The Town Hall was packed on Tuesday lunchtime with 120 guests for the Mayor’s Over 65s Christmas party, one of the biggest parties for many years.
Henley Mayor, Councillor Glen Lambert welcomed the guests who were then treated to a lunch of sandwiches, sausage rolls and pork pies followed by trifle, mince pies and Christmas cake provided by 81 events.
During the meal the guests were entertained by regular Market Place entertainer, Tim Valentine on piano who gave his time for free and then the guests enjoyed a popular game of bingo. All the guests were given a chocolate with a raffle ticket number on for some great prizes which included a cut and blow dry from Harrington’s, a Waitrose hamper and tickets to Henley Festival to name just a few.
Les Lloyd from Henley said, “It’s my third time here. I like to come to meet everyone and have a good social and to see old friends.” Councillor Donna Crook brought her Dad along. She said, “He wasn’t sure about coming but now he’s here he’s having a good time.”
Leena Wisely, the Mayor’s PA who organised the event said, “I was bowled over by the generosity of everyone – both the people and businesses in the community who without their donations, the party couldn’t take place. I’d also like to thank Annie Lathaen for organising all the transport for people today.”
Gillotts students helped served the lunch and entertained the guests afterwards with songs and solo musical performances that included Twelve Days of Christmas.
The big red man himself (Father Christmas) then made an appearance and offered all the guests a chocolate. Councillor David Eggleton who was at the party earlier, at this point wasn’t anywhere to be seen!? It was a shame he missed him!
The star attraction at the party, Vince Hill was a fitting finale who sang Make Someone Happy (from ‘Do Re Mi’) and two of his greatest hits from the 1960s which were Edelweiss (from ‘The Sound of Music’) and the World War I anthem Roses of Picardy.
Glen said afterwards, “The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Party was a complete success. The Gillotts Choir were fantastic, I had heard them practising earlier in the day so I knew they’d be great. We also had a couple of rounds of bingo, a raffle with some really great prizes thanks to the generosity of many local businesses AND a visit from Santa Claus. Vince Hill kindly came out of retirement to perform a few songs and was a huge hit with the crowd. Tim Valentine did a great job of keeping everyone entertained the rest of the time and when he finished, he went out on to Market Place and played piano accompaniment for Charis-Anne who came to Henley to sing some festive songs. As usual, the success of the event would not have been possible without the efforts of the Town Hall staff, particularly Leena Wisely who was crucial. It was also great to see several Town Councillors attend and help out so thanks to Kellie Hinton, Ken Arlett, Donna Crook and Dave Eggleton.”