Local Faces: Directors of Wendover Celebrates
Just after my family moved here from Reading, we discovered that wonderful local institution, Wendover Carnival. It had been going for some years and one of its main purposes was to raise money to build a swimming pool. Around the mid eighties, my eldest lad Thomas, now aged 38, walked round dressed as a ring master, all decked out in a top hat and tails. I was sure he would win the fancy dress contest but he was beaten by a very imaginative animated version of the Clocktower. Unfortunately volunteers dried up and everything fizzled out . . . That was until 2012 when a modern version of Wendover Carnival was resurrected under the name Wendover Celebrates, inspired by the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics. At the time I was chair of Wendover Parish Council: a number of Councillors got together and attracted Wendover people to form a committee. The rest is history and we are now into organising the fifth successive Wendover Celebrates. Off the top of my head, we will have dished out nearly £40k to local charities and organisations from money raised. I feel very proud to have been part of that. It’s when that sort of effort is made that you realise all the hard work is worth it.
I started as a volunteer and have, over time, worked with a great variety of people, to shape a one day event that happens every two years that people look forward to. Some ask me why we don’t run the event annually. If we had more volunteers we would probably consider the possibility but I like the anticipation of what will happen.
WC2020 will be the last event that I will be involved with – certainly as a Director; we need to enlist younger people to take things forward. My thanks to all on the committee, to colleagues on Wendover Parish Council and especially to my two co-directors Matt and Fiona.
I have lived in Wendover for over 20 years after spending several years in the British Army. This is the 3rd time I have supported Wendover Celebrates and the 2nd time as a director. I am responsible for the site logistics including planning and security, and ensuring that everyone has a great day. “I’m really passionate about supporting the community especially local charities and organisations that bring people together. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at the next event in 2020, which is set to be the best one yet!”
Having grown up in Tring and then Gt Missenden and attending Tring Park School, some of my earliest memories are of Saturday lunch with my parents at the Red Lion, with the lovely Dolly serving us. We loved the independent shops that lined the beautiful High Street and always went for long weekend walks at Wendover Woods. When I opened my flower and gift shop in 2016, it was important to me that I did that in the village, and I am proud to now be one of those independent shops. I was honoured to be asked to become a director of Wendover Celebrates in October 2017, so this will be my second event. Having spent my life involved with theatrical productions, weddings and large corporate events – my responsibility for Wendover Celebrates is organising the entertainment, catering and stalls on the day and I am very much looking forward to big changes this year as we introduce many and varied “Arena Events” as well as an extended “Kid’s Zone”, “Stalls Site” and the ever popular live music in the evening. I very much welcome enquiries from anyone who would like to become involved with any of these areas – including catering – we really can’t do this without the support of our many volunteers and, of course, entertainment providers and stall holders. See you all on Sunday 24 May 2020.