I had a lovely time at the Mayor of Chelmsford’s Community Evening at Hylands House on Friday evening. As the longest-standing Sing Out Loud Chelmsford, member, I invited Jane T., as my guest. For those who don’t know, Jane joined Chelmsford Sing Out Loud, the very first day we started, in November 2008!

Before dinner in The Pavilion, Jane and I had our photograph taken with the Mayor and the Mayor’s Consort, Essex County Councillor Mr. John Spence.

As this was my first Civic function, I wasn’t sure of the overall purpose of the event. As you will imagine, I was, therefore, delighted to receive a “Certificate of Recognition” from the Mayor, Councillor Yvonne Spence, and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Christine Garrett. It was given ‘As an acknowledgment of outstanding work, making better lives for the people of Chelmsford through Sing Out Loud’.

This year’s Chelmsford Mayoral party are each gracious, authentic and lovely human beings. After our photo, the Mayor and Mayor’s Consort, both thanked me personally for the work I am doing. During the speeches, the Mayor thanked all the volunteers (around 100 people, each of whom had been nominated by a Councillor), for the wonderful work they are doing, for the people of Chelmsford.

We were thoughtfully seated on a table with Councillors and other local people who work in music or raise funds for the theatre in Chelmsford. The newly-appointed Lord Lieutenant of Essex – in formal regalia – gave a brief speech. A group of students from The Boswells School entertained us with song. I’m happy to say there were some lovely voices and confident young singers amongst them.

All in all, it was a most interesting and thoroughly enjoyable evening. I felt honoured and humbled to have been invited. Thank you, to the Mayor of Chelmsford and Mayor’s Consort for the invitation, and to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the award. And Thank you to my superb Sing Out Loud – without which I wouldn’t have been there – for all the pleasure you have given me and many others over the years.