Firstly, many congratulations to John Houlgate, Chairman of Southrepps Commons Trust, who on October 19th received his British Empire Medal from Richard Jewson, the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, representing the Queen, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Southrepps, through his leadership of the Trust. The award was made by Her Majesty in her Birthday Honours list announced in June. The ceremony was held in the wonderfully historic Great Hospital in Norwich.
Here is John with the Lord Lieutenant, both dressed up to the nines.
And here he is with his wife Sheila, one of our staunchest volunteers, and also dressed up to the nines.
That done, it was back to earth a couple of days later, when John was back leading another working party on the part of the Common known as Area A; the one on Warren Road nearest Pit Street. We usually have a good laugh in our working parties, and never more than today, when, with a plaintive cry John disappeared down a hole in the high mound of cut material our super-ssuccessful team had just created. If you look carefully, you can just see him waving, NOT dressed up to the nines this time.
These piles of cut reeds can sometimes contain holes. In this image, a cosy looking den was found, presumably caused by reeds being dumped last time on some cut branches above. Or was it? How about a Womble? Or a Hobbit?
We were somewhat reduced in numbers this time, but still had 10 volunteers hard at work. Steve and Andrew formed a new winch team, and very efficiently too. As the footie managers like to say, we have a great squad, with immense strength in numbers. Oh yes.
And here is Chairman John's message of thanks:
This message is for an exclusive group of indomitable individuals who shall forever be bound by the shared experience of Sunday 22nd October on Area "A". I confess to experiencing a small anxiety as to whether I should proceed with only four of us, but soon we were up to a respectable, if challenging, ten. The rain held off till half-time after which conditions deteriorated, but no one seemed to notice. Is it a paradox that sometimes a smaller group seems more efficient? Anyway, everyone worked very well and it was a joy to be part of such a finely tuned team. Thankyou very much. Next session is Sunday 5th November when we will certainly mop up what remains of Area "A" before moving across the Beck to the wide open spaces of the central part.
Thanks and Kind Regards