Town Hall Hosts Henley’s Over 60s For Mayor’s Christmas Celebration
The Town Hall was bursting with festive cheer at the Mayor’s Over 60s Christmas Party on Tuesday (5th December). Merry chatter filled the room as guests enjoyed a feast of exquisite food and ample entertainment. Even Father Christmas turned up to share in the fun!
The occasion was opened by Mayor Kellie Hinton, before Reverend Duncan Carter led the group in prayer. The celebrations then got underway as the lucky guests were showered with treats. Catering company Fingers & Forks delivered a delicious meal, including sausage rolls, tartlets, pork pies, tiny trifles — ahead of course, of Christmas cake and mince pies. The Bix-based business was honoured to have been involved. “The guests are all lovely, and it’s great to do something to help the community,” stated Jude Mawbey, of Fingers & Forks. The food went down a storm, with many people remarking on how tasty it was. Rosie Freeman commented, “It was really nice, lovely food. And there was plenty of wine as well!”
Whilst Fingers & Forks supplied culinary delights, performers were on hand to provide some musical amusement. Gillotts Voices, who also helped to serve the food and drink, wowed the audience with their singing. Popular clarinetist, Dennis Saunders, was also invited to charm the crowd with his combination of carols and familiar tunes. A regular performer at the annual event, Dennis was thrilled to be playing at the Mayor’s party once again. “It’s a bit of fun,” he expressed. “The acoustics here are great, and I’m very happy just to sit here and play.” The entertainment didn’t stop at music, as there was yet more with a raffle, bingo, and a few magic tricks from Councillor David Eggleton.
Christmas definitely came early for the Over 60s of Henley, who all left the Town Hall with a smile (and a Terry’s chocolate orange)! Chris Ambrose and his companions, Annette Ambrose, Pat Crisp, Audrey Oliver and Norman ‘Norm the Storm’ Ingram, were extremely grateful for the joyous occasion. “We would like to thank the school for looking after us — they were all so polite,” Chris enthused. “Thanks as well to the Mayor, and everyone else who contributed, really. Thank you to everyone for making is such a great event.”
Mayor Kellie Hinton also expressed her gratitude to everyone who generously donated to the event. “I have to say, looking at the list of people that helped, its phenomenal,” she remarked. Thanks to AB Walker, Badgemore Golf Course, Blandy & Blandy, Brambles Florist, Copas Turkey, Chris & Chris Wells, Clive Radley, The Ferret Antiques, Fingers & Forks, Haringtons Hairdressers, Henley Chiropractic Centre, Henley Municipal Charities, Henley Royal Regatta, Henley Rugby Club, Higgs, Hot Gossip, Invesco Perpetual, Janet Wheeler, Keith Douglas Partnership, Kenton Theatre, Liz Jones, Mercers Solicitors, Mr & Mrs Yeo, Newtown Car Service, Phyllis Court, River & Rowing Museum, Robinson Sher, Tomalin & Son, Sainsbury’s, Second hand and Antiquarian Books, Smarts Fish & Chip Shop, Southern Plant Tools, Temptation Gifts, Villars Haywards Accountants, and Waitrose.
Gainsborough Residents Enjoy A Cracking Christmas Lunch
More Christmas spirit lay in store on Thursday when Gainsborough Over 60s residents gathered for lunch at the Catherine Wheel. The event, organised by councillor David Eggleton (Chair of the Gainsborough Residents’ Association) and Paula Isaac (Vice Chair), and supported by SOHA, was another fantastic festive celebration for Henley’s older occupants.
Each guest could enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, courtesy of Adam Levy and his team at the Catherine Wheel. The partygoers were also given raffle tickets for a chance to win a number of edible treats and alcohol. Many of the prizes were kindly donated by Nomad from their food bank. With a roasting fire, a Christmas tree, and a table full of crackers, the festive atmosphere was inescapable. John Green was appreciative of the social opportunity. “For all the people who do see each other around, it’s a nice chance to sit and chat quietly, and to make new friends,” he said. Mayor Kellie Hinton, no stranger to the event, was also in attendance. She announced, “It’s wonderful to be here for the fourth time, but for the first time as Mayor. I know we’re going to have a lot of fun as we always do.”
Modelling a customary Santa hat, Paula Isaac reflected on the success of the annual occasion. “This is our fourth lunch. From the first time we did this it’s been such a lovely event but we can’t do it without SOHA’s support. Each year, it increases in popularity.” It’s no surprise that demand for an invite is high, as Paula explained, “It’s a great opportunity for people to mingle, and to really feel the Christmas love.”
David Eggleton took the time to thank the team at SOHA for their support. To the many grateful guests, he declared. “I just wanted to say a big thank you to SOHA. Jackie Logan from SOHA has helped with the funds to make this possible.” Jackie Logan, Resident Involvement Manager for SOHA, was pleased to be able to uphold the event. “We are really happy to be supporting the lunch again,” she commented. “Paula and Dave do such a great job — they’re fab.”
With two weeks left until Christmas, there are plenty of parties still left on the cards. Particular attention was drawn to Community Spirit’s Christmas Day lunch at the Christ Church on Reading Road. Irena Bailey, one of the 30 volunteer organisers, was present at the Gainsborough Residents’ lunch to raise awareness for the event. “The most important part for me now is finding people that need to come so we don’t leave anybody out.” The free event is being offered to anyone on their own on Christmas Day. Starting at 11:30am, guests will be spoilt with a three course meal, a quiz, raffle, presents, and a performance from Daisy Smith. Irena encouraged, “Please, don’t be alone for Christmas. It’ll be a special day.” If you would like to attend, email ChristmasDinnerHOT@gmail.com or call 07961 694399.