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The Mayor and the Armed Forces

The Mayor Of Chesterfield, Keith Morgan and the MayoressMonday 16th August 2010 Chesterfield has very close links with all the Armed Forces and those ties remain something which the Town is immensely proud of.

When we caught up with the Mayor this week much of our conversation centred on the sacrifices our Armed Forces make.

One of the saddest duties for the Mayor of Chesterfield is the writing of letters of condolence to the families of fallen soldiers.

So far, since His Worship the Mayor of Chesterfield, Keith Morgan took office in May, he has written seven letters of condolences to the families of soliders from the Merician Regiment who are currently serving in Afganhistan. "It's a humbling experience", he says, "one which brings home how a far off conflict affects people throughout our area."

The day previous to our meeting, His Worship the Mayor had made a private visit to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire which remembers all those who have lost their lives either in a terrorist attack or through serving in the armed forces since the Second World War.

It was, he said, one of the most humbling and memorable visits of his time in Office. The sheer scale of sacrifice and memories, is breathtaking. The Mayor took time to pay homage at the Wall of Memories where there is the name of a fallen soldier from Chesterfield. A profound experience and one place they will certainly visit again.

Conversation moved on to the Armed Forces Day held recently in the Town and again a chance for the town to show it's respect for the Armed Forces. This was a week of remembrance, displays and finished with a 1940's social evening at Wallis Barracks. The Shoebox Appeal run by Peter and Ethel Lawrence and their many helpers send out much valued supplies to the troops.

This local group of very hard working people send out send toiletries, tea bags, food and books out to Afghanistan providing a much needed boost for men serving on the front line.

Back in March when the Merician Regiment Exercised their Right to parade through the town following a reception at the Town Hall members of the Shoe Box Committee met some of the troops who had received their much need shoe boxes.


One of the more fun events the Mayor and Mayoress have taken part in recently was the Medieval Market.

The weather was great and the Town was filled with not only local residents from many hundreds of visitors from all over the country. The whole market area was filled with charity stall where every one dressed in medieval costumes.

The winning stall was Barbara Wallace with the Nenna Kind Cancer Drop-In Centre
Pictured (l to r): Bethany Thompson, Jeanette Hamer (Mop Cap), Nathan Hamer, The Mayoress, The Mayor, Shaun Hamer, the winner with her crown Barbara Wallace, Geryon Bagshaw (Lady in Green), Kathryn Thompson.

The Mayor and Mayoress had to choose the winning stall which was Barbara Wallace with the Nenna Kind Centre (Chesterfield Cancer Drop In Centre).


Moving on to the Mayor's Charity Appeal the Mayor explained why he chose the charities he did. Both being former teachers and spending their working lives devoted to children they were aware of the difficulties some children and families have.

Fairplay was chosen as their Charity, as the theme for the Mayor's year was "Helping Communities to Help Themselves".Fairplay is a registered charity providing specialist services across North Derbyshire. Fairplay supports children and young people with sensory, physical, learning and behavioural disabilities and additional needs. They hope to raise enough money to purchase specialist outdoor play equipment that would open up the world of play to children who are often unable to access mainstream play facilities.

The Mayor and Mayoress are also donating 10% of all monies raised to the Samaritans, who offer 24 hour emotional support to people who are distressed or despairing.

As members of a local Church, the Mayor and Mayoress were keen to extend the ethos that the church has - helping others to help themselves. Most churches have had an approach from the Mayor offering for them to attend any events which promote this. Invitations are pouring in and the Mayor is looking forward to meeting as many people as possible there.  


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