After a quieter January my mayoral diary hotted up again into February and beyond. Some exciting events were experienced and many more booked for my final three months too, writes Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Nick Brown.
The month started with a splendid Business Lunch with the formidable and inspirational Baroness Michelle Mone of Mayfair speaking to a packed audience about her upbringing, career and the founding of the famous Ultimo lingerie company.
The following day I again visited and spoke to the Hebrew Association at a thought provoking Holocaust Service with moving addresses from a number of people including a Holocaust survivor.
In complete contrast I attended a lively and enjoyable Craft Aid International 1940’s event at Ripley Castle which was great fun for a good cause. The following week included, as I’m their Patron, the Harrogate Sea Cadet’s Awards evening. I am proud to say that this thriving troupe of Cadets are smart, hard working and a credit to our community.
A different but no less inspiring event for young people took place the next day at St Aidan’s school when the Rotary Technology Tournament had pupils, from our local schools in the district, showing off their design and technology skills. This annual event was first held in Harrogate in 2002 and encourages innovation, team working, communication, problem solving, decision making, risk taking and creativity skills across the Borough’s schools.
A few days later it was a real joy to go to the wonderful community of Starbeck to hear my friend Christine Stewart’s “Rallying to Arms” presentation, to a completely packed audience attending the launch of their bid for Britain in Bloom success in 2017.
The Mayoress and myself hosted a great civic evening for my Charities at a brilliant amateur performance in Harrogate Theatre, by the Deanery Players, of Return to the Hidden Planet. Super music and entertainment and a memorable night.
The week finished with a splendid Mayor of Pateley Bridge’s Annual Valentine’s Ball with, as you would expect from another close community, good country food and conviviality.
On Valentine’s Day itself Linda and I opened the Ice Cream Alliance Expo 2017, the biggest exhibition of its kind in the UK. We enjoyed tasting a wide selection of ice creams while visiting over 60 stands. We got on so well with them that they kindly invited us to their exhibition Ball the following night.
Then there was a terrific and competitive Junior Soldier boxing night at the Army Foundation College (AFC), the NYCC Chairman’s charity dinner and a visit to North Yorkshire Horizons offices in Harrogate. This is a really important local alcohol and drugs support organisation, which deserves to be more widely known, with dedicated staff and great volunteers.
The month drew to a close with a cold but inspirational AFC Winter Graduation Parade, together with a super Winter evening reception with our friends at RAF Menwith Hill. Finally on the last Saturday in February we attended a magnificently humorous “X” Rated Pantomime in Pannal. Cinderella, written and Directed by Clive Kirkham, featured both my Mayor’s Secretary Lorna, as a very wicked stepmother, but also a former Mayor of the Borough, Mike Newby, as a wicked half sister to Cinderella.
Last but not least Harrogate Choral Society put on a superb performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana and Chilcott’s Little Jazz Mass at the Royal Hall, which we attended. A fitting end to a short but enthralling month.