, who prepared some lovely cakes and sandwiches for the evening. Secondly to the Commanding Officer and his team for all the hard work they put into giving young people such a great opportunity whilst in the Air Cadets.

Next, I was able to attend Rail Wells in the Town Hall. A two-day exhibition of all things to do with model railways. It was a very interesting and fascinating couple of hours learning about the various gauges of track and how to build an entire model railway from scratch.

This included building your own railway lines, sleepers, engines, carriages, station buildings and houses. In addition, you could even have a scale model of yourself laser printed in 3D to the correct scale for your layout. This event has been going on for almost 40 years with exhibitors travelling from across the country. The scaled detail and hours that have gone into some of these displays are to be highly commended.

On Saturday Sally and Chris celebrated their Wedding in the Mayors Parlour before leaving for their reception. Many congratulations to you both on your special day.

Sunday saw both of us at the Vets. We were invited to open the re-built Westfield Vets and to see their new facility for small animal care. Thank you to Iain and Charlie for inviting us both and, for the guided tour by all the dedicated team of Vets and Veterinary Nurses and Staff. If I were a pet, I would feel very lucky to be treated in such a modern equipped surgery. It was also nice to see so many pets with their well-behaved owners

In the afternoon, it was on to a BBQ at Wells Rugby Club in aid of Wells Twining. A superb event and once again thanks must go to Richard Hibberd, Tony Dovidio and their team for putting on such a great event. On the 22nd August, I and the Deputy Mayor will be accompanying the Twinning association as we visit Paray-la-Monial.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -
Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground. The holiday season is well in swing so I hope you all enjoy your holidays and this year’s summer season.

John
Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

6th August 2017 [week 2]

Welcome to the tenth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw me attending a meeting about Christmas and it is only early August. However, this meeting was to discuss this year’s Christmas Market. With the help of Mendip District Council and members of the Town Hall team, we aim to put on an even better market than last year.

There is also potential to have extended opening on the 23rd and 24th December. Let’s hope Santa is no too busy to put in an early appearance.

I also had a meeting with the Twinning association who will be visiting Paray le Monial later this month. Both the deputy mayor I and will be attending and we look forward to meeting their Mayor and seeing the sights of the town. This will be followed by a visit by myself and the Mayoress to Bad Durkheim, followed by a reciprocal visit by the Burgomeister for this year’s carnival.

My thanks go to Richard Hibbard (Chair of Twinning) for all his efforts and his team’s hard work keeping Twinning very much alive.

Today the Mayoress and I attended a photographic exhibition by Stuart Williamson at The Venue. This is Stuart’s first exhibition and included photos from around Wells, Europe and as far afield as New Zealand. Primarily landscapes, he displayed both individual pictures and compilation books. We were very pleased to have been able to purchase some of Stuarts work and look forward to seeing future pictures and exhibitions from this exciting new photographer.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -
Sat – Sun 12th & 13th Aug- Rail Wells exhibition – Town Hall
Sunday 13th August- Wells Twinning are holding a BBQ at Wells Rugby club. Tickets are only £12.50 and can be obtained via Councillor Unwin.
Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

August 2017 [week1]

Welcome to the nineth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This week saw me attending meetings at the Little Theatre and chairing the City council meeting.

The Little Theatre are now in the process of updating the auditorium with new seating and will also decorate the rehearsal room. These things cost money so please do everything you can to support them when they put on their shows throughout the year.

The Council also held its monthly meeting where we had a first-class presentation from the Chair of Twinning, Mr Richard Hibbard. Wells first twinned with Paray-le-Monial in 1979 followed in 1984 when Wells twinned with Bad Durkheim. The third twinning was with Fontenellato in 2012.

Wells also has two friendship agreements with Bad Berka in Germany and Kluczbork in Poland. To enable twinning to take place, various fundraising events are held throughout the year.
At the City Council meeting it was good to have members of the public coming along and speaking about issues that concern them and for Councillors to be able to respond and help.

Bus 67 will continue to run thanks to councils allocating funds. This ensures a service between Wells and Burnham on Sea until April 2018.

There is also a casual vacancy on the City Council which will be filled by a co-option (A bye election was not called for by the required signatories of St Cuthbert ward).

Those wishing to be considered and who meet the legal requirements to stand as a City Councillor should write in the first instance to the Town Clerk c/o The Town Hall, Wells. All letters of intent should be with the Town Clerk no later than the 18th September 2017.

Some key events for your diary in August are: -

Saturday 5th Aug- CND Hiroshima event – Cathedral Green
Sat – Sun 12th & 13th Aug- Rail Wells exhibition – Town Hall
Sunday 13th August- Wells Twinning are holding a BBQ at Wells Rugby club. Tickets are only £12.50 and can be obtained via Councillor Unwin.
Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

There is always lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 4)
Welcome to the eighth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Another first this week as I attended the meeting of the board of Trustees for Wells City Alms Houses which I now sit on. http://www.wellsalmshouses.org.uk/
The board was also joined for the first time by the Dean of Wells, Dr John Davies. A lot of work has been achieved by the current team of dedicated people and with their CEO, have a forward plan that will secure these homes for a long time to come.

The gardens are also looking their best this time of year and tourists who have taken the time to visit the Alms houses, comment on how wonderful they are.

Nothing happens by chance and the gardens need regular attention. If you are a gardener and have some time to spare and would like to volunteer please contact the Alms Houses office in Llewelyn’s.

Next, I attended a City Tourism meeting. These meetings are attended by key people in the city who work in the Tourist industry and are looking to keep Wells at the fore front of people’s minds when it comes to deciding on a place to visit.

Some items that are being looked at are “Visit by Coach” and how we get (non-hotel) buses to “drop off” at the Bus station, so visitors can benefit from all the independent retailers En Route to the Market Square and beyond.

Also, being discussed is this year’s Christmas Market. I am sure this year will build on the success of last years market.

Some key events for your diary in August are:-

  • Saturday 5th Aug - CND Hiroshima event – Cathedral Green
  • Sat – Sun 12th & 13th Aug – Rail Wells exhibition – Town Hall
  • Sat 26th Aug – 360 Art – Cathedral Green
  • Monday 28th Aug – Moat Boat Race

Lots to do and see in Wells plus, a great play area for all the family in the recreation ground.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 3)
Welcome to the Seventh instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Two months in and this is the first week-end Gail and I have had to ourselves with time to recharge the batteries. This week also saw the first Christmas event appear in the diary. I can’t believe it’s only five months away.

This week we were all waiting to see if Wells had been short listed for the 2021 City of Culture.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as we were up against some very stiff competition from some much larger cities than Wells. Congratulation should go to the bid team for all the hard work they put into the initial bid and for the support they generated. We more than held our own considering the company we were in competition with.

I hope Wells will see a very positive reaction to the publicity this bid has generated and encourage more visitors to our beautiful city. With the already popular annual festivals held in the city we certainly punch well above our weight. If the bid team can help to further enhance the cultural and historic nature of our city then I am sure we will all benefit.

The Finance and General Purposes Committee met this week and one of the agenda items was bus 67. A long and detailed debate took place scrutinising this route and we await the County Councils response to questions they have yet to answer around this service.

As the end of July approaches, we come to the time of year when families start to take their summer holidays. I hope you will all enjoy your own holidays whether it’s a holiday within our own shores or further afield. At the same time can I welcome all our visitors to the City.

Please enjoy our sights, shops and hospitality. If you enjoyed your stay with us, then please tell others so they too can enjoy what Wells has to offer people of all ages.

For the last few weeks Sue, one of our receptionists at the Town Hall has been off ill. Sue does a superb job managing the Mayors diary with the Mayoress and is also helped by Sandy who also covers reception.

Sue, we all wish you a very speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 2)
Welcome to the sixth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Time fly’s as we are already into July. This week has seen the Mayoress judging flowers for Wells in Bloom with the Deputy Mayor. Between them they covered six pre-schools in and around Wells.

They saw some wonderful displays and found that the children not only planted, but knew the names of the flowers and vegetables. Perhaps they have already come across the next Alan Titchmarsh or Charlie Dimmock.

I’m afraid you will have to wait till later in the year to find out who has won, when the prizes are given out at the annual Wells in Bloom awards ceremony at the Town Hall.

Next was Speech day at the Cathedral School where Staff and Students said good bye to this year’s leaver. Some to further their academic studies at Universities or Conservatoires, others to take up new teaching posts and some retiring to take up a more relaxing life style. May I wish you all great success in your chosen path.

The closing service saw the Cathedral full of family, staff and students with the Dean giving an inspiring sermon about good byes and new chapters opening. He even managed to include an Austin Maxi which I must admit being old enough to have ridden in one.

Last week I mentioned the Lions and who would have predicted a draw in the last test. Well done to them for going toe to toe with New Zealand for eighty minutes. Not many sides draw a series against the All Blacks. Now the home nations will have an idea of the standard they will need to play, if they have any chance of winning the World Cup in 2019 in Japan.

Saturday saw us in the Town Hall for Pink Bra’ss. (http://pinkbrass.co.uk/) A group of ladies who love to play brass instruments and raise money for cancer treatments. On the night, they were joined by Choir Wincanton who were only formed a few years ago. A lovely evening which was enjoyed by a fully packed Town Hall.

Sunday was a very special day as the Mayoress celebrated her Birthday. I am sure you will join me in wishing Gail a very happy birthday.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

July 2017 (week 1)
Welcome to the fifth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Another exciting week in the life of a Wells’ Mayor.

Firstly, it was a visit to Cedars Hall to watch a performance of the Elton John / Tim Rice musical, The lion King by students of the Cathedral School. The cast was made up of children from years three to six and they all showed just how hard they have worked to put on such a high-quality show. Well done to you all.

In the last few weeks Gail and I have visited both the Blue and Cathedral Schools and the talent emanating for both Schools, is a testament to their teachers, and the determination of the students. It’s good to know that Wells has home grown talent, that will be able to hit the ground running when they leave secondary education.

The next event was something slightly different. After ten years and two weeks waiting to become Mayor, and within the first Month, I was invited to open a field. I even had to cut a piece of new bailer twine supplied by celebrated local farmer Mike Phelps.!!.

This was not any field though as Mike has opened his Palace Field to allow a weekly car boot sale and all-day parking for visitors to Wells. Let’s hope this will help to alleviate some of the congestion we see in Wells on a Saturday. Mike has previously opened the field for major events in the City such as the Moat Boat race which has grown year on year.

Saturday also saw the British and Irish Lions beat the New Zealand All Blacks. Well done to them and let’s hope they can raise their game and win at Eden Park this coming Saturday. A huge ask as the All Blacks have not lost on this ground since the 3rd July 1994 against France.

Sunday saw me going to Weston Super Mayor and attend their Civic Service to celebrate the forthcoming Mayoral year of Mrs Jos Holder and her Mayoress Roz Willis. Two ladies working hard for their local communities.

The last event of the week was to the Romulus and Remus event held by the Italian community of Wells and surrounding area. Gail and I were joined by the Deputy Mayor of Wells, Cllr Celia Wride for this wonderful event.

So far, each outdoor event that Gail and I have attended has been marked by hearing the very distinctive voice of one person upon arrival. That very distinctive voice is none other than Tony Dovidio via a very loud PA system. Sunday was no different however, Tony was one of the main organisers of this event and he and his team should be congratulated for the afternoons food and entertainment.

Can I also congratulate the Ambrosini family on an excellent homemade Red Wine and to Richard for introducing me to so many lovely people?

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

June 2017 (week 3)
Welcome to the fourth instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Summer truly came to Wells earlier this week as we had five consecutive days of sun and high temperatures. As ever, the British weather was changeable and we returned to more cooler days at the end to the week for the Glastonbury festival. The message here is to make sure we all take on board plenty of water when the weather is hot and prevent ourselves from dehydrating.

This week has seen a shift from public engagements to committee and council meetings. Saying that, the Mayoress has met up with the judges of “Wells in Bloom” as she has been invited this year to be a judge herself. Good luck to all those entering and displaying this year.

We must also say a very big thank you to all those who help with Wells in Bloom, who make our City a sea of colour all year round. The flower displays are magnificent and enjoyed by both the people of Wells and all our visitors throughout the year.

Meanwhile, I attended a meeting of the Little Theatre Committee and came away very excited by their plans for the continued development of the theatre and the shows they are looking to put on over the coming year. I hope you will all be able to go along and support the operatic society as they put on superb shows to a very high standard. Please phone or visit their ticket office for more information.
https://www.wellslittletheatre.com/

Next came the monthly full council meeting for Wells City Council, with a headline presentation from the Chair of Somerset Partnership NHS Trust.
http://www.sompar.nhs.uk/

This proved to be of great interest to all Councillors who were pleased to be briefed on the challenges and direction of travel for the NHS in the future.

I was also very pleased that the Council asked to be part of any future consultation processes. This will cover essential topics such as “care in the community” and how the NHS can meet 21st century challenges. The Chair of Somerset Partnership NHS Trust said there was a need to pull together cross functional teams within the NHS and leave behind a silo mentality, so they can deliver a service that will meet the needs of local communities.

On Sunday 25th June, Gail and I were invited to join the Masons to celebrated 300 years. Members of lodges from across the area processed to the cathedral for evensong hosted by the Dean of Wells, and then afternoon tea at the Town Hall.

To all those at Glastonbury – Have a great time and my challenge to Mr Eavis is, can he get Led Zeppelin to reform and headline at the next Festival...!

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

June 2017 (week 2)
Welcome to the third instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

This last week has seen our busiest week to date.

It was also a sad time as we said goodbye to our late Councillor, Chris Briton on Friday. Sad, but also a time to celebrate his life as a family man, his achievements and his contribution towards caring people, for our world and ensuring we have a sustainable future.

The crematorium was not only full, but people were standing outside in large numbers to pay their last respects and say their farewells to a very, much loved man in our community. The Eulogy given by Chris’ son truly reflected Chris’ life and will be remembered for a very long time. Chris, you really did have an impact on us all.

On Tuesday 13th June, with the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Annie Maw and Dean of Wells Dr John Davies, I had the pleasure of welcoming HRH The Duke of Gloucester to our City. The Duke came to visit Vicars Close and Cedars Hall to view both Mediaeval and 21st Century architecture that is now part of Wells. The Duke is a trained architect and was very keen to see both the old and new.

Next it was the Blue School on Wednesday evening to see the work of some very talented students displaying their art and design skills which forms part of their portfolio for their GCSE and A levels. There were some truly innovative pieces of work and they would not have look out of place in the professional arena. Well done to all of you and to your Teachers for showing you what you can achieve and aspire too.

Friday saw Gail and I welcome our friends for Bad Durkheim (one of the Twining Towns). We welcomed them in the Old Court room and the Town Crier gave them a tour of the Town Hall. Twinning is very much a community based activity. I hope as many people will take the time to enquire about how they could become part of this important partnership Wells, has with its twinned towns.

In the afternoon, we paid a visit to Fletcher House for their “Mad Hatters Tea Party” and later we were joined by the young boys and girls for the Kindergarten based next door. Again, Gail and I had a lovely time and met some wonderful people who, had some great stories to tell about their life and times.
A Hog Roast started our evening at the Rugby Club where our visitors were thoroughly entertained. I gather the singing was of the highest Calibre.

Unfortunately, we had to leave early but we were not disappointed because we visited Wells United Church for a stunning flower display. The Church was so full of colour and the floral displays depicted a decade in time over the last hundred years. Congratulations to all of you for such wonderful displays.

Saturday 17th June was not only one of the hottest days of the year, but it was also a day for dancing on the green. Processing from St Cuthberts’ Church, to the green and then for an afternoon of Dancing. Gail and I had a lovely time meeting all the dancers and Teachers who all worked so hard dancing to such a high standard. Well done to you all and to all the Mayors and Chairs who came along to support their schools and, for managing to keep their robes on for the entire afternoon.!

A lot of hard work has gone into holding all these events and a lot of people have given freely of their time to make these events so special for all of us in Wells, and all our visitors to enjoy. You are too many to mention by name but -

A big thankyou to all of you from the Mayor and Mayoress of Wells.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

June 2017 (week 1)
Welcome to the second instalment of the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

Since taking office on the 20th May, life has certainly been busy for Gail and me. We have already attended some great events and met many people.

Firstly, though I would like to take a moment to remember Cllr Chris Briton who after a short illness sadly passed away on the 29th May. Chris, you will be missed by all your fellow Councillors and whilst we may not have agreed on everything, you certainly made me think a lot more about trees when discussed at Planning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sarah, Chris’ wife and to all his family at this difficult time.

The Wells fun run saw us starting the races and giving out prizes to the winners. Can I congratulate all those who were placed and say how wonderful it was to see so many people running just for fun? We should all try to do more exercise and keep ourselves a little fitter.

Royal Enfield
Secondly it was on to the Classic Motorcycles where we saw bikes from all eras. In fact, there were even bikes older than the Town Crier. I was also asked to choose the Mayors Motorcycle. This year’s winner was a 1947 Royal Enfield who had been in the same family for seventy years. Well done to all for taking part in this year’s run and I am glad that you could overcome the inclement weather which was encountered.


Once again Bath held its Mayor Making Ceremony in the Abbey processing through Bath in our robes. A glorious Sunny day with Mayors coming from all over Somerset and neighbouring Counties. Congratulations to Ian their new Mayor. I am sure he will have a great Year.

The most recent event was to attend an exhibition at Wells Museum for “Space Art” and to hear a talk on the Moon. Not only did we see some truly wonderful works of art, but some models created for TV which were scaled down version of the real thing.
http://www.visitwellssomerset.co.uk/whats-on/visions-space

Thanks, must go to all those people who take the time to organise such great events for so many people to enjoy and take part in.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 

May 2017
The Mayor & Mayoress of Wells - Cllr and Mrs John North

Welcome to the 644th Mayor of Wells diary.

On the 20th May, 2017 the City held its Mayor Making Ceremony where I was sworn in as the 644th Mayor of Wells. A tradition dating back to the thirteenth century when Wells was granted its City Charter, in 1201 by King John.

Firstly, I would like to thank Cllr Alison Gibson and her Consort Mr Steve Luck for their excellent Mayoral year. You will be a hard act to follow and on behalf of the Council and City can I thank you both for your year of service. It is indeed a great privilege, honour and very humbling to have been elected and made Mayor of Wells, and to have been able to have appointed my wonderful wife Gail, as my Mayoress. I also wish to congratulate Cllr Celia Wride on her appointment of Deputy Mayor. I know she will have a great year.

Two days after, we heard of the tragedy that occurred in Manchester. Therefore, my first official engagement was to attend the vigil (held in the Cathedral) on Wednesday 24th May for all the victims, those injured and all the families affected by the bomb blast at the Ariana Grande Concert. May I say how well the Dean of Wells who conducted the vigil, and for setting the tone of the service so well.

Lighting the first of the twenty-two candles, truly brought home the tragic and needless loss of life.

On the same day of the vigil I wrote to the Mayor of Manchester on behalf of the City Council and all the people of Wells.

“On behalf of the City Council and people of the City of Wells, may I say how shocked and appalled we are at the needless loss of life on Monday evening at the Ariana Grande Concert.
May I offer my personal condolences to all those families who have lost loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to all those families and communities who have been affected by this needless act of violence.
This evening (Wednesday) the people of Wells will come together in our Cathedral for a vigil, to spend a period of reflection thinking of Manchester and its sad loss”. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

On Thursday 25th May I chaired the Annual City Council Meeting where we appointed members to our working committees and outside bodies for the year.

On Sunday 28th May I started the races for the Wells Fun Run. Well done to everyone who took part in all the races. Gail and I thoroughly enjoyed presenting the trophies to all the winners. Another great day for Wells.

To conclude my first diary entry, can I just say, Gail and I will work hard over the coming year to support Wells and our chosen Charities. The (1955 City of Wells Sqn) Air Training Corp and Heads Up. I will keep you posted when we will be having fund raising events so you can help support these two very worthwhile organisations. Gail and I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the coming year.

Heads Up - http://www.headsupsomerset.org
The Wells Air Cadets - https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/find-a-squadron/south-west/devon-somerset-wing-hq/1955-city-of-wells/

Gail and I look forward to meeting as many people as possible over the coming year.

Cllr John North
The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Wells.

 



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