Sunday, 19 September 2021

Mayor's Christmas party proves to be a ball

THE Christmas party for Henley?s elderly proved to be just the ticket when the Mayor volunteered to call out bingo numbers

THE Christmas party for Henley?s elderly proved to be just the ticket when the Mayor volunteered to call out bingo numbers.

About 100 people attended the celebration at the town hall on Tuesday afternoon.

They were served party food, played games and entertained by children performing festive songs.

The room had been specially decorated by members of staff at Henley Town Council with balloons and streamers while the tables had a covering of glitter and a cracker and chocolate Santa for each guest.

The old folk, some of whom came from care homes, were welcomed by the Mayor Lorraine Hillier and Rev Canon Martyn Griffiths, rector of Henley with Remenham, who said grace before the food was served.

The menu consisted of sandwiches, pork pies, pastries, mince pies, Christmas cake and sausages donated by Maidensgrove catering company 81 Events.

As the guests ate and chatted to one another, Christmas music was played in the background.

Father Christmas ? alias Howard Feather, manager of the NatWest bank in Market Place ? handed out chocolates. After the meal came the bingo at which Councillor Hillier proved to be a natural caller. As the first number, 66, came up, she spoke into the mic ?clickety click? followed by ?two little ducks?as 22 flashed up on the electronic machine.

She was assisted by fellow councillor David Eggleton and the Mayor?s secretary Nicci Taylor. Twenty members of the Henley Children?s Theatre sang seasonal numbers including Let It Snow, Three Little Kittens, White Christmas and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

The children wore festive attire including Christmassy jumpers, Santa hats and mock reindeer horns.

A raffle was drawn by the Mayor and Cllr Eggleton with prizes including champagne, chocolates, Christmas cake and plants.

Cllr Hillier said she found the party ?very exciting? and added: ?There were lots of people there and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The catering was excellent and a big thank-you should go to Nicci Taylor and the other council staff for doing such a fabulous job with the decorations and collecting donations for the raffle.

?We also owe a huge thank-you to each company which contributed to the fantastic selection of prizes.? The Mayor also thanked the Henley Handybus and Henley Volunteer Drivers for helping transport some of the people there and back.

The guests, many of whom had attended in previous years, said they had enjoyed themselves.

Dennis Westley, 86, of Hop Gardens, who had been once before, said: ?It?s a nice community event. I have lived in Henley all my life and it?s nice to see other people from the town.

?All being well, I?ll be back next year!?

John Hewett, 88, of Grange Road, and his wife Irene were at their sixth party.

He said: ?The event is usually very good. There?s always a nice bit of entertainment and the food is always lovely. You might see friends you went to school with or someone you haven?t seen for years.?

Former town councillor David Silvester, of Luker Avenue, attended with his wife Irene.

He said: ?The party?s very good ? nice, free food, good company and you can have a drink of wine and sherry. I think it brings the community together.?

Mary Jenkins, 67, of Makins Road, took her 96-year-old mother Agnes Mackrell to the party.

She said: ? She lives with me and I look after her. I heard about the event and thought it would be really nice to come ? and it was wonderful.?

Ted Doughty, 84, of Albert Road, said: ?The event was marvellous the first time I came and this was the same.

?Older people don?t get out of the house as much they used to and this provides a chance for them to do that.?

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