TIM LOUGHTON: Record turnout at Pensioners' Fair

Just when you thought it was safe to dip into the back pages of the Herald this will be my last column before the election, I am told.

Thursday, 4th May 2017, 11:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:29 pm
Sir Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton with Gerry Turton from Action for Deafness at the Pensioners' Fair

Parliament has now dissolved ahead of the General Election on June 8 and I apologise in advance for the torrent of campaign literature you will no doubt be receiving from me and other candidates over the coming weeks.

Last Friday I held my fourth Pensioners’ Fair in the Guildbourne Centre with a record turnout of stalls from Age UK to University of the Third Age and a lot of interested passers-by.

This has become an annual event and it is good to showcase the extent of advice and support that is available to our older citizens across Adur and Worthing.

I was delighted that the mayor of Worthing and chairman of Adur District Council Ann Bridges were able to join us too.

On Thursday evening I was asked to play the role of quizmaster at the Worthing Rotary quiz held at English Martyrs Church in Goring, which raised some welcome funds for the ShelterBox organisation which provides emergency accommodation as supplies to those affected by natural disasters – which I have seen in action.

All I can say is that I was glad I was asking the questions and not having to answer them!

This week Ropetackle Arts Centre celebrated its tenth anniversary with many of that hardy band who were involved in the very early days back in Shoreham.

It is hard to believe that the whole thing started in 2001 when I was asked by SEEDA (remember them?) to chair a working group of local people to see what the community would like to have on the site when the derelict eyesore there was at last redeveloped.

Local figures from the council, such as Geoff Howitt and Melanie Blunden (formerly Blunden Fish & Chips), joined me and others from the arts and business communities, such as Eric Thompson and Anne Hodgson, to design and steer through what we have today.

With virtually no money but a very enthusiastic team with a begging bowl and some hard hats, six years later we were built and opened, and thanks to an incredible team of volunteers it has become one of the most popular venues on the south coast.

It goes to show what a great idea and a great community working together can achieve.

Perhaps politics should be a bit more like that!

Happy June 9th one and all.

• If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at [email protected]


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