A December newsletter would normally celebrate the passing year – though come to think of it, we will in some sense be doing just that. And we will really be hoping that 2021 proves better for us all. Unless you had invested in equipment for home delivery, 2020 was a year to write off to experience.
But there are silver linings to be found. The HCG like so many other organisations has been dragged into a zoom and You Tube age, and while the former cannot replace face-to-face comradeship, and is inexplicably tiring to use, it has meant that some contact and business within the Company has been maintained. We’ve managed, and very well, lectures and meetings, newsletters, interviews, and conversations. The last two of these are showing us, if we didn’t know already, that the HCG is populated by fascinating people with wide-ranging experience. I hope many will have found the time to view some or all of these virtual conversations, conversations I hope you might have had sitting next to the person at a meal. They are on the Company’s You Tube channel (and that is not something we thought we say in January) and the links are in this newsletter.
A successful AGM in November was embellished by presentations from the Gloucestershire Community Foundation (GCF) with whom we are working on the mentoring project. Links to these talks, and the Q&A, are also in the newsletter, and are well worth a watch. Our thanks to the Clerk, Phil Robson, for facilitating our You Tube presence, and thanks too to all those involved. There will be more to come. So some distancing, but not cut off. And our mileage and carbon footprint have certainly been reduced.
We all hope that vaccination against Covid19, with a little help from our new awareness and the spring and summer weather, will allow us to fulfil our programme of lectures, visits and our dinners. The Gloucestershire Lecture for the 18th of March 2021 is arranged, to be given by Adam Henson, from Cotswold farm Park and BBC Countryfile and will I’m sure be excellent. And our dinner in Tewkesbury Abbey in September will I’m sure be splendid and our contribution to the Abbey’s 900th anniversary celebrations.
And finally, some of you will know the links we have with Newent School. The headmaster, Alan Johnson, forwarded a link to their on-line performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Truly amazing and another silver lining; transferable skills if ever we saw them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjGgCxBE8w8 .
I hope there will be silver and other good linings to your Christmases, and look forward to a vaccinated new year when we’ll meet, rather than zoom, again for fellowship, and for Gloucestershire.
A Conversation with the Assistant Warden Andrew Tabor
Congratulations to two of our Members honoured in the delayed Birthday Honours List earlier in the year.
Our Junior Warden, Julie Kent has been awarded an MBE. Julie has just retired after thirty years at the chalk face at Dean Close school in Cheltenham where she held various roles in the Music department, running a boarding house for 60 teenage girls and overseeing the Community Action Programme.
However her award was in recognition of her charity works including the setting up of the Emily Kent Trust which raised money for children with cancer in Gloucestershire following the untimely death of her daughter Emily aged three. She presently sits on the board of The Pied Piper Appeal as Vice Chairman, is Chairman of Cheltenham Open Door and is a Trustee for Goals beyond Grass.
Congratulations are also extended to the county’s Chief Constable and Hon Co member Rod Hanson. Rod was awarded the Queen's Police Medal which is awarded to police officers in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations for gallantry or distinguished service. It recognises the Chief`s efforts over his policing career, which spans 31 years.
During his policing career, as well as being involved in delivering operational policing in both Avon and Somerset and in Gloucestershire, Chief Constable Hansen has been the national lead for dogs, horses, police aviation and is the chief police advisor to the Military Joint Task Force Headquarters, where he has given advice on policing in areas including Somalia, Kenya and Uganda.
He was also responsible for overseeing the training of hostage negotiators within the Greek police service in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
At Gloucestershire Constabulary he introduced a Supportive Leadership and Wellbeing programme which resulted in improved health and wellbeing and led to a reduction in staff sickness.
The first discussion from the Business Group with Peter Randall, CEO of Hassle Free Boilers Ltd on the impact of Covid on business in the County.