On Saturday, August 8, my wife, Christine, and I were officially invited to attend a charity garden party hosted by the Mayor and Mayoress of Wisbech, David and Judy Hodgson.
The event took place at their home in Wisbech and it was a request that chains of office be worn.
We were delighted to accept and arrived at our destination at 1.50pm. As an estimate, I would think that between 50 and 60 guests attended. The guests included Mayors, a former Mayor, chairmen from neighbouring local authorities and friends and family of David and Judy Hodgson. The Hodgsons’ garden is very beautiful and very well tended by Judy – David informed us that he does mow the lawn!!
You could see straightaway that the Mayor and Mayoress had gone to a lot of trouble to support their charity which was in aid of the Mayor’s Charity Fund. There were stalls selling raffle tickets, jewellery, books and paintings and the refreshments consisted of Pimms, strawberries and home-made cakes. Very nice and all very delicious.
Whilst I was circulating and talking to the guests I spoke to a friend of the Hodgsons called John. He told me he lived locally and looked hard at my chain to ascertain where I had come from. As soon as he saw South Holland he shook my hand very hard. John told me that, together with his wife, he is involved in a local Wisbech drama group.
They spend their days touring the area putting on shows at venues such as Tolethorpe Hall and the South Holland Centre. He could not speak highly enough about the South Holland Centre in Spalding.
He told me that at some locations, the venues don’t bother to interact with the drama group and they have to find out where things are and they’re not helpful in the slightest.
But in respect of the South Holland Centre it’s totally the opposite. The drama group is met by smiling staff who are willing to help, nothing is too much trouble and he can’t wait to go back to The South Holland Centre to perform, once again, for the good people of Spalding and the surrounding area.
As you can imagine, because I am relatively new to the role of vice-chair, I have only met a few of the visiting councillors from other councils before. But after this conversation with John, I was left feeling quite proud to be from South Holland.
Later in the afternoon I was speaking to a former Mayoress of Wisbech who congratulated me on how beautiful Spalding is looking nowadays and in her words “… so much better than Wisbech …”.
We then thanked our hosts for a wonderful day and splendid fare and made our way back to Spalding. Following the wonderful comments about Spalding, I had a big grin on my face!