Here is the final part of the interview conducted by Jan Collier with our Specialist Neighbourhood Office, PC Elena Boafo.
A crowd of around 200 people gathered in the Market Square on Monday 11th November, to watch, reflect and remember British service men and women who died in conflicts since the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
The Civic party, lead by Cllr John Beckett, Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, arrived in a procession at 10.50am, resplendent in their ceremonial robes. They were joined by serving members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and Police, among them our Borough Commander and Neighbourhood Specialist Officers.
Army Cadets, Scout leaders, school children and even toddlers from nursery were among those invited to join Revd Russell Dewhurst, Vicar of St. Mary’s Ewell, for the special Service.
At 10.59am The Last Post played before Epsom fell silent on the stroke of eleven. Flags were lowered, busses came to a halt, conversations ceased; business all around was put on hold as people paused to remember. Medals glinted in the wintry sun and together with poppies and wreaths, told a thousand stories.
At 11.02am Reveille signalled the continuation of the Service. The Mayor laid a wreath at the foot of the Clock Tower on behalf of the citizens of the Borough. Readings were from Dennis Newland, Burma Star Association, The Mayor Cllr John Beckett, Captain Robinson, QM 135 Squadron RE and Mary Dixon, Royal British Legion.
Prayers and the National Anthem concluded the Service.
Thousands of people countrywide were aware that Thursday 31st October was a very special day. It was Halloween and time for children to dress up as witches, ghosts, bats and skeletons and wear scary face paint in ghoulish greens and deathly whites.
It was also a special day for us at the Talking Newspaper too, because our volunteer team were on hand in the Ashley Centre to spread the word about our free audio news service and ideally to welcome new listeners.
Volunteers Heather Griffin and Richard Wheeler set up our EETN pod in the morning and were joined by more volunteers throughout the day, who met and chatted with passers-by, shoppers and several friends of EETN. Some people wanted to learn more about the way our recordings are distributed, with a view to registering someone to receive the free weekly audio service, while others were keen to know more about joining our team. As it was half term week, there were lots of children around and we really enjoyed seeing them looking very pleased with themselves in their Halloween outfits.
Our main aim was to raise awareness this year and we were delighted to make some new contacts. However, many people gave generous donations, including two lovely little boys who were having fun as they raced by, but stopped to pop coins on our desk.
Our Chairman Judy Sarssam would like to thank everybody who took time to chat to us and for supporting Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper.
The Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspaper (EETN) has been presented with a donation of £8,500 by the immediate past Epsom Mayor, Councillor Neil Dallen, after fundraising during his term of office.
The EETN produces a weekly recording of local news, magazine articles, podcasts, recipes and jokes which is sent out free of charge to those with impaired vision or who struggle to read small print. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and was chosen by Councillor Dallen as one of his three charities after personal experience of his father’s sight loss.
Speaking at the presentation on 3 October, EETN Chairman, Judy Sarssam said, “We are thrilled to bits and so grateful to Neil, his wife and family for all their time and effort. They worked their socks off! Huge thanks are also due to very many people and businesses who supported the fundraising year. Whether you donated a bottle of wine, bought a raffle ticket or came along to a curry night or quiz evening, thank you sincerely. Because of your enthusiasm and generosity, this marvellous donation helps us continue our work. We need funds to keep recording equipment up-to-date, and to buy memory sticks and boom boxes so our listeners can play the newsletter recordings in their homes. We will be in the Ashley Centre on 31 October and do hope people will come up and say hello. Or there is more information about the EETN online.”
Councillor Dallen said, “My Mayoral year was great fun. Part of that fun was the fundraising for my three charities – WSS, Girl Guiding and of course Epsom and Ewell Talking Newspapers. It is also great to see the reward of all our hard work with the presentation of cheques for £8,500, a fantastic result. Thank you everyone who helped achieve this. I wish everyone at Talking Newspapers the very best.”
Mrs Joan Deering, an enthusiastic listener who has received the newsletter for a number of years, said, “I look forward to listening to the latest edition every week. I enjoy the variety of items and with all the different voices, I feel as if I am in the recording studio with everyone”
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