Created and Maintained by MVP
Mortimer Music Live - Classical Guitar Evening
Mortimer Music Live, one of MVP's affiliated groups, is holding its next event on Saturday 6th September at Spratley's car showroom, Victoria Road, Mortimer RG7 3SG. Doors open 7pm for 7.30 start. Licensed bar available. The performers will be Tim Gilson, Steve Grant, Amy Jewell, Sammy Millard and a fine vocal finale with Josefina Guzian. All proceeds donated to The Brain Tumour Charity (Registered Charity no. 1150054). Tickets £7.50 available in advance only from: Dad's shop, Triangle Travel, Weller Fruit shop and Budgen’s. Sponsored by Spratley’s of Mortimer. More information here.
Fun Day Photos
To remind us of what a good time we had at the Fun Day, photos of some of our sponsors and what they sponsored:
The View from the Other Side..........
Usually, an excursion to London for me means a family sightseeing tour warranting flat, comfortable walking shoes, clothes for all weathers and a picnic-filled rucksack. An invitation from the Queen, to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, therefore called for a whole new rethink, careful strategic planning and of course, a shopping trip! The garden party trip was a celebration in recognition of Mortimer Village Partnership (MVP) being awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service - the MBE for voluntary groups! Two representatives of the MVP could attend and circumstances were such that Rebecca Barker's and my name were the lucky ones drawn out of the hat (the 'hat', I believe, was in actual fact a plastic bag!).
On the morning of the event life started as usual but gradually descended into a manic furore of flying garments, make up and “WHERE'S MY PASSPORT?” - a security essential requirement to ensure entrance to the Palace. Finally, dressed in my finery and having wrestled my ears and hat into an acceptable position, I felt as though I was the Queen herself. “You may call me Ma'am as in ham” I said to the family and “Curtsey while you're thinking what to say. It saves time”. Yeah right, as if that was going to happen! Ignoring my regal airs and graces the most they promised was to walk the “Corgi” in my absence and sort themselves out with tea should I not be back in time.
On first receipt, I had scoured the invite to see what time Her Majesty would be sending one of her horse and carriages to collect me and Mrs B. Reality quickly set in and come the day, the only carriage we saw the inside of, was one two down from the buffet car on the 14:02 to Paddington. Trying to remain inconspicuous on the tube proved fruitless, our attire attracting curious sideways glances and little knowing smiles.
On arrival at Buckingham Palace we quickly passed through security, the inner courtyard and a tiny part of the Palace itself, to emerge on the terrace above Her Majesty's back garden. We were faced with a sea of hats and, no longer feeling out of place, observed the crowds, already eight or nine deep, lining the walkways where by the Royal party would pass. A little unsure as to the correct protocol and slightly perturbed by a menacing black cloud, hovering with intent to the right, we decided that the best option was to head for tea. The tea tent was as long as the eye could see. It contained little 'food stations' every three meters or so at which Her Majesty's loyal subjects politely queued for buffet style nibbles and liquid refreshments. We had almost reached the top of the queue when, as if by magic and in unison, the tea staff stopped what they were doing, took a step back and stood respectively in a row. At that moment, one of the two bands struck up the National Anthem and the Royal party appeared on the terrace. As they negotiated the steps towards the waiting crowd, in true British fashion, the heavens opened and the threatening black cloud did its worst. The sea of hats became a sea of umbrellas.
As the rain overhead got heavier and heavier, we remained in the tea tent enjoying the Royal brew and sampling the Queen's finger foods – heaven knows what time she had had to get up to cater for nearly 8000 guests! Eventually, as brighter skies appeared, we braved the final spits and spots and made our way to the still-waiting crowds. Still several rows back and still not entirely sure what we were doing, we suddenly caught a glimpse of the Queen's lemon hat and most memorably, her left ear! Prince Philip followed and being slightly taller than his wife, was much easier to see. As our hosts disappeared into the Royal tea tent, we joined the hoi polloi and explored the extensive gardens.
By now, not used to wearing such ladylike shoes for any length of time, our feet, to coin a phrase, 'were killing us'. Not only were the shoes pinching but Rebecca had had to take to walking on her tip toes to try and prevent her heels from sinking into and aerating the Queen's sodden lawn – why, oh why had we not worn our flat, comfortable walking shoes? Despite the hobbling – of which we were two of many - we couldn't fail to be amazed by the size and beauty of the gardens – a true oasis in the middle of a bustling city of which the hum of the traffic, just a stone’s throw away on the other side of the wall, was a constant reminder.
Making our way back to the main throng, people were once again queuing. Determined not to miss out on this occasion, we stood four deep and patiently waited for the Royal party to finish their tea and make their exit. At a regal pace the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl and the Countess of Wessex and the Duke of Kent walked by leaving in their wake a trail of admiring public.
All too soon we were leaving the inner sanctum of the garden ourselves, following the crowds back towards the exits. As we retraced our steps through the tiny part of the Palace we thought that we could once again hear the sound of heavy rain but, as it turned out, it was the sound of hundreds of pairs of shoes, scrunching on the gravel of the courtyard, as they were making their way to the foreground of the Palace, out beneath the famous balcony.
Up until the garden party, my lasting memory of Buckingham Palace had been that of my son, then aged nine, with his head stuck in its railings. Now however, thanks to Mortimer and its fantastic volunteers, Rebecca and I have been fortunate enough to have seen the view from the other side.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
We all know that Mortimer is the best place in the world – it’s why many of us feel it is worth doing lots of voluntary work to enhance it further. But it is very special to have that work acknowledged by the outside world, in particular by Her Majesty The Queen.
Last year Mortimer Village Partnership was nominated by West Berkshire Council and the Community Council for Berkshire for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for voluntary groups. As you can imagine we were over the moon to be even nominated. CCB contacted us for some details about our activities for their nomination and they requested letters of support from people and groups who have benefitted from what MVP does. Later we heard that the nomination had been accepted and we were interviewed by two Deputy Lieutenants of Berkshire representing the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. They wrote further reports on what we do and this was sent in to a national review. We knew that 22 groups in Berkshire had nominations accepted and received a certificate from the Lord Lieutenant at a ceremony congratulating us on this in March. It was not expected that more than a small handful of those nominated would receive the award.
And then very recently we learned that we have been awarded this honour. On the 3rd June two of our committee members will attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace which is one of the results of the award. We will later receive our actual award (a certificate signed by The Queen and a special engraved crystal like this one); we are now entitled to use the logo in all our publications.
I need to say that this award has been given as a result of the work of all those who have volunteered for any of the activities that MVP organise: yes, all the committee who work with me, many giving a great deal of time to the village, but also those who serve at the Lunch Club, pick up litter at the Spring Clean, sell refreshments at the pantomime, put up tents and clean toilets at the Fun Day, deliver newsletters, administer our Facebook page, collect Bag2School bags from pavements, organise the Sports Weekend, maintain our website, local businesses that offer sponsorship and practical help, and many, many more. It was the range and number of volunteers, all in different ways serving the good of the village, which impressed the very serious judging panel that decided the award. We all do this because it is good for our community but it is wonderful to have that recognised; we all enjoy praise:
Danusia Morsley - MVP Chairman
Thank you people of Mortimer – keep volunteering!
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