Wednesday, 28 February 2007

The make up will go to the Mayoress......honest!!

Today was an odd day - it all felt like a load of nothing but a bit of that clear??

Started in Pickwicks with a moderate Wednesday - being Market Day it can be very busy. The town was relatively quiet.

Lois (who works for me) started collecting table numbers by serving as many tables as possible....when she had collected 23 numbers (how on earth that number was arrived at....who knows), she put them all back on the checkout! Lois has some very rare qualities!!!

Later in the afternoon I brought my Brother’s birthday card and posted it! The postal service around the Hedge End area is appalling; it often takes at least two days to deliver a first class letter.....

At about 1630hrs, I got ready for the first of my engagements. It was to attend the relaunch of the Alex Scott hair dressers. It was a nice event which had a raffle for Comic Relief. I forgot to bring along cash, so the owner kindly brought me a ticket. I had a shock when my number was pulled out last only to find that - I had won three make up bags with make up in them!!! I promptly promised to give them all to the Mayoress.....!!!

After that event, I went along to St. Thomas' Hall for the Public Meeting regarding a potential crossing in Bath Road, Wells. The meeting was chaired by John North, but had John Osman (WCC, MDC, SCC Councillor) and myself (WCC, MDC Councillor) as speakers. It was an interesting meeting which included the various options regarding a crossing.

Somerset County Council had turned down three options for technical reasons. We felt this was a shame. John Osman put together a really good presentation which focused upon the issues.

The public who attended seemed to be very interested in what has happened and what may happen! There was a really constructive and informed debate from all sides on this matter.

Hopefully John North, John Osman and moi can go away and put together an action plan of sorts.

After the meeting John O (too many John's), his sister and myself went for a curry in Cafe Romna.

An excellent way to finish an evening....also my second curry of the week.

Updating my blog and then off to bed.....night.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The indian lunch.....

Today really just passed on by....not much happening in either Pickwicks or anywhere else! The city was quiet and there were spaces in the car parking areas (especially along Broad Street, where there is never any spaces for too long).

In Pickwicks we are preparing ourselves for one of the team turning 18 on Saturday.... Nathan is very much looking forward to being 18! Although I have said to him on a number of occasions to sort his hair out, have regular shaves and buy some new shoes.

On Tuesdays, I often have the afternoon off. This is so I can update my diary and attend some meetings.

For lunch I met up with my mate Simon for a curry!! Yes, a curry! It has a completely different taste when eaten during the day. I usually have a madras - but for mid day (ish) I had a very mild curry (can't remember the name, it was made with cream and banana's).

After lunch and some time to catch up with life; I went to the Town Hall to update my diary and meet with the Town Clerk.

This is always very useful, as any issues that arise can be sorted. I'm very fortunate to enjoy a excellent working relationship with the Town Clerk, so many matters can be thrashed out. It's also very useful that we can be open and direct about issues (etc) without compromising professionalism.

On the way back home I popped into see the Mayoress (Julie) for a tea and chocolates (I don't really like choccys, but Julie does). After spending a few moments catching up, we went out to her field just outside of Wells to let in her horses.

After all that, I came home to catch up on a few phone calls from residents in my ward - including an issue about a pavement.

I have caught up with my eMails, which included organising a night in the Mayor's Parlour with a group of friends who I used to work with in Great Mills (DIY).

Memorial Service for Mr. D. Tubway-Quilter

Today was much busier in Pickwicks than I expected. Monday's have been fairly quiet up until now, but it all went mad today.

This afternoon my Chaplain and I attended the Memorial Service for Mr. David Tubway-Quilter.

Mr. Tubway-Quilter was a local man who believed in being a part of the community. His family has played a big role in the area for over three centuries.

I only met him a few times, but each time he was kind and interested in my role as Mayor. Indeed, he was Mayor in 1974!

A wonderful service, which saw the whole Cathedral fill with family, friends and those who worked with him on various projects. Lady Gass represented HRH Prince Charles for the service.

The service reflected his life of duty and service. One can safely say, that you would never have a service like it without putting so much into various organisations. It's a sad loss for Wells and for the wider community.

A visit by Mother! The house was sort of tidy.

Had a wonderful day on Sunday.

My Mum and Aunt came over from Southampton to visit me. Was great to see them as I haven't been home for a while. In fact the last time I saw my Mum was at the beginning of December.

We had a nice morning catching up - although I was still getting over the night before (see previous post). Anyway, we went to Andre's for lunch which was as fantastic as usual.

It was a shame that we were not there to see Andre's new up stairs kitchen being opened. Hopefully that will happen sometime over the next week.

They both stayed until about 1700hrs.....

In the evening, I joined friends at the Mendip Inn for dinner.

When I got in, I crashed out into no updating of the blog!

Monday, 26 February 2007

Dirt Dancing was not the historical first......

Saturday was a relentless day in Pickwicks. It all started a bit slow, but then accelerated to full pelt!

In the evening a friend of mine, Emma, was my Consort for the Rotary President's Dinner in the Town Hall.

It was a fantastic evening. The Wells Rotary Club was celebrating it's 60th anniversary since gaining a charter. In that time, the club has awarded many grants and organised many fundraising activities for organisation within the City and around the world.

I made a little bit of history by being the first Mayor in 60 years to attend two consecutive President's Dinners! Usually the dinner is held late May. I attended last year, also with Emma as Consort.

After the dinner, Emma and I went to Kudos to finish off the evening. We met up with some friends in there. I was asked by one woman to dance with she recognised me! So, being polite I said yes....

I think that she may of had one too many as she was a little unbalanced and started (to attempt) to do some dance moves which I last saw in the film 'Dirt Dancing'. Was a little scary, but was quickly rescued by Emma.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Great band, great tunes, great kebab......

I was really shattered today.

After a full on; no break day on Thursday - Friday was always going to be difficult.

Pickwicks started slow and then exploded during the main part of the day. I tried my best not to run myself into the ground.

Later in the afternoon, my Chaplain and I headed to Bridgewater in the VW Touran to collect my Polo.

The Touran was great to drive. Basically, it was a large people carrier. Although it was very big, one could drive it like a car. It was a real pleasure to drive.

Got to Bridgewater at about 1630hrs and my car had been repaired. All of the issues had been sorted, although I was advised to monitor it over the coming weeks. Fantastic customer service and the car was cleaned on the outside!! To find out more about L J Irvines, click here. A permanent link is on my blogroll.

Anyway, my Polo is back in full working order.

When I returned to Wells, I dropped Lavinia off and headed home to prepare for the evening.

The Wells City Band kindly offered to hold a concert in aid of all three of my charities. It was a great event, which had a theme of my choosing. The theme was 'music from films and stage'. The band prepared 14 tunes.

One of the tunes was from the Blues Brothers (Need someone to Love). So for that number Cllr. Colin Price and myself dressed in a trilby hat and dark glasses. We had a tambourine and block to bang along to the beat. Was a surprise to everyone in the hall. Pictures to follow shortly......

When the concert finished, I offered those Councillors who attended a drink in the Mayor's Parlour.

When I left, at about 2310hrs I headed to the Kebab House for a Dona Kebab. I was really hungry. Got home at before 2330hrs and ate it all!!

Updating my blog and then off to bed...... night!

Friday, 23 February 2007

Made waffles during the day - then waffle in the evening!

On Thursday not only did I have a flat out day in Pickwicks, but I had two meetings in the evening!

After work I attended the Mendip Conservative Group meeting. Although the meeting started at 1700hrs, I managed to get there at 1745hrs. It only lasted for about another 30mins or so.

Then at 1830hrs, the full Mendip District Council met in the Council Chamber. The main purpose of the meeting was to set the Council Tax for Mendip. The Conservative Administration offered a budget which meant that the MDC tax will rise by 2.9%. This was good news for local taxpayers.

The Lib Dems put forward an alternative proposal! Which was less of a budget and more of a list of aims (most of which is being planned anyway). So that was a bit of a non event!

So after, what I think was a lot of waffle from all sides - the meeting finished at about 1015hrs.

After that, I took my car over the mate of mine called Rob. Rob works in the garage where I brought my car. My Polo needs some warranty work on the heater, heater fan and emissions. I gave him my car and he lent me his VW Touran (a loan car).

When I was almost back in Wells at 2345hrs - I realised that I had left my Pickwicks keys in the Polo. So after some phone calls - which weren't answered, I had to call one of my colleagues who had a spare set! How embarrassing - luckily I was able to collect there and then!

Got to bed at about 0015hrs! Knackered.......

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Display until 29th Feb 2007!! Are you sure??

You could tell it was market day today in Wells, as Pickwicks was extremely busy. We were almost running at saturday trading levels. Was very worn out here!

Felt light headed throughout most of the day, as I didn't eat much last night, nor did I have any breakfast! Managed to nibble away at some brie through the day... until my lunch (which was about 1600hrs - after starting at 0800hrs).

This evening I have actually got some free time. So I'm relaxing and generally not doing any of the ever growing job list items!! Ho hum.....

Had a laugh today at a poster displayed in Pickwicks, referring to an exhibition in the cafe (nowt to do with me).... it says that the art work will be displayed until 29th February 2007????? Oh dear - need to learn about the calender!!!!

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

A village affair....

As one of my charities, Mendip YMCA are holding a party on 23rd March 2007 to raise money for homeless young people. The party will be held at the Town Hall in Wells.

Tickets are excellent value at £25.00, which includes a sumptuous buffet and loads of fun. Naturally the party has a YMCA theme and you are invited to dress up as a member of the YMCA band IF YOU WANT TO....

Else it's smart casual. We have an excellent live band during the evening which will play a whole range of dance numbers.

It's all for a very good cause. If you want to see what work Mendip YMCA do, click here. The link is also posted in my Wells Blogroll below.


Go on - try the baguette

Tuesday is always a half day for I take the afternoon off so I can update my Mayor's diary and attend some meetings.

Pickwicks was very busy again today - but perhaps not as much as Monday.

For my lunch I had a bacon, chicken and chutney baguette...and enjoyed every mouthful. I took an order for the same thing from a customer - which just sounded and looked very tasty. So I had it for my lunch.

Anyway, this afternoon I spent some time in the council offices updating my diary. It is starting to look very full considering there is only about another 12 weeks left!!

Heard some more good Hot Fuzz news (you'll be bored with Hot Fuzz soon). Apparently Wells was mentioned by the stars on Hot Fuzz - plus I've had some text from friends who saw my name in the film credits!! Fab.

This evening I had two meeting to attend.

First was for the YMCA Spencer House party. Spencer House is one of my charities and we are planning on holding a party in March...see a separate posting for further information.

After that, it was off to the Mayor's Parlour to discuss the other event we are holding, this time for the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath. More on this event some other time.

Anyway at home now bringing my out of date blog in to the current day.....!!!

Richard & Judy.....sausage and chips

Monday was a particularly difficult morning.....!!!! After the week and weekend I had I was ready for a break.

Got quite excited though; I have been told by quite a few people, that Wells and it's Mayor was mentioned on 'Richard & Judy' by the stars of Hot Fuzz! Quite why so many were watching that and not working is beyond me - however, I think it is something to boast about.

Had some interesting news at about 0930hrs. My mate Chris who was staying with me for the weekend was locked in my house!! When I left, I locked the door - as he was still asleep. Forgot that he was in there! A quick dash home sorted that one out.

Anyway, first day of the half term was absolutely busy! Pickwicks was full well before lunch and it continued right into the afternoon.

In the evening, I dashed over to Mendip District Council to attend the Scrutiny Board (started at 1830hrs) - for which I'm a member. I only managed to hear the first item (about the budget) as I had to be back in Wells for a meeting (which lasted until 2130hrs). After that was finished, I had to drive to the other side of Wells for a jumbo sausage and chips - as I was really hungry!

Then it was back home to do my staff wages, look at my eMails and write my Mayor's Diary for the Wells Journal...finally got to bed at about 0100hrs!!!!

It's all go even with only one Mayoral function.....

I'm just sooooo sorry about the delay in updating my blog. I'll promise that it'll be bang up to date before 0001hrs 21st Feb 2007!!

On Friday I was getting over the night before. After not getting in until 0300hrs (walked from the city centre to home) I was pretty shattered.

So, I used the opportunity to have a min sleep in. I must of got in to Pickwicks at about 1130hrs (believe me that is a short lie in).... We were really busy throughout the day. It was the end of the half term for the public schools and the beginning of the holidays for the state schools. Mega busy - and very much woke me up!

In the evening the Mayoress and I attended the Twinning Association Dinner in the Town Hall. It was a fabulous meal by Cathedral Catering (as usual) followed by a speaker. The speaker told us about his life as a grocer in the area over 60 years......

Saturday was another full on day where we took another record sales!! It just keeps happening recently. We had a full complement of staff who all worked well together.

In the evening I went for a chinese meal with my friend Emma who has just returned from Egypt on holiday and a mate of mine, Chris. It was great to catch up. As usual we ordered far too much and had to have it put in to 'doggie bags'. Both Emma and I have a passion for seaweed....which we can eat an entire mountain of.

Sunday had a part of a lie in - but didn't sleep that well. In the afternoon, I was working in Pickwicks for a christening party.

The parents, family and friends who attended really like the whole day - and it was an honour to be part of baby's new life.

After all that, I went over to friends for a meal - where Wayne cooked us all a fantastic chilli!!

Monday, 19 February 2007

Mayor's Diary for 15th February 2007 - as published in the Wells Journal

By the time you’ll have read this, Hot Fuzz will be buzzing around the country. There has been some excellent write up’s about it. Thankfully, virtually all of them mention this great City. So, already we have had name checks and some very positive PR. Let’s all hope for the film’s success and that our local economy will benefit from it.

Over the past week I’ve attended 7 events, functions and meetings as your Mayor.

On Tuesday I had two engagements. First was the Chaplain and I hosting a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour for the Licensees of Wells. These people form the back bone of the ‘night time economy’. It is vital, as a market town in a very competitive age, that the City is vibrant for as many hours as possible. The Licensees, have a huge responsibility for a safe socialising environment. Quite often when events are held for businesses, it is when the Licensees are at their busiest, so not able to attend. This one was mid afternoon….

Later that evening I hosted an event for the Wells City Training Band, also in the Mayor’s Parlour. The training band set up and played five tunes, which all sounded fantastic. It was good to see some new talent coming through the ranks.

On Friday the Mayoress and I hosted the Civic Dinner at Andre’s. We had a fantastic meal, followed by the tradition of passing around the ‘Loving Cup’. Myth has it that if the ‘Loving Cup’ is not passed around the Councillors at least once a year (filled with port), then it is to be returned to the person who donated it. We managed to complete the tradition and can now safely keep the cup for another year.

Over the weekend, I didn’t have any Mayoral functions. So I was able to catch up with Julie Nicholas (my Mayoress) with some quality time. Julie is a great friend of mine and sometimes it’s wonderful to chat about the world without being on duty.

Over the next week my diary includes Council meetings including full City Council, the world premiere and Wells party for Hot Fuzz, a meeting of the Royal British Legion and the Twinning Association Dinner.

Hot Fuzz launched in Wells.....Big Cops - Small Town - Moderate Violence

Finally the day was here...

It all started in the morning as my Mayoress (Julie), my Chaplain (Lavinia) and I went to see the test run of the film in Wells Film Centre (which was renamed 'Sandford Multiplex' for the evening).

Watched the film again and made both of them sit until the end so they could see the credits....specially the 'more important names (name)!!

After that it was off to the Town Hall to chase up our road signs. We had ordered some temporary signs to cover the 'Welcome to Wells' signs as you enter the City. They were meant to say 'Welcome to Sandford'....instead they said 'Welcome to Sanford'!! We had to get some more printed and sent down.

After helping to decorated the State Ballroom and Parkes Room - for the reception and press conference I went to have my hair cut.

Knowing I was under pressure for time during the day - Leon managed to squeeze me in before lunch so I had the after noon to get myself sorted.

At 1500hrs, I attended a meeting of the Royal British Legion Wells Branch. I was invited to say thank you for their excellent efforts and to talk about being Mayor. I really enjoyed talking to the group and was great to see some of the people who helped to raise a Wells record of £16000 this year for the Poppy Appeal.

After all that, I had to dash home to put my dinner jacket on (for a few moments I though I had lost it - it involved all sorts of phone calls including to the dry cleaners). Anyway found it hanging up!!

Managed to get to the Town Hall in time with my Mayoress - where we welcomed Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. After some photo's and a live ITV feed - we went to the press call in the Parkes Room (the Parkes Room had a label on the outside saying "NWA Meeting" (see the film...)).

During the press conference (mainly for local press) I did find something interesting out - that Sandford (the village name they used) is in fact the name of a fictional town that the Police use in their examinations!!

Anyway after all that - Edgar, Simon and Nick joined a larger group of invited people to the State Ballroom for a Civic Reception. We had a couple of speeches from various people including the Town Clerk, the Wells Journal Editor, a fundraiser and myself.

I did mention in my mini speech that I used the phrase "for the greater good" in the City Council meeting the night before (see the film...).

On odd bit of the evening was the way that both Simon and Nick were referred to! Everyone called them 'the talent' as opposed to cast or stars! I thought that made them sound quite cheap and irrelevant personally. Apparently that is the industry lingo for such things..... what do I know!

Anyway the guest and myself were whisked down to the 'Sandford Multiplex' before the 'talent' arrived.

When they did, they were escorted by real Police Officers, real Police Cars with real sirens and lights blazing (in London all of it was the Met have strict rules on such things). The 'Talent' or stars really loved it.

I then joined them on a tour of all three screens....after which we headed back to The Crown Hotel for dinner.

As we were finishing - our transport arrived and we were dashed down to Kudos for a party. I left the club at about 0100hrs after having an excellent day!

Crashed out into bed.........

Wednesday 14th - could feel the luv.....

Well luv was in the air on Valentines Day....

Had a very busy day in Pickwicks. Quite a few people had been ordering our new waffles. I was very tired from the past couple of days - Hot Fuzz and all! I hadn't gone to bed before 2 am and it was catching up with me. The joys of being 34 had finally caught up.....

I had a rose delivered to me at Pickwicks - which was all very sweet but highly embarrassing! I didn't know what to do with myself - I just blushed......

After work, I chaired a full City Council meeting. As a tribute to Hot Fuzz, which was due to be launched on 15th Feb - we had all of the signs into the Town Hall changed to 'Sandford Town Hall'. Also as an extra, we changed the minutes to show 'A meeting of Sandford Town Council... held in Sandford Town Hall'.

The meeting bounced along with about half of the Councillors in attendance - perhaps they had some where else to go??? A romantic meal?? Who knows. To save time, I suggested at the beginning of the meeting that we put to one side the proposed group hug so we can go earlier!

After the meeting, I got a take away curry from Cafe Romna and gave my Mayoress, Julie a call. So popped up their to eat my curry and catch up with her...we were also joined by two other people.

I felt so tired from the previous nights, I went to bed at about 2330hrs without checking my eMails or updating this blog....

Sunday, 18 February 2007

All fuzzed out this week.....sorry for the delay!!

For the second time in a fortnight... my blog has not been updated daily!! I'm so so sorry!!

However, this whole week has been taken up with Hot Fuzz...the movie made largely in Wells.

Tuesday 13th Feburary was a very busy day. In the morning myself and two colleagues from Pickwicks went to the South West Regional Heat of the UK Barista Championships in Bristol. This was an excellent event held in the Bordeaux Quay restaurant, Bristol. The winner of the region will go onto represent the South West in the UK play offs!! Never knew that coffee making was taken so seriously!

Anyway, after viewing the championships and looking at some new coffee machines came back to Wells. I had one hour in which to get my stuff ready for the train journey to London for the World Premiere of HOT FUZZ...held in the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square.

Caught the train from Castle Cary direct into Paddington Station. From there I must of taken the most indirect route possible to Russell Square.

In Russell Square (after a 25 minute tube journey and a £4.00 single ticket) I walked to the Russell Hotel. There I met the Town Clerk who was attending a conference for Town/Parish Clerks. As this our tickets were arranged at the last minute (we are talking Monday now) they had to be couriered to him mid afternoon.

So we caught a taxi to Leicester Square. The Vue cinema was surrounded by hundreds of people, some of which were city workers on their way home and others were confused tourists.

Both the Town Clerk and I walked around the masses to see who was there. We noticed a 10 meter or so blue carpet running up to the cinema with a huge Hot Fuzz police badge printed on it. The cameras were all awaiting the arrival of the stars.

First to turn up were Edgar Wright (Director), Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (main stars). The cameras and fans went mad! Although some were confused as many kept coming up to the Town Clerk asking what was going on! I think he looked far too official!

After a while of seeing other stars, cast and film hangers on turn up (with which we were both looking at all of them making sure that we really didn't have a clue who they were), we decided to stroll up the blue carpet ourselves.

To make it all official, I put my Mayoral bling on and strolled up the carpet. Obviously the huge throng of people around the carpet were so overwhelmed that the Mayor and Town Clerk of Wells had arrived no one took our picture or asked for our autographs. Just goes to show that you ought to take advantage of every opportunity when they arise.

Anyway, we got into the vast cinema and went up to screen 7. During the build up to the film, we watched all of the other 'stars' being interviewed as they arrived - via live link to the outside cameras.... all clever stuff.

When the film started I was very proud of what we had seen. The film started as it meant to carry on - a brilliantly funny fun.

When the credits rolled, we awaited to see if they had stuck to their promise of a screen credit for Wells. True to form they mentioned Wells twice - with some huge credits which spanned the whole screen. What was even better, as a special thanks - they listed the Town Clerk, my Diary Secretary, a local Policemen and ME in their credits (also alongside many other people).

I couldn't believe it!! As one does in these sorts of situations - I phoned my Mum as soon as I could with the news!! How cool was that!

We then caught the train back to Bristol and arrived at just passed midnight......

Monday, 12 February 2007

Hot Fuzz...about to launch


I really can't believe it - after a couple of weeks of eMails and telephone calls, the Town Clerk and I have been allocated tickets to watch the world premiere of 'HOT FUZZ'!!

I'm so excited about it. Thursday looks like being a cool day anyway - however this week has already taken an exciting turn!

Am going to arrive in London tomorrow afternoon and watch the film in the evening. Not too sure where it is being shown, but who cares???? Hopefully afterwards there will be a party to celebrate it all!

All fun to one side - the main purpose of the evening is to represent the City at this very important event. This film represents an excellent opportunity to showcase Wells to the world. Hopefully, it'll encourage more filming in the City too!

I now have to spend what is left of the evening/night to look up train timetables and do some light packing.....

For the last and latest trailer, click here.

Three meetings and a staff induction....

Today was a slow day in Pickwicks - the whole town is a little quiet. Hopefully this is the time of year and nothing to do with Prince's Road being shut!

After work - which included inducting a new member of staff, I had three meetings.

The first meeting was Wells Radio Link. This is a scheme where retailers can hire a radio so that they can communicate with each other if there is a serious issue in store (such as anti social behaviour or theft). This network is vital to the Police as well, as it acts as eyes and ears in the City centre.

The meeting concentrated upon new members, the update meeting for all members (March), the newsletter and banning orders. In the case of banning orders - if a person is banned from one shop in the scheme, they are banned from all.

Anyway, we have a successful scheme in Wells with is branching out to do other crime reducing initiatives such as a 'Safer Socialising Scheme'.

After that meeting, which was held in Pickwicks, I attended the Wells Conservative branch meeting. We discussed issues on the Council, the forth coming elections in May and local issues. Sadly I had to leave the meeting early as I had a third meeting to attend!!!!!

The third meeting was of the Little Theatre in Wells. As Mayor, I'm President for the year. The meeting discussed many issues including future plays and possible directors. This group puts so much into running a professional operation, which must take up loads of time!

Anyway, back at home now....and have to update my blog, produce my diary for this week's Wells Journal, sort out my trip to London (see other posting) and read my three days worth of eMails...then off to bed!!!!

Mayor's Diary for 8th Feb - as published in the Wells Journal

This week has been a quiet week. This is just as well, as the media keep screaming that it is the most depressing time of year. Well your Mayor doesn’t feel depressed just a bit anxious that there is only 14 weeks left with so much to cram in.

Over the past week I’ve attended 3 events, functions and meetings as your Mayor.

On Thursday I hosted a reception for the Special Constabulary in the Mayor’s Parlour. The ‘Specials’ as they like to be known are volunteer Police. They have the same uniform as the full time officers and powers. The biggest difference is that they are not paid for their duties. It’s all time given by these individuals for the benefit of the community. So, I wanted to say thankyou on behalf of the City for all of the work that they do.

Saturday saw the Race Night, held in aid of the St. Cuthbert’s Church Appeal. The appeal aims to raise about £500k to extend the range of services to the community by the Church.

It was the first time I’ve been along to such an event – sadly I didn’t make my millions – in fact didn’t make any money at all. As a group (we had a syndicate on my table) did ok (ish) on the ‘TOTE’ by winning £15 across the evening. Anyway, all had a great time and St. Cuthbert’s raised over £3000.

Over the next week my diary includes Council meetings, a reception for the licensees of Wells, a reception for Wells City Training Band, a Chamber of Commerce meeting and the Civic Dinner.

Just catching up.....

Sorry for the delay in posting!! Have had a full on time over the past couple of days! Hopefully service fully resumed....

Since my last posting, I have had a couple of Mayoral events and some quality chill out time also.

On Thursday, I went to Cribbs Causeway to see the signing and live performance of Jamie Pearce. For those who follow this blog - would know his single was launched this week (More than Enough).

Anyway, it was an excellent evening which included signing of CD's. I used the opportunity to purchase a couple for friends and had them signed....felt like a real groupie! Don't normally 'do' celebs - but it was great fun.

After that me and my mate Chris went to the local TGI Friday's for dinner. Haven't been to one of the branches for a while - food still good but quite the same as it has always been. Nice meal though, which was brought by Chris...which is even better!

On Friday the Mayoress and I hosted the Civic Dinner at Andre's in Wells. The Civic Dinner is a meal hosted by the Mayor and Mayoress for Councillors and office holders (Chaplain, Town Crier and Mace Bearers).

We all had a fantastic meal which was cooked by the owner/Chef Andre Winterskill. Andre is a fantastic cook - he set up his own restaurant in November 2006. Has been very busy since.

The wine flowed, as did the chat. After desserts, we passed around the 'Loving Cup'. The cup was donated to the City Council (or Corporation as it was known) by a resident, with one condition. The condition was that the cup is to be filled with port and passed around the Council once a year without fail - if it is not, then the cup is to be returned to the person who donated it!! As far as I know, the resident (whom I can't recall) has sadly died. However, it is a strong tradition of the Council.

On Saturday after a very busy at Pickwicks, I spent the evening with Julie (the Mayoress). It was great to chat and catch up as we often only meet these days when on official functions. Julie is a wonderful friend and companion.

Sunday was more limited to sleeping in, watching a DVD (with Julie) call 'The Brothers Gimme'. After that a group of us met for dinner....all quite pleasant!!

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

High Sheriff's and perfect voices......

Had an exceptional day in Pickwicks. Today was the second day of the Wells Cathedral School Music Festival - which is being held in the cafe. We were treated to the delights of some jazz songs.

They all had fantastic voices, which filled the whole cafe. At one point there was standing room only as so many people came in to listen.

During this morning, before the concert, I attended a meeting at the Cathedral Offices to discuss plans for the installation of the new High Sheriff of Somerset.

This is an ancient role, dedicated to law enforcement in the counties. The service, held in the Cathedral, is full of invited guests from the courts, legal service, armed forces, civic agencies and many other backgrounds. So it important that everyone gets the right seating in the right order for this to happen we are all to be given coloured tickets..........!!!!!

It'll be sad to see the current High Sheriff (Brig. Alistair Fife) go as both he and his wife Dee have become good friends. Never mind - like the role as Mayor, it only lasts one year!

Later in the afternoon, I had a checkup at the dentist.....was over in minutes - phew!!

p.s. Heard quote of the year (2007) today - but can't print it as this space!!

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Wells Training Band reception

Had a wonderful reception for the Wells City Training Band this evening.

First off, the band played five tunes which they have been learning....all of them in the Mayor's Parlour. After that we had nibbles and I gave them my infamous talk on the history of the Mayoralty, the regalia and a tour of the Town Hall. To learn more about Wells City band, click here. A permanent link is on my Wells Blogroll.

The whole group enjoyed it.......

Back at home now to update my blog and listen to my favourite Internet TV station - 18 Doughty Street. The station can be reached by clicking here.

Licenced to serve.....

Am very tired at the moment! Pickwicks was very busy today as we had Wells Cathedral School performing with their Brass Assemble at lunchtime. As usual, the school put on an impeccable performance delighting all of our customers.....however, quite a few came in to see them so we were very busy during lunchtime.

At 1500hrs I had a Mayoral Reception for the licensees of Wells. I wanted to host this event as a way of saying thank you to all of those licence holders who have a very responsible position in our City.

Without the licenced premises, Wells would shut down at 1700hrs each day - which would kill off our market town. Although the licence holders are invited to many dinners and other events, quite often it is when they are working (in the evening).

Anyway, off for a reception for the Wells City Training Band now......

Monday, 5 February 2007

Back in action!!

Had a drink with my dear friend and Chaplain, Lavinia Byrnes this evening.

Was great to catch up with her as she has just been through major surgery. As ever, Lavinia was on form and getting back to her old self.

I think it'll take a lot more than major surgery to keep her down!!

Apart from that, just updating the blog, washing t-towels from work (how exciting) and chilling out....especially with my newly discovered whisky 'Islay'.

Ho hum......

A night at the races

Sorry that my blog hasn't been updated for a few days - all has been quite hectic....

Have been extremely busy at Pickwicks - especially with the arrival of a waffle machine! I suspect it'll be fun getting used to that!!

On Saturday the Mayoress a group of friends and I, went along to the St. Cuthbert's Church Race Night. It's the first time I've been to such an event.

Pickwicks was one of the sponsors for the race, which I named the Pickwicks Caffe Dash! A bit cheesy, but don't know that much about horse racing.

However, as a table we didn't get very far. We managed to buy a couple of horses which cam depressingly last on each and every race. Our luck on the 'TOTE' improved -so we made about £15 out of that.

The monies that we had left over from the 'TOTE', we donated to the church (which amounted to £4.20 (where the 20p came from I don't know as we only had bets in pounds)).

Anyway all had a great time......even if one or two of the group had a little too much to drink!

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Special night for the 'Special Constabulary'.....

Had two waffle makers arrive in Pickwicks today. Hopefully this will mean something a bit different on the menu. Will sort the machines out over the weekend. So watch this space....

This evening I hosted a reception in the Mayor's Parlour for the Wells Sector Special Constabulary. The Special Constabulary are volunteer members of the Police force. As volunteers they have to put in at least 16 hours service each month - but have the same powers and uniform as a full time Policeman - all of this unpaid!!!

The reception had two purposes - first was to say thank you for the time they put in. Second purpose was to bring together the 'Specials' for an informal chat and update on policing issues.

The whole evening was a success - with 12 'Specials' attending. If you want to find out more about the 'Specials' and the work they do, click here.

Found the dogs!!

As you can imagine - no day goes past without something rather odd happening!! Well that's my story anyway.

Yesterday was no different.....

Was due to go out and meet a mate for a drink in a pub just outside of Keynsham. This pub was ideal as it is half way between Wells and Emerson's Green (Bristol), where my friend lives.

All was going to plan. Was going to meet him at 2000hrs. Anyway at about 1915hrs, I had a telephone conversation from another mate reporting that his dogs have broken out of his garden and gone missing!!! Now Wayne was in London at the time - but his neighbour had called him!

So me being nearest - was summoned for duty! So shot up to Oakhill to see what was going on. Searched the whole house and garden. Couldn't even find a place where the two dogs would have broken out!!

Even checked next door's garden - still no sign. So after going around gardens and muddy fields - dressed for an evening out with a mate - I thought the only thing to do was to drive around the village.

Did this for about 40mins. Every so often texting my patient mate about progress. With the neighbour being quite distressed, I tried every field and lane I could find....shouting the dog's names.

I then contacted the Police - who had just received a report of one of the dogs being found. One found - one to go!!! I collected the dog 'Georgie' and returned her home.....just 'Harry' to go.

After a mad dash into Wells - to get some information on the dog and back again - 'Harry' was reported as being held by a neighbour! So I went next door to collect him.

Mean while my mate had driven into Wells as there was no way I could drive out to meet him and have something to eat.

With both dogs safely inside - I joined my mate for a quick drink and a curry...... quite exhausted!!!!

Ho hum....

Mayor's Diary for 1st February 2007 - as published in the Wells Journal

By the time you’ve read this, the closing date for Self Assessment Tax Returns would have passed (31st January). It’s one of those sorts of things that sounds quite daunting, but when one completes it – isn’t that bad.

Over the past week I’ve attended 7 events, functions and meetings as your Mayor.

On Thursday I chaired the full City Council meeting, where we decided the precept for the year. The ‘precept’ is another way of saying the amount of tax the City Council will charge as part of your overall Council Tax bill.

After the meeting, which was a record breaking 15 minutes long, Centros Millar held a consultation meeting for Councillors and public. Centro Millar is the development company for the proposed ‘Princes Road’ site. To participate in the consultation, please follow the link from my blog

On Sunday I attended a service in St. Cuthbert’s Church to highlight homelessness. The service was hosted by Mendip YMCA. Everyone who was taking part in the service had to start the service in a sleeping bag. This included myself.

Had a bit of a shock when lying down waiting my turn, as my Mayoral chain fell backwards and almost strangled me. So this left me to desperately struggle with the thing until I could breathe. All without the congregation noticing.

I did learn that mayoral bling is not intended to be worn when in the horizontal position.

However, the service was a reminder of the issues faced by homeless young people. What impressed me most was the honesty of those who have had experience of homelessness, either directly or as a parent who’s son or daughter had left to live on the streets.

Monday saw the opening of Wells Central School’s new wing. This was a wonderful event. The whole school joined in the celebrations. It was great to see all of the pupils looking forward to their new classrooms and equipment. Well done to the teaching staff, governors and parents for seeing this project through to completion.

Over the next week my diary includes Council meetings, a reception for the Wells Sector Special Constabulary and St. Cuthbert’s Race Night (any tips for a good horse?).