It is the height of summer and Wombourne is blooming once more. The planters around the village are rich with colour, with many arranged in colours of red, white and blue to mark this historic jubilee year, and cricket is a regular sight on the village green. This is Wombourne at its best.
Speaking of which, as I write this, I have just recovered full and very busy Carnival Day. Yes, Wombourne Carnival was truly back with a bang. It was my great pleasure to lead the parade around the village on foot this year, albeit with some trepidation to start as the rain began to pour. Fortunately it was light and brief, with the parade returning to the village centre in sunglasses weather.
It is fair to say many participants in the parade this year were rightfully concerned by the unavailability of the usual lorries on which the schools and other groups display their amazing floats. Despite the procurement difficulties, I am very pleased to say the challenge was met with the usual enthusiasm and a great deal of inventiveness. While more lorries appeared than may originally have been expected, decked out with stunning artwork, we also welcomed a vintage bus, floats on trailers rigged as royal carriages and many others walking with banners and costumes too. Also this year, we had an entry from a Wombourne business; Fierce hairdressers of Planks Lane joined in, and I hope they have set the trend for retailers getting in on the act. The precedent has been set – dress up, make banners, and march in the parade. Come on Wombourne retailers, let’s see who’s up for it next year!
The rest of the day went off as you may expect, with thousands of visitors from across Wombourne and far beyond enjoying the range of stalls, rides and attractions behind the Civic Centre. It was lovely chatting to so many people in the sunshine, and especially after the years of absence.
A huge well done also to all participants in the Carnival window competition, especially the top three, with Peggy Lain coming first, followed closely by Flaming Fires and Peony Lane. Well done to the judges too, who have a very difficult job to do – I know from personal experience. A further thank you, and the biggest of the lot, to all of the dedicated volunteers that give up their time to make the Carnival happen. Whether in the planning, setup, running on the day, or clearing up after the event, such a successful day can only run each year thanks to the hard work of this amazing team of people. Thank you all!
Prior to the Carnival, there was still more to celebrate. On 22nd June I had the great pleasure of joining Wombourne’s Volunteer Bureau as they celebrated their 50th year. This was a marvellous occasion celebrated by volunteers and patrons alike with a stunning buffet spread including plenty of cake. I even democratised the position of Chairman somewhat by voluntarily going and washing my own cup, much to the amusement of the amazing ladies manning the kitchen; but then, I do have a reputation for rolling up my sleeves and mucking-in.
We are so lucky as a community to benefit from the volunteers that form the Bureau. Fifty years is an amazing achievement, but as a community we need to ensure they have the volunteers and the skills to last another fifty. I am now going to do a bit of advertising, and call on all readers of Grapevine to assist in identifying any willing volunteer drivers that might assist the Volunteer Bureau in their activities. This consists of driving their minibuses, collecting residents either to take them to and from functions at the bureau or hospital appointments. All interested volunteers would be extremely welcome, whether you can give an hour a week, more frequently, whether you are retired, work part-time, or even from home.
If you like the sound of supporting the Volunteer Bureau in this or any other way, please get in touch. They would be delighted to hear from you.
Finally, I would like to address concerns that residents might have about antisocial behaviour in the village. This may manifest in a variety of ways, and is consistently followed up by Cllr Vince Merrick who is our dedicated liaison with the police, with scrutiny applied at monthly Council meetings which are well attended by members of our local policing team.
Work is being done by our local team to address antisocial behaviour wherever it arises, and some good results are forthcoming. However, these successes are only as good as the reporting that supports it. If you witness antisocial behaviour or have concerns about things going on in your neighbourhood, please log it with the police directly via 101, or the digital 101 platform using Facebook, Twitter or the Staffordshire Police website. Alternatively, if you would prefer to raise the issue with your Councillors, we will ensure it gets fed back to the police.
I would like to wish you all a very happy summer whether you are going away or staying at home, enjoying our own wonderful surroundings.
Wombourne Parish Council